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  Hype Man at Fountain Theatre

Hype Man

Fountain Theatre
5060 Fountain Avenue Hollywood

Winner of the 2018 Elliot Norton Award, Hype Man follows a diverse hip-hop trio on the verge of making it big on national TV. When a police shooting of a black teen shakes the band to its core, the group is forced to confront questions of race, gender, privilege and when to use artistic expression as an act of social protest. See the West Coast premiere of this play at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles.

Thru - Apr 14, 2019

Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 2:00pm & 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:00pm

Price: $30

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 323-663-1525

  Hype Man Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Los Angeles Times - Recommended

"...Buoyed by superb technical elements - James Maloof's set, Chu Hsuan Chang's lighting, Malik Allen's sound, Michael Mullen's costumes and Shen Heckel's props - director Deena Selenow elicits first-rate performances from her tight-knit cast, including galvanic rap sequences buoyed by beat maker Romero Mosley. As Verb, Hancock is a suppressed ball of concentrated energy who never walks when he can bound. Even if his character frequently lapses into diatribe, Hancock makes his every utterance richly believable - no mean feat."
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F. Kathleen Foley

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"...Playwright Goodwin grew up absorbing the hip-hop culture in Detroit and became serious about it as a young rapper in Chicago. He has 14 plays under his belt, and has produced five rap albums - so this is a subject he knows only too well, and there are some infectious musical numbers, so even if you're not a fan of this genre of music, don't miss this very important production, superbly directed by Deena Selenow."
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Joan Alperin

LA Splash - Highly Recommended

"...Talented director Deena Selenow does a superb job of turning three legitimate actors into rap stars. Of course, she also has a talented trio working to reach their mutual goal. If HYPE MAN weren't a play - and the three were in fact introduced at a concert - it would be hard to separate actor from rapper. Hancock's moves are fluid as he bonelessly gyrates across the stage. Addison's rap is clear as a bell - and just right for today's audiences. Thibeaux's "take control" manner with the necessary mechanics is perfection."
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Elaine Mura

Stage Scene LA - Highly Recommended

"...The police shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager impacts the lives of a white rapper, his black backup singer, and the multiracial beat maker who completes their stardom-bound rap group in Idris Goodwin’s HYPE MAN: a break beat play, an exhilarating, discussion-provoking Fountain Theatre West Coast Premiere."
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Steven Stanley

CurtainUp - Recommended

"...In the realm of hip hop, Verb, at the center of Idris Goodman's play, is an anomaly: a black man working for a rapper who is white. As Goodwin's Hype Man unfolds over 90 exciting and challenging minutes, the already quite eloquent Verb will find his voice."
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Evan Henerson

Stage Raw - Somewhat Recommended

"...The best work in Hype Man occurs during the musical performances, which capture some of the excitement of hip hop, while also establishing a credible example of the genre. But the acting in general is below the usual standard at The Fountain, and Hancock in particular seems handcuffed and muted. The best work comes from Ms. Thibeaux, who captures the vulnerability and rising self-confidence of a young woman in this male-dominated world (though she too is undercut by the script, which continually raises intriguing questions of race, gender and social justice without really exploring them)."
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Stephen Fife

Theatre Notes - Highly Recommended

"...The Fountain Theatre's production of Idris Goodwin's award-winning play, Hype Man, is a fast-paced, hyper-energetic, seriocomic wonder that is more serio than comic. It brings the hip-hop scene to vivid life for audiences who may not have experienced it in close, intimate contact. Virtually everybody who watches television has seen rap performances at one time or another. But to have it take place in a small theatre in a brilliant drama is thrilling, consciousness expanding, humanizing, and educational."
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Paul Myrvold

Discover Hollywood - Highly Recommended

"...Director Deena Selenow keeps the emotions and the intelligence turned up on high as the actors challenge each other and themselves. Playwright Idris Goodwin explores the pressures of society, the music business, and the characters' personal lives with language that crackles. My only criticisms: the show gets episodic at times, and Verb is picked on for his past more than anyone else."
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Bill Garry

Capital And Main - Somewhat Recommended

"...Unlike Goodwin's Bars and Measures, an unforgettably heart-stopping drama produced at Boston Court in 2016, Hype Man could use work. While there's some backstory (especially one very telling anecdote about a time both men went to jail), we need more. And Pinnacle's hard-ass take on the police shooting is hard to buy, given that he grew up in a racially mixed neighborhood where his best bud was black. It's possible to have a clash of perspectives between him and Verb without Pinnacle's view being so callously extreme."
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Deborah Klugman

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