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  The Convert at Kirk Douglas Theatre

The Convert

Kirk Douglas Theatre
9820 Washington Blvd. Culver City

It’s 1895 when the convert, a teenager named Jekesai, is thrust into strange new circumstances that pit Ancient African traditions against Western culture and Christianity. When conflict erupts, she must follow her heart and make the ultimate sacrifice. With an urgent voice, both heartrending and humorous, Obie Award-winner Danai Gurira (In the Continuum and Eclipsed) brings yet another faraway world to the Douglas to enlighten, enrage and ultimately edify audiences.

Thru - May 19, 2012

Price: $30-$45

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 213-628-2772

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  The Convert Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Los Angeles Times - Recommended

"...Brought to life by Emily Mann’s subtle direction, a splendid set by Daniel Ostling and a variety of astonishing performances, the play is compelling in spite of an unpersuasive, melodramatic finale."
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Margaret Gray

Variety - Recommended

"...Like “A Doll’s House” and “Hedda Gabler,” “The Convert” is slow in the windup but ends up dealing a knockout blow as helmed by Emily Mann at the Kirk Douglas."
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Bob Verini

LA Weekly - Not Recommended

"...Tenderly directed by Emily Mann, the production features some glorious performances, which, alongside the author’s very witty treatment of language, carry the event."
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Steven Leigh Morris

Backstage - Recommended

"...The devastating clash between Western culture and religion and African tradition and spirituality is at the heart of this masterful new work. Director Emily Mann has mounted a production that’s as compelling as it is gorgeous."
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Jennie Webb

Santa Monica Mirror - Recommended

"...With enough comic relief to allow you to catch your breath, the fascinating story revolves around Chilford – magnificently played by Leroy McClain, who plows into the deepest recesses of his character’s soul with mercurial transitions – and Jekesai – played by a most talented Pascale Armand and gives a devastatingly haunting performance, delving deeply into the multiple layers of her complex character, discovering every subtle nuance and sub-textual element of this most fascinating young girl. Her performance is flawless as are the performances by the rest of this commanding ensemble."
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Beverly Cohn

LAist - Recommended

"...A co-production between three leading national theater companies — our own Center Theatre Group, Princeton’s McCarter Theatre, and the Goodman in Chicago — “The Convert” is by turns very funny and impossibly heartbreaking, with a near-perfect cast directed by Emily Mann."
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Lyle Zimskind

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...Center Theatre Group, which co-commissioned The Convert, brings Gurira’s vision beautifully to life at the Kirk Douglas Theatre."
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Barnaby Hughes - Recommended

"...A traditional one-set play placed in an effective, distancing frame by designer Daniel Ostling, Gurira’s work benefits from the hand of director Emily Mann, who builds tension in an inexorable, swelling, sequence of causes and effects until its chilling end. Mann’s ensemble works tightly together, with memorable characterizations from Bruce as Mai Tamba and Armand as Ester, in particular. Ostling’s scenic realism, along with lighting by Lap-Chi Chu and Darron L West’s soundscape — not to mention the nifty period-perfect costumes from Paul Tazewell — highlights the emotional realism of this explosive tale."
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Leigh Kennicott

ArtsBeatLA - Somewhat Recommended

"...Gurira’s lengthy (three-hour, two-intermission) play explores the cultural and religious turmoil caused by British colonization in the region, but suffers from a great deal of expository and explanatory dialogue."
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Pauline Adamek

LA Stage Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...The Convert, at the Kirk Douglas, is a three-hour play that creates a world most of us have never seen on a stage. It’s deftly performed under the direction of Emily Mann. But it keeps going perhaps a half-hour too long — and that last half-hour is very problematic."
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Don Shirley

Neon Tommy - Recommended

"...Showcasing the breathtaking talents of its cast, “The Convert” is a powerful and poignant examination of identity, faith and blood—in both the physical and familial senses of the word."
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Sara Itkis

Culture Vulture - Somewhat Recommended

"...If you look for social significance, there is no doubt “The Convert” is a winner. It is hard not to generalize to current times. What will the Arab Spring bring in the end, for example? There is no question people were oppressed, but what next? If, on the other hand, you are drawn to the theater by character development, or a story arc that is unpredictable, you may be disappointed."
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Karen Weinstein

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