Lord of the Underworld's Home for Unwed Mothers

Critics

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90 %

Reviews: 10

Audience

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Reviews: 1

OVATION Recommended!                                  "TOP TEN" - Stage Raw

Winner of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Award for Comic Playwriting, the World Premiere production of resident writer Louisa Hill's LORD OF THE UNDERWORLD'S HOME FOR UNWED MOTHERS opened at the Skylight Theatre Company on April 8th and has been extended through May 28, 2017, directed by Tony Abatemarco.

The roots of reproductive justice are unearthed in this poetically raw play by Louisa Hill. Knocked up as a teenager, Dee finally meets the baby she gave up for adoption. Only thing is, the baby is now 25, really into death metal, and wants nothing to do with her. “What does choice mean if you've got no other options? To me the play is about considering the heartbreaking consequences of following the rules at the cost of family” – Louisa Hill; Playwright

Louisa Hill received the Mark Twain Award for Comic Playwriting from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, the same year she received her MFA from the University of Iowa's Playwrights' Workshop in 2012, where she was the Iowa Arts Fellow. In February 2016, Hill's play The Lord of the Underworld's Home for Unwed Mothers was awarded Third Place for the Humanitas/Center Theatre Group Playwriting Prize, receiving a staged reading at the Kirk Douglas Theatre directed by Seema Sueko. As the writers' assistant for the A&E procedural Unforgettable, Hill wrote the script for the episode “Breathing Space,” which aired in January 2016. The previous year, she wrote the story for the episode “Moving On.” Most recently she was the writers' assistant for Jill Soloway's new show I Love Dick.

“Louisa elevates dialogue to raw, surprising, and sometimes poetic heights while forging this consequential story. Stylistically, it is a perfect sandbox for inventive staging” - Tony Abatemarco; Director

Broadway director Tony Abatemarco, recognized for his work on Lucifer's Child directing Julie Harris in both the Broadway production and film for A&E TV will helm this production at the Skylight Theatre. His regional directing credits include work at Pasadena Playhouse, The Taper, Too, Santa Fe Stages, La MaMa ETC, and Theatre Grévin in Paris. At the Arts Theatre in London's West End, Tony directed Robyn Peterson's Catwalk Confidential. A graduate of The Juilliard Drama Division, as an actor he has won top honors for his lead performances in The Mystery of Irma Vep (Ovation & LA Weekly Awards), Bach at Leipzig (LA Drama Critics' Circle Nominee), La Bete (Ovation Award nominee), Slow Motion (LA Weekly and LA Drama Critics' Circle Award Nominee), and his original Four Fathers (LA Weekly and Dramalogue Awards), as well as for his direction (6 LA Weekly and 18 Dramalogue Awards). Tony won the first Ted Schmitt “Innovation in Small Theatre Award” from Theatre LA and he was the recipient of the first DGA/ SSDC George Stevens Observership. He served as Director of LA Live! at the Natural History Museum and was Artistic Director of Jacques D'Amboise' National Dance Institute at The Mark Taper Forum, for Center Theatre Group.

Skylight Theatre Company discovers, develops and produces new, exhilarating works that expand mainstream theatre while nurturing and educating the people who create them. For more information, script submission policy and production history go to http://skylighttheatrecompany.org Facebook: SkylightTheatre Twitter: @SkylightThtr Instagram: SkylightTheatre

OUR CAST: Corryn Cummins (Dee), Adrian Gonzalez (Male Chorus), Amy Harmon (Female Chorus), Michaela Slezak (Corie), and Marilyn Winkle (Cello)

OUR PRODUCTION TEAM: Cindy Lin (Scenic Design), Jeff McLaughlin (Lighting Design), Christopher Moscatiello (Sound Design), and Sarah Figoten Costume Design)

Lord of the Underworld's Home for Unwed Mothers runs at 8:30pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 3:00pm on Sundays through May 28, 2017. Skylight Theatre is located at 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave, LA, 90027. Tickets are $15 - $39. Reservations: 213-761-7061 or online at http://SkylightTix.com

Reviews

Avatar

“Winning performances from all the actors. Affecting story...disarmingly sweet”

sweet - Bill Raden - ...read full review


Avatar

The compassionate direction by Tony Abatemarco inspires deeply moving performances by Corryn Cummins (Dee) and Michaela Slezak (Corie). Adrian Gonzalez smoothly transforms from stern father to eager boyfriends to cool seducer, while Amy Harmon matches him as pompous mother, practical social worker, kindly nun. Marylin Winkle on cello adds haunting melancholy sound.

sweet - Morna Murphy Martell - ...read full review


Avatar

Cummins and Slezak grip our sympathies in thoughtful and well-measured performances. Cummins is particularly noteworthy as a sweet, sensual young woman trapped by the rigid societal norms of the day. Adrian Gonzalez and Amy Harmon play a multitude of subsidiary roles, from the humorous to the wrenching, with skill.

sweet - Kathleen Foley


Avatar

Hill's play has a raw elemental power that delivers an emotional wallop, and both Dee and Corie emerge as larger than life figures, with surprising stature and a startlingly gritty reality. Director Tony Abatemarco has cast the piece beautifully, and gives it a passionate and loyal production. - RECOMMENDED

sweet - Neal Weaver - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar

There is a brilliance in the simplicity of this production. Intricately navigated detail in scenic and sound design, lighting, and costume, is amplified by the indefatigable comic timing of the chorus (Adrian Gonzalez & Amy Harmon) who interchange character roles, and wholly on-the-mark direction by Tony Albatamarco.  The entire cast fully breathes this story to life;...

sweet - Tracey Paleo - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder

Louisa Hill's dialogue is gritty and often incredibly raw, especially when spouted by the world-weary Corie, yet her subject matter this time out does have the dreaded ring of soapy chick-flick-ery about it that is thankfully skillfully overcome by the production. In the hands of wunderkind director Tony Abatemarco, who stages his players on Cindy Lin's wildly abstract set to wander seamlessly—and sometimes whimsically—from time zone to time zone, Hill's script blossoms like a spring flower. Thanks to this slickly mounted and performed introduction to the work of an obviously gifted new playwright, we can all expect a great future.

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - TicketHolders LA - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Unplanned pregnancy yields ghastly consequences in Louisa Hill's Lord Of The Underworld's Home For Unwed Mothers, a Skylight Theatre Company World Premiere whose cast, director, and production design succeed as often as not in overcoming the memory play's abrupt second-act tonal shift, some cardboard supporting characters, and too much narration throughout.

sweet-sour - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Gil Kaan

The first act of the Skylight Theatre Company's world premiere of LORD OF THE UNDERWORLD'S HOME FOR UNWED MOTHERS presents a riveting, fast-paced, well-acted tale of Dee, a teenage girl experiencing the joys of young love and the pains and consequences of unexpected pregnancy. Corryn Cummins totally owns her role of Dee. Brava, Corryn Cummins!

sweet-sour - Gil Kaan - BroadwayWorld.com - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

Hill has written a major piece of social history that brings into deep relief a part of our past many would like to forget. Her offbeat title brings together the very distinct environments of the mother and daughter in the two acts: “Lord of the Underworld” resonates with Corie's death-worshipping, satanist heavy metal scene, but also suggests a certain ungodliness in the Church's practice of brutally abandoning “the product of sin” to a bleak fate in the maws of the foster mill. This is memorable and important feminist theatre for everyone (well, not young children).

sweet - Eric A Gordon - ...read full review


David MacDowell Blue

What follows, though, proves the very embodiment of the myth from which the story derives. Because like Earth and Fire, Life and Death prove but two polarities which naturally coexist. So Persephone/Corie and Demeter/Dee do in fact find a way to be part of each others' lives--almost against their will. Because fundamentally they are two women against the rest of the world--embodies in the Chorus (Andrian Gonzalez and Amy Harmon) who between them bring the rest of this world to the stage. Parents. Lovers. Teachers. Homeless. Crime victims. The lot. Honestly theirs are secondary, sometimes tertiary characters, so they remain almost cyphers on the page. It is the cast and director who make most the most of most of them. But what we see on stage does become a re-enactment of myth. Which makes it a ritual, which in turn theatre has always been.

sweet - David MacDowell Blue - Night Tinted Glasses - ...read full review


Tin Pan L.A.

A HOME FOR UNWED MOTHERS AT SKYLIGHT

REVIEW: LORD OF THE UNDERWORLD'S HOME FOR UNWED MOTHERS 

BY RYAN LUÉVANO

Skylight Theatre Company's latest world premiere play is Louisa Hill's Lord of the Underworld's Home for Unwed Mothers, and once you get past the play's lengthy title, what appears is a gripping and tender work that any mother or anyone that has a mother can so effortlessly relate.

sweet - Tin Pan L.A. - ...read full review


Avatar

“Winning performances from all the actors. Affecting story...disarmingly sweet”

sweet - Bill Raden - ...read full review


Avatar

The compassionate direction by Tony Abatemarco inspires deeply moving performances by Corryn Cummins (Dee) and Michaela Slezak (Corie). Adrian Gonzalez smoothly transforms from stern father to eager boyfriends to cool seducer, while Amy Harmon matches him as pompous mother, practical social worker, kindly nun. Marylin Winkle on cello adds haunting melancholy sound.

sweet - Morna Murphy Martell - ...read full review


Avatar

Hill's play has a raw elemental power that delivers an emotional wallop, and both Dee and Corie emerge as larger than life figures, with surprising stature and a startlingly gritty reality. Director Tony Abatemarco has cast the piece beautifully, and gives it a passionate and loyal production. - RECOMMENDED

sweet - Neal Weaver - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar

There is a brilliance in the simplicity of this production. Intricately navigated detail in scenic and sound design, lighting, and costume, is amplified by the indefatigable comic timing of the chorus (Adrian Gonzalez & Amy Harmon) who interchange character roles, and wholly on-the-mark direction by Tony Albatamarco.  The entire cast fully breathes this story to life;...

sweet - Tracey Paleo - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder

Louisa Hill's dialogue is gritty and often incredibly raw, especially when spouted by the world-weary Corie, yet her subject matter this time out does have the dreaded ring of soapy chick-flick-ery about it that is thankfully skillfully overcome by the production. In the hands of wunderkind director Tony Abatemarco, who stages his players on Cindy Lin's wildly abstract set to wander seamlessly—and sometimes whimsically—from time zone to time zone, Hill's script blossoms like a spring flower. Thanks to this slickly mounted and performed introduction to the work of an obviously gifted new playwright, we can all expect a great future.

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - TicketHolders LA - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Unplanned pregnancy yields ghastly consequences in Louisa Hill's Lord Of The Underworld's Home For Unwed Mothers, a Skylight Theatre Company World Premiere whose cast, director, and production design succeed as often as not in overcoming the memory play's abrupt second-act tonal shift, some cardboard supporting characters, and too much narration throughout.

sweet-sour - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Gil Kaan

The first act of the Skylight Theatre Company's world premiere of LORD OF THE UNDERWORLD'S HOME FOR UNWED MOTHERS presents a riveting, fast-paced, well-acted tale of Dee, a teenage girl experiencing the joys of young love and the pains and consequences of unexpected pregnancy. Corryn Cummins totally owns her role of Dee. Brava, Corryn Cummins!

sweet-sour - Gil Kaan - BroadwayWorld.com - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

Hill has written a major piece of social history that brings into deep relief a part of our past many would like to forget. Her offbeat title brings together the very distinct environments of the mother and daughter in the two acts: “Lord of the Underworld” resonates with Corie's death-worshipping, satanist heavy metal scene, but also suggests a certain ungodliness in the Church's practice of brutally abandoning “the product of sin” to a bleak fate in the maws of the foster mill. This is memorable and important feminist theatre for everyone (well, not young children).

sweet - Eric A Gordon - ...read full review


David MacDowell Blue

What follows, though, proves the very embodiment of the myth from which the story derives. Because like Earth and Fire, Life and Death prove but two polarities which naturally coexist. So Persephone/Corie and Demeter/Dee do in fact find a way to be part of each others' lives--almost against their will. Because fundamentally they are two women against the rest of the world--embodies in the Chorus (Andrian Gonzalez and Amy Harmon) who between them bring the rest of this world to the stage. Parents. Lovers. Teachers. Homeless. Crime victims. The lot. Honestly theirs are secondary, sometimes tertiary characters, so they remain almost cyphers on the page. It is the cast and director who make most the most of most of them. But what we see on stage does become a re-enactment of myth. Which makes it a ritual, which in turn theatre has always been.

sweet - David MacDowell Blue - Night Tinted Glasses - ...read full review


Tin Pan L.A.

A HOME FOR UNWED MOTHERS AT SKYLIGHT

REVIEW: LORD OF THE UNDERWORLD'S HOME FOR UNWED MOTHERS 

BY RYAN LUÉVANO

Skylight Theatre Company's latest world premiere play is Louisa Hill's Lord of the Underworld's Home for Unwed Mothers, and once you get past the play's lengthy title, what appears is a gripping and tender work that any mother or anyone that has a mother can so effortlessly relate.

sweet - Tin Pan L.A. - ...read full review


Avatar

Cummins and Slezak grip our sympathies in thoughtful and well-measured performances. Cummins is particularly noteworthy as a sweet, sensual young woman trapped by the rigid societal norms of the day. Adrian Gonzalez and Amy Harmon play a multitude of subsidiary roles, from the humorous to the wrenching, with skill.

sweet - Kathleen Foley