Thursday, July 19, 2012

Photographing Grace Notes & Anvils at The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble

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It is always nice when friends reach a great success with a project, i.e., a book, a play or a photography project. It is especially pleasing when it's a really old friend who achieves such a success.

I have known Ron Marasco since I was a college student at Loyola Marymount University. Ron was my theatre professor and we quickly transcended from a student/teacher relationship to a just plain old great friendship. Ron is the most observant person I have ever known and is also wickedly funny (always a good mix).

Ron, along with writing partner Brian Shuff, wrote a book entitled Grace Notes: Insights, Setbacks, Grace Notes, Taboos. Ron and Brian have since adapted it to a play that is currently playing at The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble with guest actors and actresses. The play started its run with Roxanne Hart and then Morgan Fairchild. I had the pleasure of photographing both of them performing the play.

Since I'm a photographer and not a writer I'm going to provide you with a quote from the Los Angeles Times (Critic's Choice).

So say Ron Marasco and Brian Shuff, authors of “About Grief: Insights, Setbacks, Grace Notes, Taboos.” Their exploration of the tricky subject of grief is a specialty hybrid of staged reading, topical symposium and group therapy session. Aptly, it plays on its own subjectively personal terms.

That it works, and it does, is due to the benignly acerbic Marasco and the collegially sincere Shuff, who adroitly keep things rolling. Then, there’s Hart, as sensitive and emotionally direct an actress as we’ve got, fixing the viewer in her laser-beam gaze while delivering a key point.
It’s hardly high-end dramaturgy, but it totally achieves its aim -- to universalize and raise discourse on a topic that most people avoid. As someone forever transformed by his partner's 1994 demise and still processing his mother's passing in December, this reviewer can attest that bereaved attendees will find “Grace Notes & Anvils” empathetic, therapeutic and invaluable.

You can read the entire review by David C. Nichols here.

You can find out more about show times and to purchase tickets here.

To see a video about the play and it's writers by clicking here.

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