THE FALL TO EARTH: 83% – SWEET

JoBeth Williams and Deborah Puette in "The Fall to Earth" at the Odyssey Theatre. Credit: David Colclasure.

SWEET
“Fall” is an earlier play; its hairpin turns feel less organic and therefore less credible. Nevertheless, the production offers an occasion for its predominantly female creative team, led by Larsen, Williams and co-producer Roxanne Hart, to unleash their vivid talents.
Charlotte Stoudt – LA Times

BITTER
Unfortunately it was a disappointment: while the acting is superb, the play is a misfire that lags and strains credulity in equal measure.
Terry Morgan – LAist

SWEET
In the end, it’s the impeccable acting—particularly from the astonishing Williams—that makes this production worthwhile.
Les Spindle – Backstage

SWEET
Last night, I sneaked into a preview at the Odyssey and saw the most engrossing, artistically gratifying show that I’ve run across in a long time. Superbly directed (Robin Larsen) and acted (JoBeth Williams, Deborah Puette, Anne Noble), it is the story of a mother and her daughter coming to a small town to retrieve the body of the son of the family.
Eve Meadows – Stagehappenings

SWEET
Emotionally labyrinthine, The Fall to Earth may not be a perfect play, but the fine performances from all may make up for any perceived deficiencies.
Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

BITTER
The play opens with a 25-minute soft-shoe of issue-avoiding chit-chat between Williams’ Fay Schorsch and her estranged daughter, Rachel (Deborah Puette), so maddeningly mundane that by the time any real emotional fireworks do erupt — and any compelling clue emerges as to why the two women are sharing Tom Buderwitz’s photo-realist motel room set — it proves far too little and way too late for director Robin Larsen’s otherwise perfectly competent staging.
Bill Raden – LA Weekly

SWEET
This is a minor play, but the way Mr. Johnson stretches out his characters’ predicament is good drama and a good evening well played.
Dale Reynolds – Stagehappenings

SWEET
JoBeth Williams rivets the audience and commands the stage as the grieving mother in playwright Joel Drake Johnson’s latest, “The Fall to Earth,” currently receiving its West Coast premiere at the Odyssey Theatre.
Gil Kaan – Culture Spot LA

SWEET
Johnson’s tough, hard-driving play has been well-produced at the Odyssey; designer Tom Buderwitz’s generic motel-room is a splendid setting for the mayhem that takes place there; Robin Larsen’s direction is taut and incisive, and the three-person cast (with ghostly cameo by Ian Littleworth) works together with remarkable skill and power.
Willard Manus – Total Theater

SWEET
Robin Larsen’s direction, the three actors, Jeremy Pivnick’s lighting, Buderwitz’s set, all add up to make The Fall To Earth an engaging production.
Carol Kaufman Segal – Stagehappenings

SWEET
There are times when a reviewer must decide that the less said, the better, and in this reviewer’s humble opinion, his colleagues have been giving away far too much about The Fall To Earth (recently opened at the Odyssey). Therefore, if this is the first time you’re reading about Joel Drake Johnson’s richly complex dramedy, read no further than this review. Trust me. This is one play you will want to be surprised by.
Steven Stanley – StageSceneLA

SWEET
A strong theatrical offering in every aspect, this serious and emotional play … blessed with comedic moments, is mesmerizingly powerful!
Pat Taylor – Tolucan Times

THE FALL TO EARTH
Odyssey Theatre Ensemble
2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles
See website for schedule; Ends April 1, 2012
Tickets: $25 and $30; (310) 477-2055
Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

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