TO BE YOUNG, GIFTED AND BLACK (ACTORS CO-OP): 67% – BITTERSWEET

The cast of “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” at the Actors Co-Op. Credit: Lindsay Schnebly.

BITTERSWEET
Actors Co-op gives us a well-mounted production, as usual, but the decision to have three actors portray the playwright prohibits emotional investment in the character. Perhaps when the play was originally produced in 1969, the battle for racial equality and the still-fresh wounds caused by the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. the year before gave it more dramatic heft, but I was longing for more structure.
Kurt Gardner – Blog Critics

BITTERSWEET
Though there are isolated pieces of admirable work, most of “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” is more suited to the page than to the stage.
Iris Mann – Backstage

SWEET
The Actor’s Co-Op has done a marvelous job bringing Hansbury’s vision to life with a multi-ethnic talented cast and an evocative multi-level set design by Edward E. Haynes, Jr., based on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.
Shari Barrett – BroadwayWorld

BITTERSWEET
It’s largely serious with a few comedic observations sprinkled throughout, yet the staging and general tone of the evening are dull and slow. Additionally, ill-timed and sluggish lighting cues, along with perplexingly random sound effects, drag the show’s length to two and a half hours. The cast all give fine if restrained performances, with some singing beautifully.
Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

BITTERSWEET
To Be Young, Gifted and Black seems more a literary work than a drama, and I almost felt that it might be better to read the script rather than spend over two hours watching the play.
Marilyn Tower Oliver – Los Feliz Ledger

SWEET
Lorraine Hansberry’s production To Be Young, Gifted and Black at The Actor’s Co-Op is an inspiration for us all.
Forrest Wilson – LifeInLA

TO BE YOUNG, GIFTED AND BLACK
Actors Co-op
1760 N. Gower St., L.A.
Feb. 8–March 17, 2013
Fri & Sat at 8pm, Sun at 2:30pm
Saturday matinees on February 16 and March 16 at 2:30pm
Tickets: $20-$30; (323) 462-8460 ext. 300

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