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Q&A with Murray Mednick by Dan Berkowitz

Murray Mednick is a pioneer of the off- and off-off-Broadway movements. “The Gary Plays,” a series of six plays he wrote, opens May 4.

The characters talk a lot, but we never get a sense of what they’re thinking or feeling underneath the words. It’s “what you see is what you get” – in this case, an engrossing (if nasty) story with some interesting (if nasty) characters, but no hint of where they came from, or what propels them to do what they do the way they do it. It’s an attractive and polished surface, but I wish we had occasionally gone a little deeper.

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“Pure Confidence” is a dynamic and challenging work by Carlyle Brown, being given a splendid production by the Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble. Like Lower Depth’s previous productions, “Pure Confidence” shows us another facet of the African-American life experience. It does so with confidence, talent, and compassion, and is thoroughly engaging. Go.

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“Scruncho” is a nickname Anthony McKinley acquired as a kid – we get the feeling it wasn’t complimentary – and he decided to keep it when he grew up and became a comedian. This spring, while he’s still being pretty funny, Scruncho’s repertoire has branched out to include tragedy as well as comedy with his new one-man show, “All I Needed Was a Hug.”

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“Of Mice and Men” is about dreams, and how difficult – and often impossible – they are to fulfill. In their striving for peace and happiness, for companionship if not love, and for at least a bit of security, these characters are timeless.

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Actress and author Ann Talman discusses her one-woman show, “Woody’s Order!” — and what it was like to work with Elizabeth Taylor.

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A gritty but inspiring tale of pain, forgiveness and healing, the film does not shy away from the worst stories that have become all too familiar in the news today: weaponless victims shot and killed by police, wrongful conviction and even racially-based limits on career advancement within law enforcement itself.

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An Addicting Picture is a psychic’s evidence that her client’s fiancé is an addict; the man must prove otherwise if he hopes to tie the knot, in this feature-length supernatural drama set to release in 2017.

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A conversation with actor and playwright Matt Chait, whose “Disinherit the Wind” opens March 3 at The Complex in Hollywood.

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“Die, Mommie, Die!” is a curiosity, an old-fashioned example of gay theatre on the cusp of change. It’s arch, it’s stylish, and though it relies on the same camp sensibility as shows such as “Women Behind Bars,” its carefully-constructed artifice reminds one more of Oscar Wilde than Tom Eyen. If the reaction of the opening night audience is any indication, it should have a wilde-ly successful run at Celebration Theatre.

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