Tacoma Little Theatre begins its 103rd Season, “The Start of Something New”, with Terms of Endearment, adapted by Dan Gordon and based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winner Larry McMurtry and James L. Brooks’s screenplay of the Oscar-winning film. Terms of Endearment is directed by Blake R. York (The Pillowman). Blake was originally hired as the scenic designer in 2019 working with the Kathy Pingle as the director, but we all know the changes of the last two years messed up everyone’s lives and especially theatre lives.
Peg and I sat in the new seats marveling at the new configurations of seating with aisles on outside and a wider aisle down the middle. The comfortable seats are off-set, letting audience members’ line of sight free of anyone directly in front of them them.
Blake York’s set was something to marvel at. Although the actors have to scramble across the multi-tiered set for difference scenes it works beautifully. Each section of the set is tilted toward the audience and from a different level. The lighting makes each scene intimate by concentrating on the location. The back wall at first glance features windows to the sky with billowing clouds across the entire set. When the focus of the set changes, the images reveal the exterior neighborhood for that particular scene. It makes for a very nice touch.
There’s not a lot of action, but there is plenty of conflict.
Mother and daughter conflicts are always big. Mothers want the best for their babies and daughters want their own way. Stephanie Leeper plays Aurora, the mother who wants better for her daughter; Emma, played by Ana Bury-Quinn. We get to see Stephanie again this year as the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz” at TLT in December.
When daughter Emma can’t talk and share with her mother she shares with a friend.
Much of the mother-daughter’s discussion is Aurora’s objection is Flap, Emma’s choice of husband.
The story and action of the play is driven by the relationship of Aurora and ex-astronaut Garrett Breedlove played by Scott C. Brown. These two are the strongest parts in the production.
My favorite scene of the play has a doctor refusing special medical treatment for the daughter based on Aurora’s not signing Emma up soon enough. It becomes a clash of titans between a medical doctor and an ex-astronaut. Who is the real god, here?
After the curtain, we met up with Scott C. Brown, Stephanie Leeper, and Jay Lurvey in the lobby. They were all beaming from an excellent performance. A well deserved beam it was.
Terms of Endearment runs through Sunday, September 26, 2021. Friday and Saturday showings are at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm. Terms of Endearment is recommended for ages 12 and up.
Tickets are $27.00 (Adults), $25.00 (Seniors 60+/Students/Military), and $20.00 (Children 12 and under). Tickets may be purchased online at www.tacomalittletheatre.com, or by calling the Box Office at (253) 272-2281. Group rates are available for 10 or more, and special FLEX passes for 6 performances are only $145.00. TLT requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination at the door for all audience members and masks will also be required while inside the building. For the full COVID-19 protocols please visit – tacomalittletheatre.com/covid.