Terms of Endearment – Tacoma Little Theater – Play Review – The Suburban Times
Tacoma Little Theater begins its 103rd season, “The Beginning of Something New,” with Terms of Endearment, adapted by Dan Gordon and based on Pulitzer Prize-winning Larry McMurtry’s book and James L. Brooks’ screenplay of the Oscar-winning film . Terms of Endearment is directed by Blake R. York (The Pillowman). Blake was originally hired as a set designer in 2019, working with Kathy Pingle as director, but we all know that the changes over the past two years have ruined everyone’s life and especially the theater life.
Peg and I sat in the new seats, marveling at the new seating configurations with aisles on the outside and a wider aisle in the middle. The comfortable seats are offset, leaving the spectators’ field of vision clear of anyone directly in front of them.
Blake York’s set was something to admire. Although the actors have to rush around the set on several levels for different scenes, it works wonderfully. Each section of the set is angled towards the audience and from a different level. Lighting makes every scene intimate by focusing on location. At first glance, the back wall features windows to the sky with puffy clouds all over the set. As the focus of the whole shifts, the images reveal the outer neighborhood of that particular scene. It gives a very nice touch.
There’s not a lot of action, but there’s a lot of conflict.
Conflicts between mother and daughter are always important. Mothers want the best for their babies and daughters want their own way. Stephanie Leeper plays Aurora, the mother who wants the best for her daughter; Emma, played by Ana Bury-Quinn. We’ll see Stephanie again this year as the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz” on TLT in December.
When her daughter Emma can’t talk and share with her mother, she shares with a friend.
Much of the mother-daughter discussion is that Aurora’s objection is Flap, Emma’s choice husband.
The play’s story and action are driven by Aurora’s relationship with ex-astronaut Garrett Breedlove played by Scott C. Brown. These two are the strongest in production.
My favorite scene in the play has a doctor refusing special medical treatment for the girl based on the fact that Aurora didn’t sign Emma soon enough. It becomes a clash of titans between a doctor and an ex-astronaut. Who is the real god here?
After the curtain, we caught up with Scott C. Brown, Stephanie Leeper, and Jay Lurvey in the lobby. They were all beaming with an excellent performance. It was a well deserved beam.
Terms of Endearment runs until Sunday, September 26, 2021. Friday and Saturday screenings are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Terms of Endearment is recommended for ages 12 and up.
Tickets are $27.00 (adults), $25.00 (60+/students/military) and $20.00 (kids 12 and under). Tickets can 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 people, and special FLEX passes for 6 performances are only $145.00. TLT requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination at the door for all members of the public and masks will also be required inside the building. For full COVID-19 protocols, please visit – tacomalittletheatre.com/covid.