Review Roundup: MASTER CLASS at Garry Marshall Theatre

Review Roundup: MASTER CLASS at Garry Marshall Theatre

MASTER CLASS is inspired by world-renowned Opera diva Maria Callas' magnificent JuiIliard master class series, Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning play spotlights the tour-de-force artist and vulnerable woman known as La Divina. Join Callas as she relentlessly coaxes, prods, and edifies her young students, motivating them to give the performances of their lives, while revealing her humor, her demons and her genius.

MASTER CLASS runs at Garry Marshall Theatre through October 22.

The cast stars Carolyn Hennesy as Maria Callas, Maegan McConnell as Sophia, Landon Shaw II as Tony, Aubrey Trujillo-Scarr as Sharon Graham, Roy Abramsohn as Manny, and Jess Campanella as Stagehand.

MASTER CLASS is directed by Dimitri Toscas, with scenic design by Francois-Pierre Couture, lighting design by JM Montecalvo, and sound design by Robert Arturo Ramirez.

Let's see what the critics had to say!

DAna Martin, Stage Raw: Carolyn Hennesy dominates the stage for two delicious hours in a performance that is not-to-be-missed. She is precise, detailed, disciplined, courageous: the embodiment of Callas. She stands unapologetically in the center of her own power, the culmination of years of study and practice, and allows herself to be deeply vulnerable, unafraid to get ugly and weak.

Ellen Dostal, BroadwayWorld: Heartbreaking truths about the price Callas paid to become such a star are brilliantly delivered in flashback scenes and will surprise anyone not familiar with the details of her personal life. Nuanced and containing a world of colors, Hennesy reveals a sensitivity to the material that makes this one of the most striking performances of the 2017 theatre season... Garry Marshall Theatre's elegantly crafted production of MASTER CLASS is a gorgeous example of pairing the right actor with the right play at the right moment in a theatre's evolution.

Ester Benjamin Shifren, Splash Magazine: Hennesy, in a tour-de-force performance positively transfixes with a formidable volume of powerfully passionate words, movements, gestures and elegance. The fabulous arias performed by Sopranos McConnell and Tujillo Scarr, and Tenor Landon Shaw ll, reach thrilling heights and standards, and the piano accompanist Manny (Roy Abramsohn) exceeds excellence. Great script by Terrence McNally and Directing by Dimitri Toscas, and kudos to the entire production team. Highly recommended!

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros, NoHo Arts District: I can't remember when I have held my breath quite so many times during a performance. Each singer as sublime as the last, I felt as if I was truly sitting in a theatre, watching a master class, hoping no one would realize I wasn't supposed to be there... These wonderful talents create such a precious performance, I feel so lucky to have witnessed it. A play that feels like a window into the most magnificent of moments in history, when an icon came out of retirement to give herself to her audience one last time.

Ron Irwin, Los Angeles Post Examiner: Master Class is a brilliantly written masterpiece delivered with stunning power and perfection by the cast now on stage at the Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank, California... Bringing that story to life on stage now is Carolyn Hennesy as Maria Callas. Her performance is totally riveting. I have never seen any performance that was more engaging, moving and compelling than that being presented by Carolyn Hennesy in Master Class.

Photo: Chelsea Sutton

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