The West Coast premiere of Gretchen Law’s Turn Me Loose, about activist and comedian Dick Gregory, begins performances October 13 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, California.
Directed by John Gould Rubin, the production, which stars Emmy and NAACP Image Award winner Joe Morton (ABC’s Scandal), has been extended through November 19.
Morton is joined onstage by John Carlin.
Turn Me Loose explores the influential life of 1960s comic Dick Gregory, the “first Black stand-up to make white audiences laugh at the absurdity of bigotry,” according to press notes. “The play reveals how the power of activism enticed Gregory from one of the most successful show business careers of the postwar era into a life of sacrifice and danger alongside Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers and other Civil Rights leaders.”
“The Wallis is honored to both present this wonderful piece of theater and celebrate Mr. Gregory’s legacy, making sure that as many people as possible will be made aware of his life, his achievements, his involvement in the civil rights movement, his beliefs in social justice, and his comedy that revealed a wisdom and truth,” said Paul Crewes, The Wallis’ artistic director, in a statement.
“Dick Gregory used every syllable, every metaphor, every joke, every march, every incarceration, every hour of his life, to embarrass this country into providing a more perfect, perfect union,” added Morton. “Dick Gregory will be greatly missed. Humbly, and in his stead, Turn Me Loose carries on to be his voice and his inspiration for all who wish to laugh at the absurdity of racism, and be enlightened by his spirit of justice.”
Single tickets are available for $60 and $75. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit TheWallis.org.