by Willard Manus
new play, now running at the Mark Taper Forum, focuses (as did Driving
Miss Daisy before it) on the tricky, complex relationship between whites
and blacks. In this case the black is Morocco Hemphill (the charismatic
Laurence Fishburne), a gay drama teacher at a tony New York prep school;
the white is a teenager, Anton McCormick (Matt Lanter). Anton's a problem
kid who has learned to use his charm and street-smarts to maniulate people
and get what he wants out of them.
Essentially a character study, a psychological drama, WITHIN WALLS, directed by Christopher Ashley, comes off as an effective, but less-than-memorable play, one that suffers from the plaaywright's refusal to take risks, go deep.
Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave. Call 213-628-2772