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My View: Turn Me Loose – I Laughed So Hard I Cried

My View: Turn Me Loose – I Laughed So Hard I Cried

It’s a poignant play about the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960’s, dangerous freedom marches with Martin Luther King Jr., and the murder of Medgar Evers. So how come the audience in the West Side Theatre is laughing so much? Turn Me Loose is about the legendary comic Dick Gregory who is brilliantly played by Joe Morton. The ground breaking comedian’s story is told via his stand-up night club routines with the very effective comic delivery of Mr. Morton speaking Dick Gregory’s words. You will shed a tear as the cruelty and injustice of segregation is shown and then your tears will be from the laughter of the genius of Gregory’s humor. “Down south, if you colored and want to vote? They make you take a test. On nuclear physics. In Russian! Then if you pass the test, they say, “Hey boy! You can’t vote! Because if you can read in Russian, you must be a Communist!” That’s an example of crying and laughing at the same time, and it happens throughout this wonderful historical play by Gretchen Law. It’s amazing what can be accomplished with a simple set and one main character. The night club even came complete with an opening corny, but funny comic who opened for Gregory, in the person of John Carlin. He also became a white southern heckler in some of the audiences that Dick Gregory performed for in his early career. I laughed so hard I cried…

Joe Morton in Turn Me Loose    Written by Gretchen Law    Directed by John Gould Rubin     The West Side Theatre

Turn Me Loose The West Side Theatre

Turn Me Loose
The West Side Theatre

Turn Me Loose

Turn Me Loose


Stephen studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen’s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the “First All Children’s Theatre” which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen’s photographs, videos and articles appear on, and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. Stephen is thrilled to be the cabaret/ music and co-theatre editor. email:

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