Hell in a Handbag Productions at Stage 773
Chicago Tribune Recommended, Chicago Reader Critics Pick
“Bewigged in long, flowing blonde tresses, the talented Elizabeth Morgan is perfection as Samantha. She’s not only a wonderful singer and actress, in her own right; she’s got Elizabeth Montgomery’s vocal quality, body language and mannerisms down to an art form.” Chicago Theatre Review
“Bringing the normalcy to the lunacy is Elizabeth Morgan (Samantha). The charming Morgan balances out the mayhem. Her calm demeanor, regular ‘sweetheart’ insertions and even affected inflections ring true to the original Samantha.” The Fourth Walsh
“When we first meet Samantha (Elizabeth Morgan, who basically channels another Elizabeth M without trying to imitate her), she’s getting breakfast ready with a bit of the old nose-twitching.” Chicago Onstage
“Elizabeth Morgan proves a practically perfect Samantha, nose-twitching charm and all.” Chicagoland Musical Theatre
“There are some other nice standouts with Elizabeth Morgan hitting the right tone for Samantha Stephens.” Chicago Go Pride
Hell in a Handbag Productions at Theatre Wit
Jeff Recommended, TimeOut Chicago Critic’s Pick, 3 1/2 stars Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader Recommended
TimeOut Chicago: “Morgan is a near-perfect lead, playing the genre conventions of Mary’s type with just the right mix of straight conviction and wink.”
Chicago Tribune: 3 1/2 stars (out of 4)
Chicago Reader: “…what living, breathing person could ignore the raucous den of iniquity that is Caged Dames, Hell in a Handbag Productions’ musical about the lesbian love and zingy box jokes that inevitably run wild in a women’s prison? Revived from its 2006 version, the new Dames has more songs by show creator David Cerda, plus snazzy production values and miked queens (would that Crazy Eyes were so lucky). Props to both Elizabeth Morgan as Mary and Cerda as the prison warden…”
Chicago Theatre Review: “[Director] Mr. Wright has found a genuine triple-threat in Elizabeth Morgan as his leading lady, Mary Anderson. Whether delivering melodrama soaked lines, singing her heart out in songs like the stirring “Victim of Society” or hoofing her way through production numbers, such as “From Good to Bad,” Ms. Morgan is one hot tamale capable of melting anyone’s heart.”
Chicago Stage Standard: “Elizabeth Morgan sounds great as Mary”
Article: Circle Puts on McNally’s ‘Ritz
Circle Theatre Company
Oak Park, Illinois
Windy City Times – Undoubtedly, Morgan makes the biggest impression as Lee, especially when she sarcastically deals with Aiello’s sarcastically defiant Hank (who starts the play in a mental institution for his destructive pyromania).
Stage and Cinema – Elizabeth Morgan is good as Lee, emotionally taxed by a failed marriage that left her with two difficult sons along with a family in Florida with needs she isn’t prepared to meet… Then there is Bessie’s hard-boiled sister Lee, a cosmetician and single mother with a whiff of trailer trash about her. Lee arrives from Ohio with her two troubled teen-aged sons, Hank and Charlie; she hasn’t seen her family in many years and her appearance reignites friction with Bessie that has lain dormant during their long separation.
Chicago Theatre Beat – Lee’s entrance turns the energy up markedly; she is the brassy foil to Bessie’s selfless caretaker persona, and Morgan brings vivaciousness to the role that makes her shine.
Around the Town Chicago – “estranged sister Lee ( deftly handled by Elizabeth Morgan).”
Showbiz Chicago – “The play kicks in to high gear with the appearance of Elizabeth Morgan, who mixes humor with pathos as Lee, Bessie’s sister who put up emotional barriers that has destroyed all her relationships, including those of her own children, Hank and Charlie. ”
New City Stage – “…it is clear in both Amanda Hartley and Betsy Morgan’s [sic] outstanding performances that these two actresses have a clear understanding of their characters and the reality of their situation. Hartley is authentic in her every move as a woman carrying the weight of the world without being weak or maudlin. Morgan’s Lee is a brutally honest depiction of her socio-economic class, shown in her clipped speech pattern and sassy body language. Through Hartley’s graceful gentility and Morgan’s harsh abrasiveness, they both work to mend their relationship in scenes of blunt conflict and tender revelation. Bessie and Lee’s handicapped aunt is played endearingly by Kate Kisner whose sweet, child-like dependency makes it clear why Bessie has sacrificed her youth in the service of others….Lee’s struggle shows the differences in how people cope with death’s proximity. Some run, some stay and do what’s necessary, thus posing another critical question: What’s the difference between love and obligation? Though the play is slightly inconclusive, the meaning of love is clearly defined for this family. The conflicts between Lee and Hank are wrapped up in a heart-rending moment of silence, but the vagueness of life and death is still a question left hanging—perhaps it’s an answer we aren’t supposed to know.”
Oakpark.com – “The play focuses on estranged sisters with conflicting personalities who for two decades have led separate lives in separate states. Amanda Hartley and Elizabeth Morgan dominate the action as the siblings, Bessie and Lee, who have not even exchanged Christmas cards in years.
This is what is known as an actor’s play. And oh, what acting!…Family black sheep Lee (Morgan) shows up after a lapse of 17 years. A self-absorbed hairdresser and single mom, she’s a bundle of frustration and anger. Lee is gutsy and hard-boiled and we’re fascinated by her.”
Circle Theatre Company
Oak Park, Illinois
- Chicago Theatre Addict – And in full-out scene stealing mode, Elizabeth Morgan is a wonderfully surprising Googie Gomez, the bathhouse’s fiery, third-rate Puerto Rican nightclub singer. Googie is one of those roles that is pretty much guaranteed to walk away with the show — she’s a real character with some wacky one liners, not to mention a ridiculously horrible musical/disco medley to liven things up in the first act. And then there are her disco-diva-meets-latina-carnival-performer outfits. In a less capable actress’s hands, the role could easily become a campy scenery chewer; however, Morgan’s Googie is a wonderfully weary creation, filled with droll line readings capped with burning glares. Think a sassy Puerto Rican Bea Arthur (if such a thing can even be thunk).
- Around the Town Chicago – Googie Gomez ( marvelously played by the very female Elizabeth Morgan)
- The Wednesday Journal – A major highlight of this production is Elizabeth Morgan in the role of Googie Gomez, a flamboyant, heavily accented Latin lounge singer with lots of chutzpah. To her, any role is within range. (Rita Moreno won a Tony playing Googie on Broadway.) The character is supposed to be a no-talent entertainer, but Morgan, with top-notch comic timing, is incredibly good.One of the show’s high points is a crazy show-tune medley (featuring every hoary Broadway hit song from “Climb Every Mountain” to “June Is Bustin’ Out All Over”) sung by Morgan with hilarious back-up by Nicholas Reinhart and Jordan Phelps. This cabaret act alone is worth the price of admission.
- Chicago Reviews by Richard Eisenhardt – The best part of the show for me was a Puerto Rican performer, Google Gomez, played by Elizabeth Morgan.
- Chicago Critic – There’s also a … Puerto Rican performer Googie Gomez (Elizabeth Morgan, easily the scene stealer).
Zombies From the Beyond
Backstage Theatre Company
- Talkin’ Broadway: The female characters are a lot more fun …beginning with Major Malone’s daughter Mary, played by Elizabeth Hope Morgan. Her comic timing and sold vocals make her the standout in this cast.
- Performink: Elizabeth Hope Morgan, as femme fatale Mary Malone, works her songs skillfully, drawing the greatest number of laughs.
- Time Out Chicago—There are two assets here: Elizabeth Hope Morgan’s delightful voice and comedian Ken Barnard’s awkward stage exits.
- Chicago Tribune – A sly Elizabeth Morgan….
- Gay Chicago Magazine – Chief among the actors [is] Elizabeth Hope Morgan. Morgan is particularly unfaltering, playing this saucy style like she was born into it. She delivers lines like, “Who knows what ghastly atrocity is coming next?,” with such relish we can’t help but laugh. She also delivers a spotlight solo free of cringes and full of perfect comedic timing.