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THEATER BEAT

'I Don't Want' Has Trouble With Its Focus

June 28, 1996|F. KATHLEEN FOLEY

Iona Morris' solo show "I Don't Want You to Know This . . . " at Mojo Ensemble is so scattershot that it never gives a clear picture of what Morris' specific problem--or triumph, or theme--really is.

Sometimes Morris celebrates woman as nurturer, describing the discovery of the "goddess" within herself. Often, Morris laments being the daughter of a celebrity (Greg Morris of "'Mission: Impossible") whom she perceived as distant and demanding (although by play's end the two do make peace.) Recurrently, she harps on her desire for marriage, her lust and loneliness, and her failed relationships.

Morris' play (the closing production in Mojo Ensemble's Hollywood space) has been inventively staged by director James A. Goins. The live musical accompaniment of Greg Poree and Ardom Belton keeps the action smooth and energetic. Indeed, Morris herself is strikingly sexy, dynamic and often very funny, especially when she croons a very blue blues number about her own attractively prominent rear end.

However, because Morris' recollections--particularly those of her father--are relatively innocuous, Morris' resulting complaints seem unmotivated and narcissistically petty. In any case, Morris would be better off in another vehicle than this perplexing mix of materialism, new age and haphazard reminiscence.

* "I Don't Want You to Know This . . . ," Mojo Ensemble, 1540 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. Fridays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Ends July 13. $20. (213) 960-1604. Running time: 1 hour, 20 minutes.

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