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The Piano Lesson (Portland Playhouse)

Blood, sweat and tears—and ghosts.


Theater
August Wilson used to talk about what he called “blood’s memory,” the collective history of American blacks that forever brings the past back into the present. In Wilson’s Pulitzer-win   More
 
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 REBECCA JACOBSON

Middletown (Third Rail Repertory)

On the mysteries of the universe.


Theater
The director’s note for Third Rail’s production of Middletown asserts that this play “is NOT a modern-day Our Town.” You can understand Marcella Crowson’s vehemence: Will Eno’s 2010 play   More
 
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 JOHN BEER

Theater Review: Parade

Cruel intentions.


Theater
Presented in its stripped-down chamber version, this production of the Tony Award-winning musical Parade places its orchestra center stage. That’s where it belongs: The most impressive element   More
 
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 JOHN BEER

Sans Merci (Badass Theatre Company)

Without mercy, indeed.


Theater
Johnna Adams’ Sans Merci is a test in emotional endurance: Where some dramas prod, this one pummels. For much of the play, directed by Antonio Sonera, the blows come steadily and hit squarel   More
 
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 REBECCA JACOBSON

Intimate Apparel

Par for the corset.


Theater
If Intimate Apparel were underwear, it would be a pair of pale pink panties, maybe with a modest ruffle or two. This 2003 drama by Lynn Nottage, which opens Artists Rep’s season, is a sensit   More
 
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 REBECCA JACOBSON

A Matter Of Time

The Time-Based Art Festival shows some moxie.


Theater
Perhaps the third time is truly the charm. That’s, at least, what this year’s Time-Based Art Festival suggests. This is festival director Angela Mattox’s third go-around with the genre-bus   More
 
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 REBECCA JACOBSON

Smooth Operator

A phone-sex veteran takes her x-rated calls to the stage.


Theater
Tonya Jone Miller received her first call as a phone-sex operator 10 years ago. Miller, dark-haired and half-Vietnamese, was in her late 20s. She imagined herself as a 19-year-old blonde. Over   More
 
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 KATHERINE MARRONE

Battle Cry

A new opera explores the traumatic aftermath of combat.


Theater
Midway through The Canticle of the Black Madonna, a war veteran named Adam curls into the fetal position. Discordant, frenetic music plays as Adam relives the deaths of his fellow soldiers in    More
 
Wednesday, September 3, 2014 DEBORAH KENNEDY

The Sister Trap

With Chekhov’s The Three Sisters, Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble makes ennui feel alive.


Theater
Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble has never played by anyone else’s rules. In the group’s first production, 2013’s stark and disquieting adaptation of Richard III, actors slid tables    More
 
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 REBECCA JACOBSON

Love’s Labour’s Lost (Bag & Baggage)

Shakespeare is livin’ La Dolce Vita.


Theater
Love’s Labour’s Lost has never been very popular. One of the more convoluted comedies in the Shakespeare canon, the play went almost 250 years after its initial performance without a singl   More
 
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 TREE PALMEDO
 

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