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Kabuki Titus (Bag&Baggage)

Turning Shakespeare Japanese.

In Japanese Kabuki theater, tricks of costuming and staging assist actors as they undergo swift transformations or make sudden revelations. It’s a theme applied to bold effect in Bag&Bagga   More
Wednesday, July 11, 2012 REBECCA JACOBSON

The Odd Couple (Clackamas Repertory Theatre)

What a sweet old couple!

Here’s something of a confession (and perhaps a disclaimer): I’ve never seen the movie version of The Odd Couple. I’m familiar with the plot, of course, and I’ve watched maybe half an epis   More
Wednesday, July 4, 2012 REBECCA JACOBSON

November (Jane, A Theater Company)

A very Mamet Thanksgiving.

Abraham Lincoln was the first president to spare a turkey’s life at Thanksgiving. Not everyone followed suit. In 1947, Harry Truman was gifted a turkey by the National Turkey Federation, which   More
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 PENELOPE BASS

Penelope (Third Rail Repertory Theatre)

Talkin’ loud and sayin’ too much.

In middle school, I acted in a production of The Odyssey. Bored by a dumbed-down script, our adolescent cast attempted to punch it up with absurdity: Circe wore a sweater vest yet spoke in slang.    More
Wednesday, June 6, 2012 REBECCA JACOBSON

It Ain’t Nothin’ but the Blues (Portland Center Stage)

Pitchin’ a wang-dang doodle, and little else.

The history of the blues is complex, meandering its way from rhythmic African chants to Southern spirituals to Chicago pop hits. In Portland Center Stage’s final production of the season, howeve   More
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 REBECCA JACOBSON

The Black Lizard (Imago)

Die young, stay pretty.

Japanese author and playwright Yukio Mishima’s work is filled with seeming contradictions: the confluence of sex and death, the modern grotesqueries that result from the unremitting pursuit of t   More
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Spring Awakening (Live On Stage)

Confronting the bitch of living.

Horny teenagers are going to have sex whether it is explained to them or not. It’s in our nature, and desire can be repressed for only so long.  Following a group of kids growing up in a    More
Wednesday, May 9, 2012 PENELOPE BASS

Black Pearl Sings (Portland Center Stage)

More like Black Pearl Talks. Zing!

The story of Huddie William Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly, is a classic American parable: A musician from a very early age, Ledbetter was unknown outside West Texas until 1933, when the gr   More
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 BEN WATERHOUSE

The Brother/Sister Plays Part 2 (Portland Playhouse)

The saga's second half is less dreamy, more scary.

When I left Portland Playhouse after opening night of the first part of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s trilogy, I felt...   More
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 BEN WATERHOUSE

Anna Karenina (Portland Center Stage)

PCS’s new adaptation is pretty but forgettable.

Tolstoy’s masterpiece Anna Karenina is a uniquely difficult novel to adapt into a play. It is a long and somewhat baggy affair that constantly swings between two contrasting main plots stitche   More
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 MATTHEW KORFHAGE
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