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An Iliad (Portland Center Stage)

An epic performance acquits a tricky script.

Beneath the bulging muscle, the polished armor, the gleaming fleets and onlooking deities, The Iliad, Homer’s poem of the ugliest battle of the Trojan war, boils down to this: Dying fighting in ...   More
Wednesday, October 6, 2010 BEN WATERHOUSE

Pagliacci/Carmina Burana (Portland Opera)

Murderous clowns never sounded so good.

The curtain rises. Onstage, in bright lights, lie the corpses of a woman in clown paint and a young man in plain clothes. Nearby sits the jealous husband who has stabbed them. The townspeople are pois ...   More
Wednesday, September 29, 2010 JOHN MINERVINI

My Name Is Rachel Corrie

A righteous sermon, addressed to the choir.

Rachel Corrie was killed on March 16, 2003, by an Israeli soldier who, out of negligence or malice, crushed the 23-year-old Evergreen College student under the blade of a Caterpillar D9 armored bulldozer ...   More
Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sunset Boulevard (Portland Center Stage)

Not all right, Mr. Webber.

In the spirit of fairness, I’d like to say right now that Sunset Boulevard—Andrew Lloyd Webber’s slavish stage adaptation of Billy Wilder’s 1950 film—is not the worst pie ...   More
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 BEN WATERHOUSE

Ah, Wilderness! (Artists Rep)

Like a CBS sitcom from the days before radio.

My first acting experience was in 1994, as a boy stealing a pie in The Sheepskin Revue, an annual production accompanying the Scio Lamb and Wool Fair, in which I was a regular participant for most of ...   More
Wednesday, September 15, 2010 BEN WATERHOUSE

Oh, The Humanity (Our Shoes Are Red/The Performance Lab)

Five confessions gone awry.

On May 6, 1937, the radio reporter Herbert Morrison was an unwilling witness to the explosion of the Hindenberg. In the face of unspeakable tragedy, Morrison kept right on broadcasting, abandoning his ...   More
Wednesday, September 1, 2010 BEN WATERHOUSE

Fishing For My Father (Coho Theater)

“Just gotta remember to breathe, eh?”

Fishing. It’s not in my family’s history, but it’s in our American consciousness, and the importance is undeniable. This importance is expertly parodied and honored by Chris Harder&m ...   More
Wednesday, August 25, 2010 Caitlin Mccarthy

Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Artists Rep)

With emphasis on “long” and worth every second.

Eugene O’Neill’s magnum opus is a masterpiece of American playwriting, but keeping an audience engaged through its 3 1/2 solid hours of drug addiction, alcoholism, chronic illness and fami ...   More
Wednesday, August 18, 2010 RUTH BROWN

Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Sydney Theatre Company)

One of Portland’s finest talents goes down under.

The presence of William Hurt, the celebrated actor of Altered States and Kiss of the Spider Woman, is the prime selling point of Sydney Theatre Company’s new production of Eugene O’Neill&r ...   More
Wednesday, August 11, 2010 BEN WATERHOUSE

Find Me Beside You (Many Hats Collaboration)

Sex, pirouettes and Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks.

Two years ago, Portland choreographer Jessica Wallenfels set up a table at Portland Center Stage’s annual theater fair with a sign reading, “Do you know Van Morrison?” “I want ...   More
Wednesday, August 11, 2010 BEN WATERHOUSE
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