Home / Events / Theater / King Hedley II

King Hedley II

REBECCA JACOBSON
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays and most Saturdays through Dec. 30., Saturday December 29 | $23-$32.
Portland Playhouse
602 NE Prescott St.
 
When the title character in King Hedley II talks about the man he murdered—a crime for which he just served seven years in prison—he summons a sharp allusion. “I got the atomic bomb as far as he concerned,” King says. “And I got to use it.” King’s reference is apt: An apocalyptic threat simmers throughout August Wilson’s play, the ninth in his 10-play Pittsburgh Cycle. Set in 1985 in a black Pittsburgh neighborhood ravaged by socioeconomic decline, violence and spiritual blight—evocatively rendered with the set’s chain-link fence, dirt floor and wind chime made of weather-beaten forks and spoons—a sense of decay pervades the proceedings. Wilson’s play receives a fittingly forceful production at Portland Playhouse, finely directed by Jade King Carroll. Hedley is not Wilson’s tautest work: The playwright is deservedly acclaimed for his operatic monologues, but in Hedley they’re needlessly discursive and laden with excess backstory. But what the script lacks in focus is more than made up for in the intensity and immediacy of the performances. Oregon Shakespeare Festival veteran Peter Macon plays King with keen physical and vocal command. As he attempts to sell stolen refrigerators with accomplice Mister (Vin Shambry, in a tremendously vigorous performance), King also works to reconcile with his long-distant mother, Ruby, played with ferocity, melancholy and irrepressible charm by Monica Parks. Meanwhile, King’s pregnant wife, Tonya (Ramona Lisa Alexander), assesses the value of bringing a child into a ravaged world; Ruby’s onetime lover Elmore (John Cothran Jr.) returns to Pittsburgh to woo her once again; and the Tiresias-like Stool Pigeon (Victor Mack) delivers blunt biblical interpretations (he more than once informs us that “God is a bad motherfucker”). But even as the characters sing and joke, they’ve got handguns in their pockets, ready to fire, and bombs in their souls, ready to detonate.

Where: Portland Playhouse
Phone: 488-5822
Address: 602 NE Prescott St.
Website: portlandplayhouse.org

 
 
Other events in Theater

Blazermania

Monday, May 25, 2015

A group art show themed around, you guessed it, the Portland Trail Blazers. Come for art, co ...

First Thursday reception. Through May 30.
Gallery 135 135 NW Park Ave. Portland Map

Cash For Your Banksy

Monday, May 25, 2015

CFYB is the brainchild of artist and curator “Mad One.” The project began in late 2013 in response to the ongoing attention to the artist known as Banksy and to an art market that treats painti ...

Through May 30.
Future Shock 1914 E Burnside St Map

Cottonwood in the Flood

Monday, May 25, 2015

This Fertile Ground Festival favorite earned surprisingly rave reviews for being a staged reading of racial history from one tiny Oregon town. Damaris Webb, lost-time Portland dramatist and African ...

2 pm Monday, May 25. | $5.
Westminster Presbyterian Church 1624 NE Hancock St. Portland Map
Also At Portland Playhouse

Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

When the apocalypse comes, only The Simpsons will remain. That's completely possible in Portland, where Simpsons creator Matt Groening and playwright Anne Was ...

8:30 pm Wednesday-Saturday, 2 pm Sunday through June 7. | $20-$36.
Portland Playhouse 602 NE Prescott St. Web | Map

Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Portland loves its native sons and daughters. So it’s no small delight that Portland Playhouse has snagged the regional premiere of Anne Washburn’s much-discussed and generally adored 2013 come ...

7:30 pm Wednesdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through June 7 | $20-$36
Portland Playhouse 602 NE Prescott St. Web | Map

Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play

Thursday, May 28, 2015

When the apocalypse comes, only The Simpsons will remain. That's completely possible in Portland, where Simpsons creator Matt Groening and playwright Anne Was ...

8:30 pm Wednesday-Saturday, 2 pm Sunday through June 7. | $20-$36.
Portland Playhouse 602 NE Prescott St. Web | Map
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
comments powered by Disqus
 

Web Design for magazines

Close
Close
Close