7 pm Thursdays-Sundays through Feb. 3., Thursday January 31 | $15.
Headwaters Theatre
55 NE Farragut St., No. 9
Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble’s first full-length play, R3, is director Gisela Cardenas’ “radical reimagining” of Shakespeare’s Richard III. Well, not really, but that’s fine. Lines have been cut and scenes rearranged, but to the casual Shakespeare fan, little will have changed. The same demonic Richard, hell-bent on the throne of England, beheads friend, family and foe alike to reach it. What is radical about R3 are the minimalist and versatile props. Umbrellas are used as guns and a dinner table becomes a pulpit. Beautifully lit from varying sides to play up the shadows, the cast alternately flies across the room on a wheeled table and lingers motionless against the back golden wall. The ensemble members wear only black, with hoop skirts and popped collars signifying rank. The cast is nearly all female, which when portraying multiple characters of both genders—however skillfully—distorts Cardenas’ goal of refocusing the play on its women. Jacob Coleman, as Richard, bleeds enthusiasm, but he can get too tied up in his emotions when he should be conspiring with the audience. All told, such flaws are minor, and PETE pays a fine, respectfully errant tribute to Shakespeare’s twisted king.

Where: Headwaters Theatre
Phone: 289-3499
Address: 55 NE Farragut St., No. 9
Website: http://petensemble.org/


Headwaters Theatre

55 NE Farragut St., No. 9
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