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The Box Marked Black

ENID SPITZ
7:30 pm Fridays and Sundays, 3 pm and 7:30 pm Saturdays through Feb. 24., Sunday February 17 | $10-$15.
Ethos/IFCC
5340 N Interstate Ave.
 
When completing college applications, Damaris Webb identified her race as “other.” This label also applies to her solo show, which fuses dance, sock puppetry and metafictional storytelling. In the absence of easy description, “delightful” will have to do. In a quick hour, Webb addresses the muddy topic of diversity with grace and dexterity. Even more commendable, she avoids diatribe. A simple chest is the entire set, but Webb traverses states with her Baptist grandparents on their move to Oregon. She travels to South Africa and a Minnesota bathhouse. She weathers discrimination and Thanksgiving dinners, all the while drawing out details to transport the audience as well. We hear the gum-smacking stylists at her Dominican salon in Portland and the buzz of lakeside mosquitoes in Minnesota. But The Box Marked Black doesn’t follow a traditional narrative arc. While bouts of interpretive dance at first seem confused, they serve to break up what might otherwise plod. Puppets, too, provoke skepticism, but Webb’s mini re-enactments of the television miniseries Roots are well placed. The weirdness is compelling enough that by the time Little House on the Prairie, Roots and Barack Obama share the stage, it’s charming. Taking the audience on an endearing personal journey, Webb goes beyond the uncertainty of “other.”

Where: Ethos/IFCC
Phone: 283-8467
Address: 5340 N Interstate Ave.
Website: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/265553

 
 

Ethos/IFCC

5340 N Interstate Ave.
Portland, OR
 
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