Home / Events / Theater / The Whipping Man

The Whipping Man

REBECCA JACOBSON
7:30 pm Tuesdays-Sundays, 2 pm Saturdays-Sundays, noon Thursdays through March 23., Tuesday March 19 | $39-$65.
Gerding Theater
128 NW 11th Ave.
 
From Othello to A Raisin in the Sun, the immediacy of theater has cast a light on race relations. It’s arresting to witness such dynamics live, as in Matthew Lopez’s The Whipping Man, which takes place just as the Civil War has ended. Carter Hudson plays a wounded Confederate soldier named Caleb, who has heaved himself to his family’s gutted home in Richmond, Va. There he finds former slaves Simon (Gavin Gregory) and John (Christopher Livingston). Here’s the twist: These men are Jewish, and it’s Passover. Prodded by Simon, they hold a makeshift Seder in the half-demolished manor. That hulking house—with its moldering wallpaper, cockeyed banister and blasted-out windows—is captured perfectly by scenic designer Tony Cisek. Abetted by moody lighting and dramatic sound design, it makes for an intensely atmospheric experience. Though Lopez’s dialogue can grow didactic, the actors give such propulsive performances that the action feels vital and urgent. As John, an intellectual jokester with angry undercurrents, Livingston astonishes. In an early scene, he’s triumphant yet irreverent, grinning impishly as he dangles a flask over the writhing Caleb. But beneath, he seethes with bitter memories. As he recounts his first experience being whipped, Livingston casts his eyes downward and crams his hands in his pockets. The play also has humor. Some is unintentionally topical: Simon eats horse meat even though it isn’t kosher (take note, IKEA shoppers). When the Seder arrives, the symbolism is heavy, but wit remains. When Simon asks why Jews eat bitter herbs at the Seder, John answers dutifully: “To remind us of the bitterness of slavery.” Then he adds a weary coda: “As if we needed reminding.” In reminding us that we must not forget, The Whipping Man leaves a powerful mark.

Where: Gerding Theater
Phone: 445-3700
Address: 128 NW 11th Ave.
Website: http://www.pcs.org/whipping/

 
 
Other events in Theater

Stacy Wakefield and Ash Thayer

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
In 1994, Stacy Wakefield published her first book about the squatting movement, based on her own experiences and interactions, and gained notoriety for the underground hit Not for Rent. Her new ...
7 pm | Free
Reading Frenzy 3628 N Mississippi Ave. Portland Web | Map

The Liar

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Artists Repertory Theater is bringing yet another David Ives rewrite of yet another 17th-century social satire to Portland's theater scene. Pierre Cornielle's original 1644 farce follows the bumbli ...

7:30 pm Wednesday-Saturday, 2 pm and 7:30 pm Sunday, through June 21. | $25.
Artists Repertory Theatre 1515 SW Morrison St. Web | Map

Three Days of Rain

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

This meditative drama spans 35 years and two generations of a Manhattan family. The children of two famed architects stumble across their parents' journal from before the couple got their big break ...

7:30 Tuesday-Friday, 2 pm and 7:30 pm Saturday-Sunday, through June 21. | $25-$64; ages 14 and older
Gerding Theater 128 NW 11th Ave. Web | Map
Also At Gerding Theater

Three Days of Rain

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

This meditative drama spans 35 years and two generations of a Manhattan family. The children of two famed architects stumble across their parents' journal from before the couple got their big break ...

7:30 Tuesday-Friday, 2 pm and 7:30 pm Saturday-Sunday, through June 21. | $25-$64; ages 14 and older
Gerding Theater 128 NW 11th Ave. Web | Map

The Lion

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Guitarist Benjamin Scheuer's one-man show is a bildungsroman of father-and-son stories, set to music. Scheuer, wearing business-casual slacks on a plain stage, alternates between six guitars and si ...

7:30 pm Tuesday-Sunday, noon Thursdays, 2 pm Saturday-Sunday through June 14. | $25-$50.
Gerding Theater 128 NW 11th Ave. Web | Map

Three Days of Rain

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Instead of bothering with Lauren Weedman’s needless reprise of People’s Republic of Portland, go see Portland Center Stage wrangle some star power in a more interesting way, as  ...

7:30 pm Tuesdays-Saturdays, 2 and 7:30 pm Sundays and noon Thursdays through June 21 | $34-$74
Gerding Theater 128 NW 11th Ave. Web | Map
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
comments powered by Disqus
 

Web Design for magazines

Close
Close
Close