Home / Events / Theater / Arabian Nights

Arabian Nights

REBECCA JACOBSON
7 pm Fridays-Sundays through April 28., Sunday April 28 | $10 Fridays-Saturdays, "pay what you can" Sundays.
Milepost 5
850 NE 81st Ave.
 
Before Arabian Nights begins, performers move about the theater. Clad in harem pants and embroidered vests, they squeeze into black vinyl pews, wrapping an arm around an audience member or exchanging pleasantries. That beginning sets a fittingly informal tone for Mary Zimmerman’s 1994 adaptation of The 1001 Nights, which draws on Arab traditions of oral storytelling that encourage audience participation. Stories of sacrifice, endurance and generosity spiral into ribald tales of sex, greed and flatulence, and under director Philip Cuomo the play becomes a lively and often bawdy ode to the immersive power of storytelling, even if the inconsistent cast stumbles in the more reflective or cerebral moments. With the low-ceilinged black box looking something like a bargain-basement harem—walls draped with gauzy curtains and floor layered with Persian carpets—Arabian Nights begins with the cuckolded king Shahryar (Gilberto Martin Del Campo) wedding, bedding and slaying a fresh virgin each night. But the clever Scheherezade (Nicole Accuardi) staves off his wrath by telling story after story. As she tells each tale, the large ensemble adopts a string of guises, becoming lovesick merchants, hip-swiveling temptresses, bulgy-eyed kings and, charmingly, an elephant. The cast is most comfortable with comic tomfoolery and lusty pantomime, and the highlight of the first act is a squabble over a magic bag. Waged between Sam Dinkowitz and Sam DeRoest, it’s a heroic and hilarious game of one-upmanship. But performers struggles to keep their steam with the more plaintive stories of the second act. In the first act, the cast’s exuberance distracts from problematic Orientalist elements—why must all the women be dressed like Jasmine from Aladdin?—but they begin to grind as the play winds on. Still, this is the young company’s first non-Shakespearean foray, and while uneven, it establishes the troupe as a spunky force in Portland’s theater scene. With a few more rubs of the bottle, who knows what might be released?

Where: Milepost 5
Phone: 729-3223
Address: 850 NE 81st Ave.
Website: http://postfivetheatre.org/tickets

 
 

Milepost 5

850 NE 81st Ave.
Portland, OR
 
Other events in Theater

Anna Fidler: A Dream Within a Dream

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014
For Halloween, you couldn’t ask for a more seasonally appropriate art show than Anna Fidler’s A Dream Within a Dream. The title is lifted from an Edgar Allan Poe poem, and the subject matte ...
Charles A. Hartman 134 NW 8th Ave. Map

Anthropometry: Science and Design in the Contemporary Art Experience

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014
Artist and writer Jeff Jahn scores another curatorial hit with the thoughtful and spatially invigorating three-person show Anthropometry. By far the most eye-catching piece in the endearin ...
Kathrin Cawein Gallery at Pacific University 2043 College Way Forest Grove Map

Bennet Norrbo: Nice & Naughty

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014
Beloved Portland artist Bennet Norrbo died last year at 83. A year later, his friend and artistic executor, gallerist Marilyn Murdoch, is mounting an affectionate retrospective of his work, spanning m ...
Murdoch Collections 2219 NW Raleigh St. Portland Web | Map
Also At Milepost 5

The Last Days

Friday, Oct 24, 2014
With zombies invading everything from prime-time TV to Pride and Prejudice parodies, the genre’s bar for originality is pretty high. Post5 Theatre’s The Last Days clears it with pois ...
7:30 pm Fridays-Sundays through Oct. 26 | $15; Sundays "pay what you can"
Milepost 5 850 NE 81st Ave. Portland Web | Map

Spectravagasm V: The Best

Friday, Oct 24, 2014

Post5 Theatre's sketch-comedy team culls the best scenes from past shows for another wallop of oddball irreverence.

10 pm Fridays-Saturdays through Oct. 25 | "Pay what you can"
Milepost 5 850 NE 81st Ave. Portland Web | Map

The Last Days

Saturday, Oct 25, 2014
With zombies invading everything from prime-time TV to Pride and Prejudice parodies, the genre’s bar for originality is pretty high. Post5 Theatre’s The Last Days clears it with pois ...
7:30 pm Fridays-Sundays through Oct. 26 | $15; Sundays "pay what you can"
Milepost 5 850 NE 81st Ave. Portland Web | Map
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
comments powered by Disqus
 

Web Design for magazines

Close
Close
Close