Home / Events / Theater / The Aliens

The Aliens

REBECCA JACOBSON
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays through May 4., Thursday April 25 | $25
CoHo Theater
2257 NW Raleigh St.
 
Since her first play stunned audiences four years ago, Annie Baker, 31, has gone from obscurity to acclaim. In that time, critics have scraped away at her plays, trying to unearth what makes them so rich, so unsettling and, most of all, so real. Never mind that there’s much in her plays that’s more surrealistic than anything else. Take, for example, a moment in Third Rail’s deeply humane and quietly unnerving production of The Aliens. KJ (Isaac Lamb), a bearlike 30-year-old, tells a story. At age 5, he was obsessed with the word “ladder” and repeated it incessantly, until his mother let him shout the word as often and as deafeningly as he needed. Lamb delivers a monologue—if it can be called that—composed of that single word. I began counting the number of repetitions and then lost track, finding myself hypnotized and horrified and heartbroken. The Aliens, as with much of Baker’s work, is constrained but not contrived. It’s set in the scruffy backyard of a cafe, where KJ and Jasper (Chris Murray) gather. After Jasper, a Bukowski-reading chain-smoker, kicks over a chair, teenage employee Evan (Bryce Earhart) tries to shoo them away. It would be easy to say this irreverent yet warm duo teaches Evan about life and identity, but what unfurls is far more intricate, and far more tragic, than that. Under Tim True’s confident direction, the actors create intensely empathetic characters. Lamb nails the gentle comedy as well as his character’s twitchy discomfort. The tightly wound Murray will twist your insides into knots, and 16-year-old Earhart more than holds his own, his character carefully testing his words to best impress his older friends. Aside from occasional surges of language, the dialogue is elliptical and sparse. While some playwrights force characters to plow ahead with dialogue, Baker makes her characters wait. These empty spaces are remarkable—and also uncomfortable or tense or weird. Are they real? By play’s end, that question no longer matters.

Where: CoHo Theater
Phone: 235-1101
Address: 2257 NW Raleigh St.
Website: http://www.thirdrailrep.org/events.php?show=24

 
 

CoHo Theater

2257 NW Raleigh St.
Portland, OR
97210
 
Other events in Theater

Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Friday, Feb 27, 2015

Dance presenter White Bird kicked off its first round of “Barney” creative prizes in 2013, awarded as a grant that recognizes innovative choreographers f ...

7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 26-28 | $26-$68
Newmark Theatre 1111 SW Broadway Portland Web | Map

Baron Vaughn

Friday, Feb 27, 2015

Comedian Baron Vaughn has made a serious impression at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival over the years—he's got a super-lively stage presence and a slightly absurdist way of framing totally mundane ...

8 pm Friday, Feb. 27 | $10
Hollywood Theatre 4122 NE Sandy Blvd. Portland Web | Map

Constructs

Friday, Feb 27, 2015
Constructs is curator Rachel Adams’ inspired solution to the quandary of how to fill Disjecta’s massive exhibition space. This clean, elegant show is a kind of “etude on the wall,” a se ...
Disjecta 8371 N Interstate Ave. Portland Web | Map
Also At CoHo Theater

The Night Alive

Friday, Feb 27, 2015

“Sad and poor Irish people sitting in a room” is practically a theatrical genre unto itself these days. The Night Alive, by famed Irish playwright Conor McPhe ...

7:30 pm Wednesdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through March 14 | $22-$29
CoHo Theater 2257 NW Raleigh St. Portland Web | Map

The Night Alive

Saturday, Feb 28, 2015

“Sad and poor Irish people sitting in a room” is practically a theatrical genre unto itself these days. The Night Alive, by famed Irish playwright Conor McPhe ...

7:30 pm Wednesdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through March 14 | $22-$29
CoHo Theater 2257 NW Raleigh St. Portland Web | Map

The Night Alive

Sunday, Mar 01, 2015

“Sad and poor Irish people sitting in a room” is practically a theatrical genre unto itself these days. The Night Alive, by famed Irish playwright Conor McPhe ...

7:30 pm Wednesdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through March 14 | $22-$29
CoHo Theater 2257 NW Raleigh St. Portland Web | Map
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
comments powered by Disqus
 

Web Design for magazines

Close
Close
Close