Home / Events / Theater / The Aliens

The Aliens

REBECCA JACOBSON
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays through May 4., Friday April 26 | $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

Dance Theater of Harlem

Tuesday, Apr 21, 2015

It's been 30 years since New York's Dance Theater of Harlem performed in Portland. The company, known as one of America's top and most diverse groups, alternates within an eighth note from en ...

7:30 pm Tuesday-Wednesday | $26-$72
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall 1037 SW Broadway Portland Web | Map

David Hilliard: Our Nature

Tuesday, Apr 21, 2015
Photographer David Hilliard’s subject matter is often autobiographical and erotic. He’s best known for his portraits, which are often presented not as a single, traditional image, but as several s ...
Elizabeth Leach Gallery 417 NW 9th Ave. Web | Map

Lyric Truth: Paintings, Drawings and Embroideries by Rosemarie Beck

Tuesday, Apr 21, 2015
If you were an “important” New York painter in the late 1940s and 1950s, you dutifully pledged allegiance to Abstract Expressionism and trafficked in dollops, drizzles, smears and drips. Not so fo ...
Broadway Lobby Gallery at P.S.U. Lincoln Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave. Portland Map
Also At CoHo Theater
There's no more events in CoHo Theater
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
comments powered by Disqus
 

Web Design for magazines

Close
Close
Close