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Crooked

REBECCA JACOBSON
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays through June 8., Friday May 24 | $25.
CoHo Theater
2257 NW Raleigh St.
 
As Crooked opens, 14-year-old Laney reads aloud a short story she’s just written, about a murderous lemonade vendor, to her mother, Elise. Elise tells Laney to make it more realistic. “You always say that!” Laney shrieks. “You always want me to be more realistic!” Perhaps Elise wants Laney to take a page from playwright Catherine Trieschmann, who has crafted a remarkably grounded three-woman drama. This sharp and affecting production, directed by Philip Cuomo, taps into the delusions, tensions and pains of adolescence with its story of Laney (Kayla Lian), a precocious tomboy who moves with her newly divorced mother (Maureen Porter) to Mississippi. Laney suffers from back spasms, though she claims she’s grateful for the condition even if it makes her an outcast. “I’m glad I have it because now I know how shallow people are,” she tells her only friend Maribel (Meghan Chambers), a chubby, intensely religious 16-year-old misfit. Lian and Chambers convey the anxiety of a friendship not yet solidified, with Lian’s eyes wide as she waits for her friend’s approval on a new short story, and Chambers picking nervously at an apple with her fingernails. The role of Maribel is a tonally tricky one, but Chambers doesn’t condescend, even as her character describes her “invisible stigmata” and soliloquizes about everlasting hell. Porter, meanwhile, brings both sarcasm and affection to her role, throwing up her arms when her daughter declares herself “a holiness lesbian” but also dispensing earnest sex advice to the girls. Trieschmann has an ear for the teenage idiom as well as the searing barbs mothers and daughters sling at one another—this is comedy that stings and reality that sings.

Where: CoHo Theater
Phone: 715-1114
Address: 2257 NW Raleigh St.
Website: https://www.boxofficetickets.com/bot/wa/event?id=192145

 
 

CoHo Theater

2257 NW Raleigh St.
Portland, OR
97210
 
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