Theater Review: The Turn (The Reformers)

A gothic ghost story by way of Kubrick.

Theater When it comes to tales about sweet-faced children able to commune with ghosts, few are more chilling than Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. But that’s not ... More

Oct 8, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

The Typographer’s Dream: Theater Review

Labor relations.

Theater You are where you work, we’re told. Lawyers are argumentative assholes, and nurses are either cold or caring. It’s a trope common in fiction since Dickens. In The Typographer’s Dream, writ ... More

Oct 15, 2014 12:01 am by MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Middletown (Third Rail Repertory)

On the mysteries of the universe.

Theater The director’s note for Third Rail’s production of Middletown asserts that this play “is NOT a modern-day Our Town.” You can understand Marcella Crowson’s vehemence: Will Eno’s 2010 play ... More

Oct 1, 2014 12:01 am by JOHN BEER

Theater Review: Parade

Cruel intentions.

Theater Presented in its stripped-down chamber version, this production of the Tony Award-winning musical Parade places its orchestra center stage. That’s where it belongs: The most impressive element ... More

Sep 24, 2014 12:01 am by JOHN BEER

The Piano Lesson (Portland Playhouse)

Blood, sweat and tears—and ghosts.

Theater August Wilson used to talk about what he called “blood’s memory,” the collective history of American blacks that forever brings the past back into the present. In Wilson’s Pulitzer-win ... More

Oct 1, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

Sans Merci (Badass Theatre Company)

Without mercy, indeed.

Theater Johnna Adams’ Sans Merci is a test in emotional endurance: Where some dramas prod, this one pummels. For much of the play, directed by Antonio Sonera, the blows come steadily and hit squarel ... More

Sep 17, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

Intimate Apparel

Par for the corset.

Theater If Intimate Apparel were underwear, it would be a pair of pale pink panties, maybe with a modest ruffle or two. This 2003 drama by Lynn Nottage, which opens Artists Rep’s season, is a sensit ... More

Sep 17, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

A Matter Of Time

The Time-Based Art Festival shows some moxie.

Theater Perhaps the third time is truly the charm. That’s, at least, what this year’s Time-Based Art Festival suggests. This is festival director Angela Mattox’s third go-around with the genre-bus ... More

Sep 10, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

Smooth Operator

A phone-sex veteran takes her x-rated calls to the stage.

Theater Tonya Jone Miller received her first call as a phone-sex operator 10 years ago. Miller, dark-haired and half-Vietnamese, was in her late 20s. She imagined herself as a 19-year-old blonde. Over ... More

Sep 10, 2014 12:01 am by KATHERINE MARRONE

The Sister Trap

With Chekhov’s The Three Sisters, Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble makes ennui feel alive.

Theater Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble has never played by anyone else’s rules. In the group’s first production, 2013’s stark and disquieting adaptation of Richard III, actors slid tables ... More

Aug 6, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

Battle Cry

A new opera explores the traumatic aftermath of combat.

Theater Midway through The Canticle of the Black Madonna, a war veteran named Adam curls into the fetal position. Discordant, frenetic music plays as Adam relives the deaths of his fellow soldiers in ... More

Sep 3, 2014 12:01 am by DEBORAH KENNEDY

Portland Fall Theater Picks

Fall Arts Sans Merci Badass Theatre Company burst onto the scene with 2013’s Invasion!, a wondrous shapeshifter of a play that was devoured by a quartet of actors. For its second full production, it pres ... More

Sep 10, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

Theater Director Samantha Van Der Merwe

A theatrical worldbuilder with equal tastes for the sinister and the fanciful.

Fall Arts In science fiction, people often speak of “worldbuilding,” about writers and filmmakers who can construct an entire universe—its appearance, its laws, its technology, its history, its custom ... More

Sep 10, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON
 

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