TBA 2010: There Is Blood On Your iPhone


Arts & Books
I am writing this on a 12 inch Apple MacBook. Its sleek, light aluminum body and bright screen are the last word in cutting-edge product design, it responds to my every whim like some sort of genie and, if monologist Mike Daisey is to be believed, it was likely assembled by a 15-year-old working a 16 hour shift in an unthinkably massive factory in ShenZhen. The writing of The Agony and Ecstasy of ...   More
 
Sunday, September 12, 2010 BEN WATERHOUSE

EXTENDED REVIEW: Portland Opera, Pagliacci / Carmina Burana


Arts & Books
Murderous clowns never sounded so good. The curtain goes up. Onstage, in bright lights, lie two dead or nearly dead bodies, a woman in clown paint and a young man in plain clothes. Nearby sits the jealous husband who has stabbed them. The townspeople are poised to apprehend him, but at this moment, for some reason, they are frozen like a photograph, a tableau of horror and outrage. All at once, ...   More
 
Monday, October 4, 2010 JOHN MINERVINI

Free Theater in Director Park Today


Arts & Books
So, The Oregon Cultural Trust has this Days of Culture thing going on, which mostly seems to involve otherwise normal people confessing that they do potentially embarrassing creative things in their spare time. But there are also a lot of events going on, the most interesting of which (to me) is a free performance created by director Philip Cuomo and the students of the Portland Actors Conservatory. Cuomo's ...   More
 
Friday, October 8, 2010 BEN WATERHOUSE

LIVE REVIEW: Grease


News
When it comes to the live Broadway touring show of Grease, cheese is the word (is the word that you heard, it's got groove it's got meaning, bah-bah-bah-BAAAAH). From the Brylcreemed hair and cotton candy pink jackets to rampant pelvic thrusting and PG-13 sex gags, it's all here. Everything but John Travolta and Olivia Newton John. And that's really the only problem with this production, ...   More
 
Wednesday, April 22, 2009 KELLY CLARKE

TBA Diaries: One last look at Small Metal Objects


News
I have just returned from watching Back to Back Theatre's Small Metal Objects, the last show I'll be seeing at this year's TBA Festival. Both Matthew Korfhage and Jonanna Widner have already reviewed the show, in which four actors deal with a drug deal stymied by an existential crisis, and I have nothing substantive to add to their critiques of the play itself. It's well-written, -acted and -produced, ...   More
 
Friday, September 11, 2009 BEN WATERHOUSE

TBA Diary: Ten Tiny Dances


News
For all the big name (in avant-performance circles at least) national and international acts that come to town for TBA, some of my favorite festival moments over the years have come courtesy of the Seattle and Portland performers featured in Ten Tiny Dances, the semi-annual local performance series created and curated by Mike Barber. Nothing in this this year's lineup quite reached the heights ...   More
 
Thursday, September 10, 2009 BRETT CAMPBELL

TBA Diary: The Shipment, Race, and Modest Mouse


News
In the past couple weeks, ever since the intensity surrounding TBA:09 has been ratcheting up, I've been hearing the name Young Jean Lee. Seems like Lee's theater piece The Shipment has been on the tip of every tongue, as one of the premiere works in a festival full of them. Did it live up to the hype? Yep, it did. The Shipment is a strange, abrasive, gut-check--a frank examination of racism ...   More
 
Saturday, September 5, 2009 Jonanna Widner

Curtain Raiser: Season announcements, handcuffs and more Fall of the House


News
Hi there! It's been a long time. Your weekly theater columnist has been slacking. But there's plenty to report, so we're back. There's good stuff on stage this weekend: The opening of Portland Center Stage's production of The 39 Steps (the massively successful, absurdist stage adaptation of the curious 1935 Hitchcock spy comedy, using four actors to play over 100 parts); The return of Action/Adventure's ...   More
 
Friday, February 26, 2010 BEN WATERHOUSE

Live Review: Cirque du Soleil's Kooza


News
It's back, folks! The Seussy Cirque du Soleil has returned to Portland for just over a month with its disturbingly flexible contortionists (as in a woman breakdancing around her own eerily smiling head), customary hula hoop and trapeze tricks, dramatic background music, endearing (usually) audience abuse, and a vague story line tying it all together. The Canadian alternative circus troupe is ...   More
 
Monday, April 12, 2010 NATALIE BAKER

Portland Center Stage, Defunkt Theatre Sweep 2010 Drammy Awards


News
Portland's largest theater company and one of its smallest were the big winners at last night's Drammy Awards. The annual event, a presentation of the Portland Civic Theatre Guild, honors outstanding achievement by actors, directors, designers, playwrights and just about everyone else involved in creating live theater in the Portland area. The Drammy winners are choses by a committee of 15 (of which ...   More
 
Tuesday, June 15, 2010 BEN WATERHOUSE

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