Just Opened: Othello

A review of Portland Center Stage's production of Shakespeare's tragedy of love and jealousy.

13709988765_3ba3eb4c93_b

Arts & Books
Othello can be a bit of a tough sell. Not only is it one of Shakespeare's most racially insensitive plays (and that's saying something), but even the most credulous audience member might wonder why the title character, a warrior with a reputation for bravery and a Moor known for his passion, can be so easily persuaded to think the worst of his great love.The key to our willingness to suspend disbelief ...   More
 
Monday, April 14, 2014 DEBORAH KENNEDY

Just Opened: Aida

A review of Stumptown Stages' production of the Elton John-Tim Rice musical.

aida -2

Arts & Books
Originally optioned by Disney from a children’s storybook—which was itself based on the Verdi opera of the same name—Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida retains all the depth of an animated feature, with the erotic undercurrent of a Danielle Steel novel. Sure, the slave girl may actually be a Nubian princess, but you can still take her roughly in your palace bedchamber. Stumptown Stages’ adaptation ...   More
 
Monday, February 24, 2014 PENELOPE BASS

Just Opened: The Monster-Builder

A review of Artists Rep's production of Amy Freed's world-premiere play.

1523406_10151942607163931_481775079_o

Arts & Books
Gregor Zubrowski, the megalomaniacal architect at the center of Amy Freed’s The Monster-Builder, is as slick a villain as can be: Clad in a trim black suit, he’s got a bald pate, severe goatee and round spectacles, and he delights in razing old buildings and erecting gleaming monstrosities in their place. All confident stride and rapacious gaze, he venerates Nietzsche and unleashes a cackle not ...   More
 
Monday, February 3, 2014 REBECCA JACOBSON

Just Opened: Noises Off

A review of Third Rail Rep's production of the legendary farce.

noises off 2

Arts & Books
When I first saw Noises Off as a 14-year-old at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, I didn’t know theater could do that. A dozen years later—and after watching dozens and dozens of plays—I’m still not quite sure how Noises Off does what it does. What’s clear, though, is that Michael Frayn’s 1982 backstage comedy is perhaps the world’s most exactingly constructed play, and certainly one of ...   More
 
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 REBECCA JACOBSON

Just Opened: Rudolph: On Stage

A review of Bad Reputation Productions' adaptation of the Christmas special.

rudolph

Arts & Books
Fun fact: When the 1964 stop-motion TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer first aired, Santa never swung by the Island of Misfit Toys. Viewers were apparently so aghast at his heartlessness that the studio produced a new scene, with Santa rescuing the toys for delivery to deserving children. I’m not sure how those viewers would respond to the updates Bad Reputation Productions has made in its ...   More
 
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 REBECCA JACOBSON

Just Opened: Plaid Tidings

A review of Broadway Rose's Christmas production.

plaid tidings

Arts & Books
In this schmaltzy sequel to Forever Plaid, presented by Broadway Rose, the story follows a similar arc but the songs are dialed-in for Christmas. In the beginning of that first musical, the Plaids—a meat-and-potatoes guy group from the ‘50s—are killed in a bus crash on their way to perform on The Ed Sullivan Show, but they return from the afterlife to croon together. For Plaid Tidings, they’re ...   More
 
Monday, December 2, 2013 JENNA GILROY

Live Review: Broadway Across America, American Idiot

american idiot

Arts & Books
Some of the punk rock ethos is safety-pinned to sincere concerns about our rotting society. The rest is a blue-faced hissy fit about the tyranny of a midnight curfew. It's usually pretty easy to see which is which.American Idiot, the Green Day album released at the height of the Bush-Kerry election battle, has always seemed to me a relatively mature attempt at political commentary from a trio of wealthy ...   More
 
Thursday, November 14, 2013 MARTIN CIZMAR

The Left Hand of Darkness (Hand2Mouth Theatre/Portland Playhouse)

Androgynous aliens in a world of blue AstroTurf.


Performance
When Portland author Ursula K. Le Guin wrote The Left Hand of Darkness in 1969, she imagined it as a thought experiment. What would a world be like, she asked, where humans spent most of their liv   More
 
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 REBECCA JACOBSON

International Falls (Coho Productions)

A depressed comedian walks into a bar.


Performance
That comedy comes from pain is a well-worn trope, but in International Falls, Thomas Ward’s compassionate and sharply observed world-premiere play, it’s a two-way street: Not only do misfortun   More
 
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 REBECCA JACOBSON

Fertile Ground Diaries: 4x4=8 Musicals

tech booth

Arts & Books
Writers don’t pretend to be mathematicians, but even I know that four times four does not equal eight. You know what else isn’t eight? Seven. 4x4=8, the “mini-musical” montage from producer John Oules and curator Mark LaPierre, turned out to be a mystery with one mini gone missing at Thursday night’s Fertile Ground performance.Inspired by the space constraint of Ten Tiny Dances, 4x4=8 uses ...   More
 
Friday, January 25, 2013 ENID SPITZ

0|1
 

Web Design for magazines

Close
Close
Close