Lizzie (Portland Center Stage)

Took an ax, gave her mother 40 whacks.


Theater
Like Gwen Stefani circa “Just a Girl”—only homicidal and clad in Victorian dress—the Lizzie Borden of rock opera Lizzie is a foot-stomping, hair-flinging rebel who can rock out with the best   More
 
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 REBECCA JACOBSON

Just Opened: The Last Five Years

A review of Portland Center Stage's production of the contemporary musical.

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Arts & Books
The Last Five Years begins at the end of a love story—but also at the beginning. That might sound like a sappy rom-com tagline, but don’t be mistaken: This two-character musical, presented by Portland Center Stage and directed by Nancy Keystone, features separate timelines, one going forward and the other backwards, as our couple falls in and out of love (or out of and into love).Written ...   More
 
Monday, May 5, 2014 KAITIE TODD

Just Opened: Othello

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

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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: Bo-Nita

A review of Elizabeth Heffron's one-woman show, starring Kate Eastwood Norris.

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Arts & Books
“You’ve got to find your own personal beat,” says Bo-Nita, the titular teenager of Portland Center Stage’s one-woman production. It’s a sentiment, however familiar, that the show never abandons. Written by Seattle playwright Elizabeth Heffron and directed by Gretchen Corbett, Bo-Nita follows the spunky 13-year-old and her mother, Mona, as they react to discovering Bo-Nita’s sort-of stepfather ...   More
 
Monday, February 17, 2014 KAITIE TODD

Fiddler on the Roof (Portland Center Stage)

Find me a find, catch me a catch.


Theater
“Twenty-eight?!” my friend exclaimed, after I told her the size of the cast for Portland Center Stage’s Fiddler on the Roof, the largest the company has ever corralled. “There aren’t even    More
 
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 REBECCA JACOBSON

The Mountaintop (Portland Center Stage)

A hokey affront to history.


Theater
There are undoubtedly new things to be said about Martin Luther King Jr. That’s not the trouble with Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop. No, the problem is that Hall condescends to her subject and au   More
 
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 REBECCA JACOBSON

Somewhere In Time (Portland Center Stage)

Let’s do the time warp again.


Theater
Between writer’s block and a brain tumor, Richard Collier’s head is in bad shape. He has fled to a hotel in Michigan, where he stumbles on a portrait of a breathtaking starlet from some 60 y   More
 
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 REBECCA JACOBSON

Clybourne Park (Portland Center Stage)

Or does it fester like a sore?


Theater
Bruce Norris’ Clybourne Park—the first work to win the triple crown of the Pulitzer, Tony and Britain’s Olivier—is one of the most produced plays among regional companies. I haven’t se   More
 
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 REBECCA JACOBSON

Venus in Fur (Portland Center Stage)

No one gets away until they whip it.


Theater
Fifty Shades of Grey reduced sadomasochism to handcuffs and spanking. Venus in Fur—while not devoid of dog collars and riding crops—throws into question such simple ideas of control and compli   More
 
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 REBECCA JACOBSON

I Love to Eat (Portland Center Stage)

Portland’s proto-foodie dishes up less than a satisfying meal.


Theater
Opera music booms and steam spills out from beneath the giant onstage refrigerator as I Love to Eat begins. As the song builds and steam obscures the floor, James Beard (Rob Nagle) strides out of    More
 
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 REBECCA JACOBSON

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