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.

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.

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

The Lost Boy (Artists Repertory Theatre)

A three-ring circus abducted of oomph.

In 2001, Oregon City teenagers Miranda Gaddis and Ashley Pond disappeared, and local playwright Susan Mach found herself confronted with billboards of the girls’ faces. Both intrigued and dist   More
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 REBECCA JACOBSON

Live Review: Nastasya Filippovna, Moscow New Drama Theatre

natasya filippovna_photo-1

Arts & Books
The theater is quiet. Yellow light from stage left beams over a cluttered set, the floor covered in dozens of overlapping oriental rugs. Myshkin (Mikhail Kalinichev) and Rogozhin (Andrey Kurilov) stalk in drunkenly, Myshkin as bumbling as Rogozhin is jumpy. “Where is... Nastasya Filippovna?” Myshkin asks about the object of his and Rogozhin’s affections. “She’s... here,” Rogozhin replies, ...   More
Thursday, January 10, 2013 MITCH LILLIE

Nastasya Filippovna (Moscow New Drama Theatre)

Crime, punishment and improvisation.

She’s a gorgeous parasite, a kept woman and a deranged femme fatale, but Nastasya Filippovna Barashkov, from Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot, is not easy to pigeonhole. Director Viacheslav Do   More
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 MITCH LILLIE

Live Review: My Top 5 Moments of The Book of Mormon


Arts & Books
You don’t need me to tell you this, but The Book of Mormon is wildly fun, gleefully raunchy and surprisingly touching. Written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park with Robert Lopez (composer of puppet musical Avenue Q), the show has been a phenomenon since it opened on Broadway in March 2011, and securing tickets has become more difficult than bringing Jews into the fold. Portland marks the ...   More
Friday, January 4, 2013 by Rebecca Jacobson

Arms and the Man (Northwest Classical Theatre Company)

A satire with a sweet tooth.

The playwright George Bernard Shaw did not craft subtle plots. That’s clear from the first minutes of his anti-militarism comedy Arms and the Man, in which Bluntschli, a Swiss mercenary, crash   More
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 REBECCA JACOBSON


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