It’s with a semi-heavy heart that I would like to inform you that I have decided to put the Portland Stage Reviews blog to sleep. It’s been something I’ve thought about for a long time now so I’m making it official. I have come to the realization that I simply don’t have the time to continue doing reviews or facilitating the editing process that goes along with the job.
O Portlandia! Be not put off by either Restoration period nor verses fantastical,
For though it may lack reason, The Liar will make you a devotee fanatical.
1978, some of my earliest memories are of the beach in San Diego, macaroni salad, and watching Eight Is Enough with my older cousins….in the 1980s….I was a “latch-key” kid in rural Oregon, kicking dust on the walk home from the bus stop, to go inside, turn on afterschool reruns of Brady Bunch and do my homework.
This is another one of those productions where I wish I was a fly on the planning room wall. The Oregon Children’s Theatre Powers That Be (I like to call them that, but they really do have names) must have said, and I paraphrase, “we must break molds, fill in ruts, shake up the system, rock the boat!”
Artists Rep. latest production, Tribes, is a strange mix of these themes: the production itself, deftly handled by Artistic Director Dámaso Rodriguez and his company, succeeds in well-honed performances by the cast and lovely multimedia touches and flourishes to underscore for the hearing in visuals that are akin to the deaf experience. Where the production stumbles is in playwright Nina Raine tendency to dip into the heavy-handedness and melodrama of one looking in at Deaf Culture from the the outside.
The theatre was packed! The seats throughout were staggered: adult, child, adult, child, child, adult…almost full on all 3 floors as well as I could see. That just warmed my heart to see! I like to think you’ve got the message – OCT is the best value to be found, and this all just proved my point.
Have you read Ivy + Bean? We think they’re great. They’re like…Superfudge/Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing or How To Eat Fried Worms, but with girls. And like How To Eat Fried Worms, which isn’t SO boy that only boys like it, the Ivy & Bean Series isn’t SO girly that only girls like them. They’re stories of sibling angst, secret pacts with friends and honest goofball hijinks that all preteens get into. I highly recommend.
The Post5 company has always been known as a “low-budget, but we’re going to make it happen anyway” kind of company–and they have been quite successful in their accessible Shakespearian productions for the number of years that this reviewer has seen their efforts. It’s quite refreshing to see them bring something fresh (albeit about something rotten–zombies) to the stage.
It is against this conflicted yet abundant tapestry that we enter depths of Carlos Lacámara’s play [about the 1980 Cuban Mariel Boatlift] at Artists Rep., Exiles, as we follow a group disparate boatlift passengers, conflicted both in economic disparity and in points of view. And those differences make for a very rich evening of political theatre indeed, and deliverd excellently by Artistic Director Dámaso Rodriguez’s ensemble cast.
Tick Tick Boom, a Triangle Productions presentation at the Sanctuary 1785 NE Sandy, through September 27, is an autobiographical musical by Jonathon Larson. It is set in 1990. It takes place in the days leading up to Mr. Larson’s thirtieth birthday. The tick tick is the clock in his head that reminds him that he is now older than his father was when he was born, that many others, including Napoleon, had accomplished great things before they were 30, that his great plans had not come to fruition, that his life was tick tick ticking away with his dreams unrealized.