portland theatre scene

what's on in portland, oregon

TBA:14 | GERMINAL takes live theatre back to the future with latest technology and oldest questions

Who? What? Why? Where?


The kind of wild creativity that makes you realize you have only been using about 3% of your brain’s power. Taking a significant lead from contemporary culture and digital paradigms, which visibly connected with audience, this joyful French import rebuilds from ground zero what a new theatre might look like.

A major TBA:14 highlight.

One more night!

More photos in full TBA gallery.







Written by pdxtheatrix

September 19, 2014 at 10:23

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Your (partially glitter-free) weekend: Comedy with The Liberators and Liberace with David Saffert and Jillian Snow Harris

A weekend without glitter?



While you won’t find “Oil Money” and the other girls from this year’s preposterously successful Critical Mascara: A Post Real-ness Drag Ball around town this weekend (though put Loveball on Sep 27 at Blowpony on your radar if you want more of that), here are a few other events to keep you (partially) glittering on.

Of course it’s the closing weekend of TBA:14. You know that. So we won’t get into listing out all the still significant items on the calendar to dazzle you. If you don’t know what they are, use Ask Jeeves and find out.

But did you know about these two lil’ numbers on Saturday night?

9.20 Bad Reputation Productions – SLINGSHOT
9.20 David Saffert and Jillian Snow Harris in LIBERACE AND FRIENDS at Mazza’s – 7:30 PM

Yup, neither one is traditional theatuh, but both promise an extremely high joy/hilarity-to-dollars-spent ratio.

SLINGSHOT is the ongoing comedy program by Shelley McClendon & Co in the studio at PCS. Perhaps you know The Liberators – or any of the fleet of chariots of mirth that McClendon seems to drive ceaselessly around the stadium track that is the Portland night life scene? Oh yes.

Meanwhile at the newly rechristened space on NE Sandy that used to be Tony Starlight’s, come see classical pianist turned cabaret maven David Saffert and Jillian Snow Harris as they evoke – who else – LIBERACE AND FRIENDS?

So that could help you get your glitter on.

"Oil Money" at Critical Mascara.  A girl needs spending money.

“Oil Money” at Critical Mascara. A girl needs spending money.




Written by pdxtheatrix

September 19, 2014 at 09:53

United (Kingdom) We Stand

Scotland, the world loves you! If it’s any consolation, you are one of America’s favorite countries, and that will never, ever change. America could learn a lot from you. So lead on.

The UK without you would be unimaginable.

Like the US without Texas.

I mean like the US without California, Oregon, Washington, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

And thank you, as hard as it may have been, for leaving intact the greatest flag the world has ever known.

Scotland, please don't change this flag.

Stayin’ alive. And now let’s make what she stands for even better. Come on, UK. Show the world that the world has a future.

Written by pdxtheatrix

September 18, 2014 at 19:07

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Man about town David Saffert and Jillian Snow Harris launch LIBERACE AND FRIENDS at Mazza’s this Saturday, September 20

I know, I know. You’ve been emailing constantly asking what happened to David Saffert.

Well here he is.


David Saffert as Liberace (at the piano, of course)

Jillian Snow Harris as Judy Garland, Bernadette Peters, Eartha Kitt, and Liza Minnelli

Saturday, September 20
7:30 PM

3728 NE Sandy Boulevard

Mazza’s is the new club in the former Tony Starlight’s space.

Here comes Mr. Fabulous.

Here comes Mr. Fabulous.

David Saffert in THE WATERMAN at Action/Adventure in November 2013.

David Saffert in THE WATERMAN at Action/Adventure in November 2013.


Written by pdxtheatrix

September 18, 2014 at 10:24

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TBA:14 | Jennifer West and SQUART! at The Works









Written by pdxtheatrix

September 18, 2014 at 09:55

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DWP is coming October 4-11 | Design Week Portland shines the light on city’s creative energy

These days, life is busy in Portland. It’s just one darn thing after another (to quote Woyzeck).

No sooner does one music fest or film fest or tech fest or art fest end – than another one starts up. Or another five. And they all go on simultaneously. Non stop. Year round.

As our faire city warms up to her starring role on the national and international stages, the list of unmissable events grows ever longer. Someone needs to invent an app to track all this stuff.

Meanwhile, even as TBA is reaching a crescendo pitch, there out on the horizon already the next ship is visible sailing this way. And it’s named DWP.

You’ve got just enough time to wash the glitter out of your hair and put on your design hat before it gets here.

Blow horns: Design Week Portland is October 4-11.

You’re not gonna wanna miss this one. Oh no.

So saddle up.


Good design makes the world go round.

Good design makes the world go round.

DWP will fill your life with color.

DWP will fill your life with color.

Written by pdxtheatrix

September 17, 2014 at 20:59

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TBA:14 | Cynthia Hopkins brings wigs, an accordion and killingly provocative A game to Portland in her new show A LIVING DOCUMENTARY

Cynthia Hopkins, it is time to shelve your self doubt behind some of those musty old plays by an elder statesman American playwright who shall remain nameless.

Because there can be no doubt – none – that you belong up there on the big stage. Where you already are. BIG TIME.

In her new show, A LIVING DOCUMENTARY, Hopkins gives a bravura performance of the multiple characters (including herself) swirling around her own personal and conflicted path in the theatuh. And oh my my my is it funny.

This is not a casual improvised experience. The writing is tight, the pace is light speed. And Hopkins mows down sacred theatre cows like she’s in some Rambo movie musical.

Nothing throws cold water on the happy go lucky entertainment biz like peering into its wildly dysfunctional economics and power dynamics. In a world where cities still find millions of dollars to plow into white elephant theatre real estate boondoggles while artists at the top of their game get paid almost nothing, there are plenty of big obvious satirical targets to lock on. And lock on them Hopkins does, one after another.

Hopkins has some truth to speak to power here, and she doesn’t just speak it – she veritably screams it out in four letter words at 11-level volume. And she hits the target over and over.

Of course the irony that her rebel message was delivered in one of the most dysfunctional performance spaces in Portland, a public venue built by the city where no small artist could ever hope to self produce because of the high overhead costs – we’ll just assume she didn’t know about that.

Hopkins is a theatre entrepreneur and stands for everything we need more of if the art form is to survive: risk-taking, authenticity, ownership, originality, control of your own destiny. On the other end of the spectrum from her is the dull gray world of the old guard status quo as embodied by the PCPA: high fixed costs, unions, special interest concessionaires, exorbitant online ticket fees, etc. The contrast between the “how do I create something new to share with the audience” and “how do I extract my pound of flesh” mindsets could not be more extreme.

But even though Hopkins’ fire-breathing piece would be more at home at an authentic Portland venue like Disjecta, The Headwaters, or even The Works, such is the force and pure joy of her delivery that it worked just fine in the Winningstad.

Cynthia, thank you for reminding us what something real looks like, and for sharing the backbreaking physical and emotional pain it takes to be an independent voice in the theatre today.



Edward Albee made a brief appearance.

Edward Albee made a brief appearance.

PICA AD Angela Mattox.

PICA AD Angela Mattox.



Nothing but potential.

Nothing but potential.



Fire and brimstone show biz self help.

Fire and brimstone show biz self help.


At the end, no matter how long we clapped, she wouldn't come out.

At the end, no matter how long we clapped, she wouldn’t come out.

Written by pdxtheatrix

September 17, 2014 at 17:58

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