Weekend forecast: Three days of sun – and some drama picks

In a normal year, every spring right about now Portland’s biggest star gives a command performance that eclipses every other show in town. After a long cold winter, when Madame Sun finally takes up her place center stage in the sky and cadaver-colored Portlanders feel that vitamin D warmth, the idea of filing inside to watch theatre (especially if it’s theatuh) can be a tough sell.

This year it’s a little different. In one of the weakest winters in memory, we’ve had sun on and off for months. We’ve already voyaged north of the magical 70 degree temp line – which lets you know spring is officially on. And so a multi day parade of sun such as we are now in should not feel quite as uncontrollably mad.

But it does.

Here comes the sun. And a few picks to help you work on that indoor tan.

4.18 NT Live at Third Rail – A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE by Arthur Miller
4.19 NT Live at Third Rail – THE HARD PROBLEM by Tom Stoppard

* It’s NT Live twice a day on both days from Third Rail. A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE just snagged three Oliviers, and Tom Stoppard’s newest play is also getting strong reviews. The only place you can see those both right now is NT Live. $20 gets your round trip airfare to London and a seat ringside at the biggest stage on earth.

Thru 5.2 Shaking The Tree – SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER by Tennessee Williams (review)

* Shaking The Tree has a strong track record of mounting unique and powerful productions of seldom scene plays. And this is no exception. With actors like Matthew Kerrigan, Beth Thompson, Jacqueline Maddox, and Luisa Sermol involved, you’d be insane – possibly in need of a lobotomy- to go anywhere else. Just make sure not to leave any valuables in the car – inner southeast is break-in central.

Thru 5.3 Artists Repertory Theatre – THE PRICE by Arthur Miller (review)

* It’s a season highlight and reminder (as if we needed one) how central a real writer is to a full theatrical experience. Miller doesn’t write in the pauses, silences or long tableaus so beloved by current playwrights – he uses words. And they sure do spill forth here in this 1968 comet.

Thru 4.27 Portland Actors Conservatory – REALLY REALLY by Paul Downs Colaizzo (review)

* A trip to Portland Actors Conservatory is always fun, and results are often best when it’s a play with young characters to match the students’ ages. Two years ago it was SUBURBIA. This year the portrait of college age mayhem is a little less joyful but still worth a look.

Thru 5.9 Theatre Vertigo – THE SCHOOL FOR LIES by David Ives (review)

Here it is, the French period piece that will keep you laughing until the cows come home. But without cheese. On a shoestring budget, Theatre Vertigo creates great big fun.