SWEAT, the latest play by Lynn Nottage that started life at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and went on to New York’s Public Theater, is now on Broadway. And that’s great. But is Broadway the right place for this play? Maybe not.
THE ANGRY BRIGADE by James Graham at Third Rail Rep
In what is undoubtedly the most exciting old theatre space remaining in Portland (Imago), a blast of comedy and 70’s confusion from Third Rail. The first half may be a bit too funny for where we’re headed, but the switch after intermission drives home evergreen youthful rage against the machine.
If ever there was an industry ripe for disruption – it’s the theatuh.
Antiquated business models, pre electronic mindsets (don’t you DARE take a photo!) and calcified, pound-of-flesh unions all combine to make this live performance art a sometimes fraught affair in the US.
A recent trip to America’s drama capital confirmed two evergreen truths about New York theatre: There is always something good on; Theatre is cheaper here than anywhere else if you know how to look.
Here’s what I saw with a few recaps.
- Wednesday, 8 Feb 2017 – 2 PM – JITNEY by August Wilson on Broadway (TDF) $45
- Wednesday, 8 Feb 2017 – 7:30 PM – Signature Theatre – EVERYBODY by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (TDF) $36.50
- Thursday, 9 Feb 2017 – 7 PM – Second Stage – MAN FROM NEBRASKA by Tracy Letts (TDF) $32
- Friday, 10 Feb 2017 – 8 PM – Labyrinth Theater – DOLPHINS AND SHARKS by James Anthony Tyler $34.50
- Saturday, 11 Feb 2017 – 2 PM – Signature Theatre – WAKEY, WAKEY by Will Eno (TDF) $36.50
- Saturday, 11 Feb 2017 – 8 PM – Irish Rep – CRACKSKULL ROW by Honor Molloy $52.50
- Sunday, 12 Feb 2017 – 2:30 PM – Mint Theater Company – YOURS UNFAITHFULLY By Miles Malleson (TDF) $33
- Sunday, 12 Feb 2017 – 7 PM – Atlantic Theater – THE PENITENT by David Mamet (TDF) $31.50
- Monday, 13 Feb 2017 – 7:30 PM – Joe’s Pub – LET US ASCERTAIN YOU by The Civilians $15
- Tuesday, 14 Feb 2017 – 7:30 PM – Roundabout Theatre – IF I FORGET by Steven Levenson (TDF) $40
- Wednesday, 15 Feb 2017 – 7:30 PM – Theatre for a New Audience – THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH by Thornton Wilder (TDF) $32
- Thursday, 16 Feb 2017 – 7:00 PM – LCT3 – BULL IN A CHINA SHOP by Bryna Turner $35
- Friday, 17 Feb 2017 – 8 PM – SIGNIFICANT OTHER by Joshua Harmon on Broadway (TDF) $43
- Saturday, 18 Feb 2017 – 2:30 PM – Barrow Street Theatre – SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET $85
- Saturday, 18 Feb 2017 – 8 PM – Playwrights Horizons – THE LIGHT YEARS by The Debate Society $56
- Sunday, 19 Feb 2017 – 2 PM – St. Ann’s Warehouse – THE TEMPEST $89
- Sunday, 19 Feb 2017 – 7 PM – MTC – LINDA by Penelope Skinner (TDF) $32.50
- Monday, 20 Feb 2017 – 7 PM – MCC Theater – YEN by Ana Jordan (TDF) $32
With current goings on in Washington, the theatre has been crying out for a big new play on politics. And who better to do it than Tracy Letts.
THE MINUTES will open at Steppenwolf in November 2017 and then transfer to Broadway.
This is the third new play in two years for Letts.
Meanwhile his LINDA VISTA opens March 30, 2017 at Steppenwolf.
According to Page Six, there’s a second act to the story of Charles Isherwood leaving the New York Times.
Off the charts demand is a beautiful thing. That’s the way it should be for theatre – not begging people to come support you, but rather battening down the hatches to control a wait list line that stretches around the block for a sold out show.
At the Public Theater, JOAN OF ARC: INTO THE FIRE, an exciting new show from David Byrne, opens next week.
But unless you have a ticket, it’s already gone, gone, GONE.
ASTORIA Adapted by Chris Coleman at Portland Center Stage
If you’re setting sail on the perilous journey of adapting a long historical drama for the stage, particularly one that tries to deal with the glorious (or not) story of America’s early days, you should be very familiar with two examples from the genre that define a spectrum of possible outcomes.
On one end, HAMILTON, the international juggernaut that breathes life into history by using forms and multi ethnic bodies of the present. On the other, RED, WHITE AND BLAINE, the show staged inside of the film WAITING FOR GUFFMAN that has become a defining reference for amateur community theatre and (more subtly) oblivious historical white washing of what life on the merry frontier was like.
When real world events move fast and furious, it can be hard to get new plays out there that address what’s happening. It takes a while to write a play. And many theatres plan their seasons years in advance.
For Denver’s Curious Theatre, the recent elevation of an orangutan-maned lunatic to president was reason enough to move fast and furious. They’ll be producing BUILDING THE WALL by Robert Schenkkan April 4-19, 2017.
It’s mid winter in Portland. Hilarious, right?
But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s the period in between July 4 and August 15 known as summer.
But forget about that. Here comes something to brighten your PNW blue gray mindset right NOW.