REALLY REALLY by Paul Downs Colaizzo opens Friday at Portland Actors Conservatory

Kids these days.

If you enjoy high energy plays about young people behaving if not badly then in complicated ways, you may want to check out REALLY REALLY by Paul Downs Colaizzo at Portland Actors Conservatory. Opens Friday.

You’ll recall the outstanding production of SUBURBIA at PAC two years ago.

Chances are, they’ve got another keeper on their hands here.

Previews Wednesday and Thursday. Opens Friday. Through April 27.

NYT Review

Lauren Silverstein as Bee-Bee in SUBURBIA at PAC, 2013.  Photo: Gary Norman.
Lauren Silverstein as Bee-Bee in SUBURBIA at PAC, 2013. Photo: Gary Norman.

THE PRICE by Arthur Miller at Artists Repertory Theatre

All hail the writer. The real thing and a major season highlight. It takes some time to ignite, but Miller packs so much into the tense second act, you’ll probably want to see it again. Michael Elich is outstanding, brilliant as cop approaching retirement. Linda Alper is equally excellent. Scorching.


Thru Apr 26

“What are people saying about my show – on any medium?” | Search across all platforms with #tagboard

Do you know about #tagboard?

It’s an easy way to search by hashtag (simply: tag) across ALL platforms. Simple, right? Pretty cool stuff.

People are already using tags in every environment – so here’s a way to view the entire stream.

It makes it very easy to follow certain themes anywhere and everywhere. For example, look at the tagboard for #portlandtheatre.

You can then embed these views anywhere.

If tags are the new URL, as a marketer and brander you want to get your audience using tags unique to you. For example, OSF shepherds people to use custom tags for shows like #FingersmithOSF, #PericlesOSF, #LongDaysJourneyOSF, etc. Once people are using them, it becomes very easy to filter that stream.

This is a great example of free technology that gives you something it would otherwise take a lot of work to create. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Use tagboard to look at the entire stream.

Click to see what tagboard comes up with for #portlandtheatre.
Click to see what tagboard comes up with for #portlandtheatre.

Enda Walsh + David Bowie + Ivo van Hove = a little show you may want to catch at New York Theatre Workshop

What does exciting look like in the theatre today?

Like this.

Irish star playwright Enda Walsh is teaming up with David Bowie and director Ivo van Hove to create a new show called LAZARUS at New York Theatre Workshop.

Assuming the show opens at NYTW first, before going on to the now standard Walsh world tour (ONCE anyone?), it will be one of the hardest small space tickets in the 2015-16 NYC theatre season to get.


“Following his revelatory production of Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes From a Marriage, the internationally acclaimed director Ivo van Hove returns to New York Theatre Workshop with a new production, LAZARUS by David Bowie and Enda Walsh. Mr. Walsh makes his return to NYTW after the successful run of Once. LAZARUS features songs specially composed for this production by Mr. Bowie as well as new arrangements of previously recorded songs. LAZARUS is inspired by the 1963 novel, The Man Who Fell to Earth by Walter Tevis, and centers on the character of Thomas Newton famously portrayed by Mr. Bowie in the 1976 screen adaptation directed by Nicolas Roeg.”

Did He Like It? | The iPhone app shows how easy it can be to get the info you want

You are already, surely, a devout reader of Ken Davenport’s blog The Producer’s Perspective.

If not, go sign up. We’ll wait. Waiting…


And what about Did He Like It?, the ingenious way to track all New York Times reviews (and also other outlets) in one place – also by Davenport.

No? Go sign up. We’ll wait again. Tra la la…

Now. There is also an iPhone app for Did He Like It? Have you downloaded it yet? No?

Then go here pronto.

So. Now that you have it – glory in its functionality. In one simple app, you can find any show and see what the all mighty NYT thought of it.

Pretty cool. The app shows just how easy getting the info you want should be – or already is.

Putting on the new product hat… Imagine a single app with all reviews for shows anywhere in the world. You simply search by city, show, playwright, etc. You can set up alerts so that you get reviews for any company, theatre, playwright, actor etc. you care about. Now that would be powerful.

Surely Davenport must be working on it…

Right there on your phone - the Ben Brantley action  hero.
Right there on your phone – the Ben Brantley action hero.

THE FLICK by Annie Baker coming to Barrow Street Theatre in May

Right after Annie Baker won the Pulitzer last year for THE FLICK, there was brief talk of a Broadway run. Then there was talk of a fall (2014) run at Barrow Street. Then nothing happened.

The good news is THE FLICK is indeed coming to Barrow Street Theatre starting May 5. It’s the original cast from Playwrights Horizons. There could be no better venue for this play than Barrow Street, so if you missed the PH show, here’s your chance.

Barrow Street Theatre in the West Village.
Barrow Street Theatre in the West Village.

Suddenly, this weekend: Picks for the April onslaught

Here comes April. And with it, at least one highly anticipated show on the 2015 season calendar – SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER by Tennessee Williams at Shaking The Tree.

But there’s a few other good options for your entertainment dollar as well. So here goes.

SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER by Tennessee Williams at Shaking The Tree | Opens Friday

Perhaps you’ve seen the classic movie version with Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor and Katharine Hepburn? ’nuff said. Something happened to Sebastian Venable on a summer trip to Spain, and his mother definitely does not want to find out what. A gothic classic and sure to sing (scream?) in the hands of Shaking The Tree at their new SE space.

SLINGSHOT at Portland Center Stage | Friday & Saturday at 10 PM

If you’re paying attention, you already know that Shelley McLendon and B. Frayn Masters have multiple PhD’s in fun, comedy and hilarity. Come for the latest installment of late night comedy in the downstairs space at PCS.

BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS by David Hare | NT Live at Third Rail | Saturday at 2 PM & 7 PM

Ever wonder how big theatre can be? This is it. Direct from London, a massive story about a slum in the lee of the approach path to the Mumbai airport. Stunning, grand, inspiring. Forget writing plays for one or maybe three characters. Write for 30 and go big.

CYRANO by Edmond Rostand at Portland Center Stage | First preview is Saturday

You, already being in the know, don’t need to be told that there is no reason to EVER pay more than $20 for a ticket at PCS. Why? Because you can find tix at pitifully low prices on Goldstar. Or just show up and get a rush ticket any night. Also – catch a preview for ever more savings.

This updated version of a classic hits the stage Saturday night for the first time. There’s an all star cast. Ready to laugh?

Theater Review | BELLEVILLE by Amy Herzog at Third Rail

“Just one false move, babe, and suddenly everything’s ruined.”
-Fountains of Wayne


BELLEVILLE by Amy Herzog at Third Rail Rep

Thru Apr 18

What happens when everyone else melts away and it’s you and your partner left alone? Perhaps you’re eating a meal at home, or maybe you’re driving somewhere. Things are going along ok, and then out of nowhere there’s a lapse of attention, one ill-chosen word or glance, and suddenly you realize you don’t know this other person at all. There’s not much company to share this revelation with: after all, it’s just the two of you now.

Such a moment kicks off Amy Herzog’s dark, sharply uncomfortable play BELLEVILLE, which opened last night at Third Rail in a somewhat mixed production. In Herzog’s story, American Abby (Rebecca Lingafelter) has just returned to her Paris apartment mid day. She discovers her husband Zack (Isaac Lamb) in their bedroom watching porn. Zach’s supposed to be at work.

From one unexpected and unrecoverable discovery, we watch over an intermissionless 100 minutes as this young expat couple’s marriage moves from rocky to the stuff of horror films.

Abby and Zack moved to Paris for Zack’s job at Doctors Without Borders. Abby has not yet detached from her own original family back in the US completely and still talks to her father daily for support. Stateside, her sister is just about to have a baby, and Abby wanted to be there but something went wrong with their visas (thanks to Zack). The young American woman doesn’t speak much French – she stopped going to her lessons because the teacher made fun of her. Zack has a college kid’s weed habit and has found a stoner buddy in his North African landlord. Though they are both in Paris physically, Abby and Zack aren’t very engaged with the surroundings. As we’ll learn, they’re too caught up in their own problems to have much chance of engaging with a foreign culture.

Herzog is a tough and exacting writer, and she finds a lot of beats that ring true in this couple’s deformed relationship. Abby, not quite willing to believe her marriage may be in trouble, flips in an instant from fighting to considering the plan for the evening: where are they going for date night? Faced with his cratering life, Zack focuses on (what else) finding the next joint to smoke.

This version of young Americans foundering abroad is significantly hampered by casting two actors who are quite a bit older than the 20-somethings of the script. Lingafelter must be at least a decade older than the 28 Abby is supposed to be, and though she does some strong acting to portray the younger woman, there’s often confusion here as we watch what sounds like a younger person’s drama but looks like a middle-aged one.

The show starts off playing up the comedy of the initial surprise at home, which feels awkward and doesn’t set the right tone. At any minute you can picture the two leads breaking decisively into the humor they are known for (particularly Lamb), but that’s not this play. Going genuinely dark seems to be a harder task for the two.

It’s good to see Herzog searching for new subjects, even if the world she creates isn’t a whole lot of fun for the audience to be around. She’s after a larger point here about America and the world.

Just in time for the weekend | SHOWS FOR DAYS by Douglas Carter Beane at Lincoln Center starts June 6

This is exactly why we pay good money to have our very own TEWS (Theatre Early Warning System) in the garage. Because every now and then it tells you things you cannot afford to miss.

Like: One of the funniest men on earth is back. Back in the theater, that is.

Starting June 6, Douglas Carter Beane has a new play about his life in the theatre.

Location: Lincoln Center.

Yeah, I guess that’ll have to do if he can’t find a real venue…

“SHOWS FOR DAYS is playwright Douglas Carter Beane’s fond remembrance of his immersion into a life in the theater. The comedy is set in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1973, when 14-year old Car, the play’s narrator and the author’s alter-ego, is introduced to the world of theater through his local community theatre, the Prometheus Theatre, and its devoted cast and crew which is led by Irene, an indomitable force of nature whose life is dedicated to putting on productions she directs, designs and stars in.”

Miss this – and we might have to turn you over to ISIS. And bill you for travel expenses.

SHOWS FOR DAYS by Douglas Carter Beane

Lincoln Center – Newhouse Theater

Directed by Jerry Zaks


Patti LuPone (Irene)
Dales Soules( Sid)
Michael Urie (Car)

Some people have a way with words.  This is one of those people.  Douglas Carter Beane.
Some people have a way with words. This is one of those people. Douglas Carter Beane.