Slow and surprisingly weak. Set does not resemble rent controlled West Village apartment in any way. Two main characters each off. Weinstein’s manic energy does significant damage to tone. Loads more humor in text than what we see here unfortunately. Stereotypical dead silent Portland audience does not help much. Inauthentic.
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.
In case you’re still pondering that expat job offer with Citibank in Islamabad. Conor Toms and Imran Sheikh particularly strong. Central dramatic story of trading futures to earn ransom feels contrived and implausible at times, a way to stick capitalism in the dock. But thriller energy lends sharp, exciting focus.
Solid. Deaf component is asked to carry a lot of narrative weight here – perhaps too much. Key dramatic passages slow as we process translations. Stephen Drabicki is an excellent Billy. Act 2’s histrionics and breakdown of other brother a bit much. Even for the theatre, this family is over the top.
Some fairly creaky, old-fashioned fare here. But plenty of nuggets to enjoy once the central plot machinery engages. Vana O’Brien in her savant element. Jill Van Velzer was born to play Noel Coward. About halfway through the second act action starts to drag, and experience goes on 45 minutes too long.
THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD by John Millington Synge at Artists Repertory Theatre
The force, musicality, and revolutionary poetry of Synge’s eternal creation do not shine through in this unevenly directed, slow-paced production. Meaning lost. In a play where language is a transformative elixir, characters rarely become adequately possessed. Effect is old-fashioned instead of cutting edge. But Geisslinger is a marvel.
Here it comes – with Chris Murray as the young Christy Mahon.
Jane Anderson has written a great play, and she masterfully embeds central conflicts deep inside her characters’ suffering bodies. Not a word is wasted in this direct exploration of how individuals remake their world – or decide to leave it – in the face of tragedy. An echo of Craig Wright’s metaphysics. Awe-inspiring.
No theatre company in America gets more mileage out of bad language and drug use than New York’s LAByrinth. But stripped of the “street poetry” (who knew there were so many poets roaming downtown Portland!), Jackie’s quest for the good rings true. John San Nicolas gives a tremendous, nuanced performance.
by Lynn Nottage
Sept 9 – Oct 5
by Carlos Lacamara
Sept 30 – Oct 26
by Noël Coward
Nov 25 – Dec 21
by Nina Raine
Feb 3 – Mar 1
The Invisible Hand
by Ayad Akhtar
Mar 10 – Apr 5
by Arthur Miller
Mar 31 – Apr 26
by Amy Herzog
Apr 28 – May 24
by David Ives, adapted from the comedy by Pierre Corneille
May 26 – June 21