Locking on one of the most important and troubling targets in America today: drone warfare. Sharp and spare staging with a fluorescent metallic look. It’s a good story. Lingafelter does not have enough macho, ball busting bravado for a flyer – or the rigid military bearing. Still well worth a ride.
Exquisitely rendered, Isaac Lamb and Leif Norby at top of their games. But what about this story compels us? It’s hard to understand how producing an extremely dated piece of theatuh builds Third Rail’s larger brand. Instead of new and different, it’s old and predictable. But still lots to like.
Over in Northwest Portland, spring is in the air.
There’s also intermittent rain and hail, depending on the hour.
And there’s something else – the distinct sound of playwright Annie Baker’s words (and the spaces in between them) coming from the Third Rail rehearsal room.
Fresh off a dashing and successful “Loose in London” theatre tour with a group of patrons, the mainstay Portland company is back at work and deep into preparations for the third production of their 2012-13 season, Annie Baker’s THE ALIENS.
For this show, Third Rail returns to the 100 seat Coho Theatre, the Off Burnside space where the group got their start just over seven years ago. You can still time travel back to the original Portland theatre blog, followspot, to read TR’s very first review. That play, of course, was RECENT TRAGIC EVENTS by Craig Wright.
3.22 CORRECTION Over on the TR Facebook page, Marty Hughley has pointed out that Michael McGregor’s review in The Oregonian beat the followspot post by three days. Now that is some precise Portland theatre history. Any further debate (preferably of the heated variety) can take place over on the followspot thread. It’ll be just like old times…
Here’s a look inside rehearsals as THE ALIENS starts to take shape.
Personnel glimpsed in the photos below include:
Shelmerdine – Bryce Earhart
KJ – Isaac Lamb
Jasper – Chris Murray
Director – Tim True
Sound Design – Jen Raynak
Stage Manager – Jory Bowers
Assistant Stage Manager – Matthew Jones
Opening night is April 12, and because of the small space and large subscriber base, the entire run is likely to sell out faster than you can say “Shelmerdine” (which admittedly may take a moment or two to get it right).
So don’t delay. Get those tickets today.
Coho goes 2 for 2 with what is turning out to be a remarkable season. Ward’s dark take on comedy, infidelity feels perfectly housed here. High wattage vets Laura Faye Smith and Isaac Lamb are so talented they partly overpower the script. “Off Burnside” theatre lives. Portland needs this space.
Third Rail Repertory Theatre opened their second season at the Winningstad Theater at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts with THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING by Richard Nelson.
From their original smash hit production of RECENT TRAGIC EVENTS at the 100 seat CoHo Theatre in the spring of 2005, to unforgettable shows like THE LONESOME WEST, GRACE, and THE PAVILION during three years in residence at the slightly larger IFCC, to full scale main stage triumphs like DEAD FUNNY, FABULOSO, THE LYING KIND, THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISSOCIA, and THE GRAY SISTERS in three years performing at the larger still World Trade Center, Third Rail has been on an elevator going up.
I caught up with the director and cast of HOPEY CHANGEY in September during rehearsals.