THE ANGRY BRIGADE by James Graham at Third Rail

THE ANGRY BRIGADE by James Graham at Third Rail Rep

Thru April 15, 2017

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.

Review: ASTORIA at Portland Center Stage is a wooden, pre-modern melodrama about heroic white men battling the wilderness – minus Eugene Levy

ASTORIA Adapted by Chris Coleman at Portland Center Stage

3-stars

Thru February 19, 2017

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.

Astoria at Portland Center Stage
“How high a ridge I could not tell.” Eugene Levy could make ASTORIA really fun.
Continue reading “Review: ASTORIA at Portland Center Stage is a wooden, pre-modern melodrama about heroic white men battling the wilderness – minus Eugene Levy”

Stop the madness – Vote for your favorite hashtag

You say theater, I say theatre.

And what about hashtags? While several cities have standardized (more or less) on a {#[CITY]thtr} format for the performing arts (#SEAthtr, #LAthtr), in others the freeform tag wars rage.

It would be better for all involved to go with one. But which do YOU prefer?

NOTE: Turn off Ghostery or other blockers to see poll below.

Liminal channels Fassbinder Dec 8-11 at Disjecta

The thing about interesting theatre activities in smaller markets is you have to be ready and watching ALL THE TIME or you might miss something good.

You can’t say, “I do not need to hear about any more remounts of ALMOST, MAINE in Estacada or Wagontire – so I’m going to tune out everything now.”

Guaranteed if you do that you’ll miss something you should have seen.

Here’s a tip. Liminal is back and planning a four day only blitzkrieg at Disjecta.

Only 40 people per show! Translation: This thing is going to sell out faster than Donald Trump’s transition team.

So get on it.  NOW.

How to not be bored

liminal-fassbinder-feat-top-to-bottom-l-to-r-danielle-ross-todd-van-voris-don-kern-wayne-haythorn-evan-corcoran-alex-reagan-carla-grant-manot-vonrocket-linda-austin-eleanor-johnson-photo-am
These people are hear to disrupt your programming.

Behold the new: Liminal returns with “Marilyn Monroe contre les vampires”, an immersive video opera by Fassbinder

liminal

In the theatre world we have, a handful of franchised shows from New York play regional theatres struggling for relevance.  As the lights go down on that mass produced version of BAD DATES, VENUS IN FUR, etc., you could be anywhere.  Welcome to Olive Garden.

In the theatre world we need, instead of taking up the assignment as conveyor belts in a creaky colonial system, local companies instead create their own new work – stuff you can find nowhere else.  They engage with their community.  They make place and time specific art.  Their shows then travel the OPPOSITE direction –  from the hinterlands toward larger cultural centers, where audience members feel they have sampled something original.  Something authentic.  Welcome to Higgins, Pok Pok, Lincoln.

On that note, the noise in the underground laboratory of one of Portland’s unique theatre groups has been steadily increasing, and smoke and sparks have been seen shooting out of taped over windows late at night.  That’s because they’re working on a new show in there.  One that has never been seen.  And in a few short weeks – just in time for Christmas – you will have a chance to behold the new.  Bonus: it’s at one of the coolest venues in town.

That’s right – the next show from Liminal is coming down the tracks.

Continue reading “Behold the new: Liminal returns with “Marilyn Monroe contre les vampires”, an immersive video opera by Fassbinder”