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?

Your (partially glitter-free) weekend: Comedy with The Liberators and Liberace with David Saffert and Jillian Snow Harris

A weekend without glitter?

How?

Why?

While you won’t find “Oil Money” and the other girls from this year’s preposterously successful Critical Mascara: A Post Real-ness Drag Ball around town this weekend (though put Loveball on Sep 27 at Blowpony on your radar if you want more of that), here are a few other events to keep you (partially) glittering on.

Of course it’s the closing weekend of TBA:14. You know that. So we won’t get into listing out all the still significant items on the calendar to dazzle you. If you don’t know what they are, use Ask Jeeves and find out.

But did you know about these two lil’ numbers on Saturday night?

9.20 Bad Reputation Productions – SLINGSHOT
9.20 David Saffert and Jillian Snow Harris in LIBERACE AND FRIENDS at Mazza’s – 7:30 PM

Yup, neither one is traditional theatuh, but both promise an extremely high joy/hilarity-to-dollars-spent ratio.

SLINGSHOT is the ongoing comedy program by Shelley McLendon & Co in the studio at PCS. Perhaps you know The Liberators – or any of the fleet of chariots of mirth that McLendon seems to drive ceaselessly around the stadium track that is the Portland night life scene? Oh yes.

Meanwhile at the newly rechristened space on NE Sandy that used to be Tony Starlight’s, come see classical pianist turned cabaret maven David Saffert and Jillian Snow Harris as they evoke – who else – LIBERACE AND FRIENDS.

So that could help you get your glitter on.

"Oil Money" at Critical Mascara.  A girl needs spending money.
“Oil Money” at Critical Mascara. A girl needs spending money.

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50 words: SLINGSHOT by Bad Reputation Productions

If this newish offering from prolific Portland comedy purveyor Bad Reputation Productions is not already high on your must see list, please inscribe it there ASAP. Tightly scripted opening act by The Aces hysterical. Fetters and McLendon are subversively funny. Bryan Coffee’s BRINK OF EXTINCTION highly theatrical, thoughtful, original. Kaboom.

Slingshot returns to Portland Center Stage with BRINK OF EXTINCTION on Nov 15 & 16

See this show.

Or else I’ll shut down the federal government and create economic chaos. And then I’ll defund-

Cut. Wait, sorry. Wrong script. Not that one. Doubt it would work here anyway.

But unless you’re a Republican from Texas who has lost his mind (true, small things do get lost more easily), you’re probably not going to miss this show.

Because you know, and I know, and John Breen knows (in his heart of hearts – in between kick boxing), that Slingshot is not something you miss. So don’t.

What is it, you ask?

What’s with all the questions?

It’s simply a very live evening of live people doing live entertainment. Being live. All live.

You saw ROADHOUSE: THE PLAY. Some of you are still living it. This is the same crew. There’s The Aces, made up of comedy wizards Michael Fetters and Shelley McLendon.

And then there’s the main event: Bryan Coffee and BRINK OF EXTINCTION.

So be there.

Or I’ll gerrymander US voting districts so angry white people all live together in an echo chamber with no feedback loop and keep sending wingnuts to Congress who-

Cut. Stop the music. Not that one. Sorry.

But I’ve gotten so used to it…

Slingshot

Two nights only at Portland Center Stage

November 15 & 16, 2013
8:00 pm
$15 presale/ $20 door
Tickets

Things are looking up.
Things are looking up.

Slingshot brings it to Ellen Bye Studio

Wow. It was all there tonight. Slinghsot brought their A game. Christine McKinley as special guest. The Liberators (Shelley McLendon, John Breen, Tony Marcellino, Nicholas Kessler) and Scott Engdahl, Brad Fortier, and Beau Brousseau. What more do you need?

A dazzling display of prowess, physicality, and John Breen’s rock hard pecs. One more night to catch them.

This type of partnership with the local scene is exactly what PCS should be doing.

All part of getting the studio warmed up for LAUREN WEEDMAN!

All photos

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Is this a weekend which I see before me?

Indeed, my liege.

And so.

We go.

To the theatah.

What’s on?

It’s a bit of an in between moment before the end of season onslaught kicks in. And it is gonna be an onslaught if you look ahead to April.

Also – this weekend every show in town is going to have to go up against the world’s biggest star.

Namely, the great fireball in the sky.

Hmmm.  Sit inside a dark space or...?
Hmmm. Sit inside a dark space or…?

It’s the time of the year when a blast of good weather sends people outside, and the theatre has to be better than ever if the pitch is to come inside instead.

But right now here’s what’s happening in the great indoors.

If you haven’t seen MOTHER TERESA IS DEAD by Helen Edmundson at Portland Playhouse, which is on through 4.14 (just extended a second time), that should be a priority. It’s a rewarding play in a small space with some terrific performances.

Meanwhile, back at the Armory… That rumbling sound you hear is not the Portland streetcar. It’s the heavy machinery of Slingshot being wheeled into place in the Ellen Bye Studio. Come join a galaxy of Portland improv and comedy peeps. Two different shows Friday and Saturday, so go both nights. A mere $15 in advance ($20 door). Tickets

And over at the inventive Post Five Theatre is ARABIAN NIGHTS by Mary Zimmerman directed by Philip Cuomo.

East Side Story.
East Side Story.

Slingshot returns to Portland Center Stage March 29 & 30

Slingshot, the comedy improv brainchild of Shelley McLendon and Bad Reputation Productions, returns to Portland Center Stage for two nights only next weekend.

Perhaps you’re familiar with ROADHOUSE: THE PLAY! or The Liberators? The same talent pool is behind Slingshot.

If the first installment of this creative collaboration between Bad Rep Prods and PCS is any indicator (that was The Aces back in January), this is sure to be a very funny, high energy event. Portland’s comedy / improv scene is flourishing, and this is a chance to catch some of the action.

On tap is a roster of guest monologists including LOREN HOSKINS (aka “Sharky” from Disney’s Jake and the Neverland Pirates) and JULIE SABATIER (creator and host of the public radio show and podcast Destination DIY) at the March 30th show. CHRISTINE MCKINLEY (from The History Channel’s Decoded) joins on March 29th.

The Liberators will also be on the scene.

And of course there’s the standard all around “smart, fresh and sexy comedy” you’d expect from a Slingshot evening.

So don’t miss it, ‘k?

Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30 at 8 PM in the Ellen Bye Studio at the Armory.

Tickets

Look for an interview with Shelley McLendon later this week and photos from Friday’s performance later that night.

Slingshot returns to Portland Center Stage March 29-30

Bad Reputation Productions, the Portland comedy power house that never sleeps, is back. This exciting company launches new acts faster than a Portland cop racks up overtime.

And they are damn good (the comedy acts).

Did you catch The Aces in the first Slingshot at PCS, back in January? Michael Fetters and Shelley McLendon were at the top of their game in that show. On view in March will be folks from The Liberators and The Administration, among others.

In this next installment of Slingshot, it’s two nights of improv comedy based on hilarious personal stories told by guest monologists.

The performance on Friday, March 29 will feature guest monologist Christine McKinley from The History Channel’s Decoded. The Saturday, March 30 performance will feature monologists Julie Sabatier, creator and host of the public radio show and podcast Destination DIY; and Loren Hoskins, the voice of “Sharky” on Disney’s Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

That’s right, two different shows, so you must see them both.

And speaking of the exploding world of comedy, improv, and storytelling in Portland – look for an interview with Shelley McLendon, the force behind Bad Reputation Productions, coming up soon.

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Photo: The Liberators burn it down at IFCC in January.

Tickets