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.
Well, who says our T.E.W.S. (Theatre Early Warning System) doesn’t work any more? It just jumped to full alert status with some big – nay giant – PNW news.
Seattle’s top notch New Century Theatre Company (kind of the Jet City equivalent of Third Rail, though smaller and more experimental) is the first theatre to bring Annie Baker’s THE FLICK (Pulitzer 2014) to the west coast. And they are doing it in the company’s brand new home, and Seattle’s brand new community arts center, 12 Ave Arts.
After several months of disuse, we weren’t sure if our T.E.W.S. (Theatre Early Warning System) was still working.
But lo – the thing just sputtered into life with some very exciting news.
Namely, Liminal, one of Portland’s theatres to watch, is coming back with a December production of [information has been automagically removed and sold to big data consumers by Sergey Brin]. That’s right, they’re doing the almost never seen [information has been automagically removed AGAIN and sold to big data consumers by Sergey Brin].
Which is pretty damn exciting.
Now we’re going to just assume you know who Liminal is and that you of course saw their stunning production of OUR TOWN last year. Because if you don’t or didn’t – then we’d have to send round an ebola-gram to your house.
Liminal is one of those groups that make you remember why you go to the theatre.
Olson-Huddle’s parents die in an unusual accident when she is young. As she grows up, she struggles with her grief. Years later, her heart breaks in a way that she thought it never could again, and reveals unresolved grief. At that point in her life, she gains the skills and finds the support to figure it all out.
Going On, Olson-Huddle’s solo performance piece, takes us on the emotional roller coaster of loss and healing. From local Portland landmarks, to the essence of her unusual circumstances of her childhood, Olson-Huddle’s portrayal of characters transports us and illuminates the powerful journey of grief, growing up, and going on.
The Headwaters Theater
55 NE Farragut
THU 9/26 | 7:30pm
FRI 9/27 | 7:30pm
SAT 9/28 | 7:30pm
SUN 9/29 | 2:00pm
THU 10/3 | 7:30pm
FRI 10/4 | 7:30pm
SAT 10/5 | 7:30pm
SUN 10/6 | 2:00pm
Hidden away in the sonic shadow of some still quite active train tracks on NE Farragut, The Headwaters Theatre is the kind of under the radar performance space you’d be forgiven for not knowing about or being able to find (the first time).
But it has also been the location in recent years of some of the most adventurous and rewarding theatre in Portland.
Despite the procession of notable pieces through this venue, you have to pay pretty close attention to find out what’s happening at Headwaters.
Using a special counter intuitive logic familiar to long time Portland theatre goers, sometimes the best shows are the ones you know almost nothing about.
When you are attuned to these under the radar events, the absence of info – normally a bad sign – is in fact evidence that the show will be outstanding. The less info – the better the chances of an exciting show.
Perhaps as a result of the constantly increasing security and elevated threat levels of our age, performance details for shows at the NE Off Off Burnside space are closely held and only released at the last minute on a need to know basis.
For those of you without the time and technology to constantly monitor Headwaters and detect the first early rumblings of pending avant garde shows, staying in the know can be challenging.
So in an effort to better inform Portland’s citizens about activities in this unruly arts border zone, we have applied for and received a federal grant normally available only to the nation’s gleaming industry militarial complex.
And now, from high on Mt. Hood, our newly installed Department of Homeland Security -funded Theatre Early Warning System (TEWS – the feds love acronyms) has just reported the first radar blips for a brief, three night run of Gogol’s DIARY OF A MADMAN by NoPerks Theatre in two weeks at Headwaters.
Exhaustive searches of off limits (our grant approval documents mistakenly included all sorts of login codes) federal databases reveal almost no info (that we can tell you about) on this operation.
Except that they are from New York and “Schweiz”.
That’s Switzerland, people.
And sponsored by Voodoo Doughnut.
And the show itself is a fundraiser for Nangu’s Grocery, “an income-generating gathering place and affordable store”. Located in Babati, Tanzania.
Still with us?
More recently declassified info, such as the artistic team, looks extremely promising:
Mathilde Schennen – Director, Brussels – New York
Rafael Svarin – Assistant Director, Zürich – New York
Max Usata – Actor, Bienne – New York
Igor Stepniewski – Musician, Biel-Bienne
Lew Caramella – Musician, Zürich
M – Musician, Puerto Rico – New York
Now, you might think, if unfamiliar with the theatrical Waziristan region on the city’s northern fringe:
“The show has almost no marketing, is on for three nights only, and is timed to coincide exactly with the well publicized kickoff of Portland’s largest annual performing arts festival (PICA’s TBA), a nuclear powered circus which will be sucking all the oxygen out of any other show in town for two weeks. ARE THESE PEOPLE CRAZY?”
Well, “madman” is part of the show name.
But see, what you have to do here is put on the 3D glasses and take every contrarian indicator as yet more evidence that YOU CANNOT MISS THIS SHOW.
Normally all the signs would keep you away.
But in this case, flip the circuits, and realize you can’t miss it. Because if you do, it’s going to be that one crazy show that no one saw and everyone wishes they had seen.
The only way this production could become more intriguing is if NoPerks narrowed performance times to one show only at 6 AM on Christmas morning.