SWEAT, the latest play by Lynn Nottage that started life at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and went on to New York’s Public Theater, is now on Broadway. And that’s great. But is Broadway the right place for this play? Maybe not.
THE ANGRY BRIGADE by James Graham at Third Rail Rep
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.
A recent trip to America’s drama capital confirmed two evergreen truths about New York theatre: There is always something good on; Theatre is cheaper here than anywhere else if you know how to look.
Here’s what I saw with a few recaps.
- Wednesday, 8 Feb 2017 – 2 PM – JITNEY by August Wilson on Broadway (TDF) $45
- Wednesday, 8 Feb 2017 – 7:30 PM – Signature Theatre – EVERYBODY by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (TDF) $36.50
- Thursday, 9 Feb 2017 – 7 PM – Second Stage – MAN FROM NEBRASKA by Tracy Letts (TDF) $32
- Friday, 10 Feb 2017 – 8 PM – Labyrinth Theater – DOLPHINS AND SHARKS by James Anthony Tyler $34.50
- Saturday, 11 Feb 2017 – 2 PM – Signature Theatre – WAKEY, WAKEY by Will Eno (TDF) $36.50
- Saturday, 11 Feb 2017 – 8 PM – Irish Rep – CRACKSKULL ROW by Honor Molloy $52.50
- Sunday, 12 Feb 2017 – 2:30 PM – Mint Theater Company – YOURS UNFAITHFULLY By Miles Malleson (TDF) $33
- Sunday, 12 Feb 2017 – 7 PM – Atlantic Theater – THE PENITENT by David Mamet (TDF) $31.50
- Monday, 13 Feb 2017 – 7:30 PM – Joe’s Pub – LET US ASCERTAIN YOU by The Civilians $15
- Tuesday, 14 Feb 2017 – 7:30 PM – Roundabout Theatre – IF I FORGET by Steven Levenson (TDF) $40
- Wednesday, 15 Feb 2017 – 7:30 PM – Theatre for a New Audience – THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH by Thornton Wilder (TDF) $32
- Thursday, 16 Feb 2017 – 7:00 PM – LCT3 – BULL IN A CHINA SHOP by Bryna Turner $35
- Friday, 17 Feb 2017 – 8 PM – SIGNIFICANT OTHER by Joshua Harmon on Broadway (TDF) $43
- Saturday, 18 Feb 2017 – 2:30 PM – Barrow Street Theatre – SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET $85
- Saturday, 18 Feb 2017 – 8 PM – Playwrights Horizons – THE LIGHT YEARS by The Debate Society $56
- Sunday, 19 Feb 2017 – 2 PM – St. Ann’s Warehouse – THE TEMPEST $89
- Sunday, 19 Feb 2017 – 7 PM – MTC – LINDA by Penelope Skinner (TDF) $32.50
- Monday, 20 Feb 2017 – 7 PM – MCC Theater – YEN by Ana Jordan (TDF) $32
With current goings on in Washington, the theatre has been crying out for a big new play on politics. And who better to do it than Tracy Letts.
THE MINUTES will open at Steppenwolf in November 2017 and then transfer to Broadway.
This is the third new play in two years for Letts.
Meanwhile his LINDA VISTA opens March 30, 2017 at Steppenwolf.
ASTORIA Adapted by Chris Coleman at Portland Center Stage
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.
If you like theatre, you should know about L.A. Theatre Works. But I’m betting you don’t. So here’s a heads up to get the new year rolling.
L.A Theatre Works has been producing plays for audio in front of a live audience for over 25 years. They started off with CD’s in the mail and now distribute via all the usual channels, including Audible. Their catalogue has grown to over 400 titles. And many of these are blindingly good, must-listen shows.
Most of the time, most days in every month, your audience is not in the theatre seeing shows. They’re out there in the world, doing what they do: swimming at The Dock, fastening miniature horses to sidewalk rings, dodging below crane-a-palooza. Maybe that’s only in Portland.
And when they’re not physically present in the theatre, which is most of the time, how do they experience your brand? It happens internally. Any time you come to mind, they replay a mental news reel that sums up all the various memories and associations they have. And other than the quality of your shows, probably nothing influences what they think as much as your graphic design.
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.
Culture Project at Lynn Redgrave Theater
Thru Jan 8, 2017
Stand up comedy seems to have its share of substance abuse and extreme emotions. From the smoking craters of several career directions, Gethard weaves a personal story about how he finally figured out the right dosage and made a life on stage and off. Now we know: NJ is crazy.