Weekend Picks | The great indoors calls: PETE, Risk/Reward, The Kilroy Festival

Even when the biggest star in town is holding court every day (and up until about 9 PM each night) all summer long in Portland, The Dock isn’t the only place to be.

There are also a few cool, dark places to explore indoors.

You know – theatre spaces.

And lo! This weekend suddenly has a boat load of good summer time picks for you.

So give up your space on The Dock for a few hours. It’ll be there when you get back. Plus you know the Willamette is a super fund site, right?

This weekend holds nothing less than this in store for you: The latest from Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble, Portland’s coolest summer performance festival Risk/Reward, and a showcase of Kilroy plays from the brand new Hearth Collective.

All in one weekend! You can ping pong back in forth between all of those like a sun-drenched sailor.

7.9-12 PETE Ensemble – DROWNED HORSE TAVERN
7.10-18 Risk/Reward
7.12 The Hearth Collective – THE KILROY FESTIVAL

If that’s not sufficient, you may consider moving to Bly, Oregon. Where you might catch something at the Star.

And in future, you don’t have to wait breathlessly for these scintillating blog posts to stay current on cool weekend stuff. Oh no. You can see the list of recommended shows any time under your very own click power – any time. We aim to please.

The Star Theater in Bly, Oregon.
The world famous Star Theater in Bly, Oregon.

Weekend watch: Mr. Burns is back in town, TADADA!, Three Days of Grimm

The weekend is coming. And with it, your roster of entertainment possibilities. Which are legion.

Just about the most exciting thing on the spring calendar is finally here: Portland Playhouse takes on Anne Washburn’s MR. BURNS. You’ll travel indoors and out to three different sets for this epic. Opening night is Saturday.

Mr. Burns is back in town. And he's taken up at Portland Playhouse.
Mr. Burns is back in town. And he’s taken up at Portland Playhouse.

Also jockeying for position on Saturday night is PICA’s 20th anniversary gala: TADADA!. Come for the dinner if you’re feeling flush. But whatever you do, don’t miss the after-party helmed by Pepper Pepper. It’s all happening at The Redd, Ecotrust’s new event space on SE Salmon Street.

The Redd.  One of the biggest parties of the year is going to be right here in two days.
The Redd. One of the biggest parties of the year is going to be right here in two days.

And still ANOTHER Saturday night gem is a remount of David Saffert’s Liberace pageant at Curious Comedy.

Mr. Fabulous is back.  One night only at Curious Comedy.
Mr. Fabulous is back. One night only at Curious Comedy.

And for your Sunday night, perhaps you’ve heard of a certain play by Richard Greenberg coming to town? No, you probably haven’t heard of it that way. But you probably have heard that two TV stars from Grimm are in a show at Portland Center Stage. Ah yes. That one. Sunday night is the first preview.

And if you’re the pro active, plan ahead type – next Monday at PCS the Improv All Stars are back.

Your options

Thru 5.16 Post5 Theatre – TWELFTH NIGHT by Bill Shakestein
Thru 5.23 CoHo Productions – GROUNDED by George Brant
Thru 5.24 Third Rail Rep – STATIC by Dan Rebellato
Thru 6.14 Portland Center Stage – THE LION by Benjamin Scheuer
Thru 5.31 Triangle Productions – STOREFRONT REVUE: THE BABES ARE BACK
Thru 5.30 Action/Adventure Theatre – HOW TO STOP DYING by Noah Dunham
Thru 5.31 Bag & Baggage – OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD by Timberlake Wertenbaker
Thru 6.20 defunkt theatre – THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY by DC Copeland
5.13 – 6.7 Portland Playhouse – MR. BURNS, A POST ELECTRIC PLAY by Anne Washburn
5.16 PICA – TADADA! Gala Benefit and After-Party
5.16 Curious Comedy – David Saffert’s LIBERACE: A BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION!
5.17 – 6.21 Portland Center Stage – THREE DAYS OF RAIN by Richard Greenberg
5.18.2015 Portland Center Stage – IMPROV ALL STARS

No joke: It’s the weekend

Baron Vaughan, aka @barvonblaq, MC's New Negroes opening night at Doug Fir in the 2015 Bridgetown Comedy Festival.
Baron Vaughan, aka @barvonblaq, MC’s New Negroes opening night at Doug Fir in the 2015 Bridgetown Comedy Festival.

While the booming Bridgetown Comedy Festival may be sucking up a fair amount of oxygen around Portland’s smaller scale performance scene this weekend, don’t limit yourself to non stop laughs with some of the best comics around for three days straight.

Because there’s plenty of theatre on tap as well.

Here’s a few picks.

Thru 5.9 Theatre Vertigo – THE SCHOOL FOR LIES by David Ives (review)
Thru 5.16 Post5 Theatre – TWELFTH NIGHT by Bill Shakestein
Thru 5.23 CoHo Productions – GROUNDED by George Brant
Thru 5.24 Third Rail Rep – STATIC by Dan Rebellato
Thru 6.14 Portland Center Stage – THE LION by Benjamin Scheuer
Thru 5.31 Triangle Productions – STOREFRONT REVUE: THE BABES ARE BACK
Thru 5.30 Action/Adventure Theatre – HOW TO STOP DYING by Noah Dunham
Thru 5.31 Bag & Baggage – OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD by Timberlake Wertenbaker
Thru 6.20 defunkt theatre – THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY by DC Copeland

But don’t answer yet. You also get to keep your weekend alive for one more day…

Monday

Remember when Monday used to be an off night? Now it’s one of the best nights for smaller companies and performers to get an audience.

There are two great options for you this coming Monday. And if you’re a logistics nut like some people we know, you can even make it to both of them.

7 PM Hand 2 Mouth Theatre – Dramaturgy in Process

Monday night at 7 PM turn out to The Shout House for Dramaturgy in Process.
Monday night at 7 PM turn out to The Shout House for Dramaturgy in Process.

DRAMATURGY in process invites three of Portland’s most exciting dramaturgs to reflect on the role they play in the development of new work in theatre, dance, and devised performance.

Featuring:

Jess Drake, Resident Dramaturg and Company Member, Hand2Mouth
Luan Schooler, Director of New Play Development & Dramaturgy, Artists Repertory Theatre
Robert Tyree, Choreographer, Writer, and Researcher/ Dramaturg for Tahni Holt’s ‘Duet Love’

8 PM Entertainment for People – NEW SHIT SHOW in the studio at Portland Center Stage

From the good folks at Entertainment for People, a new and growing format that showcases new material from top Portland talents. The show will be on the existing set for THE LION – so expect some extra glam factor.

Who will be there? On stage – these people:

The lineup Monday night at PCS. Be there - or get a story together to explain to Vin Shambry why you weren't.
The lineup Monday night at PCS. Be there – or get a story together to explain to Vin Shambry why you weren’t.

And in the audience – you.

At a previous packed Entertainment for People show.
SOLD OUT. At a previous packed Entertainment for People show.

Weekends were made for Michelob | And a case of theatre

Remember the old ad? Only if you’re of a certain age. Perhaps I just triggered that jingle to play ceaselessly in your head. Sorry.

While the days when you might have considered drinking a Michelob are longer gone than a Jimmy Carter v neck sweater, the weekend is still very much with us.

And with the weekend comes a veritable raft of theatre options in Portland.

Think of your little raft as floating down a river of Michelob toward the proverbial Niagara. Because there is so much good stuff coming up here, you’re going to have to paddle (or drink) furiously to survive alive.

So grab a six pack or a half rack or a case of shows and settle in.

Closing

Two hits of the year are vanishing this weekend. Surely, you’ve already seen, yes? NO?? Then point the raft toward Shaking The Tree and Artists Rep.

Thru 5.2 Shaking The Tree – SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER by Tennessee Williams (review)
Thru 5.3 Artists Repertory Theatre – THE PRICE by Arthur Miller (review)

Already on, in previews, or opening

And here comes the flood, one after another. Some of these are not open yet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go unofficially and sneak a peak. Surely you already know that the absolute best time to see a show is during previews?

New shows from Portland Playhouse, Artists Rep, and Portland Center Stage.

And a special three day only offering from the one and only Push Leg.

Push Leg awaits you - three days only.
Push Leg awaits you – three days only.

Thru 5.9 Theatre Vertigo – THE SCHOOL FOR LIES by David Ives (review)
Thru 5.16 Post5 Theatre – TWELFTH NIGHT by Bill Shakestein
Thru 5.24 Artists Repertory Theatre – 4000 MILES by Amy Herzog
Thru 5.23 CoHo Productions – GROUNDED by George Brant
Thru 5.24 Third Rail Rep – STATIC by Dan Rebellato
5.1-3 Push Leg – A PUSH LEG SALON: AVOIDANCE
5.2 – 6.14 Portland Center Stage – THE LION by Benjamin Scheuer

See them all and you’ll have to answer to Kay Olsen.

Dance Party

Special category for PETE’s Sunday night dance party.

5.3 PETE – ENCHANTMENT UNDER THE SEA DANCE

Weekend forecast: Three days of sun – and some drama picks

In a normal year, every spring right about now Portland’s biggest star gives a command performance that eclipses every other show in town. After a long cold winter, when Madame Sun finally takes up her place center stage in the sky and cadaver-colored Portlanders feel that vitamin D warmth, the idea of filing inside to watch theatre (especially if it’s theatuh) can be a tough sell.

This year it’s a little different. In one of the weakest winters in memory, we’ve had sun on and off for months. We’ve already voyaged north of the magical 70 degree temp line – which lets you know spring is officially on. And so a multi day parade of sun such as we are now in should not feel quite as uncontrollably mad.

But it does.

Here comes the sun. And a few picks to help you work on that indoor tan.

4.18 NT Live at Third Rail – A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE by Arthur Miller
4.19 NT Live at Third Rail – THE HARD PROBLEM by Tom Stoppard

* It’s NT Live twice a day on both days from Third Rail. A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE just snagged three Oliviers, and Tom Stoppard’s newest play is also getting strong reviews. The only place you can see those both right now is NT Live. $20 gets your round trip airfare to London and a seat ringside at the biggest stage on earth.

Thru 5.2 Shaking The Tree – SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER by Tennessee Williams (review)

* Shaking The Tree has a strong track record of mounting unique and powerful productions of seldom scene plays. And this is no exception. With actors like Matthew Kerrigan, Beth Thompson, Jacqueline Maddox, and Luisa Sermol involved, you’d be insane – possibly in need of a lobotomy- to go anywhere else. Just make sure not to leave any valuables in the car – inner southeast is break-in central.

Thru 5.3 Artists Repertory Theatre – THE PRICE by Arthur Miller (review)

* It’s a season highlight and reminder (as if we needed one) how central a real writer is to a full theatrical experience. Miller doesn’t write in the pauses, silences or long tableaus so beloved by current playwrights – he uses words. And they sure do spill forth here in this 1968 comet.

Thru 4.27 Portland Actors Conservatory – REALLY REALLY by Paul Downs Colaizzo (review)

* A trip to Portland Actors Conservatory is always fun, and results are often best when it’s a play with young characters to match the students’ ages. Two years ago it was SUBURBIA. This year the portrait of college age mayhem is a little less joyful but still worth a look.

Thru 5.9 Theatre Vertigo – THE SCHOOL FOR LIES by David Ives (review)

Here it is, the French period piece that will keep you laughing until the cows come home. But without cheese. On a shoestring budget, Theatre Vertigo creates great big fun.

Blow trumpets | Ye olde weekend picks

Here comes the weekend. And with it some theatre picks for you.

Portland Center Stage – CYRANO by Edmond Rostand

Washington Post theater critic Peter Marks called the 2011 Folger Theatre premiere of this slimmed down, swashbuckled up adaptation a “polyunsaturated wheel of cheese”. But hey, even vegan Portlanders have been known to enjoy dairy now and then. With luck, the all star, all Northwest cast can elevate the experience above just another men in tights romp.

Shaking The Tree – SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER by Tennessee Williams

It’s the first Shaking The Tree production in their new much expanded space in SE. Whether or not you know and love Tennessee Williams, you won’t be disappointed with this strongly executed and staffed story of a Spanish holiday gone wrong.

Artists Repertory Theatre – THE PRICE by Arthur Miller

One of the most notable shows of the 2014-15 Portland theatre season has burst on stage over at Artists Rep. There’s a strong cast giving fierce life to this Arthur Miller zinger, directed by Adriana Baer.

Portland Actors Conservatory – REALLY REALLY by Paul Downs Colaizzo

This recent play went down well at MCC in New York and it’s worth a look over at the PAC. All is not milk and honey on the college campus of this dark story. But you will get a great tutorial in how to manage voicemail.

Boom Arts – A CHANCE ENCOUNTER by Mohammad Al-Attar

Three nights only, it’s your next chance to catch the latest from Boom Arts. The war in Syria is the subject. Make sure you stay for one of the talkbacks.

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?

Weekend Picks: BATH NIGHT and THREE SISTERS and Back Fence PDX

In case you think you’re hearing an echo in here, this post does bear an uncanny resemblance to last week’s weekend picks.

But there’s also some new stuff.

As was the case last week, BATH NIGHT from Sean McGrath and Portland Experimental Theatre’s production of THE THREE SISTERS at Reed College are at the top of the list.

So what’s new?

Here comes a double shot of Back Fence PDX on Friday and Saturday nights. If you haven’t been, Back Fence PDX is one of Portland’s best live entertainment options these days.

If the idea of traditional, straight up theatuh (my liege) sounds a little dull right now, then check out Back Fence PDX for a fun night on the town.

Wondering which night to go? Disjecta is an unbeatable space for general coolness in NoPo. Check it out. That’s where they are Saturday.

Portland's dazzling Disjecta on N Interstate.
Portland’s dazzling Disjecta on N Interstate.
Another sold out Back Fence PDX night at Disjecta.  There's a reason they're packin' 'em in...
Another sold out Back Fence PDX night at Disjecta. There’s a reason they’re packin’ ’em in…

What else is new in this post?

Well, here’s a new BATH NIGHT photo you haven’t seen:

Get cleaned up for BATH NIGHT.
Get cleaned up for BATH NIGHT.

If you’re thinking, “Oh no, I’ve already seen that one”, you may be thinking of this one we showed you previously:

Locked and loaded.
Locked and loaded.

Also: Just because THE THREE SISTERS is sold out does not mean you can’t get in. They have actually added some balcony seats (I saw it a second time from the balcony on Sunday and it’s a perfectly fine view from up there), and the standby list is a near surefire way to get in.

So go the extra mile for Anton and this memorable production, which closes Sunday.

And for the traditionalists interested in continuity (you know who you are), what else is THE SAME in this post?

You can still watch Sean McGrath (and others – can you name them?) dance…

Dance, baby. Dance!

Your weekend

There’s some great stuff on.

And there’s just about to be some REALLY great stuff on.

So while the sun shines – gather those nuts.

Because soon enough, it’ll be – you know.

Here’s a few places to hunt…

Note THE WATERMAN at Action/Adventure is a late night, making it easy to do a double header.

Thru 11.24 Action/Adventure Theatre – FALL OF THE BAND
Thru 12.1 Liminal Performance Group – OUR TOWN by Thornton Wilder
Thru 11.23 Action/Adventure Theatre – THE WATERMAN by Kyle Acheson and Sam De Roest late night @ 10:30
11.21-23 Boom Arts – THE NATASHA PLAYS by Yaroslava Pulinovich – Girlhood and the class divide in Russia
11.22 Back Fence PDX – RECIPE FOR DISASTER
11.23 Back Fence PDX – RUSSIAN ROULETTE
11.23 NT Live at Third Rail – National Theatre: 50 Years on Stage

Because soon it'll be like this.
Because soon it’ll be like this.