Home / Events / Theater / The Lost Boy

The Lost Boy

REBECCA JACOBSON
7:30 pm Tuesdays-Sundays, 2 pm Sundays through Feb. 10., Tuesday January 29 | $25-$50.
Artists Repertory Theatre
1515 SW Morrison St.
 
In 2001, Oregon City teenagers Miranda Gaddis and Ashley Pond disappeared, and local playwright Susan Mach found herself both intrigued and disturbed by media exploitation of the event. She found parallels between the girls’ disappearance and a story more distant in both time and place: the 1874 abduction of 4-year-old Charley Ross. That Philadelphia abduction also met sensationalism, even spurring the involvement of circus magnate P.T. Barnum, and Mach tackles Charley’s story in her world-premiere play The Lost Boy. Though the theme of bleeding tragedy for lurid gain resonates, this Artists Rep production suffers from plodding exposition, a casserole-like jumble of discordant styles and thorny tonal shifts. Set against colorful backdrops of circus scenes—fire eaters, elephants and acrobatic bears—the first act trudges through Charley’s abduction and the subsequent investigation. Charley (Agatha Day Olson) and his older brother Walter (Harper Lea) exhibit remarkable self-possession and spar in some gosh-darned adorable playfights. The kidnappers—Duffy Epstein as the grizzled but melancholy mastermind and Sean Doran as his lonely, clumsy underling—bring emotional complexity to the proceedings. But exchanges between Charley’s parents and the detective (a gravelly voiced, hard-bitten Doren Elias), which should heave with urgency and tension, feel undercooked and overlong. Mach has intercut these scenes with circus spectacle, including juggling, balancing acts and straitjacket tricks. As Barnum—who did offer a reward for the return of Charley—Gray Eubank fails to fully flesh out the huckster’s showy, manipulative manner. Luisa Sermol, however, vamps delightfully as a fortuneteller with wild eyes and a bouffant worthy of Helena Bonham Carter. But despite their clear intent, the circus interludes come across more as commercials breaks than integral dramatic elements. In the program notes, Mach wonders if she’s guilty of exploiting Charley’s story. If anything, she doesn’t milk it enough.

Where: Artists Repertory Theatre
Phone: 241-1278
Address: 1515 SW Morrison St.
Website: artistsrep.org

 
 
Other events in Theater

Antony & Cleopatra

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014
Antony and Cleopatra is the summer blockbuster of Shakespeare plays, with sweeping battle scenes, star-crossed romance and an epic three-hour runtime. It’s great for the stage, but doesn’t ...
7 pm most Thursdays-Saturdays through July 26. For full schedule, visit portlandactors.com | Free

Automal

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014
Kate Rafter and her experimental group Automal present a work in progress about what it means to be human and not-so-human. In Tír fo Thuinn (the Old Irish name for the "Otherworld"), Rafter a ...
8 pm Saturday-Sunday, July 26-27 | $12
The Steep and Thorny Way to Heaven SE 2nd Avenue and Hawthorne Boulevard Portland Web | Map

ĄRCO-PDX

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014

[SWITCHED-ON BACH] Today's classical music performances often feel as archaic as the music itself. Even when the music is timeless, the way it's presented is frequently outd ...

8 pm Saturday, July 26. | $13 advance, $15 day of show.
Mississippi Studios 3939 N Mississippi Ave. Portland Web | Map
Also At Artists Repertory Theatre

The Tempest

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014
The Tempest, generally believed to be Shakespeare’s final play, is both a bumbling island adventure and a philosophical meditation on humanity. This Portland Shakespeare Project production wi ...
7:30 pm Wednesdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through Aug. 3 | $20-$30
Artists Repertory Theatre 1515 SW Morrison St. Web | Map

The Tempest

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014
The Tempest, generally believed to be Shakespeare’s final play, is both a bumbling island adventure and a philosophical meditation on humanity. This Portland Shakespeare Project production wi ...
7:30 pm Wednesdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through Aug. 3 | $20-$30
Artists Repertory Theatre 1515 SW Morrison St. Web | Map

The Admirable Crichton

Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014

Before he wrote Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie penned this 1902 upstairs-downstairs comedy about a lord who cares not a whit about class differences and his butler who does. When th ...

7:30 pm Tuesdays, July 22 and 29 and 7:30 pm Sunday, Aug. 3 | $15
Artists Repertory Theatre 1515 SW Morrison St. Web | Map
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
comments powered by Disqus
 

Web Design for magazines

Close
Close
Close