Home / Events / Theater / The Lost Boy

The Lost Boy

REBECCA JACOBSON
7:30 pm Tuesdays-Sundays, 2 pm Sundays through Feb. 10., Thursday January 31 | $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

Boredom is the Ultimate Weapon

Saturday, Aug 01, 2015

Boredom is the Ultimate Weapon will be a series of improvised structures constructed from material at hand inside and outside of HQHQ Project Space by Los Angeles artist Don Edler. Each of t ...

The opening will be a summer party on July 3, from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. A grill will be available; bring your own protein. Local artist-made cups will be sold for $10 each. Each cup supports HQ Objective and allows for free drinks during the event.
HQHQ Project Space 232 SE Oak St. Portland Web | Map

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Saturday, Aug 01, 2015

In 2008, the debut of Joss Whedon's (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) online superhero musical starring Neil Patrick Harris got so many views that it crashed the drhorrible.com site. Lacking Harris ...

7 pm Thursday-Saturday through August 29. | $16-$20.
Funhouse Lounge 2432 SE 11th Ave. Portland Web | Map

Play

Saturday, Aug 01, 2015

Play time isn't just for kids any more—look no farther than the Google offices for proof. Taking a nostalgic romp back to playground days, Artists Rep mainstay John San Nicolas directs Fertile Gr ...

8 pm Thursday-Saturday through Aug. 8. | $10.
Shaking the Tree 823 SE Grant Ave. Portland Web | Map
Also At Artists Repertory Theatre

Twelfth Night

Saturday, Aug 01, 2015
This Night looks like a PBS cartoon of Shakespeare’s gayest comedy—pristine velvet breeches, blue moonlight, chirping sparrows. Perhaps that’s the upstanding Brit in guest director Lisa H ...
7:30 pm Wednesday–Saturday, 2 pm Sunday, July 8 through Aug. 2. | $35.
Artists Repertory Theatre 1515 SW Morrison St. Web | Map

Twelfth Night

Sunday, Aug 02, 2015
This Night looks like a PBS cartoon of Shakespeare’s gayest comedy—pristine velvet breeches, blue moonlight, chirping sparrows. Perhaps that’s the upstanding Brit in guest director Lisa H ...
7:30 pm Wednesday–Saturday, 2 pm Sunday, July 8 through Aug. 2. | $35.
Artists Repertory Theatre 1515 SW Morrison St. Web | Map

JamBallah Northwest

Friday, Aug 07, 2015

Professional belly and fusion dancers, like Seattle’s Rachel Brice, do the dancing at this three-day celebration of all things bellydancing. But you can jiggle too, after stocking up at the vendo ...

Noon Friday, 11 am Saturday-Sunday. | $5.
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