Home / Events / Theater / International Falls

International Falls

REBECCA JACOBSON
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays through Feb. 16., Sunday February 10 | $20-$25.
CoHo Theater
2257 NW Raleigh St.
 
That comedy comes from pain is a well-worn trope, but in International Falls, Thomas Ward’s compassionate and sharply observed world-premiere play, it’s a two-way street: Not only do misfortune and sadness produce laughs, but comedy also leads to tragedy. This is the case with Tim (Isaac Lamb), a standup comedian who, after 16 years of moderate success on the hotel-bar circuit, is burned out, lonely and aimless. Stuck in International Falls, Minn., for a two-night gig, Tim meets a Holiday Inn desk clerk named Dee (Laura Faye Smith), who invites herself back to his room. What follows—but only after a beneath-the-sheets hand job—is 90 minutes of theater that is both piercingly funny and bitterly heart-rending. Ward writes pointed but humane dialogue, and under Brandon Woolley’s shrewd direction, Smith and Lamb move seamlessly from jokes about genitalia to humor that exposes these characters’ insecurities and sorrows. These exchanges are cut with snippets of Tim’s standup act, which Lamb delivers with a sense of weary confidence. But dark realities lurk behind Tim’s well-practiced assurance, and Dee, despite her lively demeanor and resilient front, isn’t holding up so well either. Both actors are dynamic yet vulnerable, wedding ace comic timing with raw emotion. Lamb, his doughy frame clad only in plaid boxers, lumbers about the stage as Smith, her character steeled by vodka, bounces manically on the bed in her high heels. As the evening wears on, though, and Tim and Dee probe their messy marriages, Smith’s eyes become darting and uncertain, and she wraps herself in the bedsheet as if it’s armor. It’s a nuanced and slightly wounded performance. Though the production lurches a bit toward the end—the dialogue grows circuitous in its tired discussion of authenticity, and the conclusion puzzles even as it unsettles—International Falls hits the funny bone as well as the heart.

Where: CoHo Theater
Phone: 220-2646
Address: 2257 NW Raleigh St.
Website: cohoproductions.org

 
 

CoHo Theater

2257 NW Raleigh St.
Portland, OR
97210
 
Other events in Theater

Bennet Norrbo: Nice & Naughty

Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014
Beloved Portland artist Bennet Norrbo died last year at 83. A year later, his friend and artistic executor, gallerist Marilyn Murdoch, is mounting an affectionate retrospective of his work, spanning m ...
Murdoch Collections 2219 NW Raleigh St. Portland Web | Map

Christopher Russell: Dissonance, Coincidence & Errant Gradations of Light

Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014
Christopher Russell has a perverse and most welcome irreverence for the photographic print. He folds them like paper airplanes, then scratches them to hell with razor blades. The prismatic sunburst of ...
Elizabeth Leach Gallery 417 NW 9th Ave. Web | Map

David Geiser: Oceanic

Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014
Not since 2003 has an installation in Butters Gallery made such immediate visceral impact. That installation, like the one up now, was by painter David Geiser. In 2003 it was an implosion of horizonta ...
Butters 520 NW Davis St., 2nd floor Web | Map
Also At CoHo Theater

Lone Wolves III: Brand-New Sketch Comedy

Friday, Sep 26, 2014

Bad Reputation Productions, the folks behind live stage adaptations of Road House, The Lost Boys and the 1964 stop-motion TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer</ ...

8 pm Fridays-Saturdays through Oct. 4 | $15-$18
CoHo Theater 2257 NW Raleigh St. Portland Web | Map

Lone Wolves III: Brand-New Sketch Comedy

Saturday, Sep 27, 2014

Bad Reputation Productions, the folks behind live stage adaptations of Road House, The Lost Boys and the 1964 stop-motion TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer</ ...

8 pm Fridays-Saturdays through Oct. 4 | $15-$18
CoHo Theater 2257 NW Raleigh St. Portland Web | Map

Lone Wolves III: Brand-New Sketch Comedy

Friday, Oct 03, 2014

Bad Reputation Productions, the folks behind live stage adaptations of Road House, The Lost Boys and the 1964 stop-motion TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer</ ...

8 pm Fridays-Saturdays through Oct. 4 | $15-$18
CoHo Theater 2257 NW Raleigh St. Portland Web | Map
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
comments powered by Disqus
 

Web Design for magazines

Close
Close
Close