Home / Events / Theater / Venus in Fur

Venus in Fur

REBECCA JACOBSON
7:30 pm Tuesdays-Saturdays and most Sundays, 2 pm Saturdays-Sundays, noon Thursdays through March 10., Thursday February 21 | $25-$54.
Gerding Theater
128 NW 11th Ave.
 
Fifty Shades of Grey reduced sadomasochism to handcuffs and spanking. Venus in Fur—while not devoid of dog collars and riding crops—throws into question such simple ideas of control and compliance. In David Ives’ work, in a jagged but entertaining Portland Center Stage production directed by Nancy Keystone, the relationship between domination and submission is an erotic power play that revels in its ambiguous stakes. Thomas (David Barlow) is a playwright-director who has adapted Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s 1870 novella about a man who dreams of being enslaved by a woman, and as Venus in Fur begins he’s just endured a disastrous string of auditions. But as he calls his fiancee to snivel about those 35 inept actresses, into the dingy rehearsal room blows Vanda (Ginny Myers Lee), swearing about the perverts on the subway. Vanda may have come dressed in spike heels and leather bustier (which she’ll later unzip with a very funny “Geronimo!”), but on first glance she’s not so different from the 35 previous ninnies. That quickly changes, though, as she cajoles Thomas into letting her audition. Lee, with impressive control, transitions between more than two roles: In addition to modern-day Vanda, a ditzy motor mouth, and 19th-century Vanda, a haughty aristocrat, there’s another Vanda who cites Greek mythology and dips into startling psychosexual insights. Lee flings herself into these rapidly shifting guises, and she’s hilarious to boot—in the show’s comedic highlight, Vanda improvises a scene as a German-accented Venus, whispering “I’ll be back” as if she’s Schwarzenegger. Opposite this swirling tempest, Barlow falters. As his character is alternately flattered and berated, Barlow’s default response is to widen his eyes and gape at Vanda like a startled puppy. Best, perhaps, to turn attention to Ives’ sizzling script, a fiercer whip than E.L. James could ever hope to crack.

Where: Gerding Theater
Phone: 445-3700
Address: 128 NW 11th Ave.
Website: pcs.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 Gerding Theater

JAW: A Playwrights Festival

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014

Summer can be a bleak time for theater—it's all Shakespeare in the parks and old chestnuts in the suburbs. Portland Center Stage's annual JAW festival is a much-needed antidote, offering an actua ...

Various times Thursday-Saturday, July 24-26. Main readings are at 4 and 8 pm Friday-Saturday | Free
Gerding Theater 128 NW 11th Ave. Web | Map
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
comments powered by Disqus
 

Web Design for magazines

Close
Close
Close