Home / Events / Theater / The Whipping Man

The Whipping Man

REBECCA JACOBSON
7:30 pm Tuesdays-Sundays, 2 pm Saturdays-Sundays, noon Thursdays through March 23., Thursday March 14 | $39-$65.
Gerding Theater
128 NW 11th Ave.
 
From Othello to A Raisin in the Sun, the immediacy of theater has cast a light on race relations. It’s arresting to witness such dynamics live, as in Matthew Lopez’s The Whipping Man, which takes place just as the Civil War has ended. Carter Hudson plays a wounded Confederate soldier named Caleb, who has heaved himself to his family’s gutted home in Richmond, Va. There he finds former slaves Simon (Gavin Gregory) and John (Christopher Livingston). Here’s the twist: These men are Jewish, and it’s Passover. Prodded by Simon, they hold a makeshift Seder in the half-demolished manor. That hulking house—with its moldering wallpaper, cockeyed banister and blasted-out windows—is captured perfectly by scenic designer Tony Cisek. Abetted by moody lighting and dramatic sound design, it makes for an intensely atmospheric experience. Though Lopez’s dialogue can grow didactic, the actors give such propulsive performances that the action feels vital and urgent. As John, an intellectual jokester with angry undercurrents, Livingston astonishes. In an early scene, he’s triumphant yet irreverent, grinning impishly as he dangles a flask over the writhing Caleb. But beneath, he seethes with bitter memories. As he recounts his first experience being whipped, Livingston casts his eyes downward and crams his hands in his pockets. The play also has humor. Some is unintentionally topical: Simon eats horse meat even though it isn’t kosher (take note, IKEA shoppers). When the Seder arrives, the symbolism is heavy, but wit remains. When Simon asks why Jews eat bitter herbs at the Seder, John answers dutifully: “To remind us of the bitterness of slavery.” Then he adds a weary coda: “As if we needed reminding.” In reminding us that we must not forget, The Whipping Man leaves a powerful mark.

Where: Gerding Theater
Phone: 445-3700
Address: 128 NW 11th Ave.
Website: http://www.pcs.org/whipping/

 
 
Other events in Theater

A Story of O's

Friday, Jul 25, 2014

If ever a performance could make you consider a career in phone sex, it’s this one. Tonya Jone Miller’s one-woman show A Story of O’s spans the decade Miller has spent working as a s ...

7:30 pm Fridays, July 11, 18 and 25; 10 pm Saturday, July 12; and 8 pm Saturday, July 19 | $12
Catalyst Art & Culture Space 4810 NE Garfield Ave. Portland Web | Map

Antony & Cleopatra

Friday, Jul 25, 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

Betty Merken: Gravity and Whispers

Friday, Jul 25, 2014
Seattle-based painter and printmaker Betty Merken has a gift for abstract compositions that counterpose geometric and organic forms. The perfection of her geometries serves as a potent foil for the i ...
Laura Russo Gallery 805 NW 21st Ave. Web | Map
Also At Gerding Theater

JAW: A Playwrights Festival

Friday, Jul 25, 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

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