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., Saturday March 16 | $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 Burlesque Nightmare Before Christmas

Sunday, Dec 21, 2014

Analog Cafe’s annual holiday series salutes the movies of Tim Burton. A pre-show circus kicks things off, featuring aerialists, juggling and other circus acts. Later, dancers—Layne Fawkes, John ...

7:30 pm Sundays through Dec. 28 | $12
Analog Cafe 720 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Web | Map

A Christmas Carol

Sunday, Dec 21, 2014

Portland Playhouse brings back its adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic tale, which picked up a Drammy last June for best play. It's a rollicking version of A Christmas Carol tha ...

7 pm most Wednesdays-Saturdays and 2 and 5 pm most Sundays through Dec. 28. For additional showtimes, see portlandplayhouse.org | $20-$36
Portland Playhouse 602 NE Prescott St. Web | Map

A Very Kubrick Christmas

Sunday, Dec 21, 2014

We all know what happened to Jack when the dreary winter months proved a little too lonely. Miss Kennedy’s Theater of Burlesque promises all play and no work this month, with a set of Stanley Kub ...

9 pm Sunday, Dec. 21 | $12-$15
Dante's 350 W Burnside St. Portland Web | Map
Also At Gerding Theater

The Santaland Diaries

Sunday, Dec 21, 2014

Like Santa Claus and Rudolph, this stage adaptation of David Sedaris' stint as a Macy's elf will never die—we've lost count of how many times Portland Center Stage has produced the one-man show. ...

7:30 pm Tuesdays-Sundays and 2 pm Saturdays-Sundays through Dec. 28 | $25-$60
Gerding Theater 128 NW 11th Ave. Web | Map

Twist Your Dickens

Sunday, Dec 21, 2014

In a move of stunningly bad taste, Portland Center Stage brings back this spoof of A Christmas Carol. Though the show boasts a seal of approval from Chicago improv behemoth the Second City, ...

7:30 pm Tuesdays-Sundays, 2 pm Saturdays-Sundays and noon Thursdays through Dec. 24 | $29-$69
Gerding Theater 128 NW 11th Ave. Web | Map

The Santaland Diaries

Tuesday, Dec 23, 2014

Like Santa Claus and Rudolph, this stage adaptation of David Sedaris' stint as a Macy's elf will never die—we've lost count of how many times Portland Center Stage has produced the one-man show. ...

7:30 pm Tuesdays-Sundays and 2 pm Saturdays-Sundays through Dec. 28 | $25-$60
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