Home / Events / Theater / The Aliens

The Aliens

REBECCA JACOBSON
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays through May 4., Friday April 12 | $25
CoHo Theater
2257 NW Raleigh St.
 
Since her first play stunned audiences four years ago, Annie Baker, 31, has gone from obscurity to acclaim. In that time, critics have scraped away at her plays, trying to unearth what makes them so rich, so unsettling and, most of all, so real. Never mind that there’s much in her plays that’s more surrealistic than anything else. Take, for example, a moment in Third Rail’s deeply humane and quietly unnerving production of The Aliens. KJ (Isaac Lamb), a bearlike 30-year-old, tells a story. At age 5, he was obsessed with the word “ladder” and repeated it incessantly, until his mother let him shout the word as often and as deafeningly as he needed. Lamb delivers a monologue—if it can be called that—composed of that single word. I began counting the number of repetitions and then lost track, finding myself hypnotized and horrified and heartbroken. The Aliens, as with much of Baker’s work, is constrained but not contrived. It’s set in the scruffy backyard of a cafe, where KJ and Jasper (Chris Murray) gather. After Jasper, a Bukowski-reading chain-smoker, kicks over a chair, teenage employee Evan (Bryce Earhart) tries to shoo them away. It would be easy to say this irreverent yet warm duo teaches Evan about life and identity, but what unfurls is far more intricate, and far more tragic, than that. Under Tim True’s confident direction, the actors create intensely empathetic characters. Lamb nails the gentle comedy as well as his character’s twitchy discomfort. The tightly wound Murray will twist your insides into knots, and 16-year-old Earhart more than holds his own, his character carefully testing his words to best impress his older friends. Aside from occasional surges of language, the dialogue is elliptical and sparse. While some playwrights force characters to plow ahead with dialogue, Baker makes her characters wait. These empty spaces are remarkable—and also uncomfortable or tense or weird. Are they real? By play’s end, that question no longer matters.

Where: CoHo Theater
Phone: 235-1101
Address: 2257 NW Raleigh St.
Website: http://www.thirdrailrep.org/events.php?show=24

 
 

CoHo Theater

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

Bazi 4th Year Anniversary

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bazi is turning fearsome 4, and it's backing it up with its own beer, an 8.5 percent, golden-hued tripel brewed by owner Hilda Stevens in collaboration with Jef Goetelen of unpronounceable Belgian ...

5 pm-close.
Bazi Bierbrasserie 1522 SE 32nd Ave. Web | Map

Lil'wares Fun Bits Dinner

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Chef Johanna Wares' "summer vacation" across the street from Barwares and Smallwares kicks off with offal. The prix-fixe dinner at her new, probably temporary space ...

6:15 pm and 8:30 pm seatings, Wednesday, May 27 | $50, plus $25 for drink pairings.
Lil'wares 4537 NE Fremont St. Web | Map

Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

When the apocalypse comes, only The Simpsons will remain. That's completely possible in Portland, where Simpsons creator Matt Groening and playwright Anne Was ...

8:30 pm Wednesday-Saturday, 2 pm Sunday through June 7. | $20-$36.
Portland Playhouse 602 NE Prescott St. Web | Map
Also At CoHo Theater

She Is King

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Billie Jean King, the tennis star known for smashing the sports glass ceiling in the 1970's and the 2001 battle-of-the-sexes docudrama When Billie Beat Bobby, put her seal of approval on thi ...

7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, 2 pm and 7:30 pm Sundays, through June 7. | $25-$35.
CoHo Theater 2257 NW Raleigh St. Portland Web | Map

She Is King

Friday, May 29, 2015

Billie Jean King, the tennis star known for smashing the sports glass ceiling in the 1970's and the 2001 battle-of-the-sexes docudrama When Billie Beat Bobby, put her seal of approval on thi ...

7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, 2 pm and 7:30 pm Sundays, through June 7. | $25-$35.
CoHo Theater 2257 NW Raleigh St. Portland Web | Map

She Is King

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Billie Jean King, the tennis star known for smashing the sports glass ceiling in the 1970's and the 2001 battle-of-the-sexes docudrama When Billie Beat Bobby, put her seal of approval on thi ...

7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, 2 pm and 7:30 pm Sundays, through June 7. | $25-$35.
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