Home / Events / Theater / The Aliens

The Aliens

REBECCA JACOBSON
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays through May 4., Friday May 03 | $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

'Night, Mother

Sunday, Oct 26, 2014
Do not enter Coho Theater for ‘Night, Mother expecting to be anything but emotionally wrecked. Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer-winning drama centers on the aging Thelma, content with watching TV f ...
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through Nov. 8 | $15-$25
CoHo Theater 2257 NW Raleigh St. Portland Web | Map

Mars One

Sunday, Oct 26, 2014
It's 2026. Two years ago, a group of astronauts established a base on Mars, but now they’ve let it fall into horrible disarray. Steve Riley (Matt Hopkins), the mission's doctor, leaves piles of detr ...
8 pm Thursdays-Sundays through Nov. 9 | $12; $40 for season pass; Thursdays "pay what you will"
Action/Adventure Theatre 1050 SE Clinton St. Portland Web | Map

Masque of the Red Death

Sunday, Oct 26, 2014
Shaking the Tree artistic director Samantha Van Der Merwe crafts some of Portland’s most inventive, immersive theater. Last season’s Wilde Tales braided together six fairy tales by Oscar Wi ...
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and 5 pm Sundays through Nov. 22 | $20-$25; $5 for ages 19 and under
Shaking the Tree 1407 SE Stark St. Web | Map
Also At CoHo Theater

'Night, Mother

Sunday, Oct 26, 2014
Do not enter Coho Theater for ‘Night, Mother expecting to be anything but emotionally wrecked. Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer-winning drama centers on the aging Thelma, content with watching TV f ...
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through Nov. 8 | $15-$25
CoHo Theater 2257 NW Raleigh St. Portland Web | Map

'Night, Mother

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014
Do not enter Coho Theater for ‘Night, Mother expecting to be anything but emotionally wrecked. Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer-winning drama centers on the aging Thelma, content with watching TV f ...
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through Nov. 8 | $15-$25
CoHo Theater 2257 NW Raleigh St. Portland Web | Map

'Night, Mother

Friday, Oct 31, 2014
Do not enter Coho Theater for ‘Night, Mother expecting to be anything but emotionally wrecked. Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer-winning drama centers on the aging Thelma, content with watching TV f ...
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through Nov. 8 | $15-$25
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