Home / Events / Theater / Detroit

Detroit

REBECCA JACOBSON
7:30 pm Wednesdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through Nov. 3., Friday November 01 | $27.75-$38.75
Portland Playhouse
602 NE Prescott St.
 
The streets in the unnamed suburb of Detroit—which is not necessarily set anywhere near the Motor City—evoke light. Ultraviolet Lane. Fluorescent Avenue. Sunshine Way. But this suburb, built in the postwar housing boom and filled with prefab homes, is no longer the luminous place of its original inhabitants’ fantasies. Detroit is set in 2009, and the four central characters occupy a world of foreclosures, layoffs and fractured dreams. It’s a world that should be familiar to us, but in this Portland Playhouse production, it feels both alien and alienating. Lisa D’Amour’s Pulitzer-nominated play centers on two couples: Mary and Ben enjoy the trappings of a middle-class lifestyle, while Sharon and Kenny are recovering addicts. Unfolding over two acts, the play’s vignettes make for a fractured structure. At its best, the dialogue buzzes with an offbeat poetry that echoes this sense of fracture. “Cheetos are always the first thing to go at a party, even when they’re next to the brie,” says Sharon (Kelly Tallent). But the choppy, episodic narrative has to work overtime to keep the audience engaged. The bigger problem, though, with this Portland Playhouse production, is its inability to resolve warring senses of slapstick and pathos. The characters spend more time bonking their heads, crashing through porches and vomiting on each other than they do exposing or salving their wounds. Tallent and Brooke Totman (who plays the middle-class wife) opt for caricaturish portrayals that grate for the wrong reasons—they’re uncomfortable not because they niggle at something true, but because they’re forced. Tallent plays her role like an overgrown child, all graceless flailing and squeaky voice. It’s an interesting choice: There’s a case to be made that these characters are essentially children, thrashing about in a dangerous new world and scrambling for survival strategies. But in practice, it’s just distracting, and Detroit comes up cold.

Where: Portland Playhouse
Phone: 488-5822
Address: 602 NE Prescott St.
Website: http://portlandplayhouse.org/frontpage/front-page

 
 
Other events in Theater

Cosmosis

Friday, May 22, 2015

BodyVox brings in Carnegie Hall alums, the Amphion String Quartet, to soundtrack a contemporary dance and film performance with acoustic versions of Elliott Smith and Samuel Barber. This multi ...

7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday; 2 pm Saturday, May 30 and June 6; through June 6. | $25-$64.
BodyVox Dance Center 1201 NW 17th Ave. Web | Map

Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Northwest Classical Theatre Company is going out with an extravagant bang. The company will be dissolving after this last production, a comic re-imagination of its usual Shakespearian source materi ...

7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, 2 pm Sunday, May 22-June 21. | $22.
Northwest Classical Theatre Company 2110 SE 10th Ave. Portland Web | Map

Grounded

Friday, May 22, 2015

For an Air Force pilot, "grounded" is one of the worst words. A pregnant F-16 pilot gets boxed into piloting drones because fetuses don't pull Gs well. But the change might shake up her family even ...

7:30 Thursday-Saturday, 2 pm Sunday, through May 23. | $25.
CoHo Theater 2257 NW Raleigh St. Portland Web | Map
Also At Portland Playhouse

Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play

Friday, May 22, 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

Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play

Friday, May 22, 2015

Portland loves its native sons and daughters. So it’s no small delight that Portland Playhouse has snagged the regional premiere of Anne Washburn’s much-discussed and generally adored 2013 come ...

7:30 pm Wednesdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through June 7 | $20-$36
Portland Playhouse 602 NE Prescott St. Web | Map

Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play

Saturday, May 23, 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
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
comments powered by Disqus
 

Web Design for magazines

Close
Close
Close