Home / Events / Theater / Song of the Dodo

Song of the Dodo

REBECCA JACOBSON
8 pm Thursdays-Sundays through Nov. 24., Saturday November 23 | $12-$40.
Studio 2
810 SE Belmont St.
 
Earlier this year, I predicted that Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble’s Song of the Dodo would be unlike anything else on a Portland stage this fall. It was an easy wager. From the walls and floor covered in plastic the color of Big Bird to the man in the surgical mask sweeping shredded bits of brown rubber into shapes like Rorschach inkblots, this new, original play can't be compared to any other work happening in Portland. But if any sequence defines the alternately silly, contemplative and bleak show, it’s one involving Rebecca Lingafelter shoving an egg into her mouth. Sheathed in a dignified gray dress, Lingafelter gapes at the audience, her lips stretched around the egg. She waits. She bites down. The egg is raw. The yolk oozes down her chin. Lingafelter spits and smacks. She picks up a glass of red wine and glugs, the liquid streaming down her neck and leaving pink stains on her dress. It’s one of the most disgusting and arresting things I’ve seen onstage. Other moments channel a similarly delicious absurdity. Song of the Dodo opens with Lingafelter and two other female performers—our dodo birds—dressed in silver-hued costumes with pillowlike padding over their rumps. They preen and shimmy and squawk. Later, perched on stools, they titter about extinction and the misery of life. After last season’s strikingly sinister adaptation of Richard III, it’s wonderful to see PETE’s performers exercising their impressive comedic muscle, and the first hour captivates and delights while still prodding at questions about tragedy, grief and rage. But then things plummet into full-tilt, screechy melodrama. The last 15 minutes or so draw from Euripides’ Hecuba, with the performers crouched at the front of the stage. As they wail about the extermination of the Trojan queen’s 50 children, the parallel with the extinction of the dodo is heavy-handed and obvious. Still, the show cements PETE's reputation as an idiosyncratic and important force in the local theater scene—even if it left me mourning the disappearance of that adorable dodo.

Where: Studio 2
Address: 810 SE Belmont St.
Website: petensemble.org

 
 
Other events in Theater

Bennet Norrbo: Nice & Naughty

Saturday, Sep 20, 2014
Beloved Portland artist Bennet Norrbo died last year at 83. A year later, his friend and artistic executor, gallerist Marilyn Murdoch, is mounting an affectionate retrospective of his work, spanning m ...
Murdoch Collections 2219 NW Raleigh St. Portland Web | Map

Christopher Russell: Dissonance, Coincidence & Errant Gradations of Light

Saturday, Sep 20, 2014
Christopher Russell has a perverse and most welcome irreverence for the photographic print. He folds them like paper airplanes, then scratches them to hell with razor blades. The prismatic sunburst of ...
Elizabeth Leach Gallery 417 NW 9th Ave. Web | Map

David Geiser: Oceanic

Saturday, Sep 20, 2014
Not since 2003 has an installation in Butters Gallery made such immediate visceral impact. That installation, like the one up now, was by painter David Geiser. In 2003 it was an implosion of horizonta ...
Butters 520 NW Davis St., 2nd floor Web | Map
Also At Studio 2

New Expressive Works

Friday, Sep 26, 2014

The fall performance of New Expressive Works showcases work by four artists wrapping up six-month residencies: out-of-towners Muffie Connelly, Nancy Ellis and DarVejon Jones, as well as Portland-ba ...

7:30 pm Friday-Sunday, Sept. 26-28 | $12
Studio 2 810 SE Belmont St. Web | Map

New Expressive Works

Saturday, Sep 27, 2014

The fall performance of New Expressive Works showcases work by four artists wrapping up six-month residencies: out-of-towners Muffie Connelly, Nancy Ellis and DarVejon Jones, as well as Portland-ba ...

7:30 pm Friday-Sunday, Sept. 26-28 | $12
Studio 2 810 SE Belmont St. Web | Map

New Expressive Works

Sunday, Sep 28, 2014

The fall performance of New Expressive Works showcases work by four artists wrapping up six-month residencies: out-of-towners Muffie Connelly, Nancy Ellis and DarVejon Jones, as well as Portland-ba ...

7:30 pm Friday-Sunday, Sept. 26-28 | $12
Studio 2 810 SE Belmont St. Web | Map
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
comments powered by Disqus
 

Web Design for magazines

Close
Close
Close