Worst. Show. Ever.

The most painful shows in Portland theater history.

Theater There’s something singularly awful about sitting through a bad theater production—the eye contact, the vicarious embarrassment, the creeping sense of physical pain, the certainty that you wi ... More

Nov 5, 2014 12:01 am by WW Staff

As You Like It (Post5 Theatre)

A converted church in Sellwood: the perfect home for Shakespeare.

Theater You don’t have to give Macbeth a lightsaber, turn Rosencrantz and Guildenstern into Mafiosos or set Twelfth Night at an office party in Tigard to reimagine Shakespeare. Making the Bard accessi ... More

Nov 19, 2014 12:01 am by JAMES HELMSWORTH

The Poe Must Go On

Masque of the Red Death does more than justice to the master of the macabre.

Theater Entering the brightly lit studio space, we’re handed delicate white party masks. Some are decorated with spiky branches, others with snakelike scales. Tinkly music plays. Some people waltz and ... More

Oct 29, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

The Typographer’s Dream: Theater Review

Labor relations.

Theater You are where you work, we’re told. Lawyers are argumentative assholes, and nurses are either cold or caring. It’s a trope common in fiction since Dickens. In The Typographer’s Dream, writ ... More

Oct 15, 2014 12:01 am by MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Bob: A Life in Five Acts (Theatre Vertigo)

He’s the king of the White Castle.

Theater Everybody’s waiting for their big break. But not everybody is as honest about it as Bob. Born and abandoned in a restroom stall of a White Castle in Louisville, Ky., Bob (Nathan Crosby) insists ... More

Oct 22, 2014 12:01 am by JAMES HELMSWORTH

Theater Review: The Turn (The Reformers)

A gothic ghost story by way of Kubrick.

Theater When it comes to tales about sweet-faced children able to commune with ghosts, few are more chilling than Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. But that’s not ... More

Oct 8, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

Theater Review: The Last Days

Night of the thinking dead.

Theater With zombies invading everything from prime-time TV to Pride and Prejudice parodies, the genre’s bar for originality is pretty high. Post5 Theatre’s The Last Days clears it with poise. Four pe ... More

Oct 8, 2014 12:01 am by JAMES HELMSWORTH

The Piano Lesson (Portland Playhouse)

Blood, sweat and tears—and ghosts.

Theater August Wilson used to talk about what he called “blood’s memory,” the collective history of American blacks that forever brings the past back into the present. In Wilson’s Pulitzer-win ... More

Oct 1, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

Middletown (Third Rail Repertory)

On the mysteries of the universe.

Theater The director’s note for Third Rail’s production of Middletown asserts that this play “is NOT a modern-day Our Town.” You can understand Marcella Crowson’s vehemence: Will Eno’s 2010 play ... More

Oct 1, 2014 12:01 am by JOHN BEER

Intimate Apparel

Par for the corset.

Theater If Intimate Apparel were underwear, it would be a pair of pale pink panties, maybe with a modest ruffle or two. This 2003 drama by Lynn Nottage, which opens Artists Rep’s season, is a sensit ... More

Sep 17, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

Theater Review: Parade

Cruel intentions.

Theater Presented in its stripped-down chamber version, this production of the Tony Award-winning musical Parade places its orchestra center stage. That’s where it belongs: The most impressive element ... More

Sep 24, 2014 12:01 am by JOHN BEER

Portland Fall Theater Picks

Fall Arts Sans Merci Badass Theatre Company burst onto the scene with 2013’s Invasion!, a wondrous shapeshifter of a play that was devoured by a quartet of actors. For its second full production, it pres ... More

Sep 10, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

Theater Director Samantha Van Der Merwe

A theatrical worldbuilder with equal tastes for the sinister and the fanciful.

Fall Arts In science fiction, people often speak of “worldbuilding,” about writers and filmmakers who can construct an entire universe—its appearance, its laws, its technology, its history, its custom ... More

Sep 10, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON
 

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