In Play Reviews

As the Season of the Un-Season launches, Portland-area theatres are coming online with exciting new offerings–enough that I expect to be kept busy with all the goings-on! Mark your calendars now. You won’t want to miss the following:

Portland Center Stage

Portland Center Stage’s PCS Remix: Play Readings series kicks off with a reading of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors. Seattle and Ashland-based director Desdemona Chiang will direct the reading, featuring selected scenes coupled with conversations and insights from the artists. The live, virtual reading will be presented on Saturday, September 26 at 5 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and are based on a sliding scale, pay what you will system.

Two sets of twins, a shipwreck, and mistaken identities ignite one of Shakespeare’s liveliest and most playful comedies. The cast includes Portland-based artists Cycerli Ash and Jimmy Garcia, joined by four New York-based actors: Cindy Im, who returns to PCS after her recent appearance in Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, and three actors new to PCS, Benjamin Bonenfant, Jamie Ann Romero, and Patrick Truhler. Get your tickets here.

Artists Repertory Theatre

Local playwright E.M. Lewis’s epic adventure Magellanica returns, this time via Zoom, on Sunday, September 27 from 2-7 p.m. featuring the original 2018 cast.

MAGELLANICA Artists Repertory Theatre cast onstage at the January, 2018 production. Russell J. Young photo.

In this remarkable play set in 1986, scientists and engineers from around the world converge at the South Pole Research Station to find out if there really is a hole in the sky. Isolated from the outside world for eight and one-half months in the most dangerous place on earth, the research team faces life or death challenges while they face their own inner demons and depend upon each other for survival.

The cast includes Vin Shambry, Sara Hennessey, Barbie Wu, Michael Mendelson, Alan Nause, John San Nicolas, Eric Pargac, and Joshua J. Weinstein. Purchase tickets at Artists Rep.

Broadway Rose Theatre Company

Opening Friday, October 9 and running through October 25, Broadway Rose Theatre Company presents Daddy Long Legs, with music and lyrics by Paul Gordon, book by John Caird, based on the novel by Jean Webster.

Broadway Rose is thrilled to produce onstage and stream this charming musical and make it available to in-home audiences during this time of social isolation. Enjoy an evening of entertainment and help keep staff and artists working during this crisis. Joe Theissen and Malia Tibbets,  who live under the same roof and therefore are safe to share the stage, are featured actors. Sharon Murphy directs.

This heartwarming Cinderella story about a witty and tenacious young woman and her mysterious benefactor is filled with soaring melodies. Based on the classic novel, which inspired the 1955 movie starring Fred Astaire, Daddy Long Legs is a “rags-to-riches” tale of newfound love in the spirit of Jane Austen, The Brontë Sisters and Downton Abbey. Tickets are available here.

Profile Theatre

On October 7, Profile Theatre will release the first audio play in its 2020-2021 season ON AIR. Mlima’s Tale, a vibrant piece of story-theatre with original music, tells the story of Mlima, the last of the “big-tusker” elephants in Kenya, killed for the international ivory market. As his tusks change hands and travel the world from Kenya to Vietnam, to Beijing, Mlima’s spirit follows.

Written by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage (Sweat and Ruined), Mlima’s Tale explores ancestral history and the trauma that arises when bodies are subject to market forces and human greed.

Mlima’s Tale is directed by Reginald L. Douglas and features the voices of Portland actors D.J. Curtis, Ithaka Tell, and Treasure Lunan and Broadway, television, and film actor Keith Randolph Smith. It will be available October 7-November 4, 2020 at Tickets are available now.

Banner photo from Profile Theatre’s production of Lynn Nottage’s Sweat. Linda Hayden, Alissa Jessup, and Cycerli Ash. Photo by David Kinder.





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