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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Murder Served Hot: Mystery Dinner Theatre

"Murder Served Hot" is an Interactive Murder Mystery. The current show is set in 1950 and the investigation centers around the murder of  local slime-ball Nippy. Suspects include a recently acquitted accused murderess, a prostitute, and the mayor. "Murder Served Hot" is performed in the traditional format, in which the characters are easily identifiable and converse with the audience. I enjoy this format much more than the anonymous approach employed by "The Dinner Detective" (

All of the cast seemed to relish their roles, (none more so than Nippy.)  The investigative portion involves looking through the jackets and purses of the characters, and my father nearly forgot to put a seemly insignificant prop back where it came from. Sure enough, this item proved crucial to the solution of the mystery, we had a good laugh.

The dinner is fantastic, we chose the beef option, but there is also a mushroom risotto. Both come with a salad and an absolutely decadent Kailua Fudge Brownie.

It took me a while to see "Murder Served Hot" because they moved venues frequently, and the previous two were pretty far away. Now they've settled into Macadam's Bar and Grill. The scripts change about every four months, and I have been invited back. I couldn't be happier, I love these things.
"Murder Served Hot"

Box Office Phone Number for Public Shows, or to schedule a private event:



Public Show Venue:

Macadam's Bar & Grill

5833 SW Macadam Ave

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Neighborhood 3:Requisition of Doom @ Clackamas Community College

The set for "Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom" by Chris Whitten is striking, a brilliant merging of old-school and new-school gaming. It's part Q-bert blocks, part giant video screen. The cast does a wonderful job of filling the large space, shepherded by director James Eikrem.  The play is much edgier than I was expecting, and as regular readers know, this is always a good thing in my opinion. The original musical score by Chris Wilcox is professional-caliber, not to mention creepy as hell.

Unfortunately, I saw a rather late show, and closing night is tomorrow. If you can make it, I highly recommend it.  In fact, I hope they extend it. It is brave, provocative, and has technical artistry that rivals productions with presumably much higher budgets. In short, it deserves to be seen by as many as possible, and I am happy to do my part.

Monday, March 3, 2014

"A Small Fire" @ Portland Center Stage

"A Small Fire" is a departure for director Rose Riordan, and possibly for playwright Adam Bock, though I have less exposure to his work. (I saw "The Receptionist" in its first incarnation at CoHo, but I'm apparently the only theatre-goer in Portland who missed "The Thugs".) Most of Ms. Riordan's work is on the darker side,"The Pillowman", "The North Plan" Bock's "Receptionist," to name a few. So, it is quite surprising that while "A Small Fire"certainly deals with heavy subjects, there is also a lot of tenderness in it.

It's a play of small moments. We watch as Emily Bridges, a somewhat gruff woman, loses her sense of smell, quickly followed by her sight and hearing.  It's difficult to watch, especially given Emily's fierce independence. One of my favorite small moments is when Emily's co-worker and closest friend, the affable Billy, (Isaac Lamb)  has her grasp his hardhat by way of identification.

Emily is played by Peggy J. Scott, and her vulnerable, unexpected, and brave final moment in the play has stuck with me for days.

Once again, my transportation was extremely late, as it was for "Bonita", but this time, because it was opening night, I got to meet quite a few members of the cast, as well as the playwright. That was fun.

In my review of PCS' last production "Bonita," I relished the opportunity to warn of disturbing subject-matter, "A Small Fire" could be considered disturbing in certain respects, but I think the word is "disquieting," it shakes you up not because it's dark, but because you're surprised by how much you care.  

"The Motherfucker with the Hat" @ ArtistsRep

"The Motherfucker with the Hat" is unsurprisingly profane, so profane that its title is essentially all I'm comfortable reprinting. But, even posting the title in full puts me ahead of some outlets. When "Motherfucker" premiered on Broadway, one of the theories behind its underperformance at the box-office was that star Chris Rock couldn't say the title on talk-shows. The title has also been a marketing problem locally. Even if I were comfortable quoting from the show, it would be difficult to do. All the characters speak in what I can only call "verbal sprints." This style is especially suited to Victor Mack as Ralph D. Victor Mack always has this wonderfully distinctive cadence in his voice. (I've always wanted to see if it's natural or if he chooses characters who are the town criers. )

"The Motherfucker with the Hat" is a play about love and addiction, and the owner of the mysterious hat. I am intentionally keeping the summary brief because I want everyone to see this show. Why? Because it's "Grab-You-By-the Throat" theatre. It is here where I'd start machine-gunning superlatives on the show, but reading them would cost you precious dialing-time. This show will sell-out quickly, the best service I can do you is to tell you to pick up your phone right now!