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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Grease" at Broadway Rose

"Grease" was the show I was looking most forward to when Broadway Rose announced their current season. I had seen the movie a long time ago, and re-watched it last night so I could compare it to the stage version. The first difference I noticed was that the Broadway Rose cast could more easily pass for high school students than could, say, Stockard Channing, who was 33 (!) when filming began. (Yes, I looked it up, it's just that striking.) The second thing I noticed was that there seemed to be far more songs in the stage version than the movie, for that alone it's worth the trip to the theatre. I'd liken it to finding out that a movie you like was based on a novel you haven't read, except that live performances are much rarer things, so when the opportunity presents itself you must jump at it while you can. And you should! Broadway Rose's production oozes with fun. There was an abundance of younger audience members on Opening Night, and I think that "Grease" would be a fine introduction to live theatre for a kid looking for a new interest, at the very least it would be a nice night out. On this one I can virtually guarantee a good time.

Performances held at the Broadway Rose New Stage, 12850 SW Grant Ave., Tigard.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"Cyrano" @ PCS

"Cyrano" as translated by Michael Hollinger and adapted by Aaron Posner is a laugh-riot. I approached it with some trepidation, because although I love the classics I sometimes have trouble with the odd syntax. Highlights included Cyrano's deprecating nose jokes, somehow he's better at it than anyone who tries to insult him. (Maybe someone should send the script to Adrian Brody? Perhaps he'd find some of them useful?) The set is complex and I'll remember the moonlight scenes for a long time. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that Darius Pierce is in it, which means it's automatically worth seeing in my opinion.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

"The Price" by Arthur Miller @ Artists Rep

I once saw a clip of Arthur Miller discussing the premiere of "Death of a Salesman", he said he was panicked because the audience had not applauded at the end. He thought that the play had bombed, and then he slowly realized that the audience had been so overwhelmed that they had forgotten they were watching a play. That's how I felt at Artists Rep's production of Miller's "The Price." This play is so real, so emotionally raw that I wager you will forget that you are in a theatre. The last Artist Rep show that was this transcendent was "The Motherfucker with the Hat", and while I breathlessly praised that show, the one thing I couldn't say is: "If you want to see why I love theatre, go see this show!", because, as its title suggests, that show had a few things that might have offended certain sensibilities. "The Price" has none of that, and it really does have most of the elements I love: poetic yet natural use of language, a story which starts as one thing and ends as another, and somewhat unusually, a lesser known work by a master. Finally I get to say it: "If you want to see why I love theatre, go see this show!"