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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Crippled Critic Concert Preview: Joshua Radin @ The Aladdin Theatre 4/25/2016

I first heard Joshua Radin on streaming radio, and it was one of those moments where you do a double-take. I instantly thought. "He's Simon & Garfunkel in one body." I saw him live for the first time at The Roseland, and although he put on a wonderful show, his brand of music will be so much more at home in the intimate Aladdin. It is a common occurrence at concerts that someone will shout-out, "You should move here!" In Mr. Radin's case, it's actually true. He is the most Quintessentially Portland  Non-Portlander I've ever encountered. Join me on April 25th for one of the most poetic nights you'll ever have

Thursday, March 24, 2016

"We Are Proud to Present..." @ Artists Rep

A PRESENTATION ABOUT THE HERERO OF NAMIBIA, FORMERLY KNOWN AS SOUTH WEST AFRICA, FROM THE GERMAN SUDWESTAFRIKA, BETWEEN THE YEARS 1884-1915" is the full title of Artist Rep's current production, and for a little while the play seems to match the unwieldiness of its title. Perhaps this is intentional, setting the little-known history explored in the play against the backdrop of staging an improvisational theatre-piece is an intriguing way to illustrate the many voices and points of view vying for the spotlight. But keeping track of some of those voices and point of view becomes difficult in certain scenes.

But believe me, that is a minor quibble, as the play, and the play-within-the play settle into their rhythm, "We are Proud to Present..." becomes a show that knocked the wind out of me more than once.

And that old adage about history repeating itself is certainly true, events that happened a world away in 1884-1915 are suddenly relevant to a shocking degree once talk of wall-building begins. I'll put it as succinctly as I can: This is urgent theatre.

Monday, March 7, 2016

"Bullshot Crummond 2" @ Lakewood Theatre

I have only seen the film version of "Bullshot Crummond," but it is unnecessary to to have seen it to enjoy the world premiere sequel at Lakewood. It is a wall-to-wall laugh-riot. The multiple sets are gorgeous and intricate. The goofy intentionally low-tech projections and props are hilarious. Spencer Conway is perfect as our bumbling hero Bullshot Crummond. There are dashes of humor that reminded me of Monty Python and  the Petter Sellers "Pink Panther" films. Lovers of "B" movies will find much to enjoy as well.  This has been a outstanding season for Lakewood, one that has seen them expand in many ways--from world premieres (this may be Lakewood's first)--to dramas with darker subject matter than they typically present. Bravo Lakewood!