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Monday, April 22, 2013

"Clybourne Park" @ Portland Center Stage

"Clybourne Park" ties with "Venus in Fur" for my favorite production at PCS so far this season. Both have an edge, and both have biting wit.

"Clybourne Park" is a slight sequel to Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun". Act I tells the story of the white family who sells their house in the Clybourne Park neighborhood to the black Younger family, over the strenuous objections of their neighbors. Act II fast-forwards 50 years, the neighborhood is now predominately black, and tensions arise when a white couple wants to tear-down the house....

"Clybourne Park" is an exquisitely constructed piece, and therefore it is difficult to highlight the best moments without ruining the surprise. I must note however that Andy Lee Hillstrom as the smarmy preacher is hilarious, and there is a joke in Act II that is at once so funny, vulgar, and offensive that the actors had to maintain their shocked expressions and stunned silence for what must have been much longer than expected, in order for the uproarious audience laughter to die down....

Once again, I think "Clybourne" is among the best of the season, and I am not alone, it also won the Pulizer Prize for Best Play.

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