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Sunday, September 28, 2014

"Dreamgirls" @ Portland Center Stage

"Dreamgirls" is a fictionalization of the rise and breakup of The Supremes. It is one of the few musicals which doesn't sound Broadwayized, (it's always fun to create a word.) In other words, to my knowledge it is the earliest example of a rock musical which was not written by a rock musician. So, it is the perfect show to take someone who is reluctant to go. Every thing about this show oozes with glitz, from the dazzling costumes to the intricate sets. But, the very best part of "Dreamgirls" is the Act I finale "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going," and Nattalyee Randall as Effe White knocks it out of the park.

Do yourself a favor and see "Dreamgirls" I am telling you that you won't regret it.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

"Whodunit" @ Broadway Rose

It's always nice to find a show that you can recommend to everybody, a show so genuinely fun that it has something to please every taste. "Whodunit", which runs through October 19th at Broadway Rose Theatre Company's New Stage Auditorium is a tuneful romp, a twisty mystery, and an off-the-wall comedy. The most surprising thing about it is quality of the solo numbers, despite the lightness of the material. Standouts include "If Only" and "A Lady's Maid" One of my favorite elements of shows like this is that even the background characters get their moment in the spotlight--often in unexpected ways.

Also noteworthy is the set by Charles Murdock Lucas, even the man who introduced the show couldn't resist entering by its grand staircase. 

Oh, one final suggestion: Be sure to take a friend, so that you might ponder the clues during intermission.

"Whodunit" By Ed Dixon
Broadway Rose New Stage Auditorium
12850 SW Grant Ave., Tigard.

Monday, September 15, 2014

"Intimate Apparel" at Artists Rep

"Intimate Apparel" is a play about a lot of different things: love, betrayal, gender roles,  race, religion. But, as is the case with all forms of art, the viewer has the privilege of selecting which themes resonate the most with him personally, and for me "Intimate Apparel" is at its best when it is an ode to craft. What stuck with me most after the curtain went down is how all art is fundamentally the same. All art has elements of craft, and all craft has elements of art. Would I have ever thought about sewing and clothing in this way had I not seen "Intimate Apparel"? No. And the appreciation of craft goes beyond the spoken word in this show, the set is gorgeous, and as is to be expected in a show about clothing, the costumes take center stage. It is fitting that this production allows for the people who toil behind the scenes to have their moment in the spotlight, much like the protagonist herself.

Friday, September 5, 2014

"Butt Kapinski" @ Coho Theatre

I got an e-mail about "Butt Kapinski" and I had to suppress a squeal. A film noir parody with a title like that? It couldn't be more my kind of thing if it tried. "Butt" is a one woman show, and she spends most of the hour-plus wearing an interrogation lamp. That alone is worth the price of admission, add in her speech impediment and the pronunciation of "noir" and you're set. It must be noted however that the production spins into some explicit territory toward the end, and it was more than a little uncomfortable to attend with my mother, (who incidentally made her stage debut as a corpse.) "Butt" is a two-night traveling show, the final one is tonight at 7:30.

CoHo Theatre 
2257 NW Raleigh St 
Portland, OR 97210 
(503) 220-2646