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Saturday, May 9, 2015
"The Lion" @ Portland Center Stage
"The Lion" is not the show it appears to be. The trailer I saw was essentially a clip from an upbeat little tune about a child playing music alongside his musician father. In other words, a pleasant way to spend eighty minutes. Instead, those promised happy moments are brief, and concentrated mostly in the beginning. It's not long until the tone changes drastically. Normally I count this shift as a good thing, there's nothing I like better than a deeply affecting show, but there's cancer involved. In that case, I would have preferred to skip it. My mother has had cancer twice, and she was my guest last night. I cringed through the entire song about chemo. But, my mother is the most optimistic person I know, and her biggest take-away from the show was how the diagnosis brought the scattered and somewhat estranged family together. Looking back, that was probably among the points the playwright was trying to make, but by that time I had retreated halfway into my "happy place." I guess the best thing I can do for you is to tell you to be prepared, and if you are, there might be something you'll be glad you saw, as my mother was. Me, I'm angry at the marketing department.....