Monday, December 13, 2010

Going to St. Ives, Profile Theater, READING

by Lee Blessing
Directed by ANdrew Golla
Dr Cora Gage  .....  Karla Mason
May N'Kame  .....   LaVerne Green

plot summary; IN BRIEF ... May N'Kame is the mother of an African 'strong man' ruler who is brutally destroying his country.  She needs eye surgery and has come to England where Dr Gage is about to operate on her.  The women meet and talk before the operation and it is revealed that Dr Gage's young son was killed by black kids in the ghetto in Los Angeles -- and her life has been a guilt ridden misery every since.  But she asks May N'Kame if she can intervene in the case of a4 doctors in her African country who have been condemned to death for not being willing to participate in torture.  N'Kame says she will if Dr Gage will help her kill her son --and thus help stop the reign of brutality that  he has orchestrated.  Six moths later, the deed done, May N'Kame is now slated to be executed for crimes she did not commit and Dr Gage is trying to get her to admit to the crimes and escape the country.

sez says: intricate exposing of relationship between empire and brutality..what is civilization--and isn't the idea of civilization itself just a cover-up for atrocity. This is the sort of play that would be worth READING slowly to yourself--so you could stop and ponder the issues that are explored. A worthwhile piece.

mjc says  the crimes of every civilization are inescapable even for the generations that follow the generations who perpetrated the crimes

Six Dance Lessons In Six Weeks, Portland Civic Theater Guild - READING

by Richard Alfieri
Dirtector Trish Egan
JoAnn Johnson   .....   Lily Harrison
Duffy Epstein   .....   Michael

plot summary: older woman/widow --hires caustic gay man to come the her high rise Miami Condo and give her dance lessons, not becasue she needs the lessons, but becasue she needs human companionship.  They spare verbally and come to be close friends. 

sez says: predictable story--but with good social issues woven into the story--the problems of gays men in abusive relationships, not being able to get help from the police; the way the wold makes women invisible as they age; the stereotyping we do when we hear a gay man lost his love (not from aids--but from cancer) It is full of these sorts of social commentary..and it was well read,,, so it was entertaining.  But is is not particularly interesting or heady stuff.  Johnson and Epstein did a nice job bringing these folks to life

mjc says:  a fun but totally predictable romp--good repartee

Dying City, Portland Playhouse, (Grade A)

By Christopher Shinn
Directed by Brian Weaver
Peter/Craig   .....   Wade McCollum
Kelly   .....   Cristi Miles

plot summary  Craig has been killed in "the war."  (Maybe it doesn't matter what war. He had become a disillusioned soldier.)  Peter is Craig's twin brother, Kristi is his widow.  We enter with Kristi alone packing and watching TV -- doorbell, brings a surprise visit from Peter. K & P have not seen each other since the funeral which was a year ago... story jumps back and forth from discussions between Peter and Krisi --to flashbacks whit Craig & Kristi... along the way the story unfolds and much is revealed about what war does and struggles in the heart's of men.

sez says: this is the sort of thing that draws us to the theater.  People struggling to understand the world, themselves and each other.  Peter/Craig are the SUBJECTS of this story--they are the characters whose actions move the issues we are to consider to the surface.  Kristi is the OBJECT of the story. Without Kristi, Craig and Peter would have little meaning to us. It is what happens to her/us that makes P/C actions matters.  How do we deal with men like this?  Craig is a man barely able to suppress his rage -- his anger at women-- the sickness he finds in himself.  But Kristi loves him and works hard to find a way to hold her own ground while reaching out to him. In the process she is rung dry and left hollow.  Peter is lost without his brother--who loved him --but who also abused him. Peter has no one to share his loss with, except Kristi -- and he wants the loss to be his alone -- while she wants to get past the dull ache that her life has become. Beautifully acted, intense piece of work. Well done all around.

mjc says:  one of the best pieces I've see on the Iraq War--glimpses of the anguish here and there.,

A Christmas Story, Portland Center Stage (Grade B)

Adapted by Philip Grecian
Based on the Mothin Picture written by Jean Shepard, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark and on the book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, by Jean Shepherd
DIRECTED by Rose Riordan
Aliemah Bradley   .....   Ensemble Girl
Michael Cline   .....  Ralphie
Dylan Earhart   .....   Flick
Harrison Goyette   .....   Randy
Aimee Martin   .....   Helen
Henry Martin   .....   Ensembel Boy
Eathan McKay   .....   Schwartz
Darius Pierce   .....   Adult Ralph
Laura Faye Smith   .....   Miss SHields
Ebbe Roe SMith   .....   The Old Man
Valerie Stevens   .....   Mother
Calvin Whitney   ..... Scott Farkus
Hannah Wilson   .....   Esther Jane

sez says: attended with the family -- kids loved it -- from the film by the same name. Boy child from mid 20th century America wants a BB Gun -- what he does to try and get it--and what happens when he does got it//"You could Shoot Your Eye Out' with this one. We've come to anticipate work well done when Rose Riordan in involved--and this is no exception.  Darius Pierce and Ebbe Roe Smith proved again that they are wonders to behold -- we are lucky to have them here in Portland.

mjc says:  enjoyable--looking forward to seeing the moive