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Comment Archives: stories: Theater

Re: “Set Phasers for Learn!

Arrive early. Two hours early. Maybe three.

Posted by EAB on 07/07/2011 at 10:07 AM

Re: “Old-Time Rock and Roll

The best thing for me about this show was how young the audience made me feel.

I was in a definite curmudgeon mood going into this, so my apologies for starting with a bad attitude (season tickets meant I was going).

And most of the rest of the audience was TOTALLY loving it, so I think if you are of the generation that came of age with Janis this could be a wonderful show for you. I felt a little bad when I stuffed my head in my hands as the crowd went wild around me.

The thing I had the hardest time with was that this was a "simulacrum of a rock concert." Which is in some ways odd, b/c concerts can very much be staged performances. But the artifice was too obvious for me, I guess? Felt like Disneyland? I'm not sure. Cat Stephani shares my first name, so I give her a thumbs up for that, but she sure looked healthy and conventionally beautiful. The patter was painful for me (and can be with an actual concert too), but I could tell the folks around in were finding it interesting. The audience really bummed me out too, man. :D

But setting aside my freakout of being surrounded by some of the challenging social aspects of my parents generation, I thought the music was technically impressive (I would totally go see Sabrina Elayne Carten put on a show and it was fun to watch the musicians) and I really enjoyed checking out the physical set and enjoying the fractals and streaming shit. I wonder if I had be drunk or stoned if that would have helped?

I wish the musicians had just been told to put on an awesome music show inspired by Janis or something.

Posted by catbot on 06/17/2011 at 10:42 AM

Re: “Old-Time Rock and Roll

did you actually go to this thing graham if so jokes on you they have your money and all you have is the regret. kinda like when you parents decided against abortion

Posted by the beav on 06/10/2011 at 12:53 PM

Re: “Shoot for the Stars

I sent this in as a Blogtown tip, weeks ago! 1,700 teams entered, from all over the world. Only 15 were invited to compete in Hanover, and NWDP was the only US team. And of those 15 teams, NINE of them have the phrase "The National Ballet of..." in their names! Go scrappy Portland!

I'm going to the first open night of their new show tonight!

Posted by Reymont on 06/10/2011 at 9:34 AM

Re: “Old-Time Rock and Roll

@lipp: I would say that every moment of the production that didn't have Sabrina Carten on stage was a cringe worthy moment. The Janis Joplin they presented was a boring hackneyed shit-brained hippy parody; or maybe Joplin really was that annoying and stupid. However, the production kept the usual high standards of PCS. It's just too bad that they didn't have a script worth working on.

Posted by Graham on 06/08/2011 at 8:48 PM

Re: “Old-Time Rock and Roll

Gee lippp, since you're telling me what to do now, do I also have to tell you what I felt the "transcendant ones" were too? I already said that I'm a little too close to the production to give it a truly impartial read, and that's all I'm saying on that one.

But more importantly, people have the right to not enjoy things that please crowds, and especially to express said lack of enjoyment. They even can feel that way not necessarily because they have some need to feel superior, if you can believe that.

Posted by rich bachelor on 06/08/2011 at 9:04 AM

Re: “Old-Time Rock and Roll

rich bachelor, when you say something back it up, OK? The show has some "cringe worthy moments". So what are they? And the problem is not that someone dislikes something I like, but that they have the background to appreciate it or evaluate it before they write about it. This show undeniably is a crowd pleaser. Don't think the audience when I saw the show noticed any cringe worthy moments. Some people just aren't satisfied unless they can demonstrate how superior they are by cutting something down.

Posted by lippp on 06/07/2011 at 5:12 PM

Re: “Old-Time Rock and Roll

So the problem here is that someone dislikes something you liked? Fucking tragic, that.

My own problem with the review is that it had that whole "music that's actually relevant to my generation" passage in it. I mean, it's music: either you like it or you don't. Does Duke Ellington or Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys (or Mozart?) have any 'relevance to my generation'? Of course not. Does that prevent my enjoyment of them? Also of course not.

I also am pretty sure that's not what Alison was saying in that sentence necessarily, so whatever. It is noteworthy that Janis Joplin's generation of musicians were a lot more likely to view popular music in terms of an unbroken continuum of folk songs running back to medieval times, and not something someone just magically dreamed up ten years ago. Or to be a bit more cynical about it, they just had better taste in who they ripped off.

The show has some cringe worthy moments in it, to be sure. Some transcendant ones too. I don't want to say too much because I've been looking at the damn thing six days a week for four weeks now. My view on the subject is certain to have been clouded by that.

Posted by rich bachelor on 06/06/2011 at 10:28 AM

Re: “Old-Time Rock and Roll

Critics such as Alison seem to have a need to be, well, critical. When an excellent show such as this is a crowd pleaser, poor Alison cannot bring herself to tell it like it is. No, she must find something to be critical about. After all that is how she makes a living. But she, again, is off base. I was in college when Janis was popular, but she was not an artist I paid much attention to other than listening to her sounds when they presented themselfs on the radio or tv. So not being a fan I was leary about this production. Well, I,as well as the rest of the audience judging from their reactions, were enthralled by this experience. I left learning more about Janis'music and was impressed by the actress/singer who emulated a variety of Janis's influences. Make no mistake. This is a production Portland should be proud of. And why some critics have a hard time acknowledging this says more about their expertise than this production.

Posted by lippp on 06/05/2011 at 11:05 AM

Re: “Old-Time Rock and Roll

I wouldn't put it as vehemently as Graham, but it is very, very hard to look at Boomers and not see a generation of self-involved locusts. I know that my antipathy for them is somewhat irrational, but it still colors how I consume sixties-based media.

Posted by JStreckert on 06/03/2011 at 1:51 PM

Re: “Old-Time Rock and Roll

@ rb yeah, she was absolutely great.

Posted by Alison Hallett on 06/03/2011 at 1:28 PM

Re: “Old-Time Rock and Roll

Having all of the blues and soul antecedents played by one actress may have been a cost thing rather than a stylistic thing. I agree it's kind of weird, but when the one performer is Sabrina, that makes it so much better.

Posted by rich bachelor on 06/03/2011 at 10:05 AM

Re: “Old-Time Rock and Roll

Is that Jaba the Hutt; in purple sunglasses, and a good mood? Pinch me.

Posted by Britney Spears on 06/03/2011 at 1:08 AM

Re: “Old-Time Rock and Roll

Well, this certainly sounds like a candidate for Worst Night Ever. Maybe they could fit Storm Large in there somewhere.

Posted by cat & beard on 06/02/2011 at 5:51 PM

Re: “Old-Time Rock and Roll

So a twentysomething is too old to hang out at the Doug Fir? Please, I'm in my 40s and have been know to frequent the Doug Fir and nobody's ever said a word to me about it. Plus, Janis Joplin died only a handful of years before the bands you mentioned formed. Fucking ageist.

Posted by Beer Batter on 06/02/2011 at 2:53 PM

Re: “Old-Time Rock and Roll

@4, My Mom is 51 and grew up listening to Janis Joplin. Kind of like how I still listen to music of the 80s and 90s and consider them relevant to me. All your statement proves is that you were a "hip" 30 year old.

I should take my mom to this.

Posted by Fruit Cup on 06/02/2011 at 2:09 PM

Re: “Old-Time Rock and Roll

You're a bit old to be hanging out at the Doug Fir if your Mom considers Janis to be the music of her youth. The music of my childhood was Television, the Ramones, Richard Hell and Black Flag, and I am pushing 60.

Posted by ailbhe on 06/02/2011 at 1:55 PM

Re: “Old-Time Rock and Roll

So you disagree with my point? Or am I just the wrong person to be making it?

I'm curious about how other audience members perceived that aspect of the show. Seemed pretty obviously problematic to me.

Posted by Alison Hallett on 06/02/2011 at 1:39 PM

Re: “Old-Time Rock and Roll

Ms. Hallett's views on "cultural sensitivity" have been spelled out previously, notably in her review of Jewish Theatre Collaborative's "Charlotte Salomon: Life? or Theatre?" wherein she describes feeling "relieved" at the Nazis' deportation of the title character - and then grew defensive when challenged on the appropriateness of such wording, quite apart from the actual or potential merits/demerits of the play in question.

Posted by Hmm. on 06/02/2011 at 12:13 PM

Re: “Old-Time Rock and Roll

Lets celebrate the "Worst Generation in the History of Ever" some more. FUCK YOU, BOOMERS!!! What good have you brought to the world? None. Hurry up and fucking die already so that we can move on and improve things.

Posted by Graham on 06/02/2011 at 10:01 AM

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