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Comment Archives: stories: Theater

Re: “Man vs. Machine

thank you for the informative and non-self-centered work here. I feel ready to make a choice on my evening and that is how I want to feel after reading a review.

Posted by bridgeburner on 04/17/2011 at 5:28 AM

Re: “On the Wings of Revolution

I saw this show last Thursday. I found the actual prodction aspects of the play to be top notch. But the script and plot were needlessly convoluted. I also found the actor who protayed the tranny hooker to be unbelievable in the role.

I agree with Thayer that a few rewrites and some workshopping and this play could be excellent; but right now it tastes like young wine.

Posted by Graham on 04/11/2011 at 12:31 PM

Re: “On the Wings of Revolution

now this is a tight and informative review that is NOT about the reviewer but about the show. the opinion of the reviewer is there but NOT the conceit.

well done. think Ill see the show.

Posted by bridgeburner on 04/07/2011 at 6:45 AM

Re: “Burlesqueries

Yes, yes! It's all included on the PDX Burlesque Calendar and in the Oregon Burlesque Podcast listings! I can't fit everybody's events into this column, but there are other resources for all-inclusive listings!

Posted by Rayleen Courtney on 03/29/2011 at 4:13 PM

Re: “Burlesqueries

Don't forget to mention all the burlesque happening at the TONIC LOUNGE Rayleen! Good times are being had with the likes of Jacqueline Hyde, Meghan Mayhem, Lucy O Rebel, and upcoming June with Shanghai Pearl who could go wrong?

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Frankie Tease on 03/27/2011 at 7:50 PM

Re: “One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

I thought the show last night was pretty awesome. Different guy playing McMurphy and also further into the run, which may have helped with the gelling. Also, I was in row J which I think was close enough to get really creep-ed out by Nurse Ratched.

But here may also be a significant difference for me -- I've never watched the movie of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest all the way through and the snippets I've seen have always been on a small tv.

After dumping on Futura, thought I'd better speak up for this one!

Posted by catbot on 03/18/2011 at 9:00 AM

Re: “It's Not TV, It's The Scene

Mr. Beaton I'm glad you enjoyed this production. However I don't understand why you qualified "best . . . performances" with "local". It implies that Portland performances (including this exceptional one) are across-the-board inferior to out-of-town shows. Frank Beaton the man is welcome to this position; however Frank Beaton the critic has a responsibility to inform the reader what local performers are missing in comparison to (apparently) any touring act or out-of-city show anywhere.

Perhaps it was necessary because all your review's references were nationally-distributed television/movies? Adjust your criticism rather than qualify your praise. Your repeated references don't develop your thought; their empty repetition supplants useful information about the show. Great criticism connects ideas. You do this once; keep going. You have so few words to change theater in Portland.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by sexmachinealpha on 03/14/2011 at 4:15 AM

Re: “One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

Yep! But I don't think it matters when the script was written—you can't ask an audience to ignore the existence of a movie like that. (And by casting—and highlighting—an actor whose dad was in the movie, PCS wasn't exactly trying to distance their production.)

I always have a hard time wrapping my head around theatrical productions of iconic movies. Unless you're doing something like the Coens did with True Grit, and returning to the source material to mine it for something completely different (as with Doug Wright's adaptation of Grey Gardens, for example), it more often than not feels like a second rate version of something I could watch for literally 1/10 the cost.

Posted by Alison Hallett on 03/07/2011 at 10:18 AM

Re: “Books Are Dead. (Long Live Books.)

Setting aside the passionate discussion of Alison's reviewing skills, I thought this was a pretty bad play. For a lot of reasons. The narrative structure was lame and didn't really build to anything (while I was hopeful the play was over, I wasn't sure I was free until they took a bow).

The lecture in the first half could have been intriguing, but rather than really going for a highly intelligent, abrasive, unpleasant woman, it teetered back and forth with dumb laughs (she's making fun of you) and not very deep analysis that made her seem kind of dumb herself. The small ensemble second half was equally odd with unclear characterization and wavering between somewhat boring conversations about ideas.

And as the review above discusses, the ideas also seemed really weak. I love libraries, books (particularly science fiction), and technology. I even find typefaces interesting. But come on, this was DUMB. If people can still read, I bet they can still figure out to write. With a stick in the dirt, if it comes to that. If the guy can build EMP bombs, he can figure out how to write and probably isn't the idiot you're making him out to be. And it's not either/or with physical books and digital books. Why draw the line with the futura typeface between all that is good or evil? I could keep going. Ei ei ei.

I suppose this achieved the PCS goal of sparking conversation, but mostly it made me think I'm tired of PCS plays. At least the Portland obsession with the standing ovation didn't occur.

The best things about it: gooey blood and it was short.

Posted by catbot on 03/05/2011 at 11:21 AM

Re: “One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

Is the reviewer aware that the play adaptation was written a full twelve years before the film was released?

Posted by vautrin on 03/03/2011 at 5:32 PM

Re: “One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

So pretty.

Posted by Alison Hallett on 03/03/2011 at 2:25 PM

Re: “One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

Ah, but what an awesome set, yes?

Posted by rich bachelor on 03/03/2011 at 9:19 AM

Re: “On the Comedic Potential of Dead Cats

Oh yeah, I was just talkin' print. Didn't mean to snub the bloggers!

Posted by Alison Hallett on 03/02/2011 at 10:11 AM

Re: “Books Are Dead. (Long Live Books.)

ya know missed the point. those words - lazy, under-informed, arrogant/ignorant - are adjectives that accurately describe much , if not all, of Hallet's theatre reviews. they are not attacks, they are words to amplify my opinion. what does have a destructive effect (on productions) are reviews that are lazy, under-informed and arrogant instead of thoughtful, mature criticism.....and, contrary to your knee-jerk assertions, i'm not interested automatic, undeserved respect from anyone - much less reviewers. however, when the work is clearly respectable, and not the usual intra-mural mug-and-mumble fest that generally passes for it here in PDX, it should be accorded a robust, well-informed review - negative or postive. in days of yore the role of the critic was assigned to an elder. this person would have demonstrated over time that they knew what they were talking about and therefore could be useful to the public by advising them on the bad, good and great shows they reviewed. it was hoped that these writers would have passed through their conceits by the time they were given this responsibilty and would as detachedly as possible craft reviews of value for the people. PDX audiences should not have to rely on such blatantly immature and narcissistic reviewing.

Posted by bridgeburner on 02/26/2011 at 6:06 AM

Re: “On the Comedic Potential of Dead Cats


I think Bob Hicks and Barry Johnson (both formerly of the Oregonian and now both with their own arts blogs) were here for O Lovely Glowworm. But yes, I believe it pre-dates Ben Waterhouse at the WW slightly.

Posted by tpancio on 02/24/2011 at 5:27 PM

Re: “On the Comedic Potential of Dead Cats

O Lovely Glowworm was before my time, and before Erik's. (Here's the review we ran:…)

Actually, I'm not sure there's a critic currently working at any of the local publications who held the job in 2005... some of the O's freelancers have probably been around that long, but I think that's it.

Posted by Alison Hallett on 02/24/2011 at 11:23 AM

Re: “On the Comedic Potential of Dead Cats

Erik you were in town for Glenn Berg's O Lovely Glowworm, right? Sounds like there's a lot of resonances between this production and that one, care to elaborate on that on your blog or something? Even better if you could use the discussion to also draw some critical perspective on the evolution of Portland's two big-budget theaters since that show. Or is it a facile comparison?

Posted by sexmachinealpha on 02/24/2011 at 3:41 AM

Re: “Life, Theater, or Ill-Conceived Performance Art?

As long as you're giving it your full consideration, Alison.

Posted by David Berkson on 02/14/2011 at 10:26 PM

Re: “Life, Theater, or Ill-Conceived Performance Art?

Agreed, this has been a good one.

David, I'll consider that an open invitation to apologize. :)

Posted by Alison Hallett on 02/14/2011 at 10:17 AM

Re: “Life, Theater, or Ill-Conceived Performance Art?

I agree with David Berkson. This is what a good comments thread looks like. I'd love to see more of these.

Posted by Matthew Stadler on 02/13/2011 at 8:33 AM

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