So. 2010. 

The Year in Performance


An entirely arbitrary summation of 2010's performance highlights.

Tastiest Field Trip—For On the Table, Sojourn Theatre loaded up a bus full of Portlanders, a bus full of Molallans, and brought them together in Oregon City for an interactive performance and feast. We ate elk and talked about the urban/rural divide. It was magical. ALISON HALLETT

Best Naked Emperor—The much-hyped Artists Repertory Theatre production of Long Day's Journey into Night (co-produced by Australia's Sydney Theatre Company and starring William Hurt) was the longest, boringest show in Portland theater history. AH

Venue That Needs to Drop the Two-Item Minimum Because it Scares People Off—Helium Comedy Club. As long as the drinks stay reasonably priced—which they are—patrons are likely to buy AT LEAST two over the course of a 2.5-hour show. Telling them they must strikes a rebellious nerve. ANDREW R TONRY

Gamest Attempt to Add Another Dimension to the Local Performance Scene—Will puppeteer Katie McClenahan's "adult puppet slams" lead to a surge in local interest in puppeteering? Tune in during 2011. AH

Best Nerd Pandering—Portland Playhouse's Willow Jade. Nerds brought a Dungeons and Dragons game to life. Twelve-sided dice and murdering. AH

Three Young Local Comics Ready to Take the Next Step: Phil Schallberger, Anthony Lopez, Christian Ricketts. Give these guys shows. ART

Best Use of Audience Participation—Portland Center Stage's The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. This is a one-time-only award. There will never be another tolerable use of audience participation. AH

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Best Show My Boss Was in So I Kinda Have to Put it on Here—The wildly popular Roadhouse: The Play, an adaptation of the Patrick Swayze classic whose very funny cast included Mercury Editor in Chief Wm. Steven Humphrey. AH

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Lil Wayne Award for Best Stand-Up Comedian Alive—Louis C.K.: I saw loads of terrific comedy this year and none of it held a candle to C.K. at the Aladdin. The two hours felt like five minutes—it was that delirious. And real—at no show did I learn more about myself. ART

Best Most Sensible Name Change—Though it doesn't take effect until January 1, 2011, Public Playhouse recently announced that they'll be changing their name to Public House Theater, AKA "the Pub," so can people puh-leeze stop confusing them with Portland Playhouse? AH

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