DramaWatch Weekly: on ’til November

Im Portland theater it's a week of the Rooster, The Events, seasonal cosplay, and some houseplants for Hand2Mouth

Has it occurred to you that Halloween is the only time of year when regular people moonlight as actors?

A.L. Adams

And all the more so since character cosplay has engulfed general-category costumes. Instead of “a zombie,” or “a pirate,” more and more people seem to dress as “this zombie” or “that pirate” from some show or movie, leaving them oddly depicting a mix of the character they’re being, the actor who famously plays the character, and themselves. And just like that, your Halloween party spread is transformed into craft services on a Hollywood set, with Captain Johnny-Jack Depp-Sparrow, who is actually Kevin from work, scarfing all of your Doritos. How meta.

Speaking of general archetypes versus specific figures, ArtsWatch’s TJ Acena recently checked out Defunkt Theatre‘s staging of Insignificance  and determined that the characters dubbed The Actress, The Senator, The Ballplayer, and The Professor were clearly intended to impersonate Marilyn Monroe, Joe McCarthy, Joe DiMaggio, and Albert Einstein “in a distractingly bad wig.” It’ll be on ’til mid November.

A rooster crows at CoHo. He’s just a chick in the filet.

This weekend, CoHo kicks off a cockfight with Year of the Rooster, a play about thwarted rural masculinity that’s earned acclaim for drawing a portrait rather than a caricature. You might see how it strikes you. And Third Rail opens The Events, about community choirs and a nasty, impossible choice.

What else? Some shows that DramaWatch foreshadowed have come to light: Vertigo is currently Nesting, Milagro is honoring Día de Muertos, and Shaking The Tree is Chalk Circling Bertoldt Brecht with what Bob Hicks can only call “expressionistic fervor.”

Oh hey. Hand2Mouth needs to borrow your houseplants. You read correctly. Do you know Hand2Mouth? If Hand2Mouth theater company were a book, it would be a zine. If it were a song, it would have soaring saw solos. And if it were a religion, it would of course be a utopian cult—which, incidentally, is their latest muse. With a rare mix of precision, whimsy, and vulnerable truth, H2M has repeatedly been able to elevate comic premises (robots, gym teachers) into compelling ceremonies. They’re surprising like that. You wouldn’t be wrong to hotly anticipate Psychic Utopia, and you’d be a champ to lend them your houseplants.

 

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