Love in the Time of Piñatas

Love Sugar Sex Magic

Portland Center Stage's online reading of Baruch Porras Hernandez’ 'Love in the Time of Piñatas' hits a cultural and theatrical sweet spot

Wow, did I enjoy this.

In the days leading up to the presidential election, I watched Portland Center Stage’s staged reading of Baruch Porras Hernandez’s Love in the Time of Piñatas online. My assignment: to evaluate how staged readings translate to a virtual format.

But almost as soon as Hernandez appeared on screen, emerging from a red velvet curtain in his bedroom while wearing a black mesh top, jacket festooned with streamers and glitter affixed to his beard, singing a song called “Down with the Trumps,” I forgot all that.

Baruch Porras Hernandez in Epic Party Theatre’s production of “Love in the Time of Piñatas” in December 2019. Photo: Robbie Sweeney/Courtesy Epic Party Theatre

“It’s my party and I’ll shake what I want to,” Hernandez began, go-go dancers accompanying him on either side of the screen, before the lyrics veered into something more somber. “Hello everybody, my name is Baruch,” he sang, “And if you’re like me, you’re terrified. I never thought it could get this bad. I never thought it could get so sad.”

Continues…