Monday, October 23, 2006

Coming and going ...

La Grand Guignol / Tragedies
Night of the Living Dead / Northwest Children's
The Foreigner / North End Players
The Witches / Northwest Children's
Aladdin / Tears of Joy
The Tempest / Northwest Classical
The Green Bird / Oregon Shadow Theatre
Afield: The Slideshow of Our Boring Vacation / Nomadic Theatre
Night of the Living Dead / Blue Monkey

102 comments:

Anonymous said...

oh the slide show show .... how was it? anyone?

Anonymous said...

Raise your hand of you are getting sick of the "How was it? Anyone?" postings.

Anonymous said...

Blue Monkey Theater Company's Night Of The Living Dead is great Halloween treat. Live action and video mix with zombies for better than a haunted house fun. Worth the drive out to The Valley theater on Beaverton-Hillsdale highway.

Anonymous said...

Nice advertisement, Blue Monkey. But you forgot ticket prices and your phone number...

Nate said...

How many nights of the living dead are there?

Anonymous said...

How many nights of the living dead are there?

In this area? Two. That's twice as many living dead as most places (Go us! Woo-hoo!).

Anonymous said...

Haven't made my way out to NWCT's Night of the Living Dead. I did, however attend Blue Monkey's after seeing all the Night of the Living Deads at NWCTS (I'm a fan of the movie) I was plesantly surprised and there were some scary moments, not the best over all acting though.

Your Momma said...

I heartily do not recommend Northwest Classical Theatre's The Tempest. High school level acting abounds-- even with the non-high-school-age actors-- and the highlight of the whole show is the awkward teenager's kiss near the end of the first half. That, and the adorable red-headed boy dressed up as a witch. If it's worth your $18 to see those two things, by all means, go see this production. If not, stay at home and watch Fashion House on KPDX-- at least it's free.

Anonymous said...

High school level acting abounds-- even with the non-high-school-age actors

Wow. Who's in the show?

Anonymous said...

Most of the acting in The Tempest is, indeed, "high school level"--downrigth painful--but Richard Reiten is polished--quite up to 'adult standards'--as Prospero. Also, the audience I was in responded greatly to the physical comedy, instigated by Trinculo (Kevin Price, a first-time actor who does surprisingly well, and is fresh) and Stephano (Tom Walton, who sells his bits well.)

Harlan said...

Saw this last night in the old WW:
"CHILD'S PLAY As if it weren't bad enough that Northwest Children's Theater and School terminated artistic director and founding member John Monteverde without warning this past June, the 13-year-old company has added insult to injury by producing Night of the Living Dead, a show Monteverde put on for the past five years. Monteverde, unperturbed, is mounting his own production of the George Romero adaptation with his new teen theater company, Blue Monkey , and the actors who originated the roles at NWCT. 'I'm surprised that they're doing it,' he said of NWCT's production. 'They had to find a whole new cast.'"
I'm not looking to get into why the guys was fired, but are they really stealing his ideas after the fact?

Anonymous said...

i don't pretend to know with any certainty who's being tacky with these dueling NotLDs. But if Monteverde was a founding member of the company, that's a pretty well-kept secret as far as the website is concerned. That producing NotLD at NWCT was Monteverde's idea is nothing anyone outside the company would really know. I mean, he's been directing it for 5 years as part of a company whose been producing it for 5 years. Or whatever. I'm just saying, I doubt anyone is a position to judge entitlement. Is all I'm saying. He's surprised they're doing it? They're probably surprised he's doing it. Anyway, thanks for the gossip Harlan and WW, but quite frankly the whole NotLD is making me a little ill and I don't want to see either of them.

Anonymous said...

So, let me get this straight, WW:

NWCT is supposed to cancel a show that has most likely been in promotional materials for months, just because it was John Monteverde's idea in the first place? His idea while he was working there?

I don't know anything about either production, but this seems like a "I'm taking my ball and going home" bit of petty behavior on Mr. Monteverde's part.

Don't you think a 13-year old company might have some idea of what their next season is going to be before June? It's not like they canned him and then added "his" play to their season, right? Maybe they did, but I highly doubt it.

Poster above, I'm not killing the messenger here, please understand. My frustration belongs strictly to the WW, and the Dueling Zombies.

Anonymous said...

Richard Reiten polished and up to "adult standards?" Are you kidding? His Prospero was painfully bad.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that one of John's jobs while he was Artistic Director at NWCT was to select the season, which he did.

So in essence, this seems like dirty pool on Mr. Monteverde's part since he did select Night... to be on NWCT theatre's schedule, knew it was there, and then scheduled his own and called foul that NWCT was doing it.

I don't even think they have done it for 5 years. It shows one previous production on the history of the company page, and I know they had done a staged reading of it at one point. He was the Artistic Director there, so I guess he could say he put the show up for the last 5 years, but again, that strikes me as terribly misleading.

Reading the gossip column, it seems fairly obvious who the WW's source is.

All of this seems fairly silly for a show that is comprised mostly of high school kids and is a fund raiser for the respective companies. The word petty comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

Can someone post a link to the WW piece that you're referring to? I can't find it online and I don't have a paper in front of me....

Harlan said...

Not knowing really anything about how theatres work behind the scenes, I personally didn't put 2 and 2 together that a late night show would have already been scheduled when someone was fired in June. Didn't really think of myself as gossip mongering per se (funny considering the source I cited), but since the issue had appeared in print, I was interested what others thought.

Harlan said...

http://www.wweek.com/editorial/3250/8113/
First item.

Anonymous said...

So NWCT had Monteverde choose their season, and then they fired him. I don't know about you guys, but THAT seems like the 'pettiness' to me...

Marshall Wolf said...

Wow, Mother. You're clever. Where do we review the stupid puns left by people who hide behind fake names?

And I find it hard to believe anyone who hides behind the "anonymous" name. You want to trash a show? Tell us who you are. Otherwise you're just a coward.

Personally, I found Reiten's Prospero to be pretty good, except when he got a bit slow toward the end. And I thought the lords, lead by Grant Turner himself, were rather strong, actually. Gonzalo was perhaps a bit overacted, but that's easy to do when you are playing up about 20 years - and besides, he was funny.

Miranda I could have done without - but she WAS in high school, afterall.

A decent effort by a brand new director and some new faces to the Portland scene. And the set was creative and a good use of a very small space. Overall, the Tempest was a worthwile couple hours.

And, FWIW, yes, NWCT should have cancelled their production in deference to Mr. Monteverde. Or, you know, not fired him in the first place. I'll be going to see Blue Monkey's production, thank you.

So, you anonymous fellows - step up! Let's see some names with those opinions!

Anonymous said...

I think both theaters (NWCT and Blue Monkey) are acting incredably immature about the situation. It's nobodys show. Monteverde has the right to produce any show he wants, I do find it childish, however, that he is producing a show that he knows NWCT is doing; because he DID plan their season, then got canned afterwards. But to say from what I've seen (picture wise) of NWCTS NotLD I'd say it looks pretty..."distastefull." I'm assuming Monteverde's Theater will do the show better. To Annonomus 10:18, the company has been producing the show for 5 years, but not under Monteverde's directing for all five. I'm unsure of how many he's done but I know Sarah Jane Hardy (current artistic director) directed as well. I wonder how both theaters will play out at the end of the season.

Neal said...

About this whole NotLD: Any of you ever been through the difficulty of firing someone high up inside an arts organization? Of course the season was already set. John surely had a hand in choosing the entire season. After NWCT decided they needed to part ways with him should they have scrapped the entire season? In June? 2 months before the season was to begin? He didn't write NotLD, nor did he commission the adaptation; the show does not belong to him or NWCT, nor does it require a specific cast (don't know what that was all about). As to the immaturity of the various parties, unless one of the inumerable anonymous posters on this subject is from NWCT, they seem to be keeping quiet publicly about the whole thing. Haven't seen a quote from Sarah Jane Hardy show up in the WW gossip section for crying out loud. Although, judging by pictures I've seen of her, she looks pretty distasteful, so maybe we should expect to see that soon.

Anonymous said...

caught blue monkey on good day oregon a couple of mornings ago. if it means anything, i'll be seeing their NoTLD

Alexis said...

I think calling Sarah Jane "distasteful" is about as far as you can get from the truth.

And, interestingly, about as far as you can get from discussing Portland theatre, which is, last I checked, the purpose of this forum.

But thank you for your mature and well-founded opinion.

Sam said...

Having participated in the first Night of the Living Dead, and seen every show since then, including this years at NWCT, I believe my opinion is warranted. Night Of The Living Dead was John's "baby" persay. It was his idea, and it was him that made it work. Each year since the first it has improved in quality. This is the first year NWCT had decided to make it an official part of their season. I wouldn't expect NWCT to drop a show from their season, nor would I expect John to let go of a project he's worked on for so many years. I believe each theatre is acting accordingly. These are the facts mixed in with my personal opinion, do with them what you will.

P.S. Sarah Jane Hardy is a beautiful caring person, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool... or an 18th century revolutionist

David said...

Can we ease off on the ad hominem attacks, please? Perhaps, especially against people we haven't met?

Follow Spot said...

I have to agree with David ... Let's move on ...

Or if you wanna continue to talk about these shows, let's hear from someone who's seen them and can talk about what they saw onstage and leave the politics in the pub.

Thanks.

Neal said...

To clarify: my comment about Sarah Jane Hardy, who I have worked with on numerous occasions, and love dearly, was intended to parody the comments made by anonymous 10/25 8:19, wherein the poster assumes one production will be inferior to the other based on press photos.

Sheriff Monkey said...

Marshall Wolf - that cannot be your real name. And what pun? Do you even know what a pun is?

Now, to get back on topic - The Tempest was not good. It was amateur at best. But, that being said, NWCTC is doing what it wants to do, regardless of ... well ... a lot of things.

Pardon the pun.

Robin said...

The Tempest wasn't horrible. It wasn't great, either. But it did have some great actors mixed in with some...well, not good actors. A strange mix for a cast, actually. I don't know why anyone would hate it so much though. I had a good time.

Anonymous said...

Which actors were "great" in The Tempest?

Marhsall Wolf said...

Marshall Wolf can't be my real name? You might want to talk to my mum about that one. I'm told she chose it. Or perhaps my great-grandfather, who I was named after. (The Marhsall part, not the Wolf part. The Wolf part came from my paternal side. I think a few generations back it ended with an "e," but somewhere that got dropped.)

And yes, I know what a pun is. If I don't, the nice people in the Literature department at my University would have to be a bit barmy, really.

Point taken, however, that I may have overreached in referring to the assertion in "your momma's" post that "High school level acting abounds-- even with the non-high-school-age actors--" as a pun. I should have said that it seems to be MEANT as a pun, though it would fail any strict test as such. It's more just a sad attempt to be clever, I suppose.

Now, I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that your name is NOT actually Sheriff Monkey?

Glad to see the uptick in actual names, though.

Sergeant Weasel said...

"It's more just a sad attempt to be clever, I suppose."

Like naming someone Marshall Wolf.

Who knew this many people saw the tempest?

Anonymous said...

Marshall, don't listen to em. 4th grade is a hard one to shake for many people...and as it seems, some never escape. (For the record...I like your name, which isn't nearly as important as whether you do or not.)

Not let us get back to the point of this blog people: the stage!

E. Elizabeth Dellamatlena said...

Dear Marshall Wolf,
Well, sir, you've stumped me. I didn't intend any part of my comment as a pun. I actually don't even see how it could be read as such, so I guess you win and are smarter than me: congratulations. What I intended to say was the the level of acting was at a high school level, whether the actors were in high school or not (actually, that's what I did say), and therefore I tried to avoid in advance all of the comments (that would have been sure to result had I not qualified the statement) that some of the actors were in high school and so how could one expect more from them? No playing with my words.
As far as the anonymous debate goes, do we really have nothing better to talk about here? That says more for the state of Portland theatre than any comment I could possibly leave with my name on it.
Love,
Your Momma

Marshall Wolf said...

Wow.

Because I disagree with your opinion of a play, and perhaps take issue with your, ahem, writing "skillz," you cast aspersions onto my mum, my heritage and my name.

High School level indeed.

Curious as well - have you seen some recent high school acting? I'm not ACTUALLY sure it's the insult you intended.

Oh, and thank you, Elizabeth, for stepping out of the shadows. Perhaps others will follow suit?

E. Elizabeth Dellamatlena said...

Enough already, alright? I'm fucking confused. I didn't say anything about you. The only thing I said that even relates to you is that I don't see how what I wrote could be read as a pun. I couldn't care less what you think about my writing skills.

Here's the thing. I saw a play. I didn't like it. I checked followspot to see what other thought and there were no opinions. I posted my own. My OPINION. I didn't put my name on it because I don't like running into people on the street and having them harrass me about what I thought of a play. If that seems cowardly to you, I don't care.

Also, it's not my real name. What effect does that have on your anonymous opinions? I could put down your name if I chose-- it's the internet, it's anonymous by its very nature.The anonymous debate is tired. Give it a rest. You've inspired me to never post again-- even anonymously-- because it means dealing with asshats like you. There -- now I've insulted you. Take umbrage.

Good day, sir.

Tall Matt Haynes said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Marshall Wolf said...

Woah, Liz, calm down.

Not everything I say in every post is about you. I was responding to the, er, "asshats" who spoke before you, and THEN I was addressing you, at the end, when I mentioned your name. Which, apparantly, isn't your name. Or something.

You happened to post while I was halfway through writing, and I didnt want to muddle things up with two straight posts. Obviously that worked.

All I'm saying is if you have an opinion, be brave enough to put your name on it and have a discussion.

Your original post was under a psudonym and said the equivalent of "it sucked, and they were all bad" without anything to back it up.

I doubt your english teacher would have accepted that opinion, so why should we? If you can't support your claim, and put your name on it, then why bother posting at all?

Brian said...

Hello. This is my first time posting.

I'm actually in The Tempest. Up until now, I've been pretty happy to tell people that. But I'm a bit afraid that I might have tomatoes thrown at me or something for saying it here....

I just moved to Portland a couple months ago and am new to this site. Is this the way things generally go on this blog?

And does anyone have any constructive-type criticism?

Follow Spot said...

OK OK -- please folks, let's just stop ... I can't be here 24 hours a day anymore but I can turn on comment monitoring or shut down comments on this thread if I have to.

We're here to talk about what you see on the stage, what works, what doesn't, why ....

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Brian: I wouldn't worry about anything. I don't think the sniping is about your show anymore. I'll see the show and pass along some constructive criticism.

Marshall Wolf: Just because you are a wolf who happens to be a marshall does not give you the right to police everything people say!

Followspot: I think it's best if you just see the shows.

Dan said...

Brian, welcome to Portland. Break a leg. While the arguments on this blog can be heated, they are almost always relevant. Please don't judge it based on the two or three children who've been throwing stones at each other in this thread as of late. This blog is a very important tool for theatre folk to have an honest, open, and completely uninhibited discourse on Portland theatre. I hope it only continues to grow but also stays clean and productive. If you haven't already, head to PDX Backstage (http://go.to/pdxbackstage) for other industry postings and musings. And again, welcome. My friend good friend Ken has had nothing but good things to say about you.

Anonymous said...

I'd post a review of La Grand Guignol, but the Mercury already did it for me. Their review is dead-on. Love The Tragedies, wish I loved this show.

Viva las anonymousesesses...anonymi.

Anonymous said...

Relevent? On this Blog? Ummmm...hardly but have fun and continue to think well of yourselves and opinions.

Joe Theissen said...

Was that a pun? Or a shot at my mum? I can't decide whether I like the 'sassy' threads on followspot. On one hand, people should be nice. On the other hand, people should be funny. And this thread is funny. I don't think I've learned anything about any shows by reading it (sorry Followspot, but somehow I'm guessing you agree with me on that one), but it's plum amusing, that's for certain. Sad though, that so many are willing to engage in bickering on a forum that is, at its best, a great meeting of some great minds. I usually love to read along in relative silence, using my own brain to pick and choose what I will lend credence to. This thread makes me see that there are still far too many people out there who are more interested in being right than in engaging in intelligent dialogue. I wish that weren't the case. I believe it was Helen Hayes who once said "Stop being doodyheads, everyone."

Yes, Joe Theissen is my real name. (Should I feel brave?)

Follow Spot said...

Heh - well one good thing about threads like this is that traffic is sure up!

Now if only I could get a dime for every click ...

Anonymous said...

With all this attention, will we get Followspot's opinion of the The Tempest?

Follow Spot said...

Unfortunately, my current schedule precludes me from attending "The Tempest."

Dan remembering the days said...

Methinks you could use a good Box Office assistant, Mr. Followspot.

David Loftus said...

Brian--

Let me also welcome you to Portland . . . and even to followspot. Like Dan says, don't let the imperious stupidity on this particular thread throw you -- this blog is NOT usually like this. In the year I've been reading it, I've seen stuff like this maybe on two other occasions at most, out of six or eight dozen threads. Don't know why it happened to "The Tempest" and NWCTC; a little more understandable with the competing Nights of the Living Dead.

You're actually lucky your show got any notice here. I was in a NWCTC show in February-March, and it did not get covered by followspot or commented on by other actors here -- though we did manage to get a positive review in the Oregonian. NWCTC shows are, frankly, uneven -- across the season and within a given show -- and they know it, but it's a wonderful place to work, you get a chance to meet some of the better veteran actors in town, and the company does a terrific job of rousing up new and untried talents.

With any luck (actually, with just a little persistence), you'll soon meet me and Dan and other lovely folks in the Portland community, and even work with us.

David Loftus said...

"Elizabeth" apparently wrote: "You've inspired me to never post again-- even anonymously-- because it means dealing with asshats like you." Interesting that she wants to dish it out, but not to take it.

Aside from the fact that I can't help being curious about how many shows "Elizabeth" has worked on, or in, or with which companies (and she's perfectly welcome to email me privately at dloft59@earthlink.net to enlighten me on that point or anything else), I'm inclined to say good riddance. It sounds very much like "Elizabeth" hasn't been around the followspot blog -- and possibly even Portland theater community -- long enough to get to know how things work (or usually work) around here.

I don't have strong feelings one way or the other about either NW Classical Theatre or posting anonymously; I've acted in and for the one, and I've done a bit of the other on followspot, for various reasons. But I found "Elizabeth's" initial critique inelegant and unkind -- perhaps because she doesn't understand what NW Classical is about. And Robin, MOST of its productions mix good actors with new and not very good ones (mind you, those last two are not necessarily linked to each other); perhaps that's what caught "Elizabeth" off guard too, if she was unfamiliar with the place. That "strange mixture" may or may not be a conscious strategy on NW Classical's part, and it may or may not be due to one or another cause (which might be a worthy topic for discussion, here or somewhere else, like pdxbackstage).

This reminds me of the discussion that occurred on followspot a month or two ago about more formal theater criticism, and whether one can or should apply different standards to different companies or styles of theater. One or two folks piped up with the attitude that all theater should be held to the same high standard; I disagree. There are different kinds of theater, for different audiences, and different levels of aspiration and achievement . . . just as there are different kinds of movies, different kinds of sports entertainments, and different types of books one reads at leisure.

NW Classical is not doing the same thing as PCS, ART, or Vertigo or Third Rail or Milagro. One may enjoy what all six of these outfits do (if one has the luxury of sufficient time and money to catch all their shows), or one may prefer the work of one or two over that of the others. But when applying criticism, one might perhaps consider -- especially for the benefit of the rest of the readers of followspot who have not seen a representative array of all these theaters' work -- just what sort of standards one is applying in one's criticism of any one of them.

If you choose to apply the same incredibly high standard to all, then perhaps it’s only fair that you should make yourself known so that YOUR work may be judged by a similarly high standard, at least so that folks may know in future whether to trust your judgment when you make similar pronouncements.

Anonymous said...

David Loftus makes a nice argument for not applying a single stiff critical rule to all work. But, at risk of being mercantile about it, I think that a company courts higher expectations when it sells tickets for as much as $18 and expects to get reviewed in The Oregonian and WW. I can see a show at nearly any of the best, most consistant venues in town, for about the same price, (albeit, with a RUSH ticket, in the case or PCS). If you ask for attention, I think you need to be held responsible, when you get it.

Of course, this does not excuse inane bursts of invective, such as Elizabeth's, even if her anger at paying such a high ticket price for what she deems shoddy work IS understandable. I often--very often--feel the same way. I've just learned to cool off before talking about it.

motherlover said...

I can't for the life of me figure out what hideous crime "Elizabeth" committed to get everyone's ire in a bunch. quoting her almost directly, she saw a play, she didn't like it, she posted her opinion. Her criticisms were strictly about the show AND they weren't actually all negative. And here Marshall Wolf, clever university fellow, comes along and the first sentence of his post is not to, as one might think, to defend the Tempest, but to attack "Elizabeth!" Yes, by criticizing her opinion ANd her writing, in a way, I might add, that made absolutely no sense!!! There is no pun!! There is nothing that can be remotely regarded as even looking sideways at an attempt to pun! Where do they come up with this stuff!?!

Now, in my opinion, and since opinions are obviously not about shows here, but rather about what other people said about shows, I think that any "bursts of invective" on Elizabeth's part (and mind you, from where I sit she had the least invective of all), were far from inane. Marshall attacked her directly and repeatedly, then denied it, all the while griping about the anonymous thing, which is SO OLD.

David, you should be ashamed of yourself! "She obviously doesn't know how things work." "Good riddance." Yeah, poor Elizabeth, she'll never be truly part of the real theatre community until she realizes that NWCTC is "about" doing mediocre work....Boy can that Elizabeth ever "dish out" her opinion of a show that she didn't like, but as soon as it's her opinion on the chopping block, then she just wants to take her inelegant, cruel criticism and go home.

There was also a debate on this forum not long ago about whether criticism is for the perfomer or the audience. Elizabeth's review was for the audience. She saw it and didn't want me to waste my money. THANK YOU, ELIZABETH. Thank you for caring about my $18 and several hours of my time. Please continue to post, ANONYMOUSLY because that's the only way I know you're sharing your true valuable opinion and not just trying to attach your name in the oh-so-exclusive Portland theatre community to wise-yet-stern chastisement and fair-but-firm criticism.

Don't let the asshats win!

David Loftus said...

> David, you should be ashamed of
> yourself! "She obviously doesn't
> know how things work." "Good
> riddance."

Allow me to note that I did not say "good riddance." I said I was "inclined" to say it. I wasn't appalled by Elizabeth's first critique; it was merely MY opinion that it was inelegant and unkind (and most of the Portland actors I know wouldn't indulge in such a thing, for many different reasons, but perhaps Elizabeth operates at a much higher professional level in general than most of us), and I don't particularly want her to go away or stop offering such remarks.

I found some of Marshall's posts incomprehensible as well. I was more annoyed by Elizabeth's responses to them than by her initial criticisms of "The Tempest." Asshats are only able to discommode us as much as we allow them to.

> Yeah, poor Elizabeth,
> she'll never be truly part of
> the real theatre community until
> she realizes that NWCTC
> is "about" doing mediocre
> work....

That's not what I said. Read it again.


> Boy can that Elizabeth
> ever "dish out" her opinion of
> a show that she didn't like, but
> as soon as it's her opinion on
> the chopping block, then she
> just wants to take her
> inelegant, cruel criticism and
> go home.

Again, I didn't say that. Again, feel free to post directly to me if you care to discuss this any further.

Anonymous said...

Peddling backwards is a great workout for one's thighs, and a great way to burn off that Halloween candy. Keep up the good work, old chap!

The Duke said...

Oh my good heavens! This blog is getting ridiculous...

Perhaps we could have an organized theatre smackdown...

...remember, regardless of what people tell you this is about, the most important item of the day: let us all be witty, witty, witty! Stay full of pomp!

anothermous said...

I think I speak for a lot of people when I say "yawn".

David Loftus said...

Okay, I've thought about this a little more. Consider the following passage:

> There was also a debate on this
> forum not long ago about whether
> criticism is for the perfomer or
> the audience. Elizabeth's review
> was for the audience. She saw it
> and didn't want me to waste my
> money. THANK YOU, ELIZABETH.
> Thank you for caring about my
> $18 and several hours of my
> time.

Are you being absolutely honest here -- in the sense that you were seriously considering whether to go see "The Tempest" before you read anything on followspot -- or is this more of a rhetorical passage?

Because, to be honest, I pretty much know what I'm going to see before I read anything about it. If there's any change, I make an extra effort to see something that I hadn't considered but hear a LOT of good buzz about, but I hardly ever decide AGAINST seeing something because people are saying it's bad -- because that tends to happen with shows that either I had no intention of seeing in the first place, or shows I was determined to see and could fairly expect to have a mixed response about at best, because I am going to support my friends involved in the show.

I consciously choose to pay for shows done by marginal companies like NW Classical, because they need the money (and in some cases, it's a kind of payback for the money they paid me when I acted for them!); whereas I tend to go after the 2-for-1 option or ushering with the better heeled outfits like ART, when I can.

That being so, I think what irritated me about Elizabeth's initial critique, if anything, were the comments "I heartily do not recommend," and everything from "If it's worth your $18" on. Everything else, though a bit harsh, clearly addresses the quality of the show (and I reiterate that I have made similarly harsh comments anonymously on this blog, and later listened stoicly to my friends complain about what I had said about their show, not knowing of course that it was me), but I regard the portions I've singled out as superfluous, even gratuitous. They are the sort of thing a newspaper critic can, would, and maybe even should say, but I would argue that this is a different space, and we are different critics. People can make up their own minds based on what I would have left (if they hadn't, as I describe above, already done so based on other criteria).

The Duke said...

I think I speak for a lot of people when I say "yawn".

Well then, anothermous, you and your "peeps" should go take a nap.

How long is the Tempest running? With all this buzz, it seems like a wonderful, can't miss experience!

Anonymous said...

David,

I was being honest AND rhetorical. No, I wasn't planning on going to see the Tempest. Yes, I sometimes do or don't go see shows based on reviews, both from newspapers and on here. No, I don't agree that we have a responsibility to be "nicer" or "different" from newspaper reviewers in this forum. Yes, I actually beleive that Elizabeth should be commended for taking the time to say something about a show she saw, negative or positive, anonymous or otherwise. I didn't find it to be petty or personal or underhanded, I found it to be concise and on-topic, which is more than I can say for either of us, Marshall Wolf, Monkey Sheriff, and a couple others who have to remain nameless because they didn't give a name.

Anonymous said...

I just saw who plays Caliban. I think I will sit this one out. I don't think I could bear it.

David said...

Ouch.

Anonymous said...

MISS WITHERSPOON

Integrity Productions

Pretty tedious stuff. This was the first Durang play I have seen. Are there other Durang works people like, or did you like this one?

Sarcasm and emotional armor aren't that interesting to me. Is that what he's about?

Anonymous said...

Now, that was just mean.

And I'm not talking about Miss Witherspoon.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I was kidding! I knew David was a regular reader, and he responded with aplomb as expected. A true nobleman. Not the best Caliban choice ever, but he knows that. It was a good challenge for him and I anticipate seeing it with an open mind and heart. Bravo just for taking it on!

Scrubby said...

i agree with the earlier poster ....

(yawn)

David said...

Okay. A joke. Good. Ha ha. I can laugh at myself. Yes. Really. I'm stepping away from the gun.... I'm putting away the sleeping pills.... Turning off the oven.... Putting back the can of frosting I was about to eat....

Theater. Jesus.

Tall Matt Haynes said...

Hey gang,
Tall Matt Haynes here. I saw an October 27th posting with my name on it that was Removed. I haven't posted on Followspot before this letter. Has this happened to anyone before? I'm confused.

not tall matt haynes said...

Matt,

An individual was illustrating that one of the reasons that it is beneficial to remain anonymous is that anybody can post as any name they choose...

...it just so happens that you were the lucky person drawn from the hat and followspot acted accordingly.

Oh, and by the bye, I have heard that you are partial to goats.

Follow Spot said...

Someone was just trying to prove the point that one can post using any ol' name and it can appear as if it comes from that person (in this case our own Tall Matt Haynes).

I thought the content of the post was inappropriate, so I removed it.

Now, back to the shows at hand .... Who here can tell me what they saw last weekend, and what did or didn't work for them? :)

Anonymous said...

Why no reviews of Jingle Spree at Coho. Performances by Dee Wells and Eric Reid absolutely rock!

Follow Spot said...

I do hope to see "Jingle Spree" before it closes, but that will be another coupla weeks -- after my weekend schedule clears up again.

Meanwhile -- if others wanna chat about it here, feel free....

Anonymous said...

can I just say how unfortunate it is that the NWCTC and the Tempest had to take the brunt from all of this negativity. I hazard to guess that most of those who posted never even saw the show in the first place. I pity any production that gets such negative attention for no reason what so ever.

Tall Matt Haynes said...

Ah yes, the goats. Well, from what I'm told by my mom, I used to kiss them at the zoo when I was a toddler. Other than that, I don't have much else for them. Other than the cheese. Damn good cheese.

Anyway, please don't post under my name if you're not me. And I empathize with people who desire to remain anonymous.

Regarding some of the previous topics:

TEMPEST-- haven't seen it but I really dig NWCTC, agree that they tend to have highs and lows within the same show, and I don't really care. I think they approach Classical Texts with a sense of fun and respect, but not pomposity. They've taken small spaces (both stage and house) and small budget and really made charming, cohesive and unique environments out of both (from what I've seen): It's all part of what I love about Portland. By the way, go to a show and you'll get virtually all the free chocolates you want. No joke.

DORA'S BOX-- The script isn't that difficult for me to digest and I doubt that anyone who has enjoyed Brooklyn Bay, Defunkt, Liminal, Fever or Hand2mouth's stuff would find the surreal weave of Dora's Box to be off the deep end. There are flashbacks and poetic moments of reflection but it's actually quite linear and very elegant. Check it out.

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD-- Didn't get a chance to see John's latest version but I hope it did well. I've worked with John's direction and loved it. I also saw his remount of Peter Pan last year and it was one of my top 4 favorite shows of the season.
I caught NWCTC's version of Dead and thought it was great... I still think the show would have more tension if the zombies were upstage, lurking behind the set walls, rather than in the audience (it's hard to suspend fear for the characters when the flesh-eaters are right next to you and not doing a thing) but unlike last year's production, I thought this one more consistently caught the spirit of the film by using social satire as its source of humor rather than camp.
Keep playing, y'all.

Anonymous said...

Millstone! This is the police! Walk away from the can of frosting with your hands in the air, and nobody gets hurt!

Seriously, folks, I'm just looking for the next meeting of A.A. (that's Asshats Anonymous, Marshall).

And, Erin? You are soooo busted!

Anonymous said...

that is hilarious. i was wondering when someone would bust erin on this. as for me, i want to see the tempest just to see what all the fuss is about. does anyone know how long it's playing?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what a shock. Don't we all have something better to do?

Anonymous said...

In the words of the pioneers before you: Yawn

Anonymous said...

In the words of the pioneers before you: Yawn

Anonymous said...

Oh, gu-uy. This is so much fun. It's just like high school.

This is so much fun. It's just like high school.

Anonymous said...

Tempest runs two more weekends.

Anonymous said...

Hey Followspot, are you planning to see Sojourn's new show One Day? I'd highly recommend it to everyone: excellent acting all around (especially from Chris Harder, Victor Mack and Kimberly Howard), wonderful stories and character development, well-paced, funny and moving.

I didn't expect to become as involved with the characters as I did, and the show encouraged me to think about new solutions to the problems confronting our city and fellow citizens. I know it sounds cheesy but its true. I was there on opening night and the discussion part of the evening was lively and could have gone on even longer, everyone in the audience seemed very engaged. It's playing around town in different venues for a few more weekends.

Follow Spot said...

I do hope to see the Sojourn piece, but there's one more weekend of hiatus before I'm back in the audience.

Dan not volunteering said...

Looks like you might need to have a more regular guest correspondent to catch the shows you cannot see with your new weekend-busy schedule. Like a sidekick. Followspot and Source4Special maybe.

Anonymous said...

So...

...uh, did anyone see the tempest this weekend?

Anonymous said...

...uh, did anyone see the tempest this weekend?

I'm guessing they didn't. Too bad. It'd be nice to read a constructive review of that show. NWCTC has always been my favorite "underdog" theatre company.

Anonymous said...

I saw The Tempest. I didn't care for it. I thought there were some good performances but overall the cast was really uneven and the pace was plodding. I enjoyed Richard Reiten as Prospero in the begining (he looks great in the role!) but he didn't really go anywhere with the character. No real arc or development. Ditto almost everyone else in the cast. The show found one note and just sort of stayed there. Antonio and Sebastian were good in what has to be the two most thankless roles in the show. So no, it's not NWCTS's best work, but I don't understand all the bashing of the company that I've read on this blog. I though GHOSTS (their last show) was excellent and so did the friends I attended with. Grant Turner's group has done some really great productions over the years. This just wasn't one of them. But you could say that about any other theater in this town.
I hope that was more of the thoughtful constructive type review people were looking for.
I guess they are doing Henry the Fifth with Leif Norby later this season. I will definately want to check that out!

David Loftus said...

More than enough has been said on most of the issues raised here. But I'm still pondering:

> I don't agree that we have a
> responsibility to be "nicer"
> or "different" from newspaper
> reviewers in this forum.

Not a "responsibility," certainly. I think of it more as consideration, because it's a different relationship: one between friends or colleagues, even if you aren't acquainted with them, as opposed to critic-actor, which I think by definition is more of an adversarial relationship, even if they ARE acquainted -- and I think any critic would agree with me that it makes the job harder if you're friends with the people you're reviewing.

If we should treat one another "just like" newspaper critics, then ask yourself why we make so many complaints about critics in general, as well as specific reviews. Is that more of a reflection of their meanness or incompetence, or our unreal expectations of them?

Every once in a while I am tempted to buy the notion that it's an honest and progressive form of "mercy killing" to inform an actor or writer that he or she just doesn't have enough talent to justify going on and "wasting everybody's time."

But can you honestly say that, if there are audiences for what they do? Nearly all of us seem to have been to shows we hated, but was that true of everyone else in the house?

better than you said...

I have an MFA from 12 accredited schools(9 being theater related), 3 BFA in heart surgery, world care and rocket science and I'm only 27. I just want everyone to know that I am better than all of you.

I remember back in high school, when the internet first came out and people use to get online and talk about how they were going to fight each other and blah blah blah. The majority of you remind me of those people. Childish, immature and really not wanting to have to own up to anything. That's fun for everybody!

Please don't even bother responding, because. like my name says, I am indeed better than you and come from a qualified postition to say so because I have 15 MFA's...and I volunteer at the homeless shelter.

jeff said...

I can't tell if the lack of math is supposed to be sarcastic, ironic, or just humorous...regardless, I'll admit, you're better than me.

-j

Better than you said...

I really should have been more clear.
15 total Fine Art degrees:
12 MFA's - 3 BFA's
9 of the 12 MFA's are theater oriented.

Thank you Jeff for both illustrating my point that I am better than you as well as agreeing with it.

By the way, I have acted for every single company in this town and am a member of AEA, AFTRA, SAG and the BTY organization. If you need me to shed light on any point brought up over the last 92 comments, please let me know and I will simplify everything into less than eleven words. You all waste so much time and energy getting across the simplicity of your minds.

You know what, I'll break it down real quick:
We're all monkeys and act accordingly. What's theater to a monkey?

There. Eleven words. Simple.

Anonymous said...

If we're so beneath you, why are you still here? Leave us behind and go forth to bigger and better things and don't waste your time on us.

Anonymous said...

"Better than you said..."

Ah, to be young. And a troll. And a shitty troll at that. So, back to the thread about the shows. The Tempest is the only one of these shows still open. Given all the comments here, is anyone planning on seeing it?

Anonymous said...

Leif Norby is doing Henry V? I love that guy, he really is amazing. Did you know he's doing "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" again at the World Trade Center Theater? I think it opens this weekend. He is truly a Portland gem.

Anonymous said...

Starting this weekend? Someone should send out a pdx backstage post. Haven't heard about that one yet.

Frenchglen said...

test

Anonymous said...

Come on, just one more and we have 100 posts!

Dan said...

Is the Tempest still playing? I heard it was a fine production.

Anonymous said...

No, The Tempest is done. It had its moments (some actors were just a lot better than others) but it didn't deserve the bashing that it got here

Anonymous said...

Yes - truly a tempest in a teapot.