Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Guys & Dolls

Portland Center Stage **Photo credit: Owen Carey**
September 23 - November 15, 2008

Review by peanutduck

A lackluster season of big-dream musicals so far. A mechanical, well-greased machine; it’s got the talent but, besides Nicely-Nicely Johnson (Horman), grabbed-by-the-balls Detroit (Plumpis), Miss Sarah’s (Brown) salad splashing, are they having any fun? And what’s with the plaid blanket flats? Symbolic Hot Box spiderweb? Dull lighting? Disjointed, bizarre choreography?

74 comments:

David Loftus said...

They seemed to be having a lot of fun last night, and so was the audience. I liked the spare yet striking set changes -- the transformations to and throughout the Havana scene were gorgeous, although I guess the Hotbox left a little to be desired. Masterson was moving, Adelaide hilarious, and Sarah has a fantastic voice. Leif looked and sounded really good on that stage, too!

Anonymous said...

local talent
local talent
local talent
hire local talent
local

Anonymous said...

I always wonder that as well.
When is PCS going to hire local talent?

Anonymous said...

Yeah what about local talent??
Wasn't Debbie Hunter (an incredible singing ACTRESS)available for Sarah? She was great when the Symphony did G&D a few years back as were Margie Boule as Adelaid, Shawn Rogers as Nicely and Ron Daum as Nathan or how about Susanna Mars who was Adelaid and Duffy Epstein as Nathan at the Musical Theater Company. They all still live in town, I believe, are they just not available? I know several (Hunter, Mars, Daum) have worked at the Center Stage in the past. It's funny that Broadway Rose could find all locals for Les Mis. Inquiring minds want to know.
SS

Anonymous said...

oxymoron
oxymoron
oxymoron

Anonymous said...

While I agree that some locals may be equal to or better than some of the folks PCS brings in from out of state, you might consider the situation from the company's point of view. I'm sure they'd like to achieve a solid regional, and even national, profile. That's less likely to happen if they stick to local performers. I've heard that actors from out of state have taken mostly warm reports back to SoCal, the East Coast, and parts between about their experience here, and when that happens, more performers and playwrights are apt to want to strut their stuff in li'l ol' Portland. Does that benefit the rest of us? I don't know.

Anonymous said...

Theater companies aren't obligated to use local performers. They are also not obligated to produce new works, musicals or recent Broadway hits unless that is part of their mission statement.

They are obligated to serve their mission statement and their audiences in whatever way they think is best. I'm sure if PCS thought a local actor was as good or better in a role than an out of town actor, he would use the local actor. Local actors are much cheaper and no theater is going to spend more than it has to. Obviously they thought their audiences were better served by going a different way, and that's not a slam on Portland actors any more than not casting any perfectly good actor in a role somehow disparages that actors talent. That's just how it goes.

There are plenty of theaters that hire locally. Enough so that it's sometimes hard to find enough actors in town to fill roles.

Besides, inquiring mind, if you already saw a great performance of Guys and Dolly with Margi, Debbie, Sean and Ron - all of whom, I'm sure, were fantastic. That's a top drawer cast on any show - why would you want to see the same people do the same roles all over again? As somebody who has been in local theater for many years, I actually enjoy going to a play and not knowing everyone in the cast. PCS is about the only place I can still do that.

Anonymous said...

i have heard (on more than one occaision) that out of town actors hate working here -- that they consider it "Slumming"

Anonymous said...

this is one great big dead turd.

Anonymous said...

overheard in the lobby:
"i have seen high school productions better than this"

Anonymous said...

this production is a great big bowl of "huh?"

the tempi are so slow that the show runs fully a half hour too long.

scott coopwood is misguidedly trying to win a drammy in a tiny role.

the leads are far inferior to the cast that did it about 10 yrs ago at the symphony.
(cory brunnish, debby hunter, ron dom and susannah mars, i think)
and pcs spent 5 times what they needed to by importing these guest artists.

they set it (without justification) in the 1930's and then got the props wrong.
the 1950's pay phone and the reference to a studebaker were jarring.

it is as though this director has never done a comedy before.
90% of the laugh lines are botched.

note to director:
PRO test is a noun
pro TEST is how you pronounce the verb

and yes, the 4 lonely hot box girls make you wish for a nice sturdy chorus line of a dozen or more. the hot box club was decidedly luke warm.

perhaps the most scandalous shocker about this production of this classic, indominable musical is the fact that chris coleman's name is printed as large in the program as the show's writers and composer.
i trust they are spinning with agony in their respective graves.

this production is a new low for the lamentable PCS.

Anonymous said...

well i didn't think it was THAT bad.
but it certainly was a waste of talent and money.
i wonder if anyone at pcs really has any concept (or care) of just how deeply the community of creative artists here sits aghast at the travesties that continue unabated at the armory.
if there is any justice, coleman and his clan will exit in the near future, and great new age of worthy locally fostered theatre will ensue.
if we all put our minds to it and think good thoughts, it might just happen.
just repeat the mantra:
"chris coleman is a great director
SOMEPLACE ELSE."

Anonymous said...

i read some years back in an interview with coleman that guys and dolls was his dream project.
it would be too easy to say here that it turned out to be more of a nightmare.
but in fact, it makes one wonder how the guy ever got hired to direct anything, anywhere.
his staging is labored and awkward.
this vehicle has some of the most famously funny slam dunk laff lines in the history of the genre, and here they just fall facedown in the mud. crickets can be heard.
and the show is supposed to be naughty and sexy.
this rendering is impotent --- a vapid, bloodless sort of interpretation of one of the top 10musicals ever conceived.
it is not just a misfire, it is offensively bad.
actively inert (now there is an oxymoron.)
audience members were pissed on their way to their cars and with good reason.
rent the movie.
it's bad, bit it ain't chris coleman bad.

Anonymous said...

There is one reason and one reason only that C Coleman hires out of town talent.
It is because he believes word of his glory will spread around the nation, and he will be hired away to direct in the big leagues.
By hiring locally, he gains nothing.
We can only hope his plan works.

Ben Waterhouse said...

Okay, I've got to jump into this sea of sockpuppets and inject some reality. You wan't "locally fostered" theater? Do you think PCS was founded by some New York corporation? This thing grew out of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, remember?

I'm as vocal as any in calling for Portland theaters to use local talent. Now that the number of decent Equity actors in Oregon is growing, PCS is using more every year. They've got a quota (the exact number escapes me) of local actors to use per season.

You talk about these regional theater actors as if they were evil high-rollers from New York who come out here to steal our jobs. Come on! Most of them are constantly on the move, taking jobs around the country wherever they can. Portland isn't slumming for them. Maybe Oklahoma is. I've met a number of these actors, and they love working here.

I've got my own complaints about the casting and direction of this show, but it's pretty silly to suggest that Brunish would have sung, danced and acted better than this cast.

Do you really think that, at almost $75 a ticket, PCS is sucking the life out of other local theaters? You could see Les Mis at Broadway Rose three times for that much. And people do: most of the musicals I've seen lately have had full houses.

Anonymous said...

dude
OSF is not local.
local is portland.
local is our town.
(and yes we remember where PCS came from --do you? weren't you 3 yrs old at the time?)
and why do you single out brunish for yet another stab?
still working up that old vendetta?
and sky doesn't dance in the show, so you're kinda tilting at windmills anyway.
dude.
dude?
dude!
well, at least you agree the show was inept.
but then again, seeking your opinion on theatre is like getting a hairdresser's opinion on how to fix a chevy.

Anonymous said...

"I've got my own complaints about the casting and direction of this show, but it's pretty silly to suggest that Brunish would have sung, danced and acted better than this cast."
as usual waterhouse misses the point.
not BETTER, but AS GOOD AS.
and without having to pay for travel, lodging and whatever else they pay out of towners.
the POINT then, is if they can produce the same show for LESS money, WE pay LESS at the box office.
wow ben wow.
read the blog man, read the blog.

Anonymous said...

i think the other point these bloggers are trying to make is that when you use folks who have played the role before, you have a leg up on the rehearsal process, a growth and a comfort level others cannot have. and then maybe you don't have to watch the cast forget their words as they did when i saw it. in others words, it just makes good sense. naturally, directors are very threatened by actors who already have a "take" on the role. they fear they will not get their way. so as per usual in the theatre, ego directs the show.

Anonymous said...

hey forget the symphony production already. there are several porltanders who could have done each role (dare i say it?) BETTER than the folks in this cast.
they could have cast this show 3 deep in every role from our talent pool.
no doubt about it.

(and they should have -- at least with locals you get a known quantity -- seems to me -- as a director -- when you cast aliens, you really don't know anything about them, in terms of how they work --- though i guess two of these folks were left over from cabaret....)

Anonymous said...

why are we talking about a cast that did the show a decade ago?
aren't they a little long in the tooth by now?

Anonymous said...

i've got the perfect analogy for PCS.
pcs has this great mechanism in place --- grants, sponsors, great facility (with those dreadful voice of god p.a. system announcements that make you feel like you're in a airport) huge staff to cover every need, subscriber base, ad budget, on and on.
so their mechanism is like a new SUV, all shinny and pretty and, like most SUV's, it spews pollution.
the other scrappier theatres in town are like cute little electric cars that scurry about in the shadows, surviving by their wits and producing green results.
they are the future of portland theatre.

Anonymous said...

ben i am glad you brought up b'way rose.
they would have done a much better job with G/D.
in fact they had it on the slate for last summer.
would that they would have followed thru.

Anonymous said...

well, re the age thing -- actually no.
sky is a confirmed bachelor, sarah is supposed to be a bit of an old maid, adelaide has been engaged for 14 yrs and nathan is usually older than she, so no, age would not have been the issue.

Corey Brunish said...

Hey, leave me out of it. Robert Mammana did a much better job than I ever would have.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for showing some class, Corey. I have even less respect for Ben after reading his obnoxious, gratuitous slight. Ben, you have lost all credibility with me.

Ben Waterhouse said...

No slight intended. I just don't think Cory is quite the triple-threat that Mammana is. Debbie Hunter, though, might have been a better choice for Sarah Brown.

Anonymous said...

And, I just don't think you are much of a theatre critic, Ben. No slight intended.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, Ben. You can praise an actor's performance without insulting someone else with comparison. Especially when that someone else had nothing to do with it. But unlike others here, I don't think this makes you a bad theatre critic. It does, however, make you look like a dick.

followspot said...

Disagreement and debate are welcome, but please do not attack other responders. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

In my humble opinion, it would benefit everyone involved, if we would ALL make an effort to learn how to engage in thoughtful discourse in a way that is open and honest, but not snide, unkind or insulting. It is possible to state an opinion - even one that may be less than flattering toward a performer - while maintaining a tone of kindness or at least impassiveness.

Yes, it IS possible. I think they teach it to critics who have actual formal training in theatre criticism.

We, as a community, treat each other like crap.

It's very tiresome.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your opinion wholeheartedly, but I don't understand how we can ask others not to be snide, and then continue to make a snide comment ourselves.

"I think they teach it to critics who have actual formal training in theatre criticism."

You cannot be so tiresome if you can throw in a jab yourself, can it?

Part of the issue is the nature of print. You cannot always read the intentions of others: one sometimes infers.

Anonymous said...

And I have to say that, as irritating as we may find the reviews our shows sometimes receive in the the local press, they are rarely as petty or nasty as posts to this blog by anonymous writers -- professional actors, one is supposed to assume -- are on a regular basis. So who's living down to stereotype the most, folks?

Anonymous said...

Bruce Blanchard would of rocked as Sky Masterson but apparently he's good enought for New York but not for Portland...you do the math

Anonymous said...

There's really only one thing that needs to be said on this whole matter:


LEIF NORBY IS A THEATRICAL GOD!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David Loftus said...

You obviously DON'T know Leif Norby. _I_ don't know really know him -- have never worked on a show with him, can claim only a nodding acquaintance at best -- but I know as well as anything that he didn't write that post. I wish whoever's been doing it would own up or stop it. It's not doing Leif or anybody else any favors.

Anonymous said...

Its funny to see the Portland Pool of Talent get on here and talk about how "we" are much more suited to be playing these roles than the people from the big NYC.
In all reality, this pool of talent has realized that it is far to old to be playing the parts in the first place.
Talent from Portland gets on here and talks about how it is an injustice for PCS to not provide an opportunity for "us" to succeed on their stage.
It feels like this older group of talent is doing the same thing to the younger generation of talent.
It just seems hypocritical to be talking about pulling from a pool of equity, when Portland seems to just pull from a pool of age.

Brklyn said...

Yikes Stripes!

honestly, i highly doubt these people would self-promote in such a random way as to boast about how much they would have rocked in a show they weren't cast in on an annonymous followspot post.

that being said, brooke fletcher totally would have rocked as one of the crapshooters.

Brklyn said...

...or that leif would call himself a theatrical god anonymously. he's the kind of guy that would put his name on that kind of statement. ;)

Joe Theissen said...

I know Leif Norby very well, and I'm 100% certain he posts nothing on this site whatsoever. He always has to be told when his name even comes up.

Regarding anonymous posting: I used to be all for it, until I found myself caught up in the snarkiness, saying some regrettable and unkind things about another performer and trying to rationalize it (to myself) as a thoughtful critique. That was (and is) B.S.

At the risk of sounding utterly pollyannic, we all (myself included) need to remember that we have FAR more common goals than disparate ones, and everyone is out there doing the best they know how to do, taking jobs when offered, trying to do what directors ask of them, and putting themselves out there. There's no call or need for the kind of cruelty that this blog has come to represent.

I heartily apologize to those I've dented or dinged - you know who you are. I am now a firm supporter of NAMES (not pseudomyns, but NAMES) attached to all posts. I know this might hamper some honest feedback, but so be it. It would be a far greater and more honorable forum were it not for the shield of anonymity that allows so many people to throw flames, stones, or whetever they can get their hands on.

So the way I see it, we can continue allowing anonymous posts in the name of "encouraging honest discourse", OR we can require full names and profiles, and restore some credibility to a forum that has remarkably little left at this point.

Joe

(Bonus points for coining the term "pollyannic'?)

Anonymous said...

um yeah that's all very nice and all
but people
this is the Guys and Dolls site
which I believe is still running over at the Armory

BST

followspot said...

Let's get back to the show, please. Thanks.

joe theissen said...

...just went where the conversation took us. . .

many 'pologies.

followspot said...

Hi Joe - just a blanket request, not directed at anyone in particular. You raise valid points. Anonymous posting is a trick beast - pros and cons abound.

Matt Brown said...

I saw the preview and I must say I adored John Plumpis. He was hilarious and a joy to watch.

Matt

P.S. I whole heartily agree with my friend Joe.

Garland Lyons said...

My oh my...

I realize that Followspot posted that last comment to keep us on track regarding the show...but, I have to back Ben up on a comment that he made.

Did anyone pick up on the Equity facts that Ben pointed out? I would love to see all local actors on the stage at PCS..but, there just aren't enough Equity actors in town to fit the bill. PCS has a quota of Equity actors that they HAVE to cast for each show. Now, I dont know what type of contract they have now since they are working with a smaller house, but it has to be at least LORT C...anyone? They have a contract with Equity that they have to uphold. So, if they don't have an Equity actor to fill the role, they have to look outside of town. Thats the bottom line. Leif? Not Equity. Debbie? Nope....
So, do you hire an expensive Equity actor to fill a really small role or do you use that contract for a much larger role? Do the math...
I am sure they have no animosity towards Portland. They just have find the Equity folks that match up with the characters for that particular show.

At least thats how I see it.

G

Anonymous said...

"Thats the bottom line. Leif? Not Equity. Debbie? Nope...."

Garland,
Debbie H IS union so are Brunish, Palomino, Mars, Daum, Tim True, Chris Roccaro, Nan Gatchell and many other fine performers in town
Yes, PCS has a quota of how many union actors they need to use but there is no quota on how many need to be locals.
BST

Greg Heaton said...

I was totally with this show until the sewer scene. The train jumped the track. Until then, it was breezy, fun, silly Disney sleeze.

What the hell were they thinking with "Luck Be A Lady?" It was awful.

The show recovered thanks to Nathan and Adelaide, who were in good comic form.

And it does make sense to put the show in the Great Depression since that's when the original Damon Runyan stories happened.

Chris Murray said...

This is, without a doubt, the greatest followspot thread I have ever seen.

Let me recap it for you, if you've missed anything.

The show isn't good because of a phone prop.

Local actors are the solid gold bricks that pave the streets of Awesomeopolis.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival sucks.

Ben Waterhouse hates Portland and eats babies.

Leif Norby is the best thing that has ever happened since Leif Norby.

Out of town actors hate LORT B+ equity contracts because they pay a living wage.

Anonymous posters are well within their right to write anything they want, ever.

And who the hell is Garland Lyons?

Please, please, please keep writing more in this thread. I need more!

Anonymous said...

why does chris murray have to chime in on every board....make it stop!!!

Anonymous said...

Chris Murray should post more.

He's a local theatrical god.

Anonymous said...

Hm.

Could be that we'd have more equity actors if PCS hired more local actors.

Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

But why should PCS hire local actors if they don't have to? If you really feel strongly on this issue, take up the ol' fashioned "buy local" stance and refuse to see their shows. Just resist the urge. No matter what they produce, no matter what deal they offer, no matter how many token local actors they throw in, do not go to their shows. And encourage everyone you know to refuse to attend their shows, too. PCS has no reason to even consider hiring local talent if they don't need to.
Instead, throw your support to any of the companies in town that do produce work that is the product of local talent. They're the ones who are struggling to stay alive and need your support most of all. And if those companies go, so will the support for our local talent.
I really can't say it enough: please consider where your money is going before you buy that ticket. Will it ultimately benefit your community? Or is it going to leave town when the production closes?

Joey Klei said...

A couple things that bothered me about this production of one of my favorite shows; I have always enjoyed "Runyonland" at the top of the show - it sets up the tone and style of how the production is going to tell the story. It wasn't there and though I know the show pretty well, it left me wondering why the device wasn't used. I think it may have helped to set the depression era tone that I read about.

I also missed the dancing. This musical gem was built with dance in mind in a time when movement helped tell the story. Congrats to Amy, Leif and Chris for putting the Portland pinache in a classic.

Anonymous said...

Why are there only 3 Hot Box dancers now? Weren't there 4 at the beginning of the run? This seems to be going in the wrong direction.

Anonymous said...

If PCS continues to alienate Portland's top performers..in this case musical theatre performers..they will have to pay the piper sooner than later. Chris Coleman is a very short sighted man, can't direct his way out of a box of hair and has a massive ego. One day PCS will need those people and they will simply flip the bird at the theatre in the Pearl.

Anonymous said...

to anonymous 10:40 pm : one of the hotbox girls was injured. i think her replacement starts friday.

Anonymous said...

I lived in Portland years ago and flew in to see the show this past weekend. I was really dissappointed- I thought it was mediocre at best. Some great performances from Skye Masterson (can't remember the actor's name) and Lt. Brannigan, along with the ensemble of dancers. But the other lead actors were beyond phoning it in- they were MIA. Chris Coleman has a great reputation in this country but as someone who doesn't live here.... when I return home and my colleagues ask how was it? I'm saying the truth. mediocre. So it doesn't do any good to hire out of town talent when you're doing mediocre work. As an actor I was expecting brilliance and was so dissppointed. I don't even know if I ever even want to audition for this company since the show was so uninspiring. And this is from an actor who used to live in Portland. From reading the comments... I saw Susannah Mars in "Falsettos" years ago and she was excellent. Why the hell wasn't she in this? It doesn't make any sense. There is so much amazing talent in Portland so why is the company hiring mediocre actors from out of state? It's offensive, annoying, and something I never want to see again, as an ex-Oregonian. Look- I don't care if they hire out of state talent or in state, but why hire bad out of state when you can hire great in state? It makes nooooooooo sense. I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

well... I just posted the post above and after re-reading it, it sounded so negative. Well... there were great things about the show, like "sit down you're rockin' the boat" and I really liked "luck be a lady", too. The singing and harmonies of Nicely-Nicely, Benny, etc. was great. It's just... basically, what other people have said. And that is the frustration with the out of state talent thing... I just can't believe there wasn't someone in Portland who could have done Sarah, no offense, but sooooo much better. maybe it is an equity thing, but then I agree with the post earlier, maybe if pcs hired more local equity talent there would be more equity talent in portland, etc. etc. etc...

Anonymous said...

I agree with 90% of what the poster above wrote with the execption of Chris Coleman's reputation around the country. I have friend who have been contracted by PCS from New York for shows and they have been shocked by his inability to direct. He may have some qualities to bring to PCS but directing is certainly not one of them...he cast show's for flash and not substance and he feels he's "above" all portland theatre's and actors. Ingnorance and arrogance are not qualities anyone wants but Chris exudes both...he's a double threat.

Anonymous said...

hey chris murray, you funny guy you.
here's why i have a problem with your kind of supposedly humorous yet cutting post:
you attack things that are clearly not what you say they are -- thereby causing folks to defend their posts.
this is a waste of space.
for example:
i once read a post years ago that said
"...blah blah blah, i thought i was going to have a shit hemorrhage..."
a poster responded:
"why do you say you are going to have a shit hemorrhage? clearly you are not"
this sort of smug response to what is CLEARLY a figure of speech is worse than the use of the figure of speech itself.
so chris when you say that a poster said the show was a failure because of a prop, you are abusing the intent of the site.
wasting our time.
kinda like this post.
i'll be quiet now.

Anonymous said...

here is what i gather from this thread.
while it is made up of a lot of opinions, not a lot of facts, these are facts that now exist:
1. i am not the only person who thinks pcs should hire more locals
2. i am not the only person who thinks chris coleman cannot direct
3. i am not the only person who thinks this is a bad production
the coleman situation is made doubly tragic by the fact that, save the opera, he has the largest budget in the city to produce theatre.
life isn't fair and theatre isn't fair and that's that.
but what if we could elect our artistic directors like we do our presidents?
i don't think coleman would last very long.

whining feels good, but i am not sure it accomplishes anything real.
if it did, the best directors in town would have the biggest budgets.
i guess, deep in your heart, you have to believe that the people who deserve the good things in this life will eventually get them.

Anonymous said...

oh, and i nearly forgot:
4. that i am not the only person who thinks that waterhouse's opinion is worthless.
maybe he and chris could move to a remote island together.....
i would settle for omaha.

brklyn said...

Dear anonymous who commented on Murray,

Just in case you don't know him, Chris Murray is awesome. And beyond his awesomeness, his posts make me and others i know smile, chuckle and sometimes even LOL.

Yours,
Brooke Fletcher

Anonymous said...

Dear Brooke,

I, too, find Murray's posts tiresome and often irrelevant. His "humor" does not make me smile, and too often contributes to the same garbage that he supposedly protests on this blog. And I'm glad that someone called him on it.

Anonymous said...

chris murray may be one the most overated performers in Portland. There I said what everybody else feels..just because you hang out with talent doens't make you talented Chris...work consistently outside of Portland and then we can maybe come to another conclusion.

brklyn said...

wow guys. just...wow.

I respect someone voicing their opinion in response to my post, but making public personal attacks...uncalled for. leave that to the politicians, WE are a COMMUNITY and should support each other.

dear followspot: i think this last post is a perfect example of why anonymous postings should not be allowed. it's just plain rude and hurtful, not to mention that if you are going to publicly bash someone, you should be held accountable.

yours,
brooke fletcher

followspot said...

Please comment only on the show from this point forward.

Anonymous said...

Yeah!
What was the show again?

Jamie said...

Now that Guys and Dolls is over, I think we can all applaud PCS for their fantastic run. The show was extended - I believe for more than one weekend- so they must have been doing something right!

So regardless of whether or not you enjoyed the show, had personal issues with the casting/direction/production, you can't deny that PCS was catering to its audience.
Also, I liked it!

Anonymous said...

A question arises: When PCS extends a run -- such as "Cabaret" and "Guys and Dolls" -- is the audience that comes in folks who rarely attend theater at all but were drawn in by word-of-mouth or publicity; or folks who irregularly attend theater along with other performances arts (opera, symphony, etc.)? In other words, what are the chances other theaters in town will ever see any of these bodies at their ticket offices?

Anonymous said...

i just read a review of the b'way version in the new yorker.
it says
"nothing but a four-alarm fire in the theatre could prevent these wonderful characters and memorable songs from coming across"

to that i would add, unless of course it is directed by chris coleman.

Anonymous said...

I just read a review of the b'way version in the New York Times. It says.

"“Chemistry?” says Sarah Brown... honey, there ain’t no chemistry in your show: not between the two pairs of leading lovers, or between the singers and their songs, or the actors and their parts... this production provides a valuable lesson in the importance of chemistry by demonstrating what can happen without it — even to a show as seemingly foolproof as “Guys and Dolls.”

I say this not as a comment on the NY production or the PCS production. But to say that not everything wrong with Portland theater is Chris Coleman's fault.

Anonymous said...

correct.
but everything wrong with a chris coleman production is chris coleman's fault.
and sadly for all of us, performers, designers and viewers alike, he has the most money to spend in the entire city on theatre and it is a real crime that it goes wasted on lousy, lousy, lousy productions -- which then robs the rest of us from doing them for a few years -- not only cuz folks will not go to a familiar title right away, but because the audience now has a VERY sour taste in their mouths about that title.
it is a crime.
a disaster.
and no end in sight.
i'll wager we are the largest theatre market in the nation that has such a monopoly on badly done big budget theatre.