Monday, March 16, 2009

How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found

Portland Center Stage
January 27 - March 22, 2009

Review by peanutduck

Fin Kennedy's play, realized by Rose Riordan, who trusts her playwright, and company, is a grotesque, hyperreal externalization of inner desperation and agony. Interrogatory and pale-blood lighting plays upon sparse, fissured landscape; this contained within soundscape of hollow palpitations, static, and shrill ringing creates claustrophobic techno-warehouse of Hell. Gaspingly thrilling.


Anonymous said...

This is one of the best productions I've seen in the studio space; hell, in Portland, ever. It's so incredibly tight, with the acting, script, staging, set, lights, sound, costumes, props, tech crew all interweaving to create a true theatrical experience. The main guy does a phenomenal job of being both repellent and magnetic. The pathologist lady gives the whole crazy ride a grounding in reality, albeit a confusing reality. The other three (local) actors do such a great job playing multiple characters who support the main story line without distracting in a "look at me! look at me!" way that lesser actors can sometimes ham up a small role. Even when Darius Pierce (who is, as usual, riveting) does his sandwich bit it's part of the storytelling, not a bid for attention. Ebbe Roe Smith (sorry if I misspelled) is so amazing as both the Tube guy and the identity coach. Laura Faye Smith and Darius play so many characters with such distinctness and focus it's almost an acting master class. Kudos to all involved, and particularly the tech crew who do an incredible job manipulating the set and re-setting props so silently and efficiently.

David Loftus said...

Fascinating show. A bit on the cerebral side, but never boring for that. All the acting is terrific; I got an especial kick out of all the voice clips -- most, to my ear, generated by Laura Faye and Darius. Very good to see Mr. Nickell again, rattling off wild and rapid-fire monologues. Agree that the tech is really tight; I especially liked Raynak's spare, subtle, yet omnipresent soundscapes. Although most of the writing is sharp and startling, I felt the second act spins its wheels (or, as my companion put it, circles the drain) a bit. And why make Charlie lose all his money, suddenly? If, as I understood it, part of the point is that he doesn't really get rid of himself -- or has no center from the beginning to grasp and change -- then why shouldn't his ultimate fate be sealed even he has sufficient funds? Having him lose his money so quickly and haphazardly makes it rather circumstantial, or "happenstancial" -- the opposite of a deus ex machina. Still, an exciting night of theater.

Anonymous said...

Superb performances, direction and tech. The script/story started breaking down with the money being taken away.