In Play Reviews

We’re into month seven of this thing. Ugh. Who woulda thought, right? That hasn’t slowed down Portland area creatives. The theatre scene is bursting at the seams with great ideas to keep us entertained until we can all meet again and smell the greasepaint. Here’s what’s happening in September.

Broadway Rose Theatre Company

I’m late to the party on this one, still it’s not too late to enjoy Midday CabaretHosted by the incomparable Dan Murphy, Broadway Rose’s managing director, the weekly series, which was broadcast live weekly throughout the summer, takes us into the homes and hearts of some of the theatre’s better-known artists and spans many years in the company’s musical history. Hit the link above to revisit these broadcasts. Also, while you’re on the page, don’t miss Cast Reunions celebrating some of the company’s favorite past shows with new musical performances recorded by the original Broadway Rose casts – with warmest thanks to the artists for generously donating their time and talent. While you’re at it, you can help keep this theatre vital with a contribution!

CoHo Productions

Live-streaming this weekend, September 11-13, is CoHo Production’s latest show From These Streets I Risean inspirational piece of love and compassion honoring the diverse stories and immediate experiences of Portland Street Roots’ vendors impacted by homelessness. Weaving together stories and live music, Mikki Jordan shifts seamlessly through multiple characters, taking us on a unique journey that reminds us of the power of community and the resilience of the human spirit. This show was created in honor of Street Roots. It is directed by Chris Harder, with original music by Samie Joan Pfiefer. Street Roots’ mission is to create income opportunities for individuals struggling with homelessness and poverty. To honor this mission CoHo will donate seventy-five percent of all ticket sales directly to Street Roots. The majority of those funds will be given to the Street Roots vendors who contributed their stories to this project.

Portland Playhouse

Hallowed Ground, a 75-minute live performance from some of the most beloved performers in Portland is scheduled for September 20 at an “undisclosed location” in NE Portland.  Celebrating the life and legacy of the land in music, song, and spoken word, this event allows audiences to connect with the performers in person through a limited number of socially-distanced parking spots. The rhythm and beats will be heard far and wide as broadcast partner X-Ray FM simulcasts the show on the radio and live-streamed audio. The in-person audience will be very limited. In order to allow fair access to the event, everyone who makes a contribution will be entered to win a parking or social distance seat at the outdoor event.  Winners will be notified of the location of the concert the week before the event.

Every contribution helps bring this event to thousands of peoples across the Portland area and beyond. All proceeds from the concert will be given to the Black United Fund of Oregon so they may continue their mission to assist the social and economic development of Oregon’s low-income communities and to contribute to a broader understanding of culturally diverse groups.

September 25-October 1, Portland Playhouse partners with Many Hats Productions to produce Matter, 15-minute filmed performance written and performed by Charles Grant, directed by James Dixon, and edited by Tamera Lyn. The remount of this work, originally written for Grant’s Portland Playhouse apprenticeship solo performance in 2017, follows the quest of one young Black man looking to find answers to police brutality and gun violence. Determined to save Black lives, he seeks to sort out the noise of opposing viewpoints and social division with a methodical examination of facts. As his theatrical investigation uncovers patterns of senseless violence and clues lead him to the likelihood of his own death, the reality and tragedy of lives lost begins to truly hit home.

Stay tuned. There are more September events still to come!

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