It is summer and the kids are out of school. You are looking for a family activity that will be educational and fun at the same time. You could go to a museum, but you can always get the same information on the Discovery Channel. You could take them to the library, but you don’t want to have to deal with the inevitable overdue fees they will incur when they forget to return the books they half read. You need to find something that is thought provoking and worth going out to experience.
This August offers several live theater events that will not only make you and your family think, but laugh and cry as well. The last month of summer break offers light comedy, musical theater and an experimental play for theater goes to choose from.
August 5 to August 23
The story of The Wizard of Oz told from the point of view of the Wicked Witch of the West comes to the Portland Five for the month of August. Audiences love the tale of a little green girl who grows up to fall in love with her wizard boss, realizes he’s a charming, but irresponsible creep and defies gravity by striking out on her own.
The play is based on the novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire. Wicked won three Tony’s, six Drama Desk Awards and a Grammy and is one of the longest running shows in Broadway history.
The story shows the way in which Elphaba is misunderstood and vilified by a reactionary society. Unlike in other stories about ugly ducklings, the character of Elphaba does not turn into a beautiful swan who is admired and loved by everyone. She learns to accept herself, find her own way in the world and her own way of escaping her enemies. In addition to having some truly memorable songs the play is sure to evoke discussion about good and evil and the nature of beauty.
The show runs Wednesdays through Sundays with matinees on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Ticket prices start at $41.00.
Live theater is an interactive art form that is based on a selfless collaboration of actor’s directors and set designers all working for a common goal; or is it? The Anonymous Theater was formed by four students from Brown University who decided to produce a show in which each individual actor rehearses alone with the director. The actors are never on stage together until the one night only performance of the play. The experiment was a huge success and the company has had co-productions all over the country for the last twenty years.
This time around, they are performing Tom Stoppard’s play, The Real Inspector Hound. The play is about two theater critics watching a mystery play who become involved in a story that parallels the play they are watching.
The show takes place at The Gerding Theater at The Armory at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, August 10. Tickets to the show are $25.00.
A Prairie Home Companion
Garrison Keillor’s famous radio variety show will come to the Oregon Zoo as part of the show’s America the Beautiful Tour. Mr. Keillor’s show has been popular ever since the 1980’s and includes comedy music and the beloved News From Lake Wobegon segment. In addition to hosting his radio show, Mr. Keillor had written ten books on the subject of Lake Wobegon.
The show runs from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Friday, August 28. Tickets are to $42.50 to $82.50.
Eliza Gale – PortlandMetroLive Contributor
Eliza Gale began her blogging career interviewing aspiring actors and industry professionals on a Los Angeles based website called Curvewire. She started www.elizagalesintervviews in 2012 and has interviewed over three hundred people about their jobs and businesses since then. She has contributed many interviews to 360drinks.com, which is a Portland based happy-hour website. She also writes for Examiner.com and AXS.com.