It is May and you and your friends want to go out and play in the sunshine. After all, spring is a time when video games get put away, television shows take a hiatus and the book club you’re in starts reading the kind of mindless trash that goes well with a day at the beach. However, you still need something to do when the sun goes down, and live theater is a great way to continue to support the arts and develop your intellect without sacrificing your tan.
This month brings a wealth of comedic theater to Portland. Audiences have a choice of a one man show that spoofs a PBS phenomenon, a bawdy Shakespearian comedy or a light hearted look at mental illness.
America’s Got Downton
Downton Abby is a post Edwardian soap opera produced by the BBC which chronicles the lives of an aristocratic family named The Crawleys whose lives are personally affected by every historical event that happened during the time period in which the show is set. Keeping up with the Kardashians is about a modern family of aristocrats who are oblivious to every single current events that does not involve them. As different as they may seem, The Kardashians and the Crawleys have one thing in common and that is this one man show in which Luke Kempner spoofs both families, as well as several popular reality and game shows.
Mr. Kemper is an impressionist, actor, puppeteer and singer who has appeared in Avenue Q and South Pacific. The show garnered critical praise and audience approval at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Mr. Kemper performs his piece on a blank stage in the voice of thirty different characters.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3, 2015 at the Winningstad Theater in the Portland5 Complex. Tickets to the show are $49.00 to $52.00.
The Post5 Theater presents this comedy by William Shakespeare, which centers on a pair of fraternal twins who are separated in a shipwreck. The girl twin, Viola disguises herself as a boy named Cesario. In spite of her clothing choices, Viola falls in love with her new employer, Duke Orsino who in turn falls in love with Countess Olivia who, in spite of being in mourning for her father and brother, falls in love with Cesario, not realizing he is actually, Viola.
Candice Boice directs this tale of misguided love and intense passion. The Post5 Company, under the artistic direction of Ty Boice, has a talent for making The Bard’s work accessible, fast paced and fun.
The show runs Fridays through Sundays from now until May 16, 2015. Tickets to the show are $20.00 and Sunday’s show is pay what you can.
Mental illness is perhaps the only medical condition that is often used for comedic entertainment. The harried and hilarious detective on Monk suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder. The United States of Tara centered on a woman with seven archetypal characters occupying the body of a middle class, suburban mom and Woody Allen provided comic relief as a hypochondriac in his drama, Hanna and her Sisters.
Beginning on Saturday, May 9, 2015 The Brody Theater Ensemble will present its own, light hearted look at insanity with this mental illness themed night of improv. The goal of the production is to shed light on the darkness of mental illness and the sometimes ignorant, often comedic ways in which society deals with the condition.
The show runs every Saturday at 8:00 p.m. though May 23. Tickets to the show are $12.00.
Eliza Gale – PortlandMetroLive.com 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.