Rethinking Holiday Shows
Finding holiday fare to produce in a theatre season can be a difficult task. A theatre can only do so many Charles Dickens and Christmas movie adaptations before looking for more offbeat choices. Dmae focuses on two plays that are wildly differentÂ from each other: Artists Repertory Theatre’s Xmas Unplugged directed by Louanne Moldovan and Rusty Tennant and Triangle Productions’ American Fiesta directed by Donald Horn.
Artists Rep present Xmas Unplugged, an irreverent and edgy evening of two one-act plays. The first is the world premiere of Matt Pelfreyâ€™sÂ The Reason for the SeasonÂ directed by Rusty Tennant (with Steve Coker, Foss Curtis, Chris Murray – photo upper left)Â featuring Â a wrestling match between parents and Santa. The second play is the Northwest Premiere of Anthony Neilsonâ€™sÂ The Night Before ChristmasÂ directed by Louanne Moldovan (with Steve Coker, Chris Murray, Luisa Sermol, Jill Westerby – photo right)Â in which unsavory characters hold an elf Â hostage to spill Santa’s secrets.
Performances run throughÂ December 29th,Â Wednesday through Sunday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2pm. All those are atÂ Artists Repertory Theatre Â Morrison Stage (located at 15thÂ and Morrison St.)Â Tickets:Â $25-$55; Students $20Â Box Office:Â 503.241.1278 orÂ www.artistsrep.org.
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Triangle Productions presents American Fiesta by Steven Tomlinson. Though it’s not a traditional holiday show, it includes the kind of heartwarming humor associated with the holiday spirit. Â The main character Steven wants to marry is partner Leon. But the play is set in 2004 and Â the only place they can marry is in Canada. Steven encounters problems from his family members when he invites them to their wedding.
The show’s centerpiece is the festive and colorful collection of Fiestaware that was donated by Joan Hayward’s estate. The collection has 235 pieces of vintage Fiestaware for the show which is to be sold during the run of the show to raise funds for Triangle productions.
American FiestaÂ performancesÂ run through December 22nd onÂ Thursday, Friday, Saturday @ 7:30 pm Â withÂ Sunday Matinees @ 2 pm. All shows are at The Sanctuary@Sandy PlazaÂ located atÂ 1785 NE Sandy Blvd.Â Tickets:Â $15-$35, 503-239-5919, For more info:Â www.tripro.org.
Read Bob Hicks review in Oregon ArtsWatch: “
“Itâ€™s not a Christmas show, but itâ€™s probably got the brightest holiday wrapping in town.Â â€œAmerican Fiesta,â€Â Steven Tomlinsonâ€™s one-man play atÂ Triangle Productions, is about Fiesta ware, that groovy mix-and-match dinnerware that brightened the Great Depression and several decades after with its rainbow of colors designed to spread decorative sunshine across Americaâ€™s tables.”
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