Friday, January 23, 2015
In case you are new around here I am a very big fan of Portland Center Stage. The local theater group is located in the Pearl and produces really unique and well-curated seasons. Right now, "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" is the featured show. The original production won the 2013 Tony for Best Play and the PCS production makes it clear why the play is so popular! I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the premiere event last week and had such a fun night out.
While the acting was fantastic and the writing was on point, I want to highlight the wonderful set designs. At first, the set seemed simple but I quickly picked up on the intricate details. Lighting changes made the space look different-setting the mood for an icy beginning and ending on a warm and homey note.
This play is very funny. The writing is very witty with more than a handful of adult jokes. The costume design and acting bring the words to life. From nuanced hand gestures to properly timed head nods, the humor was multi-faceted. Oh, and did I mention Spike?? Spike has a hot bod and spends plenty of time showing that off. Instead of this being a gawk-worthy element it caused many laughs and plenty of wide eyes.
The Length + Venue
To lay out the story and develop all of the characters the play is quite long. As someone who suffers from serious bouts of 'hangry' this could be a very serious issue. Especially since we didn't have time to grab dinner beforehand. Luckily, the Armory Cafe serves fancy snacks, sandwiches and as well as beer, wine and spirits. If you do plan on making a night of it I would recommend getting dinner beforehand. As the show gets out rather late there aren't many neighborhood spots open that will be serving dinner at that point. We were very happy that Tilt was still open!