inPDX {Portland Center Stage - Other Desert Cities}

Monday, March 9, 2015

Set in 2003, Other Desert Cities dives into the Wyeth Family's story as they attempt to navigate dynamic personalities, a muddy history and generational tides. This bold story investigates mental health, political differences and truth. In fact, every story has multiple truths: your truth, my truth, and everything in between. 

Without giving away too much of the plot, the latest Portland Center Stage production just might be my favorite to date. With Gilmore girls-esque {great comparison Grace!} family drama, stellar performances and a stunning set, I felt as though I was anxiously smoking cigarettes in the mid-century Palm Springs living room.  In the stylishly appointed home, we tip-toed around one another's career choices, romantic relationships and the unspoken secrets and pain.

The dialogue, body language and references subtly touched on the fear that consumed Americans - especially those with New York connections - in the years immediately following 9/11. Specifically, Ned Schmidtke and Barbara Boughton commanded the stage as Polly and Lyman Wyeth. With an Emily Gilmore bite, Boughton is the country club type mom who cannot communicate her fears and starts clinking the ice early on to numb her fears. As the loving and charismatic patriarch, Schmidtke embodies Reagan's political beliefs and unshakable confidence. Both superb performances that had me laughing, crying and empathizing.

Other Desert Cities will run through March 22nd 2015 at 
Portland Center Stage at The Armory.


  1. I'm going on Thursday!! So excited to see the show. Great recap!

  2. Yes! The three truths theory makes yet another appearance! So true. This play sounds fun (especially if compared to Gilmore Girls...!)

  3. What a great review! I've heard lots of good things about it, but I'm pretty booked this whole month. I wish my living room looked like that set!

  4. anything gg-esque is fine by me! great seeing you this weekend!
    ladies in navy

  5. Such a phenomenal production! I was incredibly moved by the great dialogue and realistic storyline. Definitely a 'must see.'

    Thanks for letting me be your +1!!!!!

  6. Your review is captivating. Very well written.

  7. "...clinking the glass early..." You have such a way with words! Need to get my hands on a ticket.