DramaWatch Weekly: Encore!

What goes around comes around: Portland performances ArtsWatch is happy to see again.

This week, let’s give it up for encore performances, from racially significant statements to heartwarming Christmas traditions. Turns out there are plenty of kinds of performances that make you go, “Hey. Let me see that again.”

The August Wilson Red Door Project’s “Hands Up” returns for two performances.

Here’s a serious one: This weekend, the August Wilson Red Door Project re-presents Hands Up for two nights only at Wieden + Kennedy. This collection of monologues features seven playwrights’ insightful, individual takes on a sadly recurring theme: police violence against Black people. Hands Up plans another (longer/wider) run in 2018, and your support now can help make that happen. Hopefully as the message reverberates, the atrocities that make it so necessary will abate. But even the best theater can only change a few minds at a time, so realistically, this may be the beginning of a long run.

Miz Kitty returns!

Miz Kitty’s Parlour turned 15 this year. Homegrown at Artichoke Music, the event migrated from there to the Mission Theater to the Alberta Rose, and then back again to the Mission to continue Miz Kitty’s…vision 😉 of vaudevillian delights. Here at ArtsWatch, we’re enduring fans of this ever-changing top-notch variety show, which will be at the Mission Theater once again this Saturday.

Also on Saturday, Portland CenterStage opens an encore production of the modern-Medea tale Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, which recently completed a six-month run at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. (And before this, how long has the original Medea run? Somewhere around 3,000 years. Brava!)

Second City re-delivers Dickens with a twist. Photo: Patrick Weishampel

And then it was Christmas.

If you think about it, every holiday is an encore, but of course none more than Christmas, which dusts off the same songs, tinsel and trappings each year to summon the very same jolly elf. This year, actually, Crumpet isn’t coming, as PCS has shelved David Sedaris’s Santaland Diaries in favor of something new, a double feature of A Christmas Memory and Winter Song



Just like that, after some seasons off, the Second City is back. Twist Your Dickens returns to the Armory this season, in all of its irreverent semi-improvised splendor. If you haven’t seen it yet despite the raves from prior years, I’ll tell you the same thing that errand boy told Scrooge on Christmas morning: you haven’t missed it! PCS wisely reprises the show with the usual crew of Portland’s most agile comic actors.

For a more reverent Carol, by now you should know where to go: Portland Playhouse‘s beloved and perfected production of the classic returns as a fixture of Christmases Past, Present, and probably Future.

Boom Arts goes out for a spin.

What goes around comes around, and The Sprockettes, a mainstay of bike culture since mid-aughts, will kick off Boom Arts‘ latest vehicle tomorrow night with their road-tested feminist bike grrl-esque. Spin, Canadian performer and songwriter Evalyn Parry’s solo homage to the bicycle, is at the Triangle Productions space on Northeast Sandy this weekend only. It’s appropriate for ages 8 and up, and will be complemented with different bike-themed delights each day.

Surely there are more encores worth mention: FROGZ springs to mind. What else? Chime in via comments with any returning plays worthy of repeated praise.

3 Responses.

  1. Kathleen Worley says:

    “Dear Elizabeth” by Sarah Ruhl, done as a reading for Portland Civic Theatre Guild two years ago, gets a full production Nov. 9-12 at Warner Pacific College, featuring the same cast, Robin Amy Gordon and Keith Cable. Tickets ($5) at 503-517-1020.

  2. The Portland Civic Theatre Guild welcomes back for the 3rd or 4th year Willamette Radio Workshop to kick off our holidays with a live “radio show.” We’re excited that this year will feature a new musical written by Kurt Misar, among other auditory delights! Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 10:30 AM at The Sanctuary on NE Sandy Blvd. $10 at the door.

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