Portland stages raise curtain on new season

As the sun slowly fades, and the cold and rain come to claim our land, theaters across Portland begin raising curtains on a new season of shows.

Predictably there will be “the classics,” many I’m sure will attempt a new spin to make them relevant to today’s world of chaotic turmoil. And, yes, just as predictable, will be the cutting edge, avante garde, this-is-like-soooo-new shows.

With so many shows (well over 100 for the year) and so many bad ones with so few good, how does one choose where to spend their theater time and dollar? Here are a few suggestions for the near future.

フᆱA notable production ends this weekend, Sept. 30, “The Bacchae.” No, it’s not a Lebanese dish served with pita. It is, however, Euripides and is presented by Classic Greek Theatre of Oregon, Inc. Performances, Thu/ Fri at noon and Sat/ Sun at 4 p.m., are in the Cerf Amphiteatre on the Reed College campus or if it rains in Vollum Hall. For tickets, $15 and $10 for students and seniors, and information call 503-771-1112.

フᆱNext on the list is Stark Raving Theatre’s “FrogWoman”, by Christopher Danowski. This at the moment is probably the hottest show in town. Not just for the plays dark comic poignancy, but also for the brand, spankin’ new venue the hard working souls at CoHo Productions have created. This ends Oct. 6, so hurry. For tickets and information call 503-232-7072.

フᆱFor something more relevant to our turbulent times, go see Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” playing at the Artists Repertory Theatre until Oct. 14. Artists Rep. will also be presenting Lynn Nottage’s, 1950s African American drama “Crumbs from the Table of Joy,” Nov. 4 through Dec. 16. For tickets and information call 503-241-1278.

フᆱIf you like Pinter, Harold Pinter that is, you’ll love the Profile Theatre Project’s yearly line-up. Yep, a year of Pinter. (Good God.) The first offering is perhaps their best, which is his Freudian, dysfunctional family play “The Homecoming,” Oct. 19 – Nov. 18. For information and tickets call 503-242-0800.

フᆱTheatre Vertigo, which performs at the Russell Street Theatre, has two very interesting pieces coming in the near future. First is the “The Physicists” by Freidrich Durrenmatt which concerns the pursuit of knowledge as good-and-evil and runs Oct. 25 – Dec. 1. Next at Vertigo is an adaptation (let’s try not to hold it against them) of the Japanese classic samurai tale, “Rashomon,” March 7 – April 6. For tickets and information call 503-306-0870.

フᆱAnd lastly a company which performs “physical theater” should also be noted. (Exactly what the difference between “dance” and “physical theater” (or vice versa) is, well … perhaps another time.) Do Jump!,with feature piece “Doors and Openings”, plays the Echo Theatre Oct. 5, 6, 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m. Also, for you spur-of-the-moment theatergoers, check out Ticket Central in the lobby of Pioneer Square for day-of-show, half-price tickets to shows that aren’t sold out. Call 503-275-8358 for information.