Sunday, October 25, 2015

Remme’s Run—CoHo productions—NW Portland

“In God We Trust”

This world premiere of a true, adventure story of the Old West is co-produced by Whink productions, written by Wayne Harrel and directed by Jamie M. Rea.  It is playing at the CoHo space, 2257 NW Raleigh St., through November 7th.    For more information, go to their site at www.cohoproductions.org or call 503-220-2646.

The above phrase not only seems to be one which is in our monetary system but something that the title character professes when he is in a tight spot…and, miraculously, it works.  This is an adventure tale of the Northwest, ripped from the headlines in The Oregonian, circa the late 1800’s, and based on a true incident.  It is one in which I was totally unaware but it a lively yarn.  It is aided by a terrific ensemble cast and an absolutely astounding high tech support by Jerry Green, Cathy Wegrzyn, Chad Smith, Michel Lemke, Burke Webb, et. al.

The story concerns a Frenchman, Louis Remme (Jean-Luc Boucherot), finishing a cattle drive in Frisco with his pards, Bose Boswell (Jennifer Lanier) and Jordan Linn (Andy Haftkowycz) and depositing over $12,000 in the bank there.  He plans on using that monies to buy himself a spread in the Portland area.  But Fate has a different scenario in store for him.  He meets his true love, a Mexican lady, Ninfa Noé (Tricia Castañeda-Gonzales) and arranges with his pals to see that she gets aboard a ship, the Columbia, and sail to Portland, while he goes overland.

But things take a downturn when he gets involved with a shady stockbroker and gambler, Vernon Starks (Jeb Berrier).  Also, it seems the bank has failed and he may have lost all his money.  So he vows to outrun the news of the bank’s failure by traveling northward until he finds one in which the news has not yet reached.  Meanwhile, on board the ship, his lady love and pards, devise a scheme to give the nefarious Stark a taste of his own medicine, with the help of the Captain (Chris Porter) and a couple of the passengers, Hedges and Chauncy (both played by Isabella Buckner).

Remme’s run is not an easy one, as he meets all sorts of characters along the way, some helpful, some not.  The story does have a happy ending, of sorts, but to tell more would spoil the fun.  The success of this production is not so much in the story itself which, although fascinating, is a bit episodic at times, but in the depiction of it, having a cast of five supporting players enact several roles along his journey.  And even better are the visuals that enhance the production.  Rea has cast it well and kept the action moving at a rapid pace.  And the players are spot on in their portrayals, filling in the skeleton of the story with the richness of their talents!

I cannot say enough good things about the visuals.  How they managed to get all the images so exacting in their locations must have taken a monumental effort.  At times the actors walk toward the projections and are then swallowed up by them.  At one point a knife is thrown from the stage area and appears in the visuals, then back again as it’s withdrawn.  One of the highlights was the fight onscreen between two vicious animals.  And the movement which was shown, underwater and on land, as they traveled, was amazing.  A virtual feast of the eyes for an emaciated man!

I highly recommend this production for the talent onstage and on screen.  But, this is a very busy part of town on the weekends and it is only street parking, so plan your time accordingly.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.