Friday, March 9, 2018

Our Mother’s Brief Affair—Triangle Productions!—NE Portland




“To Thine Own Self Be True…”

     The NW Premiere of this production is written by Richard Greenberg and directed by Donald Horn.  It is playing at their space in The Sanctuary, 1785 NE Sandy Blvd., through March 31st.  (Free parking to the West of the building.)  For more information, go to their site, www.trianglepro.org or call 503-239-5919.

     This above sentiment is uttered by a duplicitous character in “Hamlet.”  In essence, what you see is not always what you get.  A person can be of two natures, perhaps, or more.  And one of the Bard’s most famous speeches, “All the world’s a stage…” the person espousing those lines is a very morose character saying, perhaps, out of a weed-patch, sometimes a blossom flowers.

     Greenberg’s characters in “Three Days of Rain” are, likewise, all over the map in terms of who they really are and what really happened, as in this play, too.  True, we are, indeed, many different personas to many different people but you assume that somewhere the real you exists…or should we assume even that?!

     The play is simply staged, only two benches, but that works, as the story is all over the map in time and space and back again.  Also, the author’s words and narrative are not so apt to get lost in the trappings of fancy settings.  And so, we are placed in a netherworld, created by the characters, to explore, perhaps, the meaning of Truth and Reality.

     I can’t tell you much of the story because a great deal of it is up to an audience to discover, as it deals with, as mentioned, what is actual and not.  It seems that Anna (Michelle Maida) is in a NYC hospital, possibly on her last legs, and is being visited by her son, Seth (Alex Fuchs), who is an obit writer for a newspaper, and her somewhat, estranged daughter, Abby (Deanna Wells), who lives in CA.  Their mother seems prone to hallucinations of imagined or actual events in her life and with such meanderings, are subject to scrutiny as to fact or fiction.

     The major story of her shadows is of a brief, affair with a gentleman called Phil (Twig Webster), who seems to be good for her.  And like many budding relationships, they wish to unburden themselves to the other, in order to show sincerity, of buried secrets, akin to what her kids are discovering about their mother.  But Phil has a secret, too, that may be much more dangerous.  Through these exchanges, long hidden feelings are exposed, but we are still left with who are we really when all the veils have been whisked away?  Who is that Great and Powerful person behind the curtain?!

     You will have to see it for yourself to discover the answers…and even then, there might be even more questions.  Horn is at his best when digging into characters, and thus, the actors’ psyches, as he does here.  And he has a very smart cast to work with.  They are all in top form and keep you guessing, as it should be with any mystery.  All the actors fit their roles to a tee, and it is good to see Webster again on the stage after such a long absence.  Obvious to see that he still has the “right stuff” and hope to see more of him onstage in the future.
I recommend this show.  
     If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.
--DJS

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