Saturday, September 15, 2018

Private Eyes—Twilight Theater Company—N. Portland

            “Eye of the Beholder”

     This avant-garde play is written by Stephen Dietz and directed by Paul Roder.  It is playing at their space, 7515 N. Brandon Ave. (upstairs) at the corner of Lombard (small, free, parking lot across the street from the theater entrance), through September 23rd.  For more information, go to their site at

     As the ole, short story goes...once there was a man who dreamed he was a butterfly…or was he a butterfly dreaming he was a man?!  The point being, what do we really know of Reality, or Truth.  It depends on your own perception of such things.  I heard recently that the ole adage that politicians constantly lie is not true.  They just have their own version/perception of what is true/real and what is not…but that’s true of all of us, isn’t it?  Police have often said that eyewitnesses are the most unreliable form of evidence because of, again, different perceptions of the same scene.

     And so, in this story, we have a man, perhaps by the name of Matthew (Conor J. Nolan), who is auditioning an actress, perhaps by the name of Lisa (Danyelle Tinker), for the part of a waitress in a play.  But are they who they seem, as a man has just stepped out of the audience suddenly, perhaps a director named Adrian (Jay Hash), and insists that the scene be redone!

     And maybe Lisa and Matthew are married, and in a play together, directed by Adrian.  And possibly Adrian and Lisa are having an affair (or are they?) and wanting to confess.  And maybe their sloppy server, Cory (Rachel Roscoe), in the restaurant they go to for lunch, is not who she seems…maybe she’s tailing them…or even familiar with them.  And, perhaps, that other voice from the darkness, Frank (Alicia Turvin), that keeps stopping the action to discuss the mental state of Matthew, is not who she seems, either….

     And did I just reveal some spoilers…or not?  Confused?  It’s deliberate, such is the style of this play.  “All the world’s a stage and men and women merely players….” Like a good mystery, with dozens of plot twists and turns, it is for the “eye of the beholder,” we, the audience, to decide what is real and what is not.  A very clever story and worth experiencing, if you like puzzles.

     This would be a difficult story to tell and act by any troupe, but the cast here is all first-rate and they, and their very accomplished director, have done a first-rate job with it, too.  Nolan, Tinker and Hash, as the main culprits, keep you guessing throughout, and Roder has a firm hand on keeping things in control, but just slightly askew, as it should be.

     This is definitely worth seeing for the mystery buffs among you.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.


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