Sunday, May 12, 2019

Pebble—Imago Theatre—SE Portland

        Spring, Sprang, Sprung

    This inventive play is written, designed and directed by Carol Triffle (co-founder of Imago), with music composed by Kyle Delamarter.  It is playing at their space, 17 SE 8th Ave. (off Burnside), through May 25th.  (Parking is a challenge in this area, so plan your time accordingly).  For more information, go to their site at or call 503-231-9581.

    Humans are like an intricate clockwork, full of gears, cogs and springs.  When running smoothly, it goes through the motions effortlessly of keeping time with the beat of Life.  But, if a gear goes dry, or a spring is wound too tightly, it can malfunction and will upset the normalcy already established surrounding it.  And so, it must be repaired, or stuck away in some forgotten corner of the attic to await the End Days.

    Such is life for Pebble (Danielle Vermette) who, as her mother described her, as an annoying irritant, like a “pebble” in one’s shoe.  But, for now, she is safe, tucked away in a simple little asylum…that is, as long as she has money…and is curable.  She contents in writing lists of lists upon the walls, painting horses and longing for her little blue pills.  She also loves to flirt with the Orderly (Jon Farley), and can be a thorn in the side of the martinet Nurse (Megan Skye Hale).

    But, one fine day, her rescuer appears in the guise of her brother, Nick (Kyle Delamarter).  He is to take her away and they will live as a family.  All neat and tidy, right?  Not so, as this is an Imago show and nothing is ever as it seems.  The characters will break out into song and dance at the drop of a hat; her artistic endeavors, her mad horses, seem to take on an ominous life of its own; and the setting seems to have more in common with a Beckett or Sartre play than reality, with no escape.

    Triffle has, once again, introduced us to an alternate reality, in which Up is Down and Down is Sideways…and your own perception of the world will never be the same again!  Her cast is mesmerizing, as they induce us to believe in the unbelievable and convince us that it is enjoyable and makes sense…almost.  Imago never ceases to amaze me with their inventive works!

    I recommend this play…as a walk on the wild side.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.

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