Sunday, December 12, 2021

Shining City—Imago Theatre—SE Portland


Mirror Image

    This LIVE production is directed by Jerry Mouawad and produced by Carol Triffle (co-founders of Imago) and written by Connor McPherson.  It plays through December 18th at Imago’s space, 17 SE 8th Ave. (off Burnside).  Parking can be an issue, so come early.  (Covid protocols in place…vaccine cards, masks required and spaced seating).  For more information, contact them at or call 503-231-9581.

    This follows hot-on-the-heels of the latest venture of McPherson , who adapted last month, The Birds, at Imago.  And these characters have much in common with his current production, as they are, at least, kissin’ cousins.  The striking similarity is that they are still…“all the lonely people, where do they all come from?!”

    When you look in a mirror, what do you see, staring out at thee?  Is it the person you really are, or the one that you want to be?!  Life actually lived, or Life as you imagined it to be?!  And then, consider a giant mirror, with all the folks in the world reflected in it…what would they see.  Regardless of difference, I surmise, they would have one thing in common…they would all be fearless and fearful, at the same time, of what the Future might hold for them.  And when we step toward that Unknown entity, and indeed, we all must take that step, to discover our own Fate.  We are all in the same boat, my friends.

    And so, it is with these characters in the Shining City.  There is Ian (Mark Mullaney), a rather straight-forward therapist, whose job it is, to listen to other people’s perceptions of reality, all the while grappling with his own.  Then there is a client, John (Jeff Giberson), a man riddled with guilt and haunted by demons/ghosts, perhaps of his own making.  Neasa (Tess Middlebrook), Ian’s lady, who is conflicted with her role in their relationship and, perhaps, in the world.  And, finally, Laurence (Matt Sunderland), a mysterious stranger, willing to dispense whatever is needed to the needy.  All these characters will collide, ricochet off each other at times, and then be sent whirling on a separate path.

    More I cannot tell you, for discovery is in the eye of the beholder, dear audience, but make no mistake about, you will not leave the theatre unmoved…or unreflected. The characters are all well drawn and keep you guessing as to their fates.  Giberson has some amazing long monologues, which he handles brilliantly.  And Imago, with the team of Mouawad, Triffle, et. al.are among a small select group of theatre, among them Crave, Young Professionals of OCT, Triangle, et. al. giving us thought-provoking, as well as entertaining, theatre as with this one.  May they all “live long and prosper!”

    I recommend this play.  If you do see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.