Monday, February 28, 2022

Maz & Bricks—Corrib Theatre Company—SW Portland

Photo by Adam Liberman

“Two Roads Diverged…”

    Portland’s Irish theatre presents its new play by Eva O’Connor and directed by Melody Erfani at the Boiler Room, Lincoln Hall, PSU (1620 SW Park Ave.) through March 13th (parking can be an issue so plan your time accordingly).  All Covid restrictions apply including vaccine cards, masks, etc.  For more information, go to their site at

    The above quote by renowned poet, Robert Frost, concerns a person at a crossroads in their travels, needing to make a decision on which of two paths to take through the woods.  Upon deciding, there is always some twinge of regret on wishing they could be two people and traverse both roads.  Such is the case with Maz (Elisa Frakes) and Bricks (Ken Yoshikawa)…and, I suspect, with most of us at one time or another, too.                                                                                

    Maz is an avid activist and her latest cause is as a protester for Women’s rights over their own bodies, in this case, abortion.  Bricks is a bit of a ne’er-do-well, who just likes to have fun but clings fiercely to wanting to have a relationship with his daughter Yasmine, who was one of those “accidental” children of a failed union.  So, they begin their chance meeting at loggerheads.

    He also has some issues with a recently, deceased broth, Anton, and some incomplete issues with him…and also with his mother.  Maz is no stranger to issues herself with her mom, and the stances she takes politically differs with some of the rest of society.  A “match made in Heaven,” it is not.  But, as is said, opposites attract and so they begin this dance of derision, in which echoes of the past may overwhelm them, or do they create a “brave, new world?”  See for yourself….

    Erfani has engaged us in, at times, a compelling dance between two boxers in an arena, in which one, or the other, will come out the winner, or will it be a draw?!  It is done on an essentially bare stage, which designer, Kyra Sanford, seems to want to suggest the setting doubling back on itself as possibly, in Life, too.  And Frakes and Yoshikawa are terrific sparring partners in both their dialogues and thought-provoking monologues.

    And so, what is the solution to this dilemma we call, relationships?  Vonnegut may have said it best, when he suggested…simply put one foot in front of the other, and then proceed…!

    I recommend this play.  It does have raw language so be prepared.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.


Monday, February 21, 2022

WROL—Young Professionals Company (OCT)—SW Portland


What Dreams Are Made On

    WROL (without rule of law) is written by Michaela Jeffery and directed by Andrea White.  It runs through March 6th and is playing at the Multnomah Arts Center Performing Hall, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy.  For more information, go to Oregon Children’s Theatre’s site at  or call 503-228-9571.  Please note, all Covid protocols in place, such as vaccine cards, masks, etc.

    Who we are and what we become are part and parcel of our dreams.  We have a view of life as we mature that, early on, is usually in lock-step with the majority.  But, as we age, and have our own dreams, a different reality sets in.  Then the question becomes, do we follow our path, or the one that seems to have been set down for the rest of society.  “Ah, there’s the rub.”

    Five teenagers, Jo (Jamie Mack), Sarah (Lili Ireland), Vic (Tam Silverman), Maureen (Alli Jaffe) and Robbie (Darren Sze) are trapped in a post-apocalyptic, alternate reality in which they must survive.  They must deal with legends and myths of this new world or perish.

    They discover a seemingly abandoned campsite of one of the inhabitants of this other world but what does this offer them?  They have their own views of what it takes to exist in this brave, new concept of reality and make no bones about expressing their views on video and to anyone who will listen.  But is anybody listening?  If a tree falls in a forest but there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?!

    I can only give you vague hints of this story, for it is up to you to interpret it.  It’s true, we adults have left a haphazard trail of bread crumbs to follow for future generations but I have faith they will decipher the hints and thrive in this future world, for as long as they have each other, they are not alone.  My take-away is this:  Conform or Evolve!  Other views?!

    White has assembled a talented cast to present this world of alternating views and theyare wonderful.  And, a shout-out to Dani Balwin and the Y/P company for tackling in all their shows, diverse and topical issues for their times, for they will be able to learn from this experience and carrying them into their adult lives!  Bravo! 

    I recommend this play and, if you do choose to see it, please tell them that Dennis sent you.