Watching a play is the second-best way to achieve emotional catharsis, right behind writing a play about achieving emotional catharsis. Tear-stain a playbill with this GrouponLive deal to Portland Center Stage at the Gerding Theater at the Armory. Choose between the following options:
- For $99, you get admission for one to any three plays between January 8 and June 30, plus two drink tickets at your choice of performance (up to a $215 value).
- For $149, you get admission for one to any five plays between January 8 and June 30, plus two drink tickets at your choice of performance (up to a $345 value).
For Main Stage productions, seating will be in rows Q–T. All shows at the Ellyn Bye Studio are general admission.
I Love To Eat (January 8–February 3)
James Still's play shines a light on a culinary icon: Portland's locally sourced, organically grown TV chef, James Beard. Audiences step into the home of Julia Child's predecessor for an evening with America's first foodie.
Venus in Fur (January 29–March 10)
Reality and theatricality mingle seductively in comic playwright David Ives's trangressive, fourth-wall-bending mutation of the already-byzantine 1870 novella that inspired the word “masochism.” Just as a supercilious director thinks he's exhausted all possibilities for casting the lead of his adaptation, he's met with Vanda, a pushy unknown actress who gradually turns the audition room into her own queendom. The New York Times's Christopher Isherwood called its off-Broadway debut "nifty, skillfully wrought entertainment, an enjoyable game of kitten-with-a-whip and mouse."
The Whipping Man (February 26–March 24)
Matthew Lopez's atmospheric think piece takes place on the night of Passover in 1865—just a few days after the end of the Civil War. With a bullet in his leg, a Jewish ex-Confederate soldier is taken in and cared for by two of his former slaves.
The People's Republic of Portland (April 30–June 9)
Bust writer and former Daily Show correspondent Lauren Weedman was commissioned by Portland Center Stage to skewer the city's ecosystem of bridges, flannel, mustaches, and fixies. During the course of a several-month stay, as Weedman told Portland Monthly, she became entranced by the city's blend of ever-present kombucha, socially conscious strip clubs, and "beers that taste like dirty pieces of chocolate dipped in stomach acid."
Clybourne Park (April 9–May 5)
Bruce Norris's examination of racial disharmony—first in 1959 and again 50 years later—draws heavily from A Raisin in the Sun as it follows one home in Chicago through neighborhood tensions and demographic shifts. The play has won more trophies than a referee's daughter, including this year's Tony for Best Play and both a Pulitzer and an Olivier in 2011.
Somewhere in Time (May 28–June 30)
This world-premiere musical takes on the story of the much-beloved 1980 Christopher Reeve/Jane Seymour film of the same name. A young playwright encounters a mysterious elderly woman who begs him to “come back to me.” Many years later, the dejected man finds himself staring at a young woman's photograph at Mackinac Island's magical Grand Hotel, which may be a secret key to the era of his true love.
Portland Center Stage
For more than 30 years, the dramatists at Portland Center Stage have regaled audiences with nonstop lineups of classic plays, acclaimed modern works, and specially commissioned pieces. Works to suit all tastes await year-round—anything from sci-fi think pieces to bombastic musical theater to football match re-enactments. Thanks to their comprehensive educational programs, Portlanders of all ages can get in on the action, lights, and maybe even the camera.