Early Highlights from the PortFringe Festival

"The Yellow Wallpaper" "The Yellow Wallpaper"

The Fringe goes on! This year, the PF team has had the great idea to offer “first looks” at shows, written by local friends of PF and posted at http://portfringe.com/first-looks/, and here are a few of my own highlights from the first weekend:

The Yellow Wallpaper (Bare Portland – Portland) + from the rib vault in the room that has become mary (New Fruit – Portland)

Absolutely stunning. This jointly devised installation and performance, an abstracted riff on Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, are the quintessence of Fringe brazenly experimentalgenre-defyingwondrously disarming. Under the high ceilings of the Mechanics Hall ballroom, New Fruit’s installation is jaw-dropping, and Bare Portland’s immersive performance integrates movement, text, and audience interaction gracefully and with the most sublimely, gently sly wit.

Remaining show: Sat, June 24, 4:15 pm at Mechanics Hall, 619 Congress St.

 Theater deep as hell

Deep As Hell (Jason LeSaldo and Khalil LeSaldo – Portland, ME)

The brothers range through a variety of absurdities in this addictive little sketch comedy show. Their writing is funny and quirky, but it’s their particular idiosyncratic fraternal rapport prickly, intimate, and solidly grounded in its own weird universethat most draws us in and keeps us laughing.

Remaining show: Wed, June 21, 10:45 pm at Portland Stage Storefront, 25A Forest Ave.

Theater antigone richard sewell

The Antigone in Warsaw (Purple Crayon – Portland, ME)

In Richard Sewell’s wartime drama — written in 1968 — a scrappy theater company rehearses Antigone on the eve of Hitler’s crossing into PolandStylishly staged and acted, elegant in its geometries, the show is a thoughtful meditation on the theater of politics, people, and theater itself.


Remaining shows: Thurs, June 22, 5:45 pm & Sat, June 24 at 5:45 at Portland Stage Studio, 25A Forest Ave.

 Theater box of clowns

The Paranormal Pair (Box of Clowns – Portland, OR)

This very funny duo from the other Portland totally delivers — in drag — as a ghost-finding team, with Laura Loy as a nerdy ghost hunter and Jeff Sesautels as Gothic lady medium. They cheekily and deftly subvert a ton of TV tropes (reenactments, cheesy music stings, This is Your Life), pull off A+ physical comedy, and draw their earnest misfit characters hilariously and — crucially — with obvious affection.

Remaining shows: Wed, June 21, 7:30 pm & Fri, June 23 at 9:15 at Portland Stage Studio, 25A Forest Ave.

Last modified onMonday, 19 June 2017 17:31