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2017 Bar Theatre
The Scene on Stage: CRT announces new season, and more posted on 02/01/2018

The Clackamas Repertory Theatre announced its 2018 summer season last month, a slate that includes a reimagined production of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility,” the musical “Annie” and the return of a play that CRT offered previously as a staged reading, “Ripcord.” And while all three feature stories surrounding strong women, CRT Assistant Managing Director Jayne Stevens noted that the theater did not set out to make that this year’s theme.

“When we pick the shows, it kind of just happens organically,” Stevens said. “But we were drawn to these plays for a reason.”

Things kick off with “Sense and Sensibility,” by Kate Hamill, adapted from Austen’s novel and directed by Karlyn Love, who directed a CRT production of “A Christmas Carol.” In this adaptation, running from June 28 through July 22, ten actors play all the roles on a sparse set and Stevens noted that the ensemble piece should work well in the theater’s space.

“We’re so thrust out there in the audience, it’s nice for them to see plays like that,” she said.

The classic musical, “Annie, book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin, follows from Aug. 2-26. Stevens, who will direct the show along with Wesley Robert Hanson, noted that she played the titular role when she was 12 and when she was asked which musical she’d like to do, the answer was easy.

“It stuck with me,” Stevens said. “It’s a perfect fit for the season.”

The third show of the 2018 season will be “Ripcord,” by David Lindsay-Abaire and directed by David Smith-English, from Sept. 6-30. Stevens noted that the theater has done a couple of shows by the playwright already and did this one as a staged reading last year.

Thanks to the strong audience response at that reading, the show is back, along with the two women who were in the lead roles for the reading, Randi Douglas as Abby and Anita Sorel as Marilyn.

The summer season will also offer two concerts, with Susannah Mars and Merideth Kaye Clark singing the hits of Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 15, and “Portland Sings!” featuring local artists singing Broadway hits at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19.

Stevens noted that last year’s “Portland Sings!” concert packed the house, prompting the theater to do it again this year.

“We never had that big of a response,” she said.

Children’s Theater and Staged Readings

Luckily for theatergoers, CRT’s calendar features some offerings that are a little sooner, including the latest in the theater’s interactive children’s shows, “Wing It, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 10. The series, developed and directed by Travis Nodurft, a CRT company member, professional clown and Oregon City sixth-grade teacher, is created for children two to ten years of age, but it’s fun for all ages.

“Wing It” includes singing, dancing and a talent show for kids, offering a chance to go up on stage. Admission is $5 at the door with no reserved seating. Future “Wing It” performances include April 21, June 16 and Sept. 29.

CRT will also offer staged readings, kicking things off with “Red Speedo,” by Lucas Hnath, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11. The playwright is also known for “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” which picks up 15 years after the action concludes in Henrik Ibsen’s classic play, “A Doll’s House.” A Broadway production of Hnath’s play earned eight 2017 Tony Award nominations.

“Red Speedo” offers the story of a professional swimmer trying to go to the Olympics and deals with the pressures coming from different angles and how the swimmer responds to them.

“There’s a really great relationship between the Olympic swimmer and his brother, who’s bailed him out on several occasions,” Stevens said. “It’s pretty interesting to see the demise of it.”

CRT will also offer another reading by Hnath, “The Christians,” at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 25.

Meanwhile, CRT will continue its “Bar Theatre” series with a reading of Jeffery Hatcher’s “Mrs. Mannerly” at 6:30 p.m. Sunday March 4, at Trail Distilling, 21553 S Hwy. 213 in Oregon City, and a reading of Christian O’Reilly’s “Chapatti” at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, April 22, at Portland Cider Company, 8925 SE Jannsen Road in Clackamas.

Tickets to the “Bar Theatre” events include one custom CRT cocktail or beverage.

All performances take place at the Niemeyer Center on the Oregon City campus of Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Avenue in Oregon City, unless noted. For more information, including ticketing information, visit clackamasrep.org or call 503-594-6047 (tickets for the “Wing It” series are only available at the door).

Sandy show continues

The Sandy Actors Theatre’s production of “Rose Colored Glass,” by Sue Bigelow and Janice Goldberg, continues through Sunday, Feb. 18, at 39181 Proctor Blvd. (behind Ace Hardware).

The play is set in 1938 in a Chicago alley shared by a bar and a delicatessen, and told in a series of flashbacks by a young girl at the time. The distrustful widows who run the businesses eventually become friends as they try to bring one’s nephew into the country and away from the horrors of Nazi Germany at the time.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $18 general admission and $15 for students and seniors (reservations are recommended).

For more information, or to make reservations call 503-668-6834 or visit sandyactorstheatre.org.

By Garth Guibord/MT

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