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Patrick Brassell - Page 3

Patrick Brassell Patrick Brassell is the author of five published novels and five produced plays. He has directed, produced, and designed sound for about fifty theater productions, and he has acted on rare occasion. He sang with a number of unsuccessful bar bands, wrote a comprehensive blog about the history of the Academy Awards, and wishes he were young enough to audition for American Idol. In the meantime, he has a day job in the financial industry, and lives in the Portland neighborhood of Cedar Mill.


BWW Reviews: Joy and Pain in THE LAST FIVE YEARS at Portland Center Stage
May 4, 2014

Every moment of joy is paired with a moment of pain - and isn't that exactly how you think back on your failed relationships?

BWW Reviews: A Very Different Kind of Nostalgia Lives at MAPLE AND VINE at CoHo Productions
May 3, 2014

What if a group of modern-day folks, annoyed by modern technology and the fast pace of life in the 21st century, decided to create a place where it would always be 1955?

BWW Reviews: THE BIKINIS Try to Bring Back the '60s at Broadway Rose
April 21, 2014

The jokes are lame, the characters are each assigned one personality trait, and the attempts to be heartfelt go flat. And's a perfect package of boomer nostalgia, so the audience goes wild.

BWW Reviews: Artists' Rep THE QUALITY OF LIFE Asks the Tough Questions...and Laughs at Them
April 21, 2014

Jane Anderson's The Quality of Life is a play about grief and the various ways people deal with it. Oh, you're thinking, a heavy drama. Nope, it's a comedy. A black comedy? No again. It's warm, heartfelt, profane, and hilarious, and it's life-affirming in the best possible way. Anderson looks at grief from every possible angle and leaves you bruised but hopeful.

BWW Reviews: OTHELLO Fights for Glory at Portland Center Stage
April 21, 2014

Othello, to modern ears, is one of the most melodramatic of Shakespeare's dramas. It involves a villain (Iago) who wreaks havoc without much apparent motivation, a hero (Othello) who believes the villain's lies without evidence to support them, and a lot of coincidences that don't always make sense.

BWW Reviews: Post5's HAMLET Has An Antic Disposition
March 30, 2014

Imagine a young, wisecracking '80s movie star - say Robert Downey Jr. or John Cusack - plugged into Shakespeare's tragedy. It makes for lots of laughs, but it also divests the play of its tragic aspect, which leaves the ending unearned.

BWW Reviews: Third Rail's MIDSUMMER Will Make You Sing in the Rain
March 30, 2014

A two-actor play is very dependent on its cast, who are onstage nonstop for nearly two hours, and director Philip Cuomo has chosen well.

BWW Reviews: Portland Playhouse's THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA Is a Quiet Masterpiece
March 9, 2014

The entire cast of thirteen sang with pure feeling, and the rafters rang with their astonishing voices.

BWW Reviews: THE MOTHERF***ER WITH THE HAT Is a Brutally Romantic Comedy at Artists Rep
March 9, 2014

The plot boils down to whether Veronica cheated, and with whom, and whether she will ever stop abusing substances, and whether Jackie can manage to stay sober.

BWW Reviews: Give in to Your Nerdy Side with BAND GEEKS at Broadway Rose
February 3, 2014

Band Geeks is the kind of show you start out scoffing at for its simple-minded depiction of teenage problems, but the darn thing sneaks up on you, and you walk out cheering.

BWW Reviews: THE MONSTER-BUILDER Is a Devil of a Comedy at Artists Rep
February 2, 2014

Part of the fun is figuring out what's going to happen and where the whole thing is headed. It took me until intermission to figure things out, as Freed throws a big surprise at the audience right before the act break that tells us once and for all what we're watching.

BWW Reviews: JITNEY is a Long, Meandering Ride at Portland Playhouse
January 28, 2014

The play is anecdotal, each character telling long stories about where they've been and what they've lived through, but the stories are less distinctive than I'm used to from August Wilson.

BWW Reviews: CHINGLISH is Filled with Cross-Cultural Laughter at Portland Center Stage
January 28, 2014

An American businessman comes over to try to sell the city leaders on hiring his company to build the signage for the center, in hopes of avoiding the mistranslations we've all seen and laughed at.

BWW Reviews: Crazy, Maddening, and Funny...That's ENJOY at Coho Productions
January 19, 2014

Sometimes a play that isn't working takes a positive step in its second half, and that's the case with Enjoy.

BWW Reviews: All the Laughs You Could Ever Want Are in NOISES OFF at Third Rail
December 16, 2013

Michael Frayn's farce-within-a-farce is simply the funniest play ever written by a human, and it's so good that even high schoolers can get surefire laughs with it. Put this script in the hands of talented professionals, however, who can find laughs beyond what's written on paper, and you've got an evening so stuffed with laughter that you'd better prepare yourself to ache from all the funny.

BWW Reviews: Artists Rep's FOXFINDER Gets Lost in the Woods
November 3, 2013

William keeps searching, Judith tries to hold things together, and Sam becomes increasingly agitated. You could read the foxes as just about anything; originally I thought of McCarthy's Communists, though WMDs also came to mind.

BWW Reviews: A Fractured Family Faces THE OUTGOING TIDE at CoHo Productions
October 20, 2013

A playwright choosing Alzheimer's as a topic would seem to have painted himself into a corner, and we expect that we're going to spend the evening watching Gunner get worse. But the action here takes place over just a couple of days, and Gunner has a plan of his own to solve the problems facing the family.

BWW Reviews: The Road to Hell Begins with a Backyard Barbecue in DETROIT at Portland Playhouse
October 7, 2013

Lisa D'Amour's play Detroit does not specifically take place in Michigan, but everything about it reminded me of my hometown. Daniel Meeker's stunning set presents us with a couple of middle-class suburban patios, shabby around the edges, with worn paint, cheap outdoor furniture, and stained concrete. There's even real grass on the stage - a nice touch that adds to the truth of what's about to happen.

BWW Reviews: A Showbiz Tour de Force at Artists Rep, But MISTAKES WERE MADE
October 6, 2013

Mistakes Were Made is more or less a one-man show. Felix, played by Michael Mendelson, becomes increasingly frantic, bouncing from call to call, screaming obscenities one second and sweet-talking the people who can help him the next.

BWW Reviews: A Family Dinner Is SWEET AND SAD at Third Rail
September 30, 2013

I completely forgot I was watching a play. The actors disappear into their roles, and the dialogue is so natural, filled with the interruptions, unexplained digressions, and inside references that you'd expect to hear at a family dinner.