Review Roundup: KODACHROME at Portland Center Stage at The Armory

Review Roundup: KODACHROME at Portland Center Stage at The ArmoryPortland Center Stage presents the world-premiere of Adam Szymkowicz's KODACHROME. A play told through snippets in the form of snapshots from protagonist Suzanne's camera, KODACHROME is an exploration of love, life, and loss. KODACHROME opened February 9th and runs through March 18th.

The Cast of KODACHROME: Lena Kaminsky (The Photographer), Ryan Vincent Anderson (The Policeman/The Hardware Store Owner), Ryan Tresser (The Gravedigger/The Young Man), Tina Chilip (The Librarian/The Waitress/Friend), John D. Haggerty (The History Professor/The Perfume Maker/EMT 1), Sharonlee McLean (The Mystery Novelist/The Florist/EMT 2), and Kelly Godell (Marjorie/The Young Woman).

The Creative Team: Daniel Meeker (Scenic and Lighting Designer), Alison Heryer (Costume Designer), Casi Pacilio (Sound Designer), Will Cotter (Projection Designer), Jana Crenshaw (Composer), Janine Vanderhoff (Stage Manager), Jordan Affeldt (Production Assistant), Brandon Woolley (Casting), and Rose Riordan (Casting).

For tickets and more information, please visit https://www.pcs.org/.

Let's see what the critics had to say!

The Oregonian: The fine cast of "Kodachrome" makes quick, punchy work of the play's rapid-fire scene changes under Riordan's usual sharp direction. Ryan Vincent Anderson is a warm, solid presence as a glum widower and oblivious cop; Tina Chilip is a delight to watch as a flirty waitress and an anxious librarian; and Sharonlee McLean plays magnificently to type as a lovestruck, tenacious florist hopelessly courting John D. Haggerty's lovestruck, tenacious perfumer hopelessly courting someone else.

Krista Garver, BroadwayWorld: In the center is Lena Kaminsky as the Photographer. Kaminsky's approach is open and approachable, which makes the journey less like watching a play and more like taking a walk with a very chatty friend. The narration does occasionally become cumbersome, but only when the script moves from her giving voice to the characters' internal thoughts to her narrating the characters' actions in real time (If you've read my reviews in the past, you'll know this is a particular pet peeve of mine). Fortunately, this happens only occasionally. Much of the play revolves around interactions between two characters who are somewhere on the continuum between falling in love and falling out of it. The scenes that work this space most effectively are the ones between Sharonlee McLean and John D. Haggerty, who are paired up as both the Florist and the Perfume Maker and as the Mystery Novelist and the History Professor. But I was most moved by Ryan Tresser as both the Gravedigger, an odd duck with a kind heart and a special gift, and the Young Man, who believes he can learn how to love perfectly by reading the right books.

Judy Nedry: Directing by Rose Riordan and casting by Riodan and Brandon Woolley both are spot on. Everyone in this show delivers wonderful performances. Daniel Meeker's set is sleek and very effective, as are his lighting design and Will Cotter's projection design.

Dennis Sparks, Dennis Sparks Reviews: This is an endearing tale and told in a storytelling style, with only minimum set pieces, props and costume pieces. Riordan has chosen well her cast and manages to keep the story from getting too confusing for an audience. I especially liked the photograph projections (Projection Designer, Will Cotter, I assume, is responsible for them). They gave a close-up view of all the little moments that people would normally hardly even notice. And the performances were top-notch. Kaminsky, as our guide, gave us just the right amount of joy, humor and sadness in her performance. And I loved the writing and performance of the character of the Gravedigger (Tresser), very inventive. This story harkens back to a time and place in our Pasts and gives us a glimpse of the make-up of people stripped of all the trappings of an electronic world.

Photo Courtesy of Patrick Weishampel.

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