The current crop of theatrical openings here in Portland may be the best in years. This week, I saw MISALLIANCE, UNCLE VANYA, ESCAPE FROM HAPPINESS and NUMBER THREE. They're all strong. The local actors in the PCS and ART productions are working at a level that we'd expect from Equity venues (which isn't always the case); Allen Nause and Tobias Anderson are particularly strong, working across from William Hurt, in UNCLE VANYA (Hurt overpowered the last production he was in at ART, but not this one. The cast matches him and beats out the potential distraction of his celebrity.) I was particularly pleased by the actors in the Vertigo show, however. They are consistant, focused, high energy, and clicking beautifully as an ensemble, making ESCAPE FROM HAPPINESS more satisfying than any other production I've seen by Vertigo.
Next weekend, I'll see THE HEIDI CHRONICLES, at Profile. The word-of-mouth on it is good.
I'm finding this to be a refreshing season.