The old converted church building houses the dynamic crew full of energy and enthusiasm. The venue may seem older on the outside, but that impression will be lost by the rich storytellers full of spirit and dramatic energy. I have taken my kids to several plays in the area, and no venue can compare to the Portland Playhouse. First off, I could enjoy a complimentary beer while my little one munched on her popcorn (in the auditorium). There are plenty of good seats in the house, and since the seating is on a first-come, first-choice basis we were treated front and center since I tend to run a bit early to scheduled events.
The story was pure magic with simple props and verbal descriptions of the scene being painted before you in your imagination. If you are unfamiliar with Broadway’s rendition of “Peter and the Starcatcher”, the props and scenery have a “vintage” and “old timey” feel with simple, yet very effective set designs. One example is a tattered rope serving as a rail to the imaginary ship the cast of characters are setting sail on or bent to become the doorway to the cabin below deck. Of all the fancy sets and special effects we have witnessed, this story was by far the most magical and in her words “my most favorite” (which is a compliment not easily given by my little date). She was enthralled with the characters, especially the mermaids, and completely enchanted by the storyline. I don’t want to give anything away, but this is a prequel of sorts to “Peter Pan” and how he came to Neverland, who this Captain Hook character is and his backstory and so much more. The play (with intermission) was well over two hours and she was captivated at every moment.
Thanks to the generosity of local donors, Portland playhouse will be renovating soon. Currently there are two bathrooms at the theater which can mean a little wait in line, but nothing unbearable with a little patience. However, I hear that more bathrooms may be added in the near future.
Our purpose is to activate surprise, delight, and challenge in our lives by exposing diverse audiences to artistically forward shows. We envision a world awakened by the wonder of theatre.
I highly recommend taking in this show and checkout what the next season will bring.