Local Theater Watch


— Ryan Beltram, EDN

This week in local cinema, the Bijou debuts two films: a story about a young woman struggling to keep a secret and a documentary about an organization the FBI has called America’s “number one domestic terrorism threat.” Over at David Minor, just one film starts and it’s loosely based on one of the most notorious storytellers of the 20th Century.

Pariah: 2011 – Drama – 86 Min – Rated R. Opens on Friday, Feb. 17 at 5:45 and 7:45 pm.

A story about accepting who you are.

Alike is a seventeen-year-old living in Brooklyn. She’s smart and creative, but she’s also a tomboy who would rather wear jeans and a hat than a dress. Alike’s masculine disposition draws disapproval from her religious mother. Afraid to confide in her parents, Alike also keeps from them that she is gay.

Upon meeting the daughter of her mother’s colleague, Alike becomes more open and takes a liking to Bina. Alike’s personal struggle with identity and social pressures hold her back and she must eventually face not only her family but herself.

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front: 2011 – Documentary – 85 Min – Not Rated. Opens on Friday, Feb. 17 at 9:45 pm.

How far would someone go to their point across? When does a passion become a dangerous obsession? If a Tree Falls follows the Earth Liberation Front, a radical environmental group which used illegal methods to do what they believed in. The film tells the story of Daniel McGowan, an ELF member who faced life in prison for two multi-million dollar fires against Oregon timber companies.

The film uses McGowan’s story to examine bigger questions about environmentalism, activism and terrorism. ELF’s goal was to keep corporate America from destroying the planet. The message might be good, but the decisions made to emphasize that message turned dangerous. The film aims to focus on the line between fighting for a cause and breaking the law.

Still Playing at the Bijou:

Oscar Nominated Animated Short Films: Showing on Wednesday, Feb. 15-16 at 5:10 and 9:15 pm. Showing at 7 pm Friday, 12 and 10 pm Saturday and 1 and 10 pm Sunday.

Oscar Nominated Live Action Short Films: Showing at 7 pm, Wednesday, Feb. 15-16. Resumes on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 3 and 7:30 pm. Sunday showing at 3 pm.

Oscar Nominated Documentary Short Films: Showing on Friday only at 7:20 pm.

A Dangerous Method: Final two showings at 7:45 pm Wednesday and Thursday.

Le Havre: Showing at 5:30 pm Wednesday and Thursday. Showing at 5:15 pm Friday-Sunday.

David Minor:

The Rum Diary: 2011 – Comedy – 120 Min – Rated R. Starts on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 9:30 pm.

Why is the rum gone?

Back in 1998, Johnny Depp loosely portrayed Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Fourteen years later, Depp is back playing another version of Thompson in The Rum Diary.

Traveling to Puerto Rico on a freelance job, Paul Kemp wants to soak up some son, drink a lot of booze and maybe write something along the way. But when he begins to uncover something shady happening on the island, his journalistic instincts kick.

Still Playing at David Minor:

Midnight in Paris: Showing at 5:20 pm Wednesday. Showing at 7:15 pm Feb. 16-22.

Project Nim: Final showing on Wednesday at 5:20 pm.

50/50: Showing at 7:10 pm Wednesday. Showing at 5:20 pm Feb. 16-22.

Drive: Showing at 7:10 pm Wednesday. Showing at 9:30 pm Feb. 16-22.

Moneyball: Showing at 9 pm Wednesday. Showing at 7:15 pm Feb. 16-22.

The Ides of March: Showing at 9 pm Wednesday. Showing at 5:20 pm Feb. 16-22.

On the local theater side, plays available to see range from Shakespeare to the trailer park to one of Jane Austen’s earliest stories.

Student Theater

At South Eugene High School, you have three more chances to see the students act in Macbeth, Shakespeare’s tragic play about power, greed and witchcraft.

The final three showings of Macbeth are Feb. 16-18 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $8.

Over at Churchhill High School, the students will be performing a far less dramatic play than Macbeth but arguably one that’s more fun. February 17-19, the school will showcase The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee, a one-act musical comedy about six kids competing in a spelling bee.

Unlike other plays, this one is interactive as four audience members are asked to take the stage to compete alongside the six characters. Despite its short running time, this Tony Award-Winning play features a lot of laughs and if you’re a fan of Scrabble or Words With Friends, this play is right up your ally. The show is at 7:30 pm and tickets are $12.

Springfield High School has a play of their own this week as they present Stage Door, a play that follows a number of aspiring actresses at a boarding house in New York City.

Show business is a tough gig.

Taking place in the fifties, the main story concerns Terry Randall, a strong and witty girl from the Midwest who is determined to become a leading actress. While pursuing her career, she becomes involved with two men: an arrogant playwright looking to move to Hollywood to become a screenwriter, and a well-groomed film producer who decides to return to broadway.

Despite the competitiveness with the other girls at the house, Randall is determined to win the leading role in a broadway play and the affections and respect of the man she loves.

The final three performances of Stage Door will be Feb. 16-18. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. Shows start at 7:30 pm.

Professional Theater

The Good Samaritan Societies’ presentation of Northanger Abbey, one of Jane Austen’s first plays continues this week.

The play follows seventeen-year-old Catherine Morland, an avid book reader and tomboy. She loves Gothic novels and is inspired by them to become a real heroine. But she is still young and ignorant. She has a hard time distinguishing reality from fiction and because of this she has a number of awkward encounters with boys that she isn’t quite prepared for.

Northanger Abbey can be seen Feb. 16-19 at 7 pm. Tickets are free of charge.

If you’re in the mood for something a little more dramatic, Sacred Heart Hospice presents, Vesta, an examination of the emotions and decisions a family faces through the end of a grandmother’s life.

Vesta is an independent 75-year-old who must confront not only a debilitating stroke but also terminal cancer. Her daughter Carol, who is her mother’s primary caregiver; and Carol’s husband and teenage daughter Kelly, each struggle with the grandmother’s decline.

This is the last weekend to see Vesta, which will be playing at the Upstart Crow Studios in Eugene. The last three shows will be Feb. 17-19 at 8 pm. Tickets are $15.

The Great American Trailer Park Musical, which has been hugely popular for the Actors Cabaret, will finally end this weekend.

This two-act spectacle follows a cast of seven including Lin, Pickles and Betty, three women living carefree lives at Armadillo Acres. When a stripper named Pippi moves in, things get a little more interesting. By the end of the show, there’s been erotic dancing, disco, TV show confessionals and flan.

The musical’s final two shows will be Feb. 17-18. The show starts at 8 pm and tickets are between $16 and $27 without dinner. A meal included is $41.95.


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