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The In-Betweens

Dark Porch Theatre was formed as a dance-and-movement–based company in Portland, Oregon, and then moved to the Bay Area to focus on acting. This explains the dramatic dual nature of this ambitious original script and production, set in 1885. The first act is a solidly performed Agatha Christie–esque whodunit. Steel tycoon and occult aficionado Silas Danforth (Stuart Bousel) invites guests (each bringing a secret agenda) to his mansion for a spiritual and completely fake séance led by the hilarious and bumbling Professor M (Christopher P. Kelly). Act two turns the production's setting and style completely on its head, transporting the characters to an in-between world that feels like a cross between Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Sartre's No Exit. The fabulous costumes (designed by Cara Samski) morph from Industrial Age finery to all-white linen and lace as the characters are reborn into their truest forms (one becomes Pan, another Narcissus). The second act is a musical with skilled singing and dancing and a haunting score composed and performed live by the talented Ryan Beebee with four other musicians. Writer and director Margery Fairchild spices the plot with references to theosophy, murder, women's rights, and even an actual Pandora's box. It's ambitious, perhaps too much so, but a lovely hybrid of dream, dance, and theater.

 
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