Dim the lights: Portland’s mid-October theater opening highlights

Dial M for Murder by Bag & Baggage Productions

Television houses a surplus crop of zombie apocalypse and vampire romance. Break free from the parade of the undead with a string of mid-October Portland theater openings guaranteed to add a little mortality to this fall’s entertainment. After all, autumn is both a celebration of life and death.

Milagro Theatre (525 SE Stark) has set the stage for the debut of Olga Sanchez’s ¡O Romeo!. Running from Oct. 17 through Nov. 9, ¡O Romeo! summons the victims of Shakespeare’s tragedies to appear to the dramatist in his dying days as he creates his final masterpiece. Inspired by Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), the play is a bilingual performance that focuses on the culturally influenced concept of death. Director Sanchez credits her team of actors, designers, and crew for proving that the legendary playwright transcends cultural boundaries. Ticket prices range from $16 to $24.

From Oct. 16 through Nov. 2, enjoy the songs and choreography given life in Portland’5 Center for the Arts’ 110 in the Shade at Brunish Theatre (1111 SW Broadway). The musical, which emerged from N. Richard Nash’s play The Rainmaker, tells a tale of small town America when a draught bares an opportunity for a con man to exploit the hope for rain. Tickets range from $30 to $45.

Find another tale about the promise of prosperity this season with Theatre Vertigo’s production of Bob: A Life in 5 Acts. The play, which journeys Bob’s entire life beginning with his birth at a White Castle restaurant, is described by its young playwright, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, as “the romantic meal of Valentine’s Day and baby dumping combined as a great opportunity to start a very interesting American life.” The show runs from Oct. 17 through Nov. 15 at the Shoe Box Theater (2110 SE 10th Ave.). Tickets cost $20.

Just beyond the borders of the Rose City, in Hillsboro, Bag & Baggage Productions presents a thriller of a story that master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock felt fit to add to his repertoire. Dial “M” for Murder (pictured at top) puts the wrongly accused on trial in a story of love affairs, riches, and murder. The psychological drama plays out on the Venetian Theatre (253 E. Main St., Hillsboro) stage from Oct. 16 through Nov. 2. To delve deeper into this mystery, a special talk-back with the cast is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 26. Ticket prices range from $20 to $30.

— Rachael Lesley

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