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Main Stage Theater/Photo: Uwe Schneider


By David Lefkowitz

Productions of the 2007-08 season at Portland Center Stage will take audiences from Berlin to...

Productions of the just-announced 2007-08 season at Portland Center Stage will take audiences from Berlin to London to the Bronx to Hollywood, but also make a world-premiere pit stop right in the venue's home state of Oregon.

Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion, which Portland Monthly dubbed the "all-time great Oregon novel," has been adapted into a play by Aaron Posner, who'll direct the premiere April 1-27, 2008 at PCS. The story, by the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, tells of estranged brothers, one a lumberjack, the other a Yale-educated lawyer. When both yearn for the same woman, tempers come to a boil.

Heated arguments are also at the center of Doubt,John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer winner, which arrives at PCS May 19-June 15, 2008. On the lighter side, Amy Freed's The Beard of Avon will play in repertory with Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Jan. 15-March 9, 2008. Opening the season on the Gerding mainstage (Sept. 25-Oct. 21) is the Kander-Ebb  classic, Cabaret, to be staged by artistic director Chris Coleman. And, of course, there's A Christmas Carol, this one adapted by Mead Hunter (Nov. 25-Dec. 23).

The Studio second stage goes mainly for comedy with its three shows: The Underpants, A Feminine Ending and The Little Dog Laughed. Underpants (Oct. 16-Dec. 2) is Steve Martin's take on Carl Sternhelm's 19th-Century sex comedy. Little Dog Laughed (April 29-June 15, 2008), a recent Broadway visitor, has author Douglas Carter Beane  skewering Hollywood deal making and homophobic self-censorship.

Sarah Treem's A Feminine Ending (Feb. 5-March 23, 2008) proved the hit of PCS' Just Add Water/West Playwrights Festival last July. Actress Blair Brown staged that reading, and she'll go on to stage a full production at off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons this-coming season as well. The play tells of a gifted oboist who doesn't know whether to follow her own career or that of her rapidly ascending, rock-star boyfriend.

Portland Center Stage ( opened in 1988 as "the northern sibling" to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, becoming an independent entity five years later. After raising nearly $30 million, the company moved to its current home in the historic Portland Armory. The current season continues with The Pillowman followed by Fences, with Theresa Rebeck's   Bad Dates arriving next month in the Studio.