I reviewed Theatre Vertigo's Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls for Portland Monthly—and was thus reminded how much more enjoyable it is to write a mixed, nuanced review than a rave or a pan.
In the final scene of Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls, Theatre Vertigo’s last production in the Theater! Theatre! Space, one character, Derek, gifts another, Vivian, a snowglobe in which a pair of hula girls wave aloha amid a wintry Hawaiian landscape. The englobed scene is incongruous, even ridiculous—but something about that ridiculousness, something in the way the hula girls beckon, keeps Derek and Vivian gazing into the small, staged world.
Aloha, written by Naomi Iizuka and directed for Vertigo by New York’s Jen Wineman, is not so different. The fragmented, surreal portrayal of youth angst has no small number of problems with its script, but the play’s sense of humor and experimental structure, along with dynamic performances from the Vertigo cast, keep us looking on.