HBO star Lauren Weedman is 'Looking' for Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. -- When Portland Center Stage asked actress Lauren Weedman to write a show about the city, she realized she was already, unintentionally, writing one in her head.

It was 2011. She was starring in a different solo show she wrote called 'Bust.' Every day on her three-block walk from the hotel to the theater, she got a strong dose of Portland.

"I was always like, 'I just saw a man riding a teeny tiny bike with a machete.' And people were like, 'Oh, that's the machete guy. Yeah, that's George. Is it a Tuesday? That's George with his machete. He's juggling on Wednesdays.'"

So began the journey to create "The People's Republic of Portland."

Weedman spent weeks wandering around town, listening in on people's conversations for the show. She performed the original version two years ago. Now, Portland Center Stage is remounting the production with some new material. With Lauren Weedman, there's always new material.

She's known to go off script including on her HBO series, 'Looking' which is just ending its second season.

"It's almost problematic how much I love that show, 'cause I don't know if it's going to have a third season," she said.

So what has this California resident concluded about life in PDX?

"I come from a world where people are wearing sunglasses during intimate conversations. You know, Los Angeles. You have to say, 'Can you take your sunglasses off, we are talking about our divorce.' And here in Portland people are like, 'I'm the kind of person who believes in communication and I don't like chairs and I'll talk to you even though I think what your family does is not right.' And I'm like, 'Oh, that's honest.' But you know who you are dealing with. I love that."

The People's Republic of Portland begins previews March 21st and goes until April 19th. Go to PCS.org for tickets.


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