My Evening with Ben Franklin: Unplugged

First I should start this with a nod to my friend @PDXCulture who said – “If they left him unplugged for too long, he’d start to decompose”

Friday – While on Twitter I noticed a posting from @PCSGhost which said “The Next 5 People who tweet a Ben Franklin Aphorism could win tickets to Ben Franklin: Unplugged (Playing Now at Portland Center Stage). Since I’m a big fan of Twitter contests, I ran out, found a good quote and posted. So, I won.

My Friend Chris and I decided to make a true Portland night of it. First we were off to dinner at Deschutes Brewing (Home of the famous Jubelale). While the wait for a table was ridiculous somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-30 minutes (good thing we left for the show early) when we were seated, after explaining to the waitress that we needed to be out the door in 30 minutes or less for a show next door, our service was not only prompt but amazing, our waitress Jen, was incredible. She was attentive but not hovering and had our checks ready when we were. I really do try to tip my hat to good service and good service this was.

Then it was off to the show:

Now, I hadn’t known what to expect besides the brief description provided on the PCS website (Scroll up) but I’m a fan of history and of historical references although admittedly I don’t know as much about Ben Franklin as the writer and performer Josh Kornbluth. He has a wordpress blog and is on Twitter. I really thought within the first few minutes of the play that I had made a horrible mistake, that I had subjected my friend to the rantings of a crazed lunatic who had issues with his mother. While that assessment may not be completely off base (he has issues with his Aunt Birdie and his Father) I was so drawn to this dramatist. His crazed rants, the moments when the house lights dimmed and drew you into the soft spoken moment of his monologue and then, on cue, the words boomed, snapping you back from that soft mental moment you’d allowed yourself to be lulled into. While the first hour I found myself with a back that wouldn’t stop throbbing I found myself drawn into the story, into the emotion and worrying less about Ben Franklin and being more interested in the minutiae of the artist being presented to us. After Intermission I found myself roped into the story, I was concentrating on every word that was spun for the audience, I found myself tied into the story, and I found myself forgetting that the subject was referring to Ben Franklin. I found the story was elaborated with emotion, thought, humor and a great deal of self realization. This may only be what the artist wanted me to think; but I bought it, hook, line and sinker. I also reveled in the thought that Franklin probably was a communist. If you have the opportunity, go see this play, I thoroughly enjoyed it, myself and the witty repartee presented from the first, second, and third person. Here’s the link to the Ellyn Bye Studio which is not only intimate but provides for good seats all around.

After the show I was unable to stay for the meet and greet, which I now regret a little, but while waiting for the streetcar my friend Chris and I ran into Powell’s Books (If you’re not familiar with Powells, you should be ashamed of yourself! #Seriously). I never can get out of there without buying a book or two, so I did, bought two, and I can’t wait to get started reading them.

What a wonderful night, a truly Portland experience. I never get enough of those.

Thanks again to Portland Center Stage, Deschutes Brewing, and Josh Kornbluth for giving me a fun Friday night.

One response to “My Evening with Ben Franklin: Unplugged”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: