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Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO: PAUL FARDIG - Alexa Kelly Shaheen as Tina Denmark in Stumptown Stages outrageous musical Ruthless!

Stumptown Stages continues its 10th anniversary season with the award-winning musical “Ruthless!”

The show is about eight-year-old Tina Denmark, who knows she was born to play Pippi Longstocking, and she will do anything to win the part in her school musical. Anything includes murdering the leading lady. This aggressively outrageous musical hit garnered rave reviews during its long Off-Broadway run, which opened with Britney Spears in the leading role.

“Why are some people so insanely driven to be on stage?” said director Paul Angelo. “Is it really that hard to imagine a maddening need to be famous in today’s world? Well, taken to its extreme, how far would it go? How far has it gone? How often have you said flippantly off the cuff ‘Oh, I’d kill for a ____.’ What if a child like Tina were listening? What if any child were listening? Ultimately we the people can look silly at times in our self-absorption. A show like ‘Ruthless!’ reminds us to not take everything so seriously and to lighten up, to laugh at what we don’t understand and to avoid people in the theatre ...”

Book and lyrics for “Ruthless! The Musical” are by Joel Paley and music by Marvin Laird, direction by Angelo, choreography by Beth Raimer, musical direction by Jon Quesenberry of Lake Oswego and features Darius Pierce, Alexa Kelly Shaheen, Julianne Nelson, Lindsay Schramm, Joan Freed, also of Lake Oswego, and Stephanie Heuston.

“This show is so hilarious,” said Freed. “It’s a take off on all the well known, old style musicals and shows about show business. I am really getting a big kick out of it. We were all laughing our heads off during rehearsal last night because the script is so funny and the cast is really terrific.”

Freed plays a very ascorbic theater critic, who hates everything and has closed hundreds of shows with her caustic reviews. Tina, her granddaughter, would do anything to win the starring role in her school musical.

“Alexa has a huge part,” Freed said.”She is slightly twisted and she’s a bit pathological. She wants to be the star and oh, my gosh, this girl really has her part down!”

The production runs Feb. 19 through March 8 with 7:30 p.m. performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and 2 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday.

All shows are presented in Portland’5 Brunish Theatre at Antoinette Hatfield Hall, 1111 S.W. Broadway in Portland.

Tickets range in price from $25-$35 and can be purchased online at or at or by calling the box office at 800-273-1530.

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