Readers of our partner mag Artslandia may or may not remember a sporadic feature called “Out There,” dedicated to broadening the search for performing arts beyond the music/dance/theater companies you already know and enjoy.
Well, we figure Halloween is as good a time as any to resume—or exhume?—this approach and start poking around the seasonally-themed fringes for a wild time. Here are three events that involve various forms of performance, from graveyard wandering to Burtonesque magic-making.
At the Headwaters Theatre, just barely on the right side of some rickety railroad tracks, four bands and ten performers will gnash and roar late into the night. Among them, Automal A.D. Kate Rafter (whom you may remember from a previous “Out There” as the mastermind between band-and-contemp-dance collab Triple Dip, will throw her indominable stage presence into depicting a demon, Jennifer Robin, who recently released her debut novel Death Confetti, will be reading some unflinching heroin-chic prose, and Patrick McCully will be sitting in on some avant sax.
Coyly titled for seemingly-obvious copyright reasons, this 5th annual tribute to [that rarest-of-rare Christmas-and-Halloween musical classic scored by Danny Elfman that daren’t speak its name] is presented by some of the city’s finest providers of showmanly spectacle. This year’s so-called “SaLOOn EnSeMbLe” features Jeremiah Guske as Jack, acrobat Shaina Sky as Sally, Cowboy Clown Leapin’ Louie as Oogie, and circus ringmaster Noah Mickens as Dr. Finkelstein. They’ll be singing, “What’s this? What’s this! I can’t believe my eyes….” and you may be, too.
The Lone Fir Cemetery is never more enticing than at this time of year, with its iconic tall trees, mossy headstones and grand mausoleums. You know what would really spruce the place up, though? A candle-wielding spirit guide and a smattering of ghosts standing grave-side, just dying to tell their stories. (Your price of admission goes to Metro to fund the upkeep of this historic site.)
Honorable Mention: The Reformers’ The Van, which (horrifyingly!) has already almost completed its run. At the time of this posting, four tickets remain for the show at 9 pm Monday night. Hurry to catch The Van! Whether you made it or missed it, some context: The Reformers are one of Portland’s most micro—and madcap—companies, fully and fastidiously staging a theatrical “house show” each Halloween in a private home for just a handful of guests per performance. This time, they’ve evidently taken their show on the road, abducting as many audience members as fit in their van for a 20-minute white-knuckle ride.