Coast through summer: theater, music, visual art along the beach

Entertainment along the Oregon Coast includes old-time melodramas, jazz performances and art celebrating birds.

Hot, sunny days make it prime viewing season for the art and entertainment nature offers along the Oregon Coast. But when the sand, wind and occasional rain get to be too much, beachgoers can find plenty of manmade amusements. Summer on the coast brings theater performances, gallery shows and music.

Not every stage welcomes cheers, boos and popcorn-throwing, but that’s how The Astor Street Opry Company defines audience participation during their performances of Shanghaied in Astoria. Given this is their 34th season presenting the play, they must be doing something right. In their words, it’s live, award-winning, family friendly, historical and hysterical; part vaudeville, part soap opera and an entertaining look at cultural folklore on the Columbia River. The story, directed this year by Ashley Mundel, centers on the “shanghaiing” of the play’s hero and his daring rescue in melodramatic style. It runs at 7 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, July 12 through Sept. 1. Tickets range from $10 to $20. Get the details here.

The Astor Street Opry Company is presenting its 34th season of “Shanghaied in Astoria.”

“Saxophonist to the stars” Patrick Lamb takes the stage at the Coaster Theatre Playhouse in Cannon Beach at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 15, as part of the Tom Drumheller Summer Series. Lamb’s last three singles have made the national Billboard Charts, and he was recently inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame. He’s toured with Smokey Robinson, Esperanza Spalding, Gino Vannelli, Bobby Caldwell, Jeff Lorber Fusion, among others, and is now touring solo.

Lamb is followed on Sunday, July 22, by Tom Grant and Shelly Rudolph. Pianist Grant is described as “a master instrumentalist, talented singer and natural entertainer” who “nimbly walks the line between jazz tradition and modern pop.” Tickets to either show are $20 and $25.

Fun’s the word for two theater productions continuing at the Coaster. The Musical of Musicals: The Musical! is a parody in which one story unfolds in five different tellings written in the style of various masters of the form: Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Kander and Ebb.

Sherlock Holmes gets a comedic twist in “Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” at Coaster Theatre.

Also at Coaster, Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, is described as a “whimsical spin on a classic Holmes mystery.” In comedic playwright Ken Ludwig’s hands, Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic The Hound of the Baskervilles morphs into a humorous adventure with investigators in search of a killer before a curse dooms the family. Expect what Coaster calls a “dizzying web of clues, silly accents, disguises, and deceit as five actors deftly portray more than forty characters.”

Both performances are described as family-friendly, with a caveat that young children may not understand the mildly adult themes, but will, nonetheless, likely enjoy the antics on stage. Dates and times vary; find the schedule here.

If a “nerd culture emporium” sounds like your kind of place, check out Versus Comic Con at the Seaside Convention Center July 21 and 22. Up to 100 marketplace vendors will be selling their wares, while in Artist Alley, visitors will have the chance to meet an array of artists, including what the show describes as pancake artists. Comic Con also features guest celebrities, musicians, a live rock concert, autograph opportunities and meet and greets. On Saturday, doors close at 7 p.m., when the Cosplay pub crawl begins, ending with pianist and entertainer Dan Frost. Tickets range from $15 to $80, with kids under 10 admitted free.

Tillamook artist Ann Kelly’s ceramic sculptures inspired by birds are part of the Hoffman Gallery’s “Feathered” show.

Birds of a feather stick together … and artists inspired by them show together in Feathered, in the Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita. The show features work by artist Ben Killen Rosenburg, whose show “Continuum” focuses on birds found on the coast; Ann Kelly’s ceramic sculptures, inspired by ravens, eagles, herons, owls and swallows; and Kathleen Larson’s ceramic bird art reflecting her appreciation for birds of the coastal community. Check the website for dates, times and more artist details.

The Hoffman Center also offers free Summer Sunday concerts by local artists in the garden from 1 to 3 p.m. July 22 through Labor Day.

It’s Broadway Baby … & more! at the Tillamook Barn Community Playhouse. The revue by the Tillamook Association for the Performing Arts takes theater-goers through some of Broadway’s most memorable music “and more!” The show runs July 13-15, 20-22, 27-29, with shows at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $15 and available at Diamond Art Jewelers at 503-842-7940 or at the door.

Love is in the air as Mike Arseneault and Leslie Gestautas of Riverbend Players perform Love Letters, a 1985 Pulitzer Prize finalist for drama, at the North County Recreation District’s Performing Arts Center in Nehalem on July 14 and 15. The “serio-comedy” is a story of friendship and love told through 50 years of love letters. A second cast — Matt Ruona and Meghan Ruona — performs the play July 20 and 21. Shows are at 7 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $15. Advance tickets available on TICKETTOMATO.COM

Oregon artists Elaine Treadwell and Beth O’Mahony celebrate nature with an indoor/outdoor show, Celebrating Renewal: Visions in the Forest at the Tillamook Forest Center. The collaboration is inspired by “nature’s capacity for renewal” and the timelessness of the forest. According to the website: “The sculptures shape the space between trees, play with the sparkling light, add new colors and patterns to the palette of the forest. Bring your playfulness and sense of wonder on your walk along the River View Trail.” The exhibit continues through Sept. 3.

The New World String Project will perform music grounded in Nordic, Celtic, and American folk traditions at the Lincoln City Cultural Center on at 7 p.m. Friday, July 20. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 at the door and $10 for youth. LCCC members get a $2 discount.

In Newport, the Visual Arts Center offers three exhibits. Work by award-winning members of the Watercolor Society of Oregon (WSO) will be displayed through July 28 in the Upstairs Gallery in the traveling exhibition Spring Migration. The exhibit features 20 paintings selected by WSO convention juror Fran Larsen, including abstracts, cubism, landscapes, city scenes, portraits and more. The upstairs gallery is open from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Portland artist Henk Pander’s exhibit of new large-scale watercolors from his recent series War Memories, Liberty Ships and the Climate Refugees of Vanport continues through Sept. 2 in the Runyan Gallery of the Visual Arts Center. Documentary films about the artist by his son, Jacob Pander, will screen in the Media Room. Pander will give an artist talk at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, in the Runyan Gallery.

Also at the center through Sept. 1, Cannon Beach artist Elizabeth “Libby” Pattison shows her jewelry of polished Oregon stones and small oil paintings as part of the Coastal Oregon Visual Artist Showcase.

Lori Tobias is ArtsWatch’s new Oregon Coast correspondent, covering arts and culture up and down the coast in a weekly column. She is the author of the novel Wander, winner of the 2017 Nancy Pearl Book Award for literary fiction and a finalist for the 2017 International Book Awards for new fiction.

Lori Tobias

She is a journalist of many years, and was a staff writer for The Oregonian for more than a decade, and a columnist and features writer for the Rocky Mountain News. She lives on the Oregon Coast with her husband, Chan, and rescue pups, Luna and Monkey.

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