News & Notes: Last Chance Café

Four shows to set at your table before they close on Sunday

All good things must come to an end, and sometimes they do it before we have a chance to see them. This is the final weekend for four things in Portland that might get you out of the house and into a seat at the cultural banquet before their final day tomorrow, Sunday, May 11.

Mendelson and Alper in "The Quality of Life." Photo: Owen Carey

Mendelson and Alper in “The Quality of Life.” Photo: Owen Carey

The Quality of Life. Artists Rep’s beautiful, deep, and nuanced production of Jane Anderson’s four-hand drama has three more performances, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. By turns funny, contemplative and sorrowful, it explores the relationship between two mature couples and their four conflicting attitudes toward impending or recent death. It’s a quiet stunner, with superb direction by Allen Nause, an imaginative set by Tim Stapleton, and top-of-the-line performances by Linda Alper, Michael Mendelson, Susannah Mars, and Michael Fisher-Welsh. Look here for Marty Hughley’s excellent ArtsWatch review. Ticket information here.

A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff. Subtitled Spiritual Implications of the Financial Collapse, Alicia Jo Rabins’ musical theater piece opened for a brief run in February but was smacked, like so many shows, by the snowstorm that kept people mostly indoors. It came back Thursday for a brief run at PSU’s Lincoln Hall Studio Theatre, and has final performances of this run at  7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Producer Boom Arts says Rabins “views Bernie Madoff and the system which allowed him to function through the lens of ancient Jewish and Buddhist texts on financial ethics, ecology, and cycles.” ArtsWatch’s A.L. Adams caught the show this time around and will file her report. Win Goodbody of Portland Theatre Scene saw it in February and raves, calling it “a season highlight.” Ticket information here.

Othello. Portland Center Stage’s production of Shakespeare’s provocative tragedy has drawn mixed response from audiences, but it’s a stately-looking show that lays out the play’s themes and relationships cleanly, blending humor and drama. Read Marty Hughley’s nuanced review for ArtsWatch here. Final performances at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Ticket information here.

Venice: The Golden Age of Art and Music. The Portland Art Museum’s big exhibition featuring the likes of Canaletto, Tintoretto, Tiepolo, and Strozzi, along with some gorgeous period musical instruments and musical scores, successfully suggests the form and nature of cultural life over three centuries when Venetian influence was at its height. I reviewed the show for ArtsWatch after it opened in February. Today and tomorrow are its final days; the museum’s open until 5 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Bernardo Strozzi, “Street Musicians,” 1634-37, oil on canvas, 43.3 x 61.6 inches, Detroit Institute of Arts. Photo: The Bridgeman Art Library

Bernardo Strozzi, “Street Musicians,” 1634-37, oil on canvas, 43.3 x 61.6 inches, Detroit Institute of Arts. Photo: The Bridgeman Art Library

 

 

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