Chamber Music Northwest Summer Festival Portland Oregon

January 2018

Spotlight on: E.M. Lewis and ‘Magellanica’

“Ferdinand Magellan, the first to circumnavigate the globe, one of those early sea-farers, named everything after either his queen or himself. In very, very old maps, the kind with sea monsters at the bottom, of the period immediately following his circumnavigation of

‘The Last Hot Lick’: American quirk

Award-winning director Mahalia Cohen developed The Last Hot Lick while trying to fund another film she had written. “In 2015, for awhile I’d been trying to get a movie made, get funding,” the Portland-born, New York-based filmmaker said about Thinner Than Water. (You can

MusicWatch Weekly: sizzlers and swashbucklers

A hot new source of contemporary music has ignited in Oregon. Although, given the incendiary events of the summer and fall, its name might be a tad, er, heated for a West Coast music fest, Spontaneous Combustion New Music Festival, which runs

DanceWatch Weekly: Time for that coffee break

I LOVE coffee, and I equally love coffee descriptions. They are full of wonderfully descriptive adjectives like dark, rich, smooth, and robust (to name a few), and describe hints of additional/other flavors that you might taste or smell in the coffee like

On the run from dystopia

The year is 2089. The people of Tierra Plana live orderly lives along strict lines, both figuratively and literally. Walled off from the rest of the world, the xenophobic nation-state has descended into a totalitarian dystopia. The leaders demand order and cultural

DramaWatch Weekly: Fertile Ground, Playing Favorites

For YEARS, at multiple publications, I used to compile an overview of Fertile Ground titled “Fertile Ground Speaks for Itself,” wherein quips from the scripts submitted by their authors comprised the entire story, and I just formatted it. It is, after all,

Fertile Ground: get set, go

It was 5:30 on a blustery Thursday evening – still rush hour in The City That Sometimes Works – and Nicole Lane was busy herding cats. Some of the media people were stuck in traffic and still on their way but they’d

A lifeline in troubled times

It’s a clumsy thing, this Three Sisters, chafing and halting and bumping into itself, tripping over its own feet, taking pratfalls, landing on all the discordant notes. And that’s a good thing. Anton Chekhov’s great play, as it’s being performed in the

Lil Buck and Jon Boogz: ‘Love Heals All Wounds’

By ELIZABETH WHELAN I remember scrolling mindlessly through Facebook about a year ago when I first came across Lil Buck. Flying past a fair share of one-minute recipe videos, the latest pictures of those people I used to know, and my daily

Angelo Xiang Yu & Andrew Hsu review: Brahms’s indiscretions

Johannes Brahms and his music both have forbidding reputations. Yet on his rambles around 19th century Vienna, the great Romantic composer would give away candy to children – who would keep on the lookout for “Papa Brahms.” And he wrote two of

DanceWatch Weekly: A new year in dance

Welcome back dance lovers, and welcome to a brand new year of dance in Oregon. Let’s begin the new year with exciting dance news. Dance Wire, Portland’s dance service organization, founded and directed by Emily Running, has just received a Miller Foundation

Audio drama PDX: Curated nostalgia

For most of my life I’ve been chronologically out of step. I was born in 1965, and my favorite clothes were out of fashion by 1930, my favorite authors were all dead by 1945, and one of my favorite artistic mediums, audio

Those were the good old days

Imago Theatre is reviving its production of Carol Triffle’s The Reunion, which premiered in June 2017. It reopens Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, and continues for a short run through Jan. 20: ticket and schedule information here. ArtsWatch’s review of the original production,

The Original Tesla

Clean energy. Wireless charging. A world connected by invisible communication technology. For many, they’re today’s reality, tomorrow’s hope — but they were first realistically envisioned more than a century ago by a a Serbian-American immigrant whose name most of us only know

Theater review: Uncle Vanya lets his hair down

Before Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble’s smashing version of Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” takes center stage in this particular review—and it will, I promise, it will—allow me a little digression? We all come to the theater in various states: physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual.

MusicWatch Weekly: revolutionaries

Oregon music this week features the work of a couple of revolutionaries from a century or so ago whose imagination has left its mark on the present and maybe even the future, enhanced by today’s technology. Tesla: Light, Sound, Color (Thursday-Friday Hult

DramaWatch Weekly: Double Chekhov, Ghost Hunters

Hello. The holidays are over and now plays can be about anything again. Next week brings Fertile Ground, brimming with homegrown theater offerings of every conceivable topic and timbre. There’ll be almost too much to mention then, so this week by comparison

Books on the hoof, love on the run

C.S. Whitcomb’s Parnassus on Wheels, which is getting its world premiere production at Lakewood Theatre Company and is an early entry in the Fertile Ground Festival of New Work, is an adaptation of Christopher Morley’s 1917 novel of the same name, a

Oregon Symphony reviews: immigrant songs

An orchestra handles like a steamship, where a jazz band (even a big one) handles like a motorboat, and genre-crossing tends to breed monsters as much as angels. What kind of hybrid might the Oregon Symphony Orchestra produce in performing George Gershwin’s

Peril on ice: an Antarctic tragedy

As the pre-show jazz band finished up a generous hour-long set at The Old Church on Saturday night and began packing up, Lawrence Howard sidled downstage, took a look at the big prop perched on a stand behind him, and turned to