March 2018

DramaWatch: Two pair and a kicker

Sometimes as shows and curtains open and close, a writer flounders for a framing device. I know: Let’s play poker. “Two pair is a poker hand containing two cards of the same rank, two cards of another rank and one card of

MusicWatch Weekly: piano playground

Spring break may have broken Oregon’s music calendar this week, but there’s still something to celebrate. Portland is celebrating the international Piano Day again. Last year, Portland Piano International brought the worldwide event, which was started by German pianist Nils Frahm (who

The Mermaid Hour, approaching

A funny thing happened on the way toward intermission Sunday afternoon at The Mermaid Hour, David Valdes Greenwood’s new play at Milagro: I changed my mind. Radically. I’d been looking forward to Mermaid, part of the National New Play Network’s “rolling world

Oregon Symphony review: engaging the elements of drama

by BRUCE BROWNE An academic analysis of the Verdi Requiem reveals the brilliance with which one of the great romantic musical dramatists set text and music for the ultimate dramatic impact. It’s all there. No brainer…let it ride…can’t improve on perfection. Right.

Dance review: Katie Scherman at BodyVox

The title of Katie Scherman’s new dance, the last piece in her retrospective concert at BodyVox this weekend, is To Have It All, and reading through Scherman’s bio, your first thought might be, hey, she does have it all! Multiple degrees, an

‘Hamilton’ in Portland: Historic!

The audience erupted in cheers Wednesday evening as the lights went down in Keller Auditorium and we were instructed to turn off our cellphones. The anticipation was palpable in that moment. I realized, Oh my god. I’m about to see Hamilton. If

Surviving Richard? She is fierce

“A woman who speaks out survives.” So says Margaret of Anjou in She Is Fierce, a play not by Shakespeare. Margaret of Anjou is portrayed with ferocity by Sam Reiter in Enso Theatre Ensemble’s production at Shoebox Theatre. Bitter irony lies at

Ka-ching: Money for the NEA

FRIDAY, MARCH 23 UPDATE: It’s a done deal. President Trump signed the spending bill into law after first threatening to veto it on Friday morning in a move that “left both political parties in Washington reeling and his own aides bewildered about

MusicWatch Weekly: March modness & more

The big musical news this weekend is the return of March Music Moderne, and you can read all about it in our separate preview. But it’s hardly the only musical magic happening in Oregon this week. Still, compared to the abundant new

DanceWatch Weekly: Katie Scherman on having it all

Today is the first day of spring. It’s bright and sunny but cold, and I am meditating on the movement style and choreography of dance artist and BodyVox artist-in-residence Katie Scherman. Scherman’s company, Katie Scherman + Artists, an all female cast collected

DramaWatch Weekly: An Equinox Mid-Monther

The date: March 21. The weather: rain, thunder, and sun. The shows: small ones opening, biggies mid-run. We’re over the Ides. We’ve driven out the snakes. But we await the full flowering of the resurrection. Will you meet me halfway in an

Brief affair, puzzling twist

By ALIA STEARNS Children view their parents as sexless creatures, even though a child’s entire existence is the product of raw parental sexuality. And, it is mothers more often than fathers who are placed on a rigid, unearned pedestal of purity and

‘Death and the Maiden’ review: a history of violence

A man bound and gagged. A woman pointing a gun at him. Confess his crime against her, or else. You can’t ask for a much tenser set up than that. Death and the Maiden keeps the audience wondering throughout: did he do it,

March Music Moderne preview: celebrating Debussy

While everyone is checking their brackets for one kind of March Madness (go Ducks!), some of us are equally excited by the return of another crazy rite of spring. March Music Moderne has been on hiatus for while, so it’s even more

Austin Granger’s commonplace miracles

STORY by ANGELA ALLEN PHOTOGRAPHS by AUSTIN GRANGER Portland photographer Austin Granger, who grew up in northern California and studied philosophy at the University of California, Santa Cruz, prefers to load film into his Fuji GF670 or Deardorff 5 by 7 instead

Bill Bulick, arts agency architect, has died

Bill Bulick, the architect of the Regional Arts and Culture Council, the primary way government supports the art in the tri-county area, died yesterday in Portland. He had lived with Parkinson’s Disease for many years. He was 65. When I first met

Edna Vazquez with Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble review: homeward sound

by CHRISTINA RUSNAK In an interview with Edna Vazquez on Beyond Category – the PJCE Podcast a few days before her February concert with Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble (PJCE), executive director Douglas Detrick asked the Portland singer-songwriter about Portland as a home,

Love, loss and lying in NW Dance Project premieres

By HEATHER WISNER Adapting Ibsen’s dark drama Hedda Gabler for dance is an ambitious undertaking: that much is clear when you’re greeted by two pages of program notes explaining the plot as you settle in for the world premiere of NW Dance

Film picks: “Faces Places” and “The Death of Stalin”

Who doesn’t love Agnes Varda? Anybody who isn’t thoroughly charmed by the venerable, diminutive legend of French filmmaking probably isn’t worth knowing. If any 88-year-old can be said to be precocious, it’s her, and her latest (please, not her last!) effort, the

Dance review: Jesús Carmona’s reinvention of flamenco

By HEATHER WISNER Pure happiness doesn’t seem to exist in flamenco; a hint of melancholy, a sense of world weariness, suffuses the music and the dance. But there is pure happiness to be found in watching flamenco, especially when it’s done very

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