Portland Playhouse Performances Portland Oregon Events
June 2018

Love’s Labor’s strikes up the band

ASHLAND – One of the great joys of seeing plays in repertory at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is seeing the same actors in multiple roles, showcasing the rare abilities of repertory company members. This is on display nowhere more clearly than the

Inclusion and exclusion in St. Louis

By SAMSON SYHARATH When theater companies of color from across the country witness a performance including red face, yellow face, and brown face, questions arise regarding activism and its relationship to art. Every year the Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization

DramaWatch Weekly: Summerfest!

A year ago, when Sayda Trujillo approached Jessica Wallenfels about directing a solo performance she was developing, she had a particular contribution in mind. “She did come to me with a very specific ask: ‘I want this to be physically demanding and

DanceWatch Weekly: World Beat!

Twenty-one years ago, two stay-at-home moms, Kathleen Fish and Mona Hayes, created the World Beat Festival in response to growing racial intolerance in Salem, Oregon. Today the festival, which opens Friday evening, June 29, has grown dramatically and involves more than 1,000

MusicWatch Weekly: festivalpalooza!

Acclaimed piano duo Stephanie & Saar once again return to Northwest Portland’s Vestas building Thursday to collaborate with Portland Percussion Group and other Portland performers in a five-hour marathon show. This time, the Makrokosmos Project 4: Dadapalooza program features one of the

Suddenly, a major music festival

McMINNVILLE – When I agreed this spring to come aboard as the Yamhill County correspondent for Oregon ArtsWatch, the first thing I did was to create a calendar. I’m a wordsmith by trade, but I like my information visualized so I can

Improv meets ASL

When actor Blake Wales first watched a performance by the improv comedy group J Names, he was deeply impressed. There was just one problem. He wished that his father, who is deaf, could have the opportunity to enjoy the show. “I remember

Art review: Richard Diebenkorn figures it out

Thirty years ago I saw The Drawings of Richard Diebenkorn at the Museum of Modern Art. It was an amazing show of works that seemed effortlessly done, works that left me wondering how he could always, (at least in those drawings) always

The Art of the Pandol

By MARIA CHOBAN and BRETT CAMPBELL One hour to sunset. Beaverton’s Sri Lankan New Year festivities known as Vesak pick up momentum. Cashew curry, dal curry, fish balls crowd the counter while coconut sambal and a pot of spiced rice march up

Growing Voices

By ANGELA ALLEN “I’m not feeling the high note now,” says Karsten George, shaking his head while rehearsing at Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall one late-May afternoon. He’s singing a song from Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, and he isn’t quite nailing the

Brian Doyle and the language of the stage

Language, says Portland director Jane Unger to explain why she spent two years pursuing the stage rights to Brian Doyle’s loquacious and widely beloved Mink River, a summary-defying novel stuffed with plotlines, descriptions, lists and riffs on everything from the different types

And the Drammy goes to …

How about that gong? This year’s Drammy Awards ceremony Monday night at The Armory may have been an epic affair packed with tearful acceptance speeches, technical difficulties and even bingo, but the unofficial star of the night was the golden, disc-shaped gong

‘World Builders’ review: when worlds collide

As the audience files in, Whitney and Max sit silently at opposite corners of the stage, lost in thought. In fact, we soon learn they’re deeply immersed in their respective fantasy worlds — the condition that, Whitney informs us in relatively clunky

Dance review: The 10th New Expressive Works residents performance

The New Expressive Works tenth residency cycle has just been completed, and according Suba Ganesan, the residency’s founder, “it’s the strongest example of my vision coming to life.” The four choreographers come from all ends of the movement spectrum, but the danced

A safe space for deep criticism of art

In a recent discussion with manuel arturo abreu (they/them) the co-founder of a Portland-based pop-up art school called home school, a fundamental question surfaced—a question that directly relates to the relevance of this very platform: Why would someone hate art? For abreu, a

Devising ‘Very Poorly Indeed’

It begins, as these things often do, at the nexus between worlds, the juncture, the crossroads of realities, with the audience and the performing area both in light and both in darkness. On the stage, just on the other side of a

Take a letter, kill a lumberjack

These are not your grandfather’s secretaries. Unless, of course your grandfather was a lumberjack in the fictional town of Big Bone, Oregon, in the 1990s. In that case, the women at the center of this latest Profile Theatre production very well could

DramaWatch: Chekhov, Drammys

For eons, the theatrical arts, apparently lacking a good graphic designer, have been identified by the twinned masks of comedy and tragedy, the facial features mirthfully upturned in one, curdled in anguish in the other. But what’s the mask for the great

MusicWatch Weekly: festival season

It’s not just the thermometer that’s heating up — summer music festival season is officially underway, bringing with it music by Oregon composers. Wednesday’s Astoria Music Festival concert at Astoria’s Clatsop Community College Performing Arts Center, 588 16th Street, features a dozen

Dance review: ‘Waters of the World’ is a liquid love story

The Fair-Haired Dumbbell building on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and East Burnside is one of Portland’s newest and funkiest creative office spaces. The New York Times described its exterior as “florentine wallpaper” and the dumbbell-shape design features multiple

Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford will read Saturday during PoetryFest in Manzanita.

State of the poet laureate

Broadway Books, the lively literary-oriented bookstore in Northeast Portland, recently hosted a celebration for Kim Stafford, Oregon’s ninth, and newly appointed, poet laureate, who succeeds Elizabeth Woody for a two-year term. We met for a bite close to the venue beforehand, joined by

Fast wheels, modernist dreams

The striking black-and-silver 1934 BMW motorbike in the Portland Art Museum lobby sits in front of a digital reader board that intermittently displays an image of one of Monet’s Water Lilies – an apt reminder of the The Shape of Speed’s leitmotif:

American Ballet Theatre's new "Firebird." Photo © Gene Schiavone

Backstage at the Big Stage

NEW YORK – All New York’s a stage, and there is nothing “merely” about its citizens as players. I witnessed the following players make their exits and entrances in a packed visit to my hometown last month, in no particular order: Taxi

Dance review: Singing, strife and stray oranges

They’re going Gaga at Lincoln Hall this weekend, and I don’t mean the Lady variety. NW Dance Project’s Summer Performances, which run nightly through Saturday and close the company’s season, feature work by Ohad Naharin ambassador Danielle Agami, a master teacher of

Long story short: ‘Hedwig’ rocks

Long story short: Hedwig and the Angry Inch has been around for 20 years, has been staged four times in Portland by Triangle Productions, and its once edgy ideas about gender fluidity, social acceptance and self-actualization now seem pretty unremarkable. All of

FilmWatch Weekly: Mister Rogers, Jewish Film Fest, “Hereditary”

The highlights in Portland movie theaters right now range from a touching portrait of a beloved TV icon to a soul-searing portrait of family dealing with grief, insanity and terror. How’s that for range? “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”: It’s safe to

Killjoy Collective makes space for ‘Children of Revulsion’

To get to Killjoy Collective, you have to go through what curator and artist Tabitha Nikolai calls the “airlock”—a set of closely-spaced, rattly and slightly-rusty doors on the side of the handsome but mysterious Troy Laundry Building,at 221 SE 11th Avenue in

DanceWatch Weekly: Dance Camp at Breitenbush

I have a lot of questions these days about dance. What is it really? What does it mean? What is its purpose? What is its value? Is one expression of dance more valuable than another? As a dancer myself, how do I

DramaWatch Weekly: Summer Shakes into view

In a recent TV ad, pretty young folks in swimwear cluster on a beach while one of their ilk thrusts a hand into a cooler. They look on expectantly, until he fishes a beer from amid the ice, then rejoice at the

Spotlight On: The Portland Horror Film Festival

This weekend, the Portland Horror Film Festival once again will turn the Hollywood Theatre into a morass of thrills and chills and spills of blood. This is only the third year of the festival, but in that time it has grown from

MusicWatch Weekly: sax attacks!

A squadron of saxophone sorcerers descends on Oregon’s music scene this week, many combining jazz with classical influences. British saxman and MC Soweto Kinch has been blending jazz, funk, hip hop and poetry in original ways for years, garnering a passel of

‘Faust’ review: giving the devil his due

by BRUCE BROWNE and DARYL BROWNE “Music,” the saying goes, “is the language of the soul.” But when that soul is sold to the Devil, as in Charles-Francois Gounod’s opera Faust, even some of the most beautiful musical lines ever written could

Lady Day, in a bar, with a band

Near the beginning of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, which opened last Friday at Portland Center Stage, Deidrie Henry, portraying the great jazz singer Billie Holiday, ascends a staircase in the middle of the stage, wearing an elegant white dress,

Designing ‘Faust’

by PAUL MAZIAR This June, the new Lyric Opera of Chicago-Portland Opera co-production of Charles Gounod’s Faust, directed by Kevin Newbury, will fill the Keller Auditorium stage for four performances, the production’s West Coast premiere. The visual artist John Frame —whose vignettes, sculptures, score

DramaWatch: two great musicals

There are those among us who — brace yourself for this — dislike musicals. Perhaps they hate them, with an active, withering passion, but more likely they simply dismiss the form altogether as sentimental or soapy or sappy or just stupid. Theater