Profile Theatre Chad Deity at Imago Theatre Portland Oregon
July 2018

Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium: concentrated wisdom

by CHRISTINA RUSNAK Editor’s note: this is the second of our two-part coverage of the Oregon Bach Festival’s Composers Symposium. Read Gary Ferrington’s story here. This year marked the 25th anniversary of the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium (OBFCS) led by renowned

All the Bard’s plays, three actors, one wild night

If we’re keeping score, I have six titles to go before I’ve seen all of Shakespeare’s plays on stage at least once — Merry Wives of Windsor, Titus Andronicus, Two Noble Kinsmen, and the three parts of Henry VI. But that claim

Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium: big tent

Story, photos and video by GARY FERRINGTON When the 105 invited composers in last month’s 25th Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium asked the veteran composers in residence for advice about how to forge a career in music, over and over again one concept

Out of Sterno: heroine’s journey

Out of Sterno, the Deborah Zoe Lauffer play that concludes its run at the Siren Theater on Sunday, July 29, manages to teach (and not preach) us how to be better citizens. Dotty, the heroine of Out of Sterno, has never left

FilmWatch Weekly: Brazil nuts rejoice

The Northwest Film Center has just wrapped up its epic, weeks-long centenary tribute to Ingmar Bergman. I was going to write “iconic Swedish director Ingmar Bergman” or “canonical philosopher of cinema Ingmar Bergman” but, you know, if you’re reading this column and

David Ludwig: telling the earth’s story through music

We chamber music devotees were gathered in Lincoln Performance Hall for one last night of concerti—a program of modern works closing Chamber Music Northwest’s Winter Festival—and the CMNW crew were all in paradoxically high spirits. When Executive Director Peter Bilotta came on

Fragmentation in motion: An interview with Jaleesa Johnston

This past April, I had the pleasure of interviewing artists kiki nicole (they/them) and ariella tai (they/them) about their work through the first and the last—an experimental film/video and new media arts project. This endeavor offers a platform to amplify and support

DramaWatch Weekly: time to JAW

Summer stinks. Sure, the long days are great, but the summer sun is a hot-tempered tyrant. There’s no good basketball to watch. And maybe worst of all, there’s not as much theater to see. Ah, but then there’s JAW. Portland Center Stage’s

MusicWatch Weekly: comings and goings

Portland’s summer music scene would feel incomplete without Portland SummerFest Opera in the Park, the annual free, family friendly opera performance in Washington Park Amphitheater, with the audience arrayed on their blankets gazing down at singers and orchestra on the amphitheater stage.

DanceWatch Weekly: A holiday just for dance

Saturday, July 28, is National Dance Day. Shouldn’t it also be a national holiday? Don’t we need a holiday to dance? “So You Think You Can Dance” judge Nigel Lythgoe invented National Dance Day to promote dance education and physical fitness. Lythgoe

Newport honors favorite sons David Ogden Stiers, Ernest Bloch

The central Coast pays homage to two of its famous former citizens this month. As part of the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts’ capital campaign program, plans are under way to change the name of the Performing Arts Center’s Black Box

Beta Percussion Institute: crossroads of performance and composition

The University of Oregon School of Music and Dance, usually empty and quiet during the dog days of summer, is about to become a vibrant soundscape of performers and composers attending the first Beta Percussion International Institute August 4-10 — and you

Verona Quartet: musical conversations

It’s a good thing the Verona Quartet members are young and energetic, because they’ve been getting quite a workout in Portland this month.As part of Chamber Music Northwest’s 2018 Summer Festival, they will play Haydn, Beethoven, and Brahms at Portland State University’s

As You Like It, indoors & out

If the heat of summer has you longing to escape to the cool shade of the forest, you’re not alone: The lovers (both hesitant and willing) in Bag&Baggage’s production of Shakespeare’s comedy, As You Like It, are also escaping to the forest,

Bright Sheng interview: cross-cultural emissary

Bright Sheng is a pianist, conductor, and composer of music in various genres, including opera, orchestral, and chamber music. He’s also a teacher and musicologist, having studied both Eastern and Western music extensively. His resume includes heavy-duty recognition, such as the Guggenheim

Portland’s New King of Comedy

Stakes were high at Helium Comedy Club’s sold-out Portland’s Funniest Person competition on Wednesday night. Twelve comedians, who had survived a month-long gauntlet, had one last chance to win over the audience and judges. After two and a half hours of stand-up,

DramaWatch: Clown ‘Menagerie’

“Being a ‘memory play,’ The Glass Menagerie can be presented with unusual freedom of convention,” wrote Tennessee Williams in the production notes to his great 1940s story of a family trapped between hard realities and comforting illusions. Williams might never have suspected,

Interview: Tahni Holt talks about ‘Rubble Bodies’

“Rubble Bodies brings up the possibilities for me of something after a collapse, where we don’t actually know how it’s organized yet,” Portland choreographer Tahni Holt told me over coffee last week as we talked about her new dance. This idea she

DanceWatch Weekly: A dance that can be whatever it wants to be

“Honestly, the real reason for this production is because I wanted to get Shannon Stewart here (in Portland) again,” said Portland choreographer Tahni Holt when we met for coffee last week at Posies Bakery & Cafe in NE Portland. “She’s just a

MusicWatch Weekly: indoor opera, outdoor jazz

When Portland Opera switched to a summer season last year, one stated reason was to avoid competition with other similar events. But operas and their American-born cousins, stage musicals, seem to be proliferating this summer. There’s no glass slipper or fairy godmother,

Singing composer Ernest Bloch’s praises in Newport

NEWPORT — He’s one of Newport’s most famous former residents, but unless you’re a classical music buff, odds are you haven’t heard of him. That would be Ernest Bloch, the composer known in his day as the fourth B, after Bach, Beethoven

A Cinderella story for modern times

While the temperature in downtown Portland was inching toward 100 degrees on Sunday afternoon something cool was happening in the Newmark Theatre, and it wasn’t just the air-conditioning. Portland Opera was kicking into the second performance of its current run of Gioachino

Photo First: The Albany Carousel

ALBANY — Every small town wants something to put it on the map. Now, after fifteen years of hard work, Albany has that something—a remarkable new carousel. This project, which is called the Albany Carousel over its entrance and is officially named

‘Beyond the Cultural Revolution’ preview: cultural confluence

Two decades ago, Chamber Music Northwest artistic director David Shifrin, the clarinetist who still leads the Portland festival, had admired a clarinet quintet written for him by Bright Sheng, one of China’s finest composers, who’d moved to the United States in 1982.

Newberg professional theater goes beyond “The Hamlet Show”

There are surely stretches over the year when not much is going on in Yamhill County, artistically speaking. Those lazy weeks will afford opportunities for deep dives into our scene, with in-depth interviews and profiles of individual artists. But July is not

Portland Meets Portland

It used to be that a piece of good news brought some cheer and then I’d move on. I don’t know if it is true for you or not, but these days a piece of good news makes me also feel a

#//< EMBEDDED >//# review: con job

by MARIA CHOBAN “Want some candy, little girl?” Any good con job, whether hooking a future junkie or a theater audience depends on great acting. I said “Yes,” grabbed the candy, then allowed Pratik Motwani to roller-coaster me through his 75-minute short

DramaWatch: Can’t pay? Must pay.

“To all professional theatre companies and their donors and sponsors, Susan and I will no longer donate to organizations paying less than minimum wage.” On July 6, that simple message was posted to the Facebook page of Leonard Magazine, who, along with

A Diasporist, etc.,etc.

Last summer the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education celebrated the opening of its new home with a stunning exhibit, Grisha Bruskin’s ALEFBET: The Alphabet of Memory. In case anyone was wondering if such quality could see repeat performances, the answer

When sports & Shakespeare collide

By CHRISTOPHER GONZALEZ When our loved ones ask us, “Why, dear – why do you want to spend three hours of our evening watching, perhaps for the fifteenth time, yet another Shakespeare production?” we ought not to suggest that we go simply

MusicWatch Weekly: pan man returns

Andy Akiho’s previous Chamber Music Northwest appearances with percussionist pal Ian Rosenbaum revealed both performance virtuosity — on the 39-year-old New Yorker’s unlikely instrument, the steel pan — and also a distinctive and appealing compositional imagination. In one of the summer festival’s