March 2019

E.B. White found subject matter for his essays in the recalcitrant dachshunds he owned. “I would rather train a striped zebra to balance an Indian club,” he wrote, “than induce a Dachshund to heed my slightest command.”

Children, meet Charlotte’s dad

Barbara Herkert’s story is the classic tale of the would-be artist who shelves her dreams to pursue a more practical path. Starting out as an art major in the 1970s, Herkert switched to nursing at her parent’s urging. Ten years later, she

Gigglefest 2.ohhh! director Cassandra Schwanke discusses a scene with comic Chad Sharpe before a rehearsal. Photo by: David Bates

Gigglefest’s mission in McMinnville: Make ’em laugh (again)

The United States has a long tradition of sketch comedy, with origins in vaudeville and later popularized on radio and eventually on television shows such as Saturday Night Live and The Carol Burnett Show from the 1970s. Ty Boice and Cassandra Schwanke,

MusicWatch Weekly: spring songs

These dark days, it does indeed take a lot of audacity to hope, much more than it did when those words first inspired the nation. Portland Gay Men’s Chorus’s concert of that title includes pop faves like Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy, Mercy Me”

Two tales in black & white

It’s 1949, in the Jim Crow town of Halifax, North Carolina, and a private atrocity that threatens to destroy a close-knit family is going down. It’s 2014, in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, and a white cop shoots and kills

Ursula K. Le Guin chats with fellow fantasy author Terry Brooks in 2013. Photo courtesy: Get Lit at the Beach

A great beach read

I am lucky enough to have attended literary gatherings all over the country, leaving me with great memories of meeting writing giants face to face, hanging out over cocktails or dinner, and, of course, scoring their signatures for my collection of autographed

‘As One’: e pluribus unum

by MATTHEW ANDREWS Portland Opera’s As One is, on one hand, about one type of transgender experience (there are many); on the other hand, it’s not really about being transgender, any more than the Barber of Seville is about being a barber.

The 2014 documentary "Louder Than a Bomb," about high school students competing in the world's largest poetry slam, will show April 11 at Linfield College.

National Poetry Month draws near, and Yamhill County is lit

In his introduction to The Best American Poetry 2018, published last fall by Scribner, editor Dana Gioia took a swing at the question, “What is the state of poetry?” and concluded with a wink and eye roll that it was both awful

“the map is not the territory”: Whose border is it?

Appropriately, there is no transition to ease one into the Portland Art Museum’s exhibition the map is not the territory. The viewer is thrown directly into Fernanda D’Agostino’s video installation, Borderline. The central sculpture court of the museum is often used as

FearNoMusic: Musical Terroirists

Kenji Bunch is either an oenophile or he’s been reading Jeff VanderMeer. The Fear No Music artistic director introduced the ensemble’s fifth annual Locally Sourced Sounds concert post-concert Q&A with a discussion of the somewhat esoteric term terroir, used to describe the

Actor Russ Fast, 1947-2019

Russ Fast, who died Feb. 20 at age 71 after a fight with cancer, left a lot of memories for a lot of people across a lot of areas when he moved on. He was a sometime musician – a drummer and

Kimberly Reed: Always in Transition

When Kimberly Reed was growing up in Helena, Montana, “it was hard to be an opera fan,” she remembers. There were no major opera companies around, but she did have one portal to opera. “My father listened to the Metropolitan Opera every

Letter from NY: Broadway report

By MISHA BERSON NEW YORK – Somewhere between the dead of winter and the rebirth of spring, Broadway takes a breath. It’s before a stream of shows hoping to vie for Tony Awards take up residence near Times Square.  And it’s after a

DramaWatch: Imago flies again

What’s up at the theater? Funny you should ask. Last May a wonderfully peculiar vision flew onto the Portland theater scene, and far too quickly, before all but a few people had had a chance to see it, flew off again. Well,

Spotlight on: a theatrical ‘Jump’

Expect the unexpected from Confrontation Theatre. Its second full production, a co-production with Milagro, is Charly Evon Simpson’s Jump, which opens at the Milagro space on Friday. Two full shows in (its first full production was James Webb’s comedy Sibling Rivalry in

MusicWatch Weekly: spring awakenings

As 21st century America belatedly recognizes that gender isn’t always a binary phenomenon, artists have increasingly illuminated its fluid, spectral reality, as Oregonians have seen in recent Time Based Art Festival performances, last fall’s Contralto show by Third Angle, and more. Now

Margo Klass’ “Ursa Major: The Great Bear in the Sky” is a mixed media piece including a tacket-bound (exposed binding) book in box casement with sliding door and base.

Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover

When Margo Klass boards the plane in Fairbanks bound for Oregon, she’ll be carrying a most unusual book. Open, it stretches 6 feet. It’s a work of art, a memoir in abstract, the story of nine days Klass spent with her writer

Ashland picks new artistic leader

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival announced a new artistic director in a Tuesday morning release. Nataki Garett will be the Ashland festival’s sixth artistic leader, replacing Bill Rauch, who is completing his final season before taking over as the first artistic director of

Sounds beyond Shakespeare

It may come as a surprise to Portlandia that there’s something in Ashland besides Shakespeare. During my years in Portland, whenever I would say that I intended a visit to Ashland, my friends would always ask, “What plays are you going to

Dancers Maggie Rupp and Peter Deffebach perform a pas de deux from “Swan Lake,” one of several pieces that Portland Ballet dancers will perform Friday in the Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg. Photo by: Blaine Truitt Covert

Doing the dance — in 3D design and in ballet

When I’m paying attention, I occasionally catch word about a Yamhill County artist showing his or her stuff at the Bush Barn Art Center in Salem. So let’s kick off this week’s round-up of what’s going on arts-wise with Totem Shriver. Shriver

Mark Murphey (holding book) plays William Joad, who meets unexpected relative Martin Jodes, played by Tony Sancho (on ground), in Octavio Solis’ “Mother Road” at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Photo by: Jenny Graham/Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Oregon Spotlight: Spring breaks from Shakespeare to Caravaggio

We’ve set the clocks ahead, spring is coming, and that means Oregonians are tentatively emerging from their abodes with a mind to hit the road for day and weekend trips. What’s on the state’s cultural menu? For starters, it’s showtime at the

Sign up for our newsletter