25 things to watch for in September

ArtsWatch sorts through the crowded calendar of the new season's first month: so much to see, so little time

Welcome to the new year: the day after Labor Day, the first day of school, and the real start of the year. September is when most arts and cultural organizations begin their annual calendars, and in Portland the energy level’s just picked up considerably. To help you find your way through the thickets of the new season, ArtsWatch offers 25 things to watch for in September. A lot of the opening dates listed are for the beginning of preview performances. This is far from a complete list. Feel free to add your favorites, briefly, in comments below.

"The Crucible" at Bag&Baggage. Casey Campbell Photography

“The Crucible” at Bag&Baggage. Casey Campbell Photography

Festival of Sam Shepard One-Acts. Nine plays, six directors, a bunch of good actors, one short festival. Some of Shepard’s most genre-twisting stuff. Profile Theatre at Artists Rep. Sept. 3-8.

Tick, Tick … BOOM! Triangle kicks off its season with Jonathan (Rent) Larson’s “other” musical. Sept. 3-27.

The Crucible. Arthur Miller’s American classic about witchcraft and communal demonization gets a fresh look from Bag&Baggage in Hillsboro. Sept. 4-28.

This Is War! Graphic Arts from the Great War. A hundred years after the beginning of what we now call World War I, the Portland Art Museum is featuring an exhibit of graphic images from that conflagration: propaganda exhortations and artists’ responses alike. Otto Dix, George Grisz, Kathë Kollwitz, many more. Already open; through Dec. 14.

Pianist Kathleen Supové. The New York contemporary-music figure (and Portland native) gives her first hometown concert for fEARnoMUSIC. Jana Hatchett interviews Supové for ArtsWatch. Brunish Hall, Sept. 6.

Murder on the Ganges. Anita Menon’s Anjali School of Dance blends Indian classical dance with Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile. Newmark, Sept. 7-13.

Literary Arts 30th Birthday. Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love), the erudite eater and journalist Calvin Trillin, and musician/writer Colin Meloy of the Decemberists help the city’s highest-profile literary series celebrate the big 3-0. Schnitzer Hall, Sept. 8.

Intimate Apparel. Lynn Nottage’s excellent play about race, sex, work, and friendship opens Artists Rep’s season. Sept. 9-Oct. 5.

Live Wire! Radio. The recorded-live variety show kicks off its season with a lineup including Melissa Etheridge, Ural Thomas & the Pain, the “Billion Dollar Man” from the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, and more. Newmark, Sept. 9.

PICA’s TBA festival. Always one of the hot tickets on the city’s fall calendar, a sprawling festival of mostly cutting-edge stuff from around the world and Portland, too.  Sept. 11-21, around and about the town.

Come Inside: A Theatrical Orgy of Intimate Acts. Dance Naked Productions’ mini-festival is at Post5 Theatre. Sept. 11-24.

La Luna Nueva. A very good bet: the city’s fall Latino arts  festival, at Milagro. Invigorating work from theater, dance, visual arts, music, more. Sept. 12-28.

Young Frankenstein. Doesn’t every season need a musical-comedy adaptation of a Mel Brooks movie? Lakewood’s got this one. Sept. 12-Oct. 19.

Timber. Third Angle New Music performs Michael Gordon’s concert-length piece in collaboration with New York’s Mantra Percussion. Alberta Rose, Sept. 12.


"Dreamgirls," from left: Mary Patton, Nattalyee Randall, Lexi Rhoades. Photo: Patrick Weishampel

“Dreamgirls,” from left: Mary Patton, Nattalyee Randall, Lexi Rhoades. Photo: Patrick Weishampel

May in September. Readers Theatre Rep begins its 14th season of short plays in an art gallery with a pair by the delightful Elaine May: Adaptation and an edited Not Enough Rope. Blackfish Gallery, Sept. 12-13.

Art Carts on Hawthorne. Think small, think wheels. Stephanie Wiarda and Stan Peterson’s pop-up baby will feature Chris Haberman, Jason Brown, Alea Bone, and more. Southeast 50th and Hawthorne, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sept. 13.

Urban Tellers Invitational. Portland Story Theatre relaunches in its new home, the Alberta Abbey. Sept. 13.

Fleck & Tchaikovsky. The Oregon Symphony gets the season going with a pair of shows: banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck on Sept. 13, and a big Tchaikovsky blowout on Sept. 14.

French Connections. The Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra rolls into the new season with pianist Polonsky, Ravel, Fauré, and Berlioz. At First United Methodist Church on Sept. 19, at Mt. Hood Community College on Sept. 21. 

Dreamgirls. Portland Center Stage hits the musical sweet spot with this lightly fictionalized tale of a group that is not called The Supremes. Sept. 20-Nov. 2.

Autumn Equinox Pub Sing. Portland Revels is best-known for its December holiday-season extravaganzas, but it keeps busy at other times, too. This suds & song gathering is at the Lucky Lab Beer Hall. Sept. 21.

Portland Piano International. The season opens with the local premiere of Russian pianist Igor Kamenz: Couperin, Schumann, Stravinsky, Balakirev, more. Lincoln Hall, Sept. 21.

The Piano Lesson. Portland Playhouse continues the city’s welcome revival of the plays of the American master August Wilson. Sept. 24-Nov. 2.

Middletown. Will Eno’s play was developed at Portland Center Stage’s JAW fest in 2009, and now Third Rail Rep is giving it the full treatment. Sept. 26-Oct. 19.

The Ghosts of Tonkin. Steve Lyons’ play about Vietnam and the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and Oregon Sen. Wayne Morse’s role in the drama plays for one night. Lincoln Hall, PSU, Sept. 27.



One Response.

  1. Lynne Duddy says:

    Yay! Thanks for the mention… Portland Story Theater LOVES Arts Watch.

Comments are closed.