ArtsWatch Weekly: happy holidays

In a holiday week, what to catch and what to catch up on after the snowstorm

Let’s keep things short and sweet this week. Tomorrow is the winter solstice, the first day of winter, when the night begins to fade and the day begins to grow. Let there be light on what has been a dark season. In a world turned upside down in so many ways, we are four sundowns from the beginning of Hanukkah, five days from Christmas, six days from the beginning of Kwanzaa, and gloriously close to the fresh slate of a new calendar year. Let there be hope, let there be peace, let there be joy. From ArtsWatch to you, happy holidays.


“Spring”: as the light grows, can it be far behind? Jacques Flèchemuller, 2016, oil on canvas, 63 x 47 inches, in the exhibition “Love Is a Pink Cake” at PDX Contemporary Art through Dec. 31. Most Portland galleries are open through the month.


A FEW THINGS STILL HAPPENING, as the bustle slows down – still time to catch up on shows you missed during the snow and ice:

Christmas Revels concludes tonight and tomorrow at St. Mary’s Academy downtown; this year’s edition is Commedia Italiana.

Big 500 art show, forty-dollar local artworks, through Friday at Ford Gallery.

La Belle: Lost in the Automaton, the “bold in concept, surprising and delightful to the eye, and utterly charming” new fantasy from the Frogz and ZooZoo people, through Jan. 9 at Imago Theatre.

Portland Youth Philharmonic’s Concert-at-Christmas, music from E.T., Carousel, Spartacus, and more; Dec. 26 at Schnitzer Hall.

Michael Allen Harrison’s Christmas at The Old Church, a traditional seasonal favorite, through Dec. 26.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze, circus/acrobatic extravaganza, though Saturday at Schnitzer Hall.

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, a fine one-man musical play about the great American songwriter (including White Christmas); through Dec. 30 at Portland Center Stage.

Willamette Radio Workshop’s live Christmas Carol, a welcome tradition from the masters of old-time radio style live onstage; Wednesday at the Kiggins Theatre in Vancouver.

Portland Playhouse’s A Christmas Carol. In its fourth year, this popular and acclaimed production has truly hit its stride; through Dec. 30.

Northwest Children’s Theatre’s The Wizard of Oz, a sparkling production with movie-like familiarity; through Jan. 2.

A Civil War Christmas, a play with music about a time of deep division in the country (sound familiar?); through Friday at Artists Repertory Theatre.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Oregon Ballet Theatre’s tight, bright, entertaining production; at Keller Auditorium through Dec. 26.

Parfumerie, the original 1930s Hungarian play that was the basis for the musical She Loves Me, the play The Shop Around the Corner, and the movie You’ve Got Mail; at Bag&Baggage in Hillsboro through Friday.





ArtsWatch links


Nelson Goerner has the technology. The masterful pianist put the entire keyboard to good use exploring the extremes of Beethoven, Schumann and Handel in a Portland Piano International recital, Jeff Winslow writes.

Before the year ends, meet Katie Scherman. In DanceWatch Weekly, Jamuna Chiarini conducts an interview with the Portland dancer and choreographer whose latest project, performed last week at Performance Works NW, is called Complicated Women.

Talkin’ bout an Evolution. Marc Mohan talks with Lucile Hadžihalilović, the French director of Evolution, “one of the strangest and most memorable films from this year’s Portland International Film Festival,” which is back in town through Friday at Cinema 21.

Irving Berlin: For Everyman, by Everyman. The composer David Schiff writes an elegant and insightful appreciation of the music of Berlin, creator of a good share of the Great American Songbook.

Irving Berlin circa 1906.




About ArtsWatch Weekly

We send a letter like this once a week to a select group of email subscribers, and also post it weekly on the ArtsWatch home page. In ArtsWatch Weekly, we take a look at stories we’ve covered in the previous week, give early warning of events coming up, and sometimes head off on little arts rambles we don’t include anywhere else. You can read this report here. Or, you can get it delivered weekly to your email inbox, and get a quick look at all the stories you might have missed (we have links galore) and the events you want to add to your calendar. It’s easy to sign up. Just click here, and leave us your name and e-address.


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