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DramaWatch Weekly: ‘Are you ready?’

“Are you ready?” As showtime approached for the Portland Center Stage production of Major Barbara on opening night, artistic director Chris Coleman left his aisle seat in row L and strode to the lip of the stage. Even to fairly casual followers

Dance Week Diary, Part Three: Jazz hands

I wake up sore from the previous day, so I’d like to think I was doing something right. [Editor’s note: In yesterday’s installment of Dance Week Diary, hip-hop instructor Katya Wilkins had said that if you aren’t a little sore after class,

Surviving the Baby Wars

There is a moment in CoHo’s astounding new production of Rebecca Gilman’s Luna Gale when a mother learns a stomach-churning secret about her daughter. Yet she doesn’t scream, shake her first or exclaim that it can’t be true. She simply freezes as

Dance Week Diary, Part Two: Hip-hop class at Vega Dance Lab

You can dance, even if you think you can’t. You don’t have to have experience. You don’t have to be young and pliable. You don’t even need to buy special clothes or shoes (most of the time). To prove it—and to alert

push/FOLD: The many faces of Adam

As the audience entered the dimly lit AWOL Warehouse for push/FOLD’s world premiere of Samuel Hobbs’s Early, our first exposure was Hobbs himself, standing completely nude and still in the space. He remained in his stillness until the audience’s bustle of picking

Dance Week Diary, Part One: Be moved

You can dance if you want to. No, seriously: I’m not just singing Men Without Hats lyrics here. You can dance, even if you think you can’t. You don’t have to have experience. You don’t have to be young and pliable. You

Out & About: ACMA Elevated

PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOE CANTRELL One of the happier open secrets in the Oregon cultural world is the high-quality incubator of talent that is ACMA, the Arts & Communication Magnet Academy. Part of the Beaverton School District, it’s a rigorous public school for

Friday Night Flute Fight

By MARIA CHOBAN I went to the Friday night fights and a flute recital broke out. Julien Beaudiment, on the left, wielding tone and dynamics with roundhouse and rabbit punches. As light on his feet as Muhammad Ali, the renowned French flutist

Grownup stories; Mercury rising

By ANGELA ALLEN Something poignant resonated from the one-woman musicals Don’t Stop Me Now and Drama of the Gifted Grownup that appeared recently in Portland. The shows’ stars—Courtney Freed in Don’t Stop Me Now and Rosalinde Block of Drama of the Gifted

Out & About: voices rising

In 2016 I was commissioned by the North Coast Chorale to create piece-specific art to be projected in the concert hall during their performance of Karl Jenkin’s The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace – 13 montages in total, one for each movement.

Stephen Hayes: A Guggenheim will fuel ‘In the Hour Before’

A few days ago, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation named the recipients of its 173 Guggenheim Fellowships in the areas of scholarship, art, and science. Among 24 other painters from around the country who received this year’s honor was the Portland

FilmWatch Weekly: Cinematic obsessions spring onto the screen

Obsession can take many forms, and at least a few of them are on display in films opening this week in Portland. An obsession with justice, if not revenge, drives Joe, the haunted, brutal character played by Joaquin Phoenix in director Lynne

The Quiet Men, ready to explode

The power of Owen McCafferty’s Quietly, Corrib Theatre’s latest production, takes you by surprise. It starts slowly and, naturally, quietly. In fact, when it begins, it’s just a lone barman, Robert (Murri Lazaroff-Babin), sending texts to his love – or loves? The

New World to Real World

By ANGELA ALLEN In February, I joined several other members of the Music Critics Association of North America at the New World Symphony in South Miami Beach, Fla. For three days we heard concerts and rehearsals, wandered around the building designed by

DramaWatch Weekly: ‘Major’ news

She is the very model of a modern Major Barbara. Sorry, wrong Brit classic. Let’s try again. Major Barbara, by the legendary British wit and armchair socialist George Bernard Shaw (not by Gilbert & Sullivan), is a play of ideas – big

MusicWatch Weekly: new sounds from Oregon

Big Horn Brass, a baker’s dozen of brass players and two percussionists, feature brassy new music by Cascadia Composers Greg Steinke, Jan Mittelstaedt, John Billota, Greg Bartholomew, and fellow Northwest composer Anthony DiLorenzo at their Saturday night concert at Beaverton’s St. Matthew Lutheran Church.

To Ursula, with love

A tribute to Portland literary great Ursula K. Le Guin has been set for Wednesday, June 13, at 7:30 p.m., at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Fittingly, Literary Arts, with whom Ursula had a long association, has the honor of hosting, and you

DanceWatch Weekly: Nine-dance week

There are nine dance performances this week beginning with the Original Bad Unkl Sistas (a performing duo made up of Anastazia Aranaga and Mizu Desierto, at the Headwaters Theatre) and ending with Degenerate Art Ensemble (from Seattle next Wednesday, also appearing at

Sweet Dreams: It’s Patsy Cline time

You could do far worse in life than to spend an afternoon or evening with Patsy Cline. And for the couple of hours that singer/actor Sara Catherine Wheatley impersonates the great country singer onstage in the musical Always, Patsy Cline at Broadway

Rogue Valley Symphony preview: season of renewal

by GARY FERRINGTON Oregon arts outside Portland “don’t get,” as the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield might say, “no respect.” Or, at least the press coverage they should. Having grown up in Portland, it took me some time, actually until I moved to Eugene,

Dance review: The gender dynamics in OBT’s Man/Woman

By HEATHER WISNER Questioning gender politics in the tradition-minded and competitive world of ballet “can feel particularly risky—both emotionally and career wise,” former New York City Ballet principal dancer Wendy Whelan told The New York Times in January. She was speaking after

Imani Winds preview: celebrating the differences

Classical music has a diversity problem. So it marked a turning point when the Portland classical music presenter Chamber Music Northwest announced that its next annual artists-in-residence — following the 2015-16 tenure of the storied Emerson Quartet, composed entirely of older white

Delgani String Quartet preview: crimes of passion

by GARY FERRINGTON “True! — nervous — very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? Those words from Edgar Allan Poe’s famous short story, The Tell-Tale Heart, grabbed Paul Safar when the

Film Review: A Bosnian War epic emerges from “Underground”

One of the most fascinating films of the 1990s returns to the big screen this week in Portland when Cinema 21 hosts a restored version of director Emir Kusturica’s 1995 historical fantasia “Underground.” The movie was a cinematic event when it won

MusicWatch Weekly: out of the past

We sometimes imagine the past as a frozen portrait, but the early music movement that began accelerating a couple generations ago has revealed that our understanding of how music was performed and perceived in centuries past is ever evolving, thanks to the

DanceWatch Weekly: Kevin Irving on Man/Woman

Man/Woman, Oregon Ballet Theatre’s program of five ballets that juxtapose all-female ballets and all-male ballets to explore gender stereotypes, opens tonight. The program includes The Dying Swan, a solo for a female dancer by Michel Fokine; a new commissioned work called Fluidity

Third Angle/Hand2Mouth, Bright Moments previews: pop goes classical

Portlanders of a certain vintage still swoon over the music of singer-songwriter Elliott Smith, a leader of Portland’s ‘90s indie-pop insurgency before he moved to LA and died too young just after achieving national fame, not least because of his whispery 1998

The other history, laughter included

Holidays, especially those steeped in notions of national identity, breed all manner of rituals. For instance, in The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse, getting its world premiere at Artists Repertory Theatre, the character Alicia recalls the family tradition that “came from my

DramaWatch Weekly: Pop-up City

Pop-up restaurants. Pop-up bars. Pop-up nightclubs, galleries, boutiques, publishing houses, concerts. We’re living in a pop-up world, so why not pop-up theater? The traditional method of producing is to start a theater company, announce a season, and run a half-dozen shows for

About that turkey of a play …

Going into The Thanksgiving Play at Artists Rep I was prepared for a little laughing and a lot of uncomfortable cringing. I’ve come to expect this from modern satires touching on the traumatic legacies of racism in America. They often punch you in the

Flower(s) in Concrete at Fourteen30: Why we write about art

Recently, I’ve had conversations with writers of other disciplines who’ve questioned the point of writing about art. As an activity in an atmosphere of limited nerves and resources and an overabundance of literature, images, noise, and every reason to seek what’s “fact-based,”

Eugene Ballet preview: dance of the mountain king

By GARY FERRINGTON When Eugene Ballet  artistic director Toni Pimble decided to stage Peer Gynt, she faced a daunting challenge: transforming poetry into dance. The company had already proven it could dream big when it comes to creating major new works for the professional stage. Last

Stephen Petronio: Past and present

Stephen Petronio returned to Portland’s Newmark Theatre four years after his company danced the haunting, longform piece Like Lazarus Did. This time, his company performed a concert that included both a recent, original work and a set of iconic and influential pieces

‘Caterpillar’: No play, lots of play

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show at Oregon Children’s Theatre is tough for an adult to review fairly. It’s for the very youngest OCT audiences, after all, and it can be difficult for a lifelong theatergoer to look at a show through that

A visit with: Shalonda Menefee

Shalonda Menefee, creator and talent behind SISTAS Dolled Up, finds herself between events on a recent Saturday afternoon. She’s just come home from hosting a brunch for women in the community and has a couple of weeks (and a whole lot of

ACDA Conference: choral camaraderie

by BRUCE BROWNE Think of it as March Madness. No rankings, no betting on outcomes, but this (approximately) “Sweet 16” of choirs from all over the Northwest who converged in Portland last month for the Northwest Regional American Choral Directors conference was

Aaron Katz on his new thriller “Gemini” and popcorn problematics

“Gemini” is a sleek, entertaining new thriller set in the glamorous world of Hollywood and drenched in celebrity culture. It’s also directed by Portland-raised Aaron Katz, and for anyone familiar with Katz’s previous work, that synopsis might come as a shock. “Sleek,”

MusicWatch Weekly: black voices matter

One of the top tenors of his generation, Philadelphia’s Lawrence Brownlee has drawn rapturous acclaim for his performances at all the world’s great opera houses, from the Met and La Scala on down, especially in the agile roles of early 19th composers.

DanceWatch Weekly: My vacation to Japan

I have just returned from a week in Japan, and I am in an elated, exhausted, jet lagged, watery, impermanent state of being neither here nor there. My mind is still navigating Japan, but I am physically back in the beautiful, blossoming

DramaWatch: First Nations first

With a rising anti-immigration fever sweeping the United States and President Trump’s threat on Tuesday to deploy military guards along the Mexican border until his exclusionary wall can be built, it is well and truly time for this: A trifecta of plays

VizArts Monthly: April is about photography

While we have yet to escape the various micro-seasons of post-winter, pre-spring Portland (such as Fool’s Spring, Mud Season, and Third Winter), blossoms are indeed blooming and the list of events and openings is getting fuller and fuller. For example, we’ve got

Benvenue Trio preview: Viennese action

April marks the debut of the Portland Baroque Orchestra’s newest member: the Ruth Rolt fortepiano. Its player is Eric Zivian of the Benvenue Trio, whose other members are violinist Monica Huggett (also PBO’s artistic director) and PBO cellist Tanya Tomkins. The fortepiano

‘La Belle’ steams back

It’s a Monday afternoon in early spring, and the road warriors are back in town. “I don’t know,” Jerry Mouawad says, just a trifle wearily. “We’ve probably played a thousand venues across the country.” That covers a few decades and a few

Dispatches from the podcast revolution

People get into podcasting for some very stupid reasons. On reflection, mine might have been one of the stupidest. Four years ago I was meeting with my friend Ron, a co-producer on the film BRASS: Lair of the Red Widow that we were

Lawrence Brownlee preview: a journey

By DAMIEN GETER Despite being one of the world’s leading operatic tenors, as an African American man, Lawrence Brownlee is not immune to racism. “I feel it every day,” he told Oregon ArtsWatch. “I see signs all of the time.” Brownlee noted

DramaWatch: Two pair and a kicker

Sometimes as shows and curtains open and close, a writer flounders for a framing device. I know: Let’s play poker. “Two pair is a poker hand containing two cards of the same rank, two cards of another rank and one card of

Portland Chamber Orchestra Young Artist Competition University of Portland Free Event Portland Oregon
Portland Area Theatre Alliance Fertile Ground Portland Oregon
Portland Art Museum Virtual Sneakers to Cutting Edge Kicks Portland Oregon
Tilikum Chamber Orchestra Lake Oswego High School Fairy Tales and Folk Songs Lake Oswego Oregon
Portland Center Stage at the Armory Quixote Nuevo Portland Oregon
Portland Columbia Symphony Realm of Nature Beaverton and Gresham Oregon
Portland Opera The Snowy Day Newmark Theatre Portland Oregon
White Bird Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Keller Auditorium Portland Oregon
Northwest Dance Project Sarah Slipper Newmark Theatre Portland Oregon
City of Hillsboro Parks and Recreation Performance Series Hillsboro OregonWalters Cultural Arts Center
Corrib Theatre Contemporary Irish Theatre Portland Oregon
Seattle Opera The Life and Times of MalcolmX McCaw Hall Seattle Washington
Metropolitan Youth Symphony Music Concert Rooted Newmark Theatre Portland Oregon
White Bird Dance Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall Newmark Theater Portland Oregon
Newport Visual and Performing Arts Newport Oregon Coast
High Desert Museum Sensing Sasquatch Indigenous Art & Knowledge Bend Oregon
Profile Theatre Lauren Yee Festival at Imago Theatre Portland Oregon
Portland State University College of the Arts
Oregon Cultural Trust donate
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