Cascadia Composers May the Fourth

Celebrate St. Pat’s with music, poetry, or love gone astray


You don’t need to go to the local pub to get your green on this St. Patrick’s Day. Instead, you can drop in at the Lincoln City Cultural Center, where Pipedance presents St. Patrick’s Day Unplugged, a multi-cultural celebration. Nora Sherwood and Gary Burman, the duo behind Pipedance, play multiple instruments, and Sherwood is a champion stepdancer. The pair will be joined by the Andean band Chayag, led by Alex Llumiquinga, and flamenco dancer Sophia Solano.

This is a new approach to the Cultural Center’s traditional St. Pat’s celebration, said director Niki Price.

Detail from “The Irish Piper” by William Oliver Williams, 1874, oil on canvas, Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, Quinnipiac University, Connecticut
Detail from “The Irish Piper” by William Oliver Williams, 1874, oil on canvas, Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, Quinnipiac University, Connecticut

The celebration had grown into a nice event over the past six years, Price said, but it was time for a change. “We took it off the stage and put it on the floor of the auditorium on a raised platform. There are tables around the platform so it will feel a little more like you are in a pub. You are going to be much closer to the music.”

The Saturday night show kicks off at 6 p.m. March 16 with a traditional dinner by the cultural center’s Judy Hardy, featuring corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, soda bread, and dessert. The Sunday show starts at 2 p.m. with snacks and beverages. Tickets range from $32 to $8, depending on the show.

“What you will see is a small ensemble on this platform,” Price said. “Sherwood is going to be doing some dancing as well as working on the pennywhistle. It’s not going to be this big booming electric version of a St. Patrick’s show, but rather a personal, more intimate experience.”

All ages are welcome. For ticket information, go here.

UP NORTH, THE MANZANITA WRITERS’ SERIES kicks off its three-day PoetryFest 2019 at the Hoffman Center for the Arts with a welcoming reception for registered participants Friday evening, March 15. Workshops will be held Saturday and Sunday mornings with award-winning Portland poets Andrea Hollander and John Brehm.


PPH Passing Strange

Andrea Hollander, an Oregon Book Award finalist, will read Saturday in Manzanita.
Andrea Hollander

Hollander will lead a workshop titled Genie in a Bottle. Workshop materials note: “All successful poems contain an underlying structure that gives them solidity, stature. Sometimes such structure is obvious (sonnet, ghazal, villanelle), but even successful free verse poems, which most of us write, are dependent upon form. We will scrutinize a variety of masterful poems in order to better recognize the framework that holds each of them together, our goal being to create poems of such steadfast strength ourselves.”

Poet John Brehm's workshop will focus on the human impulse to praise.
John Brehm

In the workshop The Poetry of Praise, Brehm will lead participants in focusing on reading and writing poems that draw on the human impulse “to praise, to honor, to pay homage, to exalt,” using prompts and examples from Gerard Manley Hopkins, Pablo Neruda, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Hass, Denise Levertov, A.R. Ammons, Lucille Clifton, Mark Doty, Ellen Bass, and others.

Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford will give a free poetry reading beginning at 4:30 p.m. Saturday in the Hoffman Center for the Arts. The poetry continues from 7 to 9 p.m., when Hollander and Brehm read, followed by an open mic for PoetryFest participants and book sales, all at the Hoffman Center.

IF POETRY OR ST. PATRICK’S ISN’T SPARKING A FLAME, perhaps a little romance will. Love – in a manner of speaking – is in the air at two north coast theaters this weekend.

At the North Coast Recreation District in Nehalem, the Riverbend Players present Four Weddings and an Elvis, a romantic comedy in which Sandy, a four-times married, thrice-divorced owner of a Las Vegas wedding chapel, shares the most memorable matrimonies she’s hosted: “Bev and Stan, who are getting married as revenge on their exes; Vanessa and Bryce, two arrogant aging stars who are tying the knot as a publicity ploy; and Martin and Fiona, a gentle postal-worker and a tough ex-con who couldn’t be more in love! However, the final wedding is the most touching of all: Sandy’s wedding to the love of her life.”

Shows begin Friday, March 15, and run weekends through March 23. Tickets are $14 online and $17 at the door.

At the Coaster Theatre in Cannon Beach, Living on Love opens Friday, March 15, for a run through April 13. Joe DiPietro wrote the play, based on another play, Peccadillo by Garson Kanin. A diva discovers her maestro husband has become enamored of the young woman hired to ghostwrite his largely fictional autobiography and hires a young scribe of her own. “Sparks fly, silverware is thrown, and romance blossoms in the most unexpected ways in this delightful and hilarious romantic comedy,” according to the website.


Portland Columbia Symphony Adelante

Coaster cautions that the play is rated PG, with moderate adult themes that may be confusing to younger children. Tickets are $20 to $25.


This story is supported in part by a grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust, investing in Oregon’s arts, humanities and heritage, and the Lincoln County Cultural Coalition.

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Photo Joe Cantrell

Lori Tobias is a journalist of many years, and was a staff writer for The Oregonian for more than a decade, and a columnist and features writer for the Rocky Mountain News. Her memoir “Storm Beat – A Journalist Reports from the Oregon Coast” was published in 2020 by Oregon State University press. She is also the author of the novel Wander, winner of the 2017 Nancy Pearl Book Award for literary fiction and a finalist for the 2017 International Book Awards for new fiction. She lives on the Oregon Coast with her husband Chan and rescue pup Gus.

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