The central Coast pays homage to two of its famous former citizens this month. As part of the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts’ capital campaign program, plans are under way to change the name of the Performing Arts Center’s Black Box Theatre to the David Ogden Stiers Theatre.
In a press release, the arts council’s Executive Director Catherine Rickbone called the actor, known for his role as the pompous Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III in the 1970s TV show M*A*S*H, “an inspiration to several generations over his many years of involvement with OCCA and the PAC.” Stiers, 75, died March 3 of bladder cancer at his home in Newport.
Rickbone’s release continued to note that Stiers often said of the Performing Arts Center, “it so delights me to see the theater camps and dance recitals involving kids. They think they own this place, and of course they do!”
The renaming comes with $1.6 million in renovations that will include a new seating system, enhanced sound, lighting, and acoustics, and improved HVAC for the theater. It will be home to experimental theater, premiering original plays, literary readings, storytelling, piano performances, dance recitals, cabaret-style jazz ensembles, international musical events, and a broader youth theater. It will also enable simultaneous programming with the adjacent Alice Silverman Theatre. For more information, call Bonnie Prater at the OCCA office, 541-574-2655.
Newport is also the scene of a new memorial honoring classical composer Ernest Bloch (1880-1959). The entry off U.S. 101 at 49th Street at the south end of Ernest Bloch Memorial Wayside was dedicated July 21 as Ernest Bloch Place. The site includes a centerpiece monument, a new interpretive sign and five stone benches.
The Lincoln County Economic Development Alliance sponsored a reception for the Bloch family and reprinting of the new edition of “Ernest Bloch: Composer in Nature’s University,” said Frank Geltner, the so-called “flamekeeper” of the Ernest Bloch Legacy Project.
Copies of this booklet are available at Roby’s Furniture, at the north end of Ernest Bloch Memorial Wayside, at the Agate Beach Golf Course, or by requesting a copy through the Ernest Bloch website (shipping and handling may apply). The Yaquina Bay Economic Foundation sponsored creation of the new 4-by-3-foot interpretive sign. Poster-sized copies of the sign are available for $30.
Events at the Performing Arts Center include a showing of Hamlet, by London’s National Theatre, at 7 p.m. Friday, July 27. Academy Award-nominee Benedict Cumberbatch plays the title role in the Shakespearean tragedy. Tickets are $16 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $11 for students.
Also at the center, the 2018 Summer Film Series presents Disobedience at 7 p.m. Sunday and Monday, July 29 and 30. In the R-rated film directed by Sebastian Lelio, a woman returns to the community that shunned her for her attraction to a childhood friend. Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams star.
Three art exhibits continue in Newport’s Visual Arts Center. Work by award-winning members of the Watercolor Society of Oregon (WSO) is displayed through Saturday, July 28, in the Upstairs Gallery in the traveling exhibition Spring Migration. The 20 paintings selected by WSO convention juror Fran Larsen include abstracts, cubist works, landscapes, city scenes, portraits and more. The upstairs gallery is open noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Portland artist Henk Pander’s exhibit of new large-scale watercolors from his recent series War Memories, Liberty Ships and the Climate Refugees of Vanport continues through Sept. 2 in the Runyan Gallery. Documentary films about the artist by his son, Jacob Pander, will screen in the Media Room. Pander will present an artist talk at 4 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Runyan Gallery.
The third show in the Newport center features Cannon Beach artist Elizabeth “Libby” Pattison’s jewelry made of polished Oregon stones, as well as small oil paintings, in Rough to Ring. The Coastal Oregon Visual Artist Showcase exhibit runs through Sept. 1.
At the Tillamook Forestry Center, the indoor/outdoor art show Celebrating Renewal: Visions in the Forest continues through Sept. 3. According to the website, the sculptures by Oregon artists Elaine Treadwell and Beth O’Mahony “shape the space between trees, play with the sparkling light, add new colors and patterns to the palette of the forest. Bring your playfulness and sense of wonder on your walk along the River View Trail.” Find more information and directions to the center here.
“It’s Broadway Baby … & more!” at The Barn Community Playhouse in Tillamook. The revue by the Tillamook Association for the Performing Arts takes theater-goers through some of Broadway’s most memorable music “and more!” The show is at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 27 and 28, and 2 p.m. Sunday, July 29. Tickets are $15 and available at Diamond Art Jewelers at 503-842-7940 or at the door.
Tour the historic Pier’s End Boathouse — a former U.S. Coast Guard lifesaving facility — in Garibaldi during an open house from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 28 and 29. The boathouse was built in 1936 with its marine railway fully functional in 1937. The structure, set at the end of a 760-foot pier built on 100 pilings, could accommodate two 36-foot motor lifeboats (MLBs) and one 26-foot oar-powered surfboat, all individually served by rails that merged into one set of launching rails. This system allowed lifeboats to be rapidly launched fully manned. The boat house is a preservation project and on track to becoming the future Tillamook Bay Heritage Center. It is also hosting a photography exhibition. Suggested admission: $5.
The newest program series at Manzanita’s Hoffman Center for the Arts features conversations and workshops around the topics of aging and dying. The programs take place from 3 to 5 p.m. two Wednesdays per month: The Art of Aging is on the second Wednesday, The Art of Dying on the fourth. The July 25 program features the “life-affirming” film “Living While Dying.” Admission is $5.
Also at the Hoffman Center, three artists show their work about birds. Feathered features prints of coastal birds by artist Ben Killen Rosenberg; Ann Kelly’s ceramic sculptures inspired by ravens, eagles, herons, owls and swallows; and Kathleen Larson’s ceramic bird art reflecting her appreciation for the birds of the coastal community. Find dates, times and more artist details here.
Most Sundays through Labor Day, the Hoffman Center garden hosts free concerts by local artists from 1 to 3 p.m. No music is scheduled July 29.
The Coaster Theatre Playhouse in Cannon Beach features classical/world guitarist and international recording artist Aaron Larget-Caplan at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 29, as part of the Tom Drumheller Summer Series. The program includes music from Germany, Spain, Argentina, India and Japan and by Bach, Cage, Mussorgsky and others. The Coaster Theatre calls him “a gifted performer and speaker … sought for his deft programming of new and standard repertoire while connecting with audiences with a Bernstein-esque ease.” Tickets are $20 and $25.
The Coaster is also serving up two light-hearted summer productions. The Musical of Musicals: The Musical! is a parody of — you guessed it — musicals starting Sunday, July 29, in which one story unfolds in five different versions, each written in the style of renowned musical masters. According to the website, versions include a “Rodgers & Hammerstein version, set in Kansas in August; a Sondheim version, featuring the landlord as a tortured artistic genius who slashes the throats of his tenants in revenge for not appreciating his work; a Jerry Herman version, as a splashy star vehicle; an Andrew Lloyd Webber version, a rock musical with themes borrowed from Puccini; and a Kander & Ebb version, set in a speakeasy in Chicago.”
In Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, playwright Ken Ludwig offers what the theater calls a “whimsical spin on a classic Holmes mystery.” Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic The Hound of the Baskervilles morphs into a humorous adventure with investigators in search of a killer before a curse dooms the family. Expect a “dizzying web of clues, silly accents, disguises, and deceit as five actors deftly portray more than forty characters.”
Both performances are described as family-friendly, with a caveat that young children may not understand the mildly adult themes, but will, nonetheless, likely enjoy the antics. Dates and times vary, but you can find the schedule here.
The Astor Street Opry Company in Astoria encourages audience members to cheer, boo and throw their popcorn during its 34th season of Shanghaied in Astoria. In their words, it’s live, award-winning, family friendly, historical and hysterical; part vaudeville, part soap opera and an entertaining look at cultural folklore on the Columbia River. The story, directed this year by Ashley Mundel, centers on the “shanghaiing” of the play’s hero and his daring rescue in melodramatic style. It runs through Sept. 1 and tickets are $10 to $20.