carole king

ArtsWatch Weekly: vote, and other opportunities

Looking back, looking ahead: a week's worth of theater, dance, music, film, and art in and around Portland

After all that feuding and fussing it’s election day, and nothing on this week’s calendar is more important. In Oregon, with its vote-by-mail elections, that means today is last chance, not first chance. Remember, ballots must be received by 8 p.m. Tuesday, not just postmarked by today. That means it’s too late to mail your ballot: You’ll need to drop it off. You can do that at your branch library and other designated spots. If you haven’t turned your ballot in yet, stop reading this right now and get ‘er done. If your vote is safely cast, scroll on down and take a look at a few visual reminders that the United States has been doing this for a long time. Except for the Bingham painting, the images come from the Library of Congress’s 2012 book Presidential Campaign Posters: 200 Years of Election Art:

"The County Election," George Caleb Bingham, 1852, oil on canvas, 38 x 52 inches, Saint Louis Art Museum

“The County Election,” George Caleb Bingham, 1852, oil on canvas, 38 x 52 inches, Saint Louis Art Museum




Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival. The 43rd edition of the Northwest Film Center’s annual regional showcase runs Thursday through Tuesday at the Portland Art Museum’s Whitsell Auditorium and Portland State University’s nearby 5th Avenue Cinema and Skype Live Studio. Shorts, features, and documentaries ranging from the battle over water rights to an internet horror tale to life in a modern medieval village.

Epoch. An evening of new dance from Samuel Hobbs (November) of push/FOLD and ArtsWatch dance columnist Jamuna Chiarini (The Kitchen Sink), with music by Hobbs and Lisa DeGrace. Friday and Saturday, BodyVox Dance Center.


“Beautiful” review: Skin deep

Musical based on the life of songwriter Carole King sacrifices authentic drama for Broadway bombast

Scott Fitzgerald, who famously claimed there were no second acts in American lives, never met Carole King. The Brooklyn-born teenager vaulted to fame by co-writing a slew of ‘60s hits for various bands, beginning with the Shirelles’ “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” in 1960. As rock grew more ambitious, her reputation faded along with those of other early-mid ’60s singles hitmakers — until she re-emerged in LA’s fertile early-1970s Laurel Canyon scene with her breakthrough Tapestry album, a much more personal statement featuring King’s own voice and piano that helped kickstart the singer-songwriter era.

After that second act, King moved to what the B-52s called her own private Idaho to be closer to the land and farther from celebrity culture. Her music made little public impression until the last few years, when she returned for an extended encore: her Live at the Troubadour nostalgia album and tour with James Taylor and their original LA band; her 2010 memoir A Natural Woman; a release of the classic demos she made made in the 1960s for performers like the Drifters and the Monkees who turned her songs into hits; and the 2013 musical Beautiful, now headed for the big screen in a Tom Hanks production, and whose national tour alights this weekend at Portland’s Keller Auditorium.