The ArtsWatch 2-week events calendar: April 1-15

Suddenly, we look down the pike and we can start to see the end of the traditional “seasons,” which might make us sad except that summer glows emerald at the end of that particular avenue, too. And the here and now is full of promising events. I’ve got my eye on the Goteborg Ballet and Portland Playhouse’s return to its home on Northeast Prescott after an expensive and unnecessary detour to the West Side, but your eye is so much more discerning!

Really Big Shows

Oregon Symphony with Garrick Ohlsson, April 1-2, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall — The acclaimed pianist plays Mozart’s breakthrough Piano Concerto #9, and the orchestra plays one of the 20th century’s most popular and controversial symphonies, Shostakovich’s triumphant Fifth — but is the triumph glorious or ghastly?

“Galileo Galilei,” April 1,3, 5, 7, Portland Opera, Newmark Theatre, Portland Center for the Performing Arts — After 2009’s successful Orphee, today’s best-known composer, Philip Glass, and Portland Opera’s Studio Artists team up again in this 90-minute exploration of the life of one of history’s greatest thinkers, focusing on the tensions — personal, political, philosophical — at the intersections of science and real life. (Scattered single tickets remain for most performances, but Tuesday is your best bet.)

“Anna Karenina,”  April 3- 29, Portland Center Stage, 128 NW 11th Ave. — It’s difficult to reduce the great Tolstoy to one comfortable evening at the theater, but playwright Kevin McKeon has had experience at this business as his popular adaptation of “Snow Falling on Cedars” attests. And this play went through development at Center Stage last summer. Still, we just know this is going to end sadly!

The Göteborg Ballet, April 12-14, White Bird, Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway — The Swedish company is one of Europe’s most inventive, and this program introduces West Coast audiences to the work of Nordic choreographers the company has championed, Orjan Andersson, Kenneth Kvarnstrom and Johan Inger. Below, the company at work on Mats Ek’s Törnrosa.

A little further out there

Yasmeen Godder, March 31, White Bird, Lincoln Hall, PSU — Israeli-American choreographer Yasmeen Gooder’s “Love Fire” explores identity and relationships through the medium of the waltz, though this riot of the absurd and the hilarious is generally hard to pin down, even approximately.

Yasmeen Godder's "Love Fire"/ Tamar Lamm

“The Brother/Sister Plays,” March 29-May 13, Portland Playhouse, 602 NE Prescott Stree — Portland Playhouse returns to its rightful home in the old church on Northeast Prescott for this trilogy of plays by Tarell Alvin McCraney, divided into two separate programs. The plays are set in a housing project in Louisiana and have been hailed by critics for their gumbo of dance, mythology, autobiography and narrative power.

“Vincent River,” March 29-April 21, Sowelu, Theater! Theatre! 3034 SE Belomont — Sowelu is back after taking some time off to do some movie work, and it’s taking on Philip Ridley’s dark two-actor drama, starring Lorraine Bahr and Clayton Schnell.

45th Parallel, April 7, The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave., Portland — The local presenting organization, featuring some of the city’s top classical players including pianist Cary Lewis and violinist Gregory Ewer, honors Chamber Music Northwest founder and violinist Sergiu Luca and jazz violin pioneer Joe Venuti in music by contemporary Seattle-born composer William Bolcomb, Norwegian composer Christian Sinding, and jazz tunes arranged for piano and violin.

Portland Cello Project , April 13-14, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside, Portland — The alt classical stars release their fourth CD, Homage, featuring music of Kanye West, Li’l Wayne, Osvaldo Golijov, and more.

“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde vs. Dr. Atomic,” April 13, Opera Theater Oregon, Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St., Portland — The 1920 silent film classic with James Barrymore gets a new live soundtrack featuring pianist Doug Schneider, flutist Jade Weide, percussionist Ian Kerr and tenor Daniel Buchanan, improvising on themes and sounds from John Adams’s 2006 opera, Dr. Atomic.

Mixing and matching

“The American Pilot,” Theatre Vertigo, March 30-April 28 — David Greig’s political allegory starts when a pilot parachutes into an village in the middle of a guerrilla war in which the U.S. is involved. Matthew Zrebski directs.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, April 2, Hult Center, Eugene — Eugene Symphony conductor laureate Marin Alsop returns to lead her current band, which has earned worldwide acclaim for its emphasis on contemporary music and community outreach, in music by Copland, Jennifer Higdon (the enjoyable Percussion Concerto that thrilled Oregon Symphony audiences last year, performed by its dedicatee, Colin Currie), Joan Tower, and Tchaikovsky.

Smokey Mountain, Cambodia, April 1-May 1, Blue Sky | Oregon Center for Photographic Arts, 122 NW 8th Ave. — Nigel Gordon Dickinson’s haunting photographs document the lives of the 2,000 impoverished scavengers who work and live amidst the rubbish and fumes of the Smokey Mountain dump in Cambodia.

Day Job, April 5-May 15, Feldman Gallery + Project Space, PNCA, 1241 NW Johnson — Comprised of work by 21 artists, this exhibition curated by Nina Katchadourian, Viewing Program Curator at The Drawing Center in New York, looks at the relationship between an artist’s “day job” and his or her creative practice.

Pacifica Quartet, April 9-10, Lincoln Performance Hall, Portland State University — Friends of Chamber Music brings one of America’s finest classical foursomes to play music by Beethoven, Dvorak, Shostakovich and Myaskovsky.

“Songs of My Heart,” The Ensemble, April 13, St. James Lutheran Church, 1315 SW Park Avenue, Portland — An all-star lineup comprising Portland’s newest professional classical singing group performs British music for chorus and organ by Benjamin Britten, Ralph Vaughan Williams and more.

Oregon Symphony with Sharon Isbin. April 14-16, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall — One of the era’s great popularizers of classical guitar joins the orchestra for Rodrigo’s Spanish treat, “Fantasy for a Gentleman,“ plus music of Ravel, Mussorgsky, and the contemporary composer Sofia Gubaidulina.

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