Edited by Randall Barton
Portland-area cultural events
'The Road to Xibalbá'
The good news at Miracle Theatre is that another season of fresh looks at Latino-based art and culture is under way.
What's more, playwright Joann Farías, whose newest play opened for a world-premiere run last weekend, has moved to town, having taken to the place while here for the production.
Less joyously, her new work looks more like a work in progress. Its pacing is uneven: sluggish in the first act and speedy in the second.
Regional accents, probably unnecessary in the first place, melt away like stage makeup. And a decision to cast amateur actors results in, surprise, amateurish acting, although that could improve during the run.
Stephen Lisk, who earned favorable notices in the one-man show 'Don't You Know Who I Think I Am?' last spring, carries too much of the load here, and occasionally gets stuck in high gear as a result.
Farías' story asks some interesting questions about the power of myth and where it resides. But this Miracle MainStage production, despite some colorful sets, lights and costumes, hasn't quite found itself.
- Eric Bartels
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 2 p.m. SUNDAY, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, through Oct. 14, Miracle Theatre, 525 S.E. Stark St., 503-236-7253, $17-$20
'Reefer Madness! The Musical'
Kirk Mouser isn't surrounded by the kind of extravagant talent he left in New York when he returned to his native Portland and founded Stumptown Stages last season. But it hasn't hampered the musical theater veteran, who starred in tours of Broadway megahits like 'Les Misérables,' 'Chess' and 'The Phantom of the Opera.'
In two previous Stumptown productions, Mouser has demonstrated a knack for assembling committed, confident casts of actors that can power past an individual weakness or two.
The winning gusto shows up in this zany stage version of the stern, 1936 propaganda film.
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 2 p.m. SUNDAY, 8 p.m. Thursday, through Oct. 7, Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, 5340 N. Interstate Ave., 503-381-8686, $22-$25
Euripides' story of murder and revenge in the wake of the Trojan War ends its run in the open air at Reed College before moving across town to the West End Theatre.
4 p.m. FRIDAY, SATURDAY and SUNDAY, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, Reed College, Cerf Amphitheatre, 3203 S.E. Woodstock Blvd., 503-258-9313, $10-$20
'Who Stole My Dead Husband?'
The return of this popular evening of interactive dinner theater proves that you can't keep a good mob family down.
7:30 p.m. SATURDAY, through Jan. 31, Madison's East Wing, 1125 S.E. Madison St., 503-730-7040 or 1-800-966-8865, $50-$65 includes dinner and dessert, ages 17 and up
Classical, folk and contemporary dances of India will be presented by Dr. Jayanthi Raman and dancers of the Nadam Dance Academy of India at this annual event.
The full-length production features elaborate props and costumes and original music.
Cellist Hamilton Cheifetz helps launch a third season of concerts in an intimate setting by offering Bach's Suites for solo cello, Nos. 1, 2 and 3.
8 p.m. FRIDAY, Sept. 29, Broderick Gallery, 814 S.W. First Ave., 503-224-4020, $9
Pierre Huyghe: 'This Is Not a Time for Dreaming'
In 1963, Swiss-born architect Le Corbusier - a pioneer of the modernist architecture known as the International Style - was commissioned to design Harvard University's Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, the only building the great one would design in the United States.
In 'This Is Not a Time for Dreaming' French artist Pierre Huyghe (pronounced Weeg) uses puppets to tell the story of the commission and recount his own artistic frustrations, not unlike Le Corbusier's, in working with the university's administration.
The 24-minute film shows a live performance of a puppet musical featuring compositions by Iannis Xenakis and Edgard Varèse.
- Joseph Gallivan
10 a.m. to 8 p.m. FRIDAY, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. SATURDAY, noon to 5 p.m. SUNDAY, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, through Jan. 1, Portland Art Museum, Jubitz Center for Modern and Contemporary Art, 1219 S.W. Park Ave., 503-226-0973, $6-$10
'Maybe I'm Just Like My Mother'
For the late-night crowd, Lee Kyle - Splendora in the genre-challenging rock group Sissyboy - offers his one-person tribute, a work subtitled 'An Ode to Cornelia.'
10:30 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, Sept. 29-30, Back Door Theater, 4319 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd., 971-506-9291, $10
The title is a snooze: 'Paintings with chairs and sculptures of chairs.' But the art itself shows which way the wind's blowing at the museum.
Seattle artist McMakin does weird furniture: a table with shelves built into its underside, so that when it's on its side it works as a bookcase; or a chest of drawers on its side with a glass top, making it a coffee table. Here he looks at what makes something furniture, sculpture or a painting. For once, your butt knows best.
This is the first in a new series of APEX exhibitions that showcase contemporary Northwest artists.
Also opening Saturday is 'Fourteen Artists/Fourteen Years' in which 60 works from 14 artists will celebrate the Mahaffey Fine Art gallery, a workshop that has produced fine prints in Portland since 1992.
10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, through Jan. 14, Portland Art Museum, Wintercross Family Foundation Gallery, Center for Northwest Art, 1219 S.W. Park Ave., 503-226-2811, $10
This is the final weekend for the Maryhill Double, a scaffolding-and-mesh installation on the Oregon side of the Columbia River that mirrors the Maryhill Museum in Washington.
Open noon to dusk Sunday, Oct. 1, bus tours depart 1 p.m. from 1 S.E. Third Ave. (under the Burnside Bridge), returning at 8 p.m., $10, add $5 for admission to the real Maryhill Museum.
Portland Art Center
This instant institution continues to impress with the quality of the work it puts on and with its organization. In its final week, the main gallery has 'The Inside Game,' a selection from the personal collections of Elizabeth Leach, Joel Leib, Rod Pulliam, Justin Oswald and Jeffrey Thomas. In the Light and Sound Gallery, choreographer and dancer Linda Austin collaborates with composer Seth Nehil to create a video installation of Austin's dance 'Circus Me (A Round).' The Open Space Gallery has a juried show of 32 encaustic artists from 127 national entries.
Noon to 6 p.m. FRIDAY-SUNDAY, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, Portland Art Center, 32 N.W. Fifth Ave., 503-236-3322, free