Winter warmers: Holiday Ale Festival
by: COURTESY OF HOLIDAY ALE FESTIVAL, Frothy brews ring in the season this weekend under the clear tent at Pioneer Courthouse Square.



Holiday Ale Festival

It wouldn't be the holidays in Portland without a festive beer event, and the Holiday Ale Festival fits the bill with strong brews enhanced with spices and seasonal ingredients such as ginseng, cranberries and espresso beans.

This year's festival features 35 regional, robust IPAs, Belgians, barley wines, winter warmers, Scotch ales, stouts and mead to please the palate, with names including Blizzard of Ozz, Liquid Cheer, Powder Hound Winter Ale, Sledcrasher, Cabin Fever Stout and Brown Shugga.

For the event, Pioneer Courthouse Square will be covered with an enormous, clear, heated tent, enabling beer-lovers to stay warm and dry while seeing the twinkling city lights and sampling the latest holiday winter brews. A complimentary root beer garden will offer nonalcoholic beverages for minors and designated drivers.

- Suzie Ridgway

11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1-3, Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 S.W. Sixth Ave., 503-252-9899,, free, a $4 souvenir mug is required for tasting beer, full mugs $4, tastes $1


'The Return of Ulysses'

The Portland Opera's annual foray into chamber opera (small band, just nine singers) promises the level of challenge expected of a big-city opera house.

Claudio Monteverdi's 'Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria' tells Homer's tale of the hero Odysseus/Ulysses returning from exile and defeating the suitors sniffing around his wife, Penelope.

If you can handle deities such as Jupiter and Minerva and personifications such as Human Frailty doing their bit, it's well worth three hours. The music can be cool and sparse, but the human characters (as opposed to the gods) wear their hearts on their sleeves in a series of powerful duets and trios.

Things to look for: dissonance, counterpoint and rhythms Steve Reich would die for.

- Joseph Gallivan

7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, and Dec. 5, 8, 12, 14 and 16;

2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3 and Dec. 10, Portland Opera Studio at the Hampton Opera Center, 211 S.E. Caruthers St., 503-241-1802, $75, sung in Italian with English subtitles



'Christmas Revels'

Knights and countesses and mummers converge for a village solstice party in medieval France, providing the occasion for merry music, song and comedy. A Portland favorite for 12 years, the event incorporates no fewer than 74 players.

Actor Atticus Mowry says it's anything but sedate. 'It's kind of a pagan yule celebration,' he says. 'It's very lively.'

-Eric Bartels

7:30 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, through Dec. 10 (additional 5 p.m. evening show on closing night), Scottish Rite Theater, 1512 S.W. Morrison St., 503-274-4654, $7-$32


Crispin Glover

Starting with 'River's Edge' and 'Wild at Heart,' Crispin Glover has made a career of appearing in memorably psychotic cameo roles. He also has a cult following as an author and filmmaker in his own right.

He arrives in Portland this weekend for screenings of his new film, 'What Is It?' in which he splashes the carnivalesque nightmares inside his head across the big screen - not for the faint of heart or the easily offended.

The film is preceded by Glover's Big Slide Show, which he narrates live, and is followed by a Q and A session and book signing.

Advance tickets are available at the theater box office during regular theater hours. Friday and Saturday shows are 21 and over; Sunday is all-ages.

- Anne Marie DiStefano

7:30 p.m., Friday-Sunday, Dec. 1-3, Clinton Street Theater, 2522 S.E. Clinton St., and, 503-238-8899, $16



'Holy Goats!'

There are few limits to what can happen when longtime collaborators Arrington de Dionyso and Bryce Kasson bring their vision and skills together. A Performance Works NorthWest event.


2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, 4625 S.E. 67th Ave., 503-777-1907, $7 includes coffee and bagel


'1941 Christmas From Home'

For five years audiences ate up a series of these shows, done in the style of a World War II-era live radio broadcast. After a year off, the family-friendly extravaganza of period sketches, stories and songs is back, propelled by a live band and homemade sound effects.

- EB

7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, through Dec. 17 (additional, signed performance 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14), Hollywood Theatre, 4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd., 503-245-6919, $18, $16 students and seniors, $9 veterans

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