Portland-area cultural events
Edited by Randall Barton
'Celebration of Lights'
Lajos Balogh leads the Metropolitan Youth Symphony in a concert that also spotlights the MYS symphonic band and the Wilsonville High School Choir.
- Eric Bartels
7:30 p.m. FRIDAY, Dec. 1, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 S.W. Broadway, 503-239-4566, $6-$32
'An Early Winter Romance'
Violinist Anthony Dyer and pianist Cary Lewis join forces for a concert benefiting the Community Music Center, which provides low-cost music instruction for youths and adults in Southeast Portland.
The duo will perform Beethoven's Romance No. 1 in G Major and No. 2 in F Major as well as selections by Prokofiev and Ravel.
7:30 p.m. FRIDAY, Dec. 1, Community Music Center, 3350 S.E. Francis St., 503-823-3177, $10 suggested donation
'The Forgotten Carols'
Sixties troubadour Glenn Yarbrough narrates and sings.
The term 'beauty queens' gets a new definition when Triangle Productions revisits its gender-bending spoof.
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, through Dec. 23, Firehouse Theater, 1436 S.W. Montgomery St., 503-239-5919, www.tripro.org, $20-$25
'This Wonderful Life'
The stunning Wade McCollum vehicle 'I Am My Own Wife' is the second one-man show launched at Portland Center Stage show in less than a year.
The first was a world premiere based on the Hollywood film classic 'It's a Wonderful Life' that was co-written and acted by New Yorker Mark Setlock last season.
This year, Setlock is replaced by Matthew Floyd Miller, another Gotham-based actor, but audiences can expect the same loving but lively take on the Frank Capra gem.
7:30 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. SUNDAY, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, through Dec. 24 (check for additional dates during run), Gerding Theater at the Armory, 128 N.W. 11th Ave., 503-445-3700, www.pcs.org, $16.50-$39.50
'I Am My Own Wife'
Wade McCollum brilliantly embodies nearly three dozen characters with mind-blowing dexterity in Doug Wright's profound and moving one-man play, which won a Pulitzer Prize and two Tony Awards in 2004.
Guided by the playwright's compelling narrative, McCollum takes a little-known eccentric - German antiquities collector and transvestite Charlotte von Mahlsdorf - and infuses her with such authenticity that she is fully real the minute we meet her.
In the Portland Center Stage production von Mahlsdorf is a living legend, an extraordinary outsider who survives two brutally oppressive regimes. But scandal and tragedy also play roles.
While von Mahlsdorf's Gründerzeit Museum doubles as a home to East Berlin's gay community, questions emerge about her association with communist security forces during the Cold War.
7:30 p.m. FRIDAY, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. SATURDAY, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. SUNDAY, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, through Dec. 31, Gerding Theater at the Armory, Studio Stage, 128 N.W. 11th Ave., 503-445-3700, www.pcs.org, $16.50-$59.50
'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'
You almost wonder if it makes sense to stage something as iconic as this, so indelible was the Oscar-hogging 1975 movie version. But Integrity Productions and director Corey Brunish do a fine job with Ken Kesey's classic story.
Don Alder turns in an energetic performance as Randle P. McMurphy, a charismatic con man who meets his match inside a mental institution, and Jane Geesman finds the right temperature setting for McMurphy's icy rival, Nurse Ratched. A large supporting cast, led by Tim Blough, is uniformly solid.
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 4 p.m. SUNDAY, 8 p.m. Thursday, through Dec. 10, Theater Theatre, 3430 S.E. Belmont St., 503-286-3456, $10
If you liked the very likable 'Forever Plaid,' you'll want to catch the continuing antics of Smudge, Francis, Jinx and Sparky, the Eisenhower-era quartet whose members are determined to play the gig of their dreams despite the fact that they're dead.
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 2 p.m. SUNDAY (some changes in dates and times later in run), through Dec. 23, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, Brunish Hall, 1111 S.W. Broadway, 503-248-4355, $20-$28; also available through Ticketmaster (503-224-4400), subject to service charges
Local actor Lava Alapai mines her own story for the outline of a world-premiere play. Young Serena Matthews is 18 when she learns that she's black.
In the search for self-discovery that follows, Serena is counseled by a white friend, a chorus of dancers and a puppet named Whoopi Godmother.
Alapai wrestled with her own identity when she moved to West Virginia from her native Hawaii to begin college.
Kristan Seemel directs for Many Hats Collaboration.
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 8 p.m. Thursday, through Dec. 9, Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, 5340 N. Interstate Ave., 503-952-6646, www.manyhatscollaboration.com, $12
A struggling theater company is at wit's end with its annual production of 'A Christmas Carol,' but desperate for the cash it will generate. Then word comes that a National Endowment for the Arts inspector will soon arrive to decide whether the company is fit to receive further funding. Big laughs ensue.
Karen Trumbo, Mark Schwann and Todd Van Voris star. Pat Patton directs.
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. SUNDAY, 7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, through Dec. 24, Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 S.W. Alder St., 503-241-1278, www.artistsrep.org, $22.50-$42.50
'A Tuna Christmas'
Funny enough to have won a Tony nomination on Broadway, this is the sequel to 'Greater Tuna.' Catch up with the hilarious denizens of Tuna, Texas, for some holiday cheer. Rick Warren and Jay Horenstein star, and Bill Dobson directs for Lakewood Theatre.
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. SUNDAY, 8 p.m. Thursday, through Dec. 17, Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State St., Lake Oswego, 503-635-3901, www.lakewood-center.org, $23-$25
Lee Kyle and Devan McGrath, best known for their work in the Portland punk/drag art band Sissyboy, star in the first full-length work of theater by their p.boy productions.
Fellow Sissyboy Jeffrey Kreischer also stars in Jean Genet's absurdist drama, which was based on a disturbing true story.
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 8 p.m. Thursday, through Dec. 9, Back Door Theater, 4319 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd., 971-506-9291, $10-$12
'I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change'
People don't flock to this hit musical revue for cutting-edge comedy. The references to Sharon Stone and Häagen-Dazs - Häagen-Dazs? - ensure it plays like a period piece, but the show's veteran cast, back from a long and successful run earlier in the decade, is agile and assured.
Big crowds on opening weekend suggest this chestnut still has plenty of flavor. Greg Tamblyn directs for his Pixie Dust Productions.
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, through Dec. 23, World Trade Center, 121 S.W. Salmon St., 503-624-0403, www.pixiedustshows.com, $27-$30
Wealthy Muscovite falls for provincial girl in czarist Russia, relationship goes south, nobody's happy. It's dreary outside; go see some Chekhov. Keith Scales directs.
7:30 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 3 p.m. SUNDAY, Dec. 1-3, West End Theatre, 1220 S.W. Taylor St., 1-800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com/event/6700, $15
'Christmas of Swing'
The award-winning Broadway Rose Theatre Co. resurrects the wartime charm of the Andrews Sisters for this lively slice of holiday nostalgia, set at a rehearsal for a Christmas Eve USO show. Lisamarie Harrison, Carrie Baldwin-Sayre and Chrissy Kelly star.
8 p.m. FRIDAY, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. SATURDAY, 2 p.m. SUNDAY, through Dec. 10, Tualatin High School Auditorium, 22300 S.W. Boones Ferry Road, 503-620-5262, www.broadwayrose.com, $19-$26 (Sunday shows sold out)
The grandfather of Portland improv theater, Brody just got pink-slipped at its longtime home in Northwest Portland. Improvising, founder and leader Tom Johnson and his troupe will follow through on scheduled performances of 'Theatresports' (Fridays) and 'Antiques Improv Show' (Saturdays) until the curtain drops Dec. 16, all the while looking for a new venue.
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY through Dec. 16, Brody Theater, 1904 N.W. 27th Ave., 503-224-0688, www.brodytheater.com, $7-$10
The queer art collective presents 'Machines Are Beautiful,' an art exhibit consisting of mostly paintings, drawings and photography, with some busts.
It begins with a reception for the fifth issue of Dreck 'Megazine' (an alt-queer literature and arts magazine, available at Powell's, Reading Frenzy and online at www.dreckweb.com) from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1.
- Joseph Gallivan
7 a.m. to 10 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. SUNDAY, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, through Dec. 31, Muddy Waters Coffeehouse, 2908 S.E. Belmont St., 503-233-1923, free
What could be more Portland than a bunch of artists you've never heard of sporting 'Are we famous yet?' looks for the camera.
Lucas, already a fine portraitist working on international subjects, got a Regional Arts and Culture Council grant and snapped 17 artists in comical poses for 'Sitting City: Portland Artist Portraits.' The idea was to present a snapshot of the Portland art scene in 2006.
'Most of the setups were my gut impression of these folks, a fantasy projection of how I see them, often in a situation that mimics their work,' Lucas says. This show should make a suitably upbeat launch of Mark Woolley's new commitment to his east-side gallery. Opening reception 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1; artist talk 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2.
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, through Dec. 30, Mark Woolley Gallery, 128 N.E. Russell St., 503-284-3636, free
Elizabeth Leach's gallery celebrates 25 years since its founding with a collage show which captures the exuberance of the cut-and-paste method. Many of these pieces are bright and bold, leaving cautious Modernism in the dust.
10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, through Dec. 30, Elizabeth Leach Gallery, 417 N.W. Ninth Ave., 503-224-0521, free
Hadley Howes and Maxwell Stephens from Vancouver, British Columbia, spent the summer restaging scenes from photos of the Kent State riots on May 4, 1970. Now they project the videos they made on cutout representations of themselves.
Also in the house will be Lucien Samaha, sitting live at a desk and taking photographs. He's also bringing 100 of his 300,000 photos and promises to bend your ear about them.
Noon to 5 p.m. FRIDAY-SUNDAY, noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, through Dec. 10, Reed College, Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, 3203 S.E. Woodstock Blvd., 503-777-7251
No, not that 'Nutcracker.' This one, produced by the Classical Ballet Academy of Sellwood, features a cast of young amateurs from around the area.
2 p.m. and 7 p.m. SATURDAY, 2 p.m. SUNDAY, Dec. 2-3, St. Mary's Academy, 1615 S.W. Fifth Ave., 503-890-6101, www.classicalballet.net, $10-$15