Bits and Pieces

by: Courtesy of Kurtis Hough 
The 40-second film created for the Northwest Film Center’s 40th anniversary contest by Kurtis Hough, “How to lose $2400 in 24 seconds,” attracted over 1 million views in less than one week online.

It's the holiday season

Two of Portland's premier musicians are once again staging their popular holiday concerts.

Concert rock violinist Aaron Meyer and guests will be performing at the First Congregational Church, 1126 S.W. Park Ave., for the 11th year, with three shows - 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16 and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. Advance tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for children/seniors/students. Reserved tickets are also available. Info:

It coincides with Meyer's newest CD, 'Two Sides to This Story,' in which Meyer and guitarist/producer Tim Ellis combined original music and arrangements with their full band and full rock orchestra. They commissioned Jeff Tyzik, Oregon Symphony resident Pops conductor, to orchestra six of their songs for the full orchestra, and 28 Symphony members recorded with them.

Meyer and Ellis will put on a one-hour music education workshop, noon Saturday, Dec. 17.

Michael Allen Harrison and his musical family, including vocalist Julianne Johnson, will be performing several shows, at various times, Dec. 16 to 26 at The Historic Old Church, 1422 S.W. 11th Ave.

Tickets are $29.50 for general admission and $46.50 for preferred seating and available at

Holiday gifts

Searching for holiday presents and decor? There are two events to hit up:

Portland Bazaar - 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 10 and 11 at Sandbox Studios, 420 N.E. Ninth Ave. Info:

Crafty Wonderland - Super Colossal Holiday Sale! 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 10 and 11 at Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Info:

40-second fame

Channel your inner Steven Spielberg, cell phone-style.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary season, the Northwest Film Center is currently accepting submissions for its 'Make It Short' 40-Second Film Competition. Anybody from the Northwest can submit their short films, from Super-8 to cell phone videos. But they must be 40 seconds or less.

Deadline for submissions is Jan. 6, 2012, and more information can be found at

Screenings will be held Jan. 17 at Whitsell Auditorium during the Portland International Film Festival.

Portland being a weird and creative place, this could be good.

Circus insects

The Cirque du Soleil's 'Grand Chapiteau' returns to Portland in the spring with 'Ovo.' It starts April 5, and the 'Grand Chapiteau' will be located at the Portland Expo Center.

Meaning 'egg' in Portuguese, 'Ovo' is a headlong rush into a colorful ecosystem teeming with life, where insects work, eat, crawl, flutter, play, fight and look for love.

Tickets are available at

Firesign Theatre

In their 43rd year of working together, the Firesign Theatre guys Phil Austin, Peter Bergman, David Ossman and Phil Proctor are touring, stopping at the Winningstad Theater, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9 and 10. Info:

The voice quartet, which doesn't use props or costumes, has been celebrating the 40th anniversary of their work, 'We're All Bozos on this Bus,' which contains new material.

Their 21st century CD trilogy, 'We're Doomed,' received Grammy nominations for 'Give Me Immortality or Give Me Death' and 'Bride of Firesign.'

Movie time

Upcoming big screen releases:

Dec. 9 - 'The Sitter'; 'New Year's Eve'

Dec. 16 - 'Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked'; 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows'; 'Young Adult'

Dec. 21 - 'The Adventures of Tintin'; 'Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol'

Dec. 23 - 'We Bought A Zoo'; 'A Dangerous Method'; 'Carnage'

Dec. 25 - 'War Horse'; 'The Darkest Hour'; 'The Artist'

Jan. 13 - 'Beauty and The Beast 3D'; 'Joyful Noise'

Jan. 20 - 'Red Tails'; 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close'; 'Underworld: Awakening'

Jan. 27 - 'One For The Money'; 'Man on a Ledge'

Movie time, Part 2

Meanwhile, the Hollywood Theatre, 4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd., has a couple cool events coming up.

The documentary 'American Teacher,' narrated by Matt Damon, offers a definitive look at the state of teaching in America and a solution to the education crisis. It's presented by the Teachers Salary Project and it'll be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8. It's directed by the Academy Award-winning filmmaker Vanessa Roth.

On a lighter note, 'The All Night Horror Marathon!' on Saturday, Dec. 10 will feature 'Day of the Dead,' 'The Burning,' 'Boxer's Omen' and 'Pieces.' Each will include vintage 35mm horror trailers. The show gets going at 9 p.m.

Not coming up Roses?

For fans who still want to attend the Rose Bowl game between the Oregon Ducks and Wisconsin Badgers, Jan. 2 at Pasadena, Calif., you better start scrambling.

The secondary market, such as, would be the way to go. Oregon sold out its allotment in 30 minutes Monday night.

'Wicked' on sale

Broadway's biggest blockbuster, 'Wicked,' returns to the Keller Auditorium, March 14 to April 8. Tickets went on sale recently, starting at $43.50 and available at Ticketmaster outlets and by calling 503-241-1802.