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'Portlandia' hits the road

Bits and Pieces
by: Jaime Valdez Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, shown here filming a scene from “Portlandia” with actor Kyle MacLachlan (left), will bring the show to a live audience Dec. 27 at Hollywood Theatre.

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein are embarking on a unique six-city tour to bring the show 'Portlandia' to live audiences, starting Tuesday, Dec. 27, at Hollywood Theatre.

Armisen, who stars on 'Saturday Night Live,' and Brownstein, a musician of Wild Flag and Sleater-Kinney fame, look forward to reaching out to people about the IFC show that they created, co-write and star in. The second season starts at 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6.

They'll be telling stories, performing live music and giving sneak peeks of the second season.

'We appreciate the connection that a direct show brings with an audience,' Brownstein says. 'It's an earnest, palpable way of relating to people who watch your show. It's a natural extension of what we like to do anyway.'

The tour's other stops: Seattle (Showbox), Dec. 28; San Francisco, Dec. 30; Los Angeles, Jan. 17; Chicago, Jan. 18; Brooklyn, Jan. 20; New York, Jan. 21. More information for the Portland stop can be found at hollywoodtheatre.org.

Show organizers say the lovable and notable characters of the first season of 'Portlandia' will return, including Portland's reggae bass-playing mayor Kyle MacLachlan, eco-conscious couple Peter and Nance and feminist bookstore shopkeepers Toni and Candice. New characters/residents will be: Doug and Claire, a couple whose lives spin out of control when they run out of new episodes of their favorite TV show; Gil and Merrill, a two-piece band in search of a gimmick; and Malcolm and Kris, overprotective parents who hover over their kid.

As much as 'Portlandia' mocks our quirky fair city, Armisen and Brownstein say that they've not encountered anybody who has taken offense.

'I think (residents) have a good sense of humor,' Brownstein says. 'Portland's a very savvy city, definitely an analytical city, reflective and sensitive. For the most part, people have been very supportive … it's like being cheered on as you're running a marathon.'

Real-life situations are often reflected in 'Portlandia' episodes. Brownstein says she is 'flummoxed' about recycling, and where to put things, and whether to bring her own bag to Whole Foods. Armisen says there are times when he steps into a cab and feels guilty about not paying cash.

'I'm sorry,' he'll tell the cab driver, 'I hope you don't mind if I use a credit card.'

Armisen adds: 'There is a false sense of feeling bad for everybody in the world.'

This and that

A former Community Newspapers editor, Shasta Kearns Moore, has written a novella titled 'Twist of Fate,' about 'three women who switch lives and find the personality traits that were getting them into trouble in their own lives are remarkably better suited to their counterpart's life,' she writes. 'The story is about the effect that pure fate has on our relationships, our self-perception and our success.' The book is available on various platforms, including print at createspace.com/3744403 and electronically at amazon.com/ dp/B006C7611C.

• Gov. John Kitzhaber has proclaimed January as 'Learn to Ski and Snowboard' month, encouraging children and adults to take lessons from professional instructors. Visit skioregon.org for information.

• The Regional Arts and Culture Council has announced a record total of $692,268 to be awarded for artistic projects in 2012 - grants to 76 organizations/schools and 77 individual artists in the metro area. RACC received 312 applications, up 6 percent from last year.