- ERIC BARTELS
- Portland Tribune - Features
'Tangoing With Tornadoes'
Columnist and crusader S. Renee Mitchell offers her 'choreoplay,' which addresses the issue of verbal and emotional abuse in relationships.
With Mitchell serving as narrator, the piece uses movement and song as well as dramatic portrayals. The latest version of a 2003 work fashioned from collected poems stars Nasir Najieb, who recently won acclaim for his performance in Sowelu Theater's 'Streamers,' and Cheryl Martini.
- Eric Bartels
7 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 3 p.m. SUNDAY, Jan. 25-27, Center for Self-Enhancement, 3920 N. Kerby Ave., 503-249-1721 ext. 259, free
'Communist Dracula Pageant'
For a while, Defunkt Theatre's offbeat look at the history of vampiric nationalist leaders in Romania offers some zany pleasure, blurring the distinction between dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who was tried and executed in 1989, and 16th-century ruler Vlad Tepes, better known as Vlad the Impaler.
But Ceausescu and wife Elena never are portrayed as fully human in Ann Washburn's play, and it devolves into a lot of static reading of court transcripts.
8 p.m. FRIDAY-SUNDAY and Thursday, through Feb. 16, Back Door Theater, 4319 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd., 503-481-2960, www.defunktheatre.com, $10-$15
'A Few Stout Individuals'
John Guare's 2002 play won raves on Broadway, delivering all manner of surprises in reimagining an 1885 meeting between author Mark Twain and the crumbling war hero and former President Ulysses S. Grant.
Actors Dave Bodin and Tobias Andersen play the famous Americans in Profile Theatre's follow-up to Guare's 'Six Degrees of Separation.'
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 2 p.m. SUNDAY, 8 p.m. Thursday, through Feb. 17, Theater Theatre, 3430 S.E. Belmont St., 503-242-0080, www.profiletheatre.org, $10-$28
'Tales of Ordinary Madness'
CoHo Productions offers the American premiere of this quirky comedy-drama, the first stage play written by acclaimed Czech filmmaker Petr Zelenka.
Inspired by a Charles Bukowski novel, the play employs a large cast that includes Brian Allard, Lauren Bair, Shuhe Hawkins and Steve Boss.
Stepan Simek, a theater professor at Lewis and Clark College, translated and directs.
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 2 p.m. SUNDAY, 8 p.m. Thursday, through Feb. 23, CoHo Theater, 2257 N.W. Raleigh St., 503-220-2646, www.cohoproductions.org, $20-$23
'Where's My Money?'
Theatre Vertigo does ample justice to John Patrick Shanley's acidly funny comedy about the way past relationships can haunt us. It's a dark cautionary tale about loving the wrong people and wronging the people you love, so don't expect characters you can root for.
Do expect fine performances from a talented cast, most notably Mario Calcagno as a husband whose garden-variety cynicism makes him look like Pollyanna next to his blackhearted boss, played convincingly by Gary Norman.
8 p.m. FRIDAY, SATURDAY and Thursday, through Feb. 9, Theater Theatre, 3430 S.E. Belmont St., 503-306-0870, www.theatrevertigo.org, $15
In Third Rail Repertory's drama, John (Bruce Burkhartsmeier) has seen the ghost of his wife, who has died tragically, and seeks help from Ian (Michael O'Connell), a cleric turned counselor.
In time it becomes evident that John is doing most of the haunting. His carefully told stories of his own selfishness and cruelty prompt Ian to re-evaluate his own life.
Burkhartsmeier is nearly a one-man show in Conor McPherson's play, and he is delightfully good. And just wait for the delicious, Shyamalan-esque moment right before the final curtain.
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 2 p.m. SUNDAY, 8 p.m. Thursday, through Feb. 2, Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, 5340 N. Interstate Ave., 503-235-1101, www.thirdrailrep.org, $16-$25
'Curate Shakespeare As You Like It'
Keith Scales, Christy Bigelow and Jonah Weston star in Don Nigro's comedy about a traveling Shakespeare troupe forced to perform the Bard's 33-character play with a handful of actors. Rebecca J. Becker directs.
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 7 p.m. SUNDAY, 8 p.m. Thursday, through Feb. 17 (also 2 p.m. Feb. 10 and 17), Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State St., Lake Oswego, 503-635-3901, www.lakewood-center.org, $23-$25
Josie Moseley Dance
The popular Northwest choreographer assembles a luminous cast of local dance talent to perform works both new and audience-tested. Current and former members of Oregon Ballet Theatre are joined by Sara Anderson, Cristina Betts, Robyn Conroy, Stephan Laks and others.
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, Jan. 25-26, Portland State University, Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 S.W. Park Ave., 503-245-1600, ext. 201, www.whitebird.org, $16-$26
'Legends of Swing'
The Oregon Symphony orchestra pays tribute to the classic sounds of arranger Nelson Riddle.
Michael Berkowitz, who toured with the likes of Johnny Mathis and Henry Mancini as a young musician, conducts; guest artists Rachel Price and Michael Civisca handle the vocals.
7:30 p.m. SATURDAY, 3 p.m. SUNDAY, 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26-28, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 S.W. Broadway, 503-228-1353, www.orsymphony.org, $30-$86
The founders of this monthly performance lab - essentially an offbeat talent show - are enough a part of the local scene to attract a freewheeling crowd to Hipbone's convivial setting.
10 p.m. SATURDAY, Jan. 26, Hipbone Studio, 1847 E. Burnside St., 503-231-3994, www.scratchpdx.com, $5
'Dead Leg,' British artist Richard Deacon's 2007 sculpture, is the latest occupant of the Portland Art Museum's fourth-floor gallery space.
Nine feet high and with a 29-foot span, it's made from twisted, square strips of oak joined end to end with stainless steel. (A dead leg is a British playground trick that involves kneeing someone in the back of the thigh and so stunning their leg.)
Also showing is Deacon's 'Nothing Is Forbidden.' Deacon will lecture on his work at the museum at 6 p.m. Feb. 8.
- Joseph Gallivan
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 June 1, Portland Art Museum, Jubitz Center for Modern and Contemporary Art, fourth floor, 1219 S.W. Park Ave., 503-226-2811, $10
Touching Warms the Art
The notice 'Touching harms the art' is all over the place at the Museum of Contemporary Craft, although few patrons have the courage to test that.
In this juried exhibition that, according to the museum, 'democratizes the experience of art jewelry,' a pun is used to explore ideas about jewelry: namely, that we understand it differently once we become the wearer.
For once you get to touch the stuff in the museum - but be warned that the objects are not made from precious materials.
Another new show is Framing the Art of Jewelry (through May 11), which looks at how jewelry is presented in ways that don't relate to the body, such as in print.
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. FRIDAY-SUNDAY, Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, through March 23, Museum of Contemporary Craft, 724 N.W. Davis St., 503-223-2654, www.museumofcontemporarycraft.org, free
A NW Thang
This group show inaugurates the new home of Gallery Homeland in the Ford Building, another piece of flak from the IED that was Disjecta.
A NW Thang features artists from Portland and Seattle including Marc Dombrosky, Saya Moriyasu, Patrick Rock, Paige Saez, Cynthia Star and Jason Wood.
Noon to 6 p.m. FRIDAY-SUNDAY, Jan. 25-27, 2505 S.E. 11th Ave., 503-819-9656, www.galleryhomeland.org, free
Alicia J. Rose
Rose's new show of sumptuous, medium-format photographs reimagine three of the Grimms' fairy tales, with the accent on the grim.
Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, and Hansel and Gretel all get the treatment. For the shoot, a gaggle of drag queens descended on a Sauvie Island farm, and the results are quite breathtaking.
Of 500 shots, Rose was happy with 50 and is showing 20. (More can be seen at www.flickr.com/photos/aliciajrose/sets .) See it.
Noon to 7 p.m. FRIDAY-SUNDAY, Jan. 25-27, Grass Hut Gallery, 811 E. Burnside St., 503-445-9924, free
Haberman's new paintings have wordy elements, with writing scrawled in between the cartoonish faces. Works are painted on found materials such as doors, signs and planks.
Noon to 6 p.m. FRIDAY, SATURDAY and Thursday, through Feb. 2, 23 Sandy Gallery, 623 N.E. 23rd Ave., 503-927-4409, free
A former magazine illustrator from Mendocino, Calif., Jonason has for the past 10 years made a living painting interesting buildings in what he calls his 'Cubism Lite' style. His take on Portland is conventional - Union Station, the Japanese Garden - but his style is refreshing.
11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. FRIDAY, noon to 4 p.m. SUNDAY, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, through Jan. 30, Bella Perla, 327 N.W. Ninth Ave., 503-222-1862, free
The senior Dutchman is back with a fine new wave of dramatic landscapes, still lifes and psychological tableaux - all in watercolor. There's always the thrill of seeing what he'll pick as his subject matter, whether it be Oregon or Oregonians.
Also showing is 'Burned and Bloom,' the ceramic sculptures of J.D. Perkin. He's influenced by yoga and meditation poses, and now he's into self-immolating Buddhist monks.
11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. FRIDAY, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. SATURDAY, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, through Feb. 2, Laura Russo Gallery, 805 N.W. 21st Ave., 503-226-2754, free
Roderick Haig-Brown: Fly-Fisher Writer of the Northwest
Still meaning to get around to fly-fishing but don't like getting wet? Try this.
English-born Roderick Haig-Brown (1908-76) ended up as an important writer on angling in the Pacific Northwest.
Haig-Brown wrote 30 books on fly-fishing, conservation and natural history, and the library here celebrates his centenary with an exhibit of its Haig-Browniana.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. FRIDAY, 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. SATURDAY, 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Central Library, John Wilson Special Collections, 801 S.W. 10th Ave., 503-988-5123, free