- Randall Barton
- Portland Tribune - Features
Susannah Mars guest stars with Portland Gay Men's Chorus in a fully staged musical review featuring hits by Kander and Ebb, one of the greatest songwriting teams in modern Broadway history.
The dance troupe Locomotions also appears.
- Eric Bartels
8 p.m. SATURDAY, June 17, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, Newmark Theatre, 1111 S.W. Broadway, 503-226-2588, www.pdxgmc.org, $20
Cellist Hamilton Cheifetz and pianist Janet Guggenheim play an evening of chamber music, offering a complete cycle of Beethoven sonatas for cello and piano and variations on Mozart's aria from 'The Magic Flute.'
8 p.m. FRIDAY, June 16, Broderick Gallery, 814 S.W. First Ave., 503-224-4020, $9
Portland Arts Festival
The Portland Arts Festival is a celebration of art and crafts by 150 of the region's artists.
'Free' usually means 'bad art,' but the show is juried so you're sure to find something interesting. Also, check out the winner of 'The Best Seat in the House' art contest, in which anyone with $5 could decorate a plain white toilet seat. A metaphor too far?
This fair is always a good way to take the pulse of the region, and get an alternative view to what's presented by, say, Saturday Market or the museum's biennial.
- Joseph Gallivan
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, June 16-17, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 18, South Park Blocks adjacent to Portland State University, www.rosefestival.org, free
Pure Dance Company
Sonya Duffin's two-year-old jazz dance troupe of 14 people puts on a show, with guests, which totals 40 dancers.
Duffin defines jazz dance as being halfway between ballet and hip-hop, and says, 'Hip-hop dance elements use fast movements that isolate the body parts.' There'll only be one hip-hop song used on the night - Missy Elliott's 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You.' Duffin says she prefers choreographing to lyrical songs with a beat, such as those written by Sarah McLachlan and Tori Amos, along with Anna Nalick's 'Breathe.' Aerial dance group A-WOL Dance Collective also will show three of its nonaerial modern dance pieces.
Never mind the basketball: Dads get in for $5. DNA evidence not required.
7 p.m. SUNDAY, June 18, Portland State University, Lincoln Hall, 1620 S.W. Park Ave., 503-704-8289, $15
'The Tragedy of MacBeth'
Portland Actors Ensemble launches its season of free classic theater in the great outdoors.
A production later in the summer will move about, traveling to various city parks, but this modern ensemble stays put for a one-month run.
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, through July 15, Pettygrove Park, one block east of Southwest Fourth Avenue, south of Market Street, 503-806-6077, www.portlandactors.com, free
In Chris Harder's one-man show at the Back Door Theater, a political prisoner caught up in the fear and suspicion that follows a terrorist attack despairs of ever regaining his freedom. So he begins to fall back on a lifetime of memories, most of which involve sexual depravity and a career as a clown.
It may sound absurd, but Harder's collaboration with local playwright Steve Patterson has produced a wonderfully crafted story that is both laugh-out-loud funny and deeply poignant.
Harder is not a simple mimic capturing impressions of his characters but a gifted actor who bravely slides inside them, moving seamlessly from the frightened prisoner to an aging mentor to a tragically wounded single mother, among others. It's a true tour de force.
11 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 7 p.m. SUNDAY, through June 24, Back Door Theater, 4319 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd., 503-956-6089, $7-$10
Artists Repertory Theatre closes its season with an edgy comedy by successful television writer Richard Kramer ('thirtysomething,' 'My So-Called Life').
In his first effort for the stage, Kramer skillfully invents a collection of characters who populate the adrenaline-fueled upper reaches of Manhattan life, where a 15-year-old boy attempts to forge a relationship with his gay father.
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. SUNDAY, 7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, through July 3, Artists Repertory Theatre, Mainstage, 1516 S.W. Alder St., 503-231-1278, $15-$40
'The Odd Couple'
Integrity Productions set its time machine for 1985, when Neil Simon rewrote his comedy classic for an all-female cast. Hence the Cyndi Lauper music, Patrick Nagel art, and garish hair and clothes.
But the laughs here tend to be vintage 1965, when Simon's original Broadway production broke his zingy, Gotham-centric comedy into the big time.
8 p.m. FRIDAY, SATURDAY and Thursday, 4 p.m. SUNDAY, through July 2, Theater Theatre Arena Stage, 3430 S.E. Belmont St., 503-286-3456, $12-$15
Portland Actors Conservatory presents the twisted but touching comedy of a young girl who suffers from a rare disorder that makes her age rapidly.
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 2 p.m. SUNDAY, 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, through June 25, Firehouse Theatre, 1436 S.W. Montgomery St., 503-274-1717, $5-$25
British playwright Moira Buffini's dark comedy is set in 11th-century England but meant as a caution for our time.
An inept sovereign tries to rally a homeland gripped by fear of foreign attackers, launching a brutal campaign against suspected enemies. But he is overcome by blood lust, and a small band of determined outcasts must evade his wrath even as its members quest among themselves for love and acceptance.
It may sound grim, but there is pathos and no small amount of humor in Buffini's taut story, and director Julie Akers gets solid performances from her cast. Matt Callahan, Jamie Rea and Nan Gatchel are memorable in leading roles, and Brian Koch is hysterical as a cleric whose moral certitude begins to deteriorate from the opening moments.
8 p.m. FRIDAY, SATURDAY and Thursday, through June 24, Back Door Theater, 4319 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd., 503-784-7316, $15-$18
'Menopause the Musical'
This is one of those musicals that fits comic lyrics to pop songs you love: for example, 'I heard it through the grapevine, you'll no longer see 39.'
Four female stereotypes - ex-hippie, aging soap star, power woman and Iowa housewife - meet at a Bloomingdale's sale and bond in this coming-of-middle-age comedy that gets the audience on its feet and, often, on stage.
8 p.m. Tuesday-FRIDAY, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. SATURDAY, 2 p.m. SUNDAY, open run, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, Dolores Winningstad Theatre, 1111 S.W. Broadway, $44.50, available through Ticketmaster (503-224-4400), subject to service charges
Big Drum: Taiko in the United States
This museum installation examines the taiko art form and its place in Japanese-American cultural history. An opening reception this weekend kicks off the exhibition, which travels outside Los Angeles for the first time.
7 p.m. FRIDAY, June 16, Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, 121 N.W. Second Ave., 503-224-1458, $3
She does one thing, but she does it very well: Dutch-style still lifes in front of images pinched from old masters. And why the hell not?
Also showing: small-scale Hilda Morris bronzes and drawings, to supplement her show at the Portland Art Museum.
11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday-FRIDAY, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. SATURDAY, through July 1, Laura Russo Gallery, 805 N.W. 21st Ave., 503-226-2754, free