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August 25, 2016 01:00 AM

It’s such a good idea. Why didn’t someone think of it sooner?

“I was out one day moseying around on Skinner’s Butte,” Robert Newcomer says. “I thought, ‘Wow, this is fairyland up here.’” 

It’s such a good idea. Why didn’t someone think of it sooner?

“I was out one day moseying around on Skinner’s Butte,” Robert Newcomer says. “I thought, ‘Wow, this is fairyland up here.’” 

Newcomer, a native Texan and theater arts educator who relocated to Eugene four years ago, is directing Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the inaugural production of Bard on the Butte. 

August 25, 2016 01:00 AM

Oregon Performance Lab is back for its second summer of theater workshops, bringing rising playwrights of America to Eugene. Described as a “three-week pop-up laboratory,” OPL connects artists with venues, actors and an audience for theatrical experimentation.

Oregon Performance Lab is back for its second summer of theater workshops, bringing rising playwrights of America to Eugene. Described as a “three-week pop-up laboratory,” OPL connects artists with venues, actors and an audience for theatrical experimentation.

The wife-and-husband team of Willow Norton (artistic director) and Corey Pearlstein (creative director) are based in New York but have roots in Eugene. On the heels of last year’s successful inaugural season, now they are fueling even more ambitious plans.

August 18, 2016 01:00 AM

As an accidental theater critic for the past 15 years or so, first in Seattle and now in Eugene, I’ve had the great good fortune to see Shakespeare performed in a variety of ways and in a variety of settings, professional and otherwise. Often upon the stage it’s just a poor player strutting and fretting, signifying very little, yet other times the work is divine beyond all reason. I’ve seen the infinite riches of Hamlet flattened to a pulp in the unventilated August swelter of a third-floor studio, and I once watched a flamboyant young actor embody Iago with such malignant glee that I never wanted to see Othello again, it was so perfect.

As an accidental theater critic for the past 15 years or so, first in Seattle and now in Eugene, I’ve had the great good fortune to see Shakespeare performed in a variety of ways and in a variety of settings, professional and otherwise. Often upon the stage it’s just a poor player strutting and fretting, signifying very little, yet other times the work is divine beyond all reason.

August 18, 2016 01:00 AM

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

Mural mania: Eugene is becoming the mural mecca we always hoped it would, catching up to the flourishing walls of downtown Springfield. The Lane Arts Council hosts its 3rd Mural Bike Tour 10 am to noon Saturday, Aug. 20, spinning off at the Whiteaker Carpark South (5th Alley and Blair Boulevard).

August 18, 2016 01:00 AM

Mike Leckie was lugging an armful of his hand-cast sculptures of athlete Ashton Eaton up the stairs at the 2012 Olympic Trials at Hayward Field when someone from above offered him a hand. 

It was Eaton himself, the new world-champion decathlon runner. Oddly enough, Leckie was bringing the sculptures up the stairs as a gift to Eaton and his mother for the racer’s new 2012 world record.

Mike Leckie was lugging an armful of his hand-cast sculptures of athlete Ashton Eaton up the stairs at the 2012 Olympic Trials at Hayward Field when someone from above offered him a hand. 

It was Eaton himself, the new world-champion decathlon runner. Oddly enough, Leckie was bringing the sculptures up the stairs as a gift to Eaton and his mother for the racer’s new 2012 world record.

August 11, 2016 01:00 AM

As cold and verboten as government buildings typically feel, it’s easy to forget that they belong to us, The People — paid for with taxpayer money, and don’t you forget it.

Too often these edifices are lifeless, soul-squashing, Orwellian; but it doesn’t have to be that way. 

As cold and verboten as government buildings typically feel, it’s easy to forget that they belong to us, The People — paid for with taxpayer money, and don’t you forget it.

Too often these edifices are lifeless, soul-squashing, Orwellian; but it doesn’t have to be that way. 

Here in Eugene, U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken, with a board of art advocates, is trying to shift that perspective by transforming the blank walls of the Wayne L. Morse U.S. Courthouse into a home for art exhibits.

August 11, 2016 01:00 AM

Living in Oregon’s Willamette Valley means that Manifest Destiny, also known as the Pacific Ocean, is never more than an hour away. From this distance, or even up close, it’s easy to romanticize such a beautiful place. Gazing upon the Pacific, anything feels possible.

Visit the Oregon Coast, however, and sometimes you find sandblasted people and communities, stooped low against literal and metaphorical headwinds — economically and emotionally depressed. 

Living in Oregon’s Willamette Valley means that Manifest Destiny, also known as the Pacific Ocean, is never more than an hour away. From this distance, or even up close, it’s easy to romanticize such a beautiful place. Gazing upon the Pacific, anything feels possible.

Visit the Oregon Coast, however, and sometimes you find sandblasted people and communities, stooped low against literal and metaphorical headwinds — economically and emotionally depressed. 

August 4, 2016 01:00 AM

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

Farewell New Zone: The New Zone Gallery opens August’s First Friday ArtWalk with its final show at its downtown location on Broadway (which it has called home for 10 years) with pieces from more than 70 artists, as well as a featured collection — Muses, Dreams and Wanderings — by artist Tom Capri. The come-one, come-all attitude of the gallery and its members has been a bright spot on Eugene’s arts horizon with beloved annual shows like the Salon du People.

August 4, 2016 01:00 AM

The passion of a young scholar knows no bounds. In the pursuit of knowledge, the King of Navarre and his best friends swear a sacred vow to renounce sleep, wine and even women for three years as they engage solely in educating themselves. 

The passion of a young scholar knows no bounds. In the pursuit of knowledge, the King of Navarre and his best friends swear a sacred vow to renounce sleep, wine and even women for three years as they engage solely in educating themselves. 

Then the witty Princess of France and her ladies in waiting arrive at the court of Navarre to negotiate a land dispute. Mayhem ensues.

August 4, 2016 01:00 AM

Central to the comic tension of You Can’t Take It With You is a fairly routine dichotomy that, perhaps by its very nature, remains forever unresolved, and which best might be summed up thus: freedom versus bondage.

Central to the comic tension of You Can’t Take It With You is a fairly routine dichotomy that, perhaps by its very nature, remains forever unresolved, and which best might be summed up thus: freedom versus bondage.

Of course, freedom and bondage have been at war since before Socrates whispered in Plato’s ear and Jesus put a shellacking on the Pharisees, but in this country we like to imagine capitalism invented the eternal conflict between vile materialism and spiritual liberation — in other words, Wall Street versus Main Street.

August 4, 2016 01:00 AM

Who's who and what's what in dance this month

Hear ye, hear ye: EW’s annual dance issue is slated for September and we want your dance listings including date, time, location, cost and genre. Please send dance listings to alex@eugeneweekly.com with “Dance Listings” in the email subject line by Aug. 15.

The Eugene Ballet Company (EBC) has received a $200,000 grant from the Richard P. Haugland Foundation, as well as $40,000 from the Hult Endowment, to create a new work: Move over Elsa, here comes The Snow Queen — premiering April 2017. 

August 4, 2016 01:00 AM

Mole squinted at me across our battered desk. It was unsettling. “What’s buggin’ ya, pal?” he asked.

“I’m not sure we haven’t taken a wrong turn. All these years we’ve been tellin’ readers ’bout the goodness of local wines instead of just guiding them to the best wine values, no matter where the wines come from. Maybe that meant they missed a lot of great vinos — and most of the locals either don’t give a rip or, worse, they’re pissed ’cause we didn’t do enough for them.”

Mole squinted at me across our battered desk. It was unsettling. “What’s buggin’ ya, pal?” he asked.

July 28, 2016 01:00 AM

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

Cereal and the City: New York pop artist Michael Albert is coming through Eugene with his traveling exhibition, including workshops, 1:30 to 4 pm Tuesday, Aug. 2, at the Hult Center plaza; FREE. Albert is perhaps best known for his cubist cereal box collages, or cerealisim, and his knack for using junk, from junk mail to old business labels to the Frosted Flakes box that started it all.

July 21, 2016 01:00 AM

Sniffng out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

If you haven’t seen the work of self-taught local artist Larry Hurst, get thee to Corvallis for an opening reception of his solo exhibit, What He Sees, 4 to 8 pm Thursday, July 21, at the ArtWorks Gallery, 408 S.W. Monroe Street; FREE. His swirling landscapes and remarkable use of color could have been born out of the wild expressionism of the early-20th-century Fauves, while a fellow EW writer told me his paintings looked Van Gogh-y. Either way, his work is a breath of fresh air over the mountains.

July 21, 2016 01:00 AM

Eugene audiences have a rare opportunity this summer to see School of Rock, a hit musical still running on Broadway.

Eularee Smith, executive director of Upstart Crow Studios, says it’s unusual for a show still on Broadway to be licensed for nationwide production. Upstart Crow Studios is a local nonprofit youth-oriented performing arts association.

Eugene audiences have a rare opportunity this summer to see School of Rock, a hit musical still running on Broadway.

Eularee Smith, executive director of Upstart Crow Studios, says it’s unusual for a show still on Broadway to be licensed for nationwide production. Upstart Crow Studios is a local nonprofit youth-oriented performing arts association.

July 14, 2016 01:00 AM

Sniffng out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

How is the American identity defined today? When a certain Fanta-faced presidential nominee is targeting American minorities with threats of deportation or supporting heightened “security” of browner neighborhoods, the question takes on a new urgency. Two artists, Victoria Suescum and Lee Michael Peterson, tackle the question by exploring their identities as Latin@s (the gender neutral term for people of Latin American roots) within American culture in the new ¿Identity? exhibit up through Sept.

July 7, 2016 01:00 AM

In our lab, Mole was vigorously pulling corks and polishing rimless glasses: Time for our annual “Rosé Report.”

In the last few years, rosés have really come out of the closet. Well, they never actually went into the deep closet; they just got buried (in U.S. markets anyway) under the flood of white zinfandels, sweet pink (“blush”) wines mass-produced and marketed by Cali vintners.

In our lab, Mole was vigorously pulling corks and polishing rimless glasses: Time for our annual “Rosé Report.”

In the last few years, rosés have really come out of the closet. Well, they never actually went into the deep closet; they just got buried (in U.S. markets anyway) under the flood of white zinfandels, sweet pink (“blush”) wines mass-produced and marketed by Cali vintners.

July 7, 2016 01:00 AM

Who's who and what’s what in dance this month

First, an appeal: If you love dance like I do and long to see performances with national and international reach, please use this lull in local performance to consider a trip to Portland this year to see Whitebird Dance. 

I’ve recently made the easy commute to see the pioneering Twyla Tharp (review at the EW blog: goo.gl/NqYsd7), Kidd Pivot, Cirque Alfonse (which blew my mind) and La Compagnie Hervé Koubi, whose seminal work, What the Day Owes the Night, left me speechless (read more on Koubi here: goo.gl/v2Wzpf)

June 30, 2016 01:00 AM

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

Pop surrealism descends on Eugene: Gallery newcomer the Alexi Era Gallery, tucked neatly between downtown and the Whiteaker (at 245 W. 8th Ave.), joins the festivities for First Friday ArtWalk 5:30 to 8 pm Friday, July 1. Owner and curator Aunia Kahn recently relocated the gallery from St. Louis, where it was part of the pop surrealism — a descendent of low-brow art — and new contemporary art movement. This gallery could be a huge boon for the edgier corners of the local art community, as remaining galleries in Eugene tend to show more traditional, safer works.

June 30, 2016 01:00 AM

I have two sisters, much younger than me, the offspring of my father’s second marriage. I love them both dearly, but when they were little girls and I was in my 20s, they drove me batshit crazy — especially with their fanatical devotion to all things Disney. Both of them possess gorgeous singing voices, always have, and traipsing around the house they would suddenly stop, raise their arms with operatic urgency and begin belting out some saccharine ballad from The Lion King or The Little Mermaid.

I have two sisters, much younger than me, the offspring of my father’s second marriage. I love them both dearly, but when they were little girls and I was in my 20s, they drove me batshit crazy — especially with their fanatical devotion to all things Disney. Both of them possess gorgeous singing voices, always have, and traipsing around the house they would suddenly stop, raise their arms with operatic urgency and begin belting out some saccharine ballad from The Lion King or The Little Mermaid.

If I hear about Ariel one more time, so help me ...

June 30, 2016 01:00 AM

The Oregon Country Fair poster is as much of an institution as the Fair itself. Around May each year, the OCF poster committee reveals the winning design and, like a harbinger of summer, it becomes increasingly ubiquitous, pinned to bulletin boards and taped to storefronts around the region.

The Oregon Country Fair poster is as much of an institution as the Fair itself. Around May each year, the OCF poster committee reveals the winning design and, like a harbinger of summer, it becomes increasingly ubiquitous, pinned to bulletin boards and taped to storefronts around the region.

Artist Ila Rose had submitted work to the committee in the past, to no avail. This year, she nabbed the commission — in a year that, according to the poster committee, had a record-breaking number of submissions.

June 23, 2016 01:00 AM

Sniffing out what you shouldn't miss in the arts this week

June 23, 2016 01:00 AM

Josh Krute likes wood — I mean, he really, really likes it. We sat in a coffee shop (at a wooden table, of course) and he ran his hands over the tabletop’s grain, sputtering off details about it with a pretty serious expression on his face. 

Josh Krute likes wood — I mean, he really, really likes it. We sat in a coffee shop (at a wooden table, of course) and he ran his hands over the tabletop’s grain, sputtering off details about it with a pretty serious expression on his face. 

“In the last six or seven years, I’ve been printing sections of wood,” he explains. “I’ve been transferring their grain patterns onto paper — a process called relief.” 

June 16, 2016 01:00 AM

Bravo, Scapino! Based on Molière’s 1671 comedy Les Fourberies de Scapin, Cottage Theatre’s presentation of Scapino! — directed by George Comstock — is a quirky tale of love and mischief. The play is set in Naples, and the frantic plot is fairly easy to follow, assuming you’ve had enough coffee that day. 

Bravo, Scapino! Based on Molière’s 1671 comedy Les Fourberies de Scapin, Cottage Theatre’s presentation of Scapino! — directed by George Comstock — is a quirky tale of love and mischief. The play is set in Naples, and the frantic plot is fairly easy to follow, assuming you’ve had enough coffee that day.