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March 23, 2017 12:00 AM

There’s nothing quite like very short plays to whet or renew your appetite for live theater. Don’t like what you’re watching? Wait a few minutes, and you get a brand-new story.

That constant variety helps explain the popularity of the Northwest Festival of Ten-Minute Plays, which premiered its ninth annual incarnation last weekend with an evening of eight 10-minute new plays at Oregon Contemporary Theatre.

There’s nothing quite like very short plays to whet or renew your appetite for live theater. Don’t like what you’re watching? Wait a few minutes, and you get a brand-new story.

That constant variety helps explain the popularity of the Northwest Festival of Ten-Minute Plays, which premiered its ninth annual incarnation last weekend with an evening of eight 10-minute new plays at Oregon Contemporary Theatre.

March 23, 2017 12:00 AM

March is Wine Month in Washington (that state north of ours). Unless you have a passion for wine, that fact is not very important.

March is Wine Month in Washington (that state north of ours). Unless you have a passion for wine, that fact is not very important.

If you do suffer from such passion, additional facts come into play: One, they make some awfully good wines in Washington, especially Big Reds; two, Washington wineries support avid marketeers, given to making deals that will appear in your supermarkets in the form of endcaps and displays; three, wine writers (online and on paper) will receive (unrequested) free samples and will be chatting up the wines — as, ahem, here.

March 16, 2017 12:00 AM

Standing in front of Fall Creek, a watercolor painting by David McCosh (1902–1981), I was aware there was someone else looking, too. Viewing the same artwork as someone else in a gallery or a museum can be awkward. Often one person will walk away to give the other their time with the piece. But not at the Karin Clarke Gallery on the day of curator Roger Saydack’s talk about the Eugene artist.

The atmosphere in the gallery was social. 

Standing in front of Fall Creek, a watercolor painting by David McCosh (1902–1981), I was aware there was someone else looking, too. Viewing the same artwork as someone else in a gallery or a museum can be awkward. Often one person will walk away to give the other their time with the piece. But not at the Karin Clarke Gallery on the day of curator Roger Saydack’s talk about the Eugene artist.

The atmosphere in the gallery was social. 

“You can tell this art is McCosh’s work,” the person said. 

March 16, 2017 12:00 AM

In Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love, some sisters could use a little prayer. The convent’s out of cash — no one’s tithing anymore! — and Mother Superior (a resplendent Cindy Kenny) declares the situation dire.

Enter Chelyce Chambers as Deloris, a nightclub chanteuse with a heart of gold. Deloris witnesses some bad doings by her bad boyfriend, and — you guessed it — has to don a nun’s habit to keep from getting whacked.

In Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love, some sisters could use a little prayer. The convent’s out of cash — no one’s tithing anymore! — and Mother Superior (a resplendent Cindy Kenny) declares the situation dire.

Enter Chelyce Chambers as Deloris, a nightclub chanteuse with a heart of gold. Deloris witnesses some bad doings by her bad boyfriend, and — you guessed it — has to don a nun’s habit to keep from getting whacked.

(Wait? Wasn’t this a 1992 hit movie starring Whoopi Goldberg? Yup, the same, but now with singing and dancing, because … why not?!)

March 16, 2017 12:00 AM

It’s been more than a year since the Jacobs Gallery closed its doors in downtown Eugene, another victim of — of what, exactly? The sluggish economy? City Hall’s indifference to the visual arts? Poor management by the nonprofit organization that ran the Jacobs, created in 1987, on the lower floor of the Hult Center?

It’s been more than a year since the Jacobs Gallery closed its doors in downtown Eugene, another victim of — of what, exactly? The sluggish economy? City Hall’s indifference to the visual arts? Poor management by the nonprofit organization that ran the Jacobs, created in 1987, on the lower floor of the Hult Center?

March 16, 2017 12:00 AM

Planning is one of the most important elements of gardening. It is also one of the easiest steps to overlook, especially for the beginner. Knowing a few months ahead of time when you’re going to need to plant and harvest your vegetables can save you serious heartache in the long run. Having your seeds, starts and preservation methods prepped and ready will ensure you the longest growing seasons, the most fruitful crops and the longest lasting life from your produce.

Planning is one of the most important elements of gardening. It is also one of the easiest steps to overlook, especially for the beginner. Knowing a few months ahead of time when you’re going to need to plant and harvest your vegetables can save you serious heartache in the long run. Having your seeds, starts and preservation methods prepped and ready will ensure you the longest growing seasons, the most fruitful crops and the longest lasting life from your produce.

March 16, 2017 12:00 AM

The Lane Community College Dance Department’s annual Collaborations concert earlier this month offered three performances by LCC students and faculty as well as Eugene Ballet Academy’s company, Eugene Youth Ballet. 

The March 2 concert opened with Happening, by choreographer Sarah Ebert, set on dancers from Eugene Youth Ballet.

The Lane Community College Dance Department’s annual Collaborations concert earlier this month offered three performances by LCC students and faculty as well as Eugene Ballet Academy’s company, Eugene Youth Ballet. 

The March 2 concert opened with Happening, by choreographer Sarah Ebert, set on dancers from Eugene Youth Ballet.

With high energy and precision, Ebert’s dancers interweave through connected pathways, looping and jutting through the space, as they carve elliptically to music by John Zorn. 

March 9, 2017 12:00 AM

From the first notes of Mitsuki Dazai’s masterful koto playing, Tales from a Floating World erupts on the stage, a wash of color and contrast, in Ballet Fantastique’s latest show, which ran March 3-5 at the Hult Center’s Soreng Theater.

From the first notes of Mitsuki Dazai’s masterful koto playing, Tales from a Floating World erupts on the stage, a wash of color and contrast, in Ballet Fantastique’s latest show, which ran March 3-5 at the Hult Center’s Soreng Theater.

Opening with a spritely, fluttering array of turns and shapes, the ancient tale veers into the romantic, as dancers pirouette and elevate into robust, playful lifts. Ashley Bontrager and Gustavo Ramirez engage in a flirtatious dynamic, mirroring the plucking, timeless echo of the koto. 

March 9, 2017 12:00 AM

In President Benito Tweety’s post-truth, “alternate-facts” world, it probably doesn’t matter if we reported a story with some misleading information in January’s “Wine Label Whimsy,” when we wrote about Charles Smith K Vintners 2012 MCK (Motor City Kitty) Syrah.

In President Benito Tweety’s post-truth, “alternate-facts” world, it probably doesn’t matter if we reported a story with some misleading information in January’s “Wine Label Whimsy,” when we wrote about Charles Smith K Vintners 2012 MCK (Motor City Kitty) Syrah.

Lisa Sprague, one of the wine-savvy mavens at Sundance, dug out a story on “Wine News” that clarified the tale. So here it is: Charles Smith (Walla Walla) sold five of his top-selling wines, and not his top-shelf K brands, as we thought, to Constellation Brands for a mere $120 million.

March 9, 2017 12:00 AM

The University of Oregon Theatre Program presents two student plays this weekend and next: The Fruit Stand by Sravya Tadepalli and On the Street Where We Used to Live by Cora Mills.

Both plays are winners of the New Voices playwriting competition. The UO’s Joseph Gilg has shaken off retirement to direct.

The University of Oregon Theatre Program presents two student plays this weekend and next: The Fruit Stand by Sravya Tadepalli and On the Street Where We Used to Live by Cora Mills.

Both plays are winners of the New Voices playwriting competition. The UO’s Joseph Gilg has shaken off retirement to direct.

March 9, 2017 12:00 AM

Most of us collect objects of some kind: a shell, a concert ticket, a dried flower kept in a book as a keepsake.

But what if you went to someone’s house and they had a whole room filled with such objects — and those things weren’t personally tied to their experience? Would you perhaps think that person was wired a little differently?  

Most of us collect objects of some kind: a shell, a concert ticket, a dried flower kept in a book as a keepsake.

But what if you went to someone’s house and they had a whole room filled with such objects — and those things weren’t personally tied to their experience? Would you perhaps think that person was wired a little differently?  

March 1, 2017 12:00 AM

We burst out of the trees, gallop up to a log and jump into a pond of water, then we leap up over the bank before hurtling on to the next obstacle. My horse, Queen of Cairo, flicks her small brown ears back at me, then pricks them forward as she hunts for the next jump.

When I tell people my hobby is competing my horse, I think they picture suit-jacketed velvet-capped champagne-sipping equestrians cantering across manicured lawns. 

But when we are talking about the sport of three-day eventing, it’s more like adrenaline junkies wearing helmets and flak jackets. 

We burst out of the trees, gallop up to a log and jump into a pond of water, then we leap up over the bank before hurtling on to the next obstacle. My horse, Queen of Cairo, flicks her small brown ears back at me, then pricks them forward as she hunts for the next jump.

When I tell people my hobby is competing my horse, I think they picture suit-jacketed velvet-capped champagne-sipping equestrians cantering across manicured lawns. 

March 1, 2017 12:00 AM

Sweat dripping off his scruffy beard, Zane Sandborg hops over logs on the choker course at Oregon State University’s logging sports arena in the otherwise serene Peavy Arboretum. Teammates Robin Wortman and Calvin Kerr compete to see who can balance longest on a slippery log that revolves a few inches off the ground on a sturdy metal spit. Meanwhile, Morgan Kawakami sends a heavy axe cartwheeling through the air as she refines her axe throw technique.

Sweat dripping off his scruffy beard, Zane Sandborg hops over logs on the choker course at Oregon State University’s logging sports arena in the otherwise serene Peavy Arboretum. Teammates Robin Wortman and Calvin Kerr compete to see who can balance longest on a slippery log that revolves a few inches off the ground on a sturdy metal spit. Meanwhile, Morgan Kawakami sends a heavy axe cartwheeling through the air as she refines her axe throw technique.

March 1, 2017 12:00 AM

People collapse. Toenails are turning black and falling off all the time.

And still, long-distance relay races attract enough runners to sell out in Oregon.

In my early relay race outings I’ve tripped, rolled ankles, blacked out, nearly puked and slept like a corpse propped up against walls and in open fields. At one point, after running 11 miles uphill in the sand, my mind left my body; I somehow found myself back in the team van without any recollection of how I got there.

People collapse. Toenails are turning black and falling off all the time.

And still, long-distance relay races attract enough runners to sell out in Oregon.

In my early relay race outings I’ve tripped, rolled ankles, blacked out, nearly puked and slept like a corpse propped up against walls and in open fields. At one point, after running 11 miles uphill in the sand, my mind left my body; I somehow found myself back in the team van without any recollection of how I got there.

March 1, 2017 12:00 AM

Sarah Ruhl is an interesting playwright. Her work achieves emotional valences that, for me, are completely contradicted by her style — a style I find myself hard pressed to describe with any satisfying accuracy. Mamet on anti-depressants? Chekhov lite? Swift with a Swiffer?

Sarah Ruhl is an interesting playwright. Her work achieves emotional valences that, for me, are completely contradicted by her style — a style I find myself hard pressed to describe with any satisfying accuracy. Mamet on anti-depressants? Chekhov lite? Swift with a Swiffer?

Ruhl’s writing is mannered yet silly, frivolous but somehow depthy, a bitter pill coated in sugar. Her loudest harangue remains a coo. Distinctly middle-brow and yet hardly milquetoast, she seems to set herself up as a wag and nag for the NPR glitterati, a bit preening and twee but itchy-scratchy nonetheless.

March 1, 2017 12:00 AM

In the summer of 2015, Wes Hurd was in a melancholy place. 

“My mom and dad had passed away, and artistically, I wanted to work on some fresh territory,” says the visual artist. 

Hurd decided to challenge himself with a series of large, abstract paintings, each with the same size — 51 by 47 inches — and a unifying palette of black, white and gray. 

In the summer of 2015, Wes Hurd was in a melancholy place. 

“My mom and dad had passed away, and artistically, I wanted to work on some fresh territory,” says the visual artist. 

Hurd decided to challenge himself with a series of large, abstract paintings, each with the same size — 51 by 47 inches — and a unifying palette of black, white and gray. 

March 1, 2017 12:00 AM

We hear University of Oregon professor of dance and Dance in Dialogue co-founder Shannon Mockli recently participated in an open showing at Seattle’s renowned center for contemporary performance On the Boards (OtB). 

“It was an informal showing, so I had to really pare down my work, Finding a Way of Being, to fit within a short timeframe,” Mockli says. “It is so good to show work elsewhere, among a community that doesn’t know you. There is no back history and that means I have to consider new ways in.” 

February 23, 2017 12:00 AM

Sarah Ruhl’s Melancholy Play, opening Friday night, Feb. 24, at Oregon Contemporary Theatre, posits an idea that seems utterly un-American: What if it’s OK not to be happy? What if we don’t need to smile all the time, despite our ingrained right to the pursuit of happiness?

Sarah Ruhl’s Melancholy Play, opening Friday night, Feb. 24, at Oregon Contemporary Theatre, posits an idea that seems utterly un-American: What if it’s OK not to be happy? What if we don’t need to smile all the time, despite our ingrained right to the pursuit of happiness?

February 23, 2017 12:00 AM

Identity is a bitch. By the time we’re grown up enough to ask ourselves who we are and what the hell we’re doing with this thing called life, we realize our so-called self is an infinitely convoluted and mysterious patchwork — a mashup of past indignities, adopted attitudes and a certain incommunicable something howling deep inside for meaning and contact.

Identity is a bitch. By the time we’re grown up enough to ask ourselves who we are and what the hell we’re doing with this thing called life, we realize our so-called self is an infinitely convoluted and mysterious patchwork — a mashup of past indignities, adopted attitudes and a certain incommunicable something howling deep inside for meaning and contact.

February 23, 2017 12:00 AM

What a great and glorious world we live in, when deliciously guilty pleasures from the ’80s are rehashed for the stage: Johnny and Baby are back, and now they’re singing and dancing? Yes, please! 

The Theater League presents Dirty Dancing 7:30 pm Tuesday through Thursday, Feb. 28-March 2, at the Hult.

What a great and glorious world we live in, when deliciously guilty pleasures from the ’80s are rehashed for the stage: Johnny and Baby are back, and now they’re singing and dancing? Yes, please! 

The Theater League presents Dirty Dancing 7:30 pm Tuesday through Thursday, Feb. 28-March 2, at the Hult.

February 23, 2017 12:00 AM

Marc Chagall lived for nearly a hundred years. He left Russia for Paris and then, due to the rise of the Nazi party and anti-Jewish sentiment, left Paris for the United States.  

Marc Chagall lived for nearly a hundred years. He left Russia for Paris and then, due to the rise of the Nazi party and anti-Jewish sentiment, left Paris for the United States.  

You might think someone who had witnessed such turmoil would have made art that was dark and heavy. But Chagall’s people, animals and flowers — recurring subjects in his imagery — are rarely bound by gravity. They hover above the ground and fly.  

February 16, 2017 12:00 AM

Walk into the luscious new Louis Bunce retrospective at Willamette University’s Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem, and you’re immediately confronted with a 1932 self-portrait of the artist.

Wearing a banded fedora and sporting a 20-something’s raffish sneer, Bunce — whose career as an Oregon painter spanned the mid 20th century — glances forward through the decades as if to challenge the 21st century museum-goer: “You’ll never meet another artist quite like me,” he seems to say.

Walk into the luscious new Louis Bunce retrospective at Willamette University’s Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem, and you’re immediately confronted with a 1932 self-portrait of the artist.

Wearing a banded fedora and sporting a 20-something’s raffish sneer, Bunce — whose career as an Oregon painter spanned the mid 20th century — glances forward through the decades as if to challenge the 21st century museum-goer: “You’ll never meet another artist quite like me,” he seems to say.

February 16, 2017 12:00 AM

Eugene Ballet’s annual foray into more-contemporary work is always a treat to look forward to, and their performance this weekend was nothing short of breathtaking. The program brought out rich subtleties in EBC’s strong corps, and along with a familiar favorite, featured premieres by two notable choreographers.  

Eugene Ballet’s annual foray into more-contemporary work is always a treat to look forward to, and their performance this weekend was nothing short of breathtaking. The program brought out rich subtleties in EBC’s strong corps, and along with a familiar favorite, featured premieres by two notable choreographers.  

Suzanne Haag’s The Surrounding Third opened the show. 

February 16, 2017 12:00 AM

The Middle Eastern Dance Group of Eugene, or MEDGE, holds its Annual Alternative Night featuring Ann Shaffer, a member of the fusion dance group Tribalation. Catch belly dancers performing to funky '80s disco grooves, '60s R&B, Van Halen and more, at 8:30 pm Feb. 17 at Whirled Pies; $5.