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Bravo! - Eugene Weekly's Guide to the Performing Arts

January 19, 2017 01:00 AM

Ringing in the new year, Ballet Fantastique (BFan) launches two exciting premieres, with stagings of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Aladdin.

EW recently caught up with the company’s mother-daughter artistic team, Donna Marisa Bontrager and Hannah Bontrager, to learn about their collective vision for bringing these beloved tales to life.

January 19, 2017 01:00 AM

Legend has it that when a team of British archaeologists outfitted themselves to excavate the tomb of King Tutankhamen, their journey began with an errand to London’s famed Fortnum & Mason, purveyors of biscuits and tinned meats to the Queen since 1707.

In fact, the spoils of the archaeologists’ successful journey to the North African desert were then packed in the now-empty picnic tins and wooden crates they schlepped to Egypt: untold treasures, millennia-old, brought back to the waiting Empire in crocks labeled “Potted Stilton” and “Waxed Cheddar Truckle.” (Because, if we’re going to the colonies, we bloody well better have our cheeses.) 

January 19, 2017 01:00 AM

What makes Hitchcock Hitchcock? Or, put more fancifully, what do we mean when we call something Hitchcockian?

Certainly the British director of such classics of psychological suspense as Vertigo and Psycho was a master formalist — a tyrannical perfectionist in terms of framing, technique and narrative thrust.

January 19, 2017 01:00 AM

If you’ve sidled by the University of Oregon campus just west of the Pioneer Cemetery recently, you’ve undoubtedly seen a huge construction project underway. The building, Berwick Hall, will serve as new digs for the Oregon Bach Festival (OBF), and the stalwart group’s leaders couldn’t be more pleased. 

January 19, 2017 01:00 AM

Before binge-watching, there was binge-listening, and NPR’s This American Life damn near invented the practice. To some, the hugely popular show might seem ponderous and overly introspective (and to many others, these traits may even be considered faults). 

Nevertheless, the program, hosted by Ira Glass, has been exploring different facets of the American psyche since 1995, with subject matters ranging from Hurricane Katrina to an episode called “Kid Logic” entirely devoted to the reasoning abilities of children. 

October 20, 2016 01:00 AM

When Mark Beudert arrived as its artistic director in 2006, Eugene Opera was in trouble. It was losing so much money that it could only afford to stage a single production in 2006-7, down from its average of three per year.

October 20, 2016 01:00 AM

As a kid, Eugene-based stand-up comedian Seth Milstein watched Saturday Night Live religiously. “I thought it was the greatest,” Milstein recalls of NBC’s long-running sketch comedy show.

Then one night Milstein, who grew up in New York, stayed up late enough to catch Comic Strip Live, a late night TV stand-up comedy showcase popular in the ’80s and ’90s. “It was just a guy and a microphone,” Milstein describes. “That was amazing to me.”

October 20, 2016 01:00 AM

Next spring, Eugene Ballet Company will stage the biggest project the outfit has undertaken in its 38-year history — a brand new, quarter-million-dollar envisioning of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, with all original music, choreography, sets and costumes.

October 20, 2016 01:00 AM

From screwball comedies to hardboiled gumshoes to fantasy, science fiction and holiday fare, Radio Redux brings the past into the present.  

“We’re exploring great stories, great literature, and we want to expose that to our audience” says Radio Redux artistic director Fred Crafts. “It’s our mission to preserve and advance radio theater.” 

January 21, 2016 01:00 AM

Theresa May, associate professor of Theater Arts at the University of Oregon, is directing University Theatre’s current production of Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Pulitzer-winning drama, Water by the Spoonful. The play tells the story of an Iraq War veteran readjusting to civilian life.

January 21, 2016 01:00 AM
January 21, 2016 01:00 AM

When we think of live performance, we probably picture actors or dancers — the people we regularly see onstage. But where would a production be without the tireless, behind-the-scenes magicians who create the sets, lighting and sound?

January 21, 2016 01:00 AM

Once upon a time, it seemed as though music, like the Willamette, flowed mainly to the north: Eugene bands worked hard to play Portland, but the favor wasn’t always returned, especially in the classical and jazz arenas. More and more, though, we’re seeing Portland performers recognizing the value of the Eugene market and, accordingly, this winter and spring brings a parade of Portlanders here to perform additional, even exclusive concerts.

January 21, 2016 01:00 AM

A subtle aesthetic is starting to emerge at Oregon Contemporary Theatre, which for the past couple of seasons has mounted a series of tight, powerful works by playwrights (some with ties to Eugene or the Northwest in general) who tackle the prickly issues of what it means and how it feels to live in this world right now.

January 21, 2016 01:00 AM

For half a century, Harper Lee’s novel To Kill A Mockingbird has held an immovable place on the American bookshelf by using humor and grace to tackle one of our nation’s ugliest ongoing realities: racism. 

The Very Little Theatre has mounted a winning production of this evergreen tale. 

January 21, 2016 01:00 AM

Like a lot of people, Corvallis-based theater director and educator Elizabeth Helman watched Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos series on Netflix.

“I just happened to see a tiny little biography,” Helman tells EW, “a 10-minute segment of the Cosmos series and it had this mini-biography about Henrietta Leavitt.”

October 15, 2015 01:00 AM

This year, Eugene Opera will be twice as nice, boasting an expanded production schedule.

The run kicks off with two performances of Benjamin Britten’s classic The Turn of the Screw, Oct. 30 and Nov. 1, at the Hult Center.

“This is a new direction for us,” director Mark Beaudert tells EW. “It’s exciting to increase our presence in the community.” 

October 15, 2015 01:00 AM

There’s no excuse for staying home — well, OK, that’s allowed, but should you want to venture out, there are plenty of world-class options this season at Eugene’s Hult Center for the arts lover in all of us. 

October 15, 2015 01:00 AM

In this month’s Symphony magazine cover story detailing the resurgence of new music in American orchestras, three of the dozen or so featured orchestras — in Baltimore, Nashville and Eugene (the only Oregon orchestra listed) — are led by current or former Eugene Symphony music directors.

October 15, 2015 01:00 AM

Oregon Contemporary Theatre artistic director Craig Willis has a keen curatorial vision, one that’s helping to shape the landscape of what’s possible for the arts in Eugene. 

“My predecessor had done a good job of trying to provide interesting, challenging work,” Willis says, referring to OCT in its Lord Leebrick days, before he took the helm in 2003.

January 22, 2015 01:00 AM

In theater as in life, timing is everything, though just showing up is a good start. And at the Healing Trauma Project on Coburg Road, where performers have been rehearsing in anticipation of its Feb. 7 show at Wildish Theater, the cast of Transformational Personal Theatre has definitely shown up, in itself a small miracle. These are people who, all things being equal, might not have shown up at all.

As well as being newfound actors and dancers and singers and poets, the folks at this rehearsal are addicts in recovery. They have had their struggles with drugs and alcohol and food addiction. Now they have gathered to transform their personal stories of pain and renewal into the stuff of performance.

January 22, 2015 01:00 AM

Not to mince words, but Evynne and Peter Hollens are kind of a big deal. Evynne Hollens is a singer and performer who directs and teaches. Peter Hollens is a singer-songwriter, producer and entrepreneur. Together, they’ve built a life in music and, from their cozy base in Eugene, shared it with the world. 

January 22, 2015 01:00 AM

Acclaimed “foodie” and TV personality Alton Brown has been teaching Americans how to cook for decades. The author of seven cookbooks, Brown created the Peabody Award-winning series Good Eats, has hosted Iron Chef America and has been a mentor and judge on Food Network Star.