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January 18, 2018 01:00 AM

Annie Baker landed the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for The Flick, an odd and affecting play — part slacker melodrama, part dark comedy, part existential no-exit — that burrows into the hidden hopes and silent desperations of three lost souls biding their time as ushers at a failing movie theater in Worcester, Massachusetts.

It’s a well-deserved Pulitzer, indeed. The play is exquisitely written, combining the raw, cynical, trashy talk of the neo-working class with the spare poetic meter of American realism. Beneath the endless and often banal banter of three disenfranchised movie geeks, Baker locates a buried pathos that throbs with all the oversized anguish of tragedy.

Annie Baker landed the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for The Flick, an odd and affecting play — part slacker melodrama, part dark comedy, part existential no-exit — that burrows into the hidden hopes and silent desperations of three lost souls biding their time as ushers at a failing movie theater in Worcester, Massachusetts.

January 11, 2018 01:00 AM

What do compulsive inappropriate thoughts, suicidal tendencies and cute raccoons have in common? They’re all frequent topics of Maria Bamford’s comedy.

What do compulsive inappropriate thoughts, suicidal tendencies and cute raccoons have in common? They’re all frequent topics of Maria Bamford’s comedy.

Bamford brings her unique and self-reflective routine to the McDonald Theatre on Friday. Best known for her quirky Netflix series Lady Dynamite and rollicking stand-up special Old Baby, Bamford thrives by poking fun at her own history of mental illness — she has been diagnosed as bi-polar — and beckons audiences to laugh with her at her vulnerabilities.

January 11, 2018 01:00 AM

Cheer up! Yes, I know it’s bleak outside, but every day brings a few more minutes of daylight and new intimations of spring — and thinking about your garden beats fretting about politics. 

Cheer up! Yes, I know it’s bleak outside, but every day brings a few more minutes of daylight and new intimations of spring — and thinking about your garden beats fretting about politics. 

Order some seeds. Pile some fall leaves around overwintering vegetables. If you haven’t recycled your Christmas tree yet, cut off the branches and use them to secure that leafy mulch. As long as the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged, you can even get digging. If you have heavy soil, leave it in clumps to get broken down by frosts, or mulch over it with leaves for the worms to work on.  

January 4, 2018 01:00 AM

If the titles of artworks in Barbara MacCallum’s Appropriating Science at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art through Jan. 28 remind you of a movie called The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, as they do me, it’s because they are similarly titled after scientific investigations.

If the titles of artworks in Barbara MacCallum’s Appropriating Science at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art through Jan. 28 remind you of a movie called The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, as they do me, it’s because they are similarly titled after scientific investigations.

December 28, 2017 01:00 AM

Driving to work on these foggy winter days, I like to listen to Bach. His clean, cerebral music helps keep the cold fog at bay, and it always reminds me of pleasant summer nights at the Oregon Bach Festival.

Now I wonder how much longer the 47-year-old festival will continue.

Driving to work on these foggy winter days, I like to listen to Bach. His clean, cerebral music helps keep the cold fog at bay, and it always reminds me of pleasant summer nights at the Oregon Bach Festival.

Now I wonder how much longer the 47-year-old festival will continue.

Four months after the University of Oregon fired OBF artistic director Matthew Halls, the festival feels like it’s teetering on the edge of extinction — or irrelevance.

December 22, 2017 04:20 PM

Growing up Jewish in cold, snowy Minnesota meant I knew my community well. But it also meant that I had to navigate the winter holidays — surrounded by my extended interfaith family — by explaining to outsiders that, “No, I don’t celebrate Christmas, but I have family that does.” 

Growing up Jewish in cold, snowy Minnesota meant I knew my community well. But it also meant that I had to navigate the winter holidays — surrounded by my extended interfaith family — by explaining to outsiders that, “No, I don’t celebrate Christmas, but I have family that does.” 

This usually prompts a question: “What do you do on Christmas then?” And like many American Jews, I answer: “Chinese food and a movie.” 

December 22, 2017 04:18 PM

I have no Christmas spirit. Maybe it’s Hallmark and Lifetime’s fault for turning one of the most important religious holidays of the year into a cliché. Taking a stab at corporatization and greed is almost too easy, but I’m not above picking low-hanging fruit. 

I have no Christmas spirit. Maybe it’s Hallmark and Lifetime’s fault for turning one of the most important religious holidays of the year into a cliché. Taking a stab at corporatization and greed is almost too easy, but I’m not above picking low-hanging fruit. 

Every year Thanksgiving gets its day of celebration: delicious food, a feast of sports and the first vacation of the year for college students. But before the turkey has been turned into sandwiches, Christmas lights are going up and carols begin.

December 22, 2017 04:16 PM

Everyone thinks her family is uniquely strange, and I’m no different in that regard. When it comes to Christmas, my family has a number of odd traditions — one is the traditional “argument over where to get the tree this year,” in which my mom insists that we go to a you-cut tree farm and get a “tree that actually looks good for once,” while my dad insists that we chop down a tree from our backyard. 

Everyone thinks her family is uniquely strange, and I’m no different in that regard. When it comes to Christmas, my family has a number of odd traditions — one is the traditional “argument over where to get the tree this year,” in which my mom insists that we go to a you-cut tree farm and get a “tree that actually looks good for once,” while my dad insists that we chop down a tree from our backyard. 

December 21, 2017 01:00 AM

When I met Adam Grosowsky to discuss his art, I wasn’t expecting a philosophical discussion. But Grosowsky, 58, was in a reflective mood, as interested in talking about life as about his paintings, which are on exhibit until Saturday, Dec. 23 at the Karin Clarke Gallery. He began by citing the Marcus Aurelius quote in which time is equated with rushing water and events are swept away and replaced.

When I met Adam Grosowsky to discuss his art, I wasn’t expecting a philosophical discussion. But Grosowsky, 58, was in a reflective mood, as interested in talking about life as about his paintings, which are on exhibit until Saturday, Dec. 23 at the Karin Clarke Gallery. He began by citing the Marcus Aurelius quote in which time is equated with rushing water and events are swept away and replaced.

December 14, 2017 01:00 AM

It was strangely disorienting for me to visit the Our Lives in Paint exhibition of art by Eugene husband and wife painters Mark Clarke and Margaret Coe, which runs through April 1 at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

Curated by JSMA associate curator Danielle Knapp, the show examines two well-known local painters whose lives and careers have stood firmly at the heart of Eugene’s art world for decades.

It was strangely disorienting for me to visit the Our Lives in Paint exhibition of art by Eugene husband and wife painters Mark Clarke and Margaret Coe, which runs through April 1 at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

Curated by JSMA associate curator Danielle Knapp, the show examines two well-known local painters whose lives and careers have stood firmly at the heart of Eugene’s art world for decades.

December 14, 2017 01:00 AM

Singin’ in the Rain is my favorite musical. The film is the ultimate combination of singing, choreography, comedy and charisma among actors Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor and the rest of the cast, and it brings to life the Roaring ’20s even though the movie is so noticeably filmed on a 1950s Hollywood lot. 

Singin’ in the Rain is my favorite musical. The film is the ultimate combination of singing, choreography, comedy and charisma among actors Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor and the rest of the cast, and it brings to life the Roaring ’20s even though the movie is so noticeably filmed on a 1950s Hollywood lot. 

December 7, 2017 01:00 AM

Part Christmas pageant, part serious drama and totally a reflection on the nature of contemporary family, The Christmas Foundling, which finishes up a brief run this weekend at Very Little Theatre’s small Stage Left, is loosely based on Bret Harte’s classic 1868 short story “The Luck of Roaring Camp,” in which the birth of a child transforms a community.

Part Christmas pageant, part serious drama and totally a reflection on the nature of contemporary family, The Christmas Foundling, which finishes up a brief run this weekend at Very Little Theatre’s small Stage Left, is loosely based on Bret Harte’s classic 1868 short story “The Luck of Roaring Camp,” in which the birth of a child transforms a community.

December 7, 2017 01:00 AM

In all honesty, I must admit that I copped quite an attitude before walking into Cottage Theatre’s current production of Seussical, a Broadway musical based on the work of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss, aka Theodore Geisel. First of all, I absolutely adore Geisel, and not least for his resistance, during his lifetime, to having any of his lovely creations — all those hunches and sneetches — run through the grinder of crass commercialization and corporate marketing.

In all honesty, I must admit that I copped quite an attitude before walking into Cottage Theatre’s current production of Seussical, a Broadway musical based on the work of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss, aka Theodore Geisel. First of all, I absolutely adore Geisel, and not least for his resistance, during his lifetime, to having any of his lovely creations — all those hunches and sneetches — run through the grinder of crass commercialization and corporate marketing.

December 7, 2017 01:00 AM

Please join us for a celebration of the life and times of Richard Hunt.

Please join us for a celebration of the life and times of Richard Hunt. 

Richard, always brimming with creativity, was a jewelry maker, an artist, a songwriter, a musician, a director and a playwright. He left us abruptly and unexpectedly, but gave us plenty of time to prepare his rave reviews. 

Together, we will share stories, laughter, tears, food and drinks as we celebrate the life and mourn the loss of our friend, partner and family member.  

 

Richard Hunt Celebration of Life

1 pm Sunday, Dec. 17

November 30, 2017 01:00 AM

If you love Donald Trump, you can suck it. 

Well, certainly you can quit reading this review (though I’m not sure why you even picked up this paper), and if you love him, please don’t buy a ticket to see the Kinsey Sicks’ Things You Shouldn’t Say at Oregon Contemporary Theatre. 

If you love Donald Trump, you can suck it. 

Well, certainly you can quit reading this review (though I’m not sure why you even picked up this paper), and if you love him, please don’t buy a ticket to see the Kinsey Sicks’ Things You Shouldn’t Say at Oregon Contemporary Theatre. 

Everyone else: This is the funniest show you will see all season.

I recently caught up with the Sicks (Winnie, Trixie, Rachel and Trampolina), aka Nathan Marken, Ben Schatz, Jeff Manabat and Spencer Brown. In case it’s not obvs, we’re all BFFs. 

November 22, 2017 01:00 AM

Verily, the Old Testament is many things to many people, believers and skeptics and repudiators alike; but one thing it decisively is not is fun, or funny. From a merely literary standpoint, the Pentateuch itself, the first five books of the Bible, is a dour affair, full of the grievous and bloody growing pains of a new nation.

Verily, the Old Testament is many things to many people, believers and skeptics and repudiators alike; but one thing it decisively is not is fun, or funny. From a merely literary standpoint, the Pentateuch itself, the first five books of the Bible, is a dour affair, full of the grievous and bloody growing pains of a new nation.

November 22, 2017 01:00 AM

Don’t get me wrong: I absolutely love my usual leisurely pick-up soccer on late Saturday mornings, just a five-minute bike ride from my house in Eugene. But there’s something special, something exciting and edifying, about getting up early on a Saturday to play soccer with inmates at Oregon’s maximum security prison in Salem.

Don’t get me wrong: I absolutely love my usual leisurely pick-up soccer on late Saturday mornings, just a five-minute bike ride from my house in Eugene. But there’s something special, something exciting and edifying, about getting up early on a Saturday to play soccer with inmates at Oregon’s maximum security prison in Salem.

November 16, 2017 01:00 AM

Eugene’s art scene is not dead. While the closing of the Jacobs Gallery dealt a blow to art’s accessibility in the city, a group of ambitious volunteers is fighting back with Euzine Comics & Zine Fest 2017 on Nov. 18. 

This is Euzine’s second annual event and artists have jammed up at the door to get into the Broadway Commerce Center to show off their zines — self-published and printed material, from photographs to illustrations.

Eugene’s art scene is not dead. While the closing of the Jacobs Gallery dealt a blow to art’s accessibility in the city, a group of ambitious volunteers is fighting back with Euzine Comics & Zine Fest 2017 on Nov. 18. 

This is Euzine’s second annual event and artists have jammed up at the door to get into the Broadway Commerce Center to show off their zines — self-published and printed material, from photographs to illustrations.

November 16, 2017 01:00 AM

They don’t make them like Harold Pinter anymore, and right now at Lane Community College you can enjoy Pinter’s masterful The Birthday Party, tenderly cooked to a lustrous crackle. This production whizzes by, with direction and performances that fully embrace Pinter’s penchant for the absurd.  

They don’t make them like Harold Pinter anymore, and right now at Lane Community College you can enjoy Pinter’s masterful The Birthday Party, tenderly cooked to a lustrous crackle. This production whizzes by, with direction and performances that fully embrace Pinter’s penchant for the absurd.  

Director Cullen Vance finds the musical score within Pinter’s cadence, his rich, piping hot words, and this taut cast chomps through the proceedings like a tight jazz sextet. 

November 16, 2017 01:00 AM

An appealing mix of reality and imagination in each of Jon Jay Cruson’s paintings reminds me of a bit from the first days of the TV show Saturday Night Live. Father Guido Sarducci, a character on SNL, suggested that a planet just like ours existed on the other side of the sun. We couldn’t see it, of course — because the sun is in the way — but this other planet was just like ours in every way except that people who lived there ate their corn on the cob north-south (up-down) instead of east-west (across). Though this was the only difference, Father Sarducci didn’t want to go to this other planet because he said he was a creature of habit and eating corn north-south would just be too messy. 

An appealing mix of reality and imagination in each of Jon Jay Cruson’s paintings reminds me of a bit from the first days of the TV show Saturday Night Live. Father Guido Sarducci, a character on SNL, suggested that a planet just like ours existed on the other side of the sun. We couldn’t see it, of course — because the sun is in the way — but this other planet was just like ours in every way except that people who lived there ate their corn on the cob north-south (up-down) instead of east-west (across).

November 16, 2017 01:00 AM

Don’t call Hari Kondabolu a political comedian.

“I don’t talk about Democrats and Republicans,” the New Yorker says. “I don’t care so much about the ‘inside the Beltway’ stuff.”

Nevertheless, he has built a career observing and lampooning the American social order. Along with W. Kamau Bell he hosts the feisty podcast Politically Re-Active, and this month Kondabolu’s documentary The Problem with Apu premiers on truTV. 

Don’t call Hari Kondabolu a political comedian.

“I don’t talk about Democrats and Republicans,” the New Yorker says. “I don’t care so much about the ‘inside the Beltway’ stuff.”

Nevertheless, he has built a career observing and lampooning the American social order. Along with W. Kamau Bell he hosts the feisty podcast Politically Re-Active, and this month Kondabolu’s documentary The Problem with Apu premiers on truTV. 

November 9, 2017 01:00 AM

If you’re a Eugene photographer, be forewarned. A visit to Joseph Peila’s current show Annexed might push you out of your comfort zone.

If you’re a Eugene photographer, be forewarned. A visit to Joseph Peila’s current show Annexed might push you out of your comfort zone.

November 9, 2017 01:00 AM

The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education moved to its new location in Portland’s Pearl District this summer — taking over the space once held by the Museum of Contemporary Craft.

The OJMCHE is a conglomeration: It houses the Jewish history museum, with an emphasis on discrimination and resistance; a Holocaust resource center; and two art galleries. The second floor contains everything except the art galleries, which are located on the ground floor.

The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education moved to its new location in Portland’s Pearl District this summer — taking over the space once held by the Museum of Contemporary Craft.

The OJMCHE is a conglomeration: It houses the Jewish history museum, with an emphasis on discrimination and resistance; a Holocaust resource center; and two art galleries. The second floor contains everything except the art galleries, which are located on the ground floor.

November 9, 2017 01:00 AM

First published in 1969, Ursula K. Le Guin’s feminist sci-fi classic The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of Genly Ai. Ai is an envoy from the Ekumen, a loose confederation of planets, and he has come to the snowy planet Gethen on a diplomatic mission to persuade the nations of Gethen to join the Ekumen.

First published in 1969, Ursula K. Le Guin’s feminist sci-fi classic The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of Genly Ai. Ai is an envoy from the Ekumen, a loose confederation of planets, and he has come to the snowy planet Gethen on a diplomatic mission to persuade the nations of Gethen to join the Ekumen.

A semi-musical original adaptation of The Left Hand of Darkness is running through Nov. 12 at the University of Oregon’s Robinson Theatre. The work is directed and adapted by University of Oregon Theatre Arts faculty John Schmor.