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October 13, 2016 12:00 AM

Although I’m aware that conflicts of one kind or another have rocked Ireland for centuries, my knowledge of early 20th-century Irish history is admittedly, and perhaps regrettably, patchy, and I’m going to go ahead and wager that, in 2016, it is for most people.

Although I’m aware that conflicts of one kind or another have rocked Ireland for centuries, my knowledge of early 20th-century Irish history is admittedly, and perhaps regrettably, patchy, and I’m going to go ahead and wager that, in 2016, it is for most people.

And this is a hindrance for Very Little Theatre’s current production of Sean O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock, on now under the direction of Michael Walker. 

October 13, 2016 12:00 AM

If you could peer into this critic’s embryonic soul, I suspect you’d find A Chorus Line lyrics. 

I wore grooves into my album of the original cast recording as a kid, and heck, my supercool local public elementary school put it on as a fabulous bootleg production, minus the racier numbers, when I was in second grade. Over the years, I’ve probably seen it 25 times, from multiple national tours to Broadway. 

If you could peer into this critic’s embryonic soul, I suspect you’d find A Chorus Line lyrics. 

I wore grooves into my album of the original cast recording as a kid, and heck, my supercool local public elementary school put it on as a fabulous bootleg production, minus the racier numbers, when I was in second grade. Over the years, I’ve probably seen it 25 times, from multiple national tours to Broadway. 

In other words, I know this show. 

October 6, 2016 12:00 AM

Stop binge-watching Stranger Things on Netflix and get out into the dance community!

Stop binge-watching Stranger Things on Netflix and get out into the dance community!

XCape Dance Company presents X at 7:30 pm Friday, Oct. 7, at the Hult, featuring Work Dance Company, ZAPP, The Dance Factory, Flex Studios and music by Isaac Turner and Shelby Trotter. “X embodies the freedom of movement, self-expression, dedication, determination and passion exemplified by the Xcape Dance Company in their unique and inspiring shows,” says artistic director Vanessa Fuller. Tickets at hultcenter.org.

October 6, 2016 12:00 AM

I was ready to break into “September Song” or my whistling riff of “Early Autumn” when Mole got up in my face.

I was ready to break into “September Song” or my whistling riff of “Early Autumn” when Mole got up in my face.

The Round Mound of Merlot almost never gets angry, but he was clearly irked: “Yuz hoit my feelins laz mont’ when yuz wrote dat I wuz smoikin’ lak da Donald. Ah wuzn’t smoikin’ ‘n’ ah ain’t lak Trump. Ah don’ even lak dat guy. He’s nasty ta wimmen ‘n’ nearly ever’body, ‘cept his pal Voldemort Pootin.’ Ah wuz jes’ smilin’ cuz weah back on track on da wines.”

September 29, 2016 12:00 AM

When Adventure! Children’s Museum founder and board president Amelia Reising was home with her small son, they got a little stir crazy. “I’d stopped working and was hanging out with him, and we were just trying to get out of the house,” Reising recalls. 

When Adventure! Children’s Museum founder and board president Amelia Reising was home with her small son, they got a little stir crazy. “I’d stopped working and was hanging out with him, and we were just trying to get out of the house,” Reising recalls. 

September 29, 2016 12:00 AM

The Outsiders Ball — a mash-up of art, fashion, music and philanthropy — is about to celebrate its third year.

“I really wanted to start helping out abuse shelters,” says Tracy Sydor, host and local photographer (and occasional EW photo contributor), of the benefit’s origins. Sydor discovered Womenspace, a local nonprofit working to end domestic violence, and proceeds from the event have gone to the organization every year.

The Outsiders Ball — a mash-up of art, fashion, music and philanthropy — is about to celebrate its third year.

“I really wanted to start helping out abuse shelters,” says Tracy Sydor, host and local photographer (and occasional EW photo contributor), of the benefit’s origins. Sydor discovered Womenspace, a local nonprofit working to end domestic violence, and proceeds from the event have gone to the organization every year.

September 29, 2016 12:00 AM

Local designer Vanessa Froehling has denim on the brain. Stonewashed, herringbone print, chambray, stretch and black denim, to be sure.

In her home studio, Froehling flips through hangers of designs, including sailor-style high-waisted women’s shorts, a men’s blazer and a women’s jumpsuit.

Local designer Vanessa Froehling has denim on the brain. Stonewashed, herringbone print, chambray, stretch and black denim, to be sure.

In her home studio, Froehling flips through hangers of designs, including sailor-style high-waisted women’s shorts, a men’s blazer and a women’s jumpsuit.

September 22, 2016 12:00 AM

It makes me all fizzy and giddy to see men dress up like women. There’s something so joyously liberating about it all. And I don’t think I’m the only one who finds female impersonators a total hoot and super sexy. Gay, straight, bi, femme, butch, blah blah blah: Just about everyone I know gets chirpy at the sight of an aging queen squeezed into a sleek satin dress and bellowing “I Will Survive” like a diva in heat.

It makes me all fizzy and giddy to see men dress up like women. There’s something so joyously liberating about it all. And I don’t think I’m the only one who finds female impersonators a total hoot and super sexy. Gay, straight, bi, femme, butch, blah blah blah: Just about everyone I know gets chirpy at the sight of an aging queen squeezed into a sleek satin dress and bellowing “I Will Survive” like a diva in heat.

September 22, 2016 12:00 AM

Paris, September 1793: The Bastille has fallen, feudalism’s dead and the Rights of Man have been declared. (That all sounds pretty good, right?)

But wait, there’s more.

Paris, September 1793: The Bastille has fallen, feudalism’s dead and the Rights of Man have been declared. (That all sounds pretty good, right?)

But wait, there’s more:

Enter brilliant playwright Lauren Gunderson, who illuminates a murky, muddling moment in history with her bold new play, directed with strength and humor for Oregon Contemporary Theatre by Elizabeth Helman. 

September 15, 2016 12:00 AM

In a state like Oregon, where art classes are absent from a stunning portion of public schools, art nonprofits fill the gaps, tasked with cultivating communities and our youth in culture beyond football season. These art bodies are typically scrappy and chronically underfunded. To survive a decade is commendable. But to endure 40 years? That is nearing immortality. Lane Arts Council celebrates its ruby anniversary Friday, Sept. 16.

In a state like Oregon, where art classes are absent from a stunning portion of public schools, art nonprofits fill the gaps, tasked with cultivating communities and our youth in culture beyond football season. These art bodies are typically scrappy and chronically underfunded. To survive a decade is commendable. But to endure 40 years? That is nearing immortality. Lane Arts Council, Lane County’s arts nonprofit stalwart seated in Eugene, celebrates its ruby anniversary 6 to 9 pm Friday, Sept. 16, at the International Cafes at Fifth Street Public Market.

September 15, 2016 12:00 AM

Fall performance gets rolling with Dance in Dialogue’s D.i.D.#10 6 to 8 pm Sept. 29 at the Friends Meeting House. “Dance in Dialogue inspires the making and discussion of new work to invigorate the contemporary dance culture in Eugene, by providing a forum for artists to present innovative works-in-progress in a process-oriented setting with audience feedback,” D.i.D. co-founder Shannon Mockli says. Check it out. 

Fall performance gets rolling with Dance in Dialogue’s D.i.D.#10 6 to 8 pm Sept. 29 at the Friends Meeting House. “Dance in Dialogue inspires the making and discussion of new work to invigorate the contemporary dance culture in Eugene, by providing a forum for artists to present innovative works-in-progress in a process-oriented setting with audience feedback,” D.i.D. co-founder Shannon Mockli says. Check it out. 

See yourself in sweatpants? There are a number of community auditions and classes on tap: 

September 8, 2016 12:00 AM

I spent a half hour of my life watching YouTube videos of nearly naked men wiggling and worming around on stages illuminated by flashy lights — for research purposes, of course. Magic Men Live is coming to town and there’s something hypnotic about the performers’ abdominal capabilities.  

I spent a half hour of my life watching YouTube videos of nearly naked men wiggling and worming around on stages illuminated by flashy lights — for research purposes, of course. Magic Men Live is coming to town and there’s something hypnotic about the performers’ abdominal capabilities.  

Magic Men Live is a simulation of the 2012 Steven Soderbergh film Magic Mike but omits plot development and Channing Tatum. Each set of dancers in the performance is dressed according to a theme, so you can expect impractical firefighter uniforms and cowboy hats galore.   

September 8, 2016 12:00 AM

Half a century ago this world, as well as worlds beyond our solar system, fell in love with the ’60s television series-turned-movie franchise known as Star Trek.

Christina Allaback, creative director of Eugene’s Trek Theatre, says that along with the relationships among central characters like Kirk, Spock and McCoy, the show’s underlying message of hope helps Star Trek endure.

Half a century ago this world, as well as worlds beyond our solar system, fell in love with the ’60s television series-turned-movie franchise known as Star Trek.

Christina Allaback, creative director of Eugene’s Trek Theatre, says that along with the relationships among central characters like Kirk, Spock and McCoy, the show’s underlying message of hope helps Star Trek endure.

“There are dystopic science fiction stories,” Allaback explains. “With Star Trek you have the opposite of that — the possibilities of where the human race can go.”

September 8, 2016 12:00 AM

August went by in flash, as usual. Daily watering chores. Jam making. An ocean of applesauce.

After a week’s vacation in a cabin by the Metolius, I somehow carved out time to think about the fall and winter vegetable garden. Space must be carved out, too, and I’m grateful for any crops that can go in after the pole beans and tomatoes are torn out in October.

August went by in flash, as usual. Daily watering chores. Jam making. An ocean of applesauce.

After a week’s vacation in a cabin by the Metolius, I somehow carved out time to think about the fall and winter vegetable garden. Space must be carved out, too, and I’m grateful for any crops that can go in after the pole beans and tomatoes are torn out in October.

But starts of red Russian kale, my favorite for winter eating, need to go in as soon as possible. By October what you see is more or less what you get until growth starts up again in March.  

September 1, 2016 12:00 AM

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

¡Viva La Cultura! If you lived in town for an extended period, you’ll notice a sort of pipeline runs between Oaxaca, Mexico, and Eugene, Oregon, with locals, snowbirds, writers and artists crossing paths back and forth across the border. Additionally, Lane County has a slow-but-steadily growing Hispanic population, increasing from 7.4 percent in 2010 to 8.5 percent in 2015, according to the most recent U.S. Census data.

September 1, 2016 12:00 AM

Mole was moping. As I’ve said, a moping Mole is an awful omen.

“’Zup, pal?” I asked, warily.

“Mebbe we’s made anuder mistake,” he said, sad-faced, referring to last month’s report when we committed to covering “world” wines.

Mole was moping. As I’ve said, a moping Mole is an awful omen.

“’Zup, pal?” I asked, warily.

September 1, 2016 12:00 AM

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

The fall dance season kicks off when MEDGE (Middle Eastern Dance Guild of Eugene) presents The Hafla Players. “The all-ages show features a new performance group — the Hafla Players, 10 MEDGE musicians and dancers under the direction of John Zeké,” MEDGE’s Denise Gilbertson says. Catch the action, and a pizza, 8:30 pm, Sept. 16, at Cozmic downtown, 199 W. 8th Avenue. See medge.org.

August 25, 2016 12:00 AM

The day after Erika Fortner graduated from art school in New York, she headed straight to Berlin to work on a $5 million 80-foot long mural for banking behemoth Goldman Sachs. 

She wasn’t alone; Fortner was one of about 30 art assistants in the employ of abstract painter Julie Mehretu, a 2005 MacArthur “genius” grant awardee who Goldman Sachs commissioned in 2007 to create “Mural.” 

The day after Erika Fortner graduated from art school in New York, she headed straight to Berlin to work on a $5 million 80-foot long mural for banking behemoth Goldman Sachs. 

She wasn’t alone; Fortner was one of about 30 art assistants in the employ of abstract painter Julie Mehretu, a 2005 MacArthur “genius” grant awardee who Goldman Sachs commissioned in 2007 to create “Mural.” 

August 25, 2016 12:00 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 12:00 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 12:00 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 12:00 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 12:00 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 12:00 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.