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May 8, 2014 01:00 AM

A local mother-daughter team is pushing the limits of ballet by finding inspiration in the most unlikely of places. For The Book of Esther, Ballet Fantastique’s Donna Bontrager and her daughter Hannah Bontrager go way, way back — to approximately 486 BC — for the finale of their 2013-2014 season. What better way to end the company’s “New Legends” series than with a story from one of the oldest existing works of literature: The Old Testament?

A local mother-daughter team is pushing the limits of ballet by finding inspiration in the most unlikely of places. For The Book of Esther, Ballet Fantastique’s Donna Bontrager and her daughter Hannah Bontrager go way, way back — to approximately 486 BC — for the finale of their 2013-2014 season. What better way to end the company’s “New Legends” series than with a story from one of the oldest existing works of literature: The Old Testament?

May 8, 2014 01:00 AM

A strange species of magical realism pervades Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, a darkly funny musical that mashes up a handful of our most familiar fairy tales into a salty stew of deviant psychology and romantic dissatisfaction. Keeping the outward trappings of the fables intact, Sondheim douses them with the realpolitik of reality.

A strange species of magical realism pervades Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, a darkly funny musical that mashes up a handful of our most familiar fairy tales into a salty stew of deviant psychology and romantic dissatisfaction. Keeping the outward trappings of the fables intact, Sondheim douses them with the realpolitik of reality. Hence, Cinderella finds her Prince only so-so, Little Red Riding Hood is a snarky brat and Rapunzel, left alone too long in her tower, is a neurotic mess.

May 8, 2014 01:00 AM

Nothing makes art come alive like seeing it strut down the runway. Sunday, May 4, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art hosted St. Vincent de Paul’s Metamorphose Upcycling Design Challenge — in a nutshell, Eugene’s own Project Runway.

Nothing makes art come alive like seeing it strut down the runway. Sunday, May 4, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art hosted St. Vincent de Paul’s Metamorphose Upcycling Design Challenge — in a nutshell, Eugene’s own Project Runway. Ten designers had eight weeks to transform $40 worth of materials from SVdP into three catwalk-ready looks — Ready-to-Wear, Evening, Designer’s Choice — to be judged by a panel of local fashion-forward celebrities. Here are the winners by category, plus an EW pick.

May 1, 2014 01:00 AM

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

Maybe it’s the changing of the seasons, the ongoing downtown renaissance or something else entirely, but EW has noticed a burst of creativity and talent breaking through what remains of winter’s fog; May 2’s First Friday ArtWalk is no exception. First stop is the 5th Street Public Market with “BLOOM,” featuring gardenscapes by Retro Green House, Sweet Pea Designs, Beeologique Bee Hives and more.

May 1, 2014 01:00 AM

Renowned for her sparkly, good-natured ad-lib ability, entertainer Carol Burnett graciously carved out a new role for women in film and television — one in which they could be funny and smart. Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Kirsten Wiig and many others stand on Burnett’s shoulders. Now you can see this laugh-riot giant in real life, as the kids say these days, at the Hult May 7.

Renowned for her sparkly, good-natured ad-lib ability, entertainer Carol Burnett graciously carved out a new role for women in film and television — one in which they could be funny and smart. Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Kirsten Wiig and many others stand on Burnett’s shoulders. Now you can see this laugh-riot giant in real life, as the kids say these days, at the Hult May 7.

May 1, 2014 01:00 AM

Is it just me, or is the Eugene theater scene undergoing something of an ascendance these days? Is there a minor renaissance of the dramatic arts going on in our midst? Could it be that, along with the hip, new vitality of our downtown, pushing out decades of apocalyptic slouch and economic zombification, this city is also experiencing a similar surge in creative endeavors and the venues that host them?

Is it just me, or is the Eugene theater scene undergoing something of an ascendance these days? Is there a minor renaissance of the dramatic arts going on in our midst? Could it be that, along with the hip, new vitality of our downtown, pushing out decades of apocalyptic slouch and economic zombification, this city is also experiencing a similar surge in creative endeavors and the venues that host them?

May 1, 2014 01:00 AM

The human memory is a most wily creature, a Picasso-like construction of images and emotions. And if we manipulate our own memories, to what extent is anything we remember real?

The human memory is a most wily creature, a Picasso-like construction of images and emotions. And if we manipulate our own memories, to what extent is anything we remember real?

Part psychological study, part fast-paced thriller, The Other Place is a play that explores the fascinating study of memory. According to The New York Times, the play is “cunningly constructed entertainment that discloses its nifty twists at intervals that keep us intrigued.” 

May 1, 2014 01:00 AM

Among the world’s wine-savvy folks, there’s no doubt that Oregon can produce some of the planet’s best wines, especially pinot noir, notoriously tricky to grow, ripen and vinify into the wine that ranks among the most desirable to wine-lovers. Our state’s pinot noirs have emerged as distinctive for their depth and complexity but particularly for a certain freshness of flavor that seems to derive from our peculiar land and climate (plus the talents of so many winemakers). As a result, the north end of the Willamette Valley gets a lot of well-earned attention. It looms large on folks’ mental wine maps.

Among the world’s wine-savvy folks, there’s no doubt that Oregon can produce some of the planet’s best wines, especially pinot noir, notoriously tricky to grow, ripen and vinify into the wine that ranks among the most desirable to wine-lovers. Our state’s pinot noirs have emerged as distinctive for their depth and complexity but particularly for a certain freshness of flavor that seems to derive from our peculiar land and climate (plus the talents of so many winemakers). As a result, the north end of the Willamette Valley gets a lot of well-earned attention.

April 24, 2014 01:00 AM

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

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art opens a new exhibit April 26: The Human Touch. Selected works from the RBC Wealth Management Art Collection will bring you face to face with the work of contemporary art masters such as Chuck Close, Lalla Essaydi, Elizabeth Peyton and Roy Lichtenstein.

 

April 24, 2014 01:00 AM

“Until last August, this was disused horse pasture.” Forest Weaver, Sean Ferrigno and I are standing at one end of a rectangular field. It’s mostly rough grass, but snaking mounds of soil wind over the mid-section, ready for planting. One is already planted with blueberries, and nearby are grape vines and some young fruit trees. A former client of Weaver’s (he was in the construction business) offered him the use of this land as a base for Garden Starters, the business Weaver and Ferrigno founded last year to help individuals and organizations convert underutilized land into a productive source of food.

“Until last August, this was disused horse pasture.” Forest Weaver, Sean Ferrigno and I are standing at one end of a rectangular field. It’s mostly rough grass, but snaking mounds of soil wind over the mid-section, ready for planting. One is already planted with blueberries, and nearby are grape vines and some young fruit trees.

April 24, 2014 01:00 AM

That Puck! What an imp, what a funnin’ fool. Should any wee hint of the grave or the dour threaten to shank the shambolic ether of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, rest assured that frolicsome Puck, aka Robin Goodfellow, servant to Oberon (King of the Faeries), will hop to and eradicate all frowns with a sly spree of herkimer-jerkimer and utter tomfoolery. Nay, Puck ─ as the sprightly stand-in for Shakespeare’s bumptious side ─ will have none of our earnestness. Life, after all, is but a dream.

That Puck! What an imp, what a funnin’ fool. Should any wee hint of the grave or the dour threaten to shank the shambolic ether of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, rest assured that frolicsome Puck, aka Robin Goodfellow, servant to Oberon (King of the Faeries), will hop to and eradicate all frowns with a sly spree of herkimer-jerkimer and utter tomfoolery. Nay, Puck ─ as the sprightly stand-in for Shakespeare’s bumptious side ─ will have none of our earnestness. Life, after all, is but a dream.

April 17, 2014 01:00 AM

“I couldn’t believe how stupid I was,” writes comedian Moshe Kasher in his new memoir Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16 (allusions to the Salinger teen-angst classic fully intended). Kasher brings his act to WOW Hall April 17.

“I couldn’t believe how stupid I was,” writes comedian Moshe Kasher in his new memoir Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16 (allusions to the Salinger teen-angst classic fully intended). Kasher brings his act to WOW Hall April 17.

“It seemed like, in the face of the most obvious answers in the world,” he continues, “I always chose the dumbest thing to do. It was like I wasn’t in control of my own brain.” 

April 17, 2014 01:00 AM

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

Graphic art renegades Blunt Graffix host Gojira, a group art show featuring the work of dozens of printmasters such as Tim Doyle, Anna Witt and Print Mafia. “Gojira” is Japanese for Godzilla, so look for spewing flames and paths of destruction at the opening reception 7 pm Friday, April 18, at Blunt Graffix’s studio, 1040 Tyinn St., No. 3; live music provided by Godzilla vs. Battlesnake and the Mothras. Need more time to inspect all the two-tone scales on Zilla’s tail? Blunt Graffix hosts an open studio noon to 6 pm Saturday, April 19.


April 17, 2014 01:00 AM

If you don’t know who Doug Benson is by now, you very well may not be smoking enough weed. The standup comedian (Gateway Doug), actor (The Greatest Movie Ever Rolled) and podcast veteran (Doug Loves Movies, Getting Doug with High) has made Eugene a regular stop four years running for his 4/21 show at WOW Hall. EW caught up with the green funnyman to talk shop, pot, podcasts and more.

If you don’t know who Doug Benson is by now, you very well may not be smoking enough weed. The standup comedian (Gateway Doug), actor (The Greatest Movie Ever Rolled) and podcast veteran (Doug Loves Movies, Getting Doug with High) has made Eugene a regular stop four years running for his 4/21 show at WOW Hall. EW caught up with the green funnyman to talk shop, pot, podcasts and more.

 

April 17, 2014 01:00 AM

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp. Fast-forward to 2014, when President Barack Obama signed a Farm Bill into law that relaxed some of the restrictions on growing the crop most likely to have been found on a Deadhead. Michelle Obama won’t be growing hemp in her White House Garden any time soon, but the bill allows research institutions and state departments of agriculture to grow hemp in states where pro-hemp legislation has already been enacted. Oregon is one of those states. 

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp. Fast-forward to 2014, when President Barack Obama signed a Farm Bill into law that relaxed some of the restrictions on growing the crop most likely to have been found on a Deadhead. Michelle Obama won’t be growing hemp in her White House Garden any time soon, but the bill allows research institutions and state departments of agriculture to grow hemp in states where pro-hemp legislation has already been enacted. Oregon is one of those states. 

April 17, 2014 01:00 AM

Everyone’s heard of drinking games; they’re old news, man. In this hiptastic new time, with dispensary lines around the corner and even squares lighting up, weed steps closer and closer to social acceptability with each passing year. 

Everyone’s heard of drinking games; they’re old news, man. In this hiptastic new time, with dispensary lines around the corner and even squares lighting up, weed steps closer and closer to social acceptability with each passing year. 

April 15, 2014 03:00 PM

You know him from the internet, his standup comedy and his character “Pig Bottom” on Tubbin’ with Tash on YouTube. He doesn’t shy away from mainstream screens either; Moshe Kasher has also been featured on Chelsea Lately, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and Conan. He is also a writer for the sitcom The New Normal and author of memoir Kasher in the Rye.

You know him from the internet, his standup comedy and his character “Pig Bottom” on Tubbin’ with Tash on YouTube. He doesn’t shy away from mainstream screens either; Moshe Kasher has also been featured on Chelsea Lately, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and Conan. He is also a writer for the sitcom The New Normal and author of memoir Kasher in the Rye (which is reviewed by William Kennedy in EW’s April 17 issue).

April 10, 2014 01:00 AM

Since its debut in 1964, Fiddler on the Roof has held a certain special status among Broadway shows. It is the Beastie Boys of musicals — beloved, offbeat, wise and wiseacre-ish, slapstick hip. More times than I can count, the mere mention of Fiddler has caused a friend to break out in baritone: “If I were a rich man, yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum…”

Since its debut in 1964, Fiddler on the Roof has held a certain special status among Broadway shows. It is the Beastie Boys of musicals — beloved, offbeat, wise and wiseacre-ish, slapstick hip. More times than I can count, the mere mention of Fiddler has caused a friend to break out in baritone: “If I were a rich man, yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum…”

April 10, 2014 01:00 AM

Irene Hardwicke Olivieri and Jo Hamilton may not be native Oregonians, but their art seems to spring from the earthy soul of this region. Both artists’ work has strong ties to craft movements, activism and community (whether that consists of people or animals). Now living in Oregon, Olivieri and Hamilton also both work in a large-scale format and display an immaculate attention to detail. However, their work is wildly different — Olivieri creates nature-infused oil paintings and Hamilton constructs urban “crochet paintings” of people and cityscapes.

Irene Hardwicke Olivieri and Jo Hamilton may not be native Oregonians, but their art seems to spring from the earthy soul of this region. Both artists’ work has strong ties to craft movements, activism and community (whether that consists of people or animals). Now living in Oregon, Olivieri and Hamilton also both work in a large-scale format and display an immaculate attention to detail. However, their work is wildly different — Olivieri creates nature-infused oil paintings and Hamilton constructs urban “crochet paintings” of people and cityscapes. 

April 10, 2014 01:00 AM

Sarah Ebert may be a newcomer to choreographing for the Eugene Ballet Company, but she hasn’t shied away from the pace. “In modern dance, we take months to let things marinate — we explore, we play. But in ballet, the time limit is interesting. It’s fast, and it works, because the EBC dancers are willing to experiment,” Ebert says. 

Sarah Ebert may be a newcomer to choreographing for the Eugene Ballet Company, but she hasn’t shied away from the pace. “In modern dance, we take months to let things marinate — we explore, we play. But in ballet, the time limit is interesting. It’s fast, and it works, because the EBC dancers are willing to experiment,” Ebert says. 

April 10, 2014 01:00 AM

A soul stolen by a photograph, a tree-worshiping Christian camper and five wildly different folks stuck in a box: It can only be the Northwest Festival of Ten-Minute Plays, the fascinating evening that feels like flipping up rocks and seeing a pulsating world beneath, then moving to the next. NW10 encompasses all the grand excitement of sharing art without any of the pretension.

A soul stolen by a photograph, a tree-worshiping Christian camper and five wildly different folks stuck in a box: It can only be the Northwest Festival of Ten-Minute Plays, the fascinating evening that feels like flipping up rocks and seeing a pulsating world beneath, then moving to the next. NW10 encompasses all the grand excitement of sharing art without any of the pretension.

April 10, 2014 01:00 AM

In Eugene, we’re used to weird. In some neighborhoods, shooting a politically charged, hardcore punk music video in public would solicit no more than a passing glance. Doing it uninvited in a local church, as Russian feminist performance art collective Pussy Riot did in 2012, might be a trespass leading to a hand-slap, but not much more than a nuisance or prank.

In Eugene, we’re used to weird. In some neighborhoods, shooting a politically charged, hardcore punk music video in public would solicit no more than a passing glance. Doing it uninvited in a local church, as Russian feminist performance art collective Pussy Riot did in 2012, might be a trespass leading to a hand-slap, but not much more than a nuisance or prank.

April 10, 2014 01:00 AM
Photo by Rick Levin

 

April 3, 2014 01:00 AM

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

Calling all muralists! Four bridge pillars are waiting to be someone’s canvas at the new Washington Jefferson Skatepark, which, once complete (grand opening is slated for June 21), will be the largest covered and lighted public skate park in the nation. The city is hosting a tour of the facility 10:30 am Thursday, April 3. Interested artists should register by contacting isaac.r.marquez@ci.eugene.or.us or call 541-682-205; applications must be submitted by 2 pm Friday, April 11.