Eugene Weekly : Bravo : 9.23.10


Bravo 2010

Dance Like Everybody’s Watching And sing (or play, or act) as if you’re expecting a full house

Back to School With Online Propositioning Lord Leebrick presents Speech & Debate

Like MTV for Mom Actors Cabaret serves up hit singles 

The Depths and the Heights of Collaboration Adapting by bike, sweat, inspiration and hours of hard work 

Bravo Calendar Dance, Music, Theater 2010-2011


Dance Like Everybody’s Watching
And sing (or play, or act) as if you’re expecting a full house
By Suzi Steffen

Cinderella. Hult Center. Oct. 16-17. Image by Cliff Coles

Eugene’s a small city with a lot of heart, creativity and a fair number of professionals besides. How do they make it work? They sweat out rehearsal after rehearsal, sometimes running directly to lessons or to another (occasionally related) job or fundraiser.

The Hult Center and local theaters are obviously not the salt mines, but the life of a performing artist in Eugene doesn’t lead to a large paycheck or much recognition. Theaters filled with people and energy can help performers stay psyched for their shows. Here are just a few recommendations for a season full of fine work.

Everything is beautiful at the ballet, or so A Chorus Line tells us, and this season focuses on girls and women as protagonists, starting off with Cinderella in October and culminating with Anne Frank in April. At Ballet Fantastique, the season — the chamber group’s 10th! — mixes it up with bossa nova, Shakespeare and the autumn concert based on string music both familiar and new.

Speaking of music both familiar and new … At the Eugene Opera, the season (and one of the characters) kicks off in December with La Bohème, which sees the organization host more singers from the Met. This classic should be a treat. In other music news, the fine Chamber Music@Beall series continues this year with more world-class chamber music. I’m particularly excited about November’s Harlem Quartet with Anthony McGill, but the entire series makes Beall ring with joy. The Eugene Symphony’s playing many a well-known and well-loved piece this year (and no music by women — hey, can we join the 21st century?). The highlights include, of course, Marin Alsop returning to conduct Tchaikovsky, Bernstein and Brahms on Nov. 18, an evening with Itzhak Perlman in January and in general, each month, the high-quality musicianship the orchestra has been developing for years and refining with maestro Danail Rachev (who’s missing the first concert; he and his wife are expecting a new baby any minute now). The Oregon Mozart Players’ season tickets have been selling like mad crazy, so get yours now in order to see the culminating performance in May, when The American String Quartet visits. In between the major shows, the UO Department of Music and Dance hosts countless faculty, student and small ensemble performances throughout the term, most of them inexpensive and almost all of them a great steal for the price.

We’ve devoted most of this Bravo to theater, so just a few things on that front: The Lord Leebrick’s final season in its tiny space has gotten under way, and I’m particularly looking forward to Craig Willis’ adaptation of Hedda Gabler and John Schmor’s season-closing (probable adaptation of) A Winter’s Tale. If you haven’t seen My Name Is Rachel Corrie, the Leebrick’s February show should be thoughtfully directed by Carol Horne Dennis. At ACE, the big news is Hairspray — be prepared to be entertained and moved! The Very Little Theatre season looks challenging and rewarding. I’d put another Ibsen, The Enemy of the People, at the top of my must-see list, and most people probably won’t want to miss Chicago. The UO’s bobrauschenbergamerica has a ton of potential, as does the Tom Stoppard Rock ’n’ Roll; at LCC, Rent opens this weekend. And in Cottage Grove, the 2010 season continues with Grapes of Wrath — perfect timing for our own recession. See you at the shows!  





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