Hitting the Mark at the Hult Center

Eugene landmark offers dance, music, theater and a little comedy

Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood hit the Hult Nov. 13
Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood hit the Hult Nov. 13

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.

Ballet Fantastique’s all-original dance theater and live music delivers a retro-glam jazz holiday in American Christmas Carol Dec. 11-13.

The Eugene Concert Choir offers a choral adventure, combining tradition and skill, with A Dickens of a Christmas on Dec. 6.

The intimacy of chamber opera and the grandeur of classic opera make Eugene Opera’s season special. Catch The Turn of the Screw Oct. 30 and Nov. 1, and Lucia di Lammermoor on Dec. 29 and Jan. 3.

Eugene Ballet Company brings a season of enchantment including The Sleeping Beauty Oct. 24-25 and perennial holiday favorite The Nutcracker Dec. 18-20.

Fifty years of spectacular symphonics collide in a season honoring Eugene Symphony’s past conductors, special guests and more. Don’t miss Yo-Yo Ma on Dec. 11.

Murder, mirth and mayhem prevail when Radio Redux performs a rendition of Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man Oct. 23-25. And, yes, there is a Santa Claus in Miracle on 34th Street Dec. 18-20.

But wait, there’s more! Catch Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood when they take to the stage Nov. 13 to create hilarious and original scenes in their two-man show.

Known by TV audiences for their work on Whose Line is it Anyway?, Mochrie and Sherwood improvise new material every night from audience suggestions and participation.

“Improv is almost death-defying, without the death involved,” Mochrie says. “It’s like skydiving. Everything is from the audience, so our shows are different every time.”

Graduates of Chicago’s famed Second City improv troupe, Mochrie and Sherwood have been riffing off each other on stage for 14 years.

“There’s more freedom in a live improv show,” Mochrie says. “No network execs, you don’t have to do certain things and you succeed or fail on your own merit.”

When asked if the pair gets pumped up backstage by sorting M&Ms and swilling champagne, Mochrie doesn’t skip a beat: “Yes,” he says. “Cristal is our tour sponsor.”

(For dear readers who perhaps cannot take a joke, this is of course an exaggeration for comic effect. Rest assured that Mochrie and Sherwood actually spend their time backstage reading, playing Words with Friends, drinking coffee and inventing new improv games, the likes of which the world has never seen.)

Tickets available at hultcenter.org or by phone at 682-5000.

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