Last Chance!

The procrastinator in me of late has taken to scanning the arts calendars each weekend to find out what's closing, so that I might prioritize my options and be sure to catch anything good that I've missed. Since I'm doing this "research" anyway, I thought it might be helpful to share my findings with the readers of Culture Shock. Ideally this will become a weekly installment, with input from my colleagues, but let's see how it goes.

Rather than a laundry list of all the things that are about to close, I'd like to focus on the performances and exhibits that have received broad critical acclaim, because I think it's important for us to point audiences (and ourselves) to arts experience that reinforce why we invest our time and money in arts and culture in the first place. I admire the braver, more adventurous souls among us who muck through a lot of so-so art to find the gems that are out there, but frankly, that can get pretty exhausting. I'll venture out for the unknown on occasion, but for the most part, please tell me what's good and I'll make a point of seeing it.

So with that, here are the more sure-fire arts events that will disappear soon, so be sure to catch them while you can:

How to Disappear And Never Be Found at PCS. British playwright Fin Kennedy has received many accolades for this new work; the American premiere is directed here by Rose Riordan and features the brilliant Ebbe Row Smith. A few tickets are available for final performances on Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 7:30, Sunday at 2:00 and Sunday at 7:30.

White Bird presents anoukvandijk dc
at the Oaks Park Dance Pavilion. This thrillingly interactive piece from the Netherlands is part of White Bird's "Uncaged" series exploring modern dance in interesting new venues. Final shows tonight (Friday) at 7:00 and 9:30 PM.

Honus and Me, staged by Oregon Children's Theatre in the Winningstad, is reported to be "one of the best children's plays that will grace a Portland stage this year." (--The Oregonian.) The Steven Dietz play, based on a novel about baseball cards by Dan Gutman, has tickets available for the final performances on Saturday at 2PM, and Sunday at 2 and 5PM.

Don't forget that 24/7 is this weekend. As reported here before, Bill Crane and Thomas Lauderdale have lined up 24 hours of intriguing live concerts to punctuate the fact that our country has been at war for seven years now. 7PM Saturday through 7PM Sunday.

And lastly, you may have noticed that Coraline got bumped out of the 3D theaters a couple weeks ago by the hideous Jonas Brothers and their own 3D ambitions, but I am pleased to report that the Laika Studios hit is BACK at Lloyd Center and a few other select 3D theaters through next Thursday. To see it in anything but 3D is to miss out on something truly special. Check fandango for theaters and movie times.


MightyToyCannon said...

My cultural line-up for the weekend:

anoukvandijk dc: Tonight's 9:30 show. Walter Jaffe tells me that the dancers have been growing more bold with each performance; with this being the last performance in Portland, I'm expecting it to be extra crazy.

How to Disappear: I'm seeing tomorrow night's show because I've been meaning to see it for weeks and director Rose Riordan has threatened to kill me if I don't.

24/7: I'll be dropping in while in the neighborhood Saturday evening and again sometime on Sunday. I won't promise to be there at 3:00 a.m.

Honus & Me: I'll be working some of the shows and just might watch it for the third or fourth time -- it's fun and endearing.

Mead said...

Also closing this weekend is Portland Playhouse's sophomore outing, Theresa Rebeck's philatelist potboiler Mauritius. Rebeck has a devilish gift for letting you think you know where the plot is going....and then not going there.

culturejock said...

Thanks, Mead. Mauritius is completely off of my radar, I'm sorry I haven't been paying attention.

Hey MTC, what are you doing for dinner before the show tonight?

MightyToyCannon said...

CJ Sorry I didn't get your message until now (when I should be checking for directions so I don't get lost on the way to Oaks Park). With a 9:30 show (ooh, I feel so grown up), I had time to whip up some stir fry with udon noodles and a nice peanut sauce. And a gin and tonic to build the fortitude for the show.

MightyToyCannon said...

So far, so good on the weekend's cultural countdown. STAU was everything other reviewers said it would be. Definitely an experience I'm glad I didn't miss. Culture Jock and I bumped into each other in the Oaks Park parking lot on arrival. White Bird's Paul King greeted us and insisted that we position ourselves at the head of the line to get seats in the front row where the action is the closest. I'm glad we took his advice.

MightyToyCannon said...

Final weekend report:

The house was packed for Saturday's performance of "How to Disappear and Never be Found" at PCS--the rush before that production goes away forever. Before the show got rolling, Executive Director Greg Phillips gave a well-rehearsed pitch for the 2009-10 season, with an emphasis on "musicals and modern classics."

As expected, the production was well executed with great direction by Rose Riordan, a strong cast, an innovative set, and perfectly designed sound and lighting. I suspect we'll see at least a few Drammy nominations for this one.

Congratulations to the organizers of the 24/7 Concert. May they enjoy a few days of well-deserved rest! On Saturday night, we only managed to mark three-and-a-half months of war, despite our best intentions to return for more on Sunday. During the 10-11 pm slot, the place was buzzing with at least 300-400 people. I spotted Commissioner Dan Saltzman in the front row. Did anyone spot other "electeds" at the event?

We were fortunate to catch the Oberlin Trio playing with David Hattner, the new conductor for Portland Youth Philharmonic and clarinetist extraordinaire. The highlight was a lively “L’Histoire du Soldat (A Soldier’s Story),” by Stravinsky, with violin, piano and clarinet.