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Bravo! - Eugene Weekly's Guide to the Performing Arts

January 22, 2015 12:00 AM

Not to mince words, but Evynne and Peter Hollens are kind of a big deal. Evynne Hollens is a singer and performer who directs and teaches. Peter Hollens is a singer-songwriter, producer and entrepreneur. Together, they’ve built a life in music and, from their cozy base in Eugene, shared it with the world. 

January 22, 2015 12:00 AM

Acclaimed “foodie” and TV personality Alton Brown has been teaching Americans how to cook for decades. The author of seven cookbooks, Brown created the Peabody Award-winning series Good Eats, has hosted Iron Chef America and has been a mentor and judge on Food Network Star.

January 22, 2015 12:00 AM

No American playwright — and perhaps no playwright ever — was as adept as Tennessee Williams at pulling apart the icky, sticky tangle of hurt that one furiously guarded secret can exact on a family. In the humid atmosphere of a Williams play, a single skeleton in the closet can level an entire clan for generations down the line, by way of recrimination, jealousy, resentment, obsession, addiction and, most of all, fear.

January 22, 2015 12:00 AM

Just a few hours south on I-5 exists a dulcet community that my family has re-named “The Magical Twinkly Fairyland.” For the uninitiated, the village I’m referring to is Ashland, where good restaurants abound, creeks babble, deer wander and, from February through November, some of the finest theater glimmers across the stages of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. 

January 22, 2015 12:00 AM

When the community loses an artist, it’s first felt acutely in his mortal absence, and then in the slow, aching realization that he will never again be there to sing another song or paint another picture — or dance just one more dance.

January 22, 2015 12:00 AM

In the iconic 1980 movie 9 to 5, workaday heroines Doralee Rhodes, Judy Bernly and Violet Newstead (played by Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin) suffer under — and ultimately triumph over — their “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” boss, Mr. Hart (rendered to oily perfection by Dabney Coleman). It’s a classic film, with a title song that’s been scientifically proven to be the foremost go-to karaoke anthem of all time.

October 9, 2014 07:34 AM

“A  costume designer is a bit of a hoarder,” says Sandy Bonds, professor of costume design at the University of Oregon since 1979, adding, “an organized hoarder.”  “This is our own Value Village!” Bonds says as she unlocks a storage room in the basement of Villard Hall on the UO Campus. Inside hangs a huge collection of wearable treasures, mostly hand-constructed and all lovingly preserved. 

October 9, 2014 12:00 AM
October 9, 2014 12:00 AM

Once upon a time, families across this nation gathered around the radio at the appointed hour, eagerly awaiting the next installment of such classic shows as Gunsmoke, Superman, Burns and Allen or Arch Obler’s creepy Lights Out. This was the “Golden Age of Radio,” an era stretching roughly from the 1930s through the end of the Second World War, and it was no less vital for being cast now in an aura of quaint nostalgia.

October 9, 2014 12:00 AM

The Fab Four, Four Seasons, Four Tops, Gang of Four, Emerson Quartet, Takacs Quartet: Why do foursomes get all the musical attention? Everyone composes for string quartets and bands made up of two guitars, bass and drum. But in classical music as well as jazz and rock, trios offer more transparency and a lighter, often tighter sound. A trio of trios heading our way this fall reveals the power of three.

October 9, 2014 12:00 AM

The Very Little Theatre is among the oldest community theaters in the country. Quietly successful, the unassuming venue boasts some of the most reliable ticket sales in town. From them we’ve come to expect the earnest Arthur Miller drama, British farce and classic musical comedy — comfortable chestnuts staged by a representative slice of the Eugene community.

January 23, 2014 12:00 AM

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival kicks off once again Feb. 14. Our internationally recognized theater down I-5 is entertaining with plays ranging from 400 years old to fresh off the press, dark dramas to Marx brothers comedies. I got in touch with a few notable theater artists from Eugene to see what’s on their list to see this season.

January 23, 2014 12:00 AM

Dark of night, light of day. These are the times we come out to play. No cars, no trains, no first-class flights, no neon signs or big bright lights. We creep and crawl from the highs of the treetops to the jungle floor … We are ferocious and in many ways distinct. Now come with us on our journey, make sure you bring your … ANIMAL INSTINCT! 

January 23, 2014 12:00 AM

The Hult Center stands as the Grand Dame of the Lane County performing arts scene — known more for highbrow ballet, opera and classical music than contemporary or avant-garde work. Brad Garner of the Eugene-based interdisciplinary arts organization Harmonic Laboratory hopes to change that … well, at least in the lobby.

January 23, 2014 12:00 AM

The Eugene Ballet Company is perhaps best known for its professional approach to traditional ballets, perfecting performances like The Nutcracker for the past 32 years. Yet occasionally, artistic director Toni Pimble likes to shake things up by exploring a new artistic vision or collaboration. Following collaborations with bands The Freudian Slips, Pink Martini and The Jazz Kings, the EBC will team up with local boys the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies for Zoot Suit Riot, a visual storytelling told through dance and set to the tune of the band’s extensive musical cache.

January 23, 2014 12:00 AM

Divas and prima donnas rule the opera stage. But in real life, not so much, no matter what happens with Hillary in 2016. On Feb. 8 and 9, the University of Oregon Opera Ensemble presents “A Tale of Two Women: The Old Maid and the Thief and Trouble in Tahiti,” a pair of delightful American one-act operas that explore — sometimes hilariously, ultimately poignantly — the psychology of mid-20th-century women and their roles in a changing America.

September 26, 2013 12:00 AM
September 26, 2013 12:00 AM

For those among us who prefer our artists to be a bit prickly — the artist as porcupine — let me first point out that playwright Aaron Posner is the recipient of the 2012 RuleBreaker Award from No Rules Theatre in Washington, D.C. During the award ceremony in June, actor Holly Twyford summed up her appreciation of Posner thusly: “Your honesty is usually right on, sometimes brutally so.”

September 26, 2013 12:00 AM

Rock and pop worked their way into theatrical productions long ago: Jesus Christ Superstar and Hedwig and the Angry Inch to name two. Lately, Broadway has struck gold weaving tunes from pop artists like Abba with 1999’s smash hit Mamma Mia! (coming to the Hult Center January 2014) and Franki Valli in 2005’s Jersey Boys. In 2009, punk rocker Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day began working with acclaimed stage and film director Michael Mayer, adapting American Idiot, Green Day’s multi-platinum concept album, for the stage — because nothing says punk rock like … choreography?

September 26, 2013 12:00 AM

Zorro had some pretty good genes. On one side his father: Alejandro de la Vega, a soldier with ties to Spanish aristocracy. On the other his mother: Toypurnia, a powerful Tongva warrior who led her tribe into battle against the Spaniards. With parents from conflicting cultures, it’s no wonder Zorro (real name Diego de la Vega) had an identity crisis, growing up to be the swashbuckling, masked crusader who leaves Z’s in his wake.

September 26, 2013 12:00 AM

Local comedian Chris Warren told a joke that almost put him in jail. While doing standup in Spokane, Wash., in 2003, Warren made a rough joke about Hillary Clinton, and it caught the attention of the Secret Service, who sent two members to speak with Warren. “I was public enemy number one for telling a joke,” he says. “It was the good cop/bad cop scenario. They told me to never tell the joke again, but then they asked me to tell the joke. I told them and they started cracking up!”

January 17, 2013 12:00 AM

For this season’s Bravo, pack your suitcase and grab your passport because the local performing arts scene is about to send you on a rip-roaring trip around the world.