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September 28, 2017 01:00 AM

Will Eno’s Middletown, playing now at Oregon Contemporary Theatre, is a masterfully written, beautifully produced effort that seeks the extraordinary in the everyday. 

Directed by Tara Wibrew, Middletown is like a metaphysical global positioning system that the playwright uses to orient us to a cosmological map of seemingly ordinary moments.

Will Eno’s Middletown, playing now at Oregon Contemporary Theatre, is a masterfully written, beautifully produced effort that seeks the extraordinary in the everyday. 

Directed by Tara Wibrew, Middletown is like a metaphysical global positioning system that the playwright uses to orient us to a cosmological map of seemingly ordinary moments.

September 28, 2017 01:00 AM

Most gardeners would like to do a little less routine yard maintenance and spend more time being creative, or even relaxing. But the low maintenance garden, while a seductive idea, is not always easy to achieve. 

It’s partly a matter of design decisions and the materials you use. If your starting point is an existing garden, you can make it a bit easier to care for by paying attention to where you spend most of your uncreative time, then eliminating or modifying the features that create the demand.

Most gardeners would like to do a little less routine yard maintenance and spend more time being creative, or even relaxing. But the low maintenance garden, while a seductive idea, is not always easy to achieve. 

It’s partly a matter of design decisions and the materials you use. If your starting point is an existing garden, you can make it a bit easier to care for by paying attention to where you spend most of your uncreative time, then eliminating or modifying the features that create the demand.

September 21, 2017 01:00 AM

Somewhere during the first act of Jesus Christ Superstar — playing now at Actors Cabaret of Eugene — I realize that basically Jesus is every parent who gets kids through the gauntlet of back-to-school. All the extracurricular activities! The Parent Nights! The potlucks! The carpool. It’s just exhausting. 

Act One Jesus is the cooped-up, hen-pecked provider, anointing, healing, hugging — and he’s kind of had it. “There’s too little of me!” he complains. 

Jesus, I feel you. 

Somewhere during the first act of Jesus Christ Superstar — playing now at Actors Cabaret of Eugene — I realize that basically Jesus is every parent who gets kids through the gauntlet of back-to-school. All the extracurricular activities! The Parent Nights! The potlucks! The carpool. It’s just exhausting. 

Act One Jesus is the cooped-up, hen-pecked provider, anointing, healing, hugging — and he’s kind of had it. “There’s too little of me!” he complains. 

Jesus, I feel you. 

September 14, 2017 01:00 AM

On the 15th floor of Eugene’s most decrepit high-rise, I dragged my feet down the hallway littered with pieces of broken tiles and remnants of worn carpet. I stopped outside the door with the pebbled glass bearing the legend “Wine Investigations.”

On the 15th floor of Eugene’s most decrepit high-rise, I dragged my feet down the hallway littered with pieces of broken tiles and remnants of worn carpet. I stopped outside the door with the pebbled glass bearing the legend “Wine Investigations.”

I hate funerals — hope to miss my own — and this felt like a funeral. A month shy of 20 years, Mole and I were shutting down, closing the door, packing the lab gear, turning out the lights.

September 14, 2017 01:00 AM

By day, he’s a teacher at Thurston High School in Springfield — a “giant nerd” in his own words. 

But after work, Will Ritter inhabits a world where solving mysteries requires intimate knowledge of dragons, trolls, ghosts and fairies.

By day, he’s a teacher at Thurston High School in Springfield — a “giant nerd” in his own words. 

But after work, Will Ritter inhabits a world where solving mysteries requires intimate knowledge of dragons, trolls, ghosts and fairies.

Ritter is the author of the New York Times-bestselling Jackaby series of teen mystery novels. The novels chronicle the adventures of the able Abigail Rook, the heroine who is the real focus of the books, as she assists the title character, Det. R.F. Jackaby, in his explorations into the supernatural realm.

September 7, 2017 01:00 AM

Just after I moved to Eugene about a year and a half ago, Eugene Weekly ran a story titled “Art: It Could Happen Here”. Written after the city-subsidized Jacobs Gallery had closed, the article suggested that Eugene might have to change its slogan from “A Great Place for the Arts and Outdoors” to “Eugene, A City Where People Go Outdoors.” Had I moved to a town without art?

Just after I moved to Eugene about a year and a half ago, Eugene Weekly ran a story titled “Art: It Could Happen Here” [EW, Feb. 4, 2016]. Written after the city-subsidized Jacobs Gallery had closed, the article suggested that Eugene might have to change its slogan from “A Great Place for the Arts and Outdoors” to “Eugene, A City Where People Go Outdoors.” Had I moved to a town without art?

This summer proved that art can happen here. 

August 31, 2017 01:00 AM

Once a jewel in Eugene’s cultural crown, the Oregon Bach Festival now looks as good as dead after last week’s unexplained — and inexplicable — firing of artistic director Matthew Halls.

The big problem is, no one — including Halls — seems to be clear on just why he was let go.

Once a jewel in Eugene’s cultural crown, the Oregon Bach Festival now looks as good as dead after last week’s unexplained — and inexplicable — firing of artistic director Matthew Halls.

The big problem is, no one — including Halls — seems to be clear on just why he was let go.

August 31, 2017 01:00 AM

Summer’s waning, but the party’s not over yet. You still have a few more chances to get your groove on. 

Summer’s waning, but the party’s not over yet. You still have a few more chances to get your groove on. 

Fiesta Cultural kicks off in Kesey Square during First Friday, Sept. 1. This free event starts at 5 pm and features a salsa lesson with Salseros Dance Company’s Jose Cruz, a fandango demo — no, not the movie website, the lively couple’s dance from Spain — and performances by local Cuban salsa faves Azúcar, capped off with a salsa dance party featuring Dina y Los Rumberos

August 24, 2017 01:00 AM

This year Shakespeare in the Park adapted Henry V for a short outdoor performance directed by Sharon Sèlove. A narrator (David Stuart Bull), sporting awesome warrior braids, aids the transition between settings and synopsizes missing scenes.

This year Shakespeare in the Park adapted Henry V for a short outdoor performance directed by Sharon Sèlove. A narrator (David Stuart Bull), sporting awesome warrior braids, aids the transition between settings and synopsizes missing scenes.

August 17, 2017 01:00 AM

Although roughly the contemporary of those two titans of 19th-century epic Russian literature, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, Anton Chekhov was great in the minutest of scales, the minorest of keys.

Although roughly the contemporary of those two titans of 19th-century epic Russian literature, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, Anton Chekhov was great in the minutest of scales, the minorest of keys.

On the surface, his melancholy plays are pastorals turned inside out as he flays open domestic intimacy to reveal the grotesque narcissism and exotic sadness that isolate us from each other. In this sense, he was Lynchian before David Lynch breathed a breath — Lynch minus the multi-dimensional fuck-all, with a bowl of borscht.

August 17, 2017 01:00 AM

An entire room at the Maude Kerns Art Center is dedicated to Melissa Sikes’ series of artworks titled The Back Dock. Other paintings from the series are sprinkled throughout the rest of the art center, too, in a group show that’s up through Aug. 25. All of Sikes’ paintings are of the same outdoor place: the back dock by a lake where her family has been spending summers for years.

An entire room at the Maude Kerns Art Center is dedicated to Melissa Sikes’ series of artworks titled The Back Dock. Other paintings from the series are sprinkled throughout the rest of the art center, too, in a group show that’s up through Aug. 25. All of Sikes’ paintings are of the same outdoor place: the back dock by a lake where her family has been spending summers for years.

According to the artist, the front dock is for boats, and the back dock is for lounging and swimming. The back dock is where she spends most afternoons in summer. 

August 10, 2017 01:00 AM

The trend in Shakespeare performance is to toss off all the “adieus” and “but softs” with the casual tone of a texting teenager. I, for one, love this style. Breaking down the artifice deepens Will’s poetry and warms up his philosophy. And Very Little Theatre’s charming production of Shakespearean rom-com As You Like It is very much in this fashion. 

The trend in Shakespeare performance is to toss off all the “adieus” and “but softs” with the casual tone of a texting teenager. I, for one, love this style. Breaking down the artifice deepens Will’s poetry and warms up his philosophy. And Very Little Theatre’s charming production of Shakespearean rom-com As You Like It is very much in this fashion. 

August 10, 2017 01:00 AM

On the 17th floor of Eugene’s creakiest high-rise, behind the pebbled-glass door marked “Wine Investigations,” my pal and partner, Mole, set out a display of polished glasses and opened bottles of pink-ish wines.

On the 17th floor of Eugene’s creakiest high-rise, behind the pebbled-glass door marked “Wine Investigations,” my pal and partner, Mole, set out a display of polished glasses and opened bottles of pink-ish wines.

If it’s summer — it is — and we’re gonna get hot — and we surely have been — we’re gonna want some cool wines. Time, then, for our annual rosie column.

August 3, 2017 01:00 AM

The numbers are in: This year’s leaner and smaller Oregon Bach Festival drew just 12,000 in total attendance, the festival says, a 33 percent drop from last year’s 18,000 and a huge drop from the total attendance in 2011 of more than 44,000.

The numbers are in: This year’s leaner and smaller Oregon Bach Festival drew just 12,000 in total attendance, the festival says, a 33 percent drop from last year’s 18,000 and a huge drop from the total attendance in 2011 of more than 44,000.

August 3, 2017 01:00 AM

Props to the city of Eugene for heeding the call for innovative, accessible dance programming in our community. 

This summer has featured a variety of emerging and established dance groups from in and out of our local region. And what’s more — performances and workshops are free. This month is no exception, with a visit from the Bay Area’s Embodiment Project

Props to the city of Eugene for heeding the call for innovative, accessible dance programming in our community. 

This summer has featured a variety of emerging and established dance groups from in and out of our local region. And what’s more — performances and workshops are free. This month is no exception, with a visit from the Bay Area’s Embodiment Project

July 27, 2017 01:00 AM

The year is 1927. The Great War, which we now remember as World War I, is a distant memory. The stock market is booming. Life is good for the investing class. And football has become a happy obsession for students and their parents on college campuses across the United States.

The year is 1927. The Great War, which we now remember as World War I, is a distant memory. The stock market is booming. Life is good for the investing class. And football has become a happy obsession for students and their parents on college campuses across the United States.

That’s the setting for Good News!, a frothy, seldom-produced 1927 musical rom-com by Laurence Schwab, B.G. DeSylva and Frank Mendel, which runs at The Shedd through July 30.

July 20, 2017 01:00 AM

Paintings by Bets Cole on display through July at Karin Clarke Gallery show the long-time local artist at her relaxed, assured best.

Paintings by Bets Cole on display through July at Karin Clarke Gallery show the long-time local artist at her relaxed, assured best.

Cole has been making and showing work here for as long as I can remember — Oregon landscapes, generally (though she did a portrait show recently), well executed and ready to grace a living room wall. She approaches the world with a practiced and sympathetic eye, documenting not just the details of any particular scene but also its essence.

July 13, 2017 01:00 AM

“Vineyard owners sue over pot operation,” reads an April headline in The Register-Guard. Thus begins a story we might have foreseen like a blip on radar: Two enterprises, both vital not only to Oregon’s economy but to the state’s very identity, both, apparently, on a collision course.

“Vineyard owners sue over pot operation,” reads an April headline in The Register-Guard. Thus begins a story we might have foreseen like a blip on radar: Two enterprises, both vital not only to Oregon’s economy but to the state’s very identity, both, apparently, on a collision course.

July 6, 2017 01:00 AM

Mírame Bien!” pleads the current photography exhibit in the Morris Graves gallery at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art — “Take a good look at me!” That’s sound advice when visiting any photo show, but particularly the diminutive prints of Edward Weston, Paul Strand and Manuel Alvarez Bravo.

Mírame Bien!” pleads the current photography exhibit in the Morris Graves gallery at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art — “Take a good look at me!” That’s sound advice when visiting any photo show, but particularly the diminutive prints of Edward Weston, Paul Strand and Manuel Alvarez Bravo.

July 6, 2017 01:00 AM

Who’s who and what’s what in dance this month

One of the coolest things about summer is dance performances happening outside in the fresh air and sunshine — there’s something about it that just feels right. 

While we can’t seem to enjoy dance at, say, Cuthbert Amphitheater (I’ll likely be smoted for suggesting the thought), we can see some fun and lively new dance in unusual venues. 

June 29, 2017 01:00 AM

I was born in 1995. I was 6 when the Twin Towers fell, and only 10 when Hurricane Katrina hit. This last presidential election was the first I could legally vote in — yeah, I know, what a great memory, right?

So, when I sat down in Actors Cabaret of Eugene to review its newest musical, Disaster! — a parody of 1970s disaster movies such as The Earthquake and The Poseidon Adventure (neither of which I had ever even heard of), chock-full of entirely ’70s tunes — I had no idea of what I was getting into.

I was born in 1995. I was 6 when the Twin Towers fell, and only 10 when Hurricane Katrina hit. This last presidential election was the first I could legally vote in — yeah, I know, what a great memory, right?

So, when I sat down in Actors Cabaret of Eugene to review its newest musical, Disaster! — a parody of 1970s disaster movies such as The Earthquake and The Poseidon Adventure (neither of which I had ever even heard of), chock-full of entirely ’70s tunes — I had no idea of what I was getting into.

June 22, 2017 01:00 AM

While not as well known as Jay Gatsby or Huckleberry Finn, Mama Rose is one of the defining characters of American literature. At once a hustler, a social climber, a visionary and an imposter, the hard-edged protagonist of the classic 1959 Broadway musical Gypsy would sell not only her soul, but her children’s souls as well, to break the bonds of dull poverty and rise to wealth and stardom, vicarious or otherwise.

While not as well known as Jay Gatsby or Huckleberry Finn, Mama Rose is one of the defining characters of American literature. At once a hustler, a social climber, a visionary and an imposter, the hard-edged protagonist of the classic 1959 Broadway musical Gypsy would sell not only her soul, but her children’s souls as well, to break the bonds of dull poverty and rise to wealth and stardom, vicarious or otherwise.

June 22, 2017 01:00 AM

What, you’ve never been to the Oregon Bach Festival?

That’s like living in Eugene and never once watching a track meet at Hayward Field, never cheering at a Duck game, never enjoying the Whiteaker Block Party or never getting down and dirty at the Oregon Country Fair.

What, you’ve never been to the Oregon Bach Festival?

That’s like living in Eugene and never once watching a track meet at Hayward Field, never cheering at a Duck game, never enjoying the Whiteaker Block Party or never getting down and dirty at the Oregon Country Fair.

What will you tell your grandchildren? That you lived in the same town with a Grammy-winning musical festival and never heard a note? You owe it to yourself to take part in this cultural experience, which this year runs June 29 through July 15.

June 22, 2017 01:00 AM

What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question asked of children, and they know to pick just one thing. Sometimes it works out that way. You decide on a profession or fall into a job, and then stay in it the rest of your life.

What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question asked of children, and they know to pick just one thing. Sometimes it works out that way. You decide on a profession or fall into a job, and then stay in it the rest of your life.

Other times you choose one answer, and after nearly 20 years, put it aside and choose another. That is how it happened with Allan Kluber, whose ceramics are on view at Karin Clarke Gallery through July 1.