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February 2, 2012 12:00 AM

The dirty streets of London crawl with vermin and their lousy human counterparts. Victorian England is a great place to get rich, a terrible place to be poor and the perfect place for Charles Dickens’ imagination to run wild with an orphan in search of hope.

The dirty streets of London crawl with vermin and their lousy human counterparts. Victorian England is a great place to get rich, a terrible place to be poor and the perfect place for Charles Dickens’ imagination to run wild with an orphan in search of hope.   

Oliver! The Musical is more than memorable songs like “Food, Glorious Food” and “Consider Yourself.” It is a dark, Dickensian story. A successful production takes skill, bravery and a heap of children.

February 2, 2012 12:00 AM

The play’s refrain echoes over the audience, as though repeating the words enough times will make it true: “Make it so life ain’t printed on dollar bills.”

The play’s refrain echoes over the audience, as though repeating the words enough times will make it true: “Make it so life ain’t printed on dollar bills.”

February 2, 2012 12:00 AM

Jerry Smith’s quiet corner of the universe lies down Willamette Street between Cappella Market and Tsunami Books. Like many Eugene hippie-folk, Smith is a private man; he doesn’t reveal much and, until now, has never granted an interview. Even now he tells me he’s been having second thoughts about this.

Jerry Smith’s quiet corner of the universe lies down Willamette Street between Cappella Market and Tsunami Books. Like many Eugene hippie-folk, Smith is a private man; he doesn’t reveal much and, until now, has never granted an interview. Even now he tells me he’s been having second thoughts about this.

February 2, 2012 12:00 AM

Behind every great writer hides an asshole. Dostoyevsky was a religious freak with a gambling problem. William Burroughs plinked a slug through his wife’s forehead. Faulkner guzzled a half-gallon of rye every day before noon. Shakespeare only willed his wife the spare bed.

Behind every great writer hides an asshole. Dostoyevsky was a religious freak with a gambling problem. William Burroughs plinked a slug through his wife’s forehead. Faulkner guzzled a half-gallon of rye every day before noon. Shakespeare only willed his wife the spare bed.

I’m far from a great writer, but I sure can be an asshole sometimes. It’s true. Maybe you should stop reading this.

February 2, 2012 12:00 AM

This rap was born when my pal Larry Malmgren asked me to draw readers’ attention to a charity wine auction to benefit SMART (Start Making A Reader Today). It’s a silent auction from 5:30 to 7 pm Tuesday, March 20, at Boulevard Grill, 2123 Franklin Blvd., featuring a wide variety of wines from many sources.

January 26, 2012 12:00 AM

The Wandering Goat is a place where students, artists, writers, dilettantes and others go and claim to be productive. But it’s questionable how much actually gets done there, aside from indulging in some incredible coffee. That, speaks however, nil to what the Goat’s own herd of employees has been busying itself with leading up to this week’s Last Friday Art Walk exhibit, which features all employee-made art and music. 

The Wandering Goat is a place where students, artists, writers, dilettantes and others go and claim to be productive. But it’s questionable how much actually gets done there, aside from indulging in some incredible coffee. That, speaks however, nil to what the Goat’s own herd of employees has been busying itself with leading up to this week’s Last Friday Art Walk exhibit, which features all employee-made art and music.  

January 19, 2012 12:00 AM

In making our last garden on a steep, damp piece of hillside we brought in a lot of material: quarried basalt rock for retaining walls, round rock for drains, an ocean of gravel. When we moved house a few years ago, I was aiming for a garden with a lighter carbon footprint. Among other things, I hoped to save energy by bringing in as little material as possible. As I learned more about our new yard, those hopes went down the drain, so to speak.

In making our last garden on a steep, damp piece of hillside we brought in a lot of material: quarried basalt rock for retaining walls, round rock for drains, an ocean of gravel. When we moved house a few years ago, I was aiming for a garden with a lighter carbon footprint. Among other things, I hoped to save energy by bringing in as little material as possible. As I learned more about our new yard, those hopes went down the drain, so to speak.

January 19, 2012 12:00 AM

“Touch me,” the political-activist actress entreats the playwright, just after his wife exits to make a dip for the crudités. These words set the story spinning like a '60s love song on old vinyl — something real and clichéd at once, exploring the delicate, powerful balance of love.

Touch me,” the political-activist actress entreats the playwright, just after his wife exits to make a dip for the crudités. These words set the story spinning like a '60s love song on old vinyl — something real and clichéd at once, exploring the delicate, powerful balance of love.

January 19, 2012 12:00 AM

 

Raunchy, underdeveloped, oversexed and aesthetically topsy-turvy, The Great American Trailer Park Musical is a piece of sideshow freakery on the order of John Waters’ Desperate Living. It’s a prankish mish-mash of attitudes, styles and music, and — peopled by potty mouths, crotch scratchers, dick grabbers and slut buckets — it’s certainly not for the prudes of political correctness. This show is as off-color as it is off Broadway.

Raunchy, underdeveloped, oversexed and aesthetically topsy-turvy, The Great American Trailer Park Musical is a piece of sideshow freakery on the order of John Waters’ Desperate Living. It’s a prankish mish-mash of attitudes, styles and music, and — peopled by potty mouths, crotch scratchers, dick grabbers and slut buckets — it’s certainly not for the prudes of political correctness. This show is as off-color as it is off Broadway.

January 12, 2012 12:00 AM

The upcoming benefit for Occupy Eugene, appropriately named “Occupy Free Expression,” is a testament to how well OE can channel local talent and creativity into an articulate platform for social change. 

The upcoming benefit for Occupy Eugene, appropriately named “Occupy Free Expression,” is a testament to how well OE can channel local talent and creativity into an articulate platform for social change. 

The event will feature talent from Occupy emcee Plaedo Wellman to other local slam fixtures. The evening will begin with more formal poetry readings and segue into the harder-hitting, more gut-wrenching material.

January 12, 2012 12:00 AM

The script — Steve Martin’s rewrite of a German sex farce. Droll and just a little bit naughty, it’s exactly the type of play that sells a heap of tickets.

The script — Steve Martin’s rewrite of a German sex farce. Droll and just a little bit naughty, it’s exactly the type of play that sells a heap of tickets.

Johnny Ormsbee is a young director better known for exploring universal truth through unorthodox theatrical experiences than finding fun in a stock sex farce. But pair the two and you get the Very Little Theater’s latest offering, The Underpants, a traditional comedy gone wild with kazoo-playing gypsies.

January 5, 2012 12:00 AM

Over the umpty years we’ve been scribbling this column, we’ve begun each new year with an homage to Janus, the two-faced god — he who looks backwards and forwards at the same time — for whom the month is named. We wanted to praise the year that ended, and invoke, if possible, better times for the coming months. 

Over the umpty years we’ve been scribbling this column, we’ve begun each new year with an homage to Janus, the two-faced god — he who looks backwards and forwards at the same time — for whom the month is named. We wanted to praise the year that ended, and invoke, if possible, better times for the coming months. 

January 5, 2012 12:00 AM

 

The art of photojournalism is an undertaking that many dabble in but few master, and even fewer are remembered for. The old saying of a picture being worth a thousand words is true almost always, but perhaps never more unerringly so than when attached to the work of Dorothea Lange.

The art of photojournalism is an undertaking that many dabble in but few master, and even fewer are remembered for. The old saying of a picture being worth a thousand words is true almost always, but perhaps never more unerringly so than when attached to the work of Dorothea Lange

January 5, 2012 12:00 AM

The lack of money is the root of all evil,” George Bernard Shaw astutely clarifies. A well-known radical in his time, Pygmalion (the stage play from which My Fair Lady is taken) was Shaw’s biting commentary on class distinction, masked as a love story.

The lack of money is the root of all evil,” George Bernard Shaw astutely clarifies. A well-known radical in his time, Pygmalion (the stage play from which My Fair Lady is taken) was Shaw’s biting commentary on class distinction, masked as a love story.