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Culture

March 20, 2014 12:00 AM

More so than any other theater company in town, Actors Cabaret of Eugene continues to reflect the spirit and ethos of Eugene. Led by artistic director Joe Zingo and executive director/producer Joe Roberts — and with help from the indomitable Mark Van Beever, whose music direction is always top tier — ACE channels the best of our local culture by remaining free-spirited and at the same time hewing close to a tradition that is equal parts frontier strong and renegade D.I.Y.

More so than any other theater company in town, Actors Cabaret of Eugene continues to reflect the spirit and ethos of Eugene. Led by artistic director Joe Zingo and executive director/producer Joe Roberts — and with help from the indomitable Mark Van Beever, whose music direction is always top tier — ACE channels the best of our local culture by remaining free-spirited and at the same time hewing close to a tradition that is equal parts frontier strong and renegade D.I.Y.

March 13, 2014 12:00 AM

Spiritual fracture and cultural alienation are at the heart of Ecstasy: A Water Fable, a play by Egyptian-American writer Denmo Ibrahim based on the Sufi tale “When the Waters Were Changed.” Directed by Michael Malek Najjar, UO’s University Theatre’s production of Ibrahim’s work — a triptych that flashes among three characters all seeking some form of reconnection with their origins — is technically adept and swift, clocking in at about 90 minutes. It is pretty to look at, and the traditional music, played live on several Arabic instruments (such as the zurna, ney and djembe) by local band Americanistan is hypnotic and, at times, haunting.

Spiritual fracture and cultural alienation are at the heart of Ecstasy: A Water Fable, a play by Egyptian-American writer Denmo Ibrahim based on the Sufi tale “When the Waters Were Changed.” Directed by Michael Malek Najjar, UO’s University Theatre’s production of Ibrahim’s work — a triptych that flashes among three characters all seeking some form of reconnection with their origins — is technically adept and swift, clocking in at about 90 minutes.

March 13, 2014 12:00 AM

Mainly just to scare the shit outta myself, I spent most of a Saturday afternoon in one of the UO’s new science lecture halls, listening to three paleontologists describing the effects of climate change — warming — in Oregon, over the next century. The room was half-filled, mostly with very serious people, furiously taking notes. I looked for wild-eyed, barking-mad deniers but saw none.

Mainly just to scare the shit outta myself, I spent most of a Saturday afternoon in one of the UO’s new science lecture halls, listening to three paleontologists describing the effects of climate change — warming — in Oregon, over the next century. The room was half-filled, mostly with very serious people, furiously taking notes. I looked for wild-eyed, barking-mad deniers but saw none.

March 6, 2014 12:00 AM

Tiny Tavern is putting its funny where its mouth is. The revamped Whiteaker bar hosts frequent comedy open mics with Mac Chase at the helm, and now local comedian Isaac Paris has booked “Comics in Glasses: Entertaining the Masses,” featuring the comic prowess of Torontonian David Heti, an “offbeat genius” a la Woody Allen, and “nerdcore folk duo” The Doubleclicks, a Portland sister act.

Tiny Tavern is putting its funny where its mouth is. The revamped Whiteaker bar hosts frequent comedy open mics with Mac Chase at the helm, and now local comedian Isaac Paris has booked “Comics in Glasses: Entertaining the Masses,” featuring the comic prowess of Torontonian David Heti, an “offbeat genius” a la Woody Allen (with the mug of a blond Adrian Brody), and “nerdcore folk duo” The Doubleclicks, a Portland sister act that sings about Pride and Prejudice heartthrob Mr.

March 6, 2014 12:00 AM

Lavish parties, love, murder, truth and ennui: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 tale of the amoral moneyed class continues to raise questions in a new century.

Lavish parties, love, murder, truth and ennui: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 tale of the amoral moneyed class continues to raise questions in a new century.

Tangled up in someone else’s messy, selfish love triangle, Nick Carraway is simultaneously dazzled and disgusted by the wealthy residents of Long Island. His questions of money, power and what some people expect to be able to buy in this world are particularly apt in 2014. 

March 6, 2014 12:00 AM

“Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?” a bright yellow billboard yelled out at New York City in 2012. Beneath the question was this statistic: Less than 4 percent of the artists in the Modern Art sections are women, but 76 percent of the nudes are female. Created by art activists the Guerrilla Girls, the message was directed at the Metropolitan Museum.

“Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?” a bright yellow billboard yelled out at New York City in 2012. Beneath the question was this statistic: Less than 4 percent of the artists in the Modern Art sections are women, but 76 percent of the nudes are female. Created by art activists the Guerrilla Girls, the message was directed at the Metropolitan Museum. The National Museum of Women in the Arts in D.C. states “51 percent of visual artists today are women,” but “only 5 percent of the art currently on display in U.S.

February 27, 2014 12:00 AM

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

Golden Girl: With Eugene Opera’s The Girl of the Golden West performances fast approaching (March 14 and 16), several complementary exhibits are throwing the saloon doors open. The White Lotus Gallery is hosting an artists’ reception with Lynda Lanker and Gary Tepher 2 to 5 pm Saturday, March 1, for the show Women of the Gold Rush West, with works on display (and for sale) by Lanker, Tepher, David Butler, Rich Bergeman and Charles Search.

February 27, 2014 12:00 AM

The Phoinix Players have made it their ongoing — and often lonely — mission to single-handedly revive musical theater in Eugene, and they do an admirable job at conjuring the sort of song-and-dance productions that sent Broadway hellzapoppin’ from the era of Tin Pan Alley to the Great Depression. The troupe, a clutch of talented 20-somethings, is adept at mounting small-scale floorshows that oftentimes achieve a kind of retro grandeur. When they’re on, they hit the mark beautifully.

The Phoinix Players have made it their ongoing — and often lonely — mission to single-handedly revive musical theater in Eugene, and they do an admirable job at conjuring the sort of song-and-dance productions that sent Broadway hellzapoppin’ from the era of Tin Pan Alley to the Great Depression. The troupe, a clutch of talented 20-somethings, is adept at mounting small-scale floorshows that oftentimes achieve a kind of retro grandeur. When they’re on, they hit the mark beautifully.

February 20, 2014 12:00 AM

Sniffing out what you shouldn't miss in the arts this week

At 36, Seattleite and dancer Savannah Fuentes has spent half her life studying flamenco. “Flamenco is a lifelong commitment,” she says. “It’s hard. It’s really hard.” Fuentes brings her show “El Sol de Medianoche, Flamenco en Vivo” to Cozmic 8 pm Monday, Feb. 24; $20 general, $10 students, $7 kids 12 and under. The Spanish dance is unique, Fuentes says, because while other Latin dances — salsa, tango — are social or with a partner, flamenco is mostly for soloists, and the footwork is particularly complex.

February 20, 2014 12:00 AM

I made a date recently with arborist Alby Thoumsin to chat about how to choose trees. “I bet you called me now because it’s the best time to plant trees,” he volunteered when we met. “You can’t do better.” So which trees do you recommend, I asked. “It depends what people want. They should think about what purpose they want the tree to serve — privacy, shade, fruit, or a striking specimen.” 

I made a date recently with arborist Alby Thoumsin to chat about how to choose trees. “I bet you called me now because it’s the best time to plant trees,” he volunteered when we met. “You can’t do better.” So which trees do you recommend, I asked. “It depends what people want. They should think about what purpose they want the tree to serve — privacy, shade, fruit, or a striking specimen.” 

February 13, 2014 12:00 AM

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

Just announced: The Bali Arts Festival has invited LCC’s Balinese dance troupe Tirtha Tari to perform in the capital of Denpasar June 21, 2014. The troupe, consisting of six LCC students led by dance instructor Bonnie Simoa, will study the Legong dance form with master teacher Sang Ayu Ketut Muklen. See Tirtha Tari perform for the Asian Celebration 1:30 pm Saturday, Feb. 15, and 10:55 am Sunday, Feb. 16, at the Lane County Fairgrounds.


Erin Elder of Balinese dance group Tirtha Tar  Photo by Michael Brinkerhoff


February 13, 2014 12:00 AM

Lord knows, existentialism is old hat by now: It’s practically taken for granted among the cognoscenti that God is dead, life is meaningless, language is a prison, we are alone, etc., etc. Used to be the muscular existentialist pose involved an angry brow knitted under a fedora, with cigarette ash dropping upon a tattered copy of Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra; now, every 13-year-old playing Grand Theft Auto with a belly full of Dr. Pepper knows that life is a bunk game, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

Lord knows, existentialism is old hat by now: It’s practically taken for granted among the cognoscenti that God is dead, life is meaningless, language is a prison, we are alone, etc., etc. Used to be the muscular existentialist pose involved an angry brow knitted under a fedora, with cigarette ash dropping upon a tattered copy of Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra; now, every 13-year-old playing Grand Theft Auto with a belly full of Dr. Pepper knows that life is a bunk game, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

February 6, 2014 12:00 AM

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

The Oregon Arts Commission, in conjunction with The Ford Family Foundation, announced the names of 23 artists who will receive Career Opportunity Grants with a total of $61,744 awarded. Scottish-born, Portland-based fiber artist Jo Hamilton received $1,500 for the Contemporary Northwest Visions exhibit and accompanying catalog opening April 1 at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Although Hamilton paints as well, her crochet “paintings” of people and cityscapes are her signature work. Got grant envy?

February 6, 2014 12:00 AM

This being the month when we celebrate the pursuit of Eros, Amor, love in all its forms — oddly appropriated to the name of a saint (Valentine/Valentinus martyred by beheading on Feb. 14, 273 CE) — we want to send some love to two figures whose passionate pursuits add pleasures to our lives. 

This being the month when we celebrate the pursuit of Eros, Amor, love in all its forms — oddly appropriated to the name of a saint (Valentine/Valentinus martyred by beheading on Feb. 14, 273 CE) — we want to send some love to two figures whose passionate pursuits add pleasures to our lives. 

First, let’s welcome the opening of an elegant oasis on Eugene’s urban wine trail: Friday, Feb. 7, will mark the grand opening of Pyrenees Lounge at 946 S. Willamette in the former, now-refurbished Woolworth Building. 

February 6, 2014 12:00 AM

John Cariani’s 2004 romantic comedy, Almost, Maine, flopped when it opened in New York but is now the most produced play in our high schools, which might just tell you everything you need to know about this play that is beseechingly quaint and cosmically cute but not altogether lacking in bite.

John Cariani’s 2004 romantic comedy, Almost, Maine, flopped when it opened in New York but is now the most produced play in our high schools, which might just tell you everything you need to know about this play that is beseechingly quaint and cosmically cute but not altogether lacking in bite.

January 30, 2014 12:00 AM

Some things never change, especially in Eugene, where great pockets of time stop and drop into a sinkhole of self-fertilization. Look at our eternal perpetuation of hippie nostalgia, which has become a cottage industry in itself, for better and worse. Marx noted that all great historical moments — like the long-gone Age of Aquarius, for instance — occur twice, the first time as tragedy and the second as farce, and for those among us who forget that Easy Rider did not have a happy ending, a pair of plays currently in production carry a strong corrective message.

Some things never change, especially in Eugene, where great pockets of time stop and drop into a sinkhole of self-fertilization. Look at our eternal perpetuation of hippie nostalgia, which has become a cottage industry in itself, for better and worse. Marx noted that all great historical moments — like the long-gone Age of Aquarius, for instance — occur twice, the first time as tragedy and the second as farce, and for those among us who forget that Easy Rider did not have a happy ending, a pair of plays currently in production carry a strong corrective message.

January 30, 2014 12:00 AM

Oscar prep: Who has two hours for a movie anymore (or three hours, ahem, The Wolf of Wall Street)? Bijou Art Cinemas (on 13th) and the Bijou Metro (downtown) begin screening 2014 Oscar-nominated short films Jan. 31, including animated, live action and documentary films. EW picks: The Lady in Number 6 about Alice Herz Sommer, the world’s oldest pianist and Holocaust survivor at 109 years old; the Steampunk-inspired animated hijinx of Mr.

January 23, 2014 12:00 AM

Sniffing out what you shouldn't miss in the arts this week

Eugene’s biggest dance event of the year, Dance for a Reason (DFAR), celebrates its 20th year 7:30 pm Friday, Jan. 24, at the Hult; $20. This year the nonprofit recital will benefit the School Garden Project and feature more than 20 dance organizations and groups including Kindrid Tribal Belly Dance, Crazy Diamond Hoop Troupe, Kings Krew and Ballet Fantastique.

January 23, 2014 12:00 AM

“I don’t understand what you are trying to say. I have never understood anything you are trying to say,” says George, the protagonist of The Language Archive.

Can you love language but have no words for love? George is a passionate linguist but a passive spouse. He cannot express his love for Mary. She, in turn, hides odd little poems about her unhappiness and then denies ever writing them, such as, “Husband or throw pillow? Wife or hot-water bottle? Marriage or an old cardigan? Love or explaining how to use the remote control?”

“I don’t understand what you are trying to say. I have never understood anything you are trying to say,” says George, the protagonist of The Language Archive.

Can you love language but have no words for love? George is a passionate linguist but a passive spouse. He cannot express his love for Mary. She, in turn, hides odd little poems about her unhappiness and then denies ever writing them, such as, “Husband or throw pillow? Wife or hot-water bottle? Marriage or an old cardigan? Love or explaining how to use the remote control?”

January 23, 2014 12:00 AM

Birbiglia became the poster boy for REM (rapid eye movement) behavior disorder and self-deprecating laughs after cataloging his slumbering escapades (like jumping through a second-story window) in Sleepwalk With Me. Now, Birbiglia is on a 100-city tour — his biggest yet — for the new comedy special Thank God for Jokes; he’s still making the everyday hilarious, e.g., kissing is weird when you really think about it. EW caught up with the comedian on the road.

Birbiglia became the poster boy for REM (rapid eye movement) behavior disorder and self-deprecating laughs after cataloging his slumbering escapades (like jumping through a second-story window) in Sleepwalk With Me. Now, Birbiglia is on a 100-city tour — his biggest yet — for the new comedy special Thank God for Jokes; he’s still making the everyday hilarious, e.g., kissing is weird when you really think about it. EW caught up with the comedian on the road.

 

What’s on your mind today?

January 16, 2014 12:00 AM

Sniffing out what you shouldn't miss in the arts this week.

Oregon’s story wouldn’t be complete without Ken Kesey, and OPB took that to heart with “Ken Kesey,” part of its Oregon Experience film series. The one-hour special premieres 7:30 pm Thursday, Jan. 16, at the McDonald Theatre; tickets are free on a first-come, first-served basis at mcdonaldtheatre.com or at the door. OPB TV will air the special on Jan. 20 at 9 pm.

 

January 16, 2014 12:00 AM

You can be in. You can be out. That goes for all of us, wherever we are. Every community, no matter how open, has its own rules and its own method of communication. Billy’s family is no different. 

You can be in. You can be out. That goes for all of us, wherever we are. Every community, no matter how open, has its own rules and its own method of communication.

Billy’s family is no different. 

January 9, 2014 12:00 AM

Sniffing out what you shouldn't miss in the arts this week

“Whatever satisfies the soul is truth,” wrote Walt Whitman in the preface to Leaves of Grass. By this logic, there may be no better truth than art and music, both of which will come to life in “American Luminosity: Our Poets, Our Composers, Our Art” 7:30 pm Friday, Jan. 10, at UO’s Beall Concert Hall.

January 9, 2014 12:00 AM

It could have been worse. December’s sudden deep freeze did quite a bit of damage to gardens in our area, and probably more out of town than in. But the relatively short duration of sub-zero temperatures, combined with an insulating blanket of snow, meant that the soil didn’t freeze deeply, which limited the damage. 

It could have been worse. December’s sudden deep freeze did quite a bit of damage to gardens in our area, and probably more out of town than in. But the relatively short duration of sub-zero temperatures, combined with an insulating blanket of snow, meant that the soil didn’t freeze deeply, which limited the damage. Many shrubs blackened by frost will send up a flush of new stems from the roots or from their protected lower branches. Veggies that were small enough to hide beneath the snow already show signs of new growth.