Eugene Weekly : Art Shorts : 10.04.07

Crush-worthy Dream of the Old World

Ah, Provence (or Italy, depending on your inclination): Warm autumn days with barefoot peasants stomping through vats of perfectly ripened grapes, perhaps dancing tarantellas as they work, their feet the perfect instrument to burst the grapes into juice that will become the nectar of the gods (or just stunned American and British tourists). The day finishes with beautiful cheese and crusty, chewy artisanal bread, a piece of chocolate lingering on the tongue and the maroon fruits of other years’ harvests swirling into a glass.

No need to fly to Europe, however; all of this joy takes place just down the street at the 5th Street Public Market’s Harvest Crush on Saturday, Oct. 6, and Sunday, Oct. 7. We had to laugh at the over-the-top press release that says “Our upper and lower level courtyards … will become a wine tasting wonderland,” but hey, with 25 wineries offering tastes and chocolatiers, cheese makers and other luscious food people snaring the unwary (aka tipsy) revelers with their wares, it might well be a wonderland. Kind of like Willy Wonka’s factory, but for grown-ups. (Remember, “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.”) Apparently the joyous crowd will also get to … um … admire a “Market fashion show for fashionable pups and fashionable owners.” The more alert children of the crowd can party down in a harvest–themed kids’ zone and look at local artists’ wares. But the pièce de resistance comes in the awesome crush competition, where you can get your feet purple without the help of rain-soaked tie-dyed socks. Go by foot or bus (if you bike, best plan to walk it on home; you can get a moving vehicle violation for biking drunk) any time between 11 am and 7 pm on Saturday or between 11 am and 6 pm Sunday; bring $20 for the entry fee, which gets you a combo of 10 tasting tickets and a wineglass with logo. More tix available at the event. Raise a glass to Oregon — and hope for good weather. — Suzi Steffen


Zombie Money Welcome Here

Darkness falls across the land; the midnight hour is close at hand. Creatures crawl in search of blood to terrorize y’all’s neighborhood.

Just when you thought it was safe to leave your house, those pesky brain-eating zombies arise from their graves and onto the stage at the Majestic Theatre in Corvallis.

Lori Allen Ohm’s adapted version of the horror classic Night of the Living Dead is part of a yearly fundraising event for Majestic Education. The theatre, which traditionally does a winter holiday performance for its annual fundraising, decided to do something different this year.

“We normally do Christmas themes, and they have always been successful, but we thought it would be fun to try something new,” says the play’s director, Jen Waters. “Living Dead is a good script and we think the community will really enjoy it.”

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the film (are you out there?), the plot is part sci-fi, part lighthearted horror with even a little bit of social commentary. Like a majority of zombie films, it begins with radioactive material and a cemetery.

“The play stays true to the film. There is a radioactive outbreak, which makes the dead come alive and start attacking the first people they come across. Most of the play is centered around seven people that all end up in a farmhouse trying to figure out a plan. It is very intense,” Waters says.

The community has gotten involved in the production: More than 50 community members were cast as zombies and the event features a diverse cast from the local high school, university and theater groups. Proceeds from the play go towards funding theater scholarships and classes.

“Many students take advantage of our scholarships, so the funds we get from this yearly event are really important,” says Waters. “I think this year is going to do really well though; anyone who likes to be a little scared will have a great time. There is cool make-up and lots of neat special effects.”

Waters does warn that the play is not for the very young or the faint of heart. Night of the Living Dead opens October 5. Tickets are $7 for students under 17 and $9 for adults. — Deanna Uutela


CORRECTION/CLARIFICATION: In last week’s arts short, “For an Artist, Dying Young,” we identified Hilary Stetson, a UO art student and a friend of Eric Washburn’s, as his classmate; she did not take a ceramics class with him. She also was not part of naming the gallery after Washburn, and she did not intend to insult his classmates by claiming his work was better than theirs. Rather, she says, she was impressed that his work was so good.