Events

Dial M for Murder by Bag & Baggage Productions

Dim the lights: Portland’s mid-October theater opening highlights

Television houses a surplus crop of zombie apocalypse and vampire romance. Break free from the parade of the undead with a string of mid-October Portland theater openings guaranteed to add a little mortality to this fall’s entertainment. After all, autumn is both a celebration of life and death. Milagro Theatre (525 SE Stark) has set the stage for the debut of Olga Sanchez’s ¡O Romeo!. Running from Oct. 17 through Nov. 9, ¡O Romeo! summons the victims of Shakespeare’s tragedies to appear to the dramatist in his dying days as he creates his final masterpiece. Inspired by Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), the play is a bilingual performance that focuses on the culturally influenced concept of death. Director Sanchez credits her team of actors, designers, and crew for proving that the legendary playwright transcends cultural boundaries. Ticket prices range from $16 to $24. From Oct. 16 through Nov. 2, enjoy the songs and choreography given life in Portland’5 Center for the Arts’ 110 in the Shade at Brunish Theatre (1111 SW Broadway). The musical, which emerged from N. Richard Nash’s play The Rainmaker, tells a tale of small town America when a draught bares an opportunity for…

Jennifer Faylor

Chasing Ghosts: Excerpt of Jennifer Faylor’s ‘Edison’s Ghost Machine’

New York City-based poet Jennifer Faylor lands in Portland this week, reading poetry from her latest collection of work Edison’s Ghost Machine. The compilation of poems details the process of one man’s grief over the loss of his lover, Alice. As part of the process he concocts a machine that speaks to ghosts, much like the invention Thomas Edison was rumored to have attempted. With a storyline that moves beyond the here and now to the afterlife, Faylor’s poetry tackles spirituality and science in equal measure. Faylor, who has her MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, has two upcoming reading events in Portland. The poet participates in the Show and Tell Gallery hosted by Three Friends Coffeehouse (201 SE 12th Ave.) on Monday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m., and reads at the Independent Publishing Resource Center (1001 SE Division St.) the following day, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. Edison’s Ghost Machine is published by Aldrich Press. An excerpt of Edison’s Ghost Machine: Hindu Milk Miracle The worshippers arrived in masses, stretched from the temple for miles, and blistered in September’s thick heat. Their hands clutched the cheap metal spoons that they would fill with milk, and hold up to the…

SuperTrash on display, let’s talk about it

Our history is documented in everyday design. A passing glance at a poster may not strike the viewer as anything more than an artful image, designed to draw attention to an upcoming film. But what happens when more than 200 hundred posters, spanning fifty years, are placed juxtaposed in an exhibit? SuperTrash, a collection of cult movie bills curated by Jacques Boyreau, was first presented at the Andy Warhol Museum. Offering an alternative portrait of the 20th century, the prints amassed by Boyreau, author of TRASH: The Graphic Genius of Xploitation Movie Posters, are on display at PNCA’s Swigert Commons (1241 NW Johnson) through Oct. 21. As this showcase of vintage design warrants more than just a glance, the art school seeks to contextualize the thoughts and attitudes behind the graphic designs with a symposium hosted this Saturday, Oct. 11, as part of Design Week Portland. After settling in with a cup of morning coffee, the symposium begins promptly at 10 a.m. Boyreau opens the event, speaking to why this selection of cult movie advertisements is an avant-garde study of America’s collective past. Then, a discussion lead by notable presenters is to follow. Speakers Amy Borden, contributor to anthologies on…

Mix tapes, Mad Men, and urban design: Oct. 7 highlights of Design Week Portland

Design is founded on more than just functionality. At its very core, design is rhetoric. From its beginnings as the artful speeches of ancient Greeks, rhetoric has evolved into the ability to express ideas through multiple mediums of design. Tonight, Design Week Portland hosts several events around town that use various forms of design to communicate with the Rose City. See how artist Kate Bingaman-Burt forgoes the high-fidelity romance of mix tapes to use the medium to communicate her thoughts on money, objects, and emotions. The open house exhibit, More More More, at Liquid Space (910 NW Hoyt) in the Pearl District, is a free event that lasts from 4 to 7 p.m. The show gives attendees a chance to speak with Bingaman-Burt and purchase prints of her work. Each purchase comes with a mix tape curated by the artist. Later in the evening, take a more intimate look at the work—rather than the sex lives—of Portland’s real-life Don Drapers in Portland Designers in the Mad Men Era. Browse displays featuring old sketchbooks, pamphlets, illustrations, and comics of Mad Men-era Portland designers in advertising. The collection provides an intimate look at the local men who transformed the field of ad and graphic…

First Thursday October: What Not to Miss

Tonight artists and art lovers – and those hoping for a few plastic cups of free wine – will populate the streets of downtown and the Pearl District. This month’s First Thursday proves as busy as any other in its 26-year history, but a few shows in particular are well worth weaving through the crowds to catch. Thursday in the DeSoto Building, Blue Sky Gallery (122 NW 8th Ave.) hosts an opening reception for two photography exhibitions: At Home with Themselves – Same-Sex Couples in 1980s America by Sage Sohier and One Mahogany Left Standing by Carol Yarrow. In her fifth show for Blue Sky, Sohier presents intimate black-and-white portraits of committed same-sex couples photographed during the ’80s. Her work attempts to debunk the rampant misinformation surrounding AIDS that fueled the period’s homophobia. Between 1995 and 2002, Portland-based photographer Yarrow took multiple trips to Nahá, a small village home to roughly 200 Lacandon Maya in Chiapas, Mexico. During her visits she photographed the daily life of the people, who soon became her friends. This intimacy is evident in her black-and-white gelatin silver prints. View Thursday’s opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. The exhibitions run through Nov. 2. www.blueskygallery.org Portland-based…

Dim the lights, please: Plays opening now in Portland

Autumn may mark the end of day trips, beach-basking, and camping, but Portlanders must not lament its arrival. The fall brings with it a line-up of theatrical productions that demonstrate escapism at its best. A variety of plays, from existential to thrilling to comedic, are ready to take audiences on an expedition of the mind. Third Rail’s production of Middletown lightens the weight of the abstruse quest to uncover the purpose of life. Written by Will Eno, Middletown is a story marked by life and death but the subject matter is what occurs between. Utilizing the play medium allows the story to emphasize a familiar cast of characters seen in life—the cop, the doctor, the mechanic—in a setting that could be any town. Under the direction of Marcella Crowson, Eno’s quip-filled, yet poignant dialogue is metered with fast-paced execution to keep the audience from getting lost in its meta musings. Middletown plays now through Oct. 19 at the Winningstad Theater, 1111 SW Broadway. Performances occur Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $33 to $47. Audiences seeking a more plot-driven story can be carried away to a sea of unfortunate circumstances and character conflict in Exiles. The third play…

Wordstock announces partnership, change of venue

More than a mere convention for those in the written word business, Wordstock has been a vibrant celebration of the literary arts for nine years. And now Wordstock has a new venue – and benefactor. In the past, the festival has operated out of the Oregon Convention Center. This year, festival organizers will take a brief hiatus to prepare for Wordstock’s 2015 reincarnation at its new venue, the Portland Art Museum. Brian Ferriso, Executive Director of the Portland Art Museum, is enthusiastic about the event, revealing that Wordstock will not only take place within the larger venues of the museum, but also throughout the gallery space, where compelling art will be a part of the overall festival. Wordstock’s change in venue is the result of a beneficiary relationship with Literary Arts. Since 1984, the nationally recognized program has been associated with the Portland Art Museum, where it launched the subscription series, Portland Arts & Lectures. Woodstock’s association with Literary Arts will bring additional funding, but also expectations — expectations that Literary Arts can help Wordstock exceed. Board Chair Michelle Wasson, who is responsible for initiating conversation with Literary Arts, believes that “this acquisition allows the festival to continue to develop as…

PDX Magazine and McMenamins present Three for Silver and Nathan Jr.’s .bot

#AbsynthianPsychoTrad, #TypewriterWaltz, and #3amSexyDirge are just a few of the hashtags playfully used to describe the songs of Portland-based band Three for Silver. The gypsy jazz group is a chimerical concoction, with Willo Sertain powering both vocals and accordion, Lucas Warford plucking a makeshift bass, and Greg Allison sawing the fiddle. They produce a sound that is both a rousing rhythmic aphrodisiac and a mind-slipping sedative. In essence, a prescription for a great live show. Over the course of seven days, Three for Silver will dispense their newest tunes during a residency for Al’s Den at Crystal Hotel (303 SW 12th Ave.).This is the last chance to hear what a #3amSexyDirge sounds like before they leave for Chicago’s Hi-Style Studio to record their new album, expected to be released mid-December. On Saturday, September 27, as the residency at Al’s Den concludes, PDX Magazine will use the opportunity to pair Three for Silver with local legend Nathan Jr’s new project titled .bot. The multi-instrumentalist Nathan Jr. is known as one half of the duo Duover, and has toured with the likes of M. Ward and Sea Wolf. The show, which is free to attend, begins at 7 p.m. PDX Magazine Music…

Art Carts hits Hawthorne this weekend

Look around your home for a moment. Who’s hanging on your walls these days? Still have your M.C. Escher print from college in the study? Any vintage liquor ads in the kitchen? It’s time to roll up Le Frou Frou and the Campari poster and hang some new art. If you’re anywhere near Portland this weekend, it’s the perfect time to start or add to your collection of works by local artists. Stop by the first annual Art Carts fair at the far east end of Hawthorne Boulevard in the East Portland Eagle Lodge’s parking lot (4904 SE Hawthorne Blvd.) on Saturday, September 13, for what may be Portland’s first art fair on wheels. As one of the major sponsors of this event, PDX Magazine believes every Portlander should have local art hanging in her home. And bringing local art out of the brick-and-mortar setting and into the neighborhoods in mobile galleries is a great way to introduce artists to the public. More than a dozen art carts will be present, and ours will offer a mix of original, one-of-a-kind works as well as affordable high-quality prints from a variety of artists including: Richard Melloy, Eli Lewis, Jennifer Mercede, Emily Kosta, Linda Rand, Gesine Kratzner, Kate Altermatt, Kelli MacConnell, Sylvia Mann…

‘Lessons Learned’: Puppets, Portland, and a Q&A with Art Director Scott Foster

“From small beginnings come great things!” It’s this phrase, breathlessly recited by a character known only as “the boy,” that gets right to the heart of Toby Froud’s live action puppet film, Lessons Learned. In fact, the same could be said of Froud himself, who was only an infant when he appeared alongside David Bowie in Jim Henson’s 1986 film, Labyrinth. Froud’s parents, Wendy and Brian, created costumes and puppets for Labyrinth, as well as for The Dark Crystal, and their artistic influence can be seen in the creatures of Lessons Learned. The fifteen-minute short begins on the boy’s birthday as he arrives at his grandfather’s door, where he is promptly greeted with the flick of a feather duster by the ever-harried housekeeper, Digby. After receiving a special birthday gift from his grandfather, the boy embarks on a journey that leads him through a hallway jammed floor to ceiling with boxes of “collected wisdom,” to an immense, cloudy dreamworld where he encounters beings such as the towering “granny”—a Moirai-inspired spider who furiously knits away at an impossibly long, undulating red scarf. The film features a magical, lush soundtrack by Lillian Todd Jones and Gordon Mills (Jones’ father, William Todd Jones,…