September, 2014

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…