Monthly Archives: March 2017

Dark Comedy! Feathers and Teeth at Artists Repertory Theatre (March 19, 2017)

Feathers and Teeth is a dark comedy in the truest sense of the phrase. It’s funny and gruesome at the same time. It’s similar to Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events in its dark tone. The story begins when the family catches a monster in a pot.  The audience hears horrifying sounds and wonders if the monster ever be seen or is its image left to their imagination? This is a family friendly adventure of horror and drama.

Agatha Day Olson is excellent as the young girl, Chris. Upon her first entrance to the stage, she heads immediately to the monster and begins stabbing it! Blood flies everywhere! This scene is followed by Chris yelling at her father’s girlfriend “You’re not my mother!” It is evident Chris is going through some issues after losing her mom. The adults bury the pot, but Chris digs it up! The audience is constantly trying to figure out her motives as she often lies. At first Chris denies retrieving the pot, but then she claims her intentions were to give it as a wedding gift. It’s a wildly fun performance!

Artists Repertory Theatre, Feathters and Teeth

Get tickets now for Feathers and Teeth through April 2nd!

Quinn Delaney

Beautifully Artistic! NW Dance Project Presents Visible Darkness at the Newmark Theatre (3/17/2017)

Visible Darkness is Patrick Delcroix’s first piece since his accident two years ago. He fell off a ladder and wasn’t found until days later. He suffered brain trauma and his recovery was difficult. This performance is heart wrenching as he explores this real life trauma. At the same time, it is absolutely beautiful with the movement of the dancers. It’s bodies in motion creating a piece of art. It’s fluid, artistic, and incredibly emotional.

All of the music is beautiful. It features “Underwood” by Ludovico Einaudi and work by David Lang. It perfectly sets the mood of this dramatic dance.

Be sure to catch Summer Splendors, up next at NW Dance Project.

N W Dance Project,

Quinn Delaney

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Killing It! Cold Roses at Beat Kitchen

Cold Roses are a combination of your favorite genres, and this band kills it. They are like when your favorite song comes on the radio while you’re borrowing your dad’s vintage convertible on a summer night (or what I would imagine that to feel like). From Philly, Cold Roses uses elements from rock, blues, and soul music. With a guitar, bass, keyboard, set of drums, saxophone, trumpet, and a rugged indie voice, this band strikes feeling into the souls in its audience.

When I first asked the band if I could write about them, I told them my affinity for their song “No Silence in the City.” As they began their set, sure enough, I heard: “This song is for Liz, if you’re out there.”

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After having a brief fan-girl moment where I jumped up and down and waved my right arm in the air, I planted my feet firmly back on the ground. However, they weren’t there for long, as it is physically impossible not to sway your body to this song. A fast-paced, running beat juxtaposed with lyrics about slowing down—or being unable to. Constantly adding and subtracting volume and instruments, this song builds and drops, similar to a city skyline.

Another highlight was their original piece, “Lose That Man.” Another upbeat number with the horns section at full blast, this song almost capsized me. It’s playful and fun to dance to, not to mention relatable. We’ve all been jealous before, and it’s never pretty. There is really no right way to handle it. However, Cold Roses says “to Hell with it,” and lets their envy unravel. Lead singer and guitarist Rob Clancy is a voice of seduction and the devil on your shoulder, repeating “Told you once, told you twice/ Gonna have to lose that man,” each chorus. The lyrics make jabs and even death threats, all while behaving childishly. I know that sounds like an insult, but it’s actually very rock ‘n roll. It’s the release of inhibitions and mature attitudes. Not to mention, this song has an incredibly jazzy keyboard solo by Dan Finn.

I’m sure I won’t miss Cold Roses next time they’re in town, and I’m telling my friends in Philly about them. They are not capable of a dull moment.

Liz Lawson

 

 

Comedy Legend! John Cleese at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (March 15, 2017)

When John Cleese walks on stage at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, he is met by a thunderous applause. He waves to the audience and then proceeds to exit stage right. “That’s the show!” After much laughter, he returns and starts off by explaining why as a 77 year old man, he is currently telling jokes in a damp town so close to Canada. He displays a picture of a woman at an ATM. “That’s my ex-wife”, he explains. “She’s withdrawing her alimony.” The crowd erupts with laughter. He goes on to talk about his childhood in a small town in England. Cleese says it was bombed by the Germans in World War II. “There was nothing in the town worth more than the bomb itself!” Thus, this was the Germans proving they do have a sense of humor.

Afterwards, he proceeds to go on a run through of his career. Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Life of Brian (1979), and The Meaning of Life (1983) are just some of the projects he mentions while telling stories about the making of them. He also includes clips from these projects including the “It’s just a flesh wound!” scene from The Holy Grail. It still holds up after all these years. As proof of this films lasting importance, the helmet which Cleese wears as the taunting French soldier is currently displayed at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle.

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After a brief Q & A in which he mentions Fawlty Towers (1975), he ends the night after 75 minutes. The audience was left wanting more, which is just how the great performers do it. Everyone left with a smile on their face, happy to see the comedy legend, who is still funny and charming as ever.

Quinn Delaney

See our preview here.

Also, see our review of The Faulty Towers Dining Experience.

Rocking and Funny! Stumptown Stages Presents Rock of Ages at the Brunish Theatre, Portland’5 Centers for the Arts (March 16, 2017)

Rock of Ages first appeared on Broadway in 2009 to great success. A movie version starring Tom Cruise was released in 2012 with moderate reviews. Now, Stumptown Stages is bringing it back to the theatre in Portland in a version that is better than the movie. Sean Lamb stars at Lonny, the narrator of the story. He plays the 80’s mustached rocker with a mullet acting hilariously as he flirts with the girl seated front row center. His recap for the latecomers about killing vampires with kindness, aka garlic bread, has the latecomers confused but everyone else laughing. It’s a very fun and supportive crowd tonight that clearly contains friends of the cast.

Another hilarious scene involves a couple having sex in the bathroom. A man walks in to use the urinal and they all ignore each other. As he leaves the bathroom without washing his hands, he wipes his hand on the girl’s back while she is riding the guy. This is just one example of the humor involved which was missing in the movie version.

The Brunish Theatre in Portland’5 Centers for the Arts is a very intimate space. There is literally zero space between the front row of seats and the stage. The effect makes the audience feel like they are part of the show. It’s a truly fun experience and a must see for all fans of comedy and 80s rock!

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Get tickets now for Rock Ages through Sunday!

Quinn Delaney

Spectacular! His Eye is on the Sparrow at the Portland Center Stage at The Armory (March 14, 2017)

His Eye is on the Sparrow is a musical biography of Ethel Waters with seamless transitions between telling stories of her life and singing her songs. Maiesha McQueen successfully carries the show for 2 hours with a single intermission and costume change, along with Darius Smith on piano.

The show began with the actress and pianist quietly walking into the room and onto the ground level stage without a grand announcement. She begins telling the stories of her birth to a mother that was raped and never wanted her, and then her lonely childhood after the death of her beloved aunt. From there, her story starts to unveil her relentless desire to achieve a better quality of life. She left her first husband who forbid her to go out singing and dancing, whom she married at the age of 13. Waters went to work as a maid. Not long after that, her voice fell upon the right ears and she started getting paid for singing. Although she had to overcome hardships and racism along the way, her success continued to grow until they knew her name around the world.

Along this biographical journey, songs such as “Old Man Harlem”, “Am I Blue?”, “Sweet Georgia Brown”, and “Heat Wave” are belted with no audible flaws along with the title song “His Eye is on the Sparrow”. It truly is a spectacular show worth experiencing to witness the flawless acting, singing, and piano playing of these two performers.

Get your tickets now! The show is only playing Portland Center Stage at The Armory through March 26th!

Krystal Stillwell

Sexy and Funny! French Kiss at The Can Can (March 12, 2017)

French Kiss is so good that it’s almost too sexy! The Can Can is a very intimate room that only seats around 60 people. A thin catwalk runs down the center of the room to a stage on one side. Today, Corey is sitting in the front row and is chosen as the hype man. The host pulls him up on stage and has him duplicate the sexy dancing. He then moves onto the catwalk and has him shake his money maker. The audience eats it up as they laugh and cheer.

The modern soundtrack is absolutely fantastic. It features electro swing songs such as Glam by Dimie Cat which create a fun French atmosphere. It also features “Blood In The Cut” by K.Flay.  It’s a hard rocking song featuring a female lead vocal that is perfect for the dance featuring a woman dominating two men.

Later on, the host discovers that a couple is on a blind date. He pulls the guy onstage and has him sit on a chair. All three women come out and dance around and on him. Then, two long haired large men (the cooks?) appear and dance around him. Finally, the two male professional entertainers dance around and on him. The crowd hoots and hollers the entire time. It is quite an excellent segment that showcases both sensual dancing and comedy.

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Get tickets now for Seattle’s sexiest show, French Kiss, through May 28th!

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Quinn Delaney

Also, see our review of Paris, je t’aime!

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