- IT’S OK WITH US: Looks like director Azazel Jacobs has caught the Portland bug. After filming Terri, written by Portland novelist Patrick deWitt, he’s collaborating with deWitt on a second screenplay—and has just finished co-writing an adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s 1935 story “Spanish Blood” with Gill Dennis, a Portlander best known for penning the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line. “Something in the air in Portland, I guess, right?” Jacobs tells WW. “I very much have been in love with Chandler and Hammett, and have wanted to be in that world for a long time.” Jacobs says casting will soon begin for Spanish Blood, which is about a detective investigating a politician’s murder: “I’m looking for my Elliott Gould,” the director says.
- CLASSICAL DEPARTURES: Third Angle New Music Ensemble is performing in Chiang Mai at the Thailand International Composition Festival. And Cappella Romana was
just invited to take its Byzantine music back to the country of its
origin, Greece, for two performances in September. One departure,
however, will be much lamented: Executive director Katie Taylor has left Opera Theater Oregon. The
low-budget company has successfully courted younger and more diverse
audiences through a combination of low ticket prices, pop-culture
references (like last year’s Baywatch-style version of Wagner’s Rheingold),
and beer available during performances. “After five years on the
pony—the zesty, prancing pony that is OTO—I’ve decided it’s time for me
to step down,” Taylor’s announcement read. “I was going to invent a
sex scandal (not involving ponies) to explain my departure, but then I
remembered that this is Portland, and no one would be likely to care,
even if ponies were involved.” OTO Musical Director Erica Melton and Film Division Director Jen Wechsler will assume Taylor’s duties.
- FOOD + BOOZE: It’s bar month in Portland! Quimby’s, a bar on Northwest Quimby Street at 19th Avenue with an attached cart pod, opened July 9. Kask, a charcuterie and cheese-centric bar attached to Chris Israel’s Grüner restaurant, opened July 15. Rum Club, a new bar that shares a building and owner with Beaker & Flask, opened July 18, as did RingSide Fish House in the Fox Tower. And Trader Vic’s makes its tiki-triumphal return to Portland on Aug. 1. Cheers.
- FAREWELL METROPOLIS: And in caped-crusader news, the latest edition of the Superman comic series is set in Portland (Superman #713). The book actually opens in Newberg, where Superman is hanging out in a park having an existential crisis. Later he slips on some thick-framed square glasses and hangs out in a Starbucks-esque coffeeshop in the Pearl District. There’s even a panel showing Jamison Square’s kid-clogged fountain. Superman #713 now available for $2.99 at local comic book stores.