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September 5th, 2001 | Featured Stories
 

2001 Fall Arts Preview

     
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It seems like only yesterday that WW published a list of the most promising cultural events of the 2000-2001 season. Though professional critics, we are not always the most reliable seers, and so some of what we recommended last season haunts our sleep, as do a few omissions that turned out to be worthy projects. But we bravely forge ahead again into prophecy. Herewith our breakdown of the 2001-2002 season now fast upon us. Although this guide is far from a complete list of the year ahead, it's an excellent sampler of what the city has to offer. And if we should lead you astray again with our guesses, blame our undying optimism in the future maturity of Portland's cultural scene. (SS)

Editor: Steffen Silvis

Contributors: Kelly Clarke, Lisa Lambert, Bill Smith, David Walker, Susan Wickstrom

Copy Editors: Matt Buckingham, Ian Gillingham, Margaret Seiler, Becky Ohlsen

Design: Anne Reeser, Jesse Woodruff

stage
by steffen silvis

Artists Repertory Theatre
Marginally better than the season before, last year still wasn't a banner one for Portland's second theater. But the 2001-2002 slate is, happily, adventurous. The season opens with Miller's The Crucible (Sept. 2-Oct. 14) and ends with Moises Kaufman's The Laramie Project (May 19-June 30, 2002), two interesting bookends on American society and the meaning (and limitations) of community. Artistic director Allen Nause directs the former, while the Kaufman piece will be directed by Jon Kretzu (and not, praise Allah, Michael Lasswell). In between lie Lynn Nottage's Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Nov. 4-Dec. 16), Terry Johnson's brilliant Hysteria (Jan. 13-Feb. 24, 2002), and Donald Margulies' Pulitzer-winning Dinner with Friends (March 17-April 29, 2002). ART will be launching its new Second Stage series at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center with Tracy Letts' Killer Joe (May 10-June 16, 2002). Scheduled before that is The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith, though rights are still pending for this production.

Artists Repertory Theater, 1516 SW Alder St., 241-1278.

Cygnet
Howard Brenton's Bloody Poetry, on the lives of Britain's Romantic poets (Sept. 14-Oct. 13); Ted Roisum repeating his Drammy-winning performance in Conor McPherson's clever St. Nicholas (February 2002); and an original piece, Eavesdropping at the Algonquin Round Table (April 19-May 25, 2002).

Cygnet, 116 NE Russell St., 493-4077.

defunkt
The dynamic quartet of James Moore, damali ayo, Tom Galup and Grace Carter start their season with two early Shepard one-acts, Cowboy #2 and Action (Sept. 13-Oct. 13).

Defunkt at the Back Door Theatre, 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 938-1482.

Imago
An interesting season for Portland's most interesting institution. After years of fine-tuning Frogz, artistic directors Carol Triffle and Jerry Mouawad are going to be experimenting with a new "creature-theater" piece with the provisional title of Squid Attack. Though the final piece will not be performed until the 2002-2003 season, Imago will be turning its space into a developmental laboratory for Portlanders to witness the experiments with masks, puppets and movement. Watch this paper for preview announcements.

Imago Theatre, 17 SE 8th Ave., 231-9581.

Liminal
The ever-inventive troupe will be spending eight months perfecting an as-yet-unnamed piece to be launched in April. Until then, the company will be performing its superb Objects for the Emancipated Consumer in Vancouver, B.C.

Liminal, 2808 NE Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd., #13, 229-3979.

The Musical Theater Company
Yes, No, No Nanette (Sept. 28-Oct. 21); The Secret Garden (Nov. 16-Dec. 9); The Fantasticks (Feb. 1-17, 2002); Li'l Abner (March 15-April 7, 2002); and Mame (May 17-June 9, 2002). How bleak was my puberty in Buffalo.

Eastside Performance Center, 531 SE 14th Ave., 916-6592.

PICA
Along with its annual bill of innovative performance work, the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art is joining forces with Portland Center Stage to co-produce three pieces for the Newmark. As part of the PICA season (see Dance and Visual Arts for other events), Carl Hancock Rux brings his No Black Male Show to the Hollywood Theater (Nov. 17-18). Rux has gained a reputation with his fusion of poetry, music and movement, and was selected by the New York Times Magazine as one of 30 artists under 30 who are most likely to influence American culture in the next 30 years. With PCS, the powerful performer and vocalist Rinde Eckert returns with And God Created Great Whales (Feb. 7-9, 2002). Eckert was last here with his haunting Romeo Sierra Tango. Another return to Portland is Japan's dumb type, who caused quiet riot in the performance-art community with [OR] two years ago. The company will perform its latest piece, Memorandum (March 14-16, 2002). Finally, the confessional master himself, Spalding Gray, hits the stage with Morning, Noon and Night (April 18-20, 2002).

PICA, 219 NW 12th Ave., 243-1167.

Portland Center Stage
Chris Coleman's second season as artistic director will probably be more scrutinized than his first. Certainly, there's noticeably less risk-taking this time around, but then these are conservative times in an artistically conservative town. However, PCS's collaborations with PICA are very promising (see above). The mainstage season starts with Gypsy, or rather it began some months past with ludicrous Gypsy rumors about luring the likes of Cher to our shoals to wail Mama Rose. Well, Jonathan Nicholas swallowed it. The real gossip is that Coleman wanted to stage Sideshow instead. Bill Fennelly directs, Sept. 25-Oct. 21. Next up is Peter Gaitens' intriguing adaptation of Michael Cunningham's novel Flesh and Blood, which was given a reading at last year's JAW/West. Coleman directs, Oct. 30-Nov. 18. PCS then restages its surprisingly good pared-down version of A Christmas Carol. Coleman is again at the helm (Nov. 27-Dec. 24), then follows with Chekhov's The Seagull (Jan. 15-Feb. 3, 2002--the last two productions in town were lobotomized affairs). Coleman is using Tom Stoppard's translation, which is nowhere near as good as Stark Young's but is certainly more fashionable at present. Ntozake Shange's choreo-poem, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ When the Rainbow Is Enuf gets a deserved staging (Feb. 19-March 10, 2002), and the season hopes to end with Claudia Shear's Dirty Blonde (March 26-April 14, 2002), a three-hander on Mae West's life and the life in Mae West.

Portland Center Stage at the Newmark Theatre, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6588.

Profile Theatre Project
Portland's playwright-focused theater dedicates its fifth season to Pinter, following a serious Pinter retrospective in New York. The season opens with The Homecoming (Oct. 12-Nov. 18), which will be followed by the double bill of Ashes to Ashes and A Kind of Alaska (Jan. 11-Feb. 24, 2002). The season ends with one of Pinter's best-known plays, The Birthday Party, which will welcome actor Gaynor Sterchi back to Portland (would that she stayed). April 19-May 19, 2002.

Profile Theater at Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont St., 242-0080.

Sowelu Theater
One of the city's most interesting companies will continue its exploration of contemporary British theater. For the first time in five years, someone is actually producing a Caryl Churchill play. Lorraine Bahr directs Fen with a cast that includes Amanda Boekelheide, Jenny Green, Kit Koenig and Brian Russell. Also, Jordy Oakland, one of Portland's finest young actors, returns to town after stints in L.A. and N.Y. to take part in the production (Nov. 9-Dec. 16). Artistic director Barry Hunt follows this with the Northwest premiere of Mark Ravenhill's Some Explicit Polaroids (March 15-April 29, 2002). Ravenhill is best known as the author of Shopping and Fucking, a play that still hasn't been produced here, nor would be likely to be advertised in the family-fun Oregonian.

Sowelu Theater at the Back Door Theater, 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 230-2090.

Stark Raving Theatre
After an uncertain season that saw the loss of its home base and a change in artistic staff, Stark Raving embarks on a new life (its third) with a commitment to new, unproduced work in CoHo Productions' just-built facility. To inaugurate the space, the company will produce Christopher Danowski's dark comedy FrogWoman, Sept. 14-Oct. 6. This will be followed by Carole J. Dane's Money Shot (Dec. 7-Jan. 5, 2002), SR director Matthew Zrebski's After the Zipper (Feb. 1-March 2, 2002) and, finally, Joseph Fisher's Cupid and Psyche (May 31-June 29, 2002). Fisher's latest play, Tundra, was the surprise success of the recent JAW/West. Here's a young playwright to watch.

Stark Raving Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh St., 232-7072.

Theatre Vertigo
Buck Skelton directs Durrenmatt's The Physicists (Oct. 25-Dec. 1); Debera-Ann Lund directs Rashomon (March 7, 2002-April 6, 2002), and JoAnn Johnson directs Sarah Daniels' Masterpieces (May 30, 2002-June 29, 2002). Strange, it sounds like the old Stark Raving.

Theatre Vertigo, 116 NE Russell St., 306-0870.

Triangle Productions!
Mr. Don Horn will now be officially operating out of three spaces. 1. The Arena Stage: Douglas Carter Beane's As Bees in Honey Drown (Aug. 31-Sept. 29); the Truman Capote X-mas show, Tru (Nov. 9-Dec. 22); Driving Miss Daisy (Jan. 11-Feb. 9, 2002); Matt Crowley's For Reasons That Remain Unclear (March 1-30, 2002); Joe Orton's What the Butler Saw (April 19-May 24, 2002). 2. The World Trade Center Auditorium: Forbidden Broadway (Oct. 12-Nov. 10); Nunsense 'A Men' (Nov. 16-Dec. 15); Pump Boys & Dinettes (May 2-24, 2002). 3. The old Stark Raving space is now the "Theater Noir": Neil LaBute's Bash (Sept. 16-29); Christmas with the Crawfords (Nov. 23-Dec. 22), and Mark Sargent and Wayne Buidens' Shakespeare's R & J (March 1-30, 2002). At last, some queer theater that isn't shallow or patronizing.

Tygres Heart Shakespeare Company
The former black hole of Portland Theater cast quite a bit of light last year. Tygres Heart started its last season with Charles Marowitz's fascinating take on Measure for Measure, and Nan Doherty again made bricks without straw with her production of King Lear (as for James Cox's Twelfth Night, silence should suffice). For Doherty's second full season, she's chosen The Tempest, which will star Tobias Andersen as Prospero and Deirdre Atkinson as Miranda (Sept. 28-Nov. 4); the complicated King Richard II (Jan. 11-Feb. 17, 2002), and a revisit of A Midsummer Night's Dream (April 12-May 19, 2002), which may finally banish memories of Michael Menger's meatheaded version three years back. Gray Eubank takes the director's chair this time after his good work as Lear.

Tygres Heart Shakespeare Company at the Winningstad Theater, PCPA, 1111 SW Broadway, 288-8400.

Gilles Apap
The charismatic Algerian violinist and Yehudi Menuhin disciple plays fiddle with the innate fire and intensity of a hereditary natural. His Colors of Invention trio of accordion, bass and cymbalom combines classical virtuosity with folk passion.

The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave., 224-8499. 7 pm Wednesday, Nov. 28.

Chamber Music Northwest
The husband-and-wife team of cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han give a rare recital of works by the 20th-century Russian adversaries Prokofiev and Shostakovich. In his role with the Emerson String Quartet, Finckel provided Portland with a highlight of last year's concert season.

Reed College, Kaul Auditorium, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd., 294-6400. Feb. 22, 2002.

Columbia Symphony Orchestra
In the finale to its 20th season, Huw Edwards puts the city's "second" orchestra through its paces in an inventive program featuring the regional rah-rah of Mel Hansen's An Oregon Suite, Portland pianist Linda Lorati-Barker's negotiation of Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2 and Saint-Saëns' frame-shaking Organ Symphony.

First United Methodist Church, Southwest 18th Avenue and Jefferson Street, 234-4077. April 26, 2002.

Friends of Chamber Music
Complaints that there's nothing new in classical music belittle the 30-year chamber music bonds of the Tokyo Quartet and their intuitive refinement and grace. The pair of concerts will cover the meat of the repertoire with quartets by Beethoven, Brahms and Mozart, along with obscurities by Webern and Hayashi. The Ahn Trio of sisters have created a trendier-than-thou stir in the stodgy environs of the classical music industry, tackling bits from Bowie to Shostakovich with a familial brio, nuance and joy.

Tokyo Quartet: Portland State University, Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave. Jan. 14-15, 2002.
Ahn Trio: Reed College, Kaul Auditorium, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd. May 19, 2002. 224-9842.

Oregon Symphony
Former Tokyo Phil conductor Tadaaki Otaka looks to be one of the more skilled of this year's possible podium picks, and he's fortunate to have in featured soloist Vladimir Feltsman a pianist in the great Russian tradition. Mozart's Concerto No. 27 mixes it up with Mahler's most accessible symphony, the Fourth (Dec. 1-3). OS conductor candidate Roberto Minczuk is a former orchestral principal who's won raves for his ushering of the New York Phil's summer series. Exquisite French pianist Helen Grimaud is a charmer, offering light and delicacy in the most Romantic of settings. She'll need all that to freshen up the over-the-top Rachmaninoff Second (Feb. 23-25, 2002). In this installment of the OS's piano-loving season, the versatile and internationally touted Jean-Yves Thibaudet plays Ravel's near impossible Concerto for the Left Hand with Bournemouth conductor Kees Bakels steering the orchestra (April 6-8, 2002).

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 228-1353.

Piano Recital Series
When the folks at the Piano Recital Series contracted to present the 2001 Van Cliburn Competition winner, they didn't know what they were getting into. For the first time in its history, the Olympics of piano competitions selected two Gold Medal winners: the introspective Russian Olga Kern and the fiery Stanislav Ioudenitch, from neighboring Uzbekistan. A pair of back-to-back recitals by each provides Portland piano lovers with a mini-reprise of the history-making competition (Oct. 5-7). The iconoclastic Avery Fisher Career Grant winner Frederic Chiu combines virtuosity, elegance and daring in a pair of marathon programs that feature his adventurous takes on Mendelssohn, Chopin and his own transcription of Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kije Suite (Jan. 5-6).

Portland State University, Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave.,
725-5400.

Portland Baroque Orchestra
The PBO veers from its Baroque course when it offers a new concerto by former Portlander Hollis Taylor written especially for director Monica Huggett. In a marriage of Gypsy melodies, jazz rhythms and Baroque style, Taylor's take on the physics of music should provide the frenetic Huggett with a wild ride.

First Baptist Church, 909 SW 11th Ave., 222-6000. 8 pm Friday-Saturday, Nov. 2-3.
Reed College, Kaul Auditorium, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd., 222-6000. 3 pm Sunday, Nov. 4.

Portland Opera
The season begins with La Traviata (Sept. 22-29). The young Bizet's operatic tropicalia The Pearl Fishers features rich orchestral textures and some of his finest choruses. English National Opera's Michael Hunt commandeers this all-new production with a strong cast of PO veterans in soprano Cassandra Riddle, tenor Tracey Welborn and dramatic baritone Richard Zeller (Nov. 3-10). Cosi fan Tutte (Feb. 9-16, 2002) is followed by Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul (March 30-April 6, 2002). With music by Leonard Bernstein and a libretto by Dorothy Parker, Richard Wilbur and Stephen Sondheim, Candide is one of the great comic collaborations in 20th-century American art. Christopher Mattaliano, stage director of the PO's sexy I Pagliacci/Carmina Burana, steers the ensemble cast (May 11-18, 2002).

Keller Auditorium, Southwest 3rd Avenue and Clay Street, 241-1802.

3rd Angle
The chamber ensemble's unstaged take on Astor Piazzolla's seductive tango operetta Maria de Buenas Aires was an SRO highlight of 1999. Vocalists Milagro Vargas and Pepe Raphael are back, as is Argentine bandoneonista Coco Trevissonno. Sparks of Glory features works by Theresienstadt Nazi concentration camp inmates Victor Ullmann, Gideon Klein and Pavel Haas. 3rd Angle's concert is a moving testament to the perseverance of art in the face of barbarity. Robert Kyr is a University of Oregon music prof and one of the West's finest contemporary composers. Influenced by Asian concepts of musical time, he creates highly tonal music of rich texture and spaciousness. This joint project with the Oregon Repertory Singers is a fitting salute.

Maria de Buenos Aires: Reed College, Kaul Auditorium, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd., 228-1353. Feb. 15, 2002.
Sparks of Glory: The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave., April 21, 2002.
Robert Kyr: Reed College, Kaul Auditorium, May 24, 2002.

Trinity Consort
St. John Passion
It was a 1995 recording of Bach's stirring setting of St. John's text that heralded the beginning of Eric Milnes' relationship with the Consort, and though performances of the allegedly anti-Semitic work are always
controversial, Milnes & Co. should make the music matter
once again.

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Northwest 19th Avenue and Everett Street,
222-9811. March 23-March 24, 2002.

Dance

BodyVox
The dynamic duo of Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland seemed to have its toes in every movement project around town this summer. From performing imaginative work in Michael Curry's dance extravaganza Spirits to serving as artistic directors for the Ashland Dance Festival last month, it's a wonder Hampton and Roland have the time, or energy, to create work for their always-entertaining and innovative company, BodyVox. Lucky for Portland, the superhuman pair seems to manage just fine. This fall brings the premiere of Reverie, including a deliciously fresh piece set to Debussy's "Afternoon of a Faun," complete with Curry costumes (Lincoln Performance Hall, PSU, Oct. 17-20). The company's fourth world premiere, a super-secret work based on the art of comics, will be unveiled next spring (Newmark Theatre, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, April 18-21, 2002).

BodyVox, 1300 NW Northrup St., 229-0627.

Conduit
In addition to offering the myriad top-notch classes this rehearsal space-cum-dance consortium presents for Portland's professional-level dancers, Conduit is committed to supporting work from both new and recognized regional artists. Aero Betty alum Jae Diego kicks off the newly re-consecrated dance space with her intriguing library-minded work, Athenaeum (Sept. 7-9). The focus on presenting more performances stems from internal changes in the Conduit structure. It was created in 1997 as a space to foster the work of six local dance dynamos, but come September only two of the original collective, Teresa Mathern and Mary Oslund, will be directly associated with the space. Oslund, who is currently restructuring repertory work in the same vein as her superb show 9 Red Steps last April, promises that the shift (including acquiring nonprofit status and a board of directors) will only increase the community aspect of their breezy downtown digs. This should allow Conduit to support more up-and-coming artists while keeping its high-quality, educational focus.

Conduit Dance Inc., 918 SW Yamhill St., #401, 221-5857.

Oregon Ballet Theater
Always teetering on the razor's edge of sensational work and sensationalism, OBT artistic director James Canfield tackles Bram Stoker's Dracula this fall. He's using the bones of the bloodthirsty count and his fleshy love Lucy to explore the themes of repressed Victorian womanhood, seduction and destruction in his new work, Lady Lucille and the Count (Oct. 13-20, Keller Auditorium). George Balanchine's elegant four-part masterpiece, Serenade, is set to accompany Ms. Lucille; the company last performed the Tchaikovsky stunner in 1999. Like a holiday hydra, The Nutcracker rears its tulle-adorned head just in time for the pre-Xmas mass mall worship to commence (Dec. 7-23, Keller). And for those with a less traditional approach to the season, OBT reprises Canfield's charming Nutcracker spoof, The Nut Has Finally Cracked (Dec. 11 and 18, Keller) along with its requisite cast of celebrity appearances.

Oregon Ballet Theater, 818 SE 6th Ave., 222-5538.

Performance Works NorthWest
Linda Austin's cozy Southeast space features a variety of projects this fall, including the return of the innovative Cabaret Boris and Natasha (Sept. 21-22) as well as Austin's long-running Sunday improv staple Holy Goats!, with its usual cast of dance culprits (Oct. 7, Nov. 11 and 18). October also brings the space's new Dance + Music series, a doubleheader of tunes and moves from artistic duets like N.Y.C. mover Cydney Wilkes and Imago's Katie Griesar, OBT ed-head Linda K. Johnson and bassist Glen Moore, and Linda Austin and L.A. tuba player William Roper (Oct. 19-21, 26-28). "It's a way to get live music and dance together," says Austin. "We want to show the variety of approaches possible, some improvised and some composed, in that collaboration."

Performance Works NorthWest, 4625 SE 67th Ave., 777-1907.

PICA
With some fantastic direct hits (as well as a few spectacular misses) last season, PICA once again takes aim with two proven winners (or at least shockers): the John Jasperse Company, which mixes the mundane and sublime in its new work, Giant Empty (Oct. 6-7), and Wendy Houstoun, performance artiste and dance spectacular. Houstoun presents

Happy Hour, her uproarious barmaid binge, in downtown dance spot Ohm of all places (Nov. 2-4). Reserve your seat early: The intimate setting affords a limited number of lucky individuals a shot of the DV8 Physical Theater member's wacky and wrenching movement/word ramblings. PICA spokeswoman Victoria Fry cites the rise of dance events in the city as one reason PICA has laid off a bit on dance performances this year, opting to concentrate on disciplines with less support. But with residencies from Ann Carlson and Deborah Hayes set for the spring, fans need not despair of more on-the-fringe movement. Though no dates have been set, those artists' work will undoubtedly lead to more performances.

PICA, 219 NW 12th Ave., 242-1419.

White Bird
Proof of White Bird's success can be gleaned from the all-star roster of its 2001-02 season. In the first three months alone the lean lines of Alonzo King's LINES Ballet take the Schnitz stage with a troupe of Pygmy musician dancers from the African Congo for the much anticipated People of the Forest (Nov. 7), while two celebrated African-American companies, Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE (Sept. 20-22) and Urban Bush Women (Dec. 13-15), provide ample firepower to ignite Lincoln Hall crowds during White Bird's newer (and cheaper) PSU series. With performances from the gender-bending Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (Jan. 23, 2002), the jazzy Hubbard Street Dance (Feb. 26, 2002), Pilobolus (March 13, 2002) and Lyon Opera Ballet (May 8, 2002), dance fans may be reduced to gibbering jellies of gratitude at the feet of Messrs. King and Jaffe--just where the White Bird directors want them.

White Bird, 245-2111.

Visual Arts

Crossing Boundaries: East-West Symposium in Print Art
Although some of the participating institutions have opened exhibitions and hosted speakers already, the official gathering of leading printmakers from the U.S. and Asia is Oct. 10-13. It'll be a packed weekend with a gala at the Portland Art Museum on the first evening, a special presentation by certified genius Xu Bing on the last day at PICA, and a series of workshops and exhibitions in between. Registration for the conference (before Sept. 7) costs $250, but admission to many of the participating galleries that month, including Alysia Duckler, the Art Gym and Northwest Print Council's John and Betty Gray Gallery, is free.

Citywide, 725-3675, crossingboundaries@pdx.edu

Pacific Northwest College of Art
The Feldman Gallery hosts work by New Yorker Jill Viney. Viney is a fiberglass sculptor whose work deals with the interior and exterior of biomorphic forms. Her small pieces look like unicellular globs of life, with a translucent shell revealing the inanimate creature's innards. Alison Safford is an installation artist from Boston who will complete a site-specific "environment" about what she calls "stoppable moments" (Nov. 1-Dec. 1). California video and sculpture artist Michael O'Malley is back for more. Many may remember him from last year's donut shop #3. This year, he is constructing a site-specific piece for the Feldman Gallery. Look for a big and exciting work (Jan. 14-March 2, 2002).

Pacific Northwest College of Art, 1241 NW Johnson St., 226-4391.

The Portland Art Museum
Straight from Australia: 88 European paintings spanning 600 years from the collection at the National Gallery of Victoria. Like an art history professor's final fantasy, the exhibition starts in the 14th century with Flemish and Florentine paintings, then moves to the 16th century with a work by El Greco. From there it presents the Baroque era with 20 paintings, and then gives us a hell of a lot of English portraits from the 18th century, wrapping up with 19th-century landscapes and Impressionist pieces and a mezcla of 20th-century works. You probably haven't seen the individual pieces in your art history books, but you'll recognize the painters, including Tintoretto, Rembrandt, Canaletto, Bonnard, Magritte, Picasso, Balthus and Bacon (Oct. 4-Jan. 6, 2002). The Musée des Arts Décoratifs, a leading private museum in France, is closed for renovation until 2003. In the meantime, its signature objects (including a bed that Emile Zola described in Nana) will journey throughout North America, starting with an exhibition at PAM. The idea behind Matières de Rêves: Stuff of Dreams, according to curator Penelope Hunter-Stiebel, is to present the aesthetic potential of objects of utility and show how imagination guides the decorative arts. The exhibition spans 800 years and includes Art Nouveau and Art Deco pieces as well as contemporary designs by Philippe Starck (Feb. 2-April 28, 2002).

Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave., 226-2811.

PICA
The list of artists participating in the NorthWest Noir exhibition, curated by Kristy Edmunds and Stuart Horodner, is yet to be released, its secrecy fitting for an exhibition that explores the darker and grungier aspects of area history. What we do know: Regional artists will focus on manipulating nature, dark humor and "ad hoc sensibilities." It's nice to know that while PICA is featuring artists from China (with the print symposium, see above) to Germany (see below) this year, it's still recognizing some homegrown artists (Nov. 1-Jan. 12). Melanie Manchot wants to show you things that will make you uncomfortable: images of people sucking face, skin-pulling games and naked pictures of her mother. The German photographer and videographer has gained recognition on the continent and in the United Kingdom, but is only now making her U.S. debut at PICA. For Love Is a Stranger she photographed people kissing in Los Angeles and then interviewed them about what they had fantasized during the kisses (Feb. 5-March 23, 2002).

Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, 219 NW 12th Ave, 242-1419.

 

Words

Annie Bloom's Books: Readers Meet Writers Series
Chris Bohjalian
bases many of his novels (including Midwives) on real-life encounters. Trans-Sister Radio, the story of a couple whose relationship is rocked when the man wants to change into a woman, was one of last year's sleeper hit novels (Sept. 14). Barry Lopez is a Northwest favorite who is closely in tune with the thrill of nature and environmental concerns. His most recent book is the short-story collection Light Action in the Caribbean (Oct. 26).

Sue Miller's novels, such as The Good Mother, often explore the way women must balance their personal journeys with family obligations. In her upcoming book, The World Below, the heroine is put in a sanitarium, where she finally finds freedom (Nov. 8).

Annie Bloom's Books, 7834 SW Capitol Highway, 246-0053. , reservations required.

Oregon Historical Society's Mark O. Hatfield Distinguished Historians Forum: "Presidential Influence"
David McCullough is about as distinguished as historians get. His 1992 biography, Truman, won the Pulitzer Prize. His latest book is John Adams (Sept. 13). Joan Hoff is an expert in 20th-century American foreign policy and politics, and she rocked the status quo with her revisionist books Nixon Reconsidered and Herbert Hoover: Forgotten Progressive (Oct. 18). Douglas G. Brinkley is a rising star in the history game, author of The Unfinished Presidency: Jimmy Carter's Journey Beyond the White House and the forthcoming The Mississippi: River of History (Nov. 8).

First Congregational Church, 1200 SW Park Ave., 306-5229. $30-$200 for series.

Portland Arts & Lectures
If anyone can cast an illuminating light on the American political process, it's Joan Didion. She will read from her latest collection of essays, Political Fictions. (First Congregational Church, Sept. 24). Paleontology guru Stephen Jay Gould has won scores of awards, including a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Fellowship and a National Book Award. His most recent book is The Lying Stones of Marrakech (Oct. 4). Next: He's an American theater icon whose plays have won three Pulitzer Prizes. His most recent effort, The Play About the Baby, opened last winter in New York. Who's afraid of Edward Albee? Only those with no imagination (Nov. 1). Edna O'Brien was one of those banned Irish writers who is now a literary legend. Her latest novel is Wild Decembers (Nov. 28). Writers on Writers: For a refreshing twist on the usually literary spritzer, Edmund White will discuss Marcel Proust, and Francine Du Plessix Gray will talk about Simone Weil. James Atlas will moderate the evening (Jan. 16, 2002). Anchee Min's chronicles of China's Cultural Revolution, Red Azalea and Becoming Madame Mao, are enlightening and illuminating (Feb. 6, 2002). Disgrace, J.M. Coetzee's recent Booker Prize-winning novel, nearly achieved literary perfection (March 6, 2002). David Sedaris' annual pilgrimage to Portland has become a beloved event. Sedaris' appearance will benefit Literary Arts Inc. programs Writers in the Schools and Oregon Literary Fellowships. His latest collection of hilarity is Me Talk Pretty One Day (April 25, 2002).

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 227-2583. 7:30 pm.
$61-$180 for series. Individual tickets may be available.

Powell's Books
Amy Bloom understands the human condition on many levels. She will present the paperback version of A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You, her short-story collection that was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award (Hawthorne, Sept. 10). Now that he's not in hiding anymore, Salman Rushdie is here, there and everywhere. He will present his eighth novel, Fury (First Congregational Church, Sept. 19). Beth Lisick and Justin Chin, our happening friends from Manic D Press, will venture north from San Francisco to present their latest books. Lisick will read from This Too Can Be Yours; Chin, from Harmless Medicine. (Nov. 4).

Powell's Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651. Powell's-Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 238-1668.

 

Screen

the shape of things to come
summer is finally over. now we can move on to the good movies. hopefully.

by david walker
dwalker@wweek.com

The laws of physics tell us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Applying this knowledge to film, and knowing how far the pendulum has swung into the realm of absolute suckitude this summer, it stands to reason that the forthcoming fall movie season should bring a plethora of high-quality films, the likes of which we haven't seen in decades. But I wouldn't bet my tax-relief check on it. Here's a quick look at some of what Hollywood has in store for us over the next several months--the Best Bets, the Undecideds and the I Think I'll Read a Book Insteads.

BEST BETS:

Hearts in Atlantis--The director of Shine teams with Anthony Hopkins in a film based on a book by Stephen King, adapted by master screenwriter William Goldman (The Princess Bride). Just keep in mind that if it sounds to good to be true....

From Hell--The only movie I'm looking forward to this season--directed by the Hughes brothers (Menace II Society)--stars Johhny Depp as an opium-addicted investigator searching for Jack the Ripper in 19th-century London.

Heist--Gene Hackman is an aging crook forced into one last caper. Sounds like absolute cliché crap--except it's written and directed by David Mamet.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone--It may turn out to be a bad movie, but you know we're all going to go see it.

The One--Jet Li in a dual role with fight choreography by Corey Yuen. Even if it sucks, it's got Jet Li in a dual role with fight choreography by Corey Yuen.

Gangs of New York--Forget the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio is the star. This 19th-century gangster epic is directed by Martin Scorsese and co-stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Liam Neeson. Hot damn!

The Man Who Wasn't There--Even at their worst, the Coen brothers can kick most other filmmakers' asses. Really, have the Coens ever made a bad film?

The Fellowship of the Ring--The first movie in director Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy will be the cinematic achievement of the 21st century. I hope.

Brotherhood of the Wolf

--I've seen it. It's baaaaad (as in good).

 

 

UNDECIDEDS:

Training Day--Denzel Washington stars as a corrupt undercover cop, which could be cool, except it's directed by Antoine "John Woo-lite" Fuqua.

Joy Ride--It appears to be a total rip-off of The Hitcher and Spielberg's Duel, and who needs to see that? But one thing to think about is that John Dahl (Red Rock West) is the director.

The Wash--Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg team up for Friday meets Car Wash.

 

 

Monsters, Inc.--The next Shrek? Highly unlikely. The next Toy Story? Could be.

Ocean's 11--The good news is Steven Soderbergh directed this remake of the Rat Pack "classic." The bad news is it features an all-star cast that includes Clooney, Pitt, Damon, Affleck and Roberts.

Ali--Will Smith as Muhammad Ali? Mario Van Peebles as Malcolm X? Jon Voight as Howard Cosell? Directed by Michael Mann (The Insider)!

 

Mulholland Drive--There's no bigger crapshoot in film than when David Lynch makes a movie.

I THINK I'LL READ A BOOK INSTEADS:

Big Trouble--Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black) and based on the novel by Dave Barry. An ensemble cast, led by Tim Allen, scurries around trying to get their hands on a black-market nuclear bomb.

Bandits--Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton co-star as a pair of rascally bank robbers, but considering it was shot in Oregon--the kiss of death for many films--I'm not holding my breath.

Collateral Damage--Seeing how the last time Arnold Schwarzenegger made a good movie there was another idiot named Bush in the White House, I ain't countin' on this one being even remotely good.

Bad Company--Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins co-star in a film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer
and directed by Joel Schumacher. There may be a fate worse than death after all.

Glitter--Remember Sparkle with Irene Cara? Then you probably don't need to go see Mariah Carey's film debut.

Windtalkers--Nicolas Cage teams with John Woo in a tale of Navajo code talkers in World War II. So how come the film only stars one Native American?

Black Knight--Martin Lawrence stars in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Somebody pass the malt liquor, please.

 
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