By now you've likely heard of Oregon! Oregon!
, Thomas Lauderdale's touring revival of an obscure musical written to celebrate our state's last
big birthday. Here's the listing we're running for the Portland performance next Saturday:
In 1959, the Blitz-Weinhard brewing company commissioned comedian Stan Freberg to compose a musical comedy to celebrate Oregon's centennial. It's a silly thing, involving two explorers named Harry and David, a witch and a dance number called "The Beaver Thump." It was only performed on radio. Now Pink Martini bandleader Thomas Lauderdale has teamed up with the Oregon National Guard 234th Army Band and a squadron of Oregon sorta-notables, including David bragdon, Pat Janowski and Sara Dougher, to perform the musical live with an additional fourth act in honor of the state's Sesquicentennial. Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Road., ticketsoregon.com. 7 pm Saturday, Sept. 5. SOLD OUT.
That's right—the Portland show at the zoo is completely sold out.
So's the Jacksonville performance this Sunday. Tickets are still available for performances tonight in Salem and Saturday in Bend, but if you don't feel like fighting I-5 traffic to get a taste of the supreme silliness on display, tune into Live Wire!
tomorrow, Aug. 29 at 7 pm on OPB radio.
I attended last Saturday's live recording of tomorrow's show at the Gerding Theater, at which Lauderdale and a number of his collaborators previewed three numbers from the show. They are, indeed, very silly. They are also very fun. The cast of singers includes some of Portland's best talent (Joe Thiessen, Erin Charles). They wear funny hats. And it's a relief to hear that, while it would be nice to attend the Portland performance, it's unlikely to make anyone's summer.
Actually, the best part of tomorrow night's Live Wire! is Wendi McLendon-Covey, sister of castmember Shelly McLendon, reading creepy letters from her creepy high school boyfriend. Good stuff.
Live Wire!'s live shows have improved over the last few years. The show is also weekly now, so with any luck we'll be getting this sort of performance on a regular basis (don't miss Reggie Watts on the Sept. 5 radio show)