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Wicked (Broadway in Portland)

In a tired show, look to the front row.


Theater
Arguably, the best thing that happened on opening night of the touring Broadway production of Wicked wasn’t onstage, but in front of the first row, stage right. That’s where two    More
 
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 RICHARD SPEER

The Elixir of Love (Portland Opera)

Bel canto in the Wild West is a refreshing tonic.


Performance
If you’re Portland Opera, how do you follow Igor Stravinsky’s prickly, unnerving morality tale, The Rake’s Progress? You veer to the other extreme and close the season with a beloved comedy, G   More
 
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 RICHARD SPEER

The Rake’s Progress (Portland Opera)

Portland’s Progress is a pop-art take on Freud and Facebook.


Performance
Give in to temptation at your own peril: That’s the moral of Igor Stravinsky’s spiky, sexy opera The Rake’s Progress. This archetypal morality play opens in an idyllic countryside, where a c   More
 
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 RICHARD SPEER

Three Days of Rain (Portland Center Stage)

Grimm stars fight family drama with wit.


Theater
If you describe your mother as “sort of like Zelda Fitzgerald’s less stable sister,” chances are your childhood wasn’t rosy. Walker and Nan, the brother and sister at the center of Ric   More
 
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 RICHARD SPEER

The Phantom of the Opera (Portland Opera)

Lloyd Webber’s music of the night goes flat.


Performance
The iconic white mask is still there. So, too, the crystal chandelier that famously crashes at the end of the first act. And those histrionic, undeniably memorable tunes are all intact. But vete   More
 
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 RICHARD SPEER

Favorite Portland Art Shows, 2002-2015

Richard Speer’s 10 favorite shows from 2002 to 2015, in chronological order.


Visual Arts
Julia Fenton’s Devices and Desires (Mark Woolley Gallery, April 2003) Visually extravagant with pink feathers and over-the-top sculptures, this show was also deeply thoughtful in its critique of   More
 
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 RICHARD SPEER

It Used To Be Better

What went wrong in Portland’s visual arts scene, and what we can do to fix it.


Cover Story
Udders hang from the rafters. They’re fake, fashioned from rubber molds, but the long-haired calf grazing in the corner of the gallery is real, and it’s pissing on the hay covering the hardw   More
 
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 RICHARD SPEER

PNCA’s New Digs

Look closely for the schooner…


Visual Arts
First Thursday’s must-see destination for March was the brand-flippin’-new campus of Pacific Northwest College of Art, which crowns the North Park Blocks at 511 NW Broadway. Although the b   More
 
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 RICHARD SPEER

Carmen at Portland Opera: Review

Portland Opera puts on a cathartic, passionate, bravura production of Carmen.


Performance
Portland Opera’s impassioned take on Georges Bizet’s Carmen is the most electrifying production the company has staged since 2010’s sad-clown-fest, Pagliacci. Like that opera, Carmen centers   More
 
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 RICHARD SPEER

Jeremy Rotsztain, Electric Fields

Now in 3-D!


Visual Arts
With Microsoft’s new HoloLens upping the ante on virtual reality just as Google Glass sunsets, Portland artist Jeremy Rotsztain finds his exhibition, Electric Fields, at the crossroads of te   More
 
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 RICHARD SPEER
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