Contains: Active Culture

This weekend was quite busy for me. Lots of new experiences. Lots of the Arts.

Friday night I met up with my friend Josh for Happy Hour and A show… The Happy Hour destination: The Radio Room, The show: A Chorus Line.

The Radio Room: Located on NE Alberta street near 11th, This restaurant and bar really looks a lot fancier from the outside. The outdoor concrete seating area has a nice fireplace where a group of people could enjoy cocktails and conversation without being encumbered. The interior is well done and open air (As long as Portland Weather allows) and the happy hour menu is generous on the cheap. 🙂 From the wide selection of various cocktails (They have quite the variety) and of course the microbrew selection. It was definitely worth the trip.

A Chorus Line: Stumptown Stages: On a run that just ended yesterday. This is my third experience with Stumptown Stages; Dreamgirls, The Wiz and now A Chorus Line. I enjoyed this production though it really showed its “Community Theatre” designation. The Cast was well rehearsed and presented, but they were also very young. Something I didn’t know about A Chorus Line is that it is done without intermission. So at a running time of 2 hours with no intermission in hard wood seats inside a high school auditorium, left me feeling a little numb… The highlight of this production for me was the performance of the number “Dance Ten, Looks Three” Not only was the performance of the song, hilarious, but well song, I did wish for a little more panache, but I enjoyed it and at the end of the day, I think that’s all we can really expect out of a performance, right?

(edit: if you want to see my friend Josh’s perspective on the show – check out his blog)

Also, Stumptown Stages could really use your help this season. As we all know, ticket sales are down and corporate giving is down, so if you’re able, please donate to this worthy organization.

Speaking of an organization which almost didn’t make it into its twentieth year due to lack of funding… Saturday found me heading off to the Ballet for the first time for Oregon Ballet Theater’s Emeralds/Retrospectives which closed 10/17. Now, to be truthful, I was only sort of excited to go to the ballet, my only other experience with Ballet was the Nutcracker, which is of course, a holiday tradition, but it left me sleeping… Quite soundly, I’m sure. Also in reality, I wasn’t one of those people who had any idea what I was looking at and why it was spectacular – I really didn’t know a plié from a plebe. I did enter the theater a little scared, probably because of the woman sitting in front of me with many tattoos and the fuzzy leopard print coat, but I promised myself I would give Ballet another chance. The first thing I noticed, looking at the program, was that this performance was probably going to be a little different. One of the numbers was going to be performed to the song “Shut Up” by composers “The Bloodhound Gang” (The BHG listed as Composers? Really?) With lyrics like “I’m more tongue-in-cheek than a lesbian orgy” or a chorus of “I don’t give a damn if you don’t like me” I knew at least that performance was not going to be like the rest. Seriously.

While I can’t say that I fell in love with the ballet, I don’t even think we’ll date. What I did find out about myself is that I really enjoyed the dance and I can appreciate the skill of their craft but I need some other sort of stimulation, visual or auditory. Good music, more going on, on stage. Something. I just can’t watch a single person doing en avant or à la quatrieme devant and understand why that was significant or spectacular. I’ll going to give ballet more chances, although, I do want to explore more of the other styles of dance and realize I’m really lucky to have a city that is so culturally diverse to include so many styles of performance and so many venues to perform in.

Also, We almost lost Oregon Ballet Theater this year due to lack of funding. If you can, feel free to donate to them as well.

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