8 Days A Week: Raise the Flag, Rally for Life, Dance Forever

THURSDAY 8   DESIRE TRAP | In the film world, it's considered a treat to live in a city that'll screen Stalker, the newly-restored HD release of Andrei Tarkovsky's mindbending 1979 sci-fi film. That Portland is among those cities is a delight. In the film, a mysterious interloper known only as "The Stalker" guides two yearning souls—a depressive writer and a professor looking for scientific discovery—to a place called "The Zone," where the rules of…

Fear, Cruelty, Friendship — Smoke and Bubbles debut 'Oriana's Eyes'

By any account, the Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci had an intense and incredibly ballsy life: she distributed grenades with the Italian Resistance as a child, was embedded all over the world as a war correspondent, and, during an interview with Muammar Gaddafi, defiantly removed her headscarf. But at the end, she was bitter, alone, wracked with fear and Islamophobia, and losing her sight to cancer. As her personal assistant in New York until shortly before her…

8 Days A Week: Ghost Fences, Hamilton Sing-Alongs, and Emotional Value Auctions

THURSDAY 1   SPIFFED | The 2016 documentary Suited tells of the rise of Brooklyn-based suitmaking company Bindle & Keep, whose specialty over the last five years has been making custom-designed suits for trans-identifying folks and others outside the gender binary. Directed by Jason Benjamin and produced by Lena Dunham, Suited frames the tailoring company through their purposeful, one-on-one work with a handful of clients, whose sartorial needs are as diverse as their personal experiences.…

8 Days A Week: Grief Chats, Hip-Hop Festivals, and Memories of 'My So-Called Life'

THURSDAY 25   LISTENING TIME | The world is on fire, but your work is most needed in your own community. Facing systematic defunding as part of the Trump administration's proposed American Health Care Act, Planned Parenthood is on the receiving end of countless creative fundraisers these days. This one, at the quietly-awesome show space Oxbow Blending and Bottling, collects the power of storytelling, where Portland folks tell personal narratives of care and treatment they've…

MFA Thesis Exhibition Shines a Light in Dark, Dumb Times

If we can’t count on art students to liberate us from mass political confusion, then we’re in trouble. Luckily, the Maine College of Art’s annual MFA Thesis Exhibition—first of the Trump era—finds the state's most supple art minds up to the task. With video, installation, performance and multimedia work, these nine MFA students not only confront the stultifying, oppressive, and boring-ass norms of American cultural life, they also embrace the avenues by which identity and…

Speak the Language — Ziggurat's Electric 'Ninshaba'

In the 1920s, a Syrian farmer discovered some very old bones, which turned out to be from the graves of the lost city of Ugarit, circa 1400 BC. Archaeologists also found Ugaritic texts, including one story, written on 10 clay tablets, that they think dates to 8000 BC Turkey. It tells of a young woman named Ninshaba who dreams that her long-lost mother is a goddess on a mountain, and who sets out to find her. Ziggurat Theatre Ensemble re-tells the…

8 Days A Week: Sexy Geeks, Strange Storytellers, and the Return Of At Least Three Local Legends

THURSDAY 18   WATER WORLD | Do you care about the health of our oceans but know precious little about them? A film, titled Ocean Frontiers III, is screening this week and will illuminate the most pressing threats and challenges to marine conservation. As residents of a coastal city, it’s imperative that we discuss these issues and empower those fighting for a sustainable ocean future. A panel of regional experts will lead an interactive discuss…

Every Moment Counts — The Dazzling 'Constellations' at SPACE Gallery

The stage of Constellations is an intimate six-sided space, beneath a geometric frame of shimmering panes — the stage is like one small cell in a cosmic honeycomb. What transpires here is all possible worlds of connection between Marianne (Phoebe Parker), a physicist studying quantum cosmology, and Roland (Matt Delamater), a beekeeper. Nick Payne’s two-hander is on stage now in a transporting show at SPACE Gallery, directed by Sean Mewshaw (the director behind legendary SPACE shows Killer Joe and Gruesome…

Draw the Horns Before the Bull — Pie Man's 'Lascaux' at Mayo Street Arts

Our first glimpse into Lascaux, Kevin O’Leary’s suspense thriller, is an image from the famous French cave drawings that give it its name: primitive beasts, a large charcoaled bull. Simon (Josh Brassard) has drawn these animals from memory; as a child, over 40 years ago, it was he and his friend Marcel (J.P. Guimont) who discovered the Lascaux drawings. Now, in 1983, traumatized Simon sketches bulls in a mental institution, while Marcel has gained fame for the discovery. And what will happen now that Simon’s psychiatrist, Katherine…

Identity and Its Discontents: Portland Stage's 'Disgraced'

Amir (Alex Purcell), a corporate lawyer, and Emily (Roya Shanks), a painter, live in an expensive apartment high over Manhattan, with tall windows and haut-Orientalist décor, Moorish-cum-Art-Deco ceiling lamps. Emily, who is white, is fascinated by Islam and has been using its forms in her paintings, but Amir, born to Pakistani immigrants, denounces his ancestral religion. This tension between them is but the first of many in Disgraced, Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer-winning conflagration about race, religion,…
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