10 tips for this weekend

Three last chances and seven fresh picks to fill your weekend calendar

What’s this? Thursday already? Time to make those weekend plans! ArtsWatch is here to help, with 10 tips for things to get on your calendar, stat. The first three – Staged!’s visceral musical Parade, Baddass Theatre’s gut-punch of a drama Sans Merci, and the Museum of Contemporary Craft’s Fashioning Cascadia – are last calls: catch ’em now, or forever hold your peace.  Also: keep an eye out for Brett Campbell’s ArtsWatch guide to the weekend’s classical music highlights.

"Parade": Jennifer Davies and Andrew Bray as Lucille and Leo Frank. Photo: Russell J. Young

“Parade”: Jennifer Davies and Andrew Bray. Photo: Russell J. Young


Ends Sunday, Oct. 12

Staged! at Brunish Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway

Director Paul Angelo’s lean, sparkling production of Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry’s potent musical is led by Andrew Bray as an out-of-his element New York Jew accused of a heinous crime in 1913 Atlanta, and Jennifer Davies as his Jewish Southern belle wife, who grows remarkably as the action progresses. Based on the infamous Leo Frank murder case, it’s a musical that goes far beyond happy show tunes, and this chamber production is a small gem. Marty Hughley’s preview for ArtsWatch sets the scene.  


LAST CHANCE: “Sans Merci”

Ends Saturday, Oct. 11

Badass Theatre at Portland Actors Conservatory, 1436 SW Montgomery St.

A harrowing knockout of a drama, with superior performances by veteran Luisa Sermol and younger stars Jahnavi Caldwell-Green and Jessica Tidd. Antonio Sonera directs Johnna Adams’ eviscerating examination of young love, parental anguish, and an idealistic adventure gone horrifyingly wrong. Read A.L. Adams’ review for ArtsWatch.


LAST CHANCE: “Fashioning Cascadia”

Ends Saturday, Oct. 11

Museum of Contemporary Craft, 724 NW Davis St.

Subtitled The Social Life of the Garment, the craft museum’s exhibition looks inside the craft and design of the fashion and clothing industry as it’s been expressed in the Pacific Northwest. Hint: It’s not all Gore-Tex and rain gear. The exhibit opened in May. Elsewhere in the museum, Portland Collects: British Ceramics continues through Jan. 3.


“The Turn”

Through Oct. 25

The Reformers at 1126 SE 15th Ave.

Things are gettin’ spooky in the SE PDX house that gave way to the ghoulishness of The Revenants last year. This new adaptation of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, with elements of Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining tossed in, keeps things ghostly and creepy. It is October, after all.


Portland Open Studios

Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 11-12 and 18-19

Working artists’ studios throughout the metro area

Choose your own adventure as you make house calls at as many of the 96 participating artists’ studios as you can fit in. The studios are small, large, and in-between; the artwork ranges from oils and watercolors to sculpture to encaustic to jewelry to multimedia. Each year Open Studios offers a peek behind the curtain to see how visual art gets made, and a chance to meet the artists where they do the work. You can chart your route via phone app or printed map: click the link.


Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre

Saturday, Oct. 11

Old Taylor Electric Supply Building, SE Second Avenue and Clay Street

The Northwest branch of Duckler’s L.A. company, like its southern sister, does site-specific works, and in the case of this new show, Found Underground, it returns to the eastside industrial site of its early-2014 work Ragnarok. The building’s since been condemned, and it has no roof. Who knows what might transpire?


Oregon Ballet Theatre @ 25

Opens Saturday, Oct. 11; through Oct. 18

Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St.

The city’s chief ballet company celebrates the beginning of its 25th season with an all-star reunion: works by former artistic directors James Canfield and Christopher Stowell, former resident choreographer Trey McIntyre, and some fellow named Balanchine – a little dance called Agon. Plus, a world premiere by Nicolo Fonte, with live music by Pink Martini. Be there or be non-spherical.


Pinter’s “The Homecoming”

Opens Friday, Oct. 10; through Nov. 9

Imago Theatre, 17 SE Eighth Ave.

Imago’s Jerry Mouawad, known for his own stretched-reality view of life, has been fascinated with the elliptical works of Harold Pinter lately, directing memorable productions of The Lover and The Caretaker. He follows up with this creepily entertaining family reunion of a play, which burrows deep down into the seedy spaces of the soul. With Anne Sorce, Jeffrey Jason Gilpin, and others.


Ionesco’s “The Lesson”

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 10-11

Readers Theatre Repertory at Blackfish Gallery, 420 NW Ninth Ave.

RTR has carved out its own identity on the city’s theater scene: it performs in an art gallery, concentrates on one-acts, keeps its shows to about an hour long, and generally runs them one weekend only. Portland favorite Todd Van Voris stars in this excursion into absurdity, with Jordin Bradley and Christy Drogosch. Director David Berkson: “Re-reading the play, it hit me how closely Ionesco’s plot follows the scenario of the traditional horror story: a young girl comes to the isolated dwelling of a renowned and seemingly benevolent man of science and reason. But when the mask of civilization is stripped away, fear and insanity rule.”


“In the Forest, She Grew Fangs”

Opens Friday, Oct. 10; through Nov. 15

Defunkt Theatre, 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

Welcome to Halloween season. Defunkt stages the West Coast premiere of Stephen Spotswood’s contemporary riff on Little Red Riding Hood, who “lives with her grandmother in a small rural town that could be Anywhere, USA.” When Lucy heads into the woods, things just get … wild.

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