Broadway’s new season in Portland, ‘The Tempest,’ grants galore

Imago's Pinter, Pander at Russo, Broadway Across America's new season, Linda Alper in 'The Tempest'

Henk Pander watercolors and Mel Katz wall works are at Laura Russo Gallery this month. This is Pander's "Lily Lake, Steens Mountain"

Henk Pander watercolors and Mel Katz wall works are at Laura Russo Gallery this month. This is Pander’s
“Lily Lake, Steens Mountain”

I saw a crackerjack version of The Caretaker at Imago Theatre last night, and though I’ll be reviewing it at length (gulp!) later, I just wanted you to know, if you’re in the mood for some Pinter. OK, maybe the “mood for Pinter” actually rarely strikes, but sometimes you find you actually need some Pinter once you see some. This show will not disappoint.

The rest of today’s News & Notes is further dominated by theater, one way or another. And away we go…

The Portland Shakespeare Project has announced a most excellent-looking summer season: the estimable Linda Alper as Prospera in The Tempest, and an all-too-rarely seen The Admirable Crichton (by J.M “Peter Pan” Barrie) in staged readings. Project founder Michael Mendelson will direct the Shakespeare, and Jon Kretzu takes on the the J.M. Barrie.

Two more performances remain for Oregon Ballet Theatre’s “Reveal” concert, which features the most-wonderful and sadly retiring (sadly for us, anyway) Alison Roper, and Martha Ullman West provides the analysis of the program for ArtsWatch.

February was a good month for Miracle Theatre Group’s development department, as the state’s leading Hispanic-oriented theater company pulled in $79,000 in three grants. The largest by far is a three-year, $75,000 grant from the Collins Foundation “to support performances, programs, and operations celebrating Latino culture, diversity, and history.” A $3,000 Oregon Humanities grant will support post-play discussions around identity issues after performances of the satire, Learn to Be Latina. And finally, Sterling Bank gave the company $1,000 to support its current production (through March 8), Ardiente Pacienciawhich Bob Hicks reviewed for ArtsWatch.

Theater folk, including the  Oregon Shakespeare Festival, have supported those affected by AIDS for decades, the Shakespeare festival more diligently and effectively than most. This year OSF has distributed the $133,250 raised during the Festival’s 2013 Daedalus Project to 10 local and international organizations dedicated to fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS and supporting those affected it.

This year’s money will go to the Alan F. Collins AIDS Project at OnTrack, Inc.; the HIV Alliance serving Josephine, Douglas, Coos and Curry Counties; Siskiyou County HIV/AIDS Foundation (SCHAF); AfricareG.R.A.C.E. USAStrength for the JourneyLightBroadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDSS.A.F.E. Ghetto; and SCHAP Community School in Kenya.

The 2014 Daedalus Project, “Act V – The End of AIDS,” which includes a play reading and a variety show, will take place Aug. 18 in the Allen Elizabethan Theatre.

US Bank Broadway Across America Portland has announced its 2014-15 season at Keller Auditoriu

  • Kinky Boots, October 1-5, based on the 2005 film, with music by Cyndy Lauper. The show won six Tony Awards, including best musical.
  • Dirty Dancing, January 13-18, 2015, brings back Baby and Johnny, who are going to have the time of their lives!
  • Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, February 17-22, 2015, another Tony winner, though often overlooked amid the wealth of Rodgers and Hammerstein classics.
  • Guys and Dolls, March 10-15, 2015, Sky Masterson, Nathan Detroit, Sarah Brown and Adelaide come straight from the pages of Damon Runyon, pick up some great songs from Frank Loesser, and let it rip.
  • I Love Lucy® Live on Stage, April 7-12, 2015, well, not the REAL Lucille Ball, but a musical adapted from two great episodes of the pioneering sitcom.
  • The Phantom of the Opera, May 13-24, 2015, is part of a new North American tour of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.
  • Wicked, August 5-23, 2015, returns to town, reinventing the classic story.

Subscriptions start at $135 for a six-show package. Subscribers can renew and purchase additional tickets to any show in the season by calling 503-241-1802; or subscribe online. Renewal notices will arrive in the mail this week.

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