Category Archives: Play/Theatre

Day 252: Portland Piano International

17 Days until Christmas! December is flying by way too fast, and my calendar is filling up!  December 12th is booked for me, and it should be for you too. I’ve got tickets to Portland Piano International’s concert series and am so excited to go with my sidekick Sari and watch a native Portlander, Andrew Brownell, wow us with his incomparable talents.  

Sari and I had the opportunity to sit down with Patricia Price, the executive director of Portland Piano International, and she introduced us what they do, and why it is so important to the Portland community. Portland Piano International is an independent non-profit organization that presents the finest pianists from around the world in recitals and educational activities. Their concerts are sponsored in part by multiple art councils and agencies, as well as many local supporters and fellow pianists in the Portland metropolitan area. They are committed to preserving the art and elegance of solo piano recitals, and have featured many of the Worlds best, right here in Portland.  The only other cities that have been lucky enough to have these musical privileges are Chicago and New York.  The program continues to increase its awareness and hosts regularly sold out shows. They even have mastery classes, in which the Worlds best pianists teach an up and coming professional a lesson in front of an audience.  Everyone in the Portland Piano International office actually plays the piano too, which just goes to show the passion that still exists for this musical talent.

The concert series began in October of this year and will continue on through May of 2011. Coming up December 12th is a concert you don’t want to miss.  A native Portlander, Andrew Brownell has played to full houses and received glowing reviews across North America and Europe.  The press regularly remark on his musical integrity, beauty of tone, and scholarly insight. He has been playing since the age of four and has since earned his doctorate from the Guildhall School of music in London and was recently made a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. Watch the video below to hear Andrew playing the Prokofiev Third Concerto. He also performs works of Beethoven and Schumann.

If you can’t make it to Andrew Brownell’s concert, be sure to check out their site for various other performances in the months to come. Shows are presented at Portland’s Newmark Theatre on Sunday’s at 4pm.  For venue and ticket information, visit their site below.  

Help support Portland Piano International and your very own Andrew Brownell by attending this solo concert; opportunities to see a world-renowned talent like this are few and far between, I’m excited to be awed by his gift and I hope you will be too!

Neighborhood: Southwest Portland
1111 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97205
503-274-6566
Click for map
www.portlandpiano.org
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Day 249: Polar Express at the OMNIMAX theater

I am officially in the Christmas spirit! 19 Days!  I’m trying my best to keep you updated on all the events and things to do that Portland has to offer during this time of year, but there are just SO many to choose from! And as the days wind down, I personally find myself trying to fit all of the plays, choirs, bazaars, caroling, and the thousands of other fun things to do around town, into my schedule! However, one thing I’m not leaving off my list is a viewing of the holiday film, Polar Express, at the OMNIMAX dome theater at OMSI.    

The OMNIMAX experience is unlike anything else we have in town.  I was fortunate enough to receive a private tour, and let me just say that it was amazing! Before you even enter the theater, you can walk by the room where they actually load the giant film reels onto a conveyer belt that takes them up to the projector.  They need the belt because the reels are so heavy- (400 pounds!) I guess that’s what happens when you have film that is physically ten times larger than the size of regular theater film. When you walk in, you are completely enclosed in the dome. and the entire thing is the screen! The OMNIMAX also has very slanted stadium seating that allows a great view of the screen no matter where you sit.  And the unique difference between watching a film at OMSI versus a movie theatre is their famous domed screen that soars over 5 stories tall and 79 ft wide, totaling 10,000 sq ft! It’s the biggest screen in Portland and this holiday season seems like the perfect time to see it for yourself. Right now, OMNIMAX is featuring the Polar Express Christmas movie, Friday- Sunday at 6:00 p.m.  Imagine watching the snowy adventure of one boy’s journey to the North Pole on a screen of unsurpassed size and powerful impact, combined with the rip-roaring sounds from their 15,000 watt digital sound system. Sounds pretty awesome to me!

Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for youth.  

OMNIMAX always features several other films that will surely take you on a journey.  Travel through space, sea, the human body, or many other exciting expeditions that are sure to be both entertaining and educational. OMNIMAX theater is a must-see any time of the year!

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)
1945 SE Water Ave
Portland, OR 97214
Click here for map
Parking is $2
(503) 797-6420
www.omsi.edu/omnimax

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Day 245: Singing Christmas Tree

What’s your family’s holiday tradition?  I’ve been asking around and the results are in! Many of you agreed, each year you have to see the Singing Christmas Tree! For those of you who haven’t been, maybe this is the year to start a new tradition and go see it for yourself!

 If you love Christmas music, and have an appreciation for talent, then this is the event for you. A large choir stands in descending rows that fall in the shape of a tree. They then carol you thorough the night of entertainment. They truly are a Singing Christmas Tree.  Not only do they sound absolutely beautiful, but they are entertaining as well; performing goosebump-worthy renditions of Christmas classics, coupled with actors and actresses who perform witty scenes along with the music. I can guarantee this: you’ll laugh, you’ll sing along, you’ll feel nostalgic, and you’ll have fun. Sounds like a good time to me!

The concert ends this coming December 4th but tickets are still available and there are dual showing at 2:30 and 7:30 this Thursday and Friday and a final two showing on Saturday at 1:30 and 6:30.  

Tickets range in price between $10-$75 depending on the seat and area of the Orchestra.  

Neighborhood: Southwest Portland
222 SW Clay St
Portland, OR 97201
503-557-8733
Click for map
www.signingchristmastree.org

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Day 231: “A Christmas Story” at Portland Center Stage

It’s a dreary looking day for us Portlanders today, but the good news is that we are officially looking towards the end of the week, and I have exciting weekend plans so I’m thankful for that! Another thing I’m also super excited about is that I just found out Ralphie and his Red Ryder BB rifle are coming to Portland Center Stage this holiday season, in a spinoff play of my favorite holiday movie, “A Christmas Story”.  If any of you have seen the movie, then you’ll know what I mean when I say that it’s so cold outside, that I’m wearing just as many layers as Ralphies little brother right now…

If you haven’t been to a Christmas play, you need to.  Attending a Christmas play has now become an annual tradition for my friends and I.  We go to a holiday specific performance every year and it didn’t take long before I decided this year’s pick is most definitely “A Christmas Story”.  

I’m sure you’ve seen at least parts of this Holiday classic running 24hours a day each Christmas season, but this year I suggest watching it on stage.  Enjoy an evening of holiday spirit as you recap the life of Ralph and his thought process through of bully fights, Santa visits, BB guns, and the numerous other adventures he finds himself in.

The show will be held at Gerding Theatre at the Armory located in the Pearl District off of Northwest 11th Avenue.  

The play, based on the classic motion picture, has something for everyone to enjoy, whether you’re in the mood for a good laugh, or even a little trip down memory lane, then this is the show for you. That is, until someone shoots their eye out.

Admission prices range between $36-$39 ($18 for youth and students).  

Opening day is November 21st and the show runs through December 3rd. 

Click here for tickets.

Neighborhood: Northwest Portland 
128 NW 11th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
503-445-3700
Click for map
www.pcs.org

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Day 218: The Woods

We are almost through the first week of November! I don’t know about you, but my week is flying by and I find myself looking forward to this weekend and all of the great events going on.  My weekend plans mainly consist of seeing friends, attending some birthday parties, and, of course, watching some great Oregon football!  In addition to that, I do however, plan to throw a great new venue into my weekend mix as well.  The Woods is Portland’s newest venue for music and entertainment, and I can’t wait to go! 

Located in the Sellwood neighborhood, this former funeral home has been transformed into dimly lit atmosphere, spotlighting karaoke, stand-up comedy, amazing artists, and movie screenings.  It has “effortlessly cool vibe” written all over it.

Wednesday seems to be a happening night for the folks at The Woods.  Each 1st Wednesday is SOUL DANCE night featuring R&B, Funk, Motown/Stax and just about any other type of feel-good music to get your body groovin’.  Every 4th Wednesday is karaoke at 9pm (doors open at 8pm) if you feel the urge the jump on stage yourself!  

And also, be sure to check out the vast music and comedic line up on their site.  Tickets and show times vary so make some plans, Portland, and venture into The Woods.

Neighborhood: Southeast Portland
6637 Milwaukie Ave
Portland, OR 97202
503-890-0408
click for map
www.thewoodsportland.com

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Day 198: PDX Double-Decker

 I’ve been giddy to write about today’s post for a while and hope I can do this “thing to do” justice.  I’ve seen this bright and shiny red bus, touring around town for a little while now and couldn’t wait to learn what it was all about.  Low and behold, it’s Portland’s exclusive double decker bus – and I’m now convinced, every city needs one!

The owners of Double Decker PDX drove their prized possession out to meet me and give a private tour of, what I can only explain as, pure awesomeness.  This bus is nothing short of classy-black leather seating, orange plush pillows, wood flooring, a booming sound system, and even a removable top- owners Brooks Thompson and Kent Metcalf are visionaries to say the least.  

The two businessmen came up with the Double Decker concept while finishing up their senior year in the business school at the University of Oregon. Then, upon graduation, decided to make the dream a reality.  The scoured the country in search of the perfect bus and renovated it to perfection. This bus is even environmentally friendly: recycled materials for the furniture, wood for the bar top is of a tree fallen from natural causes, and even a bio diesel engine- this bus is as current and swanky as it gets!

These entrepreneurs offer a unique way to experience wine tasting, pub crawls, birthdays, and just about any special event and occasion.  Be sure to check out their special wine tour packages and sports packages for a great deal and a day to remember!

 Click here for pricing and package details.

There is no better way to enjoy Portland than riding in Double-Decker style!

Neighborhood: Portland
Call for details
503-575-5875
www.doubledeckerpdx.com

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Day 195: Go see DRACULA at Shoe Box Theatre

Here’s an event that will get your Halloween juices flowing, and one that I personally cannot wait to see!  Northwest Classical Theatre Company presents DRACULA, which will be showing at the Shoe Box Theatre October 15th-November 7th.

Immerse yourself in the spooky holiday spirit with the classic tale of our blood sucking friend, Mr. Dracula.  Vampire-themed entertainment has been taking the world by storm, hitting the big screen with movies like Twilight, and also addictive television shows like True Blood. But, nothing can beat this real life depiction of the original Vampire, in a play that is sure to jump off the stage.

My great friend from High School, Brooke Fletcher, plays Lucy, one of Dracula’s victims.  It’s been some time since I’ve seen Brooke in a theatrical role and I’m extra excited to see her talent and all of the characteristics she brings to Lucy on stage. What will happen in this Dracula play? You’ll have to see a show to find out!

Enjoy this spooky tale, put on by local artists, right in the heart of downtown Portland.

For ticketing information and reservations call or click on the link below.

Neighborhood:
2110 SE 10th Ave
Portland, OR 97214
971-244-3740
Click for map
http://www.nwctc.org/

 

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