Bits & Pieces: Francis, Wu play their part in 'A Long Distance Affair'
'A Long Distance Affair'
Tracy Francis of Boom Arts and local actor Barbie Wu are involved in "A Long Distance Affair," a Zoom immersive play as part of a series that started before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through 10-minute plays, held Feb. 11-21, the audience learns about people from around the world; the latest version features 18 artists from Portland, Beirut (Lebanon), Lagos (Nigeria), Mumbai (India), Los Angeles and Mexico City.
It's produced by Juggerknot Theatre Company ("Miami Motel Stories") and PopUp Theatrics.
Francis directs the Beirut play, about a dance class and connection, and the Portland play, which fittingly is a sci-fi piece about protest and unrest and a woman stuck in a time loop (in which the old version kills the young version).
She works with Pia Haddad from Lebanon (and playwright Leila Buck) for the Beirut play, and Wu (and playwright Michael John Graces) with the Portland show.
"We are excited to partner on a show that gives Portlanders the opportunity to 'travel' to the international artists and build those cultural connections that are so needed right now," Francis said.
"I love the intimacy of entering artists' homes around the world, and the ability to 'travel' to other cities at a time when I can barely leave the house."
She added: "Each of the shows is specific to the artists and the city they live in, making each piece a completely unique experience."
Shows are at 4:45 p.m. and 6 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, and 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sundays. Tickets for three shows are $40.
Some events for lovers:
• Re-Imagined Radio's Valentine special, "Affairs of the Heart," will feature three short dramatizations about the travails, adventures and surprises of romantic love at noon Thursday, Feb. 11, on Vancouver's KXRW (99.9 FM) and Portland's KXRY (91.1 FM or 107.1 FM; AM 1310). For more: www.reimagineradio.net.
• "My Funny Valentine: Great Comic Love Songs From Musicals You May Have Missed" is a video performance of a musical comedy revue to benefit Lakewood Theatre Company, available Feb. 12-18. For more: www.lakewood-center.org.
• The "Love Struck Drive-In" will be at the Washington Square mall parking lot in Tigard, during which you can watch romantic comedies while enjoying Willamette Valley Vineyards wine and a four-course dinner (the everything package costs $149.99).
Movies are (starting at 6 p.m.): Feb. 12, "P.S. I Love" and "The Proposal"; Feb. 13, "10 Things I Hate About You" and "She's All That"; Feb. 14, "The Notebook" and "A Walk to Remember."
For more: www.lovestruckdrivein.com.
• The Mystery Box Show storytelling event will be livestreamed at 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14, at www.albertarosetheatre.com. There'll be true sex stories, live confessions and giveaways.
Oregon Craft Beer Month and the signature event Zwickelmania, in which visitors frequent and support craft brewers, has moved online.
The Oregon Brewers Guild will hold virtual Zwickelmania events, and release the fourth iteration of its State of Excitement collaboration beer.
For Oregon Craft Beer Month, the guild will be promoting member breweries via social media with origin stories, photos, beer releases, food/beer specials and more.
Zwickelmania for Portland breweries is Saturday, Feb. 13, and for the remainder of the state Saturday, Feb. 20.
For more: www.OregonCraftBeer.org.
A great many events are canceling early in 2021 because of the ongoing pandemic, including the 57th annual Vancouver Fireworks Spectacular at Fort Vancouver National Site on July 4. It's usually a big deal and televised on KGW — but, again, not this year.
Artists Rep works
Artists Repertory Theatre's Mercury Company planned and made shows during the pandemic, including audio dramas, and one of the anticipated shows has been launched. It's "Berlin Diaries" by Andrea Stolowitz, whose great-grandfather kept a journal for his descendants after escaping to New York City in 1939 as a German Jew. Stolowitz returned to Germany to bring the story of her unknown ancestors out of the archives and into the light.
"Berlin Diaries" and "Magellanica" are both available through June 30. See www.artistsrep.org.
Movie Madness University by Hollywood Theatre was an online thing before the pandemic, as it schools people on the history and logistics behind movies. It continues with "The Thin Blue Line" with filmmaker Matt McCormick at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11. It's a documentary about the killing of a Texas police officer. For more: www.hollywoodtheatre.org.
YouTube Originals and filmmakers have produced a documentary, "Life in a Day 2020," which premiered in early February and includes Portland's 100-year-old Bud Lewis, a longtime police officer and member of the Portland Police Bureau's Sunshine Division.
The concept: People from all over the world film their life in one day and then submit it to be part of the film; Lewis' entry was added to the film. "Filmed in a Day" is directed by Kevin McDonald and produced by Ridley Scott. For more, see YouTube.
Portland Rose Festival Foundation has introduced its 2021 Official Rose in partnership with Portland Nursery. It's "Burst of Hope," which fits with the 2021 festival's theme of "Hope Reigns" — emphasis on the word "hope," because we hope 2021 brings a return of more in-person events in 2021.
The unique grandiflora features a strong fruity and citrus fragrance with medium-long stems and dark glossy green foliage. It's available at Portland Nursery at 5050 S.E. Stark St. and 9000 S.E. Division St.
For more: www.rosefestival.org.
Be on the lookout for "Rebound: Soaring in the NBA, Battling Parkinson's, and Finding What Really Matters," a book by former Trail Blazers player Brian Grant, due out via Triumph Books on April 6.
Grant, who came down with Parkinson's after a lengthy NBA career, operates the Brian Grant Foundation in Portland. He wrote the book along with sportswriter Ric Bucher.
White Bird Dance isn't hosting in-person events in 2020-21, but it will premiere a newly commissioned virtual duet by Israeli choreographer Iris Erez and California-based choreographer Marjani Forte-Saunders.
"Homework: Exercising Wombhood" will show at noon Monday, Feb. 15, through White Bird's Vimeo link and website, www.whitebird.org, where it can be viewed for 10 days.
It's tabbed the artists' "cross-Atlantic virtual women duet." It's a 15-20 minute dance, and there'll be a major video component.
Oregon Zoo, 4001 S.W. Canyon Road, invites visitors (ages 12 and up) to take a look inside the new stomping grounds of Nora the polar bear, Polar Passage (although Nora hasn't returned to the zoo, yet).
Tours are free with zoo admission, Feb. 12-15. Construction is nearly finished on Polar Passage.
The improv Young Professionals Company at Oregon Children's Theatre puts on a virtual live performance of its "Impulse XIV: Level Up!" show, Feb. 12-21. See www.octc.org for more.
The Oregon International Air Show goes on at McMinnville Airport, July 30-Aug. 1, but it won't happen at the second site, Hillsboro Airport, this year; it was scheduled there May 21-23. It has been canceled because of COVID-19 pandemic concerns.
For more: www.oregonairshow.com.
Tom Grant reminder
Portland pianist Tom Grant gathers the boys of the band back for their first concert together in a decade.
Grant joins original members Dan Balmer on guitar, Jeff Leonard on bass and Carlton Jackson on drums. The Tom Grant Band plays a 90-minute livestreamed show from Classic Pianos, Saturday, Feb. 13. It'll be broadcast live on YouTube and Facebook and will include songs that marked the band's nearly 10 years together in the 1980s and '90s.
For more: www.tomgrant.com.
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