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Other items include VR to Go, Mike Thrasher Presents, Darrell Grant and more.

COURTESY PHOTO: PORTLAND CENTER STAGE - Interrupted by the pandemic, the play "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" returns to The Armory stage. Previews begin Nov. 27.Return engagement

When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down in-person entertainment in March 2020, Portland Center Stage had to cut short its run of Tony Award-winning "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time."

Well, it's back, hitting the stage with previews Nov. 27 and closing Dec. 24 at The Armory.

The story follows Christopher, an exceptionally intelligent (and exceptionally honest) 15-year-old boy on the autism spectrum who is under suspicion of killing his neighbor's dog. Determined to find the true culprit, Christopher's detective work takes him on a deeply personal quest that upturns his world.

Said Marissa Wolf, PCS artistic director: "To re-launch 'Curious Incident' feels like a powerful, whole-hearted circle. This play resonated deeply pre-pandemic, but in choosing to stage it again for the 2021-22 season, the play creates new space and depth to celebrate the resilience of a community and the beautiful complexities of being human."

For more: www.pcs.org.

VR to Go

Northwest Film Center and Phi Centre have co-curated a new virtual reality venture called VR to Go.

Portland Art Museum's film center, which has put on two Venice Biennale VR Expanded shows, is the only U.S. venue for the program. Starting Dec. 3, it offers a variety of award-winning, curated experiences, with new work added quarterly; you can rent a headset from Northwest Film Center and experience stories from top global artists at home.

"This next stage in NWFC's evolution launches the further democratization and expansion of cinematic storytelling by sharing VR with folks from the comfort of their homes," said Amy Dotson, Northwest Film Center director and Portland Art Museum curator of film and new media.

For more: www.nwfilm.org/vr-to-go.

Joining forces

The music industry lost a leader when longtime Portland promoter Mike Thrasher passed away last year.

Now, his company, Mike Thrasher Presents, has formed an alliance with Mammoth, Inc., to do concert promotions on the West Coast, where Thrasher excels, and the Midwest, home to Mammoth.

Thrasher founded the company in 1994, and eventually the company promoted more than 450 shows per year. Mammoth launched in 2006.

"Learning from one of the best independent promoters in the country provided me with invaluable insights into the music business," said Thrasher talent buyer Sean Major. "Mike's innate sense of assessing talent, along with his business acumen, provided a strong foundation for what has become a very successful company. It is my privilege to assume the head talent buyer role for the Mammoth/Thrasher alliance as we move forward into the future."

Grant residency

Darrell Grant, an Oregon Jazz Society Hall of Fame member, continues the Soul Restoration Project Albina Arts Salon residency at the site of the former Albina Arts Center, 14 N. Killingsworth St., through Jan. 15, 2022.

Grant has called upon culture bearers of the Black arts community to curate events honoring the legacy and future of Black creativity in a series of events.

He's working with several creators and the Vanport Mosaic to celebrate the connections via dance, music, film and movement.

For info on remaining events, see www.darrellgrant.com/soul-restoration-project.

COURTESY PHOTO: DAVID KINDER - Wendy Westerwelle stars as politician/feminist Bella Abzug in Triangle Productions' "Bella! Bella!"Oh, Bella

Triangle Productions puts on another interesting play — "Bella! Bella!," about the politician and feminist Bella Abzug.

Wendy Westerwelle stars as Bella. It opens Nov. 26 at The Sanctuary at Sandy Plaza. The story: Bella is in a hotel bathroom, "hiding out" and waiting for the election results of her bid to become a New York senator; the stories she has to tell make it an informative and entertaining evening.

For more: www.trianglepro.org.

COURTESY PHOTO: AMATERRA WINES - Co-founder Werner Nistler (left) and winemaker Matt Vuylsteke are anxiously awaiting opening of Amaterra Wines in the West Hills. Vuylsteke said grapes grown in their vineyard and elsewhere came out decently in 2021, despite a brutal couple days of heat.Line on wine

It's been a tough couple years for the wine business — well, most businesses — and even the 2021 harvest proved to be challenging, given the extreme heat in late June and other unusual weather.

A few winery folks chimed in on the 2021 season.

Said Matt Vulysteke, general manager/winemaker of Amaterra Wines, which plans to open its tasting room in the West Hills in 2022, adjacent to its vineyard:

"We did have extreme weather in June, but it fortunately was early in the season when there was plenty of moisture in the soil. The fruit quality was high, and the resulting wines are ripe, rich and have a lot of aroma and flavor intensity. This weather event did cause some variability in fruit set between warmer and cooler sites, resulting in a range of wines in terms of flavors and structure."

He continued: "Due to the weather in late spring and early summer, we had vineyards with variation in both cluster and berry size. The vineyards with a high degree of variation in berry size result in wines that are more concentrated in both color and tannin structure. The later ripening vineyards had more uniformity and healthier yields. This leads to more elegant pinot noirs, those with great aromatics and softer structure. Ultimately, these excellent fruit conditions gave our winemaking team a great opportunity to have fun in the winemaking process."

Said Laurie Lewis, the "Wine Goddess" of Portland's Hip Chicks do Wine:

"Even with being open for business, 2021 has not bounced back the way we would have liked for it to. After reopening, locals were slow to make reservations and come back to the tasting room. It has slowly increased a bit as the year progresses, but we were still utilizing the ability for folks to sit outside. As the weather gets colder and rainier we truly hope that folks still want to come in and taste wine.

"In terms of the 2021 harvest we were thrilled with the grapes we received from both Oregon and Washington. Amazing fruit and thank goodness no issues with smoke this year. We're really looking forward to sharing these wines with folks."

Patty Skinkis, an Oregon State University professor of viticulture, told the West Linn Tidings that the harvest came early for vineyards across the Willamette Valley.

"It was a very early harvest so a lot of it was done well before the rain began, which makes everything easier," Skinkis said.

Despite this summer's record-setting heat, Pete's Mountain Vineyard owner Mike Thayer said this year's harvest was good, with the vineyard's pinot noir and chardonnay grapes producing more fruit than most years.

According to Thayer, the vineyard brought in three tons of grapes per acre of pinot gris vines, about two or three tons less than the yearly average. Thayer said he's heard similar tales of low pinot gris yields from other winemakers in Oregon.


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