Other items include Beth Harper, Bob Odenkirk, Naomi Osaka and Oregon Arts Commission.

COURTESY PHOTO: OWEN CAREY - Delphon DJ Curtis Jr. stars in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at The Armory.Glam rock

Portland Center Stage had a successful run of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic settled in and took away our fun.

The Tony Award-winning glam rock musical returns, starring Delphon "DJ" Curtis Jr. and Ithica Tell, with opening night Friday, Jan. 28, at The Armory. Written by John Cameron Mitchell with music/lyrics by Stephen Trask, it tells the story of Hedwig, a German immigrant, who wants to set the record straight about her life, loves and operation that left her with that "angry inch." It's part rock concert, part cabaret and part standup comedy.

COURTESY PHOTO: OWEN CAREY - Ithica Tell also stars in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at The Armory.It's directed by Chip Miller, PCS associate artistic director.

"I am so profoundly joyful about the opportunity to revisit this story with this incredible group of collaborators. The act of building this production with them in 2019 was absolutely life-changing. The chance to be a part of the Hedwig family again, and share it with more audiences in Portland, is a real gift," said Miller about directing the remount of this production.

Barring a virus and pandemic problem, it should stage through March 6.

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HARPERHarper retiring

Big news from the theater world: Beth Harper, founder and managing artistic director of The Actors Conservatory (former Portland Actors Conservatory), will be retiring this year — after 37 years on the job.

The Actors Conservatory has begun a search for a new managing artistic director.

It's one of the preeminent stand-alone schools of theater and film acting in the Pacific Northwest, growing under Harper's direction and guidance. The conservatory offers a rigorous and intensive two-year accredited program for acting students, a wide variety of studio classes for aspiring actors, writers and theater people and a five-week Summer Conservatory Intensive Program.

Graduates have worked from New York to Los Angeles to Portland in theater and film, as actors, directors, artistic directors, playwrights and teaching artists.

Harper will remain as director emeritus for two years following her retirement in June.

Bob Odenkirk

Powell's Books brings in a lot of celebrities and authors to Portland, and make plans to go see one of them March 7 at Revolution Hall: Bob Odenkirk, of "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul" fame.

He'll be in conversation with famed Portland author Cheryl Strayed. In his new memoir "Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama," he opens up about the highs and lows of show biz, his cult status as a comedy writer and what it's like to re-invent himself as an action film star at age 50 ("Nobody").

For tickets:

Osaka talk

The Portland State University Center for Japanese Studies takes a look at a famous tennis star in the second installment in its winter series, "The Illusion of Homogeneity: Race, Gender, and Poverty in Contemporary Japan," 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27, via Zoom.

"Naomi Osaka: Defining the Activist Athlete in Twenty-First Century Japan" features Alisa Freedman, a University of Oregon professor, and examines the life of Osaka, a half-Asian, half-Black talented tennis player who has used her status to speak out about mental health.

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Dion cancels

Celine Dion, recovering from a health issue, had to cancel North American concert dates in 2022, including March 24 at Moda Center. She'll tour Europe starting in late May.

Oregon Arts Commission

Lots of news coming from the Oregon Arts Commission lately:

• In the first of two rounds of fiscal year 2022 Career Opportunity Program grant awards, the Oregon Arts Commission and The Ford Family Foundation have awarded $88,234 to 28 artists for career development projects, many of them from Portland.

• Small grants have been awarded to 109 statewide arts organizations by the Oregon Arts Commission for fiscal year 2022. Twelve more small arts organizations qualified than in 2021. Small Operating Grants are designed to provide support to arts organizations with budgets under $150,000.

• Awards totaling $1,265,166 will be distributed to 154 Oregon arts organizations through the Oregon Arts Commission's fiscal year 2022 Operating Support Program. There are six more recipients than in fiscal year 2021 due to a growing number of eligible organizations. Ranging from $2,000 to $25,000, the grant awards are available to nonprofit organizations with arts at the core of their mission and budgets over $150,000.

• A second round of relief funding for Oregon artists is offered by the Oregon Arts Commission in partnership with the Oregon Community Foundation and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation. The Artist Resilience Program partnership, which began with 2020's Artist Relief Program, invests another $1.5 million in support for artists' recovery from the pandemic. Awards will generally range from $1,000 to $5,000 and will be determined by a peer review panel. Applications are due Feb. 10.

• Business Oregon has received American Rescue Plan Act funds to exclusively support small, independent community movie theaters that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Grants go up to $40,000, with $5 million in total allocated to the program. Applications are available at; they must be received by Feb. 9.

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