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Check back here for updates on happenings in the Metro Life entertainment and cultural world.

COURTESY PHOTO: CIRQUE DU SOLEIL - Cirque du Soleil presents Alegria at the Expo Center, June 16-July 17.


Studio Ghibli — Oregon Museum of Science and Industry begins its Studio Ghibli Film Retrospective today at its movie theater, and it goes through March 13 at OMSI, 1945 S.E. Water Ave.

"Castle in the Sky" opens the festival at 6 p.m. today, followed by Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind" at 8:30 p.m.

Then, it's: (Saturday), "The Cat Returns," 2 p.m.; "Ponyo," 3:30 p.m.; "Porco Rosso," 5:30 p.m.; "Princess Mononoke," 7:30 p.m. (Sunday), "My Neighbor Totoro," 2 p.m.; "The Secret World of Arrietty," 4 p.m.; "Howl's Moving Castle."

Japan's Studio Ghibli has established itself as maybe the world's finest producer of animated motion pictures. There'll be 17 of the studio's films featured at OMSI.

For more:


Dolly and James — Powell's Books will have two special guests for an upcoming virtual authors' talk: Dolly Parton, the country music legend, and James Patterson, crime writer extraordinaire.

It'll take place 4:30 p.m. March 6, and it's a ticketed event.

For tickets/info:

The two have collaborated on "Run, Rose, Run" (Little, Brown and Company), a thriller about a young singer-songwriter on the rise and on the run, and determined to do whatever it takes to survive. Nashville is where she goes to claim her destiny.

Polaris camps — Polaris Dance Theatre has announced dates for its summer Kids Dance Camps.

There are camps for age groups 6-11 and 3-5: June 13-16, June 20-23, June 27-30, July 11-14, July 18-21, July 25-28. And, there is a camp for intermediate teens (ages 11-16): July 11-24, July 18-21.

For more:


Weekend events — Make plans to attend events this weekend, including:

• The 22nd annual Portland Clowns Without Borders benefit show, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19 at Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 N.E. Alberta St. It's a variety and comedy show that includes top circus artists, physical comedians, musicians, magicians and more.

For more:

• Oregon Brewers Guild brings back the in-person 14th annual Zwickelmania event, an open-house style celebration of Oregon craft breweries in the Portland area noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19 and then statewide breweries Feb. 26. Visit a brewery, taste a brew.

For more:

• Oregon Children's Theatre's Young Professionals Company presents "WROL (Without Rule of Law)" Feb. 18-March 6 at Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 S.W. Capitol Hwy.

For more:

The story:

Convinced the world at large can't be trusted to prioritize the well-being of adolescent girls in the event of a cataclysmic event (or just in general), a determined troupe of 8th grade "doomers" commit to preparing for survival in the post-collapse society they anticipate inheriting.

COURTESY PHOTO - The movie Breaking Bread shows at Living Room Theaters.'Breaking Bread' — The critically acclaimed new documentary opens Friday, Feb. 18 at Living Room Theaters, 341 S.W. 10th Ave., in downtown Portland.

It's a film about the power of food to unite across political and cultural divides. By Beth Elise Hawk, it follows Arab and Jewish chefs at Israel's A-Sham Food Festival as they collaborate on delectable dishes, transform traditional recipes and transcend cultural, religious and political differences.


Cirque du Soleil — Cirque du Soleil has announced that its returning to Portland, June 16-July 17 at Expo Center, with "Alegria."

General ticket sales open Monday, Feb. 21.

For more:

"Alegria" is an iconic fan favorite that has been reimagined and redesigned; it whisks audiences away to a mystical world sprinkled with visual poetry and acrobatic extravagance. The story: At the heart of a once-glorious kingdom that has lost its king, "Alegria" witnesses the power struggle at play between the old order and a new movement yearning for hope and renewal.

Modest Mouse — As part of the new PDX Live concert series at Pioneer Courthouse Square, the band Modest Mouse has been added to the lineup, Aug. 19-20. The band has a new album, "The Golden Casket."

For more:

Polar Plunge — After years of people bravely going into the frigid waters of the Columbia River, the Rose City Polar Plunge, part of a Special Olympics statewide fundraiser, has moved to Willamette Park on the Willamette River. It's set for Saturday, Feb. 26, and organizers want to register 1,000 plungers and raise $190,000 with the local plunge to support Special Olympics athletes.

Overall, Polar Plunge organizers hope to raise close to $600,000 statewide. Participants raise money through pledges.

The Polar Plunge takes place at seven locations in Oregon; last year, it was a virtual event.

"Super Plungers" are the really brave bunch, committing to jumping into the waters 24 times — once an hour for 24 hours, starting at noon Friday, Feb. 25.

For more:

Willie Levenson, ringleader of Human Access Project, which works to promote recreational uses in and on the Willamette River, said in a statement that HAP is a partner in the event and is looking forward to it.

"From HAP's perspective we were very excited this high-profile event moved to the Willamette River," he said. "Culture change can be hard to gauge — this is a clear indication of our community feeling differently about the Willamette River. It's awesome."

'Live Wire with Luke Burbank' — The sprin season for the next radio variety show opens 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17 at Alberta Rose Theatre. It features mountaineer/humanitarian Silvia Vasquez-Lavada, comedian Curtis Cook and singer Dessa.

For more:

Local 'AGT' contestant — "America's Got Talent" is putting on its "Extreme" show to feature extreme acts, starting 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 21. And, in the first episode will be David "The Bullet" Smith, a human cannonball from Salem.

Following in his father's footsteps, Smith is part of a family that held the Guinness World Record for longest and highest human cannonball; David Smith has broken the record six times, and you can see more of David Smith at

For more on 'AGT':

New state librarian — Wendy Cornelisen has been named new state librarian, effective March 1, by the State Library of Oregon.

She has more than 15 years of leadership in libraries, most recently as Georgia Library Association president; she also had experience in Tennessee.

Viva Las Vegas — A documentary about underground icon and feminist activist Viva Las Vegas screens at Hollywood Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20.

After the screening of "Thank You For Supporting the Arts," there'll be a Q&A with Viva Las Vegas (Liv Osthus) and directors W. Alexander Jones and Carolann Stoney, moderated by producer Jessica Daughery:

From the film promotions:

Viva, a Portland underground icon and activist with a dedicated following, is an Ivy League educated writer, singer, mother, breast cancer survivor, and stripper who advocates for people who use their bodies for survival, while navigating the limitations of living at the edge of societal acceptance. As a stripper who has worked for 20 years, Viva interprets stripping as an art form and is a local leader in a lifelong battle against cultural expectations, surviving heartbreak, breast cancer, and mental illness along the way. 

Viva is also known as Coco Cobra, Portland's most fearsome punk-band frontwoman, and Lila Hamilton, the persona she took on when she lobbied city hall for greater protections for sex workers. Acclaimed filmmaker Gus Van Sant, who is featured in the film, often takes people from out of town to Mary's to see Viva perform, once bringing along Sean Penn, who was charmed by the talented Viva and her willingness to discuss her memoir and her poetry.

Viva celebrates the female form, advocates for the empowerment of all women, and commands respect for women whose careers depend on their bodies. "Strippers are artists. I believe what happens in a strip bar is the best, most potent art the late 21st century has to offer. It's revolutionary still — a woman being naked on stage for herself, for her living," said Viva. 


COURTESY PHOTO - The Pacific Northwest Sportsmen's Show takes place Feb. 16-20 at Expo Center.

Sportsmen's Show — Reminder: Outdoor enthusiasts will unite for the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen's Show, Wednesday through Sunday, Feb. 16-20 at Portland Expo Center.

It's tabbed as the second-largest sportsmen's show in the country, and largest west of the Mississippi River. There'll be plenty of fishing, hunting and boating vendors in attendance, and things to purchase run the gamut — including ATVs, African safaris, archery items, wall tents, guided trips and RVs.

The first-ever Bass Lake features live bass and panfish stocked in the lake with seminar speakers in kayaks rigged for fishing, showing attendees how to catch them. Fishing from kayak has become popular.

For more:

Chappelle coming — Dave Chappelle will bring his standup comedy routine to Moda Center, April 20. Who can forget the "Chappelle's Show" on Comedy Central?

Tickets go on sale starting at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 18.

For more:

COURTESY PHOTO - FRANCES STILWELLCool feedback — Our writer Joseph Gallivan had a wonderful story about painter Frances Stilwell and her treks around Oregon to paint native plants in natural habitats, with 81 of the works on display at Oregon Historical Society. Stilwell lives in a Corvallis assisted living facility, Corvallis Caring Place.

Joseph received some feedback from Stilwell: "I passed the article around the dining room at the Caring Place. One of the old timers suggested we post the article on the wall. So, I plan to get it color Xeroxed and have it posted. Here all this time I thought people just stared at each other uninterested in surroundings. Now I see that the residents really want stimulation."

Here's a link to Joseph's story:

Literary Fellowships — Literary Arts has named its 2022 Oregon Literary Fellowships. Out-of-state judges using literary excellence as the primary criterion selected from 504 applicants.

Top prizes of $10,000 each for career fellowships went to Carl Adamshick of Portland (poetry) and Dane Liu of Portland (young readers).

Literary fellowships of $3,500 went to nine writers and two publishers to help initiate, develop, or complete literary projects. They were:

(Fiction) Tony Ardizzone, Clemintine Guirado, Laura Herbst and Jamie McPartland; (Nonfiction) Jessica Yen; (Poetry) Rebecca Bornstein and Genevieve DeGuzman; (Young readers) Jenn Reese; (Drama) Melissa Fonzino.

The 2022 Oregon Literary Fellowships for Publisher went to Airlie Press of Portland and Two Plum Press of Milwaukie. The 2022 Oregon Literary Recipients will be honored at the 2022 Oregon Book Awards ceremony on April 25, along with the winners of the book awards.

Live event — Portland Columbia Symphony returns to the concert hall after two years of hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The orchestra plays March 11 (First United Methodist Church) and March 13 (Gresham High School), featuring Brahms' celebratory "Symphony No. 2."

For more:

New exhibit — Oregon Historical Society, 1200 S.W. Park Ave., has a new exhibition, "Building Solidarity for 30 years: Portland Jobs with Justice," showing through May 15.

Laurie Mercier, professor of history at Washington State University Vancouver, and Nikki Mandell, professor of history emerita at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, are co-curators.

The exhibition delves into some of the work force campaigns and actions undertaken over the past 30 years; for example, when Oregon led the nation in efforts to raise the minimum wage.

For more:

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