Friday Night Variety: Comedy, Music And Conversation

by | Mar 19, 2011

Portland is home to several live storytelling events. There’s Mortified, BackFence PDX, Ignite Portland and Live Wire! Radio, to name a few.

Last night, we attended the taping of Live Wire! episodes 144 and 145 at Alberta Rose Theatre, near our home in Northeast Portland. The guests included Oregon Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Bill Rauch, Author André Dubus III, Filmmaker Matt McCormick, Roey Thorpe, and musical guests Tony Furtado and Priory. Plus the cast of Live Wire! which is entertaining in its own right. I especially liked the poems written during the show by Scott Poole. After the show, I bought Poole’s book The Cheap Seats for $10 at the table out front.

Host Courtenay Hameister’s conversation with Harvard-educated Rauch was, for me, the best part of the show. Rauch is an impressive man doing unbelievable work in Ashland. I’ve only been to one play in Ashland thus far, but I’m motivated to go back for many more. Rauch spoke eloquently about the need to support the arts and he’s right. Art creates culture. He also provided some perspective on the uniqueness of Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which annually produces eleven plays on three stages during a season that lasts from February to October. OSF is the largest company of actors in the U.S. and Rauch reminded the audience that all classic plays were once new plays given birth in the nurturing environment of repertory theater. OSF is committed to the production of new plays under Rauch’s guidance and I’m excited to know that the power of live theater is alive and well in Southern Oregon (and that the ripples made there reach far out to other lands).

Here’s a look at Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2011 season:

To download past episodes of Live Wire! Radio, visit the show’s iTunes podcast catalog.

By the way, members of the audience are asked to submit haikus on pre-determined topics and the cast then chooses a handful of them to read aloud during the performance. Darby’s haiku was not chosen, but she’s got a talent for the short form.

Geek Love invites us
to hula hoops and freak shows
Please show me your tail

I did not turn a haiku on a given topic in to one of the designated haiku hotties, but maybe I can make up for it here.

Quirky OPB
Portlandia radio
Nice variety