Hail, Bob Hicks!

Monday night at the annual Drammy Awards, Art Scatter’s own Bob Hicks received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Drammy committee and, by extension, the Portland theater community. And for once, we’re not going to make jokes about it because we really do think it brings honor both to Bob and to the theater community itself and that’s no joking matter. To the theater community because it recognized the value of the smart, insightful, carefully (even beautifully) written prose that Bob directed at the art and craft of theater in Portland and the state over a sustained period of time at The Oregonian. To Bob, because for a critic to be held in this high esteem means that he (in this case) offers something both highly useful AND compassionate. The only group not represented, the third side of the triangle, is the readers, and I know that if they organized a committee, they would have agreed with this award — we are so much better off in so many ways for having read Bob’s reviews.

Of course, all of this sounds so past tense. Awards are that way, after all: celebrations of past achievement. And Bob is also about the other side of the timeline. We can look forward to many more of his considerations of life in our place ahead. And not just on Art Scatter! Somehow, that’s comforting to those of us who have read him for better than 30 years. Keep ’em coming, Brother Bob!

For a look at the award ceremony and a full list of this year’s winners, we direct you to Bob’s successor in all things theater at The Oregonian, Marty Hughley, and his account on Oregonlive.

While we’ve got you at Oregonlive, we’ll direct you to a book review by another Scatter-fellow, Vernon Peterson, and his review of Dreaming Up America by Russell Banks. We strongly suspect that there is a Director’s Cut of this review floating around on Vernon’s computer. Wouldn’t you just LOVE to read it here?!?

How much more self-referential could we be? Well, fortunately we’ve just about exhausted our capacity for self-examination. We do know of some posts that are brewing, though. Portland Spaces magazine had another of its Bright Lights Discussion Series events last night, and planner John Fregonese, who is leading Oregon’s Big Look task force, was there with some words of wisdom about the FUTURE (we shudder as we type the word!). So we’ll get to that pretty quickly. And a couple of other tasty topics are still simmering away.