As the intrepid Mr. Mead has reminded me, a lot of cool-sounding stuff is pounding the boards of Portland’s performance spaces right now:
Bucky Fuller, Adam Bock, Dead Funny, Guys and Dolls, and despite the mixed reviews I’d like to see Artists Rep’s Speech and Debate — there has to be a reason it was such a can’t-score-a-ticket hit in New York.
But last night as I headed to The Someday Lounge, Halloween was on my mind. And not just because of the weekend trip to the pumpkin patch on Sauvie Island (corn maze, plump gourds, rowdy kids, horrific traffic) but because it was opening night of Opera Theater Oregon‘s The Medium, Gian Carlo Menotti‘s hour-plus 1946 psychological thriller of an operatic melodrama (the word, remember, means simply drama with music).
These days, when people think of Menotti they tend to think of his autocratic reputation in the legacy of the two Spoleto festivals, in Italy and South Carolina. Or they think of Amahl and the Night Visitors, his 1951 television opera, which has become a Christmas-season staple. But although Christmas is coming, the goose ain’t fat yet. This is the time of haunts and ghouls, and The Medium is in perfect pitch with the season.