Tag Archives: Hipbone Studio

A Japan benefit; theater & dance tips

UPDATE: On OregonLive, Ryan White has just posted this announcement of a big-name benefit for Japanese disaster relief at the Aladdin Theatre on March 27. So far, the list of performers includes pianist/bandleader Thomas Lauderdale of Pink Martini, singers Holcombe Waller and Storm Large, dancers from Oregon Ballet Theatre, new-music adventurers fEARnoMUSIC, the Pacific Youth Choir, PHAME Academy, the Shanghai Woolies, and singers Ida Rae Cahana and Carl Halvorson. Check Ryan’s post for details.

© Rich Iwasaki 2008© Rich Iwasaki 2008

By Bob Hicks

You’ll be hearing about a lot of benefit performances and emergency fund-raising drives to help the victims of Japan’s triple whammy of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis. Perhaps you’ve already dug deep.

picture-1One performance coming up is particularly close to me, because I serve on the board of Portland Taiko, the outstanding Asian drumming and movement ensemble. At 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 22, PT and the Portland State University Department of Music will host a performance at PSU’s Lincoln Hall Room 175. A lot of people in Portland Taiko have family in Japan. As artistic director Michelle Fujii puts it, “Seeing the tragedy in Japan unfold was difficult for many of us in Portland Taiko on a personal and visceral level.”

Among others, the performance will include Portland Taiko, Takohachi (Japanese taiko and dance), Mexica Tiahui (Aztec drum and dance), Mike Barber (Ten Tiny Dances), Natya Leela Academy (traditional South Indian classical dance), Carla Mann and Jim McGinn (leading Portland contemporary dancers), and Hanzaburo Araki (shakuhachi, the traditional Japanese end-blown flute).

The performance is free, but volunteers from Mercy Corps and other organizations will be on hand to take donations. Hope to see you there.

Continue reading A Japan benefit; theater & dance tips

Jones for love? Try ‘Love Jones’

Wikimedia CommonsBy Laura Grimes

“I thought you’d like to write about it because storytelling is your thing.”

My thing?

My thing is very occasionally, if properly goaded, spinning a knotted-up yarn after a beer or two.

Mr. Scatter was trying to encourage me — nay, uncharacteristically apply pressure on me — to write about Love Jones, which we were seeing that night. He stood above me, strongly silent. He raised his eyebrows.

I scrunched mine and looked back at my non-pressing paperwork as if to say, I’m busy. Go away.

Continue reading Jones for love? Try ‘Love Jones’

Singlehandedly: the art of storytelling


“We did not believe in God,” Lawrence Howard recollects. “We believed in chicken soup and matzoh balls.”

As Mrs. Scatter has recently intimated, Mr. Scatter has embarked on a quest deep into the wilds of the exotic North American continent, hunting the elusive Snark. Today the Snark sleeps, and it is only sporting for Mr. Scatter to pause, too. Fortunately he’s discovered a forgotten hilltop with remarkably modern reception, so he’s decided to recount his recent adventure back in civilization, last Friday night at Hipbone Studio, at the opening of Portland Story Theater‘s Singlehandedly festival of solo shows.

Sharon Knorr meets her perfect partner. Photo: Lynne DuddyHoward is one of the founders of the story theater, and so it was fitting that his hour-long piece, The Adventures of Huckleberry Horowitz, kicked the festival off. Most everyone knows the mystical power of chicken soup, and most understand the pull of ritual and tradition in that thing we loosely call religion, so Howard’s audience, maybe 65 or 70 strong, rippled into laughter: the easy, familiar kind, the kind that says, “Yeah, we know what you mean.”

What transpired was a memory-tale,
a tale of growing up Jewish, sort of, but not in a particularly devoted sense. His father changed the family name from Horowitz to Howard because in the 1940s and 50s he couldn’t even get a job interview with a Jewish name, and the family celebrated the holidays with a Christmas tree, although not in a window where it could be seen. Still, being Jewish was somehow important, not only in the way Howard viewed the world, but also in the way the world viewed him. Which was not always in the kindest or most pleasant way.

This bothered him: “I wanted people to hate me for myself, not just for my name.”

Continue reading Singlehandedly: the art of storytelling