Tag Archives: Milagro Theatre

From our stove to yours: small bites

By Bob Hicks

What’s been cooking lately in the Scatter kitchen? Well, a lovely baked dressing made up mostly of mushrooms, celery, onions and leftover bread slices (Mrs. Scatter’s clean-out-the-fridge creation). And another batch of baklazhannia ikra, or “poor man’s caviar,” an addictive eggplant/tomato/onion/pepper relish that William Grimes discovered recently in one of those great old Time/Life Foods of the World cookbooks and kindly passed along as a recipe in the New York Times.

Photo by Keith Weller/Wikimedia CommonsThings have been cooking outside of World Headquarters, too. I’ve recently signed on as a regular contributor to Oregon Arts Watch, the ambitious online cultural newsmagazine masterminded and edited by my friend and former colleague at The Oregonian, Barry Johnson. I’ve filed a couple of pieces there already:

A few other things that’ve been keeping me hopping, each of which should be coming out in story form sometime soon:

    • An evening up a dark alley to The Publication Studio for the opening celebration for artist Melody Owen‘s new book, which has something to do with mad hatters and rabbit holes.
    • An afternoon at the Portland Opera studios, where I discovered general manager Christopher Mattaliano leaping up and down with a cutout version of a gingerbread witch as singers from Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel watched and nodded.
    • A morning at Milagro Theatre, talking with Dañel Malàn about the perils and pleasures of touring the country to perform bilingual plays in tucked-away spaces – and whether the world is really going to end with the Mayan calendar in 2012.

Hal Holbrook in 2007. Photo: Luke Ford, lukeford.net/Wikimedia Commons

  • An hour’s conversation on the phone with Hal Holbrook, octogenarian actor and uncanny channeler of the late, great Mark Twain, on topics ranging from politics to history to the unhappy state of print journalism and what it means to the future of democracy: “It’s a good paper. But as I remind people, it’s called the Wall. Street. Journal. Not The Journal. And it’s owned by that guy, Murdoch, who’s in all that trouble in England.”

Lots cooking, and more coming up. Last night I had an odd dream: I’d accepted an assignment from a glossy magazine to do a spread comparing two versions of barbecued pulled pork from famous Southern restaurants. This was a touchy situation for an ordinarily vegetarian/pescetarian writer, who was sorely tempted to do some serious taste-testing. In my dream I solved the problem by contacting the chefs of each restaurant and asking them to send me a towel soaked in their secret sauces. I then breathed in the aromas deeply, and began to type. If you should happen to stumble across this story somewhere in print, don’t believe a word it says.



  • Photo by Keith Weller/Wikimedia Commons
  • Hal Holbrook in 2007. Photo: Luke Ford, lukeford.net/Wikimedia Commons

If it’s Tuesday, this must be art season

By Bob Hicks

Hard to believe, but here it is late September and already Portland’s fall arts season is in full swing. Somehow things snuck up on Mr. Scatter (he knows he should say “sneaked up,” except he prefers the ancient and slightly disreputable “snuck”), and now he must do some serious catching up.

Some cool-looking things he sees on the near horizon:

Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka of San Francisco Taiko DojoTAIKO UNLEASHED and ROMP STOMP BOOM! A little bit of modern-music history storms the Newmark Theatre stage Saturday and Sunday when Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka and San Francisco Taiko Dojo join Portland Taiko for PT’s fall concerts. In American taiko circles, this is a little like having Scott Joplin, W.C. Handy and Jelly Roll Morton dropping by a modern jazz club for a jam: just how cool can these original stick-swinging cats be?

In a sense, Tanaka is the father of North American taiko (the contemporary, ensemble approach to the ancient Japanese drumming traces only to 1959 in Japan), and over the years since the young postwar immigrant founded it in 1968, San Francisco Taiko Dojo has gained near-legendary status. Stylistically and inspirationally, Tanaka and his group have been key players in the extraordinary spread of modern taiko across North America.

The players of Portland Taiko, one of America’s handful of professional ensembles, are no slouches, either. (Mr. Scatter likes Portland Taiko so much, he’s on its board.) Wear your raincoats: this could be a tsunami of sound. 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3; shorter family matinee Romp Stomp Boom! at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2.

Continue reading If it’s Tuesday, this must be art season

Gentlemen, do the right thing

Nurys Herrera and Vicente Guzmán-Orozco; photo by Russell Young

Tomorrow is St. Valentine’s Day. This is an important occasion, and not one to be taken lightly — or, horror of horrors, forgotten — unless you enjoy being a thirty-five-year-old bachelor living in your parents’ basement and spending all your free time playing online Dungeons & Dragons.

Pancho Villa did not waste his time like that. Pancho Villa did not spend his Valentine’s nights alone. Pancho Villa was a man, and he knew how to treat his significant other of the moment.

This may or may not be at the heart of Sabina Berman’s comedy Entre Villa y una Mujer Desnud (Between Pancho Villa and a Naked Woman), which opened last night at Milagro Theatre. The play’s performed in Spanish, with English subtitles, and although we haven’t seen it yet, as Milagro describes it, it sounds fetching:

Gina wants more out of her casual relationship with Adrian, a liberal intellectual who’s in it only for some good sex. Adrian shies away from any form of commitment – that is, until Gina takes up with a younger, more sensitive lover. That’s when the spirit of Mexico’s most famous revolutionary rides again, appearing as Adrian’s macho conscience ready to do anything to win this battle of the sexes.

This evening Mr. and Mrs. Scatter will hie themselves out to Hillsboro for the opening of Bag & Baggage Theatre‘s own contribution to the battle of the sexes: a scrunching-together of Shakespeare’s comedy The Taming of the Shrew and John Fletcher‘s Jacobean response to it, The Woman’s Prize, or The Tamer Tamed, in which Kate comes out on top. Do tell!

We might have gone to Third Rail Rep‘s new revival of David Mamet‘s American Buffalo, which looks like it could be a memorable production, but not this weekend. It’s about three loser guys trying to pull off a scam from a junk shop. What’s the percentage in that? If they couldn’t score a date, they should have just settled in for a round of Dungeons & Dragons.

Don’t let that happen to you, D&D boys. A last-minute tip: Flowers are always good. Chocolates, too. At Chez Scatter, we’re planning oysters and sparkling wine. We might be leaving our bandolier and hat on the hitching post, though.


PICTURED: Nurys Herrera and Vicente Guzmán-Orozco in “Entre Villa y una Mujer Desnud.” Photo by Russell Young.