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Friday, October 9, 2009

Weekend Arts Picks

Posted by Alison Hallett on Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 4:26 PM

•The best theater bet of this weekend comes from Portland Playhouse, who open their second season tonight with Stephen Dietz's Fiction. I was not particularly enthralled with Dietz's Becky's New Car, currently running at Artists Rep (though I have been sternly admonished in the comments on my review that in interpreting it as a "mom wish-fulfillment fantasy," I missed the "larger themes" at work. Probably). Portland Playhouse tries, with varying degrees of success, to produce theater that is accessible and relevant—their theater space is comfortable, the atmosphere low-key. Fiction is about a lady with terminal cancer who demands to read her husband's diary. [Insert artist's statement about the nature of truth here.]

•Also this weekend, dance company Hot Little Hands hosts a benefit show with performances by Benjamin Asriel, John Bacone, Jessica Burton, Jaime Lee Christiana, Convenient Noise, and more. That's at the Someday Lounge, Sat Oct 10, 8 pm, $8-20.

•Then of course there's Wordstock—the convention floor opens tomorrow. I'm torn between Scott Westerfeld and Debra Gwartney at noon; and James Ellroy at 2 pm seems like a safe bet. Plus, if you're roaming the convention floor, don't forget to swing by the Stumptown Graphic Novel Garden and say hello to your friendly neighborhood comics professionals. (One thing I've heard from a several people who work in comics is that even though graphic novels were a featured genre at Wordstock last year, very few books were sold, and interest seemed low—which is perhaps why Dark Horse doesn't even have a table this year; just speculatin'. The phrases "graphic novel ghetto" and "people who go to Wordstock don't like comics" were both used, which is kinda sad. Oni, Top Shelf, Cosmic Monkey, Too Much Coffee Man's Shannon Wheeler [who's been doing work for the New Yorker lately], Slow Wave's Jesse Reklaw, and more will have tables, so throw your local comics artists and publishers some love, if you're there anyway.)

•UPDATED 5pm: Graphic novelist Jeff Lemire cancelled all Portland appearances this week, but his publisher, Top Shelf, has put together a replacement panel with "Top Shelf, Oni, hopefully Sparkplug, and somebody from the Stumptown Comics Foundation (to talk about Comics Month, and the Stumptown Festival)." That's tomorrow at noon, McMenamins stage. Also, don't forget the Multnomah County Library's book sale all weekend.

•Also in conjunction with Wordstock, the IPRC's Text Ball, which promises word games, word nerds, and elaborate word-related costumes. "Attendees are encouraged to come dressed with text as part of their evening attire. The theme for this year’s ball is 'A Novel Idea.'" That's tomorrow, 7 pm-midnight, at galleryHOMELAND.

•Tonight also marks the opening of Land, Buy Olympia's new store and gallery on Mississippi. Swing by after 6 pm and say hello.

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