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Thursday, February 18, 2010

This Week's Mercury Arts Section!

Posted by Alison Hallett on Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 4:34 PM

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THEATER!:

Jane Carlen reviews the Miracle Theatre's Entre Villa y una Mujer Desnuda (translation: "Between Pancho Villa and a Naked Woman," or so someone who speaks Spanish told us). Ms. Carlen is underwhelmed by the play's depiction of male/female relationships. Next week: Jane reviews Defending the Caveman.

I was out of town last weekend, so no review of Third Rail's production of David Mamet's American Buffalo (directed by Daniel Stern! Yes, that Daniel Stern), but stay tuned.

Also, in our arts picks, we singled out the promising The Devil and Billy Markham, a one-man show written by Shel Silverstein that originally appeared as a six-part poem in Playboy. That opens tomorrow night at Curious Comedy.

BOOKS!:

Heidi Durrow's The Girl Who Fell from the Sky is a coming-of-age novel about a girl, Rachel, who moves to Portland to live with her grandma after her mother jumps off the roof of their apartment building, taking Rachel and her siblings with her (Rachel is the only survivor). The book offers an interesting perspective on Portland's African American community in the 1980s, but I would've liked this book better overall if it had been marketed as young adult fiction, rather than literary fiction. I don't intend to disparage the genre at all when I say that I give YA authors a bit more slack to pull off goofy shit like... well, when Rachel falls off the roof, a boy catches sight of her out the window, and devotes his life to finding her again, and I bet you can guess whether he does or not... I'd give that shit a pass in a kids' book, but not an adult one. Also, I'm not saying it would be a GREAT young adult book—doesn't match Cynthia Voigt's Tillermans series for capturing the orphans-living-with-Grandma blues, or Philip Pullman's The Broken Bridge in exploring bi-racial identity. (Yes, that sentence was written solely to establish my YA bona fides, shut up.)

Jane Carlen reviews Gina Ochsner's imaginative novel The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight, and she's got an interview with Oschner, a local-ish (Kaizer) writer who sounds just delightful. (Her excellent short story collection People I Wanted to Be snagged an Oregon Book Award a few years back.)

And finally, Matt Davis talks to Jake Adelstein about Tokyo Vice, and fingering a prostitute in the line of duty. I guess we all know which story you guys will be clicking through to. Sigh.

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