Tuesday, 10 June 2014 13:37 | Written by Byron Beck
Lisa Donoughe, Cathy Whims, Allison Blythe, Jeffrey Morgenthaler, A Wild Thing and Max, Anthony Cafiero's legs, the crowd at Nostrana
NIGHT OWLS: Oh gawd I could use a nap right now. That's because I was up until the wee hours of the night with all the cool kids have a nightcap...well...actually it was Negronis at the 4th Annual Negroni Social at Nostrana. This year's Negroni Social was called "In The Night Kitchen" and a included all sorts of Maurice Sendak send-ups and get-ups including me in a bright yellow, glitter-fied crown.
This awesome and always late, late, very late night (it doesn't kick off until 10:30—on a school night no less) of Negronis featured recipes from 12 different female chefs as well as Portland's coolest cats/bartenders including Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Beckaly, Nathan Gerdes, Dave Shenaut and Douglas Derrick, as well as a bunch of other awesome drink makers. Prizes were awarded for the best dressed (it's always a glittery affair) and everyone was encouraged to wear as a Maurice Sendak character, hence my crown.
Tuesday, 03 June 2014 13:23 | Written by Byron Beck
CELEB-U-WATCH: Kelsey Grammer and Damon Wayans were spotted having not one, but two meals together at Mother's Bistro in downtown Portland.
According to owner/chef Lisa Schroeder's Facebook page it was the second meal the men shared together at Mother's in as many days.
Damon was in town for an appearance at the Helium Comedy Club, but I doubt that Kelsey was his opening act. Taking a hint from Lisa's post I believe that Kelsey is in town to shoot an episode of The Librarians currently filming in Portland.
Monday, 02 June 2014 06:38 | Written by Byron Beck
Sam Adams, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, Sen. Jeff Merkley, Jeana Frazzini, Gov. John Kitzhaber, Mike Marshall, Serena Cruz Walsh, Lisa Naito, the crowd at Montgomery Park, Caryn Brooks and Sam Adams on the dance floor, the hard working staff and volunteers from Basic Rights Oregon, Oregonians United For Marriage and other marriage equality groups pose at a photo booth
VICTORY DANCE: After decades of hard work by tens of thousands of volunteers and donors who never gave up marriage equality was finally secured in Oregon. Although today we await a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that might put a blip in that reality, truth is, marriage for loving, committed couples is here to stay in our fair state.
To celebrate this historic victory a HUGE Victory Party was held on Saturday night at Montgomery Park. Sponsored by Absolut Vodka there was an endless amount of food, drinks and dancing offered up that night. There was an incredible sense of joy and happiness by the approximately 1,000 people who attended including Gov. John Kitzhaber, Sen. Jeff Merkley, Sam Adams and many, many others.
Scott and Craig Peterson, Bruce Porter, Didier Porteaud, chefs at RingSide
MEATY ENDEAVORS: We joined members of the meat-loving media on Thursday night at RingSide Steakhouse Uptown for a Media Preview Steak Tasting in anticipation of their 70th Anniversary celebrations starting in June.
In RingSide Steakhouse's stylish Barrel Room, guests had a chance to enjoy wine, cocktails, and passed hors d'oeuvres, such as the Japanese A5 Kobe Nigiri (which I believe is somewhere in the vicinity of a kajillion dollars a pound), while making our way through three interactive meat stations featuring preparations of Certified Angus Beef, including Braised Short Rib, Rib Eye Cap, and Petit Filet Mignon Tenderloin of Beef Oscar.
Throughout the event, RingSide's third-generation owners the Peterson family and Executive Chef Beau Carr ushered guests on behind-the-scenes tours of the steakhouse's fully stocked dry aging meat locker and their climatized cellar housing one of Portland's most prestigious wine collections. The celebration continues through the month of June.
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 12:04 | Written by Byron Beck
Photo credit: Patrick Weishampel
LARGE ON LIZZIE: The West Coast premiere of LIZZIE, the musical about the legendary ax murderer Lizzie Borden opens on May 30, and runs through June 29 on the Main Stage of Portland Center Stage.
Four dynamite rock mavens will make their PCS debuts: Mary Kate Morrissey, Leslie McDonel, Carrie Cimma and Kacie Sheik. They’ll be backed by a band featuring Scott Weddle, Matt Brown, Greg Eklund, Sean Vinson and Dale Tolliver. Rose Riordan will direct the mayhem, with Musical Director James Beaton bringing the epic rock score to life. Portland-based Broadway producers Brisa Trinchero and Corey Brunish helped develop this musical.
LIZZIE is a rock-show retelling of the bloody legend of America’s favorite ax-wielding double-murderess and Victorian hometown girl. Lizzie Borden, who has become fodder for jump rope rhymes and TV movies of the week, was a Massachusetts woman acquitted in 1892 of the ax murders of her father and stepmother, and lived the rest of her life as American’s first infamous tabloid star. But did she really do it? And if so, how?
A LIZZIE studio album was released in October of 2013, featuring Carrie Cimma, who will star in the Portland Center Stage production singing the role of Bridget, and Portland’s own Storm Large, singing the role of Emma Borden.
I spoke to Storm upon her arrival to Italy (where she's about to perform with Portland's own Pink Martini) about her involvement in the LIZZIE project and here is what she had to say:
How did Storm Large end up on the studio album for LIZZIE?
Storm Large: Stephen Mark Beaudoin introduced me to one of the financial backers of the project, Brisa [Trinchero]. She had wanted me for another project, I can't remember which one now...but I had dodged her until I met her and Stephen at Departure Lounge and she told me about "Lizzie". I fell in love with the story, and with Brisa, and so that's how I got to be Emma on the album
It’s the West Coast premiere of this rock musical, so there’s a good chance most people in Portland aren’t familiar with the show. What can people expect from the music? It is a lot more interesting, musically, than most contemporary musical theater. For example, it actually has real heavy metal moments without the rock of aged gouda... you know? It's a super cool take on how to approach an historical period piece. Kind of like Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, where they use more modern, youth angst-y rock music to express the feelings of a time when a concert was old people having harpsichord recitals in their stuffy salons.
Tell me about your favorite song from the album? I'm a harmony dork, so I love "Watchmen For The Morning" and tthe King Crimson-y "Somebody Will Do Something" where Carrie Cimma (Bridget) fucking screams the skin off your face. Carrie Cimma, who is in the PCS production, was featured on the Studio Album. Tell us more about Carrie and what it was like to work with her on the album. I only just mentioned that girl, and you want to more? Well...I can't go into too much detail, because she'd have my favorite leg broken. But in a nutshell, I LOVE HER AND AM SO GLAD SHE'S IN PORTLAND!!
You know Portland audiences better than just about anyone. Do you think LIZZIE is going to work in Portland? I think so. Portlanders love real people and true stories...we don't do self conscious or artificial well. We love true stories. The creative team from "Lizzie" did major work on the history of the legend, plus background checks and gossip from then and turn a childish limerick into a well fleshed anti hero's journey. It's a great story....and a cool all female concept musical. James Beaton, your long time collaborator, is the Musical Director and Conductor for LIZZIE and he also plays in the band. How long have you two been working together? Are you working on any projects together right now?
James and I started the Balls together, so 12 years. I helped facilitate his gig with Lizzie in hopes it would keep him from getting sick of me. Fuck I hope it works. I love that guy. Best accompanist, such a great listener, musically and personally. He has been there for me in more ways and more times than I have the courage to count. Fuck...stop reading this James! We are working on another musical together based on another true story about more sisters. Only these ones ran a highly successful brothel in Chicago at the top of the 20th century.
As you type out the answer to these questions, where are you and what are you up to? I'm in bed!!! Yay bed! And this particular bed is in a gorgeous villa in Sardinia, so it even sucks less than just any old bed. I've been asked to sing with China and Pink Martini for this lovely wedding. But tonight, I am answering these questions, listening to mixes from my next album, taking notes, writing a short story about great and terrible love affairs, and....because this is Italy...probably gaining weight.
Details: LIZZIE showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sundays (excluding June 8, 22 and 24); 2 p.m. matinees on select Saturdays and Sundays; matinees at noon on select Thursdays. Tickets can be purchased at pcs.org or 503.445.3700. A complete schedule can be found online: www.pcs.org/lizzie.