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.
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 11:06 | Written by Byron Beck
Back row: Mayor Charlie and Nancy Hales, John Harrell, Al Machemel, (front row) Kathy Hubbard, Mayor Annise Parker and Jeana Frazzini
THE NEXT GOVERNOR OF TEXAS? Houston Mayor Annise Parker's LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance is being brought to full council for a vote today. Parker, who is openly gay, first called for an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance in her inaugural address. She has seen major opposition from conservatives across the state of Texas. But she, and many others, are working diligently to make sure this incredibly important ordinance passes.
Mayor Parker recently visited Portland with her partner, Kathy Hubbard. Mayor Parker was here on behalf of Oregon United for Marriage and is a longtime supporter of the freedom to marry. She joined many community leaders, including Mayor Charlie and Nancy Hales, at the home of Al Machemehl and John Harrell.
That evening Mayor Parker spoke about many things, including the non-discrimination ordinance, and she hinted that she is looking toward the future and a possible run for governor of Texas. Now, that would make it a really great state of Texas.
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 06:41 | Written by Byron Beck
Kate Buska, Mike Robertson, Brandon Wise, Christine, DJ AM Gold, Christina and AlexSandra at Driftwood Room
MAD MEN & MARTINIS:One of Portland’s most iconic cocktail bars, Hotel deLuxe’s retro-cool Driftwood Room, is turning 60 this year and celebrated in May with a month of cocktails inspired by the 1950’s, a series of star turns behind the bar by some of Portland’s best bartenders and a Memorial Day blowout featuring classic cars, vintage fashion and more. Plus, to commemorate its first 60 years on the Portland cocktail scene, the Driftwood Room published a pocket-sized book filled with its most beloved stirred and shaken recipes.
Opened in 1954 at the then-Mallory Hotel, the Driftwood Room has long been beloved by Portlanders for its authentic Mad Men-era décor. When the hotel was reborn as Hotel deLuxe in 2006, the Driftwood Room’s mid-century interior was lovingly restored and preserved just in time for the resurgence of the city’s cocktail scene. Today, the experience of stepping into the dimly-lit hideaway is a must for visitors and locals seeking expertly crafted cocktails and gracious, welcoming service.
Portland’s bartenders are an infamously collegial bunch, and during the Driftwood Room’s birthday month, they turned out in force each Monday in May to celebrate its lasting impact on the city by stepping behind the bar and mixing up their own versions of classic 1950’s cocktails.
On Monday, May 26, the festivities culminated with a mid-century-inspired 60th Anniversary Memorial Day celebration from 4-7 p.m. Guest bartenders Sue Erikson of Fireside, Brandon Wise of Imperial, Mindy Kucan of Hale Pele and Alan Akwai of Raven and Rose who all hopped behind the bar and mix up retro cocktails. Chef Mark Hosak of Hotel deLuxe created a tantalizing menu featuring modern versions of 1950’s cocktail party fare including Swedish meatballs, pigs in a blanket, crudite with spinach dip and deviled eggs. Swinging cocktail time tunes, classic cars organized by Reid Trummel, chairman of the Monte Shelton Northwest Classic Rally, were on display in front of the hotel and models outfitted in period-correct fashion from Xtabay completed the scene. Guests were encouraged to wear their best 1950’s cocktail garb.