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Just Opened: Aida

A review of Stumptown Stages' production of the Elton John-Tim Rice musical.

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Originally optioned by Disney from a children’s storybook—which was itself based on the Verdi opera of the same name—Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida retains all the depth of an animated feature, with the erotic undercurrent of a Danielle Steel novel. Sure, the slave girl may actually be a Nubian princess, but you can still take her roughly in your palace bedchamber.    More
 
Monday, February 24, 2014 by PENELOPE BASS

Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being

Time and a tapestry of narratives.


Books
Time is a tricky thing. We are all subject to its effect, yet it remains smugly intangible. Writing a novel about the concept of time has the potential to be dangerously abstract or cliché. But R   More
 
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 PENELOPE BASS

The Mousetrap

Murder, she wrote.


Theater
Thrust eight strangers into an old mansion during a snowstorm and at least one is sure to wind up dead. We all know the setup and the question that inevitably follows: whodunit? But the predicta   More
 
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 PENELOPE BASS

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Theatre Vertigo)

Chief of sinners, chief of sufferers.


Theater
We all do bad things. Whether that’s pirating your neighbor’s wireless signal or pouring acid onto a prostitute’s face just depends on your level of commitment. So for all its social com   More
 
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 PENELOPE BASS

Restaurant Guide 2013: Eleni's Philoxenia


Restaurant Guide
112 NW 9th Ave., 227-2158, elenisrestaurant.com.  [GREEK CHIC] With a menu that reads like a Homeric epic, Eleni’s offers some form of every Greek dish you have ever heard of—and many yo   More
 
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 PENELOPE BASS

Restaurant Guide 2013: Lincoln


Restaurant Guide
3808 N Williams Ave., 288-6200, lincolnpdx.com.  [LIFE OF LINCOLN] If “Portland” itself were a restaurant genre, a joint like Lincoln would typify the style. It’s casual fine dining do   More
 
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 PENELOPE BASS

Clownlike Girl

Monica Drake and the humor of the tragic.


Books
Monica Drake’s sense of humor might really bum you out. The Portland-based author of the acclaimed novel Clown Girl—and, most recently, The Stud Book—finds comedy in life’s farcicality and rel   More
 
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 PENELOPE BASS

The Big Meal (Artists Repertory Theatre)

A deeply satisfying onstage feast.


Theater
How much time do we spend around the dining-room table? What portion of our lives is measured in meals? Can the entire scope of a life—from first dates and holiday gatherings to engagements an   More
 
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 PENELOPE BASS

Ithaka (Artists Repertory Theatre)

The Herculean task of traveling home.


Theater
When home is a destination in your mind as much as a physical space, it’s an arduous journey to overcome the obstacles that hinder your arrival. After fighting the Trojan War for 10 years, it to   More
 
Wednesday, June 5, 2013 PENELOPE BASS

Rebecca Lerner, Dandelion Hunter

Book Review: Rebecca Lerner, Dandelion Hunter


Books
Like any Portlander, you’ve no doubt already planned your survival tactics for the impending zombie apocalypse—weapons, allies, a practical yet fashionable ensemble. But how long would canne   More
 
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 PENELOPE BASS
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