HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING
On Saturday, November 26, from 4:30 until 6 p.m., the always festive Pearl District holiday season kickoff lights up Jamison Square Park. Mingle with friends, sing carols, and watch the lighting of the 30-foot-tall Oregon Cascade fir tree, with its radiant RGB lighting. It’s a great time to check out local boutiques and galleries, perhaps scoring a unique gift you won’t find at any old chain retailer. Hot beverages and cookies will be served, and participants are encouraged to share selfies on social media (tag them #PearlPortland). Visit ExploreThePearl.com for details on holiday events throughout the season.
PORTLAND CENTER STAGE WINTER SEASON
Where: Gerding Theater at the Armory, 128 NW 11th Ave, 503-445-3700, pcs.org
When: The Santaland Diaries, Nov. 26–Dec. 24; Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, Nov. 30–Dec. 30; Astoria, Jan. 14–Feb. 12; His Eye Is on the Sparrow, Feb. 4–Mar. 19.
The holiday season kicks off with the return of David Sedaris’s hilarious memoir-driven comedy, The Santaland Diaries, in the Ellyn Bye Studio, and Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin—a warm and nostalgic performance of Berlin’s songbook—on the Main Stage.
Part one of a world premiere adapted and directed by PCS’s own Chris Coleman and based on the book by Peter Stark, Astoria recounts land and sea journeys to the Oregon Coast that ultimately defined the Pacific Northwest as we now know it. “Traveling over the Columbia Bar without any navigational aid, making it down the Snake River in the middle of winter without adequate food supply—these harrowing journeys were about confronting the Northwest’s terrain. We all take it for granted because we enjoy the natural beauty of the area, but this was incredibly challenging topography the first time out,” says Coleman. Part two is slated for next season. Then in the Ellyn Bye, His Eye Is on the Sparrow is a melody-filled biographical tale of African-American jazz and blues legend Ethel Waters.
GALLERY SHOWS & OPENINGS
What: Holiday Show, by Annie Meyer and Shyama Helin
Where: Annie Meyer Gallery, 120 NW 9th Ave, 503-224-3150, anniemeyerartwork.com
When: Dec. 1–31
Giving a Gallic twist to holiday settings, Meyer’s gouache pieces inspired by jaunts to France feature prominently at the gallery’s Holiday Show. “It’s a lighthearted glimpse of something we don’t get in Portland: the ability to enjoy the waves of the sea and temperature of the water,” says Meyer. Also check out Shyama Helin’s scratchboard works, which capture winter’s stark beauty. “These pieces are fairly small (5 inches by 5 inches),” says Meyer, “but displayed in large quantity, they pack quite the punch!”
What: Every Color That’s Me, by Cher Odum
Where: J. Pepin Art Gallery, 319 NW 9th Ave, 503-274-9614, jpepinartgallery.com
When: Feb. 1–27
Cher Odum’s varicolored pieces are the focus of the gallery’s February show. Each of Odum’s works is paired with a poem by Dan Stone. Here’s an excerpt of Stone’s verse that accompanies the work Every Color That’s Me, which is also the title of the show: “From this spot / standing here, / everything I want / to see is so clear. / Every dream / has set sail, / every color that’s me / has come through.”
– Eduardo Ortiz