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Interview with Susi Brown and Sofie Kline

Susi Brown, Theater Diva.

Susi Brown makes theater happen in this region. Theater goers strongly applauded her one year experiment in launching her own small company Pier Pressure Productions, a few years back, and the venue, (post River Theater closure) on 10th that seated forty happy audience members nightly.

An educator, producer, director, actress, seamstress, the works.  After 2O some years of teaching arts/speech/theater/journalism at Knappa High – she took a two year sabbatical to earn an MFA in Theater Direction. She directed numerous plays at The River Theater, has produced several plays now at KALA, works with the AAUW Reader’s Theater program, directs at the Coaster, and keep things rolling in a time when it not easy to launch productions without supporting programs. Just when you haven’t heard from her, she always shows up with something new.

Q. What brought you to the craft of theatre?
A. My cousin and I would read the Sunday comics, and make plays out of them and our grandparents would very sweetly indulge us.  My dad taught school and also directed school plays. My aunt a country school teacher also wrote little musicals for her students and I would go to see them, and I remember staring down into the reflection of the floor and thinking, ‘when I grow up I want to be just like my aunt Ginny.’

Q. Favorite playwright?
A. Oh so many. I do love Ibsen and the ideas he held forth. I really enjoy Lillian Hellman as well. One of my favorite pieces is about Joan of Arc, called “The Lark.” I love the whole Joan of Arc idea, and the fact  that so many playwrights have attempted, so many filmmakers, and the passion that drove that person, at all costs, she held true to her visions. And the thing about Lillian Hellman, her strong characters, her lead characters are women. That’s hard to find.

Q. What is one of your most successful, memorable productions in the region?
A. That’s an easy one. When the Anne Frank exhibit came to Astoria, (mid 90s) organizer Carol Newman asked me to do the production. We had chosen our season already, and the students were excited about. But I invited them for a BBQ and thespian meeting, and asked them to consider Anne Frank and told them why, and that was the end of discussion.

The students who took that on were amazing. They did everything for it, research; a special viewing of the exhibit, they talked to Holocaust survivors in preparation of their roles. We did a 36 hour non-stop tech because that was the only time we could get into the PAC building. Not once did those kids raise a fuss. By showtime the only thing we had not found and needed was a menorah that was historically accurate. Then one night I felt a presence behind me and it was Phyllis Lobe. She was holding a menorah that her parents had carried from Germany when they escaped the Nazi occupation. She talked the kids about it. Their response was so appropriate, and so humbling. Every piece fell into place.

Q. What are the strengths of community theatre in this region?
A. I see a desire for community members to put on a show of quality.  At the Coaster, I also felt that strongly when I had Pier Pressure, the River set a wonderful precedent for quality. The other thing I see is the mix in community theatre. I’m really fond of working class coming forward and tasting art. Not that that’s an unusual thing, but community theater allows a venue.

Q. And what may be the challenges?
A. In community theatre you always you have talent and skill levels that are so far apart. The challenge is to try to find a nice meeting ground and still put on a strong, high quality piece. The other thing –  people are so diverse in what they do in their lives- is to find a sense of family, because when you are working on a show you develop that, and sometimes that’s a challenge, but it can also be an amazing reward.

Also, the attitude that theater is for  . .. thinkers. But working class people are thinkers and considerers. So when someone who is out there working hard, finds the time and desire to do theater, they bring in their friends, and theatre no longer becomes, for whatever reason,  a threat. I have heard it many times, ‘I’m afraid to go to theater because I don’t think I’ll understand it.

Q. What do you think is the future of theater here on the coast?
A. That’s a little delicate, because we are a little sparse right now. But I forever, ever hope that Liberty Theater is going to entertain more live theater. The Coaster I believe is solid. We’ll see The Coaster from  here to doomsday. That’s because they have very solid tourist traffic, they have strong benefactors. They have a beautiful space and a budget. Astoria is kind of in a whole right now, as far as live theater, but I don’t see it as  “the end all be all” of the situation.

Q.  How did you come to direct “Doll’s House?
A.   I wasn’t considering directing at the time, but I went to a show there, and saw the season line-up – so many good shows. I spoke to Patrick Lathrop during the intermission and said I would be interested in directing this season. He didn’t miss a beat, he said, “I’d like you to direct “ A Doll’s House.” Not one I was thinking about honestly. We met about it and found out we were on the same wave length about how to approach it.

Q. You have done the show before?
A. I was in the college production when Reed Turner was in the drama department at Clatsop, probably 81’.
There was a young woman, Teter Kapan, who played the role of Nora. When Patrick was pulling costumes, we still needed pieces from Jeanine [Fairchild,] he brought out this piece for Sofie Kline (the Coaster’s Nora) and it was originally what Teter wore. It’s had many lives, I think it was worn in Music Man as well, but I couldn’t pick my jaw up off the floor.

There was a time when the college had a very strong drama, music and arts department.  I miss it, as do many people. If you don’t have departments you can’t have a program. When we were talking about the future of theatre, that’s one of the biggest limitations in my mind. Oregon has not neccesarily supported high school theater and music programs – so we don’t have our feeder programs and in turn Clatsop does not have the programs. This situation is obviously prevalent in many places.

Q. What is your take on Ibsen Doll’s House? It’s been called a “feminist”  play?
A. I’m really not working from a feminist point of view – and try to remain true to what Ibsens’ intent was, and he was not trying to push a feminist idea. I’m actually more concerned with some of his themes about false morality and manipulation of reputation, and the discovery of self. That’s huge for me. There is a self-awareness that all the major characters come to in this play. Some of it comes too late.
Which is one of the reasons this play is under the headline of realism. All the big questions are asked in this play to. Poor Ibsen at one point was considered by his nation to be “an enemy of God,”an enemy of society, and an enemy of the bourgeoisie. I love this play because it is jammed packed with ideas. You go on an amazing tour from ignorance to recognition.

And I would like to add that Sofie Kline is doing an amazing job as Nora.  She’s grown the role leaps and bounds since we began reading for the part. It’s a great pleasure to work with such a dedicated actor.

Sofie Kline is Nora in “A Doll’s House”

To demonstrate the power, the value of community theatre, Sofie Kline is a young actress who is taking advantage of what it can offer here in the Lower Columbia Pacific Region.  As a viewer of several of her portrayals, her performances have been more than adequately refreshing. As Jill Tanner, the free-spirited 60’s girl-next-door in the Coaster’s “Butterflies Are Free,” multi-roles in Spoon River Anthology where she proves she’s can whip up a melody too, Kline has that certain je ne sais quoi, in addition the ability to strongly characterize her roles.

Her family moved to Astoria her senior year of high school, where Kline worked with drama teacher Jenny Newton, and prior to that she had been involved in many school productions. She’s been in seven  local community theater productions here and plans to attend Southern Oregon University Theater program in Ashland.

Q. What inspired you to work in the craft of theatre?
A. That’s a really tough question. It’s one of those things for me I’ve felt compelled to do. I don’t really know if there is a reason or particular moment that’s “it.” I have this memory of knowing that that is what I have wanted, and have thought of other things to do with time or life. But that’s always been there. Probably there was something in my childhood that really compelled me and don’t remember that moment but remember the feeling of wanting.

Q. What was your first role?
A. My first production was at a Boys and Girls Club when I was 9 years old (1999). Two guys running the theater department wrote this play, it was called “The Y2K Bug.” I played six different quick change roles. I had to go under the stage and change into a robot, a military person . . . it actually still is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, (she says laughingly).

Q. What was your first role as adult?
A. The first role that I did here in community theater was Land of the Dragon at The Liberty.  At Astoria High School I was in “Daughters,” a series of monologues.

Q. What has been your actor training?
A. Jenny Newton at Astoria High is a wonderful acting teacher, I took an acting class with Karen Bain last year, and just doing productions, from middle school to high school, to community theater.  I’ve also taken some acting-related workshops out of the area.

Q. Who is Nora?
A. Nora is an interesting woman. She definitely knows how to play the game, within her world. She very much understands where she is as far as what she can and can’t do in society as a woman. Her power, she understands where her powers are. Throughout the play she realizes she deserves more power, that her power is not full, that she is not actually engaged in her own life. For me, Nora is a heroine, she is someone who chooses a road that is not easy, but without going there, she would never have a full life, her life would always be absent of that choice.

Q. What is the challenge in playing this role?
A. With this character and with all of Ibsen’s characters, there is so much subtext, what is underneath what seems to be going on. To convey that on the stage is challenging. A good challenge, but definably a challenge. Most of the time Nora is absorbed in fear and unknown as to what’s going to happen to her, but she is very good at putting on a front to the world. She plays it off, like there is nothing wrong, as time goes on, she  breaks down slowly, and she loses it in a way – but having to convey two meanings to everything, two emotions happening at that same time and the challenge to convey it on the stage well.


TREEMORIAM: Fallen Cedar November 2013

cedar treemoriam


TREEMORIAM.
This December issue marks the introduction of a new segment in HIPFiSH. Throughout the life path we spend most of our time developing relationships – their beginnings, transformations, endings. Relationships to other; whether it is to fellow human, to our work, to spirituality, where we live, to animals, to nature, all exercise and deepen the human journey.

And so to this concept, in ensuing issues we honor relationship to tree, as unique a relationship as any. One that has inspired poems, paintings, songs, in addition to what the tree has bestowed to human survival and culture, in its infinite manifestations. The tree, one of earth’s most generous gifts to humankind, to say nothing of its tremendous function on the planet.

Whether loss to blow down, development, trunk rot, in or out of personal control, TREE- MORIAM pays homage to the end of the rooted friend. If you would like to share a tree memoriam, or just let us know of a tree/s demise, please contact hipfish@charter.net.
– Dinah Urell

We thank Astoria resident Jessamyn Grace for sharing this personal story:

As a glorious November morning began to unravel in dappled sunlight I abruptly awoke to the baneful sound of chainsaws. I ran downstairs and collapsed, sobbing upon realizing that my neighbor was dismantling my favorite cedar tree. It was over 100 years old, a wise and knowing guardian outside my window. The eagles took rest upon it, the owls surveyed the land atop of it, and the mirthful crows protected it. None of them have since come to visit.

cedar downI recognize the misguided temptation to blame, but I must add that my neighbors are kind people and I don’t criticize them at all – they cut down the tree to build a fort for their children. My relationship with the cedar was my own and I cannot expect others to share this sentiment – in fact, some may find it comical or bizarre. When I moved to Astoria 7 years ago I didn’t know anyone, and it was a couple of years before I made any close friends. I tell you in earnest that this cedar was my companion – I would sit for hours in her majestic shadow as I watched the boats go by. I feared for her during our coastal storms – breathing a sigh of gratitude when she made it through. We survived so much together – she mirrored my experience here and we thrived on the silence that is Astoria.

Along with my thoughts I gathered her fallen branches in the yard, burying my face in the scent while the sap still ran in sorrowful recognition of its fate. I spent the day walking along the river so I wouldn’t have to be near when she fatally fell. I dreaded returning home, and I have yet to sit in my reading chair by the window knowing she will not be there. I phoned my parents as the sun began to set, my mother comforting me saying that ‘even though it will get better you will always miss your friend’. My mother understands me, understands that cedar’s roots are my roots in this place where the river meets the sea.


Dragalution – a drag revolution

(L to R) Marco Davis, Spencer Gotter, Cameron Wagner, David Drafall, Jessamyn Grace

(L to R) Marco Davis, Spencer Gotter, Cameron Wagner, David Drafall, Jessamyn Grace

Breaking down barriers . . . daring, deeelicious and just a little dirty.

DRAGALUTION
January 26 • February 2
10pm (doors open 9:30)
Tickets at door only
$8, $5 in drag
Columbian Theater, Astoria

Apply foundation, and lots of it. Powder is next. Now apply wax to the brow, because soon to take its place is a new, higher brow, wielding one hell of an attitude, honey. Yes Girl, no . . . not two shades of eye shadow, at least three or four to be sure. Those five-inch heels will make you high as a “queen,” and your crowning glory, locks of gorgeous, big hair. “Ooooooh, let it go!!!”

Every theater role calls the performer to a transformation. DRAGALUTION creator/director Marco Davis implores, “Revolution!” As the “performance family” is getting trained in the finer details of stage drag; how to sashay down the isle, wave your index finger, and trip the light fantastic in a pair of stilettos, his fourth (in three years) consecutive extravaganza at the Columbian Theater coming soon, is not a conceptual homage to traditional drag performance, it is drag performance.

If you attended any of these shows, the last in June of 2011, The ERUPTION, you were part of a Bacchanalian-esque celebration performance production. Davis takes non-dancers, gives them choreography and balletic storyline, dance as symbol and imagery, and magic happens. “Magic” may not be the precise term here . . . but somewhere along the line the audience becomes a part of the theatrical “fourth wall.” Like when Mozart — portrayed in the film “Amadeus” after he performs “The Magic Flute” for the stuffy aristocrats — heads downtown, where his homeys have a whole other version going on, and their having a lot more fun.

As charismatic off-stage as on, long time, beloved local dance instructor/choreographer and tantalizing cook at the Columbian Café, Davis inspires people to “come-out.” It is his mantra. His past shows have included original sketches by numerous creative performing artists in the region; such as irresistible rapper Teresa Barnes of Fever Damn fame and her slightly bent “Annie” in the 2010 production “The Event,” and musical counterpart Andria Mazzarella (“The Eruption,” 2011) in a comedy version of “Like a Virgin” for which she pulls a gigantic seemingly impossible plastic bouquet out of her bosom . . . now that’s magic. And tattoo artist Chris Lee, (The Eruption) in his incredible choreographed quasi-break dance number that brought down the house.

As “THE EVENT” encompassed techno, jazz and pop covers, and various story themes, DRAGALUTION is a fully concepted show. Davis (as Drag Mother she is “Daylight C—- “ yes, that beautiful thing you do when you have an orgasm) has given family drag names of naughty innuendo to all performers. He’s written original songs, collaborating with local musician and sound recording artist Tyler Little. Find a sneak preview of the opening number, an exhilarating and pounding techno-declaration “I am,” on YouTube. In addition, substituted lyrics from familiar Broadway and pop numbers for example, express the trials and tribulations in a drag queen’s life. Song and dance numbers include trios and duets, and singer/dancers will lip sync to their own-recorded voices. Be it ironic gender theater or not; the show’s song and dance numbers encompass a wide range of expression from comic, to sexy, dirty, sweet, and inspiring.

As a performing member of the DRAGALUTION family (including numerous dancers back for a third show), conversations with inquisitives have erupted on the issue of women doing drag. Such as “So, the women are doing drag kings? Wait a minute, women in drag as women. What . . . how does that work?”

Entrée accentuated feminista!

“If everyone could get an ounce of strength that Drag Queens have, to go out against adversity, to go out there and be glorious – if we did that in our everyday life — just stepping out there be a little more colorful, and be more honest about who we are as individuals – I think that we can find a lot more happiness,” says Davis on the topic.

While certainly the drag king aspect isn’t ruled out in future endeavors, Davis was keen on developing this particular craft of hyper-feminine expression in our culture, and giving performers the opportunity to take it on as a process – for females to even counter-investigate a male persona to get in touch with their inner diva.

“For me, it’s been an opportunity to dig deep within my self and draw out sides that are more unseen. To look at what qualities I embody and am comfortable with in my daily life and become something more, bringing to life a more full self, a side with less fear and more strength,” says cast member Cameron Wagner (aka Jenna Tell’Ya). Wagner has experimented with drag persona outside the show, pushing the envelope of self-identity. “I’m learning that to shine and to let myself come out and be authentic, doesn’t mean that my ego grows. It’s quite the opposite. I feel more grateful and humble than ever for this time to be creative, to be playful and to see myself blossom. I’m loving every minute of it and am thankful to Daylight and all my sister Queens for their hard work and friendship in this unique unconventional journey.”

And while drag is a strong component of gay culture, male performers in the show, gay or not have risen to the opportunity to walk in different shoes. “A journey of a lifetime begins with a single step, they say. What they didn’t tell me is that that step wouldn’t include a set of sensible heels. These heels couldn’t be less sensible, honey! That’s what makes them great,” says Nicholas Wheeler (aka Anya Allnight).

Drag has been getting a lot of play in the Lower Columbia these days. The Astor Street Opry Co., has performed their Topsy Turvey version of “Shanghaied in Astoria” for several years running, providing an almost subversive yet hilarious form of entertainment. And the Astoria Downtown Assoc. actually recently won an award from the Oregon Main St. Association for “dragging” business men to the stage in their whacky fundraising event The Jane Barnes Revue, and raising a good amount of money to see what Chamber Director Skip Hauke looked like all “dolled-up.”

Are these productions breaking down barriers? Personally, I would say they are touching on the possibility, while the intention is pure entertainment, and there they do succeed. But what puts the revolution in Dragalution, is its realness. Dragalution is about owning it. Performer Miranda Rinks (aka Komina Sideja), has discovered, “I’m excited to be out of my comfort zone and in a spot light. I was a super tomboy throughout my early twenties and as I pranced through the theater in heels following and mirroring Mama Daylight (Marco) it seemed beautiful, fitting and wondrous that this lovable man was teaching me to be womanly. What a creative opportunity to become more myself, by being someone else entirely.”

Performer Spencer Gotter ( aka Inya Sotight ) speaks forthrightly, “Although this is my first show with Daylight, I’ve been dressing up as a girl since I was four and called myself Lindsey Baker. Even then I realized how comfortable women’s clothing was. I took 23 years off from dressing in drag but decided that Daylight’s show was the perfect time to have my unveiling as a drag queen,” and furthers, “I’m always looking for things in life that push the envelope of my comfort zone. I figured dressing up in drag would be one of those things. I’m sure that some people will be out of their comfort zone and maybe even offended. Nothing about this show has pushed my comfort zone. It is either a sign that I truly don’t care who you are or what you do that makes you a good human being, or that I have no shame in who I am or what I do in this life. Probably both. Daylight has proved yet again that love exists everywhere and that it is up to each of us to push the boundary and to be accepting.”

There isn’t anything that isn’t courageous about this show. Heading down to the Columbian Theater at 9:30pm during the weekday – as the theater clears after the nightly movie showing – takes a certain amount of it. Learning numerous dance numbers knowing you’re not a trained dancer, and just going for it, takes some courage. The dance moves are gloriously fun, doable, but they’ll work a girl. Especially when you’re the oldest Queen, the cast age ranging from 20’s to 50’s. But the joy of colliding with 10 other committed performers late at night, and doing it together creates a whole new version of vitality and love of being.

Jessamyn Grace (aka Amanda Blowhard) a professional belly dancer who probably comes with the most current background in dance speaks to her experience, “My life has often been dappled with non-conventional opportunities ranging from the animated to the introverted, and every time I’ve said ‘yes’ to each one I’ve been rewarded with personal growth. My experience with Dragalution is no exception. With each challenge I find I am supported by remarkable teachers – Marco, the cast, my character- all have shown me the importance of learning, trusting and laughing (and I mean really laughing). For me this show is very much about risk and love, the reciprocal relationship between the two, and being strong enough to embrace both without fear or hesitation.”

As the poster reads, “Explicit • 21 + Only. “We have been conditioned over time to think that these words are terrible and evil, full of hell fire and damnation, they are words – we need to stop making them so violent,” remarks Davis. And, they’re simply going to make you laugh, open up your boundaries, and possibly reprioritize what you should really take serious in your life.

The poster also says, you’ll pay $5 if you’re in drag. “People have been asking me what to do for drag, in regards to dressing up to come to the show, and I say, look inside yourself and take that part of you that you are afraid to share about yourself and dress it up and make it sparkle,” says Davis.

“What I find so incredible is the strength it takes to step outside of your comfort zone and present a larger than life alternate version of who you are, what your inner drag queen is. I feel that if we were all able to tap into that aspect of our lives a little more frequently and honestly and let our friends see other aspects of who we are, that we would live in a much richer, kinder and colorful world. We have to cast aside our fears of being judged by our peers and families and allow our souls breath and light. We can’t keep it hidden away. Share your inner queen and lets laugh together a little more. We are worth it!”

Thank you Mother Daylight for your wisdom and so generously creating a stage for us, Sister Queens and to our audience, so much love. Now lets get ready for a DRAGALUTION!

– Sofanda Dykes


QFOLK/HIPFiSH PROUDLY PRESENTS Q-FILM WEEKEND – Astoria Oct. 5-6 @ KALA

ASTORIA Q-FILM WEEKEND SCHEDULE

Q-FILM HIGHLIGHTS

PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS AT BROWN PAPER TICKETS

In the Garden With The Marble Faun

Out of the Closet With Female Rapper JenRo

Q-Film Dance Celebration and Cocktail Party

QFOLK/HIPFiSHmonthly proudly presents “Astoria Q-Film Weekend,” Friday and Saturday, October 5 – 6 at KALA Performance Space. The first time event features three separate screenings, (Friday night, a Saturday matinee and Saturday night), including two short features and a selection of short films. Event programmer Sid Deluca, in collaboration with the South Texas Underground Film Festival (LGBT programming) has assembled a wide spectrum of works; from documentary to drama, comedy, music video and even science fiction, all from the queer perspective and experience. Low-budget D.I.Y. to big studio quality, the program also includes two west coast premiers.

Deluca, a recent transplant to Astoria, coincidently screened his own short film Poison Oaks last October 2011 at the Big Fat Gay Movie Night at the Columbian Theater.

Poison Oaks is a comic, B&W homage (mockumentary) to the original 1975 documentary, Grey Gardens (directed by filmmakers The Maysle Brothers — Gimme Shelter, Salesman), which chronicled the declining years of Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter “Little Edie,” who were the wildly eccentric paternal aunt and first cousin of Jackie Kennedy Onassis. In 2009, HBO aired the film Grey Gardens on the life of the Beale women starring Drew Barymore and Jessica Lange.

Now back to one of QFILM Weekend’s exciting west coast premiers, The Marble Faun of Grey Gardens Filmmakers. Jason Hay and Steve Pelizza are presenting their doucumentary based on the life of Jerry Torre, who at the time of the original Grey Gardens film, was a 17 year old gardener/handyman on the Beale’s East Hampton, condemned and crumbling estate. Torre became an accidental celebrity, who then disappeared from the public eye. Filmmaker Jason Hay took interest in Jerry’s story with the result, his new documentary. (see the accompanying feature for the rest of the story)

It was Jerry Torre that connected Sid Deluca with the Portland-based Jason Hay after seeing and loving Deluca’s Poison Oaks. This past June, “Marble Faun” debuted in NYC at The Maysle Brothers theater – and now makes its west coast premier right here in Astoria.

Equal parts the genesis of Astoria Q-Film Weekend, is Deluca’s association with South Texas Underground Film Festival and its programmer Mariella Sonam-Perez. Deluca’s film won two awards at the South Texas 2011 festival; Spirit of The Underground and Original Soundtrack, and will screen again at the 2012 festival. Deluca turned to Sonan-Perez for her participation in the development of a film screening event in Astoria, after being impressed by the diversity of her programming in the LGBT arena. Sonan-Perez was excited to help plant seeds for a future festival, beginning with the concept of Q-Film Weekend. While films have been selectively chosen to represent a broad spectrum of topic and style, Q-Film Weekend is in the spirit of a film festival — it did not do a submissions call, but worked directly with the South Texas Festival and various film and video makers directly. A multi-venue LGBT film festival, supported by a filmmaker submission call is a future vision.

“I didn’t know just how open and arts-loving this town was until I moved here, and my film was shown at Big Fat Gay Movie Night at the Columbian Theater. It was a pleasant surprise and it made me realize how an event like Q-Film would certainly be a success. We’ve got great films, we’ve got a great venue, we’ve got a great town. I hope that this intimate-style mini-film fest will be an exciting new event that offers film as a socially aware medium as well as entertainment,” says Deluca.

Although the seating for each screening is limited, we look forward to this opportunity to present an LGBTQ film event of this caliber. The schedule of films offers a diverse look at the many issues facing the lives of LGBTQ peoples. We welcome all film lovers with respect and dignity. Get your tickets folks.

Q-FILM HIGHLIGHTS

Amongst the current 12 films slated (also with a TBA list in progress), on the schedule is yet another west coast premier, SALTWATER, the Friday night short feature which explores the issue of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” in the life of a former Navyman, in addition to his personal challenges of coming out. The film also marks the acting debut of openly gay Australian rugby star, Ian Roberts.

  • Poignant short film, EMBRACING BUTTERFLIES from the Czech Republic, reunites two older women on a chance meeting, and rekindles childhood memories of a crush between them, and a possible future love affair.
  • Bollywood love story, YOU CAN’T CURRY LOVE, lushly filmed in Indian and co-starring Indian soap star Rakshak Sahni who finds surprising love on a business trip back to his homeland.
  • And jumping right off the screen, is Oakland, CA rap star Jen Ro, with her music-driven biographical coming out film, called CLOSET. Portland Queer Band Mattachine Social, who played earlier this year at KALA, filmed a music video in Astoria, featuring the pre-boarded Flavel House.

Friday and Saturday nights present Film Shorts and one 80 minute feature oer night. The 4pm Saturday matinee features all Film Shorts. Each screening presents new films. Please see page 13 for ticket buying info. Film goers can purchase all three screenings for a discount. Each screening event is $15. All three screening events is $40.

The Film Viewing Experience at KALA

HIPFiSHmonthly Performance Space, KALA, hosts the event. The refurbished vintage storefront will be fully curtained for optimal viewing, is equipped with professional sound and light, features cabaret table seating, cocktail specials, beer and wine, and complimentary movie snacks.

Seating is limited to 40 seats per screening. Due to the limited seating, tickets must be purchased in advance, online at Brown Paper Tickets. www.brownpapertickets.com If access to online purchase is not available please call HIPFiSHmonthly to arrange for ticket purchase. 503.338.4878.


Q-FILM WEEKEND SCHEDULE

• Friday, October 5, 2012
Film Shorts and Feature Short
West Coast Premier
7:30pm – 9:30pm
doors open 7pm

Closet
Oakland, CA rapper Jen Ro explores her own early coming out in this emotionally charged music video. 4 Minutes.

I Need A Hero
Director – W.H. Bourne (Los Angeles, CA/New Orleans, LA)

Starting with the infamous quote by then Marvel Editor in Chief Jim Shooter, “There are no gays in the Marvel Universe”, I Need a Hero briefly follows the progress of LGBT representation in comics from Northstar coming out in the late 80’s, to Archie comics Kevin Keller, to Bunker in the New Teen Titans. It also takes a look at independent comics written by LGBT creators as well as the characters they create. Finally, the film explores the effects of LGBT characters on fans. 15 Minutes

Femmes Want Revolution
Directors: Simone and Haley Jude, San Francisco, CA.

A glittery, revolutionary romp. 4 Minutes

Polly, Jennifer, and Melissa
Director – Diego Ramirez (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia/Mexico)

An androgyne by the name of Polly recalls an episode of post coital anxiety while Jennifer confesses to a disquieting priest, and Melissa poses flirtatiously for the viewer. Mixing Sci-Fi, Queer and Horror- POLLY, JENNIFER AND MELISSA is a provocative performance-based video challenging gender roles and identity politics. 5 minutes

• 30 Minute BREAK – Complimentary Movie Snacks and No-Host libations

SALTWATER
(West Coast Premier)
Directed by Charlie Vaughn, Los Angeles, CA

This American Indie drama follows several endearing characters as they wade through life seeking happiness, peace and ultimately, love. Will (Ronnie Kerr, Vampire Boys 2, Shut Up and Kiss Me) leaves the Navy after many years, soon reunites old friends and begins to start his new civilian life. His friend Rich (Bruce L Hart) tries to set him up with ruggedly handsome Josh (Ian Roberts-a former Australian professional rugby player, actor and model-Cedar Boys, Superman Returns, Little Fish). While there is immense chemistry between the two, timing and certain ideals never seem to align. When a shocking tragedy happens the two are paired up to pick up the pieces and sort through the after effects. Saltwater is a story about men of all ages, finding love, losing friends, navigating their way through life and knowing it’s the journey rather then the destination that’s important. 81 Minutes

• Saturday October 6, 2012
FILM Shorts Late Matinee
4pm – 6pm
doors open 3:30pm

CLOSE
Mattachine Social- Portland, OR

Music Video shot in Astoria featuring drag star Tammy Whynot. 3 Minutes

AMERICA’S MOST UNWANTED
Director- Shani Heckman, San Francisco, CA

A moving and provocative video project focusing on LGBT foster youth who have emancipated and what their lives look like today. 23 Minutes.

Surprise Short TBA.

YOU CAN’T CURRY LOVE
Directed by REID WATERER, Los Angeles, Ca.

Westernized guy Vikas has been obsessing about his straight boss Thom for years, much to best friend Amrita’s displeasure. But when a business trip sends Vikas to New Delhi and he meets handsome Sunil, the desk clerk at his luxury hotel there, everything changes for him. Amazed by Sunil’s sweetness and India’s beauty, his initial disgust at the transfer turns into a love affair with both. When a return to London and his boss inevitably arrives, Vikas must make the most painful decision of his life. A crowd-pleasing, east-meets-west, boy-meets-boy love story… with a Bollywood twist! 23 Minutes

15 minute break – Complimentary Snacks and No-Host Libations.

POISON OAKS
Directed by Sid Deluca, Astoria, OR

Shot with a $200 budget, this DIY “mockumentary” pays tribute to Grey Gardens with nods to John Waters and Andy Warhol. 27 Minutes followed by a Q&A with Director

• Saturday, October 5, 2012
Film Shorts and Feature Short
West Coast Premier
7:30 pm– 9:30pm
doors open 7pm

Embracing Butterflies
Karen Davidsen, Czech Republic.

Louise has lived her whole life in self-denial. An ordinary-seeming day takes an unexpected turn when she meets Anna, whom she went to school with as a young girl. Going down memory lane and the symbolic appearance of two girls brings up hidden emotions, insight and the thought that it’s never too late to embrace your butterflies. 8 Minutes

Daddy’s Big Girl
Directed – Reid Waterer(Los Angeles, CA)

Overweight and uninspired Millie attempts to finally reconcile with her father, but his half-dressed male companions keep getting in the way. 17 Minutes

Welcome To New York
Directed and written by Steven Tylor O’Connor- Los Angeles, CA

A comedy short film based on story by Sean David. It starring Sherry Vine, Sean Paul Lockhart, Lauren Ordair, Ashleigh Murray, Megan Kane, Matthew Watson with Casper Andreas, Trey Gerrald, Shacottha and Steven Tylor O’Connor. Welcome to New York is based on the stories of young New Yorkers, both gay and straight, and their first time experiences in New York City. 30 Minutes

• 30 minute BREAK – Complimentary Movie Snacks and No-Host Libations

The Marble Faun of Grey Gardens (West Coast Premiere)
Jason Hay (Portland, OR) and Steve Pelizza (New York, NY)

Jerry Torre is a sculptor at the Art Students League in New York City. He is best known for his appearance in the original 1975 Maysles Brothers documentary Grey Gardens. He was referred to by Little Edie Beale as “The Marble Faun.” The unique and colorful life of Jerry Torre. Join Jerry as he recounts tales from his troubled childhood, his escape to Grey Gardens, his travels overseas and learn more about this earnest man’s tumultuous life. Jerry has overcome much adversity in his life and his story is an inspiration to many who have suffered the same trials and tribulations. 80 Minutes Followed by a Q & A with Jason Hay


Q-Film Dance Celebration and Cocktail Party on Saturday, October 6, following the last screening-closing the weekend. Complimentery to ticket holders. $5 for non-ticket holders.

PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS AT BROWN PAPER TICKETS

Astoria Q-Film Tickets must be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets. This is great service based in Seattle, WA that makes selling and reserving tickets in advance easy for small event promotors as well as large events. It is a socially-responsible company that donates a percentage of sales to charitble organizations, and charges a small service charge of .99 cents plus 3.5% of the ticket fee to the buyer.

Just go to www.brownpapertickets.com and search Astoria Q-Film Weekend and purcahse tickets for each date of show or “season pass” if you would like to attend all three screenings at $40.00 Tickets will be on a will-call list, and you also have the option of printing the ticket at home. NOTE: If you do not have access to online purchase please call HIPFiSHmonthly to purchase your ticket. 503.338.4878


GARDEN TOURS GALORE on the Coast this July

On the south slope of Astoria, gardener Martin Buel has been procuring the last details of his botanical masterpiece in preparation for the locally famed Lower Columbia Preservation Society’s 12th Annual Garden Tour.

Buel, a retired landscape architect, who designed other people’s gardens for a living in Florida, upon moving to Astoria, procured a small family home with a hilly back lot. This for Buel, an opportunity to create a long-desired collector’s garden. While one could describe Buel’s work as a breathtaking masterpiece, because upon first descent it does take the breath away, it is a breath of discovery.

The 2/3 sloped acre is a literal maze of winding pathways, leading the stroller passed a fecund greenhouse of tropical’s, through a deep grove of mystic cedar trees, tucked-away sitting benches, yarded clearings, and montage after montage after montage of tubers, bulbs, perennials, and edibles (a large amount hardy orchids). Buel has planted and nurtured over 200 plant varieties. It seems you could probably spend hours tripping along and enjoying each wild clumped surprise.

Buel describes his work as “a natural cottage garden with a Japanese flair, built for contemplation rather than ‘Butchart’ pizzazz. “ Different from a Japanese garden though, Buel has taken care to emphasize the luscious floral pathways, foregoing Japanese accoutrement, such as lanterns and furniture, opting for the beauty and artistry of pure botanical.

“It’s a collection blended into artistic sense based on texture, form, fragrance and color,” says Buel, and he adds, “And no garden should be without edibles.”

Broccolli, Brussels sprouts, squash and the like are planted amongst the decoratives, in places Buel thinks (knows) they will grow. Almost exclusively organic, Buel’s goal is to have something blooming 12 months of the year. He notes that his garden is based on influences rather than any specific style, and credits the English responsible for the decorative hybrid, of which he finds the Astoria climate to be of parallel success.

Buel, who is partially-sighted, is an instinctive gardener, who also puts an incredible amount of labor to his creation, then producing something magnificent, magical, and yet intentionally peaceful.

There are many gardens to see on this wonderful annual tour. And gardeners are known too, to have a competitive spirit. Count on having lots of surprises.


Lower Columbia Preservation Society’s 12th Annual Garden Tour

Lower Columbia Preservation Society (LCPS) has scheduled its 12th Annual Garden Tour for Saturday, July 14th, from 10am until 3pm. On the day of the tour, the tickets may be purchased at 17th Street and Grand Avenue in Astoria from 9:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Admission is $1 per person or $10 for LCPS members.

Tour-goers will delight in six residential gardens, all bursting with color, unique design, unusual plantings, and interesting hardscape. The owners will share their challenges, successes, favorites, even their failures and disasters. The tour will be held rain or shine.

Raffle prizes for garden-themed items, dinners at local restaurants, and season tickets to next year’s Music Festival will be sold for $1.00 each or 15 for $10.00. Following the garden tour a reception of beverages and refreshments will be served at the last garden on the tour where the winners of the raffle prizes will be announced. Winners are not required to be in attendance.

Proceeds from the garden tour will be used to promote the organization’s mission and its educational programs. For more information about the garden tour, call 503-325-3245.

Individuals who join the Lower Columbia Preservation Society on the day of the tour will receive the LCPS membership tour rate of $10. Membership in the organization is $15 per year per person or $25 per household, and includes free or discounted lectures and workshops, the newsletter “Restoria”, emails notices of preservation related news and events.


Music in The Gardens • 6th Annual Long Beach Peninsula Garden Tour

The 6th annual GARDEN TOUR on the Long Beach Peninsula, titled “Music in the Gardens” will feature 7 private gardens this year, and a wonderful variety of live music, delectable food, and beverages. Included for the first time is the Leadbetter Farm, known for its lighthouse structure at the northern most end of the Peninsula. These combined offerings will encourage you to linger, experience and enjoy the Peninsula’s beautiful outdoor rooms.  And in addition, meet the gardeners who have mastered the art of successful gardening on the coast.

Saturday July 21st, from 10am to 4pm Tickets, at $15 will be available for purchase starting one week before the tour at The English Garden in Seaview, The Basket Case Greenhouse in Long Beach and Adelaide’s Books & Coffee in Ocean Park.  Proceeds benefit the Water Music Festival Society, supporting its music events throughout the year.

“The Water Music Festival Society, a non-profit organization, provides high-quality, affordable music programs for residents and visitors in southwest Washington State. WMF expands cultural opportunities, increases awareness of diverse types of music, and promotes educational outreach.”  www.watermusicfestival.com. Garden Tour Chair-Nancy Allen 360 642-2507.
6th Annual Spade and Wade Garden Tour

The Tillamook County Master Gardener Association will hold its sixth annual Spade and Wade Garden Tour on Saturday, July 21, from Noon to 5:00. The six gardens, located mainly in Tillamook, will include such features as unique garden design, wide plant variety, topiary, vegetables, use of native plants, original combinations of color and texture, and beautiful garden settings. Visitors will have the opportunity to see which plants grow and thrive in our various microclimates and how gardeners deal with the challenges of deer, elk, salt and wind. The tour is self-guided, and gardens may be visited in any order. Also included in the tour is TCMGA’s own Learning Garden where refreshments will be served.

Proceeds from the garden tour will support college scholarships for deserving county residents, the Learning Garden at the county fairgrounds, and gardening education throughout Tillamook County.

Passports for entry into the gardens will cost $15 and may be purchased at the OSU Extension office in Tillamook, or the Pioneer Museum. Passports will contain garden descriptions and complete driving directions. TCMGA is a non-profit making organization.  For more information, call 503-842-3433 or 503-355-2655.

 


The Diva Returns: Angela Meade sings for us at AMF 2012

angela_meade
When Coloratura Soprano Angela Meade stepped on the stage of the Liberty Theater at last year’s AMF concert-staged opera, all in attendance were waiting with bated breath to hear what this Centralia, Washington native had to deliver. While safe to say that most in the audience were not so completely familiar with her, the buzz was on due to the festival marketing publicity touting her rising success. But then after all, one might think, if she’s really that good, would she be here?

Before the first aria was completed it was breathtakingly apparent that the artist on stage was undeniably gifted. To hear Ms. Meade was utter joy. A supple voice, yet with incredible power, as if she were drawing up the sweet dark roots of the earth and expelling the energy in fountains of delicious bel canto vocalization curling through the architecture of the Liberty Theater. You could feel the collective gasps throughout the audience and you could feel her music, sensual and liquid.

Since that time, Meade has been very busy debuting prestigious festivals, world class opera houses, and a recent “stupendous debut at the Deutsche Oper Berlin” according to AMF Director Keith Clark.

This one of many similar opera critic comments; When the Metropolitan Opera’s 2012 Beverly Sills Artist Angela Meade starred in the company’s recent production of Ernani, she gave “a true star-making Met performance” (WQXR) that “showed what this uncommonly gifted rising artist is capable of” (Anthony Tommasini, New York Times).

Meade is also the winner of the 2011 Richard Tucker Award, as is her counterpart in the upcoming AMF production of Bellini’s Norma, Soprana Ruth Ann Swenson. Swenson won it in 1993. In a solo AMF concert last year Swenson too, gave audiences a taste of world class vocal divinity.

Less than four years after her professional debut in 2008, Meade has quickly become recognized as one of the outstanding vocalists of her generation. The New York Times said of Ms. Meade, “Norma counsels peace in “Casta Diva” (the opening aria in this Bellini opera said to be one that makes or breaks a star), and Ms. Meade sang it beautifully, filling the long-spun lines with rich, unforced sound, shaping the phrases with bittersweet poignancy, gracing the melody with tasteful embellishments and lifting her voice to majestic highs.” According to bio info, Angela Meade joined an elite group of history’s singers when she made her professional operatic debut on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera as Verdi’s Elvira in Ernani substituting for an ill colleague in March 2008.

In 2011 Keith Clark was the winner of the prestigious American Prize for Opera Conducting, for the Astoria Music Festival production of Alban Berg’s modern opera Wozzeck. Sometimes you have to blink, and say “Really, in Astoria?” Really.

Angela Meade, Ruth Ann Swenson, Met Baritone and beloved AMF returning artist Richard Zeller, and Cuban-born Met Opera Tenor Raul Melo making his AMF debut; four of America’s finest operatic soloists take the Liberty stage on June 16. An excellent opportunity to test the waters of this ever-live art form.


 

monica hugget

Reknowned Baroque Violinist Monica Huggett

10th Annual Astoria Music Festival Highlights

Expansion.

AMF in its tenth year! Astoria may be on fire this June, yes very hot, music lovers. Newly elected Board of Directors President Diane Tiedeman states, “We are excited to present the biggest and most challenging festival in our short ten-year history. Our Artistic Director Keith Clark has assembled a remarkable roster of international artists and varied repertoire, and we invite music lovers to visit our historic town to experience our motto: Big City Music – Small Town Prices – Victorian Charm.”

This year the festival spans three weekends including mid-week performances; over ninety performers and students will gather in Astoria, Oregon for twenty-two performances of symphonic and chamber music, educational events, and two operas, June 15 – July 1. If you have not received a season brochure, pick one up at the AMF office on Commercial Street in Astoria.

Hold it your hands and visualize the joy of experiencing classical performance artistry and then get your tickets! While there have been some well-tempered price increases – the prices, repeat the motto, are small-town-prices.

AMF cornerstones return. The brilliant chamber pianist CARY LEWIS and Director of Chamber Music leads returning festival favorite, cellist SERGEY ANTONOV and debut AMF artist MARTIN CHALIFOUR, Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in an opening Saturday recital matinee, June 16, performing Czech composer, Smetana’s Trio in G minor. On Friday June 22, Lewis and Festival Chamber Players present a concert of Shubert, Poulenc and Mendelssohn. The following night Keith Clark conducts the AMF Orchestra in full Brahms.

pitcairn

Elizabeth Pitcairn

The elegant, passionate American violinist ELIZABETH PITCAIRN in her fourth AMF appearance, performs Bernstein’s Candide Overture, Beethoven, and Lalo’s Spanish Symphony on Sunday 17. Her only performance.

Don’t miss another opportunity to hear RUTH ANN SWENSON, uber-glorious Met star, in a Sunday Viennese matinee on June 24. Pianist Alexandre Dossin plays Mozart, and the North Coast Chorale joins the Festival Orchestra in music from Die Fledermaus.

Very New: MONICA HUGGETT and the Portland Baroque Orchestra (PBO). Hugget is one of the most significant Baroque artists today, a life-long dedication to the proliferation of Baroque-era music. Hugget and PBO perform J. S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations. The Goldberg Variations, originally written for harpsichord, will be performed at 2pm, Saturday June 30 by Portland-born, International artist Andrew Brownell on piano. That evening, the same work, in an arrangement for strings by renowned contemporary conductor-arranger Dmitir Sitkovesky will then be performed for strings by PBO.

This year’s multi-media artist is J Walt. Walt is an Academy Award-winning video artist who creates real-time animated 3-D film to live music. The computer is his palette. J Walt and the Los Angeles Virtuosi perform: SPONTANEOUS FANTASIA. One would say “a very modern version of Disney.” Wednesday June 20 at the PAC.

More enhancing Baroque. Grace Episcopal Church, a beautiful 1886 sanctuary by Candlelight. Lute player Hideki Yamaya, The Astoria Festival Baroque Band and Voices perform 17th century Italian music in an intimate totally candle-lit evening. Tuesday, June 19.

And so much more . . .


 

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Venues
Liberty Theater
PAC: Clatsop Community College Performing Arts Center
GEC: Grace Episcopal Church
FPC: First Presbyterian Church
FBC: First Baptist Church

FRIDAY JUNE 15
7:00 pm FESTIVAL PRELUDE: BELLINI, STRAIGHT UP – Private Home Music lovers will sip Bellinis, Italy’s favorite cocktail, as Portland Opera historian Robert Kingston discusses 19th Century Bel Canto style and its greatest masterpiece, Bellini’s Norma. Pianist Cary Lewis and Festival. Artists perform Bel Canto-influenced music of Chopin and Paganini.

SATURDAY JUNE 16
4:00 pm CELEBRITY MATINEE RECITAL – Liberty Theater Los Angeles Philharmonic Principal Concertmaster Martin Chalifour and cellist Sergey Antonov, both prizewinners in Moscow’s prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition, join pianist Cary Lewis for a very special opening matinee.

7:30 pm OPERA IN CONCERT BELLINI’S NORMA – Liberty Theater Angela Meade, Norma; Ruth Ann Swenson, Adalgisa; Raul Melo, Pollione; Richard Zeller, Oroveso; Festival Orchestra and Chorus, Keith Clark Conductor. Sung in Italian with English Super Text

SUNDAY, JUNE 17
Noon CANTATAS, COFFEE AND CROISSANTS #1 – FPC Young Artist Vocal and Instrumental Recital (Free Admission)

4:00 PM FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA with ELIZABETH PITCAIRN – Liberty Theater Elizabeth Pitcairn, Violin Keith Clark, Conductor

PROGRAM: Bernstein Candide Overture; Lalo Symphonie Espagnole, Op. 21; Beethoven Symphony No 5 in C minor, Op. 67

TUESDAY, JUNE 19
7:30 PM BAROQUE BONANZA by Candlelight GEC Seventeenth Century Italian music for voices and original; instruments in Astoria’s historic Grace Episcopal Church of 1886, featuring Portland’s Baroque lutenist Hideki Yamaya, San Francisco violinist Noah Strick and others.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20
7:30 pm J-WALT’S SPONTANEOUS FANTASIA PAC with THE LOS ANGELES VIRTUOSI – A Fantasia for our time: Live real-time 3-D video to chamber music by Saint-Saens and Satie, including The Four Seasons of Vivaldi and Piazzola. Perfect entertainment for all ages, especially grandparents who can still remember Pink Floyd laser light shows! THE LOS ANGELES VIRTUOSI: Olivia Tsui, Violin (Shanghai); Sebastian Toettcher, Cello (Berlin); Mark Robson, Piano (Los Angeles)

THURSDAY JUNE 21
7:30 pm MUSIC IN THE MAKING: RUTH ANN SWENSON MASTER CLASS PAC An inside look at the making of an opera singer. Soprano Ruth Ann Swenson and opera coach David Burnakus lead a rare public master class with outstanding young Vocal Apprentice Artists. Watch them put finishing touches on Mozart’s The Magic Flute and other operas. One of the world’s finest Mozart singers, Miss Swenson will impart a lifetime of insight to a new generation on the brink of professional careers.

FRIDAY, JUNE 22
7:30 pm ASTORIA MUSIC FESTIVAL ALL-STARS – Liberty Theater Festival Chamber Players, Cary Lewis, Piano and Director.

PROGRAM: Schubert Fantasy in F minor for Piano, Four Hands, D. 490; Poulenc Sextet for Winds and Piano; Mendelssohn Octet in E-flat Major for Strings, Op. 20

SATURDAY, JUNE 23
11:00 am CLASSICS 4 KIDS #1 PAC Concert for Families and Children (Free Admission)

4:00 pm SERGEY’S HAPPY HOUR MATINEE – Liberty Theater Chamber Music and Chat with cellist Sergey Antonov, San Francisco Ballet Orchestra Concertmaster Roy Malan and pianist Cary Lewis.

7:30 pm FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA plays ALL-BRAHMS – Liberty Theater Anthea Kreston, Violin; Jason Duckles, Cello; Keith Clark, Conductor

PROGRAM: Brahms Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80; Brahms Double Concerto for Violin and Cello, Op. 102; Brahms Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73

SUNDAY, JUNE 24
Noon CANTATAS, COFFEE AND CROISSANTS #2 FBC Young Artist Vocal and Instrumental Recital (Free Admission)

4:00 PM FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA in a VIENNESE MATINEE – Liberty Theater Ruth Ann Swenson, Soprano; Sergey Antonov, Cello; Alexandre Dossin, Piano; Astoria Music Festival Vocal Apprentice Artists; The North Coast Chorale, Denise Reed Hines, Director; Keith Clark, Conductor

PROGRAM: Strauss Jr. Die Fledermaus Overture; Haydn Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Hob. VIIb; Mozart Piano Concerto No 21 in C Major, K. 468; Mozart Concert Aria with Piano Obbligato, “Ch’io mi scordi di te?”; Strauss Jr, Die Fledermaus: Act II Finale

TUESDAY, JUNE 26 – THURSDAY, JUNE 28
YOUNG ARTISTS WEEK: FREE CLASSICAL JAMS ALL AROUND TOWN! Venues Include Fort George Brewery, The Bistro, Clemente’s, and More

FRIDAY JUNE 29
7:30 pm VOCAL APPRENTICE OPERA: MOZART’S DIE ZAUBERFLiTE PAC Young artists from around the country in a fully staged production of W.A. Mozart’s final opera The Magic Flute.. Sung in German with English Dialogue and Super Titles. With The Festival Instrumental Apprentice Chamber Orchestra Maddox Dance Studio Little Ballet Theater

SATURDAY, JUNE 30
11:00 am CLASSICS 4 KIDS #2 PAC Concert for Families and Children (Free Admission) KMUN Troll Radio Review Presents Mozart’s Magic Flute for Children

TWO WAYS OF HEARING BACH
2:00 pm ANDREW BROWNWELL, PIANO – Liberty Theater TWO WAYS OF HEARING BACH’S GOLDBERG VARIATIONS Original Version for Keyboard

7:30 pm PORTLAND BAROQUE ORCHESTRA, MONICA HUGGETT, CONDUCTOR – Liberty Theater TWO WAYS OF HEARING BACH’S GOLDBERG VARIATIONS. Arranged for String Orchestra by Dmitry Sitkovetsky. Presented in cooperation with The Oregon Bach Festival

SUNDAY, JULY 1
4:00 pm VOCAL APPRENTICE OPERA: MOZART’S DIE ZAUBERFLiTE PAC See June 29 for Performance Details


Q-NIGHT AT KALA!

Mattachine SocialCelebrate the LOVE!
Q-NIGHT AT KALA!
A QFolk Benefit Performance and Dance Party
Featuring Portland Electro-Pop Band
MATTACHINE SOCIAL
Saturday, February 11
Doors open 8pm
No Host Bar.
Complimentary EATS!
Mattachine Social 9pm.
(special guest performer Matthew Kern 8:45)
DANCE PARTY 10PM TO MIDNIGHT . . .
$10 at door. 21 and over please.
KALA, 1017 Marine Drive in Astoria

IN AUGUST of 2007, HIPFiSHmonthly introduced QFOLK, an LGBT visibility news and culture spot for the Columbia Pacific Region. Suffices to say, it is rare to find an LGBT section in a community newspaper in a rural region. In fact, prove me wrong, I’ve yet to find another. Hipfish albeit is an alternative newspaper, but that vehicle too is an urban construct. Though, the A&E (Arts and Entertainment sections) has found its place in almost all daily and weekly rural papers. Since the advent of printing, human activists have made use of the medium as a means of freedom of speech. The alternative newspaper today — in many smaller urban areas, in the Northwest, such as in Eugene (Eugene Weekly) and Bellingham, WA (The Cascadia Weekly), have culled what could be described as a progressive community culture and news medium, in addition to “watchdog” and investigative journalism.

What to deliver? A more upfront and inside reporting on where we live. The existence of QFOLK in HIPFiSH reflects a visible LGBT community supported by a whole community. On February 11 at KALA, we celebrate this community, The LGBT Community; friends, family and allies, please join us.

MATTACHINE SOCIAL

Described as the “love Child of Björk and The Jesus and Mary Chain” Portland, Oregon based MATTACHINE SOCIAL are a queer-core post-punk/pop musical project. Their songs run the emotional gamut of pop musical styling but each deal with historically important queer icons, civil rights uprisings, and a critique of modern queer culture…all while keeping your ass shaking!

Co-founders Justin Warner and Andrew Klaus are both accomplished multimedia artists with long careers in both film and music. As such Mattachine Social live shows are a heady mix of post-punk dance music and wild visuals aided by projection screens and glitter cannons all crafted by the band.

Mattachine Social also were local headliners for Portland Pride 2011 and participated in the first annual Portland Queer Music Festival. Next up they’ll be opening for Sandra Bernhardt.

Klaus has performed with lesbian punk icons The Butchies and Le Tigre before relocating to Portland in the early part of the decade pursuing a successful career as a filmmaker and internationally exhibited visual artist

Co-founder Justin Warner is an acclaimed animator and filmmaker and has had work appear on stage and in theaters from New York to Seattle, as well as mastermind behind the now defunct outfit Violet Uprising.

Warner and Klaus are joined onstage by the remarkably talented and handsome guitarist Ben Jansen, and the equally fabulous and beautiful Tammy Whynot on tambourine and backing vocals.

Mattachine Social released their debut ep in limited release in November of 2010 and expect a full album by early 2012.


Spa at the Cannery Pier Hotel

Cannery Pier HotelA Finnish sauna, mineral bath, glorious body treatments and massage to suit your needs!

Spa at Cannery Pier Hotel Open House
Thursday, December 8 from 5 pm to 7 pm.
No. 10 Basin St., Astoria, Oregon
503.338.4SPA (4772)
Specially priced Gift Certificates, Food, Drink, Treats, Free Raffle and other surprises! Meet the professional therapists, tour the facilities and explore Astoria’s only Spa with an authentic Finnish Sauna and Mineral Therapy Hot Tub!

“OLEN UUSI NAINEN!” translates from Finnish to “I’m a new woman!” On my father’s returns from Astoria’s famed Union Town Steam Baths, he and my mother from their every Friday night ritual, my father would say in part English and Finnish, “I feel like an uusi mies.” A new man, that is.

A ritual of renewal is an integral part of Finnish sauna culture, and of many cultures on the globe. Renewal, replenish, a part of a natural cycle in the enjoyment of life. Sleep, obviously an essential, to go from one day to the next, does not fulfill a conscious need to get within.

If you are an inhabitant of the Columbia Pacific Region, you are familiar with the Cannery Pier Hotel that welcomes visitors to these shores, housing guests in an elegant, yet spare, homage to history. The sport where cannery Finns began a steadfast, egalitarian business of catching and processing fish and making sure the fancy east coast devils didn’t get advantage on them. The Union Fish Company.

Imagine how some of those hardworking Finns would have laughed at the thought that lumbering fish house would someday be the inspiration for a hotel. A brilliant plan that native Robert Jacobsen, at times had a hard time convincing people that it was much of an idea. But now, we can look out to the mouth of the Columbia and remember, and dream and reminisce.

And even better. You can look out from the Spa at the Cannery Pier Hotel, from the mineral therapy hot tub looking straight east, down the Columbia.

“On a foggy day, soaking int he hot tub, and gazing out on the river, there isn’t a better place to be,” says Spa manager Summer Oja. And that is where the folks at the Cannery Spa want locals to be.

The Spa at the Canner Pier is an elaborate spa system, designed for you, “local person” to enjoy with ease, comfort, and affordability. Spa manager Summer Oja has been in the business for 10 years, and her unique mission states, “Peace, tranquility, order and outreach.”

Spa at the Cannery Pier employs 5 massage practitioners and a facial specialist. They offer every type of massage, and manager Oja will help to facilitate and match you with a type of massage and practitioner that best suits you. Oja is not only the spa manager, but really the manager of the customer’s individual therapeutic needs.

Any treatment that you receive at the Cannery Spa includes the mineral hot tub and the authentic Finnish Sauna. This means, a 1/2 hour Head and Neck and Shoulders treatment ($55), comes with steam and hot tubing. At the turn of the 1900’s, Astoria was a blaze with public saunas. Today, well, not there aren’t any – but the smell of the cedar in the Finlandia Sauna System at Cannery Pier is divine. And the steam when you throw the water on the rocks with the wooden ladle… does a body good, oh yea!

Every month the Spa offers a “local’s special.” It could be up to 20% off one of many delicious body raps; Marine Minerals, Seal Algae, a decadent Chocolate Orange Wrap, or an Anti-Aging Flaxx-C Facial. Goodbye body toxins, hello cleansing.If you think thsi doesn’t work – well, experience before judgment rings loudly in this case.

Depending on how much you allow to spend on “self,” the availability of choice and budget is completely user-friendly at Cannery Spa. And, every fifth treatment, whatever yo design, is half off, too.

The body treatment packages, massage with facial, wrap or scrub are complimented with a spa snack plate; salmon and fruits and chesses and champagne. Plan a get together, with a partner or group of friends, and you will get “the treatment.”

Plan for regular therapeutic breaks in life, Cannery Pier is there to assist.On any visit, you choose a Young Living Essential Oil to compliment an aromatherapy sensation, plus, the Spa keeps Thieves Oil permeating to protect against airborne bacteria. Summer Oja and the crew at Cannery Spa are knowledgeable in many facets of alternative therapies to help sooth and compliment with natural remedy modalities.

Spa at Cannery Pier Hotel is a healing resource in our hometown, promoting proactive healthcare. Not a luxury, a necessity. Nonetheless, a very nice necessity, accessible and an awesome place to hang out for an hour or so to get what you need and deserve. Take time and discover this natural treasure, and tis the season, gifts of experience, that come in a pretty box with complimentary chocolates – consider that!


Laughing Wild

Christopher Durang’s
LAUGHING WILD
SEPT 30, OCT 1
@ KALA Stage
in astoria

Laughing Wild

Featuring Jenni Newton & Bill Ham, directed by susi brown, photo by dinal urell

THIS SEPTEMBER, HIPFiSHmonthly announces the opening of The KALA Stage, in celebration of the continuum of locally produced theater, and the vital theatrical community of the Lower Columbia Pacific Region.

And now a word from Susi Brown – Pier Pressure Productions:
For those of you who enjoyed this past year of thought-provoking theatre at 260 10th, Pier Pressure Productions will be presenting a play just around the corner at the headquarters of KALA/Hipfish. If you haven’t taken an opportunity to attend one of KALA’s 2nd Saturday Art Walks, perhaps you will support the arts by attending PPP’s production of Christopher Durang’s “Laughing Wild”. When PPP announced that it was closing its doors, Dinah Urell graciously extended an invitation to the theatre group to use her new space for performance opportunities. Pier Pressure’s first production was performed in 2009 at the Columbia River Coffee Roaster in the area now known as 3 Cups. In addition to Urell’s offer, PPP as also been welcomed back by Tim Hurd and TJ Lackner (CRCR & 3Cups owners). It may be that PPP will be presenting something in the 3 Cups coffee shop again someday.

Curtain Everyone! By September 30, the blacks will be hung, the lighting system set, lighting technician waiting in the wings, the house full, and the diminutive black box stage will welcome two actors to enact its inaugural performance.

When we were doing the photo shoot for the PR for Laughing Wild, I was reminded by one of the actors, Jenni Newton, that we had coincidentally first met after a performance of playwright Christopher Durang’s Beyond Therapy (directed by then Clatsop College theater coach Gay Preston some 10 years ago). Ms. Newton portrayed the slightly (or is it tightly) wound psychiatrist. It was her actor-onstage introduction to the community. At an after-show party, I complimented Ms. Newton on her performance, I told her, “You’re good!” And there were numerous feelings mutual amongst attendees.

Since that time, we have not seen enough of Jenni Newton on stage, because she’s too busy being an award-winning, valuable high school drama instructor at Astoria High School, and the infrequent direction of community theater. We did see her as Annie Wilkes in Misery at the River Theater. A striking performance. Newton informs she likes a character that can take her on a ride, and an audience that’s willing to go with her. Hence, her interest in the character “Woman” in Laughing Wild.

William Ham, “Man” in the show, I have told recently, “I have a Bill Ham setting on my camera.” For Mr. Ham has been exercising his acting and comedy prowess on various stages in the region since he set foot on this coast. “Bullshot Crummond,” “Almost, Maine,” “The Zoo Story,” “Glengarry Glen Ross,” and “The Seafarer.” He also wrote, directed and performed three well-received one-man shows at the former Pier Pressure Productions space. Ham is a generous performer, giving us the full extent of the spirit and energy of the role, and his gift to make us laugh.

So, as we have witnessed, the theater community just keeps growing, maturing, changing, and thriving through it transitory times. It is the nature. KALA Stage embarks on its adventure, an embrace in diversity of theater and performance.

Laughing Wild is a provocative study about the perils and stresses of modern life in urban America. Jenni Newton and Bill Ham address the audience with two comic monologues which evolve into a shared nightmare and the isolation it creates. Christopher Durang’s characters battle with desperation, alienation, and life’s brutalities in his fiercely ironic comedy. See you there.

Purchase Tickets eve of show beginning 6pm at KALA.
Sept 30 – Oct 1
Doors open 7:30pm.
Show at 8pm. $15
Beer and Wine Sold. Snacks!
FMI: 503.338.4878
1017 MARINE DR. ASTORIA


A Wave of Pride! Fun-out on the Coast.

North Oregon Coast PFLAG Marching
And you’re invited!

Gay Pride Parades around the world

The North Oregon Coast PFLAG will march in the 2011 Regatta Parade.  This will mark an inaugural gay and lesbian parade presence in Astoria. A banner has been designed and all are invited to show your support for the GLBTQ Community on the coast and walk behind the banner. PFLAG is a national organization, (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), with hundreds of local chapters all over the US.

The parade starts at noon, and gathering time is 11:30am. This year the parade begins at the Heritage Museum at the corner of 16th and Exchange, and organizing is a block down the street near the Columbia Memorial Hospital grounds. Look for folks holding the banner. For more details contact Drew Herzig, drewherzig@yahoo.com.


Clatsop County Marriage Equality Project
Get on the List! Do we have you on the list? Please send your email/snailmail address to ccmepinfo@gmail.com. We’ll keep you informed.


Third Thursday PFLAG Meeting

COMING OUT Stories. Theme for the Third Thursday PFLAG meeting is “Coming Out Stories.” Something we all share across the boards in the queer community. There will be talk a bit about experiences coming out – a life-long process – and do some writing. Plans have been put into works to develop short essays and poems together for a possible ‘Coming Out’ section in the October Hipfish. October 11th is National Coming Out Day.


Pride Potluck Picnic – August 23

THE CLATSOP COUNTY MARRIAGE EQUALITY PROJECT (CCMEP) is organizing a Pride Picnic. Hoping for non-rainy weather and sun, a gathering is set for Saturday, August 23 at Carruthers Park in Hammond, 12 noon to 3pm. Fred Meyer of Warrenton is donating hamburger and hot dog fixings. Bring a dish or beverage, kids, friends, and a chair.  Fun, Informal, with info on latest planning efforts.  For more info: ccmepinfo@gmail.com.

The CCMEP mission is to promote marriage equality for all Oregonians by educating the public on the importance of legalizing civil marriage for same-sex couples, thereby guaranteeing all the benefits and full legal protections of marriage to same-sex spouses and their families.

CCMEP works in conjunction with Basic Rights Oregon Marriage Matters Campaign working to place same-sex marriage legislation on the 2012 ballot.


Q-JAZZ at the Bridgewater Bistro

THE BRIDGEWATER BISTRO in Astoria begins a new offering this spring/summer season. Q-Jazz and Song Social invites the LGBTQ Community and friends the third Thursday of each month to enjoy the Basin St. Northwest Jazz Trio, complimentary apps, and piano bar hosted by friends and performance associates Dinah Urell and Walt Trumbull.

Arrive at 8pm for complimentary appetizers and catch a sampling of Basin St. NW piano trio led by Chuck Wilder, featuring guitarist Dave Drury,  and bassist Todd Pederson. Urell and Trumbull dip into the American songbook, in solo and duo,  and open the mic for folks who would like to sing, in the vein of American standards, jazz and blues. Expertise not required. Old school piano bar culture, with a jazz twist – the soulful progressions of pianist Chuck Wilder as your back-up is a treat.

The event, now underway,  is proving to be a spacious and welcoming social gathering. Many expressed gratitude to Dana Gunderson for hosting the Qmixer for a number of years at the Cannery Cafe, destroyed in the Astoria, Dec 16 Riverfront fire. Owners of the Bridgewater, Ann and Tony Kitchner welcome the community, and look forward to the event growing as a permanent monthly mixer for the Q-Community.

Third Thursdays. 8pm-10pm. The Bridgewater Bistro is located at the Port of Astoria, 20 Basin St., 503.325.6777.


Cedar Shakes plus guests Aug 22

CEDAR SHAKES are a local country band based in Nehalem, Oregon.  They released a beauty of a 4-song 10 in. vinyl record, RED RIVER this past spring, recorded in Austin,Texas. Cedar Shakes is fronted by singer/songwriter Travis Champ, a local poet who came into some coastal notoriety a few years ago with his poetry collection, Old Nehalem Road.

Nestucca Spit Press publisher and noted Oregon literary aficionado Matt Love published Champs work, but Champ himself set all the type for the book, on a hundred-year-old press, and bound all three hundred copies of the first edition print run. Upon hearing Champ at an Open Mic in Lincoln City, Love says, “It voiced the raw wet alienated stuff of what living at the Oregon Coast can do.” He immediately hooked up with Champ.

When or if the then 25 year-old Champ was writing songs at that time, not known – but similar to his well-tempered tales of a poetic Oregon coast, Champ’s sensibilities in songwriting are of equal rustic charm and country beats.

Cedar Shakes is Champ, joined by James Owen Greenan on drums and Jon Feeder on bass, (Rich Russell on the recording) – in addition to a lap steel/dobro player Landry McMeans to the recording.

Mostly medium paced tunes are Champs lovely country-style reveries, poems (not your standard country lyrics), sketches, vignettes — he does sing some about rodeos and Nashville, and in the tune Sandy Koufax sings:

The Air Force taught us all Vietnamese
So we could know our enemy
I found myself in 1970
A conscientious objector in Montgomery

A theme of boyhood memory, baseball and the fate of boys to war. Champs poems set to song, inhabit a masculine world, one that is shared artfully through old school country style.

The band Cedar Shakes is a good sound. Never overplayed in countrified zeal,  but sophisticated in the simplicity of shaping the components of a song. Tasty melodic bass interludes, hooks and emotive guitar chords are set against Champs semi-monotone, yet smooth and resonant vocals. Crisp rhythms trot along even in the slower paced tracks. The four songs on RED RIVER each stand apart and engage. The term catchy is not exactly what I’m looking for here– but that’s what they do, they catch you.

Catch the Cedar Shakes,  Monday, August 22, 8pm at the Hoffman Center Annex in Manzanita. Joined by The Black from Austin TX, and Josh Uithof. $5, 594 Laneda Ave.  (sorry folks, no photo, Shakes don’t do photos).


KALA@hipfishmonthly – Opening Night, July 9

Call of the Wild:
Anne Greenwood
Renia Ydstie
Through July 28

KALA@hipfishmonthly
Over 150 people streamed through KALA on Saturday, July 9, the opening of the ground floor space at the HIPFiSH production office, in conjunction with Astoria Second Saturday Art Walk.  An auspiciously sunny eve (one of few yet this summer) helped raise the spirits and numbers of art walkers and fill the new flexi-space.

Freshly-caught tuna on an open face sandwich, prune tarts, pirrakaa, smoked salmon and salty licorice were a part of the traditional Finnish food offerings tied to Astoria’s Scandinavian heritage and gallery namesake KALA (Finnish word for fish, pronounced with the glottal “K” sound).

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Delight in food and drink and sunny eve KALA guests interacted with large-scale installation works by featured artists Anne Greenwood and Renia Ydstie.

Portland mixed media artist Anne Greenwood’s animalistic figure, A Kind of Blue, Sleep, I’ve Got U, (17’ long, constructed of dyed indigo muslin and filled with shredded documents) was intended to be suspended from the gallery ceiling by a net. Says Greenwood, “An animal-person caught in the air in a net is a sensation, premonition, gut feeling, or instinct. This figure describes the feeling. Is the net a sieving? A trap? An embrace? Is the figure a memory, a person, a dream?”

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As experiments will go, upon filling the gentle, blue giant, the weight of shredded paper prohibited the raising of “Blue.” At opening time, a gravity-ridden figure lay in wait for its participants. Visitors were compelled to physically interact, to lie, to sit, to hug, and to rest on “BLUE.” Greenwood’s artfully constructed figure, of which has taken on a spirit of its own, lays in respite, its form displaying signs of human embrace.

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In contrast, Greenwood’s subtle, embroidered images on found textiles accompany on the adjacent wall.  In addition, her debut work, and large-scale piece  Dresden Plate Quilt is created from rift-sawn white oak plywood, silkscreen, and found objects (old bottle caps and colorful gelato spoons from a trip to Argentina). Greenwood approaches the quilt as cultural artifact, that tells about the person or community that made them. The Dresden Plate quilt pattern was one of the most popular quilts made during the 1920s and 30s.

Intended for interaction, local artist Renia Ydstie’s Bird’s and Nest made for a lively spot at KALA, and continues to enchant visitors. The NEST, built to human proportion, is based on many forms of enclosed woven bird nests. Participants joyfully climbed in and surprisingly found it to be “different” on the inside. A haven, a resting place, a cocoon  . . . a journal is handy to jot down impressions. Most visitors express they would love to have one of their own.

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Ydstie’s accompanying movable flock of birds (the birds can be purchased from the flock), were made after watching an enormous flock that was living over by Burger King this winter.

Each bird is built around a blown chicken eggshell. The body is sculpted with papier-mâché feathers cut from a romance novel, newspapers, tickets and linen, then finished with beeswax. Birds are hung in mated pairs so that when one bird is pulled, another moves.  Participants may move birds as they wish, thus constantly changing the shape of the flock. More participants = more flock movement. Natural motion has the birds spinning free in any direction.

All are invited to visit KALA, and experience an imaginative, interactive installation. KALA is open Fri – Sun, 12noon to 5pm, and by appt. Located at 1017 Marine Drive.  Call 503.338.4878.


Magical, Musical Melodrama – SHANGHAIED IN ASTORIA

Miss MacieCHRISLYNN TAYLOR, Northcoast musical actress is being honored this year for her 20th anniversary with Astor Street Opry Company (ASOC). Known only to some as Miss Macie, the respected Lady of the Saloon, who runs a tight ship in ASOC’s award winning summer musical melodrama, Taylor has possessed numerous roles in the show, but she is truly the exalted spirit of the fish town Madam (who doesn’t need a marriage license for security).

Shanghaied is off and running this July, with the giant cast of stage goofballs, ready to overact and take the popcorn in the face. From cannery coquets to slimy waterfront rat type characters, the “stink” and the camp runs high in the hysterical, cannery musical classic, based on traditional local cultural folklore. Native or tourist – it’s a  ball!!!! The ASOC Playhouse is a charm too, with its old school saloon look. Local brew pub beer at the back bar sustains your thirst and the cast of Shanghaied sustains your laughter.

SHOW RUN: July 7th and runs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings until September 10th with four Sunday matinees on July 17TH, August 7th, August 28th and Sept. 4th at The ASOC Playhouse, 129 West Bond Street, and Uniontown. Tickets are $20 to 16 with a special “Champagne Gala Opening” on Thursday July 7th 2011. Tickets can be purchased by calling our Ticket Hotline 503-325-6104 to leave a voice mail. Calls will be returned 10:00 am to 3:00pm daily.

ASOC is also holding a fun drawing — an opportunity for you and six of your closest friends to “Get Shanghaied”! On the MISS VIVIAN’S WILD RIDE win a private limousine Pub Crawl Tour w/ Shanghaied bad girl Vivian during the 8th Annual PUB CRAWL on August 20th 2011. The prize includes an exclusive one-night only limousine tour provided by North Coast Limousines and includes: a stop at all 2011 MISS VIVIAN candidate’s watering holes. There, you and your company will be the 2011 judges for the Miss Vivian ”Shanghai Trap Doors Stories” and “Shanghaied Cocktail” created just for this unique event! Also included on this magical night for everyone: Champagne and snacks, souvenir Shanghaied Glasses, 2011 Shanghaied Sturdy Women Tees, front row seats to any of our upcoming shows, and free admission to the SHANGHAIED BALL! Tickets sold at the show. For general info on the upcoming Pub Crawl, go to astorstreetoprycompany.com.


Refreshing and Sustainable Beer in a Can – Fort George Brewery of Astoria is bringing their product to you

SINCE THE FIRST CANS of pre-prohibition-style lager rolled off the line in early April to commemorate Astoria’s 200-year history, Fort George Brewery is right on track, to bring its craft brew product to the supermarket. If you’re a native, you understand the connection between a canning line and the history of Astoria.  And coincidence or not, that the brewery happens to be on the grounds of the original settlement of Astoria, Fort George Brewery (FGB) and Public House makes a full circle, reviving a spirit of resilience that has allowed the region to survive two centuries. Astoria’s renaissance or reawakening – FGB is in the center of the vortex, building a new model of commerce based on sustainability, passion, and commitment to quality.

1811 Lager Jack Harris Chris Nemlowill
From left to right: Fort George 1811 Lager in a can, Jack Harris, Chris Nemlowill

Four years ago, FGB owners, Brew Master Jack Harris formerly of Bill’s Tavern, and Chris Nemlowill who had tutored under Harris and then worked for the Astoria Brewing Company, opened their doors. A long waiting line of eager Astorians anticipated “getting in” to the refurbished, hulking industrial, historical mechanics shop, itself long-awaiting to be inhabited again. Local band Ma Barley beat the reggae rhythms that night (and it may have been their first gig), and crowds stood, or attempted to seat themselves in the oversized wood plank booths, the high beamed ceilings, cut from ‘Land of the Giant” fir trees, looming overhead, as if to say, there’s room to grow.  Soon following, artist couple, Sally Lackaff and Roger Hayes were employed to transform the walls of the spacious unisex toilets into murals, a fort theme and vintage cars, respectfully.  Everybody wanted to go to the loo at Fort George. That was then.

Hipfish recently caught up with busy co-founder, Chris Nemlowill to get the lowdown on the canning expansion scene. Reflecting on beginnings, not so long ago, Chris said with some modest self-astonishment, “We opened our doors with six employees, now we have 34.”

With Oregon Business Development Department supplied-money tied to job creation, as well as the City of Astoria’s urban renewal funds, and the company’s own investment, FGB, added to their already acquired 2900 sq. ft property –  they bought the rest of the block at 14th and 15th Duane (bar the brewery’s namesake city park lot). The Lovell Auto Building, empty for over a decade would be the new home of a larger 30 barrel brewhouse acquired from Saint Arnold Brewing Company of Houston, Texas, and the implementation of a state of the art canning operation purchased from Cask Brewing Systems in Calgary, Canada.

Running to capacity on their 8.5 barrel brewery system, (they did 1200 barrels last year) and knowing that roughly 12% of the beer consumed in Oregon is made in Oregon, the potential for growth is highly viable (they’ll hit 3000 barrels this year).  And with craft beer and brewpub style socializing showing no signs of slowing the  continuing conversion of the masses, there is a lot good brewing works still to be done.

The 30 barrel brewhouse system, tanks and all its gadgetry arrived in Astoria by five 56-foot trailers worth of equipment. New employees came aboard to help implement the expansion of brewing and canning.  Now, two FGB distribution vans head-out to over 80 locations on the coast, in Clatsop, Tillamook and Pacific County, with draft and can orders to markets, restaurants and pubs.  And going with the flow of convenience, delivery trucks heading back to Portland, usually empty, now carry Fort George orders to thirsty urbanites, and to greater Oregon, equaling the coastal distribution sites and growing.

Cans of beer

25 cans per minute, fresh from the tank.

Bright blue and silver cans of 1811 Lager, and the beautiful, magical spinning hop of the Vortex IPA (both designed by Josh Berger of id branding and longtime friend of Jack Harris) are now showcased at Fred Meyer in Warrenton. A long, tall cooler stacked with fresh FGB beer is ready to quench a summer’s thirst.

The question arises; with all this expansion is the wonder duo of Harris and Nemlowill ready to overtake craft brew in America?

“We want to get beer to everybody in Oregon who wants it — hopefully to the Seattle area by next summer. We have establishments calling from Seattle, “What do I have to do to get your beer? We can’t make enough right now to fill orders,” says Nemlowill.

Increasing production and filling more orders is a matter of the fermentation process. Nemlowill informs that two more fermentors are in the works. “This size brewery is perfect. It is big enough so that you get enough consistency in your beer, and its not so big that your beer losses its character. “

But the 50 states are not in these brew masters manufacturing projection.

“It doesn’t make sense to ship water. It’s not good for the environment for people to ship water all over the United States. Why steep your tea on the west coast and ship it to the east coast? Steep your tea where you are going to drink it. As long as we can keep the quality high on our product,  this is the criteria for shipping.”

The Tap Room

The Tap Room, Lovell Building. Open Fri 3-8pm, Sat 1-8pm, Sun Nonn-5pm. Enter through the Fort George Parking Lot, or 14th Street. Brewery Tours: Saturday and Sundays @ 1pm & 4pm

Harris and Nemlowill are also setting a new precedent. They want to keep their product regional, based on what they are creating. That precedent is one they are making in the Oregon craft brew community. Cans of FGB, must be kept cold, never warm-stored, and must be sold within 60 days of delivery. It is not a safety precaution – it’s a quality requirement. Craft brew after 60 days, is not the brew they painstakingly craft to stimulate the beer lover’s senses.  FGB just invested in a very expensive can labeler, which puts the quality date on the bottom of the can.  Cans of 1811 lager and Vortex IPA are the only beers sitting in the back storage dairy cooler in grocery stores about Oregon.  Serious passion.

“We believe in our beer – we know how much work we put into it – we know the quality of the ingredients. We want people to experience this,” states Nemlowill resolutely. “We pull the beer if it’s past the date. Then it goes into the black box.”

Tim Ensign, is FBG’s top dog sales rep, whose beer career covers the gamut, from working for Sierra Nevada Bottling, to Trader Joes, and large beer distribution companies.  Even Ensign at first was dubious as to how retailers would respond to this very unique policy, but customer by customer, Nemlowill states, “It’s creating distributors who are beginning to appreciate the quality edge.”

“I feel lucky to go out and sell something that is higher quality than what anybody else can sell to that customer. It feels good to have that competitive advantage. It is also a competitive edge for our customers. “

Nemlowill is an advocate for more people doing small manufacturing in Astoria, and he says, “It’s the best way to have complete control over your products.” And local jobs are a cherished and ever-valued commodity.

If part of your product is serving the public, Fort George is now slouch at that either. The public house is jammed to the brim any given night of the week. The service is amazingly good in a packed, music-filled, lively house. Young, hipster waiters don’t flinch at a crabby customer, whom may peruse what’s on tap or take in the gorgeous chalk art on not one,  but two expansive boards created by a bevy of coastal artists.

Beer in a can is what you get on draft – basically a keg is just a big can, giving the consumer the freshest, most pure brew possible.  And cans, as opposed to bottles, protect beer from light and oxygen. Cans are airtight and oxygen-free. When light consistently hits a bottle of beer, it can turn skunky and ultimately undrinkable. Yuck. Cans too, are more easily recyclable.
The canning of the two brews is the current ticket, but Nemlowill says, eventually they’ll be looking at several more styles to add to the canning line in the future, this with the inclusion of seasonal specialties. They also love to hear from customers as to what they may want to have in the can.

While the can played a huge role in the economy and history of Astoria, as commercial canners were mad to get rich on shipping salmon and tuna to the demanding consumer public, it also played a part in depleting the resources. This can renaissance has a new value structure.  We “can” romanticize and celebrate history, but if we pay attention, a new kind of prosperity is on the horizon. Thrive on Fort George. Lets tip up our cans and drink to that!

Miss Atomic DuoEvery SUNDAY LIVE MUSIC
When Fort George started the LIVE music on Sundays, part of the mission was to provide entertainment on an otherwise usual slow night. Not competing with other venues. Seemed an improbable audience.

Who would have thought that people, really needing to get out of the house, now just bring their kids with them for a beer and to end the weekend.

So Don’t Miss Atomic Duo from Austin TX, fronted by Bad Livers originator Mark Rubin, July 24. 8pm, No Cover.


@KALA – Book Release Celebration – Mama Baby Mama

Mindy StokesAuthor Mindy Stokes
Mama Baby Mama, Story of a Knocked-Up Lesbian

KALA@HIFiSHMONTHLY PROUDLY presents author Mindy Stokes, in a Book Release Celebration event, TUESDAY, JULY 26, at 7pm.  Mama Baby Mama, Story of a Knocked-Up Lesbian, is a heartwarming and saucy tale of two women on their way to motherhood. This is Stokes’ first book, a memoir born of desire between she and her lifelong partner Katie and their journey to bring daughter Soleil, into the world.

An Astoria resident, and no recluse writer is she; Stokes is a vibrant fixture at Clatsop Community College, at least since 2008, when she and her family moved across the US to Astoria, Oregon from Florida. A counselor and instructor in the Lives in Transition program, she also runs her own Wellness Education practice, and is involved in numerous community volunteer positions. And, if you saw the most recent staging of The Vagina Monologues at Clatsop Community College, it was a production driven by Stokes as part of Women’s History Month, and a performance “Herstory” project she has spearheaded for 3 years.

Mama Baby Mama is a culmination of 5 years of “writing and mothering,” and as Stokes admits, “They don’t go hand in hand. Finding the time to write was the most challenging aspect of completing the book.” Friends who own a writing studio in Oysterville, Washington (established writer’s retreat location), loaned out the place, “and that’s how I finished my book,” says Stokes.

Mama Baby Mama is Stokes first foray into narrative writing. Prior to that she had written predominantly for academia, with an M.A in Women’s Studies and B.S. in Dietetics.

But about 6 months into her pregnancy, Stokes refers to episodes in the middle of the night — she would wake up with paragraphs of the book stamped into her head. And she wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep until she got up and wrote.  Once she began the process, she knew she was destined to turn these vignettes into a book.

Mama Baby Mama is in three parts, and begins with the trials and tribulations of home insemination, (endearing episodes of a gay male friend who wasn’t destined to be a sperm donor after all and sperm shipped by UPS to remote mountain vacation spots), progresses to conception and the rigorous duties of pregnancy (being as big as a billboard and hating everyone with whom she comes in contact, including her entire pre-natal yoga class) and then eventually the falling in love with a newborn baby girl.

If you do have the pleasure of knowing Mindy Stokes, you know that humor is her arsenal; she’s straightforward as hell, and a passionate, outspoken feminist. In Mama Baby Mama, her voice is loud, clear, and true to heart.

Mama Baby MamaIn the beauty of her storytelling, Stokes doesn’t hold back, soften or sugar coat the details, as she busts on through to the next practical revelation in childbirth.  Be it finding sperm donors, sex while preggars, her fears ad infinitum on becoming a mother; she’ll have you in stitches, and in tears.  Mama Baby Mama also keenly observes the effects of discrimination and hate-filled laws on same-sex partners, as well gives us new concepts of family and friends, parenting, today’s changing values put into practice, and alternative lifestyles.

In February of 2007, just months after Soleil’s birth, Stokes submitted an abstract to the Assoc. for Research on Mothering (ARM) in, Toronto, Canada. They were planning a conference in Toronto and were looking for submissions on various topics relating to feminist mothering. Stokes was accepted and read her narrative pieces (the beginnings of Mama Baby Mama).

“The response was positive,” says Stokes, “Professors of Women’s Studies asked me to let them know when I was finished with my work so that they could use my book in their classrooms. “

Stokes has gone the indie author route. After querying publishers for two and half years she has joined onto an online eBook publishing vehicle, Smashwords, and has done a first print in hard copy through a self-publishing company.

Says Stokes, “Getting published these days is extremely difficult. Who you are and your platform is more important than your craft. When I did get rejection letters with feedback, they’d always tell me they liked my sardonic humor, sense of place, etc… but their company wasn’t doing my type of book. So I decided to do it myself. Decided I’d be the Ani Difranco of publishing. “

Of course today, indie publishing, be it music or literature is running a steady, viable course. The many online vehicles, from iPads, to laptops, iPhones and Kindles have readers going for easy access. An online publishing company like Smashwords directly links your book with online book companies and tutors you on how to reach and publicize to your potential audience.  Self-publishing can draw attention to mainstream publishers. But with the high quality and accessibility of indie publishing, a passionate author such as Stokes, can reach out to a target audience and begin the work of getting her book read.

When Stokes moved to the region, she met Jan Bono, an accomplished columnist, and writing coach from the Washington Peninsula.  Bono became her editor throughout the process of finishing the book. And now with the satisfaction of soon having a hard copy in her hands,  says Stokes, “It’s a dream come true.”

Every Tuesday Stokes sends out her blog, also titled STORY OF A KNOCKED-UP LESBIAN. With a title as brazen, this is a taste of Stokes’ refreshing and spicy lesbian feminist personae.  You can sample or buy her book at smashwords.com/books/view/61371, or look her up on her new website.

But you can also meet her, have her sign a copy of her book and help celebrate an exciting, local, independent author. Refreshments too. Tuesday, July 26, 7pm, KALA at 1017 Marine Dr. in Astoria. 503.338.4878


Music at the forefront of the 44th Scandinavian Midsummer Festival

ASTORIA SCANFEST 2011 is proof this longtime cultural celebration shows no signs of slowing down.

Stand-out music artists from the NW as well as the old country will ring in the bicentennial year with sounds of the ancient roots as well as the bloom of new Scandinavian music.

It’s a music packed weekend with many local/regional favorites and new comers!!!! Willapa Hills, Wilho Saari, Scandinavian Country, Double J and the Boys, and more.

Helen Blume and Harald HaugaardFeatured performers HELEN BLUME AND HARALD HAUGAARD from Denmark have several things in common; they both began their music careers as children, hail from musical families, and have taken Norwegian folk dynamically into a contemporary 21st century sound.

Haugaard is fiddler, composer and producer, and if you were at the 2011 Seattle Folk Life Festival you may have caught him. Helen Blume is one Denmark’s shining folk/pop vocalists, married to Haaguard, and together they are Helen Blume and Harald Haaguard Band. Both artists with lauded individual and joint careers, a plentiful music selection can be found on the web.

Fri., 17 6pm Arena Stage, Sat., 18 noon, 3pm, and 5pm on various stages.

MaiastraSwedish Folksters MAIASTRA, are Sofia Johansson (vocals, fultes, soprano sax and percussion), and Emil Brynge (vocals, octave mandolin, mandolin, guitar and violin). While Blume and Haarsguard offer a more pop/rock orchestrated sound, Maiastra is a beautiful minimilist sound, playful, yet accomplished musicians who dig deep into the roots of ancient Swedish music. Fascinating,  Emo-Ethno!

Friday at 4pm on the Arena Stage, 8-10pm in the Beer Garden. Sat: 12:30 and 5pm in the Exhibit Hall.


FOSSEGRIMEN
is an ensemble based in Eugene, OR dedicated to folk dance music from Norway and Sweden.  Founded by David and Claire Elliker-Vågsberg in 1999, most of the music is based on the authentic dance style of the area of origin. Gammaldans music (vals,  schottis/reinlender, masurka & polkas), and Bygdedans music (springars, gangars, polskar, & polsdans) as well as runddansere or turdans (“set dances”, usually choreographed), and various “mixers”. (Sounds like something out of Lord of the Rings.)

FossegrimenMany of the melodies that Fossegrimen plays have no composer since they have been handed down so many times that their only identification is the fact that they are “from” the playing of the last musician to teach the music to another musician.  Enjoy a variety of string instruments including fiddle, hardanger fiddle, nyckelharpa, guitar, mouth harp and bass violin.

For an up-close listen to this authentic music, David Elliker-Vågsberg, fiddle and hardanger fiddle, and Brian Wood, guitar, will perform a concert of Norwegian music Saturday afternoon.  Then Fossegrimen will play the music for the SATURDAY EVENING DANCERS’ BALL from 7 to 11pm on June 18.

Food & Vendor booths, Dancers, Dancing, the Coronation, Bonfire, a Viking Encampment, Beer Garden & More! A very user-friendly schedule avail: www.astoriascanfest.com. Clatsop County Fairgrounds, June 17 – 19, 3-Day admission pass: $7 General, $2 for 6-12, 5 and under FREE.


Violinist Kim Angelis at the Coaster • June 19

Kim Angelis
Violin Virtuoso and Composer Kim Angelis performs a concert at 3pm, on June 19 at the Coaster Theater in Cannon Beach.  The Astoria-based artist known admiringly in the region as the Gypsy Violinist, Angelis is an internationally acclaimed violinist who has successfully transcended artistic boundaries – the music is built on a solid classical foundation, but the inspiration flows freely from the Romany Diaspora of Eastern Europe, Russia, and Spain. Angelis’ brilliant compositions showcase the beauty, power, and excitement of her playing. Jean Bartlett, managing editor of Ink Notes, writes, “Angelis… literally sings each string like a gypsy poet. Through breathtaking cadenzas and tender passages. … it is her own composed music which constantly brings the audience to their feet because it is of earth and yet not.”

The passionate music of Kim Angelis has been featured on network TV, PBS, NPR, and during the 2000 Olympics, when world champion gymnast Kui Yuanyuan of China used Kim’s music for her floor exercise. For ten years, Angelis’ first CD, Violin Voyager, resided on the Taiwanese Billboard charts. The film Sweet Nothings features her music, which was nominated for Best Original Score by the California Independent Film Society and Best Score by the International Independent Film Tour. Her 1996 CD, Esperanza, was selected as a “Choice Recording” by Strings magazine and received a nomination by Just Plain Folks for Best Instrumental Album. Kim’s 2005 release, Gypsy’s Odyssey, made Top Ten lists from Santa Cruz, CA, to Herford, Germany. In 2007, her song, “Zingaro!” won Global Rhythm Magazine’s international songwriting competition. In 2009, the violinist’s music was once again heard throughout the international sports scene, as Junior World Champion gymnast Amelia Racea of Romania performed her floor routines to a Kim Angelis recording.

A NEW RELEASE
The Prophecy, A Gypsy’s Journey. 2011
Kim Angelis continues to breath life and soul into her majestic violin compositions. The Prophecy is 11 tracks, inspired by the Book of Isaiah., and each track on the CD, Angelis relates to a passage and to personal stories.

Recorded at Moody Studios in Los Angeles, and Big REd Studio in Corbett, OR, Angelis is joined by numerous instrumentalists, adding paino, clarinet , accordion, percussion, oud, her husand Josef Gault on guitar, and a second flemenco guitarist Ciro Hurtado.

Utilizing diverse instrumentation, and arrangements, Angelis brilliantly colors and enhances  the stories she tells through the single instrument, her voice, the violin.  Whether there was added arrangement,  or even the accompanying stories within the CD package, Angelis interprets the tale single-handedly.

The inimitable warmth and flair that project from her violin, dance, cry, and soar.  Each composition develops a strong and memorable theme, the violin leading the way.

However, the arrangements enhance and surprise. Track 2,  Seven Trees, beigns with a sultry clarinet, that then playfully chases  the violin through the tune. Track 5, Isaiah 53, is a beautiful duet between piano and violin, with the meanderings of the kanun (a zither type instrument). As well the piano enahnces the meloncholic, and highly expresive Track 8, Astoria Gloria —  here Angelis represents  the muted grey Astoria sky in a haunting reverie, and dynamically opens up the sky to silver light, with the virtuosic use of the bow.

Angelis will perform new works at the concert, accompanied by flemenco guitarist Josef Gault. Her lastest effort is a complex set of compositions, but never without the free spirit flowing, and the pieces that are the dance. Joining Angelis are belly dancers Jessamyn Grace and Erika McKay, of the Astoria Arts and Movement Center.  CD Purchase at www.skysong.com.
$10 Admission. 108 N. Hemlock, Cannon Beach. 3pm


QFolk – June 2011

Edie and Thea MarriedFILM
Edie and Thea: A Very Long Engagement

In the closeted 1960s, two young women meet and fall in love – and so begins the extraordinary tale of Edie and Thea, whose engagement to each other would span more than forty years.

Ultimately, in their 70s, with Thea’s health in rapid decline, the two seize the opportunity to fulfill their dream of getting married. The film captures their inspiring journey to Toronto – and Thea’s last trip on a plane – where Edie and Theathe lovers are finally able to make their vows. Told with candor, wit, and great affection, Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement is an American love story for the ages.

Sunday, June 5, 3pm at the Columbian Theater, 11th and Marine. Presented by PFLAG Oregon North Coast and The Columbian Theater. FREE. Everyone Welcome.

Clatsop County Diversity Committee
At 1pm on Thursday, May 26th, at the Judge Boyington Building in Astoria, County Commissioner Scott Lee, the recently appointed head of the Diversity Committee, welcomed everyone to the committee’s second public meeting.

He then introduced Mayor Willis Van Dusen, who gave a brief history of the Diversity Committee, which was formed two years ago in response to complaints of racism being experienced by members of the Coast Guard stationed in Astoria.

After the formation of the committee, it was relatively inactive, until a recent report of racist taunts being directed at Job Corps students on a local bus made its way into The Daily Astorian. In response to this, the committee had a public forum, and Thursday’s meeting was the follow-up from first public session.

Norma Hernandez, of the Lower Columbia Hispanic Council, then introduced the guest speaker, Mr. Frank Garcia, Jr., the Office of the Governor’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion. Mr Garcia spoke of diversity as the awareness of cultural differences, and inclusion as the process of working through the differences to achieve a successful outcome. He said that diversity inclusion was the only way to stay competitive in today’s global economy. The message conveyed, that we can’t afford to waste any of Oregon’s human resources, and we can’t afford to waste money dealing with the problems that a lack of diversity awareness can cause.

After Mr. Garcia’s presentation, a discussion followed. Those present were enthusiastic about a pro-active Diversity Committee being an essential part of raising diversity and cultural awareness in the Lower Columbia area.

The next public meeting of the Diversity Committee will be Thursday, June 23rd, 6 pm. For further information, contact Scott Lee – slee@co.clatsop.or.us.

Q-Community Events

Q-JAZZ at the Bridgewater Bistro
The Bridgewater Bistro in Astoria begins a new offering this spring/summer season. Q-Jazz and Song Social invites the LGBTQ Community and friends the third Thursday of each month to enjoy the Basin St. Northwest Jazz Trio, complimentary apps, and piano bar hosted by friends and performance associates Dinah Urell and Walt Trumbull.

Arrive at 8pm for complimentary appetizers and catch a sampling of Basin St. NW piano trio led by Chuck Wilder, featuring guitarist Dave Drury,  and bassist Todd Pederson. Urell and Trumbull welcome guests in song and open the mic for folks who would like to sing, in the vein of American standards, jazz and blues. Expertise not required.

The event, underway last month proved to be a spacious and welcoming social gathering. Many expressed gratitude to Dana Gunderson for hosting the Qmixer for a number of years at the Cannery Cafe, destroyed in the Astoria, Dec 16 Riverfront fire. Owners of the Bridgewater, Ann and Tony Kitchner are happy to welcome the community.

PFLAG OREGON NORTH COAST
Our monthly meeting will be Thursday, June 16th – 6:30 pm at the Arts & Cultural Exchange, 120 10th Street, Suite #2, Astoria, OR.

Our guest speaker will be Jeanne St.John of the Oregon Central Coast PFLAG – a very active chapter! Come learn the secrets of their success!

PFLAG – Parents, Family, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Everyone welcome.

Questions? Contact Drew – drewherzig@yahoo.com.


Network – Community Listings

WORKSHOPS/CLASSES

Two Part Pottery Workshop for Children. On Saturday, June 8, kids will be making handmade pasta bowls. The second session on Saturday, June 25 will focus on colorful glazing techniques in the Italian tradition. Free, 1 – 3pm both days, at the Seaside Library.

Scene Writing in Seven Steps. Saturday, June 18. With Jennifer Lauck. Learn the key ingredients to formulating the single most important aspect of good writing–the scene–with Jennifer Lauck who has created a recipe all writers can follow in order to create a juicy, tactile, focused and depth filled scene.   All levels and genres welcome. $50, 10am – 3pm at the Hoffman Center in Manzanita. Download a registration form here: http://hoffmanblog.org/manzanita-writers-series/workshops-2011-2.

Painting Coastal Color and Light. June 22, 23, 24. With Michael Orwick. Join this noted plein air artist in scenic Cannon Beach and learn how to put life and personality into your landscapes. The workshop is scheduled from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day, but Michael is also inviting students to join him for informal sunrise and sunset paint outs at no additional charge. Open to painters of any level. For more information, contact DragonFire Gallery. 503-436-1533.

Attract Songbirds to Your Yard. A free talk entitled “How to Attract Songbirds to Your Backyard” will be given by Dawn Graf of US Fish and Wildlife on Friday June 10 at 7 PM at the Cannon Beach Chamber/Community Hall. Dawn will also lead a songbird hike on the Cannon Beach Trail the following morning, Saturday June 11 at 8 AM. Please meet at the birding platform near the Cannon Beach lagoons at the east end of 2nd Street. All are welcome! This event is sponsored by the Ecola Creek Awareness Project (ECAP). For questions call Jan at 503-436-0143.

Beginning Birding. June 28. Discovery Coast Coordinator Mary Atherton will teach a one hour beginning birding class on the 4th Tuesday of each month, emphasizing a different group of birds each month. Free, 2pm at the Lighthouse Oceanfront resort in Long Beach, WA Space is limited, please RSVP at meetup.com/Discovery-Coast.

Tide Pool Edibles. June 19 or July 3. With Lee Gray, the Wild Gourmet. $30 for adults, children under 12 $15. ODFW license required. 9am for June 19, 8am for July 2, at NW 15th St beach access in Lincoln City. 541-992-3798

Hawaiian Small Plates Demo Class. $50, includes meal & wine. 11am – 2pm at the Culinary Center in Lincoln City.

COURAGE TO HEAL. There is a free workshop coming up in Tillamook County called, “Courage to Heal.”  It is a free workshop for women survivors of child sexual abuse.  This workshop runs annually during the summer months, and generally lasts about ten weeks.  The group meets once a week.One in three girls will be sexually abused by the age of 16, yet many survivors feel alone and ashamed.  This workshop is healing, empowering, and supportive. The local facilitator of this group is Rhonda Bolow, and she can be reached at 503-801-5064.  Once Rhonda has spoken with participants, days/times of meetings will be set, based on what is most convenient for the group.  You can also contact the Women’s Resource Center at 503-842-9486 for more info.  Please pass this on to anyone who might be interested.

DOES FOOD RUN YOUR LIFE? Come to Overeaters Anonymous every Wednesday from 7-8pm in the Seaside Public Library, Board Room B. No dues, fees or weigh-ins. Everyone welcome! (if you have questions call 503-505-1721).

FREE COMPUTER CLASSES AT TILLAMOOK COUNTY LIBRARIES. Tillamook County Libraries will be offering free basic computer classes this fall. Sign up for a free one-on-one session where you can ask questions and learn at your own pace. Classes will be held on Saturdays at the Tillamook County Library September 11th, 18th and 25th and October 2nd and 9th. Additional sessions will be held at library branches in October and November. Registration is limited, so contact your local library soon and reserve your space.

SPIRITUAL WRITING FOR MEN AND WOMEN. Instructor Gail Balden is a writer, educator and workshop presenter with over 30 years of teaching experience. Her work has been published in anthologies, literary journals and national magazines. She teaches one-day writing workshops and writes a monthly column on the joys of small town life for the North Coast Citizen. Visit her web site at www.creativejourneys.net.

French Conversation Group Re-Start. The group is devoted to speaking French only. It is NOT a class, so please do not show up expecting to learn French from scratch. Once you step through the door of the Riverbend Room, it is French only. It will be on Saturdays, from 1-3pm at NCRD in the Riverbend Room. There is a nominal charge of $1/person/time. For more information email Jane or call her 503-368-3901 or, call Paul Miller at 503-368-5715.

Library2Go Basics. Second Saturday of each month 9:00am-10:00am. Over 5000 audio books and videos can be downloaded to computers and digital devices through the Library2Go database accessible through the Astoria Public Library web site. All downloads are free to access with your library card. Learn the how to make the most of this extraordinary resource. Free, at the Astoria Public Library.

Computer Basics. Third Saturday of each month 9:00am-10:00am. If you’re new to PC computers or just needing to update basic skills, this class is for you. Each class is tailored to meet the needs of participants. Free, at the Astoria Public Library.

The Lower Columbia Classics Car Club. Invitation to all who are interested in Collector Cars to attend one of our monthly meetings. The meetings are held at Steve Jordan’s Shop Building, located at 35232 Helligso Lane in rural Astoria – meet on the 3rd Thursday of each month. If you are interested and need the directions to get there, you may call Steve Jordan at 503-325-1807

Library2Go. Classes will be held on the 2nd Saturday of each month, in the Flag Room of the Astoria Public Library, 450 10th Street, Astoria. This class is free of charge and open to everyone. Please contact the library for details and registration at 503-325-7323 or comments@astorialibrary.org.

Open Art Night. 5:30 to 7 PM –1st & 3rd Weds. Bay City Arts Center, Bay City.

Life Drawing. 6 to 9 PM. Every 2nd & 4th Weds. Bay City Arts Center, Bay City.

Toddler Arts Group. Every Monday, 10:30 to 11:30 –Get your toddler started in the arts! Activities are geared towards ages 1–3, but age birth–5 are welcome. All children must be accompanied by a caregiver. Bay City Arts Center, Bay City. t

CELEBRATE RECOVERY • Nazarene Church, 2611 3rd St, Tillamook. Adult & teen 12 step program. Child care provided. Call 503-812-3522 for more information. Tuesdays, 7-9, Dinner at 6 by donation.

OPEN ART NIGHT WITH PHAEDRA. Bay City Arts Center, 5680 A St, 5-7pm on Wednesdays.


BODY WORK•YOGA•FITNESS

YOGA NAMASTE. The Spring 2011 Yoga schedule starts March 28 and ends June 4, 2011. During the 10 week term you can enjoy GENTLE YOGA-LEVEL 1 at 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays. LEVEL 1-2 (Beginner and Intermediate) Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays at 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Level 2-3 (Intermediate and Advanced) Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays at 6:15 to 8:45 a.m. LEVEL 1-2 Yoga flow at 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays. For more information: www.yoganam.com or call: 503 440 9761YOGA RESTORATIVE. Private Individual Therapeutic and Restorative Yoga instruction with certified, Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher SarahFawn Wilson, MA, RYT-500. Private group classes also available. For more information and for public class schedule, please call 503-440-6738 or email serraphon@msn.com.

ECSTATIC DANCE. Ecstatic, trance, yogic, spirit filled), playful, improvisational, freestyle – We’re Dancing! Wed. at 6:30 at Pine Grove Community House, 225 Laneda Ave. in Manzanita. No experience necessary. You are welcome to bring Instruments of any sort to play along with what we’ve got going. Cost is a sliding scale from $5 – $7, or free if you really need to just be there.

LOTUS YOGA. 1230 Marine Drive, Downtown Astoria. Ongoing classes on a month to month basis. Evening Classes Monday thru Thursday 6:00 PM: Monday Level 1 Yoga for Relaxation. Tuesday Level 2 Strengthening. Wednesday Level 1 Beginning Flow. Thursday Level 2 Advanced Flow. Morning class Friday 9:00AM All Level THERAPEUTIC Yoga. Dedicated to making Yoga an accessible part of everyday living. Call (503)298-3874, Email lotusyoga@live.com, website www.lotusyogaonline.com for more information.

YOGA NAMASTÉ.The Spring 2011 Yoga schedule at Yoga Namasté starts March 28 and ends June 4. During the 11 week term you can enjoy GENTLE YOGA-LEVEL 1 at 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. LEVEL 1-2 (Beginner and Intermediate) Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays at 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Level 2-3 (Intermediate and Advanced) Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays at 6:15 to 8:45 a.m. LEVEL 1-2 Yoga flow at 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays. For more information: www.yoganam.com or call: 503 440 9761

YOGA SMA EXPLORATION. Yoga instructor Linda Sanderlin LMT, introduces SMA yoga, a practice evolved from Feldenkrais and Alexander technique, found to be very effective for people with a limited range of motion. Tues and Sat. classes at Parinamah in Manzanita. $5 p/class. FMI: Call Linda (503)867-3943; or via e-mail: 4lsanderlin@gmail.com.

YOGA NCRD. Monday, Yoga Of The Heart, 8:15 am – 9:45 am Instructor: Lorraine Ortiz (no drop ins). Monday, Level II, 5:45 pm – 7:15 pm Instructor: Nicole Hamic Wednesday, Yoga Stretch, 8:15 am – 9:45 am Instructor: Lucy Brook Thursday, Level I, 5:45 pm – 7:15 pm Instructor: Charlene Gernert Friday, Very Gentle Yoga, 8:15 am – 9:45 am Instructor: Lucy Brook Saturday, Mixed Levels, 8:00 am – 9:30 am Instructor: Lorraine Ortiz.

YOGA • Manzanita. The Center for the Contemplative Arts, Manzanita: Tuesday evenings 5 – 5:45pm. $35 for 5 classes. Call 368-6227 for more info.

Yoga in Gearhart. Gearhart Workout. For more information log on to www.gearhartworkout.com 3470 Hwy. 101 N. Suite 104 in Gearhart

YOGA • Nehalem. Ongoing yoga classes at NCRD are as follows: Monday, Level II, 5:15-6:45 pm, Nicole Hamic; Wednesday, Morning Yoga Stretch, 8-9:30 am, Lucy Brook; Thursday, Yoga for Parents & Kids, 3:45-4:45 pm, Charlene Gernert; Thursday, Level I, 5:45 – 7:15 pm, Charlene Gernet; Friday, Very Gentle Yoga, 8-9:30 am, Lucy Brook.

T’AI CHI. The Center for the Contemplative Arts, Manzanita: Wednesday Mornings 10-11:30. $30/month. Call 368-6227 for more info.

TAEKWON-DO. Confidence, discipline, self-esteem and respect are only a few of the traits you will develop in this class while improving overall fitness. Ages: 8 -Adult families welcome! Mondays / Wednesdays, 6:00 – 7:00pm, through June 17th. Session Fee: $24 Resident’s Card / $36 Non-resident. Location: Bob Chisholm Community Center – 1225 Ave. A, Seaside For Registration call the POOl: 503:738-3311 Center – 1225 Ave. A, Seaside For Registration call the POOl: 503:738-3311 POOl: 503:738-3311 Center – 1225 Ave. A, Seaside For Registration call the POOl: 503:738-3311

LEARN SELF DEFENSE IN ILWACO. Kenpo Karate for Adults. River City School, 127 SE Lake St, Tuesdays @ 7:00pm – 8:45pm, $45/mo Inquire /sign up: jbgroove1@juno.com phone: 360-665-0860. 7:00pm – 8:45pm, KENPOKarate for Kids -River City School, 127 Lake Street SE, Ilwaco, Every Thursday @ 4:00pm – 5:00pm, $45/mo.


SPIRITUALITY

TIBETAN BUDDHIST DHARMA GROUP. Dharma River, meets Mondays 7:30 – 9 pm, 1230 Marine Dr., Suite 304 in Lotus Yoga’s studio. Meditation, sadhana practice, teachings & discussion. Dharma River is a satellite of the Portland Sakya Center. Contact Dharma teacher, Rosetta Hurley, 338-9704 for more info.

Center For Spiritual Living of the North Coast. CSLNC is for those who want to grow spiritually, all faiths and paths welcome. Sunday Celebration and Children’s Church 10:30 a.m, 66 4th St., Warrenton. www.centerforspiritualliving.org and 503-791-2192.

A SILENT MEDITATION • with Lola Sacks. St. Catherine’s Center for the Contemplative Arts, Manzanita: Monday Nights 5 – 5:45 Call 368-6227 for more info.

LECTIO DIVINA • Meditation with Holy Scripture. The Center for the Contemplative Arts, Manzanita: Tuesday Mornings 10-11:30. Call 368-6227 for more info.

LABYRINTH WALK • Grace Episcopal Church, 1545 Franklin St, Astoria, 3-6. Every 1st Sunday.


VOLUNTEER

SHARE YOUR MUSICAL TALENT. If you have musical or performance talents to share, we need you at Nehalem Valley Care Center in Wheeler, Oregon. We are a skilled care center and our residents enjoy, and benefit from, music therapies and entertainment. Professionals and amateurs welcome – all ages!! CONTACT: Katherine Mace, Activity Director, Nehalem Valley Care Center, kmace@nehalemtel.net, 503-368-5171

Weekly Alder Creek Farm Community Garden. Work Parties – Tuesdays, 10 am – Noon. Help out the Coastal Food Ecology Center, community garden, permaculture garden and harvesting for the Wheeler Food Bank. Tasks may include: greenhouse and garden weeding, planting, and watering.


MEETINGS

ENCORE Retirement Learning Community. Is an association of retirement-age people who share a love of learning. Established in 2001 by a Steering Committee of retired adults, ENCORE is sponsored by Clatsop Community College. We meet for lunch the first Tuesday of every month. We try to alternate between North and South County, so look for these Community Notes in your local Newspaper to see the place of choice. Our Lunch Bunch get-togethers are a wonderful venue for meeting classmates over lunch, as well as new friends. Remember all guests that might be interested in ENCORE, or just want to know what we’re all about, are welcome. Please call Madeline Gobel, 503 325-3330.

BREASTFEEDING INFORMATION & SUPPORT. La Leche League’s monthly support group meetings provide an opportunity for both new and experienced mothers to share their questions or concerns, and to talk with each other about the special joys and challenges of parenting. We especially encourage expectant and new mothers to join us. Healthy babies and toddlers are always welcome at La Leche League meetings. We look forward to seeing you soon. Second Monday of the month at 10am- Astoria.


DAY CAMPS

Slug Soup. Art for Young People with Unique Tastes – Children’s Art Day Camp. June 27 – July 1. 10am – 2pm at Nestucca Junior/Senior High School in Cloverdale. Contact: Kim Cavatorta 503-392-4581

Beach Art. June 27 – July 1. New projects each day. Stepping stones, garden flags & beads, Beach find art, paint brush handle art, notecards, memory book, and homemade ice cream. $12/day or $50 for the week. 10am – 1:30pm, lunch included. At the Bay City Arts Center. 503-377-9620

Spend the Week Outdoors at Nature Adventure Camp & Naturalist Survival Camp
Lewis and Clark National Historical Park
July 11-15 & July 18-22

L&C CampCampers can choose from TWO exciting camps in Summer 2011 as educators from the Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership and Lewis and Clark National Historical Park join together to explore the area’s trails, water and animals.

Nature Adventure Camp, held July 11-15, features a week’s worth of adventures at the park and nearby, as well as an overnight in Fort Clatsop! Nature Adventure Camp is open to students entering fourth grade through sixth grade. The cost is $125.

Naturalist Survival Camp, held July 18-22, takes campers on the water and to the woods, deep into the park and other sites, as they explore and practice skills to survive and thrive in nature, including an overnight camping trip at the beach. This camp is open to students entering seventh and eighth grades. The cost is $135.

Hours for both camps are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. For the Thursday overnights, drop off is at 9 a.m. Thursday and pickup is at 11 a.m. Friday. Enrollment for both camps is limited and scholarships are available.

The registration deadline for both camps is July 1. To register, visit www.lcrep.org. For more information, please call Annie Kleffner at (503) 226-1565, Ext. 225. You can also find out more by calling (503) 861-4422.


Quinceñera, Ties That Bind

Quincenera
This week I attended a quinceñera, the first I’ve attended for a young woman I know. For those unfamiliar with the tradition, a quinceñera is a grand fiesta given for a girl who has turned fifteen and made vows, at a special mass, to be a strong and loving woman. For a mental snapshot, imagine little girls in pinwheel-bright dresses playing crack the whip on strappy heels, little boys in three-piece black suits and white ties, shirttails sprung from their trousers as they dart through the room or knuckle-bump their elders. Old and young women and men attired primly in a hall decked out from the disco ball to the shiny dance floor. Folding chairs disguised by crisp white coverlets and bows of purple tulle. Tulle draped from the ceiling and across elaborately decorated reception tables donning a multi-tiered cake. Every white-clothed table in the hall is likewise draped and packed with eager guests. A catered dinner is served and drinks flow, all against a rousing salsa beat. The birthday girl, the “quinceñera,” performs a waltz and other choreographed numbers with half a dozen teenage boys she has selected for the honor (all dressed to the nines). And then, when the time has finally comes, guests rise like a flock of pigeons and dance to the wee hours of morn.

As someone who issued from a culture very different from the Latino, I couldn’t help mentally tallying the tab. My daughter “came of age” a few years ago, and let’s just say I didn’t slaughter the fatted calf. I probably made cupcakes and ordered pizza for her and her friends. At a quinceñera there are layers upon layers of expense—from professional photography, to food and drink, to clothing and professional hair styling, to live bands and DJs, to bridal-scale dresses, to party favors. The events require months of planning and copious resources. I had to stop and remind myself that this party was like no Anglo party I had attended. It was a product of a community tight-knit on a scale unfathomable by my experiences. And its purpose was distinct to its cultural context, to honor the unique coming-of-age of women, because women are the spiritual backbone, the force of healing energy and heart for their communities.

 

Almost every aspect of a quinceñera is provided by close friends and family of the girl, who are affectionately titled “padrinos.” An intimately close friend or relative might provide a large item, such as photography and videography, while another friend might provide the girl’s slippers or a special photo album. A quinceñera party is an explosion of participation, generosity and friendship from several dozen people who contribute to make it possible. A non-Latino might look at such a party and wonder how parents pull it off. But the parents don’t pull it off. An entire community pulls it off. That is the distinction, a powerful distinction, that sets child-raising in Latino culture apart. It takes a village, a pueblo, and it goes without saying.

I am an onlooker at such events as quinceñeras. But I know enough about the local Latino community to know that relationships between families or between individuals in the community are often imperfect. Like all human communities, it holds its share of grudges, petty disputes, deep hurts, and delicate history. And yet.
And yet, when a family needs support to usher their child across the threshold of womanhood, when a baby is baptized, when a couple gets married, when someone is in need, people lay aside their differences and come together. They provide for each other. Personal rifts aside, everyone shares the same dance floor—parties to broken marriages, parties to broken business deals, parties to broken friendships, political differences, soured love. All because a girl went and turned fifteen. And it is, after all, about the children, the future generations, and the ties that bind us together to hold them up.


Himani Indian Cuisine Made with Love!

Himani Indian CuisineCUSTOMERS lined up early for the complimentary buffet offered at the much-anticipated opening of Himani Indian Cuisine in Astoria, this last week in May.   It was a generous gift from the Kancharla family to the community.

The Kancharlas have lived in Astoria for nearly two decades, operating several adult foster care homes in the area. Three years ago, Mani Kancharla, wanting to share Indian culture and her love of cooking with her fellow Astorians, opened a food booth at the Sunday Market. The high quality of the fare offered at the stand soon generated many loyal customers who lobbied strongly for a restaurant. Although they have no previous experience operating a restaurant, the Kancharlas have obliged.

Himani Indian CuisineThe first impression upon entering the restaurant is from the warm aroma of exotic spices that infuses the entire space. In contrast, the dining area is appointed with understated elegance. The food is of a level beyond what one might expect to get at an Indian restaurant in a small town like Astoria. Mani Kancharla, who is functionally Himani’s Executive Chef, translates her love of cooking and hospitality into her cuisine. You can taste the love and care that goes into every item, the food is that good.

The ambitious menu offers nearly 50 entrees originating from all over India, with an emphasis on dishes from the south. Southern Indian cuisine revolves around rice or meat. It is rich and aromatic, with a liberal use of exotic spices and ghee (clarified butter).

Nearly half of the entrees are vegetarian with a large variety of curries available. Especially good is Hyderabadi Bagara Baigan, a curry of eggplant stuffed with peanut, coconut and sesame seed paste; flavored with tamarind and served with Basmati rice. The complex layering of flavors in the curry marries well with the eggplant resulting in a satisfying dish that this writer will want to eat again and again.

Himani Indian Cuisine

Executive Chef Mani Kancharia (r), and son Will, restaurant manager.

South Indian specialties available at Himani include dosa: crepes made from lentil and rice flour served with coconut chutney and sambar (a spicy vegetable stew).  Biriyani: rice with seasonings and meat and/or vegetables slow-cooked in a sealed pot is another traditional Southern dish.

A favorite of this writer is the Biriyani with Lamb. Rice with succulent chunks of lamb marinated in yogurt and spices is slow-cooked to perfection. The tender lamb nearly melts in the mouth; the rice absorbs all of the flavors of the meat juices and seasonings. A cool riata of seasoned yogurt is served on the side.

Himani Indian CuisineAnother personal favorite, not listed on the menu, but available at the Lunch Buffet is Rasam: a broth-like soup made with tamarind, tomato, chili and spices. The sweet-sour of the tamarind together with the subtle heat of the chili will cause me to crave Rasam some cold winter day when I am feeling under the weather.

Prices at Himami are moderate with appetizers and sides running from $2 – $8, entrees $9 – $18, beverages and desserts are $2 and $4, respectively. The all-you-can-eat lunch buffet is $10.

Himani Indian Cuisine is located in downtown Astoria at 1044 Marine Drive.

Open Monday – Saturday with only the lunch buffet available from 11am – 2:30pm, and dinner from the menu at  5 – 9pm. Himani will also be at the Astoria Sunday Market from 10am – 3pm until October 9.


Astoria Music Festival 2011 • June 17-24

Sergey Antonov

Cellist Sergey Antonov, Festival Favorite

BICENTENNIAL BEETHOVEN is the theme this year for the 9th Annual Astoria Music Festival. While the Columbia River shore was in raw transition, a place of hope for immigrants and pioneers, a place of loss to American Indians, one of the world’s most influential composers was creating the stirring Symphony No. 7, known for its expression of spontaneity, and a favorite work of Beethoven himself.  Written in 1811, Russian cellist Sergey Antonov, beloved returning festival artist, performs this ode to Astoria’s founding year with one of Ludwig’s most romantic themes and opens the festival on Friday, June 17.

A second theme stands out for AMF 2011. VOCAL EXPLOSION. And a third . . . AWARD Winners! This year the corridors of the Liberty Theater will fill with unadulterated vocal forte. Honoring the maturity of AMF, and its ever-growing respect for excellence in summer music festivals, 20 year Met vet, and one of America’s finest sopranos, and by all measures the embodiment of the Coloratura Diva, RUTH ANN SWENSON, makes a rare Northwest appearance. San Francisco Classical Voice describes her, “with technique to spare; power, agility, effortless projection!!!!!

Ruth Ann Swenson

Ruth Ann Swenson graces the AMF Stage

Ms. Swenson will appear in solo with the Festival Orchestra on Sunday, June 19 in a concert of Mozart and Mahler. Not to miss. In addition, in a mid-week music event at the CCC PAC,  Swenson and opera coach David Burnakus lead a rare public master class with AMF vocal apprentices, as they put the finishing touches on “The Marriage of Figaro.” (This year the Vocal Apprentice Program will return in July to stage the opera in OPERA FOR 5 BUCKS at the Astoria Arts and Movement Center.) The second part of the program will view the Academy Award winning film In the Shadow of the Stars, featuring Swenson and Burnakus in a behind-the-scenes view of the San Francisco Opera Chorus.  In addition to AMF formal classical performances, these sideshows, so to speak, bring accessibility, and shear fun to the festival music.

Angela Meade

Angela Meade, Richard Tucker Award Winner

The winner of the 2011 prestigious Richard Tucker award, is an up and coming soprano, born and raised in Centralia, Washington, ANGELA MEADE.  The operative guideline for the Richard Tucker Award is that it be awarded to an American singer poised on the edge of a major national and international career. It is hoped that the award acts as a well-timed catalyst to elevate the artist’s career to even greater heights, in addition to a $30,000 cash award. Previous winners include Ruth Anne Swenson and Rénee Fleming.

Angela Meade will be featured in the festival season’s concert production opera selection, Verdi’s “Il Trovatore.” She is joined by principal and founding member of the festival and foremost American baritone Richard Zellar, (whose gutsy rendition of “Bill” from Carousel at AMF 2010 blew everybody joyously away). The duo, which performed last summer in Portland’s Washington Park have Oregonian critics steering audiences to this coming AMF performance.

VERDI’S IL TROVATORE tells of Gypsies, love triangles, unrelenting revenge and many a familiar opera theme, not excluding the ANVIL CHORUSThe North Coast Chorale will do the honors, as well the Coast’s favorite baritone Deac Guidi plays the role of Ferrando. Go early, at 6:30pm – Robert Kingston of the Portland Opera delivers a preview on the work. Go earlier and enjoy a Happy Hour Concert, ($10), featuring violinist Roy Malan, Ian Scarfe, piano and friends for Gypsy-inspired music. Saturday, June 25.

Richard Zeller

Baritone Richard Zellar

Astoria’s Music Festival Director Keith Clark is a busy conductor who graces the AMF stage with his conducting as well as his unmatchable charm and prowess when it comes to educating audiences in performance previews – bringing a fresh and always timely context to the works. This year due to his schedule, qualified stand-ins will continue the tradition, so important to Clark in expressing the connection to classical themes and to the significance of keeping symphonic music alive and well in the 21st century.

So important that Clark and last year’s AMF production of WOZZECK are semi-finalists in the new AMERICAN PRIZE, a national organization with a mission to bolster small company opera performance and conducting. AMF and Clark are the only West Coast candidates in the opera division.

The formation of the The American Prize,  is based on excellence, not restricted to famous names, or any single city on either coast, or the most prestigious companies, but according to its chief judge David Katz is based on “talent, love of the art, hard work and commitment that makes the difference.”

In 2009, AMF saw a noted 15% in ticket sales. In 2010, a 20% increase in sales. And in 2011, an unprecedented increase in pre-sales. It has steadfastly become a summer opera opportunity par excellence on the west coast, while other opera companies are taking a rest.

BeethovenPresident of the Board of AMF LEENA RIKER is happy to report these numbers. While funding is always the challenge in the arts, it is the people behind the organizations that either make it work, or it doesn’t. This is Riker’s third season. Riker is the person who makes sure the singers are coming, she is the business backbone behind the scenes. An all-volunteer position, Riker in her 70’s, proves that life experience is of the utmost value.  In addition to a gracious commitment of time and care for this festival, you can’t really put a price on that.  A collective operatic BRAVO to Ms. Riker for doing the hard work so that we can all reap the benefits of this amazing musical feat that occurs every June.

Ticket sales don’t pay the piper for any festival, but then again, they speak loudly to benefactors. And quality of performance speaks loudly to audience. This is why ticket buyers and critics are catching on to AMF. This publication puts the music festival on the cover every year. Yes, the publisher is a biased music lover – a biased music lover who voraciously encourages you to get some tickets. You have two weeks not to screw-up.  Live orchestral music is on the up, as is acoustic music of all genres, and people dancing! Despite our new dependency on a different kind of lit screen – lets hope it’s our new version at a chance for more freedom to experience “human” potential, and that “art”remains our essential.


Handel and His Mad King • Sat June 18
This promises to be an exciting evening as AMF 2010 tenor John Duykers returns. Duykers memorably portrayed the Captain in AMF’s Wozzeck, and is a prominent American operatic tenor, known for his work in modern and contemporary opera. Duykers career has involved testing the waters on new projects.
One of his most celebrated roles was that of Mao Tse-Tung (an extraordinarily testing part) in the 1987 world-premiere of John Adams’ Nixon in China, which was televised (winning an Emmy Award), and recorded (winning a Grammy Award).

The Mad King

John Duykers is The Mad King

AMF 2011 Duykers brings to the stage, EIGHT SONGS FOR A MAD KING. This is a staged theater piece for singing actor and instruments. Composed in the 70’s by Peter Maxwell Davies, it was written specifically for a South African actor who specialized in advanced vocal technique. It requires the performer to sing in both bass and alto registers as well as produce a vast range of other sounds. In essence, to express madness. In an interview with Davies, he stated it was not a piece that he had considered for additional performances, and thus the work has probably not been performed too frequently. The inspiration behind the piece was a musical box, with which George III (who did eventually die through a long mental illness), had reputedly tried to teach his birds to sing. Classical reviewer Robert Hugill describes it as a music-theatre piece that gives a visceral thrill in performance.

Also on the performance roster for the eve, is music by Handel, (the Kings favorite composer) with SOPRANO AMY HANSON, ORGANIST JULIA BROWN and the North Coast Chorale; Music from Solomon and Samson and Organ Concerto in F Major, (a virgin instrument to AMF 20011).  A Prelude show at 6:30pm features Amy Hanson singing English Lute Songs.  Featured concert at 7:30pm at the Liberty Theater.

Joanne RideoutON the Road with Mozart: An Evening of Words and Music
Thur. June 23
Coast Community Radio’s Joanne Rideout tells the story of “Mozarts Journey to Prague, ” a romantic fantasy depicting the composer and his wife on the way to the opening night of Don Giovanni. Funny, moving, the story paints a picture of Mozart’s creative genius – it heights and depths. The work is based on Edward Morike’s masterpice of German Literature. Joanne is joined by soprano Amy Hanson, Baritone Deac Guidi and the Festival Chamber Players. 7:30pm at the CCC PAC. Tickets are available at the door, $15.

Too Much Coffee Man • The Comic Book Opera
Tues. June 27
Its back – with a refill!  AMF 2010, Too Much Coffee Man stole the show, as they say, and charged up even the decaf drinkers in the audience. Comic book author SHANNON WHEELER collaborated with opera composer Daniel Stevens Craft, and debuted the work to sold out audiences at the Portland Center for Performing Arts in 2006.  Since then there has been a sequel, and for those who attended last years performance, there’s more. The brilliantly funny comic chamber opera is certainly worth a second cup, sequel or not. (and yes, we find out what happens to the hot Barista).

Too Much Coffee Man

Too Much Coffee Man is in for a refill!

Too Much Coffee Man, is a caffeine-addled Superhero-Everyman who’s in love with his barista. Trouble brews when Espresso Guy, a cynical opportunist, also makes a play for the ambitious but frustrated young barista. The characters must resolve the age-old dilemma: Can coffee and relationships co-exist?

Accompanying the trio of performers is a trio of musicians; piano, string bass and clarinet. The score is refreshingly modern, and quirky. STACEY MURDOCH ( a former AMF opera performer), embodies the anxious-ridden, over-the-top Coffee Man with continual internal dialogues on love and insecurities, (sporting a very large mug on his head and red lycra body suit). Murdoch is a talented singer with a healthy set of pipes and dollops of comic genius. Its one thing to put on a ridiculous get-up, and another to give it life.

A treat this year for comic book enthusiasts, author Shannon Wheeler will be in Astoria for the performance and will sign copies of Too Much Coffee Man. AMAZING STORIES Comic Book Store in Astoria will have fresh copies in soon. Wheeler is also currently up for a 2011 EISNER COMIC BOOK AWARD.

7:30pm, CCC PAC, 16th & Franklin, $15.

Kid Classics 4 Kids •  Sat., June 18, June 25
Family Concert and Troll Radio Review Radio Broadcast
Musical stories for kids of all ages hosted by Debbie Twombly and featuring Astoria Music Festival musicians, the Troll, Stinky Toadwort, and the Troll Radio Review Theater Troupe. Broadcast live on Coast Community Radio, KMUN and KTCB. 11:00am. Both dates. Clatsop Community College Performing Arts Center. Free admission with a contribution of canned goods to the Clatsop County Action Food Bank at the door.

Chamber Music At the Churches •  Sun., June 19, 26
Enjoy short informal recitals of chamber music at Astoria Historic Churches at 11:30pm. FREE and post concert refreshments. First Presbyterian Church, 1103 Grand, and First United Methodist Church , 1076 Franklin, respectively.

This year the Music Festival honors Steve Forrester, Publisher/Editor of the Daily Astorian and leader in the Liberty Theatre Restoration. This is a tradition closing AMF, with music and dinner, this year to be held at the Bankers Ballroom following the Beethoven X3 Grand Finale Concert on Sunday, June 26.

AMF Tickets and Full Schedule
The AMF office in downtown Astoria is located at 1271 Commercial in Astoria. 503.325.9896. You can pick up a brochure with a full schedule of events to help you pick and choose events. SINGLE TICKETS are available ranging from $15 – $35. FIRST AND SECOND WEEKEND PASSES are available – these are Best Seat Tickets for 3 events, $80. A Platinum Card includes ALL 9 EVENTS including the Awards Dinner, $250. Festival Gold, ALL 9 EVENTS $175.

Tickets are available through the Liberty Theater Box Office, Tue. – Sat., 2pm – 5:30pm, 503.325.5922, Ext. 55, or on the web, www.ticketswest.com. For more info go to: astoriamusicfestival.org.


Nature of Things

Nature of Things
Eight years away and I have gone back to church. Not just once a week, but twice. My churches are an “ecstatic dance” group and a late-evening Spanish-language mass in Manzanita. What lured me back were the people and the communal sharing of spirit that, in my mind, defines church. My definition of church is formed in defiance of old norms. It fills the vacuum created by my conscious, if temporary, jettisoning of the institution and is as wide and rich as the spectrum of religion and ideology. It is a definition that allows me to share spiritual community, on some level, with almost anyone.

Institutions of all stripes can draw bold lines that exclude people, or elevate to supreme importance doctrines that divide. Yet spirit unifies—in spite of those who wish to meld it to their purposes, to stake a claim to it. The divine spirit in us all is identical and one can no more sculpt and contain it than wind. Spirit unifies, and thus rattles the bigoted religious as well as the bigoted non-religious (whose bigotry is often aimed at the religious). It unseats those who would use it as a tool to dominate. Spirit breathes life into everyone, even those so resistant to spirit, so dedicated to burying it that they seem to be holding their breath.

In truth, I tend to choke on the edges of religious creed. I carry into any religious or spiritual experience more doubt than actual belief. Yet I can simultaneously honor the life-giving religious and spiritual creeds we humans have developed. A creed is nothing more than a system or formulation of core beliefs, and most of us have core beliefs. We may not recite them communally as creeds, and hopefully we do not use our core beliefs as weapons. Yet this doesn’t change the fact that we have them. When the hard angles of creed are used like sharp elbows, to shove people out, to define who is unwanted rather than to iterate vitalizing understandings, then I believe creeds can do more harm than good. Otherwise, they are formulations by groups of like-minded individuals that infuse life with meaning.

The pinnacle of the church experience for me is the connecting of spirit in myself and others. At Santa Catalina, I most experience this in the “passing of peace.” This is a moment in the service, characteristic of liturgical traditions, when people walk around the sanctuary and share “the peace,” shaking the hand of one person after another and saying “la paz.” With each passing of the peace, my spirit goes on a little mating mission, if you can pardon the earthiness of my analogy. The spirit in me looks into the smile of another, touches the radiant fingers of another, and connects with his or her spirit for a potent moment. One hand bony and fragile, another rough, another gentle and passive, almost limp, another childlike, tiny and sweaty and velveteen. Each hand, the portal to a soul.


Seaside Library Writer Series

Wanted: Gentlemen Bank Robber
Author Dane Batty

WantedThursday May 19, at 7pm Seaside Library hosts Dane Batty author of “WANTED: Gentleman Bank Robber”.  The event takes place in the Community Room and there will be book sales, signings, and refreshments.

Author Dane Batty provides readers with a seldom seen look behind the scenes of the life of an expert bank robber.  He gives voice to his uncle, Leslie Rogge, who was once one of the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted Fugitives and featured on the television show America’s Most Wanted, robbing nearly 30 banks and stealing over $2 million dollars.  The chase lasted over 20 years, with three escapes, a sailing trip around the Caribbean, and adventures from Alaska to Antigua.  But it all came to a halt when a 14 year old in Guatemala forced him to turn himself in.

Author Dane Batty resides in Oregon and still finds time to visit his uncle who now lives out his prison sentence at the United States Penitentiary in Beaumont Texas.

Seaside Public Library is located at 1131 Broadway, across from the Youth Center and Swimming Pool.  For more information call (503)738-6742 or visit us at www.seasidelibrary.org and www.facebook.com/seasidepubliclibrary.
River of Words RAIN Fundraiser

Brian DoyleGather together for an evening of  exceptional literary company on Friday, June 3 at 6:30pm.  Northwest authors Robert Michael Pyle and Brian Doyle, are the featured guests on the roster for Clatsop Community literary magazine RAIN.

Needing no introduction in these parts, Robert Michael Pyle, noted naturalist and resident of Grays River, Washington has published 12 books and hundreds of papers, essays, stories and poems. His acclaimed 1987 book Wintergreen describing the devastation caused by unrestrained logging in Washington’s Willapa Hills near his adopted home was the winner of the 1987 John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Nature Writing. His latest, “Mariposa Road: The First Butterfly Big Year”, chronicles his adventures across the continent in 2008 to view and document as many of the native butterflies as possible.

Robert Michael PylePyle is joined by Doyle, award-winning author, essayist, and editor of the University of Portland’s award-wining Portland Magazine. Doyle’s books include Saints Passionate & Peculiar, Credo, & Two Voices. Two Voices won a Christopher Award and a Catholic Press Association Book Award.

A suggested $10 donation includes a copy of RAIN. Baked Alaska is located  at the foot of 12th, on the River Walk in Astoria.  Sponsored by RAIN Magazine, Cannery Pier Hotel, Baked Alaska, and Hipfish.
On Seeing, and Being Seen By, a Mink,
Early One Morning by a Serious River,
By which I mean, you know, a river with some sprawl in it,
Some wet fat, a river ludicrously deeper than it seems to be,
A river you can’t throw a rock over no matter how cool you
Think you are, a river with residents you never hardly really
Actually see, but give you the willies when you do, like this
Mink looking at me with, God bless us, a snake in its mouth.
All sorts of thoughts cross my mind and almost certainly his,
And I am sure the mink is a guy, from the I’d come up there
And kick your ass but I am busy stare, which I have received
Many times in life. I think about having snakes for breakfast,
And about how a mink is mostly a muscle, and how the river
Must savor many mink, and what the local geese think about
All this, and what the mink thinks of a mammal with glasses,
Sipping coffee on the bench. Probably I’d come up there and
Kick your ass but I am busy, but you never know, and I think
This is the point of the lesson this morning and every blessed
Morning, yes? There are many mink and we just never know.
— Brian Doyle
SurvivalOn The Edge of Survival
Deadliest Catch Author Spike Walker

Thursday May 26, at 7pm the Seaside Public Library welcomes acclaimed author Spike Walker whose books inspired the hit television show “Deadliest Catch”.  The event will take place in the Community Room and there will be book sales, signings, and refreshments.

Spike Walker spent more than ten seasons aboard some of the most successful crab boats in the Alaskan fleet, and rode out one of the worst storms in Alaska’s history.  His first book, “Working On the Edge” was hailed by James Michener as “the definitive account of this perilous trade”.  He is the author of “Nights of Ice” and “Coming Back Alive”.  His latest book, “On the Edge of Survival”, is the account of the daring rescue of a freighter that was grounded off the Aleutian Islands.  Spike provides a minuet by minuet account of the rescue mission that was compounded when a USCG helicopter was hit by a rogue wave, sending it into frigid waters.

Seaside Public Library is located at 1131 Broadway across from the Youth Center and Swimming Pool.  For more information call (503)738-6742 or visit us at www.seasidelibrary.org and Border Songswww.facebook.com/seasidepubliclibrary.
Northwest Author Jim Lynch
Reads at CB Library

Acclaimed Northwest Author Jim Lynch comes to the Cannon Beach Library. Lynch’s latest book BORDER SONGS was a 2009 best pic by numerous literary reviews across the nation.
A magnificent novel of birding, smuggling, farming and extraordinary love on the Canadian border, Lynch is noted for his originality and ability to create the most memorable characters in recent fiction. His humor and metaphoric prowess compared to Ken Kesey and Tom Robbins. Border Songs is also Lynch’s second novel be adapted for stage by Book-It theater n Seattle.
CB Library, Saturday, May 14, 2pm, 131 N. Hemlock.