This week on “State of Wonder,” comedian Maria Bamford on her hit Netflix series, author Daniel Handler on his best-selling “Series of Unfortunate Events” books, and the man who pretty much invented the photography book, Robert Frank.
Hard Times For Artists Repertory Theatre
The year got off to a hard start for Portland’s oldest theater, Artists Repertory. Founded in 1982, the mid-sized company performs high-octane work by hot playwrights, tackling subjects like racism, the Great Recession, and climate change. As OPB’s April Baer reports, the company announced plans to sell half its building to retire its debt and set it on a sustainable path, as well as the departure of its managing director.
Comedian Maria Bamford - 6:38
Comedian Maria Bamford is cruising back through Oregon next week for shows at Eugene’s McDonald Hall Jan. 12 and at Portland’s Revolution Hall Jan. 13. She’s been cranking out the work lately. Last year she released a Netflix special, “Old Baby,” where she’s performing in front of all different kinds of crowds: clubs, neighborhood streets, a bowling alley with a bunch of complete strangers. She also kicked out a new web series, “Ave Maria Bamford” — sort of a self-help for the holidays missal — and her series on Netflix, “Lady Dynamite,” has wrapped a second season. In it, she plays a fictionalized version of herself, and tells stories about rebooting her career after a serious mental health crisis breakdown in 2010.
Nick Delffs Live at opbmusic - 18:20
Nick Delffs was a longtime part of the Portland music scene, fronting the shaggy indie rock band The Shaky Hands and collaborating with Luz Elena Mendoza and Ali Clarys in the group Tiburones, before moving to Boise, Idaho, several years ago. Delffs went back on the road to promote the release of his first solo album, “Redesign,” and, no surprise, it’s a collection of songs about reinventing yourself.
A Conversation With Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket - 22:40
Beginning in 1999, a writer under the pen name Lemony Snicket began “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” a 13-volume collection of blockbuster children’s books that have been turned into a movie and a Netflix series. They told the story of the Baudelaire children, who lost their parents in a fire and became the wards of their evil Count Olaf. The books struck a chord with kids because they didn’t moralize or try to make the world seem better than it was; instead, they confronted the fact that bad things happen, often for no reason at all.
Lemony Snicket was later revealed to be the author Daniel Handler. He has since written many works under his own name, ranging from poetry to plays. Last fall, he released the novel “All the Dirty Parts” and the children’s book “The Bad Mood and the Stick.” He spoke at Wordstock in November with New York Times TV critic Gilbert Cruz.
You can find their whole conversation at the “Literary Arts: Archive Project.”
Remembering Violinist Robert Mann - 32:36
This week, a giant in the classical world — with Portland roots — passed away. Robert Mann, a founding member of the Juilliard String Quartet, died Monday at age 97. We take a moment to remember Mann, and the contributions he made to classical music, including the symphony where he got his start: the Portland Youth Philharmonic.
Art Publisher Gerhard Steidl on Photographer Robert Frank - 35:11
Robert Frank has been called the father of street photography because he was the first person to shoot everyday life with a raw, shoot-from-the-hip aesthetic, but “street photography” is an understatement. His photos of people around the world are really documentary works that tell complex stories, and his book “The Americans” (with an introduction by Jack Kerouac) basically invented the photography book as we understand it.
Now the world’s preeminent publisher of photography books, Gerhard Steidl, is in town for an exhibition of Frank’s work at Portland’s Blue Sky Gallery, titled “Robert Frank: Books and Films: 1947 to 2017.” Frank’s films are shown on a wall at the same size as the photos, all the photos are printed on newsprint, and, as Steidl tells us, they’ll all be destroyed at the end of the run.
Pepe Moscoso Passes the Torch at Fusionarte Radio - 45:28
If you listen to the KBOO arts radio show Fusionarte, part of the Spanish language block, you know it’s a free-rolling conversation about everything that’s current. Host Pepe Moscoso talks to guests about books, theater, film and music — lots and lots of good music. Now Moscoso is ending his run — a working artist, he’s going to spend more time on his photography and mixed media projects — and handing the show off to Luna Flores, a poet who also works with KBOO radio’s Youth Collective. We invited them in to talk about the show.