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State Of Wonder: Nov. 14, 2015


Today on the show: creativity and geography. 

Jean-Michel Basquiat appears to watch a video of Andy Warhol in IPaige Powell's installation "The Ride" at the Portland Art Museum.

Jean-Michel Basquiat appears to watch a video of Andy Warhol in IPaige Powell’s installation “The Ride” at the Portland Art Museum.

Paige Powell/Portland Art Museum

Salem Chamber Orchestra Files For Bankruptcy
Last month, the Salem Chamber Orchestra board announced the season would be cancelled because of financial difficulties. Now it has informed its musicians it will also file for bankruptcy.

Frank Almond’s Famous Stradivarius
Violinist and concertmaster Frank Almond, the man behind the best-selling CD “A Violin’s Life,” will perform on Tuesday in Corvallis at Oregon State University and on Friday in Bend as part of the High Desert Chamber Music’s Spotlight Series.

The real star of the show, though, is Almond’s famous, 300-year-old Lipinski Stradivarius. That Almond is playing it at all is a small miracle: a couple of winters ago, thieves tased him and ran off with the instrument, which is valued at $5 to $6 million.

Paige Powell’s Magnificent Ride Through New York City
When Portland native Paige Powell worked at Interview magazine in New York City in the 80s, she traveled in rarefied circles. There were lunches with Bianca Jagger, dinners with David Bowie, late nights with Madonna, and an endless parade of parties with Andy Warhol. And she documented it all with her camera.

When Powell moved back to Oregon, she put all the photos and videos in boxes and didn’t look at them for years. Now she’s showing them for the first time in a multimedia installation at the Portland Art Museum called “The Ride.” She gave producer Aaron Scott a tour.

Marc Acito’s Broadway Breakthrough, Starring George Takei
The life of the “Star Trek” actor-turned-civil rights activist  is inspiring a new musical on Broadway. “Allegiance” tells the story of George Takei and his family, who were sent to internment camps by the U.S. government during World War II. The New York Observer called “Allegiance” fresh, original, and passionate. And the play’s co-writer happens to be someone who worked in Portland for 20 years before returning to New York and Broadway: Marc Acito. We caught up with Acito between the play’s rehearsals.

George Takei and Lea Salonga in a scene from "Allegiance," a Broadway musical co-written by former Portlander Marc Acito.

George Takei and Lea Salonga in a scene from “Allegiance,” a Broadway musical co-written by former Portlander Marc Acito.

Matthew Murphy

Liminal Wants To Offend You

Liminal Performance Group has a reputation for brassy, experimental, tech-rich theater productions, so we were intrigued when they announced that they were going to re-vamp a seminal anti-theatre work called “Offending the Audience” for a modern age of pan-surveillance and fractured media self-reflections.

What happens when you slap a pandemonium of surveillance and interactive technology, plus nude interpretive dances, onto the 50-year-old play by Peter Handke? For our ongoing series “What Are You Looking At,” we invited James Engberg and Eric Kilgore to see the show. You might know them from a theater podcast and XRAY-FM show they hosted called “5 Useless Degrees & A Bottle of Scotch.”

“Offending the Audience” runs through Nov. 22 at Action/Adventure Theater.

Amazon Goes Old School With Brick And Mortar
Last week, while we were whooping it up at Wordstock, book lovers in Seattle were treated to the latest high-tech, new-fangled idea in e-commerce, cooked up by Amazon: the opening of a store. With books.

From Seattle’s KUOW, Kate Walters reports on the retail giant’s first permanent brick and mortar retail shop in Seattle. Then we call up Knute Berger, a writer for the blog “Crosscut” and “Seattle Magazine,” who wrote about the opening.

Jazz Composer Darrell Grant’s Oregon Sojourn

In 2012, pianist, composer and Portland State University professor Darrell Grant started work on a song cycle called “The Territory,” about his relationship with Oregon, its history, and its geography. “The Territory,” premiered last January in New York, and it’s now being released on PJCE Records. Grant stopped by KMHD Jazz Radio this week to talk with Matt Fleeger about the genesis of the project in advance of a record release concert on Nov. 14 at the First Unitarian Church.

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