Wednesday, November 14, 2007

An Airstreamer Finds the Arts

Two weeks ago my sister took my nephew and I to see Spamelot in Boise. It's a touring Broadway production inspired by Monty Python. Very British, very witty, very funny.

Tonight in Portland, Oregon my friends Steve and Herb took me to see Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie--a dance company out of Montreal. I came within 40 miles of Montreal three times in August and September, but never quite made it due to time limitations. How lucky to have Montreal come to me.

The production began with a whimsical series of half a dozen couples dancing sequentially to happy, classical music. Act II began with a wonderful piece featuring two men dancing. The two men were supporting each other--one would pick up the other from a broken, dejected state, the mood was lifted and soon the favor was returned. In the meantime their dance featured acrobatic feats of athleticism and beauty. A haunting lyric provided the background for this piece--it was in the genre of the Depression-era music of Woody Guthrie.

The theater was as much a masterpiece as the production. It's Portland's Paramount--a large 1920s theater built in an Italian Renaissance-style. It's a building that takes your breath away. Today it's named the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall after one of the benefactors that helped save and restore the property.

Spamelot and tonight's dance production were both wonderful treats.