Author: Randi Bjornstad

The Very Little Theatre takes a look at slavery’s complicated relationships in “The Whipping Man”

(Above, left to right: Matthew Arnscott, Dawaun Lawler and Stanley Coleman make up the cast in The Very Little Theatre’s production of “The Whipping Man.”) By Randi Bjornstad Matthew Lopez’ play, “The Whipping Man,” had its debut at the Barrington Stage Company nearly eight years ago, and at the time he was described in an interview with writer Larry Murray as “still in his twenties, a totally modern American male, of Puerto Rican descent, and gay.” All that background may have helped to give Lopez the insight to write “The Whipping Man,” which centers around Jewish man who is...

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Actors Cabaret opens 2018 with a Northwest premiere of “Ghost the Musical”

By Randi Bjornstad “Ghost” was a movie first, made in 1990 and starring Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze and Whoopi Goldberg. It’s the story of a pair of young lovers, Molly and Sam, played by Moore and Swayze, who are separated by death after Sam, who’s a banker, discovers  accounts being used as a money-laundering scheme for  a drug ring and is murdered when he gets too close to the truth. From “the other side,” Sam sees that Molly is in danger herself when members of the ring decide to invade the apartment and find the evidence that Sam had...

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Here’s what’s on the agenda for downtown Springfield’s Second Friday Art Walk in January

(Above: Detail from one of Benjamin Terrell’s large imagined landscape painting, now on display at the Springfield Museum at 590 Main St.) Edited by Randi Bjornstad The weather may be cold and gloomy, but the art is warm and vibrant as Springfield begins the 2018 version of the Second Friday Art Walk. Vonnie Mikkelsen, president and CEO of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, will lead the first official guided tour of the year, which begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Emerald Art Center at 500 Main St. and includes a show of sketches from featured member artist Jane Sanford...

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Author Noah Strycker discusses his year-long, record-setting, seven-continent birdwatching adventure

(Above: In order to carry out his quest for the 2015 record for most bird species spotted in one year, Noah Strycker created digital files of dozens of bird identification books to serve as resources.) By Randi Bjornstad Noah Strycker’s passion for birds — some might call it an obsession — began when the Eugene-area boy was only about 11 years old, and his fifth-grade teacher at Oak Hill School in Eugene put up a bird feeder outside the classroom window. That led to bird feeders at home, with bird books to help identify avian visitors, and for Strycker,...

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Oregon Contemporary Theatre opens 2018 with a Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “The Flick”

(Above, left to right: Jonathan Thompson, Tara Wibrew and Scott Machado have lead roles in Oregon Contemporary Theatre’s production of Annie Baker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “The Flick”; photo courtesy of OCT) By Randi Bjornstad Here’s a tantalizing summary in a promo for “The Flick,” which will be onstage at Oregon Contemporary Theatre through the beginning of February: In a run-down movie theater in central Massachusetts, three underpaid employees mop the floors and attend to one of the last 35-millimeter film projectors in the state. Their tiny battles and not-so-tiny heartbreaks play out in the empty aisles, becoming more gripping...

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