Hult Center

Savion On Tap at Soreng Theater 7.9.09 © Todd Cooper

This morning Savion Glover gave a demonstration and speech geared towards children at the Hult's Soreng Theatre ...

Steal an idea from the Copenhagen Concert Hall and wrap the entire concrete shell in a translucent one-color scaffold that will glow bright in a city known for its love of the color gray.

It's quite simple. Here is how you do it:

Hey you cheap bastards! Yah you, the ones who always complain about the $5 cover charges at Sam Bond's shows, or the ones who will wait eons to see the new Indiana Jones flick at Movies 12 (um, OK, I'm guilty of that...), I'm talking to you (well, not unless you are a currently an enrolled student)! Student tickets to the Eugene Symphony, Eugene Ballet Company, Eugene Concert Choir, Eugene Opera, Oregon Mozart Players and other Hult Center groups are now only ten bucks.

Full release after the jump.

Dave Brubeck backstage at the Hult Center
Dave Brubeck backstage at the Silva Concert Hall

Sunday night I had the pleasure of watching a couple of jazz legends do their thing on stage. Really, I was pretty blown away by all of the musicians that performed. Both outfits were incredibly tight and talented. (The drummers especially stood out to me.)

Consider this a photo review of the evening. I couldn't begin to report a setlist. I'm horrible with song titles (especially jazz for some reason). I do remember that the Brubeck Quartet played their version of a Catholic Gregorian chant and closed with the classic "Take Five.” The Lewis Trio played a version of "Wade in the Water" ... and that's about where my track title knowledge ends.

Ramsey Lewis
Ramsey Lewis Trio live at the Hult Center Eugene, Oregon

More photos after the jump
or click on any image to see the complete gallery from the show.

Paul Winberg, hard at work even on a Friday at 4:45 pm

Occasion-al Music

The Eugene Symphony’s executive director talks smack about Cleveland, praises the Hult and demystifies the process of going to a concert

By Suzi Steffen

The man doesn’t own an iPod or have a grasp on the world of downloads and easily portable music.

That’s OK. He doesn’t need that right now; he’s surrounded by music all of the time. At the offices of the Eugene Symphony, Executive Director Paul Winberg can hear the sweet strains floating from the radio in the lobby — tuned to the UO’s classical music station, KWAX 91.1 FM, of course. Or he can walk into the music library, where the symphony’s librarian spends hours keeping the notes in order. And of course, in his own light-filled office, he has a CD player where he just might be listening to the Goldberg Variations … or Dolly Parton. (Check out his playlist below.)

Read more about Paul Winberg here, after the jump!

Kirk Boyd on Eugene actors, Eugene audiences and his dream theater
by Suzi Steffen

This interview kicks off a new occasional blog series for me: See/Hear: The Local Visual and Performing Arts Scene. Sadly, although the Q&A was meant to be an introduction to the artistic director of the Willamette Repertory Theatre at a moment when his final staged play of the company’s ninth season was about to open, it also serves as a kind of valedictory address: The Willamette Rep just announced that it’s closing down after the run of Wild Oats because, frankly, it couldn’t make enough money.

I interviewed Kirk Boyd a couple of weeks ago, and though at the time he seemed concerned about how hard it was for the plays to draw a consistent audience — and I’d heard from other sources how badly the WillRep’s Proof did, financially speaking — he talked about reading scripts for next year and what plays he had picked for the three May Readings in Rep. (By the way, if you already have tix for Readings in Rep, you can get refunds at the Hult Center box office. Call 682-5000 for more info.)

UPDATE: Though I was unable to attend the press conference this morning, our gracious sometimes-reviewer and calendar editor Chuck Adams did. His report and the audio of the whole thing are available here.

On the other hand, we also touched upon the difficulties of the space — Soreng Theatre might be OK for some of the Bach Festival’s Discovery Series, but it’s a terrible, ridiculous space for performing plays — and some of Boyd’s disappointments with the Eugene audience, not to mention the night that all of his scripts (including his director-marked Wild Oats script) were stolen from his car.

Kirk Boyd grew up in Eugene and left for some years to work with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. But he wanted to run his own company, and once he moved back to Eugene, he spent a couple of years getting the WillRep together before kicking off the first season. I wasn’t able to talk much with Boyd on the day he sent out the press release marking the demise of WillRep, but he did say he wasn’t leaving Eugene for greener pastures. “I’m staying right here,” he said.

We talked for over an hour on the day that we met. This transcript has been edited for clarity and because of the subsequent news. As always, Boyd spoke smoothly and with eloquence about a variety of topics, ranging from why the Hult Center should be taken apart and rebuilt to why he preferred the attempt to work with Equity actors.

I encourage readers to share memories of the Willamette Rep and your thoughts about it for Boyd, general manager Michael Peterson and everyone associated with the company in the comments section of this post.

Read more here.

My wife and I lucked out last minute and got great seats to Cos' early show Saturday night. It was amazing to have the chance to see such a comedic legend. But honestly, his performance was about what I expected. Not as hilarious as Himself, but Bill's still got jokes (and pretty sharp) for 70+. During his two hour set, he kept the crowd laughing and covered topics like the mysterious origin of turkey bacon, spinach scandals, plagues, boner pills, and beating your kids to strengthen their cardiovascular system. He also worked the word "myrrh" into almost every story. (Still not sure how he pulled that off.) My only real disappointment is that he didn't do any of his new rap songs (from his upcoming State of Emergency album.) I wanted to yell "Hey YO COS, bust a freestyle!" but I'm no blurter.

More photos after the Jump.

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