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About Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013 | View Entire Issue (Aug. 1, 1987)
PGMC premieres Svoboda's "Festival"
at arts center opening
When Portland's new $ 19 million performing arts complex
opens at the end of August, PGMC will be among the
major attractions of the two-week celebration.
concert by the Portland Gay Men s
Chorus is scheduled for Saturday
evening, September 5, in the 930-seat
Intermediate Theatre of the performing
arts center. Reserved seat tickets are now
The opening festival begins with a street
event on Friday. August 28. and runs
through Saturday, September 12. Portland
Civic Theatre’s production of Sunday in
the Park with George, Storefront Theatre's
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and dance
programs by Oregon Ballet and Pacific
Ballet Theatre are other features of the
“ The Chorus concert on September 5 is
likely to be the most widely noticed event
in our seven-year history,“ said Richard
Brown, PGMC general manager. “ We
hope it will make the gay people of Port
land very proud of their Chorus.”
The concert opens with the world pre
miere of “ Festival,“ a piece for men’s
chorus by the distingushed composer.
Thomas Svoboda. This piece was commis-
siond by the Chorus for the occasion, with
the aid of a grant from the Metropolitan
Thomas Svoboda, composer of “ Festi
val.“ was commissioned in 1984 to write
an orchestral work for the Oregon Sym
phony to play at the opening of the Arlene
Schnitzer Concert Flail. His music has
been played by the Prague Symphony, the
Cleveland Orchestra, Rochester Philhar
monic. and many other major orchestras.
Two of his symphonies have been recorded
by the Louisville Orchestra.
After the premiere and one other classi
cal piece, the program is planned in two
sections: Broadway show tunes, and songs
about the sea.
Seven new arrangements have been
written especially for this show, six of
them by David York, conductor of the
Chorus, and one by Tom Simonds, com
poser of Zillions and Christmas 1914.
Choreography for the Broadway seg
ment is by Mark Bishop and Sandy Shenar.
After intermission, the Chorus will sing
popular and traditional songs about the
sea. beginning with a tribute to Noel Cow
ard in new arrangements of three of his
songs, including the slyly funny, “ Has
you love a
Any body Seen Our Ship?”
Visual effects for the second half of the
program are being created by Clifford
Smith, photographer and projection artist.
The Intermediate Theatre, which PGMC
hopes to make its home, is a state-of-the-
art hall with a large proscenium stage, an
orchestra pit, and comfortable seating on
the main floor and two balconies. Although
it has more than 900 seats, it is designed so
that no seat is more than about 65 feet from
PGMC applied for tenant status in the
new complex nearly two years ago. After a
lengthy process, the Center announced in
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the spring of 1986 that the Chorus would
be one of the eleven designated Major Ten
ants. The others are Storefront Theatre,
New Rose Theatre, Pacific Ballet Theatre,
Choral Arts Ensemble, Portland Civic
Theatre, Oregon Repertory Singers. West
Coast Chamber Orchestra, and Portland
Tickets for the PGMC concert on Sep
tember 5 are available at $7, $ 10 and $ 12
from the Civic Auditorium box office and
at GI Joe’s. Telephone orders on VISA and
Mastercard may be made by calling
Community theatre groups
greet success with plans for
M c R A E
Spread Eagle Production's Jerker, by
Robert Cheslev, was “ wild and a success,
it not a wild success “ says actor Darell
Getssler. Jerker, w hich was staged at
Embers Avenue, was extended two weeks
beyond its original month-long run, and
played to about one thousand people, ac
cording to director Kevin Koesel.
Jerker gained a degree of notoriety re
cently when the Federal Communications
Commission threatened to prosecute a Cali
fornia public radio station for obscenity
after it broadcast a reading of portions of
the Jerker script. The play deals with two
gay men who develop a relationship through
erotic phone conversations.
Koesel says that Spread Eagle Produc
tions will return with a new show this fall.
Koesel is looking at several scripts, and is
considering an all male production of
Noel Cow ard's Private Lives.
Portland Women ‘s Theatre Company had
a “ huge success” with its recent produc
tion of Sarah Dreher's Alumni News at
MCC. “ We had a packed house every
night.” says Sarah Packer, a member of
the theatre group. ' ‘ We even made money.’ ’
The group received a S I(XX) grant from
the Metropolitan Arts Commission to stage
another Dreher play, 8 by 10 Glossy next
spring. The play involves a lesbian who
returns home to her mother and sister after
her father's death
Portland Women s rheatre Company will
have a fall production, vet unnamed.