Month: July 2015

A Night with Dave Drury & Friends

Featuring Dave Drury on guitar and his popular duo, Basin Street NW, with Todd Pederson on bass, and guest vocalist Aleesha Nedd. Also playing is Dave’s trio, Equinox, with Todd Pederson and Shelley Loring on flute. Don’t miss the wondrous musical machinations of Dave Drury & friends as they serve up oh-so generous portions of jazz-flavored fare for your listening pleasure. Saturday, July 25, 7 pm at the PAC. Tickets are $10 at the door. Check out the Astoria Society of Artists 5th Annual Studio Tour on July 25 and 26. It’s free!

Partners for the PAC present a concert of Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater”

Rebecca & Jocelyn sang in the Cascadia Opera production of Beethoven’s Fidelio that was performed as a PAC benefit this past fall. They were inspired to do more to help maintain the PAC  and offered to sing the Pergolesi work as a benefit. They will both be part of the 2015 Astoria Music Festival.

Jocelyn Claire Thomas, a versatile soprano praised for her haunting sound and musical intelligence, is a frequent performer in opera, concert, and recital. She is a two time winner of the district level of the Classical Singer Competition, and also recently won the National Association of Teachers of Singing Advanced Artist Competition district level. She is a two time recipient of the George Woodhead Prize in Voice (2009/2011) for excellence in Oratorio and sacred music. Ms. Thomas holds a Bachelors of Music in Voice from the Oberlin Conservatory, a Masters Degree in Voice from the Peabody Conservatory, and a Graduate Performance Diploma also from the Peabody Conservatory. Upcoming engagements include Soprano Soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, “Marzelline” and “Erste Dame” with the Astoria Music Festival, “Susanna” in Le Nozze di Figaro with FAVA Salzburg, and “Adele” with Opera Bend. Jocelyn currently resides in Portland, Oregon where she teaches voice, piano, flute, and yoga. She studies with Ruth Dobson.

Mezzo soprano Rebecca Sacks is known for her dynamic stage presence, smart musicality,  and stylistic versatility. Ms. Sacks has performed with Stanford University’s Chamber Chorale under Stephen Sano and University Singers under Robert Huw Morgan as well as with Sospiro Vocal Ensemble, Lyric Theatre of San Jose, Cascadia Concert Opera, and the University of Oregon Opera Ensemble. She recently was chosen as a Promising Young Artist of the 21st Century and travelled with a group of singers to Costa Rica where they gave several concerts throughout the country. Recently, Ms. Sacks won first place in the Northwest Region of the NATS competition and an encouragement award at the Oregon District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. Ms. Sacks is a four year recipient of a performance scholarship at Stanford University and a member of the University of Oregon ensemble that won second place in the National Opera Association’s collegiate scenes competition.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music with departmental honors in Vocal Performance from Stanford University in 2010 and completed post-baccalaureate work at the University of Oregon in 2013. Rebecca is a member of the Portland Opera Chorus and currently studies with Ruth Dobson.

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736) was one of the most important early composers of comic opera. He also wrote sacred music; it is his Stabat Mater (1736)  which is his best-known sacred work. It was commissioned by a fraternal group who presented an annual Good Friday meditation  in honor of the Virgin Mary. Pergolesi’s work replaced one composed by Alessandro Scarlatti only nine years before, but which was already perceived as “old-fashioned,” so rapidly had public tastes changed.

Pergolesi’s music can heard in the following films: Farinelli, Jésus de Montréal, Smilla’s Sense of Snow, Amadeus, and The Mirror.

Partners for the PAC Hosts a “Girls Night Out”

Lookout ladies, it’s Partners for the PAC’s “Girls Night Out.” On Thursday, March 19, you’ll want to get your sweet selves over to the Performing Arts Center at 16th and Franklin in Astoria for an entertaining evening designed expressly with you in mind! A night of fashion and fun may be yours–just what’s needed with the kids home from school for spring break soon—for the price of a ticket ($10 at the door). Doors open at 7:00.

First, there’ll be a showing of the 1963 film classic, “Charade.” Then, you’ll sip bubbly and eat chocolate during intermission!  Be sure and get glamorous before you arrive too, as there’ll be prizes for “best ensemble” in the audience. So, dust off those tiaras, get out the evening gloves.  This will be your night to shine.

The Film
At 7:30 sharp, Charade will cast its spell on the big screen in sumptuous living color. “Charade is a classic cat-and-mouse, “Hitchcockian” romantic comedy and enigmatic thriller all-in-one from director Stanley Donen, known more for his musicals (Singing in the Rain, On The Town, etc.). The plot twisting, witty and suspenseful film is a sophisticated, yet off-balanced combination of thrills and comedy,” gushes one on-line writer at

A sixties gem—an early example of the spoofs and caper movies so popular during the decade—Charade stars the effervescent Audrey Hepburn. As widow Regina Lampert, Hepburn spends most of the movie looking for money her character’s late husband filched and romancing Cary Grant who, as Peter Joshua, is a distinctly suspicious character however devastatingly handsome he might be.

You’ll relish the delightful repartee in store—the sort of banter you’ve come to expect with this genre (think Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps”). Hepburn’s character is clearly attracted to Grant’s mysterious hero but that doesn’t stop her from mocking him–for his gray hair, failing eyesight, and his famous chin cleft. “How do you shave in there,” she asks. About his general untrustworthiness, she sasses, “You won’t be able to lie on your back for a while,” she quips. “But then you can lie from any position can’t you?”  (

A cadre of miscreants remains on their trail throughout—looking for the money as well–played by popular actors George Kennedy (Cool Hand Luke and Airport), James Coburn (In Like Flint and The Magnificent Seven) and other familiar faces from the sixties. The redoubtable Walter Matthieu (The Odd Couple, Bad News Bears and Charley Varrick) has a small, but key role as a private investigator.
While not exactly fluffy, Charade is not to be taken too seriously plot wise. Instead, we’re meant to thrill to a star-driven, international adventure. The action moves from one gorgeous location to another—from a ski lodge in the Alps in Haute-Savoie France and the glittering streets of Paris at night, to an outdoor Punch and Judy puppet show in the Jardin’s des Champs Elysees and many other famous locations in the legendary City of Light. Sigh.

With all it had going for it, it’s no surprise then that Charade was a huge hit and a defining (role) for Hepburn, establishing her as the ideal heroine for high-spirited movies combining romance, comedy and suspense and, lest we forget, beautiful clothes.

Hepburn’s onscreen persona
It’s interesting that Grant (who was 59 at the time he made Charade) had concerns about the age difference with Hepburn (34) which made the required romantic interplay uncomfortable for him. The filmmakers simply reworked the screenplay so that she was the one pursuing him. Over her career, Hepburn was regularly paired with “older” co-stars. The lineup included Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, Gregory Peck, Henry Fonda, William Holden, Burt Lancaster and Fred Astaire, reflecting how “the studio” saw and “marketed” her.
While she may have played the innocent or “ princess type” who looks to a paternalistic figure to save her from herself, Hepburn had her own ideas about her career, how she dressed and what style and class meant. She was the quintessential 1950s “gamine,” a French term for a slim, often boyish, elegant, wide-eyed young woman who is, or is perceived to be, mischievous, teasing or sexually appealing. (Wikipedia).

The Look
“Audrey was always more about fashion than movies or acting,” said Donen (and not as an insult). Her elfin features and waif-like figure inspired renown fashion designer Givenchy who’s credited with creating her style.” Hepburn readily acknowledged as much, “Givenchy gave me a look, a kind, a silhouette. He has always been the best and he stayed the best. Because he kept the spare style that I love. What is more beautiful than a simple sheath made an extraordinary way (with) a special fabric and just two earrings.”

Givenchy created Hepburn’s outfits for several of her films, remaining her friend and ambassador (and she his muse) throughout her life.  Experts affirmed that her longevity as a style-icon results from her sticking with a look that suited her: “clean lines, simple yet bold accessories, minimalist palette. At home, she preferred casual and comfortable clothes, though! Who’d have thought it?

In conclusion
Don’t miss this movie, if only for the clothes; the two leads and strong supporting cast; the locations; and, of course, the memorable music of composer Henry Mancini (words by Johnny Mercer) who took home the movie’s only Oscar for his wonderfully evocative score and haunting title song, “Charade”).  Besides, it’s all for a good cause. This event is at the PAC for the PAC, which means it’s being sponsored by Partners for the PAC to raise money for the continued operation of the facility as a venue for affordable public arts and educational offerings.  Talk about a win/win.

Partners for the PAC Celebrate World Organ Day Saturday March 21

Paul Tegels of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma will play the PAC’s historic Estey organ for ‘Bach to the Future’,  a concert presented by the Partners for the PAC, and held on the birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach!

The concert is Saturday March 21 at 2pm, and tickets are $25 at the door or at Brown Paper Tickets. The concert is a benefit for the historic CCC Performing Arts Center on 16th and Franklin in Astoria. It is the second of three organ concerts that are partially supported by grant from the city of Astoria Arts and Cultural Fund.

Joining Paul Tegels will be violinist Jonathan Galle who is currently concertmaster with the Tacoma Youth Symphony and is enrolled at Pierce College where he will complete high school as well as his associate of arts degree this spring. On the program are works by Buxtehude and Mendelssohn as well as Bach.

Tegels, a native of the Netherlands, is Associate Professor of Music, and serves as University Organist at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA.

He received his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Organ Performance and Pedagogy and his Master of Arts Degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Iowa, where he studied organ with Delores Bruch, and choral conducting with William Hatcher.

Other degrees and awards include the Artist Diploma and the Master of Music Degree in organ performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston where he studied with Yuko Hayashi and William Porter. He is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship from the Netherlands-America Commission for Educational Exchange.He holds the teaching and performance degrees from the Stedelijk Conservatorium in Arnhem, The Netherlands, where he studied organ with Bert Matter and harpsichord with Cees Rosenhart.

He is on the board of the Tacoma Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and is the past president of the Westfield Center, a national resource for the advancement of Keyboard Music.
 Prior to his appointment at PLU, he taught at Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS. Paul Tegels has performed extensively in solo and ensemble concerts in the United States, Europe, Japan, and New Zealand. He also performs frequently in duet concerts with organist Dana Robinson.

Even before he started violin at four years old, Jonathan Galle was in love with music. The story goes that he would take toy instruments and “teach” his non-musical parents how to hold and play them. When he finally started lessons, the cardboard instrument didn’t last more than a lesson because he wanted to play the real thing. Even then, his teacher soon told his parents they needed to take him to a violin shop to get a better instrument because the one he had wasn’t going to satisfy him long. It is there that he met the luthier who made the instrument he plays on today. Such has been the story of his life.  He has been blessed with incredible teachers throughout his life and is currently a student with Dr. Svend Ronning at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma.

Some of Jonathan’s favorite moments are when he is performing or just “jamming”. He has played in the Tacoma Youth Symphony for eight years, where he has held a number of leadership positions, but he also enjoys participating in chamber groups, performing publicly, or even jumping in on a jazz set. He also believes that music is meant to be shared and has enjoyed opportunities to perform publically in many venues: retirement centers, churches, solo performances with the Symphony, and even street busking. He tells the story of once leaving a performance when he was ten years old and seeing a homeless man playing half of the Bach Double Violin Concerto. With a little encouragement, he took his violin out and started playing the other part with him, quickly gathering a crowd.  Even though Jonathan has no difficulty meeting new people, music is another way to communicate that crosses every cultural boundary.

Jonathan is currently concertmaster with the Tacoma Youth Symphony and is enrolled in the Running Start program at Pierce College where he will complete high school as well as his associate of arts degree this spring. He lives in the rural Graham area with his parents, dog, cats, and a variety of other animals. Outside of music, he enjoys working on computers, reading, and spending time outdoors.  He plans to attend conservatory this fall, majoring in music performance.

Partners for the PAC Presents Starbright & Vine, A Play by Richard J. Allen

sandvplayersOpening on February 6 at Clatsop Community College’s Performing Arts Center, the Partners for the PAC presents a staged reading of the comedy/drama Starbright & Vine, written by Richard J. Allen, a two-time Emmy-Award winning writer who serves as Professor of Film, Television and Digital Media (FTDM) at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, Texas. He won his Emmy Awards in 2001 and 2002 as a writer for CBS’s daytime drama, As the World Turns. Former Head Writer at NBC’s Days of Our Lives, he has also written for ABC’s General Hospital, One Life to Live and NBC’s Another World.

Theater credits include Professor Allen Writes a Book about Popular Culture, The Man Who Killed Rock Monnenoff, Seducing Sally and Allen’s collection of 54 short plays, Parashah Plays. He has also written the book and lyrics for several original musicals, including Mildred! (based on the film Mildred Pierce), Audition, and Return to Planet Zoloft.

Starbright & Vine, Allen’s most recent play, is a comic look at a fictional, once famous, now fading comedian (Marty Vine) who gets another chance at glory. Says Allen: “It’s a little bit of Sunshine Boys – getting the act together again – with a bit of sexual tension thrown in.”

In his directing debut, Bob Goldberg will lead the Partners’ production of Starbright & Vine (S&V). Marty Vine will be played by Tom Berdine, a veteran of theater at the PAC in the 80s and 90s who got his start with the Jewell Box Players. The other title character, Jacqueline (Jackie) Cole – who was the extremely popular character Mandy Starbright in a series of science fiction detective movies before becoming a ghost writer – will be played by Julie House, veteran of Astor Street Opry Company (ASOC) productions, former roller derby queen, and now the co-owner of Coldwater Surf and Skate, in its new location at 354 Ninth Street in Astoria. Marty’s “bastard” son Blake is a relatively straight-laced tax accountant who hires Jackie to help his father – who he thinks is faking dementia – write the jackpot script that comes with Marty’s selection as the “best living comic of the 20th century.” Clatsop Community College and ENCORE philosophy teacher and Philosofarian Seth Tichenor will play Blake. Donna is the latest in a long line of live-in girlfriends for Marty, and is played by Stacey Brown, executive director of United Way of Clatsop County, and another ASOC player.

No less than four of George Carlin’s seven dirty words are used in S&V, and sexual innuendo is liberally spiced throughout the play, so you may want to keep the little ones away. For anyone with a friend or relative who has or had dementia, this play will resonate. And it’s hilariously funny, especially if you are tuned to East Coast humor.

The playwright will be in Astoria to catch the evening performances of S&V, and will stick around afterwards to answer questions from the audience.

The Portland Gay Men’s Chorus in Concert at Astoria High School in December

Oregon’s Largest Chorus Coming to Astoria
Celebrate the holidays in Portland Gay Men’s Chorus style, as we sing, dance and rap–with all that seasonal bling–many of the traditional and not so traditional holiday favorites for our special Astoria audience.

The Chorus will be performing “A Holiday Celebration” for one afternoon only at Astoria High School as a benefit for the CCC Performing Arts Center. In addition to celebrating music from Christmas, Hanukkah and Solstice, Artistic Director Bob Mensel is excited to be debuting new works composed by Chorus members. Complimenting the “PGMC wall of sound” will be the Chorus’ talented dance troupe, the Locomotions and Cascade, PGMC’s classical a cappella ensemble.

No PGMC holiday concert is complete without revisiting some seasonal favorites. This year the Chorus will perform works by Handel, Rachmaninoff, Berlin, and a seldom performed song by Sir Paul McCartney.

Bob Mensel, PGMC’s Artistic Director PGMC is celebrating our 35 season and is excited to bring this memorable holiday show to the North Coast. “A Holiday Celebration” is the perfect concert for the whole family.

Bob Mensel, the Chorus’ Artistic Director says  “PGMC undertakes these outreach concerts at our own expense to benefit local groups and to fulfill our mission of ‘…uplifting the gay community and affirming the worth of all people.’  We are excited to share this memorable Holiday concert with our friends on Oregon’s North Coast.”

“A Holiday Celebration” is appropriate for all ages.

Date: Saturday Dec 13
Time:   2:00pm
Location:   Astoria High  School
Tickets: adults $15 /students $7, tickets  at the door

Proceeds benefit: CCC Performing Arts Center

At the PAC, for the PAC! 1922’s “Nosferatu” (With Pipe Organ Accompaniment) Coming to the Performing Arts Center on Halloween Night!

Film buffs, vampire fans or anyone planning to observe Halloween by watching a creepy movie, won’t want to miss director F.W. Murnau’s silent film classic “Nosferatu”, presented by Partners for the PAC, Friday, October 31, at 7:00 pm, at the CCC Performing Arts Center located at 16th and Franklin in Astoria. Costumes are encouraged and there will be prizes for the best costumes! Parental discretion is advised. The Halloween event is one of three upcoming fundraisers to benefit the iconic PAC at the corner of Franklin and 16th Streets in Astoria

Watch this landmark film as it was meant to be watched, on a big screen. And don’t expect just a visual feast. Organist Jeff Fox will be on hand to coax some suitably scary music from the bowels of the PAC’s historic Estey pipe organ. It promises to be the perfect pairing—a chance to savor the wonderfully macabre images on the screen as bone chilling notes emerge from the organ’s formidable array of pipes (its sounds truly fill the space) in this the earliest visualization on film of the vampire legend.

Nosferatu’s behind-the-scenes story rivals its’ on-screen counterpart. The film was an unauthorized adaptation because Murnau and company couldn’t get the rights to Bram Stoker’s popular novel, “Dracula.” They got around this by changing a few details—mainly changing Count Dracula to Count Orlok and, of course, Dracula to Nosferatu. After Nosferatu’s release in 1922, Stoker’s heirs sued for copyright infringement and won! The court ordered all copies destroyed. Luckily, a few bootleg copies survived–stories differ as to just how many.

Actor Max Schreck, in the lead role, delivers a marvelous, menacing performance. Virtually unrecognizable in makeup, the actor brought an added air of mystery and dread to things. Director E. Elias Merhige plays on this in his 2000 movie, “Shadow of the Vampire”. The later film was a fictionalized account of the making of the original Nosferatu. In it, a real vampire (actor Willem Dafoe) is hired to play Count Orlok. Other contemporary films clearly riffing on “Nosferatu” include, obviously, the remake by German director Werner Herzog starring Klaus Kinski, his muse; Woody Allen’s “Shadow and Fog”; and even Tim Burton’s “Ed Wood.”

Nosferatu is widely regarded as a hugely influential masterpiece of cinema. It’s also a textbook example of German Expressionism which flourished in said country in the 1920s, reflected primarily in the painting, architecture and cinema of the day. Films in the genre were “characterized by unique set designs with wildly non-realistic, geometrically absurd sets (and) designs painted on walls and floors to represent lights, shadows, and objects. Plots frequently dealt with madness, insanity, betrayal and other ‘intellectual’ topics as opposed to action-adventure and romantic films” (Wikipedia).

The movement’s roots emerged from the chaos of WWI (Germany had a hard war and an even harder peace afterward) and the subsequent rise of Hitler. The latter forced many of Germany’s finest directors to leave the country, mainly because they were Jews. Turning up in Hollywood and bringing expressionism with them were Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder, Fred Zinnemann, Otto Preminger and Max Ophuls, to name a few. A number of directors from the 1940s already in Hollywood– Hitchcock, Carol Reed, Orson Welles and Michael Curtiz–were inspired. To make a long story short, Nosferatu (and similar films coming out of Germany, e.g. Lang’s Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, M and Metropolis, etc.) are the acknowledged precursors to both to modern horror movie-making and film noir.

This event, a must see for serious film goers, is a fundraiser–part of ongoing efforts to support the PAC’s continued operation as a venue for affordable public arts and educational offerings. Thanks to Columbia Coffee Roaster/3 Cups and the Cannery Pier Hotel for their support. Tickets are $10.00 and are available at the PAC box office which opens at 6:15 pm. Refreshments will be available for purchase.

Cascadia Concert Opera Presents Beethoven’s Fidelio To Benefit Astoria PAC

Cascadia Concert Opera will conclude its 2014 season with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fidelio on Sunday, September 28th at 3:00 pm at Astoria Performing Arts Center, 588 16th Street, Astoria, OR 97103. The concert is sponsored by Partners for the PAC, and tickets are $20 at the door. Children 12 and under are free with an adult.

This production features Deac Guidi as Rocco, and will be presented with piano accompaniment.

Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, is a striking and virtuosic tale of desperation, devotion, and courage in the face of tyranny. Underscored by Beethoven’s inherently dramatic musical language, this timeless story of political oppression follows one woman’s daring and ardent pursuit to save her imprisoned husband from execution. Replete with deceptive, cunning, and ambitious characters, this thrilling opera is an affecting testament to the personal cost of societal unrest and the enduring strength of devoted love.

Currently in its sixth season, Cascadia Concert Opera is a non-profit performing arts organization based in Eugene. Showcasing some of the finest local and regional talent, Cascadia Concert Opera has a unique identity as a touring ensemble, presenting opera in intimate venues throughout the Pacific Northwest.

For further information contact Cascadia Concert Opera at 541-349-0377, or visit their website.

Unfinished Business

Vocalist Allison Wils-King in a concert of standards and musical theater songs to benefit the Performing Arts Center. With special guest Dave Drury. Saturday, July 26, 2014 at the Performing Arts Center at 16th and Franklin in Astoria.