Bridgetown organizes a musical evening

When the theater world finally fully wakes up from its long Covid nap, it will kick up its heels. And places like Portland Bridgetown Conservatory of Musical Theater will be ready to provide the song and dance chops for the kick. Bridgetown, which trains young, mostly school-aged performers in the great singing, dancing and acting tradition of becoming theatrical triple threats, has a pair of headliners lined up this weekend: Think of it as a celebratory dress rehearsal for the rebirth of the theater scene.

On Saturday, April 2, the school’s Bridgetown to Broadway gala will go live with an in-person party at the conservatory digs in Portland’s St. Johns neighborhood. There will be food, drink, entertainment and an auction – and, at a VIP event starting at 5:30 p.m., special guest: Chris Coleman, the longtime former artistic director of Portland Center Stage , who is now artistic director of the theater at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. To verify here for tickets and details.

On Saturday, Bridgetown will also announce the winner of its first Corey Brunish Broadway Musical Theater Scholarship, a $3,000 scholarship to a Bridgetown student entering a college musical theater program. It is named after and financed by Brunish, the multiple Tony Award-winning Broadway producer who splits his time between New York and Portland and has a long history as an actor, singer and director in theaters across the Portland area.

During his years at Portland Center Stage, Coleman made musical theater a central part of his lineup, often kicking off new seasons with great musical production — and doing so not just for the box office, but from genuine affection and respect for history. and the future of American musical theatre. His connection to Bridgetown is natural: Rick Lewis, who founded the conservatory in 2016, was Coleman’s musical partner at Center Stage, serving as the company’s musical director and bandleader from 2005 to 2017.

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THE PATRICIA RESER CENTER FOR THE ARTS, Beaverton’s new $55 million cultural center, is off to a flying start: See Friderike Heuer’s review and photo essay at Celilo – Never Silent, the Central Gallery’s inaugural art exhibition; and James Bash’s critique of one of the center’s first dance and music performances, a Chamber Music Northwest event featuring dance troupe BodyVox and the Akropolis Reed Quintet.

Now it’s the turn of the theater in the center’s 550-seat auditorium. April 8 and 9 is NASIM, by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour, in which “every night a different performer joins the playwright on stage, while the script waits unseen in a sealed box”. Accepting this audacious challenge on the 8th will be excellent Portland performer and writer Josie Seid; on the 9th, it will be actor Troy Metcalf.

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And, speaking of musical theater (we were), on April 13, the Reser Stage hosts the Tony-winning Broadway star Lea Salongawho has done everything since Miss Saigon for The Miz for Once on this islandand, in the cinema, the Disney princesses Jasmine (Aladdin) and Fa Mulan (Mulane and Mulane II).

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AND THAT’S ALL I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT IT. When a performer enters the audience or speaks directly to them, it’s called breaking the fourth wall. When an audience member leaps onto stage and punches a performer in the kiss, which wall is that? I ask for our uncle Oscar, who is not feeling well.

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