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Another Portland Blog

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

 

A night at the opera...movies...bar?




Last Wednesday night I went to the Someday Lounge to see an "opera cinema" production of Camille/La Traviata hosted by Opera Theater Oregon. I went with my sister, who has been to these shows before and her boypal, who has not been to these shows before.

She attended one the company's performances last year with a group of coworkers and they all got super-smashed and had a great time. The crowd at Wednesday's show was much more subdued and sober, as was a certain boypal who almost immediately lost interest in the performance and decided to spend the following two hours complaining about his chair.

To be honest though? Those chairs were pretty uncomfortable.

Something like this isn't for everyone but it's fun, in a drama geek kinda way. As a film, in this case Rudolph Valentino's silent 1921 version of Camille, plays on a screen in the background, a cast of singers and musicians provide the soundtrack. On Thursday night the vocal performances didn't always match up with the actors on screen but I don't know if that was their goal in the first place.

The live cast was dressed in Prohibition-era costumes and a cigarette girl came out before the show and during intermission to hawk candy. Whatever happened to cigarette girls? Sure, the recent smoking ban has put the final nail in the coffin of any would-be local aspirants to the field but this was the first one I'd ever encountered in a local establishment. And she wasn't even allowed to sell cigarettes. I settled for a pack of those icky-tasting Valentines hearts instead.

Opera Theater Oregon wrapped up Camille/La Traviata on Sunday but they'll be back in June with a production that will fuse Wagner's Das Rheingold with an episode from the fifth season of Baywatch. Now that's what I call high-culture.




This was also my first trip to the Someday Lounge. I never did figure out what was up with the creepy knickknacks tucked into an awning overlooking the dance floor or the large velvet bed hanging over the main entrance.

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