A quick note about some events not to be missed around Eugene and elsewhere this weekend. Two of them, both performed in town, are memorials.
Saturday night at the Hult Center’s Silva Concert Hall, the Eugene Concert Choir and Eugene Ballet will team up for a performance in memory of the ballet’s late principal dancer Juan Carlos Amy-Cordero.
JC, as he was widely known, committed suicide in 2013, leaving his wife — EB’s ballet mistress Jennifer Martin — and the entire company grieving.
Saturday’s performance will begin with a series of dances illustrating aspects of JC’s life and career; the second half of the program will feature the choir singing the Mozart Requiem. 8 p.m.
Earlier on Saturday, a public memorial for Jeffrey Eaton will be held at Eugene’s First Christian Church, 1166 Oak St. Jeff died here in January of cancer. Three times the top executive at the Oregon Mozart Players over a period of many years, he also played cello with the Eugene Symphony, the Oregon Bach Festival and the Eugene Opera. Sharon Schuman of Chamber Music Amici will be coordinating the music, so we know it will be good.
Finally, if you feel the urge to get out of town, head south to Ashland for the winter indoor openings at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I’ll be there taking in performances of Much Ado about Nothing, Guys and Dolls, Fingersmith and Pericles.
I’m most intrigued with Guys and Dolls. OSF has regularly produced big American musicals since Bill Rauch took over as artistic director a few years ago, and I;ve been enchanted with them since his version of The Music Man in 2009.
What makes this Guys and Dolls even more intriguing is that it’s directed by Marry Zimmerman, who did the absolutely amazing White Snake at OSF in 2012. That show was created in Ashland by Zimmerman, who teaches at Northwestern and has a directing position at the Goodman Theatre — who arrived in town with no script, just the outline of the Chinese myth on which the play was based and a talented cast from OSF. The audience response to the show she and her actors put together was overwhelming, and you just about couldn’t get a seat all season.
With Guys and Dolls, I’m told, she’ll be working from the established script. But I can’t wait to see what she does with it.
I’ll be reviewing the plays through the weekend, Stay tuned.