This week was as much about the audience as it was the performer. And nowhere was that more evident than everyone's favorite former ashtray, Neurolux. On Feb. 19, Laura Gibson fans crowded around every available table and barstool in the dark dive and--get this--quietly listened to the Portland, Ore., folk darling's entire set.
From opener "La Grande," with its galloping percussion, to the flute- and harmony-filled Bossa Nova track "Lion/Lamb" to closer "The Fire," the normally raucous and whiskey-jawed Neurolux audience sat rapt and respectful. A sprinkling of fans also swayed to the beat near the stage, pausing to hear Gibson recount a tale about the track "The Rushing Dark," which was intended as a lullaby for her niece but turned into a meditation on sleep as practice for death.
Speaking of ruminations on death, Post Secret fans packed into the Morrison Center on Feb. 16 to hear founder Frank Warren talk about receiving more than half a million anonymous postcard secret confessions.
But after Warren's presentation, things took a darker turn. According to BW's Josh Gross, "The open mic yielded tearful tales of being gang-raped on camera as a child and of a woman's fear to have children because she knows they would be ugly and she wouldn't love them." Gross added, "Though on the surface, it would be easy to paint the event as misery porn, it seemed to tap into something much deeper. It was almost like a revival, a censorship- and judgment-free zone in which anyone could share anything."
An enthusiastic sold-out crowd also filled the Egyptian Theatre on Feb. 17 for Opera Idaho's La Boheme. Decked out in fine coats and dresses, the mostly older audience drank in Puccini's tale of two lovers and their band of bohemian friends set in the 1840s Parisian Latin Quarter. Staffer Stephen Foster noted that Rolando Sanz "played the lead role of the poet Rodolfo fantastically," and that Eleni Calenos, who played the coquettish, terminally ill Mimi "was similarly engaging with her huge vocal delivery and passionate acting."
Speaking of passionate acting, Alley Repertory Theater officially opened its adaptation of Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play on Feb. 17. Gross said the play's dialogue was snappy and there wasn't a weak link in the cast, but the subject matter--doctors curing the antiquated diagnosis of female "hysteria" with vibrators--had the audience constantly giggling.
"Though approximately 40 percent of the play is watching actors portray masturbation of one form or another, Alley Rep's Production of the Vibrator Play is an immensely entertaining mediation on medical history and gender roles that raises questions society still needs to ask itself more than 100 years after the play is set."
Read the full play review on Page 20.