Portland Ovations 2018 – 19 Season Staff Picks

Who better to give performance recommendations than Portland Ovations staff themselves?

With an incredible line up for 2018-19 ranging from an intimate, classical performance by admired pianist Inon Barnatan to the maple syrup sugar rush of holiday spirit that is “Elf The Broadway Musical”  it was nearly impossible for the Ovations’ staff to pick just one performance that we each can’t wait for this season. We’re excited for all of the upcoming events, but here are some we are REALLY excited about.



Aimée’s Pick: Lady Rizo

Lady Rizo! She is a powerhouse. She is so much more than a performer simply singing a set, Lady Rizo is a true artist who crafts her shows with heart and soul. She’s raucous and wickedly funny. She has a huge heart and cares deeply. She believes in the power of live performance and arts education. I could go on…. And I’m not alone in singling her out. Just recently one of  my most revered colleagues named her as his top pick at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She is also a longtime collaborator and has performed with two other artists I highly admire: Taylor Mac and Young Jean Lee.


Liz’s Pick: Nicole Wolcott & Larry Keigwin “Places Please!”

Typically the only people in the dance world privy to the beauties of the choreographic creative process, and the anxieties of performances and auditions are the dancers themselves. The audience only experiences the polished final product. Nicole Wolcott and Larry Keigwin give audiences a peek behind the scenes, and they do so with a balance of beautiful movements and sense of humor that can be appreciated by all. The openness and vulnerability of this performance is going to resonate even more being set in One Longfellow Square’s intimate space.


Chip’s Pick: “National Geographic Live!”

The “National Geographic Live!” series brings a new form of artful presentation to Merrill Auditorium, with visually stunning, and entertaining presentations from experts in three varying fields from Mark Synnott’s stories of climbing extreme mountain peaks,Thomas Peschak’s tales of diving to the depths of the ocean, and Jodi Cobb’sexperiences capturing the humanitarian nature around the globe through photographic journalism. The stunning photography from each of these presenters will look incredible in Merrill Auditorium’s space, and their stories will inspire audiences of all ages.


Sam’s Pick: Alsarah & the Nubatones

Alsarah has an incredible voice and, paired with the Nubatones’ “East African retro-pop” rhythms, she will be sure to get Portland moving in the middle of winter!


Mary’s Pick: “The Sound of Music”

When I was in fifth grade I sang my first solo performance at the West District School’s music festival….“My Favorite Things”.
At a young age I fell in love with Christopher Plummer, envied Julie Andrews’ voice, and loved how Liesl’s gown twirled so beautifully while dancing with Rolfe.
Later in life, with girls of my own, we all would sing out loud, together, never missing a word, never tiring of the music.
“The Sound of Music” is a true classic.
The story will never get old and the music will live on forever.


Cat’s Pick: Ranky Tanky

The combination of genre and geographical origin, spirituals and sound has me totally fired up for Ranky Tanky!
It’s going to be a fun, and inspiring performance!


Laura’s Pick: 600 HIGHWAYMEN: “The Fever”

I’m most excited about 600 Highwaymen’s “The Fever” because it is unlikeANYTHING we’ve presented before. Immersive, thought-provoking, and challenging, it will change the way all of us think about theater.


Rebecca’s Pick: Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

I used to work for Gaynor Minden, the pointe shoe brand that many of the Trocks wear. I remember fitting a few of them in the boutique in New York City – that’s when you’re grateful for the size 13 extra-wide extra-hard pair of pointe shoes tucked away in the back of the stock room. They were some of our funniest and most delightful clients. I can’t wait to get Trockin’!