Our Staff’s Top Holiday Picks Tevealed!

Staff picks is a fun time of the season where each staff member at Portland Ovations writes about an upcoming performance they’re most excited about. We work very hard to bring these productions to you throughout the season and often get just as excited as our audiences to see these artists live on stage. Scroll down to read our picks and purchase your tickets!

Sasha Velour’s The Big Reveal Live Show!

Thursday, February 29, 2023, 7 PM
State Theatre, Portland

The first time I saw Sasha Velour perform I was mesmerized. Awesome stage presence, fantastic theatricality, stunning eye candy and even some – how’d she do that? Or more so, how’d she think to do that? I am absolutely fascinated by the choices artists make when creating original works that resonate long after the curtain comes down. In this case, Sasha’s selection of colors, textures, music, and performance cadence is a work of wonder. And of course, the surprises (love surprises!), big and small that challenge expectations and ideas. Performance that makes me think, see, and feel differently is always my go to. What might Sasha reveal to us and what might her performance reveal about ourselves?

– Aimée M. Petrin, Executive & Artistic Director

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Tuesday, April 8, 2024, 7 PM
Merrill Auditorium, Portland

Get ready for a light and fun, yet big with talent and impeccable comedic timing performance! The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain will take you on a journey to reveal unsuspected musical delights, keeping everyone laughing while also enjoying incredible music that you didn’t think would work on a ukulele. The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is one thing: unadulterated fun, and you will smile the entire time you are in the theater!”

– Mary Campbell, Office Administrator

Mean Girls
Broadway National Tour

Thursday, May 16, 2024, 7 PM
Friday, May 17, 2024, 7 PM
Merrill Auditorium, Portland

“Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by Regina George…

It may not be October 3, but you have to check out the Mean Girls musical and find out once and for all if butter is a carb. As a kid, I lived for the movie. Tina Fey is so fetch. And the best part? They’ve turned it into this amazing, groovy musical with all the catchy tunes, sassy dance moves, and grool one-liners you could ever dream of. Seriously, it’s like reliving all those Wednesday pink days, epic burn moments, and buttered muffins of high school all over again. My father may not be the inventor of Toaster Strudel, but I promise you’ll be quoting the show for months. You can sit with us!

P.S. The limit DOES exist, and this show will sell out. Be a cool mom and get your tickets soon. And none for Gretchen Weiners!”

– Casey Oakes, Associate Director

Come From Away
Broadway National Tour

Friday, January 12, 8 PM
Saturday, January 13, 1 PM & 7 PM
Merrill Auditorium, Portland

When things get tough, seeing how someone else got through tough times is seriously comforting. It’s way too easy not to push back when the world begins to implode; to cover your face and dread. We all felt that on September 11, 2001. And for passengers inbound to the US when the airspace was closed down it must have been terrifying. The folk of Gander, Newfoundland (population 11,000) were as horrified as any in the world at the events of 9/11, when suddenly 6500 bewildered travelers were in their midst – all needing basic necessities, and human kindness. It’s been a tough autumn this 2023. You know someone who needs to see how these people worked it out.

Cue the pennywhistle and the Cape Breton fiddle. 

Tickets to Come From Away are great medicine.”

– Eric Hager, Production Manager


Thursday, March 14, 2024, 7 PM
Merrill Auditorium, Portland

Who are 360 ALLSTARS? I asked that question too when first hearing their name. After one watch of the promotional video and I was hooked. These folks are just plain cool. Dancing, beat boxing, acrobatics, BMX biking and more, all on stage with energetic music and electric lighting. A beautiful marriage of performing arts and athletics, it’s 360 degrees of entertainment and fun. This event is great for the whole family with something to see at every corner of the stage, don’t miss it!

– Katie Day, Marketing Manager

Bluey’s Big Play

Wednesday, May 22, 6 PM
Thursday, May 23, 6 PM
Merrill Auditorium, Portland

Bluey’s Big Play


I don’t know what it’s like in your house, but it’s certainly a point of contention when my husband watches an episode of Bluey without me. Fortunately, our toddler is more than happy to tune in over and over again as the Heelers make us all laugh, dance, and—admittedly—tear up along with their games, antics, and sweet ruminations on life. Back for its second year, Bluey’s Big Play is as joyful and moving as the series. I can’t wait for my family to enjoy it all together, and we hope to see you there. Whether you’re 2 or 92, it’s well worth the dollarbucks this holiday season!

– Katelyn Manfre, Director of Community Programs & Partnerships

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Tuesday, April 30, 2023, 7 PM
Merrill Auditorium, Portland

Dance is for everyone. Alvin Ailey believed that ‘dance came from the people and that it should always be delivered back to the people’. As someone who identifies as an unrefined self-taught dancer, with no formal training to speak of, I am most excited to see Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for my very first time. Ailey’s seamless and iconic blend of the classical and contemporary epitomizes everything I love about dance. Both accessible and inviting to those new to the artform, Ailey’s repertoire is truly timeless and has contributed to some of the most iconic works in modern dance, paving the way for dance as a vehicle for resilience, joy, hope and self-discovery for all to behold.

– Jamie Barilone, Development Manager

Martha Redbone Roots Project

Thursday, February 1, 2024, 7 PM
First Parish Church, Portland

I grew up in a house full of folk music—Woody Guthrie, Joan Baez, and The Weavers were the soundtrack of my childhood. Martha Redbone’s rich voice brings me right back to sitting around a table, singing along to Midnight Special over empty dinner plates. With their tight harmonies and warm stage presence, the Martha Redbone Roots project is a shining example of American Roots Music, at once complex and incredibly, beautifully human; an enduring reminder of the power of music to create change.

– Liz Schildkret, Director of School & Family Programs