Woodstock’s dozens of literary exhibitors and more than 100 participating authors shine a spotlight on contemporary American fiction and raise funds to benefit public-school writing programs. Sidescroll through aisles to encounter such text-wielding exhibitors as Hellboy publisher Dark Horse Comics and the literary journal McSweeney’s or head to a workshop on essential story structure (Sunday, 3 p.m.) to deconstruct fiction-making basics, hone sharper stories, and construct more elaborate, satirical Twitters.
In the introductory class, a professional fire-dancing coach will cover basic poi movements performed on the sides of the body, such as weaves, spins, corkscrews, and more. The flameless poi used during the class neatly mimic the weight and feeling of fire, ensuring that when you decide to move on to fire for performance, crime fighting, or just make grilling a steak overly dramatic, you'll be ready.
Returning after a successful stint on Broadway, the critically acclaimed Imago Theatre brings dramatic dexterity through animated storytelling appropriate for all ages inhabiting Portland. Its current production, ZooZoo, instills the officiousness of humans into a gaggle of creatures, ranging from mammal to amphibian. With only music and movement, ZooZoo immerses audiences in a surreal theatrical world filled with insects performing gymnastics, penguins playing musical chairs, and anteaters serving meals at a restaurant.
The chain of Helium Comedy Clubs releases giggle gas from famed headliners and tomorrow's brightest stars at its Philadelphia, Portland, and Buffalo locations. In front of a tabled showroom that allows audiences a clear sightline and maximizes guffaw acoustics, a bustling calendar of familiar comic talent fills most of the week with levity, and open mic nights and standup workshops put aspiring jokesmiths higher up the comedy rung. Although the club holds guests to a two-item minimum, the menu inspires curiosity regarding maximum orders, with tempting savories such as shrimp cocktail, pulled-pork sliders, avocado and chicken paninis, and spicy potato bites with ranch dressing.
With 58 schools in 23 states, the inspiring and performance-driven School of Rock enthusiastically infuses fledgling tunesmiths across the nation with the rhythm, skill, and confidence required to rock 'n' roll. Each instructor at the school is a professional musician, and fully equipped with the know-how to catapult instrumentalists to the crest of Mount Rockmore.
The Irish Curse is a rollicking investigation of masculinity straight from the pen of Martin Casella, who not only played one of the parapsychologists in Steven Spielberg's Poltergeist, but also worked beside the silver-screen titan as an assistant director while filming the Academy Award–winning film Raiders of the Lost Ark. Rife with sizzling language and brutal honesty, The Irish Curse zeroes in on an all-male cast during weekly support-group gatherings in a church basement, where they address a specific man-related imperfection that impacts them individually. Obsessive body-image gripes are soon interrupted, however, when a fresh-faced newcomer joins the group and proceeds to unveil the comical truths of their collective predicament.