Bret Anthony Johnston’s outward appearance oozes fiction writer. You see his thick-rimmed glasses and often solemn photos and you think, Yup, this is what they’re all like. But Johnston (whose name sounds a little like a member of a boy band, doesn’t it?) is so much more than the scarf-wearing stereotype you might associate with the typical writer.
If the name of a comic’s album gives us any insight into what to expect in his comedy, then Myq Kaplan’s albums titles are supremely helpful. There’s his most recent album – “Small, Dork, and Handsome” – along with “Meat Robot,” and “Vegan Mind Meld”, to name a few.
I’ll admit when Ian Karmel announced he was leaving Portland, a part of me panicked. It’s not that Portland doesn’t have other great comics – we certainly do (Sean Jordan, Curtis Cook, Jen Tam, Barbra Holm, to name a few) – but Ian was my surefire indication that a show would be funny. If he was on the bill, it was almost definite that other awesome funny people would be in the line-up, too. What would I do without that reassurance?
The fact that we even have Bridgetown Comedy Festival today can be owed to comedian Matt Braunger (and co-founder, Andy Wood). Braunger, who was born and raised in northeast Portland, describes himself as “…a lightning-rod of awkwardness…” in one of his specials. His humor is grab-a-beer-with-a-friend relatable, and he bursts with energy on stage.
Food and wine festivals can often feel like a Catch-22. On one hand, they’re an awesome way to showcase chefs and restaurants from across the country, drawing higher tourism numbers to a city perhaps lower on the radar. On the other hand, however, tickets for festival events are often unreasonably expensive, asking for hundreds of dollars per person for high-end dinners, and thousands of dollars for an all-access pass, making them feel unrealistic for the average food fan to attend.
I blame Kevin Sandri for my appreciation of the food cart. My first year in Portland, his cart, Garden State, was selling sandwiches at…