1. January 1
The Book of Mormon was, quite simply, the most fun we’ve ever had at a musical, not to mention the year’s hottest ticket. Fortunately, Elders Price and Cunningham will be buzzing our doorbells again in 2014.
2. January 9
Profile Theatre’s new artistic head, Adriana Baer, made her directorial debut with heartrending productions of The Road to Mecca and My Children! My Africa!, winning our vote for Best New Director.
3. January 12
Chris Fraser tricked our eyeballs and blew our minds with his interactive light installation, In Passing, at Disjecta.
4. April 6
Portland Center Stage’s Clybourne Park gleefully dove into the taboo topic of race with
a production worthy of Broadway—or at least the Drammy for Best Ensemble.
5. April 8
Portland’s two literary bombshells, Cheryl Strayed and Storm Large, shared the Oregon Book Awards, and Wordstock’s founder, the irascible Larry Colton, gave the expletive-soaked speech of the season.
6. June 18
The Portland Art Museum’s sweaty embrace of the World Naked Bike Ride for the opening of its Cyclepedia exhibit was a move so ballsy, it wouldn’t even happen on Portlandia.
7. August 2
From Feist’s first solo show in seven years to gospel singers the Relatives’ barn-raising dance party, Pickathon’s 15th year was its most eclectic yet, further cementing it as one of the best fests in the country.
8. August 29
Following in the footsteps of ex-Portland comic Ron Funches (whose new show, Undateable, will debut mid-eason on NBC), Portlander Ian Karmel barely settled into LA before getting hired as a writer and guest on Chelsea Lately.
9. September 14
Cabaret diva Meow Meow crowd-surfed the blue-haired Oregon Symphony audience before closing out her TBA performance with Thomas Lauderdale in a guest-swollen finale worthy of The Muppet Show.
10. October 16
Named a finalist for the National Book Award, poet Mary Szybist’s sophomore book, Incarnadine, proved she hadn’t lost her edge since her highly decorated debut 10 years ago. Winners announced on November 20.