David Saffert’s Birthday Bashstravaganza!: Die More Hard
Review in short: There’s really only one word to describe David Saffert’s Birthday Bashtravaganza! Die More Hard, and you can likely guess it: goofy. From the opening number, in which he strips from his tux to a bathrobe and bunny slippers (which nod frenetically as he pushes the piano pedals), this accompanist for the Portland Opera sets a playfully light tone for the annual Fertile Ground variety show he throws on his birthday. It might be just be another variety show, if not for the prestige of its guests, which include Oregon Ballet soloist Lucas Threefoot (who starts out with a Star Wars interpretive dance), Portland Opera’s mezzo soprano Alexis Hamilton, who gives an incredibly emotional performance, and violin and cello pair Annie Harkey-Power and Don Power. Which is to say, incredible performers you’d usually have to squint to see at the Keller, but now you get them up close and with a Martini. Plus, there’s a Skyped in “performance” by Russian pianist Vladimir Sultanov and puppets—damn good puppets.