By Marty Hughley
Perhaps that's where the ghost came from--the ghost that keeps after Marv Ross.
Several years ago, a Native American elder suggested that a ghost must have gotten ahold of Ross and was compelling him to tell a story about the loss of Celilo Falls and the way of life centered there. Ross is best known as the songwriter and guitarist for Quarterflash, a Portland pop band that scored platinum records in the 1980s, and the guiding force behind folk-music favorites the Trail Band. But beginning in the 1990s, he spent a decade obsessively developing what would become "The Ghosts of Celilo," an innovative and moving work of musical theater that premiered in September 2007 at the Newmark Theatre.
The show was a success, earning glowing reviews, selling out most performances and having its run extended. For a while, the ghost that spurred Ross seemed satisfied, even as it came time to remount the musical--which returns to the Newmark for nine performances, beginning Friday night.
Native American musical 'The Ghosts of Celilo' in Portland again: Our coverage
For more on the subject, see Native Plays and Other Stage Shows.
Below: "Native American fishermen harvest salmon in 1937 at Celilo Falls."