My Children! My Africa!
Thu–Sun at 7:30; Theater! Theatre!
Profile Theatre’s exceptionally strong season of works by South African playwright Athol Fugard feels like it has been building to the emotionally cataclysmic My Children! My Africa! Directed by Adriana Baer, three performers transform a bare stage into a classroom where a passionate black teacher tries to create an academic team between his troubled black protégé and a compassionate but privileged white student while the whole area teeters on revolution. The play revisits many of the themes of Fugard’s other work, but it does so with a poetry that sets it apart. And the performances by Bobby Bermea as the teach and the young Chelsie Kinney and Gilbert Geliciano are spellbinding. A definite must see.
Beaux Arts Club
Fri–Sat at 8; Imago Theatre
A painting of a bowl of fruit isn't especially provocative, but it's also less likely to escape and run amok at a party. Imago's co-artistic director Carol Triffle has penned a black comedy about three competitive women trying to prove themselves as risk-taking artists.
The Left Hand of Darkness
Thu–Sat at 7:30, Sat–Sun at 2; Portland Playhouse
"With a bare-bones set and an equally bare-bones budget … they manage to create something that almost transports us to that faraway world—a narrative space ship of extension chords and imagination." Read our review of The Left Hand of Darkness.
Tamara Staples: The Magnificent Chicken
Thu–Sat at noon; Blue Sky Gallery
People might be diverse, but chickens are downright sweeping in their variety. Staple’s show collects a series of portraits of prize-winning show birds in front of cloth backdrops. This show will no doubt be a Portland hit.
Hecklevision: Road House
Sat at 7:30; Hollywood Theatre
It's the latest in interactive entertainment as viewers text their drollest witticisms to appear on the screen as the film plays. See Patrick Swayze punch and kick a whole townful of drunken rowdies while priceless comments like "Oooh! That's gotta hurt!" accentuate the action.
Tony Starlight's AM Gold
Friday at 8; Alberta Rose Theatre
If you're too young to remember soft-rock sounds of the 70s, club owner and entertainment dynamo Tony Starlight will don a feathered wig and the tightest pants known to mankind in order to channel the likes of Elton John, Jim Croce, Barry Manilow and other mellow masters from nearly five decades ago.
Sat at 9; Doug Fir Lounge
Tuneful indie rock awash in psychedelic country flourishes has never worked so well. Los Angeles combo Beachwood Sparks fuses sweet hippie harmonies with lap-steel guitars to create cosmic country, a brand of music best exemplified by beloved bands of yore including Moby Grape, New Riders of the Purple Sage and (yikes!) the Grateful Dead.
Fri at 9, Mississippi Studios
This local quintet transcend the usual limitations faced by jazz ensembles in search of a broader audinece. The music is vibrant, varied, and perfectly appropriate to suit the mood of any room from carnival to contemplative. Blue Cranes are celebrating the release of their latest album Swim. So dive in!
Fri at 8; Aladdin Theater
If you're incapable of getting a groove on at an Ozomatli concert then you may want to summon your clergyman to deliver the last rites, 'cause you're not long for this world. A brassy confluence of Latin funk, hip-hop, and tribal good vibes, Ozomatli tirelessly exhorts its fans to jump higher, clap harder, and pump it up till you can't pump no more.
Rose Festival CityFair
Fri at 5, Sat–Mon at 11 am; Tom McCall Waterfront Park
Portlanders can gauge the onset of summer when the tents and towering carnival rides of the Rose Festival's CityFair appear at Waterfront Park. Be among the two-dozen fearless flyers launched skyward in the Big Sling or wet your whistle with a refreshing Rogue ale at the beer garden. See? It really is fun for the whole family.
Sat–Sun at 10 am; Crowne Plaza
If sci-fi conventions and comic-cons are just a little too specific for your tastes, then Wonder Northwest might be just the ticket. Geeks and nerds from all across the pop-culture continuum will gather for two days of gaming, costume contests, and rad dancing. Chances are good that you will find your tribe no matter how outlandish your attire.