Friday, Powell's Books at Ceder Hills Crossing
After more than 20 years, the sarcastic, self-deprecatory writer's aptitude for getting into unlikely and highly comical situations is still beyond compare, as evidenced by his 2013 travel essay collection, Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls. Tickets are already on sale for his appearance at the Schnitz in 2015, but why wait when you can catch him for free this weekend at Powell's Cedar Hills Crossing. Maybe you'll get the first peak at whatever he's publishing next.
Back Fence: Mainstage
Friday, Hollywood Theatre
Going into its sixth year, Back Fence's mainstage event is moving from the Mission Theatre to Hollywood and rolling out some food trucks and prizes to celebrate, as well as performances by LA writer and Back Fence fav Jessica Lee Williamson, Moon Zappa (daughter of Frank), local sci-fi wunderkind Daniel H. Wilson (read our profile), explorer/photographer/dancer Intisar Abioto, and Blitzen Trapper drummer Brian Koch.
Wonderheads: The Middle of Everywhere
Friday–Saturday, The Headwaters Theatre
With nothing but a couple of masks and a wordless play about a feisty grandma who battles Death, creative couple Kate Braidwood and Andrew Phoenix took Canada’s Fringe Festivals by storm in 2011, winning four best-of-fest awards. After their second show, Loon, did even better, they started expanding to the US—and finally debuted in their hometown last fall. Now they bring their newest show about an everyday commuter and a mysterious girl who go on a cosmic journey. “If Pixar ever decides to go into the theatre business, they better call Wonderheads first,” said the Calgary Herald’s 2012 review of Loon, about a janitor who falls in love with the moon. Watch a video of their work.
Jawz: The Musical in 3-D
Thursday–Sunday, Alberta Rose Theater
Portlanders love ironically remaking the movies of their childhoods, but few recent productions can match Jawz for sheer twisted audacity. Members of the band Saloon Ensemble rewrote the script to include original songs (“We Need a Bigger Boat”), a Woody Allen–esque shark with a neurosis about eating people, and singing buckets of chum. What beats singing buckets of chum?
Closing Lizzie: The Musical
Thursday–Sunday, Portland Center Stage
We can’t believe there hasn’t already been a macabre rock musical about Ms. Borden, the infamous, ax-yielding poster child for ungrateful youth. Catch the West Coast premiere before it takes a whack at Broadway.
Ticket AlertJack White plays McMenamin's Edgefield on August 27. Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 am.
Joan Baez and Indigo Girls
Thursday, McMenamin's Edgefield
Combined with Sarah McLachlan earlier in the month (read our interview with McLachlan), Tori Amos, Lucinda Williams, and Lauryn Hill, this doubleheader makes the summer feel like an unofficial, season-long Lilith Fair.
Quiet Music Festival
Friday–Saturday, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center
If you wear earplugs to concerts, then this is the festival for you. Celebrating “soothecore,” an emotional, vibrant, low-volume music style, the artists in this lineup aim to make love to your ears with fourth-dimensional vibrations, shamanic trance, acoustic guitars, and quiet hip-hop.
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks
Saturday, Oregon College of Art & Craft
Portland-based indie rock icon Stephen Malkmus will play his only Portland show this summer to raise funds for Oregon College of Art and Craft. Famous for fronting Pavement in the '90s, he has spent the past 14 years performing as Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks. Partial tax deductions are available for those who purchase VIP and Patron tickets.
Saturday, McMenamin's Edgefield
Get “Back in the High Life Again” to “Roll with It”—that is, with this Grammy-winning singer formerly of Traffic—into a “Higher Love.” Enter to win a pair of tickets.
PHAME 30th Birthday Bash
Not all dancers and performers are nimble-footed ballerinas. Some can’t walk at all—but that won’t stop them from living their dreams onstage. PHAME creates the opportunity for adults with disabilities to shine and express their artistic side through song, dance, and theater.
Peacock in the Park
Sunday, Washington Park
For 18 years, Peacock in the Park was Portland’s gay equivalent of the Super Bowl: thousands from the queer spectrum flocked to Washington Park’s ampitheater, spread out blankets and coolers of beer, and mingled before a stage of drag and music performances. Ten years after Peacock folded up its tail, the spectacle returns. We suspect it’ll be more colorful than ever.
10th Annual Organic Brewers Festival
Thursday–Sunday, Overlook Park
Grab a Post-It and put a reminder on your computer, your fridge, or your child's forehead: June 26-29 sees the return of the North American Organic Brewers Festival at Overlook Park. The four-day event will feature tastings from 40 different breweries, representing some of the industry leaders in organic brewing.
Chamber Music Northwest Summer Festival
Thursday–Sunday, Reed College
Every summer, Chamber Music Northwest fills the music halls of Reed and Portland State with soaring music from around the world. This summer’s lineup of nearly 70 artists and ensembles includes Grammy winners the Emerson String Quartet and Edgar Meyer, Portland favorites Andre Watts and Ida Kavafian, and so many more.
Tango Music Institute Performance
Saturday, Reed College
Join Grammy-winning tango guitarist Pablo Aslan and Reed College music professor Morgan Luker for the closing night performance of Reed's week-long celebration of tango music. The performance will be followed by a milonga, or a tango social, and the public will be invited to dance for hours. Lessons and demonstrations will be available for beginners, but those who left their dancing shoes at home are invited to simply continue enjoying the music.
Thursday–Sunday, Fox Tower
"We meet Lewis Birch (wonderfully played by Griffin Dunne, most recently seen in The Dallas Buyers Club), an idealistic community college teacher by day and security guard by night in Chicago. He struggles desperately both to jumpstart his dying career and for the affection of his kids—Zoe (Madeleine Martin), the Chomsky-reading vegan, and Jack (Devon Graye), the stoned skater who sinks into his sketchbook... With the well-drawn characters in place in the unlikely, cell phone–adverse setting [of a Lewis and Clark reenactment trek], the movie, written and directed by first-timer Justin Schwarz, quickly finds its footing in sharp dialogue, as the family’s struggles with historical accuracy ensures that they stay at each other’s throats..." Read our full review.
Jewish Film Festival
Thursday, Saturday–Sunday, NW Film Center
This year’s films range from a modern-day film-noir descent into Jerusalem’s criminal underbelly, The Wonders (Saturday), to Claude Lanzmann’s documentary about the last surviving “Jewish Elder” appointed by the Nazis to run the “model ghetto” camp at Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia (Sunday).
Shirley Tse: Quantum Shirley
Thursday–Sunday, Pacific Northwest College of Art
Showing work around the world isn’t enough for Los Angeles-based artist Shirley Tse. She wants to show in alternate worlds and parallel universes. Her mixed-media installations explore ideas from “new physics” like multiple-world theory and their connections to her own history as part of the Chinese Diaspora. One of the potentially infinite Tse’s will give a talk on July 3.
Xibalba: A Journey Through the Afterlife
Friday–Saturday, Portland Center for the Performing Arts
This flashy local company’s newest work explores the dark world of Mayan mythology with costume help from Project Runway contestant Bryce Black.