BOOKS & TALKS
7:30 p.m. Friday, Powell's City of Books, FREE
Slate contributor and co-creator of the website Atlas Obscura, Dylan Thuras is on tour with his new book, Atlas Obscura: An Explorers Guide to Hidden Wonders, which catalogs the 700 amazing and mysterious places he's visited during his career.
7 p.m. Saturday, Revolution Hall
As host of radio program Snap Judgment, Glynn Washington creates some of the most dynamic, haunting audio work out there. He’ll hit the Revolution Hall stage with several storytellers and a live band.
All Jane Comedy Festival
Various times Thursday–Sunday, Curious Comedy Theater and Revolution Hall
Maria Bamford, the undisputed maestro of turning mental health issues into guffaw-inducing jokes, headlines the fifth installment of this all-women comedy fest. (She’s at Revolution Hall on October 9; all other shows are Curious Comedy.) Also on the bill: Bamford bestie Jackie Kashian, who headlined All Jane in its inaugural year, Maggie Maye, Page Hurwitz, Kate Willett, and local legend Susan Rice. Plus, we've got a Q&A with Dulcé Sloan, who's performing at three showcases during the fest.
8 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, CoHo Theater
Bri Pruett, one of Portland's funniest, gutsiest comedians, puts on a solo show that roves from body positivity to online dating to overcoming trauma to real talk about sex. Oh, and she's programmed a Sade-loaded soundtrack, should you need further reason to attend.
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, Newmark Theatre
The last time these LA performers scampered and soared through Portland, their athletic choreography and enormous sets—the company’s tagline is “architecture in motion”—elicited gasps from audience members. In this new two-part program, the dancers maneuver around massive cubes and shifting flights of stairs.
7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Keller Auditorium
Oregon Ballet Theatre opens its 27th season with a history-tracing bill: 1934’s Serenade, Russian-born George Balanchine’s first work choreographed in America; 1987’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, William Forsythe’s fiercely off-kilter ballet set to a thundering, electronic score by Thom Willems; and Giants Before Us, a world premiere by OBT resident choreographer Nicolo Fonte.
H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival
Various times Friday–Sunday, Hollywood Theatre
The annual celebration of Lovecraft’s weird brand of horror returns for its 21st year, with films, games, music, and more devoted to the Cthulhu creator. Plus, we've got seven can't-miss events at the fest.
9 p.m. Thursday, The Liquor Store
The prolific Portland folk rocker returns with a ninth album, Brutal Lives, about finding new life—the central song, "Belle Isle," is about a Detroit park that's received renewed attention in recent years.
8 p.m. Friday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, SOLD OUT
Fifty years ago, a 23-year-old Californian released one of the seminal rock albums of all time. Now, to celebrate its anniversary, the Beach Boys cofounder plays Pet Sounds in its entirety—supposedly this tour marks his final performance of the masterpiece.
8 p.m. Saturday, Wonder Ballroom
Thomas Fec, frontman of psychedelic Black Moth Super Rainbow, has been quietly making experimental art-electronica under the name Tobacco for almost a decade. But the latest from the famously private musician is probably his best yet, with his signature vocals that sound like they’re coming from an Echo Mic and a heady dissonance that knocks you off your feet.
The Julie Ruin
7:30 p.m. Sunday, Wonder Ballroom
Riot grrrl icon Kathleen Hanna (formerly of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre) and the band have unveiled a second album, Hit Reset, which balances aggressive punk anthems, danceable beats, and political proclamations.
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Artists Repertory Theatre
Remember Travis the chimp? Back in 2009, the pet primate—who’d starred in Coke and Old Navy commercials and could sip wine from a stemmed glass—mauled and blinded his owner’s friend. Nick Jones’s absurdist play, presented by Artists Rep, leaps from that gory incident into an exploration of fame, fear, and the frustrations of communication.
CLOSING Come Inside: A Sex & Culture Theater Festival
Various times Thursday–Saturday, The Headwaters
Dance Naked Productions revives this “smut-positive” festival, bringing together eight shows exploring—among many other things—phone sex, horny tomboys, the goings-on of a professional dungeon, awkward sex talks, masturbation in the Montreal airport, and cosmic sexology.
How I Learned What I Learned
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Portland Playhouse
Since 2010, Portland Playhouse has produced six works by landmark black playwright August Wilson, who died in 2005. Now it’s landed the rights to his autobiographical solo show, which traces Wilson’s life as he comes of age in Pittsburgh, confronts the injustices of racism, and develops his powerful, poetic voice.
OPENING American Hero
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Artists Repertory Theatre
In the Northwest premiere of Bess Wohl’s comedy, a miserable squad of “sandwich artists” labor to locate their absent overseer. In spite of it all, this unlikely group of heroes manages to hang on and even thrive.
OPENING Head Hands Feet: Four Tales of Dismemberment
7:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday, Shaking the Tree
Shaking the Tree artistic director Samantha Van Der Merwe excels at transforming fantastical stories into immersive theatrical worlds, which she’ll do four times over for this multimedia retelling of three grisly fairy tales and one Greek tragedy.
7:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday, Back Door Theatre
Fresh off the New York Times′ top-10 list of 2015 plays, Hir makes its Northwest premiere with Defunkt—the latest last stop in a cross-country march through American theaters. This darkly funny comedy follows the heart-wrenching transitions of a family confronted with PTSD, life-changing illness, and shifting gender identities.
CLOSING Elizabeth Malaska
12–6 p.m. Thursday–Sunday, Nationale, FREE
In When We Dead Awaken II, the Portlander—who draws from both classical painting and Surrealism in her images—continues her exploration of the nude female body and the often patriarchal ways ways it’s been represented in art.
OPENING Andy Warhol: Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation
10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday–Sunday, Portland Art Museum
From the iconic (think Campbell’s tomato soup can and neon-hued Marilyn Monroe) to more obscure early works, this wide-ranging showcase of about 250 images is the Pacific Northwest’s largest-ever display of Warhol’s work.
OPENING 30 Years
11 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Thursday–Friday and 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday, Russo-Lee Gallery, FREE
Thirty years is a long time—maybe even longer in gallery years. But that’s how long Laura Russo Gallery has served the region’s artists and art audiences in its Northwest space. This month the gallery celebrates its 30th birthday with a new name—the Russo-Lee Gallery, after proprietor Martha Lee—and a 30th-anniversary group show, featuring work from all the contemporary artists the gallery represents, among them Samantha Wall, Michael Brophy, and Mel Katz.
Portland Open Studios
10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday–Sunday, various locations
More than 100 local artists offer a ground-level view of their work, inviting Portlanders into their studios to see them throw pottery, hammer metal into delicate jewelry, or brush paint onto canvas. For full list of locations, visit portlandopenstudios.com.
Noon–2 p.m. and 5–7 p.m. Thursday and noon–2 p.m. Saturday, Mont Blanc Building, FREE
Get a peek at some of the most pioneering (but also functional) furniture design being created in the Pacific Northwest, from sleek benches to geometrically patterned stools to chic lighting fixtures. For more, check out our preview.
Various times Thursday–Saturday, 2204 N Randolph Ave
Portland’s schmanciest fashion event returns, with a weekend of runway shows featuring local stars such as Michelle Lesniak and Wendy Ohlendorf, alongside designers from much farther afield.
Art, Special Events
Books & Talks
Books & Talks