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Radiation City plays Revolution Hall on Friday.

Image: Holly Andres

Comedy

Amy Miller
8 p.m. Friday, Siren Theater
We may never forgive comedian Amy Miller for ditching us for Los Angeles earlier this year, but at least she's jetting back to Portland to celebrate the release of her first album, Solid Gold. Onstage, Miller juggles self-deprecation, ferocity, and compassion, and we never tire of hearing stories about her wackadoo childhood.

Flying Fruitcake
7:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday, Curious Comedy Theater
Improvisers from Curious Comedy collide (hopefully not literally) with aerialists from around the Portland area to create a holiday-themed comedy show.

Dance

The Portland Ballet
2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday and 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday, Lincoln Performance Hall
In a Thanksgiving tradition, the young dancers of the Portland Ballet perform The Enchanted Toyshop (spinning and leaping dolls!), as well as a new piece, Anne Mueller's festive Gift Box. 

TV & Film

Gilmore Girls
All day Friday, Artists Repertory Theatre
Why binge-watch the Gilmore Girls revival alone when you can huddle with fellow Rory and Lorelai fanatics for a marathon viewing? Artists Rep hosts a free, all-day screening, with doors opening at 9:30 a.m. and screenings continuing until 5:30 p.m. Added incentive? Midway through the day, actor Ted Rooney—Morey on the show, and a cast member in Artists Rep's production of A Civil War Christmas (see below)—will stop by, so be prepared to pump him for Stars Hollow gossip.

Les Blank: Cultural Rarities
7 p.m. Sunday, Hollywood Theatre
The Hollywood celebrates the idiosyncratic genius of documentarian Les Blank, screening two features—one about Hawaii and another about Serbian-Americans—and a recently discovered short about Thailand.

Music

Portland Cello Project
8 p.m. Friday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
A decade ago, 10 cellists took to the Doug Fir stage to blast the milling, booze-swilling crowd with a kind of music more traditionally associated with concert halls. What became known as the Portland Cello Project went down so well, they did it again—at other clubs around the city (Mississippi Studios, Holocene), and then around the country, in high-energy performances that led to records and raves, fluctuating lineups, and, this month, an anniversary show at the Schnitz that promises new compositions alongside old favorites. 

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Happy 10th birthday, Portland Cello Project.

Car Seat Headrest
9 p.m. Friday, Wonder Ballroom
Just one of those 20-somethings who recorded a heap of songs in the family car and quietly self-released them on Bandcamp before signing with indie juggernaut Matador Records, Will Toledo crafts emotive, lyrically smart guitar-pop.

Radiation City
9 p.m. Friday, Revolution Hall
Portland’s terribly sexy “space-age doo-wop” outfit has reinvented itself as an outlandish experimental pop group. Fellow locals Pure Bathing Culture and Sama Dams open.

Holiday Pops
7:30 p.m. Saturday–Sunday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
You can run, but you can’t hide from the onslaught of holiday music about to flood your ear holes. The Pacific Youth Choir joins the symphony and conductor Jeff Tyzik for a program of carols and other festive tunes.

Thee Oh Sees
9 p.m. Sunday, Revolution Hall, SOLD OUT
You can count on these garage rockers to deliver one of the thrashiest, most frenetic live sets out there—the San Fran band has even turned Pickathon’s Woods Stage into a throbbing party. No small feat.

Theater

OPENING A Civil War Christmas
7:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Artists Repertory Theatre
Populated by the Lincolns, Ulysses S. Grant, and Robert E. Lee, Pulitzer winner Paula Vogel’s song-studded, DC-set drama travels back to Christmas Eve, 1864. The New York Times called it “a beautifully stitched tapestry of American lives.”

OPENING Parfumerie
7:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Venetian Theatre
Before Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan got mail, there was this 1936 Hungarian play by Miklós László about feuding perfumery employees who’ve fallen in love as anonymous pen pals. This version, presented by Hillsboro’s Bag & Baggage Theatre, was adapted by László’s nephew, E. P. Dowdall.

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Darius Pierce returns as Crumpet the Elf.

The Santaland Diaries
7:30 p.m. Saturday–Sunday, Gerding Theater
The perfect antidote to the stress of the holiday season, Darius Pierce returns to the Ellen Bye Studio as Crumpet the Elf in David Sedaris’s oddball Christmas classic.

Visual Art

CLOSING Leaving Troy
11 a.m.–5 p.m. Friday–Saturday, Blackfish Gallery
It’s become an all-too-common story in Portland: a building goes up for sale, a developer swoops in, and artists are pushed out. That’s what happened to the Troy Laundry building this past summer, when its owners jacked up the rent and most of its nearly 50 artists were ousted. Here, former tenants Barbara Black and Angela Passalacqua reflect on their displacement. For more, check out our slideshow of Black's and Passalacqua's work.

CLOSING Alexander Chekmenev and Pablo Ortiz Monasterio
Noon–5 p.m. Thursday–Sunday, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
Chekmenev’s photography offers a glimpse into post-Soviet Ukraine, including portraits of homebound citizens having their passport photos taken. Monasterio, meanwhile, has created photo collages to memorialize the disappearance of 43 Mexican students in 2014—a kidnapping linked to the drug war.

Sean Healy
10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday, Elizabeth Leach Gallery
In Gut, the multimedia artist—known for work created from chewing gum and cigarette butts—examines maleness and aging via materials that, in his words, “droop and sag.”

Jamila Clarke
1–5 p.m. Friday–Saturday, Wolff Gallery, FREE
Portlander Clarke says the fantasy-specked photos in her new exhibit, The Stories People Tell, “serve as visual interpretations of folktales.”

Special Events

Little Boxes
All day Friday and Saturday, various locations
Forget the big-box stores. Instead, begin your holiday shopping while also doing some good for the local economy at this collaborative, city-wide event, now in its sixth year. More than 200 shops are participating, with lots of opportunities to save, win raffle prizes, and generally feel good about supporting Portland businesses. For more, check out our event preview.

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In this Article

Art

Jamila Clarke

FREE Wolf Gallery

Portlander Clarke says the fantasy-specked photos in her new exhibit, The Stories People Tell, "serve as visual interpretations of folktales."

Art

Sean Healy

FREE Elizabeth Leach Gallery

In Gut, the multimedia artist—known for work created from chewing gum and cigarette butts—examines maleness and aging via materials that, in his words, “droo...

Art

Alexander Chekmenev and Pablo Ortiz Monasterio

Editor’s Pick 12:00 PM FREE Blue Sky

Chekmenev’s photography offers a glimpse into post-Soviet Ukraine, including portraits of homebound citizens having their passport photos taken. Monasterio, ...

Art

Leaving Troy

FREE Blackfish Gallery

It’s become an all-too-common story in Portland: a building goes up for sale, a developer swoops in, and artists are pushed out. That’s what happened to the ...

Theater

The Santaland Diaries 2016

7:30 PM and 2:00 PM $35–$55 Portland Center Stage

The perfect antidote to the stress of the holiday season, Darius Pierce returns to the Ellen Bye Studio as Crumpet the Elf in David Sedaris’s oddball Christm...

Theater

Parfumerie

2:00 PM $27–$32 Venetian Theatre

Before Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan got mail, there was this 1936 Hungarian play by Miklós László about feuding perfumery employees who’ve fallen in love as anonym...

Theater

A Civil War Christmas

2:00 PM and 7:30 PM $50 Artists Repertory Theatre

Populated by the Lincolns, Ulysses S. Grant, and Robert E. Lee, Pulitzer winner Paula Vogel’s song-studded, DC-set drama travels back to Christmas Eve, 1864....

Concerts

Thee Oh Sees

SOLD OUT Revolution Hall

You can count on these garage rockers to deliver one of the thrashiest, most frenetic live sets out there—the San Fran band has even turned Pickathon’s Woods...

Concerts

Holiday Pops

$23–$105 Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

You can run, but you can’t hide from the onslaught of holiday music about to flood your ear holes. The Pacific Youth Choir joins the symphony and conductor J...

Concerts

Car Seat Headrest

$15 Wonder Ballroom

Just one of those 20-somethings who recorded a heap of songs in the family car and quietly self-released them on Bandcamp before signing with indie juggernau...

Concerts

Portland Cello Project

Editor’s Pick $28–$45 Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

A decade ago, 10 cellists took to the Doug Fir stage to blast the milling, booze-swilling crowd with a kind of music more traditionally associated with conce...