Books & Talks
8 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat, Roosevelt High School, $37–77
This independently organized TED event features a number of speakers and performers, including comedian and former Portlander Bri Pruett, community organizer Gregory McKelvey, and Adrienne Nelson, the second black female judge in Oregon history. For more, check out our in-depth conversation with Nelson.
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Newmark Theatre, $26–70
Founded by former Alvin Ailey dancers Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden, the New York City-based troupe unites a variety of styles—from ballet to hip-hop—in these three pieces, including one set to Bach and another, Star Dust, that pays tribute to David Bowie.
7:30 p.m. Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Keller Auditorium, $50–125
Oregon Ballet Theatre opens its season with a world premiere, choreographed by Nicolo Fonte to Gershwin’s famous jazzy composition, performed live by Pink Martini’s Thomas Lauderdale and Hunter Noack. The full band with singer China Forbes, joins later for a reprise of the 2014 OBT hit Never Stop Falling (in Love).
Various times Fri–Tue, Cinema 21, $6.50–25
Zeitgeist Northwest, a nonprofit that aims to bring modern German culture to the US, returns with its annual celebration of cinema from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. From a documentary called Hitler’s Hollywood to Rivals Forever, which tells the story of the two brothers who created Adidas and Puma, expect more than a dozen films. (And yes, all with English subtitles.)
8 p.m. Sat–Sun, Revolution Hall, $45 (Saturday is already sold out)
To promote her first album in six years—Pleasure, praised by Pitchfork as "a collection of patient, lushly arranged songs"—the Canadian singer/songwriter and guitarist hits Revolution Hall for a two-night run. Saturday is already sold out, and Sunday will be her final show in the US before she continues her world tour in Singapore.
8 p.m. Sun, Roseland Theater, $49.50–69.50
Uber-indie stars the Shins returned with a new album, Heartworms, earlier this year, with the distinctive vocals of James Mercer hitting the high registers. Mercer himself largely produced his band’s first new album in almost five years. Listen up for bright, pop-laced odes to female empowerment, lamentations on aging, and light, tight tributes to unrequited love.
Noon and 7:30 p.m. Thu, 7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sun, Gerding Theater, $25–75
Portland Center Stage opens its season with a tight, moving production of the riotously popular, Tony-winning musical, based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel about coming out to her family as a lesbian.
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Artists Repertory Theatre, $50
A cross between live theater and visual art, Christopher Chen's Caught explores America’s obsession with the intersection of fact and fiction as it relates to art. Chinese artist Lin Bo, whose work once offended his country's government so severely that he was arrested and incarcerated for two years, will give an introduction prior to each performance. Plus, catch static components of Bo's work on display in the theater lobby through October from noon–6 p.m., Tuesdays–Sundays.
OPENING The Caucasian Chalk Circle
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Shaking the Tree, $30
Written at the close of World War II, Bertolt Brecht's parable tells the story of a peasant woman who inadvertently rescues the child of the town’s governor after he is beheaded following a coup. This Shaking the Tree production promises to comment on class elements of the fable that remain relevant today.
7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, The Old Church, $12–30
With the feverish speech patterns of a televangelist, Reverend Billy—a.k.a. performance artist Bill Talen—leads his flock in original gospel tunes about climate change, corporate rapacity, and deportation. This Boom Arts show is part protest, part comedy, and part earnest call for community.
OPENING Thomas Roma and Karolin Klüppel
Noon–9 p.m. Thu, noon–5 p.m. Fri–Sun, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
Photographer Karolin Kluppel's Kingdom of Girls focuses on young girls from the Indian village Mawlynnong, a matriarchal society where the family's land is passed to the youngest daughter. Thomas Roma's photos, Plato's Dogs, take inspiration from Plato's Allegory of the Cave, in which Plato sees shadows on the wall as a misrepresentation of reality. Roma captures silhouettes in an attempt to convey each dog's "essential self."
OPENING Tyler Mackie
11 a.m.–5 p.m. Thu–Sat, Wolff Gallery, FREE
In this collection of gouache paintings titled The Bleed Is Working, Portland-based artist Tyler Mackie explores the contradictions of womanhood, aiming to show that softness is power.
CLOSING Cirque du Soleil: Kurios
8 p.m. Thu–Sat, 4:30 p.m. Sat, 1 and 5 p.m. Sun, Portland Expo Center, $45–280
The Montreal troupe is back with its 35th show, this one a steampunk, sci-fi spectacle starring a curious scientist and all manner of gravity defying, jelly-bodied cast members. Even jaded critics are applauding Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities, with its Victorian era-meets-circus dreamscape set, novel narrative action, and intriguing, inventive new acts. Highlights include a rolling balance act that is pretty much a direct affront to gravity and the mechanics of motion, some gobsmackingly high flying trapeze antics, an upside-down bike ride, and a delightfully simple drama starring an animated hand.
Books & Talks