Top Things to Do This Weekend: May 3–5
H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival & CthulhuCon
Fri at 7, Sat–Sun at noon; Hollywood Theatre
Gotta love the Lovecraft! It's a May installment of this annual fearsome film festival and convention of curious customers, all paying tribute to the late H.P. Lovecraft, an early 20th century writer who helped establish the genre of "weird fiction." Films based on his infamous short stories, including Pickman's Model, The Thing on the Doorstep, and The Picture in the House will be screened, and guests, honored and otherwise, will gather for provocative panel discussions and lectures.
Left Hand of Darkness
Fri–Sat at 8, Sat–Sun at 2; Portland Playhouse
Portland Playhouse and Hand2Mouth Theatre team up to tackle a dramatic adaptation of Portland author Ursula K. LeGuin's acclaimed sci-fi classic. Way, way far in the future, an emissary from an emerging league of planets is sent to Gethen (it means "winter"), a world where it's bloody cold, and the citizens have no particular gender. Which is to say, it should be delightfully impossible to stage. Read our preview from the magazine.
Manos: The Hands of Fate
Fri–Sat at 8; Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center
The source material for this theatrical production is one of the worst movies ever made. But writer-director-star Brian Koch isn't going to let that stop him. He and co-stars Sean McGrath and Jason Rouse bring a Mystery Science Theater sensibility to this story of a weird cult leader, his harem of hotties, and a freakish henchman.
Sat at 6; Yale Union
Local nonprofit p:ear has a reputation for throwing great parties, and its annual fundraising auction and gala is usually a doozy. Guests can goggle at the flying antics of the Circus Project, dig the desert soundscapes of Decemberists' spinoff group Black Prairie, and consider enviable prize packages under the mallet of renowned auctioneer Johnna Wells. And dinner will be prepared by Ned Ludd chef Jason French!
Red Dress Party
Sat at 9; Audio Cinema
Everyone who attends will be seeing (and wearing) red! Hundreds of revelers in flaming frocks will be partying for a good cause at this lengedary late-night dance party, to raise money for Morrison Child & Family Services and Quest Center for Integrative Health. DJ Nina Flowers is the featured entertainment, but the real stars are the attendees in all their gorgeous crimson finery.
Sat–Sun at 9 am; Portland Japanese Garden
As part of the Japanese Garden's yearlong 50th anniversary celebration, comes an extraordinary exhibition from the Noguchi Museum in Long Island, including 22 works by the late sculptor, landscape architect, set designer, and furniture maker. “Everything is sculpture,” Noguchi once said. “Any material, any idea without hindrance born into space, I consider sculpture.”
May Gallery Openings
Heading down to the Pearl to stroll the galleries in the sun? Check out our First Thursday picks for the shows to see, including Augen, Blue Sky, PDX Contemporary, Butters, and Elizabeth Leach.
Oregon Symphony: Premonitions
Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2; Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
The incomparable Storm Large takes a classical turn as the lead in the Oregon Symphony's staging of composer Kurt Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins. It's a ballet chante ("sung ballet") that follows Anna (Storm), as she travels to different cities, each with its own sin to tempt and bedevil her.
Sun at 4; Newmark Theatre
Not only is the Brazilian-born Cohen an in-demand concert pianist, known the world over as a virtuosic interpreter of Baroque and Romantic composers, but he's the incoming artistic director of classical music presenters Portland Piano International. This recital will mark his last solo performance as he retires to run PPI (although he will still perform with symphonies). The program features works by Bach, Brahms, and Chopin. Welcome to the Rose City maestro!
Sun at 7:30; Alhambra Theatre
He's kind of a big deal, known as both a dexterous and deft rapper, and as a collaborator with indie-rock royalty like Chris Walla, Calexico, and the late Mark Linkous. Sage Francis is the headliner on the last night of the May Day Music Festival, a five-day soiree to celebrate the rebranding of the venerable Mt Tabor Theatre as the Alhambra Theatre.
Cinco de Mayo Fest
Fri–Sun at 11 am; Tom McCall Waterfront Park
If the kiddies need a carnival-ride fix, they can find it here. But there's much more in the way of cultural stimulation going on at this massive weekend fiesta, including art, mariachi music, flamenco dance, amazing food, and luchadores, the mysterious masked Mexican wrestlers who spend most of their time airborne.