Top Things to Do This Weekend: July 11–14

Robots! Monsters! Tiki drinks! Cellos! Fruit! Festivals! Pace yourself because there are entirely too many worthy happenings this weekend.

By John Chandler July 11, 2013

'Pacific Rim': It's like 'Transformers' for college graduates.


Pacific Rim
Fri–Sun at 12:30 & 7; Regal Pioneer Place Stadium 6; as well as many other locations
Normally we don't encourage attendance at summer blockbusters due to the frequent risk of artistic suckage, but the advance buzz on Pacific Rim, the latest from the formidable mind of Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth), has been nothing less than rhapsodic. Monsters versus robots! It's gonna be awesome.

Back Row Picture Show
Fri at 7:30; East Bank Saloon
It's a familiar setup for anyone who's seen Mystery Science Theater 3000. Local wiseguys and gals will keep up a running comic commentary during lousy movies. Hosted by Jessica Lea DeNardo, this week's film is The Force on Thunder Mountain, a turkey about an ill-advised father-and-son camping trip. Full disclosure/Shameless self-promotion: I will be a guest riffer for this installment. Did we mention it's free?


Queer Music Tour with Logan Lynn
Thu at 8; Mississippi Studios
Electro-pop purveyor Logan Lynn returns after a lengthy hiatus from performing in Portland as part of this five-city queer music summer tour to benefit LGBTQ mental health services and suicide prevention, which means the Q Center in Portland. He'll kick up a passel of catchy grooves alongside other rising queer stars Big Dipper, Conquistador, Darling Gunsel, and Rika Shay.

Portland Cello Project's Extreme Dance Party
Fri–Sat at 9; Doug Fir Lounge
Like Forrest Gump's candy assortment, you never know what you're going to get with the Portland Cello Project, as they have almost a thousand pieces of music in their repertoire. Britney Spears? Kanye West? Arvo Part? Beck? Pantera? Since it's a two-night dance party, there should be plenty of guest stars sharing the stage with PCP to ensure maximum movement.

classical music

Oregon Bach Festival: Bach's B-minor Mass
Fri at 7:30; Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
This is artistic director/guiding light Helmuth Rilling's last season with the Oregon Bach Festival. He'll take his final bows at the age of 80, with 44 years behind the podium. Bach's Mass in B-minor is a glorious devotional masterpiece, and a fitting finale for Maestro Rilling.


Conduit's Dance + Performance Festival
Thu–Sat at 8; Conduit Dance
Dance noteables Linda K. Johnson, Sarah Gamblin, Kara Girod Schuster, and Jessica Hightower will be among the participating artists in the opening weekend of this second annual collaborative performance festival.


Thu–Sat at 7:30, Sat–Sun at 2; Deb Fennell Auditorium
You have to admire the spirit and dedication of the performers from Tigard's Broadway Rose Theatre company. Leaping and dancing in furry costumes in this weather? Yikes! Stay hydrated, you guys. Andrew Lloyd Webber's fabulous take on T.S. Eliot's source material resulted in Broadway gold.

special events

Mississippi Avenue Street Fair
Sat 10 am–9 pm; Mississippi Avenue
It's the largest street fair in Portland, so expect a vast expanse of food carts, crafty vendors, musicians of all shape and size (including highlights like Genders, Grandparents, and Magic Mouth), political idealists, face-painted moppets, a beer garden, and, best of all, citizens (like yourself) in search of hot-weather merriment.

Tiki Kon
Fri at 7, Sat at 9 am, Sun at 10:30 am; Red Lion at the Quay
Ahoy there! This annual cabana bash is a guaranteed good time, with bartender competitions, music and dancing, a fashion show, and the legendary home-bar tour on Sunday. Check out our story about one such home-bar: Monkey Hut, a North Portland basement that has become a pilgrimage site for the tiki-obsessed. 

Oregon Berry Festival
Fri at noon, Sat at 11 am; EcoTrust Building
As far as food festivals go, this one is berry, berry exciting. Regional growers will have their berry best on display for your noshing pleasure in the form of pies, tarts, cobblers, ice cream, sodas, and any other conceivable foodstuff. Live music and children's activities are part of the program.

Visual Art

Isamu Noguchi
Daily at 9; Japanese Gardens
You only have 10 days left to savor the one US exhibition of the modernist artist Noguchi's masterpieces outside of his Long Island City museum this year. 
Working across mediums and movements, Noguchi bridged East and West, contemporary and traditional, in sculptures, ceramics, gardens, architecture, and set, furniture, and lighting designs. “Everything is sculpture,” he once said. “Any material, any idea without hindrance born into space, I consider sculpture.” And what better place to experience it than the Japanese Gardens cool, verdant terrain.

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