Top Things to Do This Weekend: Aug 15-18
PDX Adult Soapbox Derby
Sat 10–4; Mt. Tabor Park
Boasting “spilled blood and spilled beer” since 1997, the all-volunteer PDX Adult Soapbox Derby hits Southeast Portland’s Mount Tabor once again, bringing marching-band fanfare, costumed tomfoolery, and more than 40 road-ready teams with homemade craft-cars in tow. Split into three categories—“art,” “science,” and “rookie”—some racers trade heavily on spectacle , sporting a papier-mâché Mr. Potato Head or a bearskin rug; others employ sleek engineering to build almost-viable vehicles that account for safety and speed; a brazen few are just boxes on wheels, bracing for a crash. One way or another, the whole crazy cavalcade is going downhill fast. For tips on watching, scroll to the bottom of the "Play Like a Kid" story in our Summer Guide.
Deschutes Brewery Street Fair Benefit
Thu 5–9; Deschutes Brewery Portland Pub
Deschutes' annual street fair is the perfect fusion of great beer, local bites (think Cheese and Crack, Angry Unicorn, and Churros Locos), and live music. This year, the acts are reason enough to come: Funktastic, Hook and Anchor, Mariachi Los Palmeros, and the Minus 5 (with Scott McCaughey of REM). $10 at the door will get your first food and beer taster, and proceeds benefit Meals on Wheels.
Sun at 7:30; Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
We called the Monkees reunion last May during a Q&A with guitarist Michael Nesmith. Read John Chandler's five reasons why the “Prefab Four” is more than just some lightweight, TV pop band—and is worth seeing (particularly if “Porpoise Song” makes the set list).
Cult of Orpheus: Opus 2013
Sun at 7:30; Waypost Cafe
At the premiere Cult of Orpheus concert, Portland composer Christopher Andrew Corbell infuses his original compositions with classic poetry. Some of the pieces feature texts from Rainer Maria Rilke, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Catullus, Charles Baudelaire and Gerard Manley Hopkins, and will be performed expertly by local singers mezzo-soprano Hannah Penn (former Portland Opera resident artist), baritone Benjamin Bell, soprano Catherine Olson, and Justin Meyer.
Willamette Country Music Festival
Fri-Sun 3-10; Willamette Country Music Festival Grounds
Former American Idol sensation-turned-superstar Carrie Underwood and accidental hitmaker Brad Paisley headline this festival of mainstream country artists in Brownsville.
Various times and venues
Summer Shakespeare is reaching it's zenith.
- It's the closing weekend of the Second Annual Outdoor Shakespeare Festival, with Original Practice Shakespeare Festival's Macbeth on Friday at 7 and Comedie of Errors on Saturday at 2; Brody Theater's Anon, and On, and On on Saturday at 5; and the opening of Post5's Julius Caesar on Saturday at 7:30.
- Across town, Bag&Baggage's gender-swapped Julius Caesar is closing this weekend.
- And Portland Actor's Ensemble's The Tale of Cymbeline stops at Gabriel Park on Saturday and Sunday at 3.
For five tips on producing and watching outdoor Shakespeare, check out our Summer Guide.
Thu–Sat at 8, Sun at 2; Lincoln Performance Hall
Sam Shepard’s brooding tale of sibling rivalry and western mythology gets a revival from Portland’s Our Shoes Are Red/The Performance Lab. Brothers Lee (the wild loner) and Austin (the civilized writer) square off in a contest of cowboy one-upmanship.
Cyclepedia: A Century of Iconic Bicycle Design
Tue–Sun 10–5; Portland Art Museum; Closes Sept 7
Drawing from the one-of-a-kind collection of Viennese designer Michael Embacher, this exhibition promises something pure and simple: bike porn. From landmark racing models and vintage cruisers to folding bikes, a parachute bike, and even an ice bike (with a skate for its front wheel), the collection showcases not only the engineering behind the simple, sweat-powered vehicle of locomotion, but the sheer artistry that has elevated it from a tool to an obsession. Having been displayed just a few times in Europe, the collection makes its first and only stateside stop at the Portland Art Museum—another yellow jersey for our town’s growing cycling cred. Read our review of the Cyclepedia exhibition during the art museum's best cross-promotion ever: a partnership with the World Naked Bike Ride in which riders paid one dollar per item of clothing they wore in.
Gaston Lachaise: Man/Woman
Tue–Sun 10–5; Portland Art Museum; Closes Sept 7
Early 20th century sculptor Gaston Lachaise abandoned his Parisian home in order to pursue a married American woman, Isabel Dutaud Nagle, who was the object of his obsession, his muse, and eventually his wife. More than 50 bronze and marble figurative works (many inspired by Nagle) will be on display. "Lachaise was that singular being of today and yesterday," American painter Marsden Hartley wrote in 1939, "the worshipper of beauty . . . beauty was his meat and bread, it was his breath and music, it was the image that traversed his dreams, and troubled his sleep, it was his vital, immortal energy." Read our review of Man/Woman, as seen in contrast to the nude viewers posing next to the sculptures before the naked bike ride kicked off at the museum.