Top Things to Do This Weekend: Aug 8–11

Hit the bridges on your bike, feast on Oregon's finest, meet a Malaysian superstar, and collide with something beautiful this weekend.

Edited by Aaron Scott By Portland Monthly Staff August 7, 2013

Sean Ghazi performs on Thursday at the Washington Park Summer Festival.


Washington Park Summer Festival
Thru Aug 10; Washington Park Rose Garden Ampitheater
Over the course of 10 consecutive days, perhaps the best outdoor venue in town, the Washington Park Rose Garden Amphitheater, has played stage to a diverse cornucopia of artists. The fest closes this weekend with an introduction to an international star, the award-winning Malaysian performer Sean Ghazi, who is also a recent Portland transplant, a Pink Martini–collaborator, and Jodie Foster's co-star in Anna and the King, on Thursday; a performance by local dance stars NW Dance Project with music by local bhangra proselytizer DJ Anjali and singer-songwriter Eden Hana on Friday; and Cuban tunes by Caña Son on Saturday. There’s something for everyone, if you just stop and smell the roses.

William Byrd Festival
Aug 10–26; St. Stephen's Church
Local liturgical choir Cantores in Ecclesia hosts this annual fest dedicated to the works of 16th-century Anglican court composer William Byrd, who was known for his Latin music written to accompany major church feasts and celebrations. This multivenue celebration includes choral events, organ recitals, lectures, and masses. 

Special Events

The Bite of Oregon
Aug 9–11; Tom McCall Waterfront Park
Regional wineries and craft breweries roll out the barrels to wash down glorious grub from the Rose City’s finest eateries at this annual celebration of all things Oregon. The state’s top chefs will battle it out in an Iron Chef–style competition to crown our most daring culinary creator. Meanwhile, musical guests will provide tasteful and tuneful diversions. A percentage of the funds raised will go to Special Olympics Oregon.

Portland Zine Symposium
Aug 10–11; Refuge PDX
Independent media draws a crowd at this free, two-day gathering of local zinesters—a veritable who's who of DIY printing, stapling, and publishing—with workshops and lively panel discussions.

Providence Bridge Pedal
Aug 11; different rides start at different points—see the website for details
Wiggle into some spandex shorts and hop on your spindly steed for a day of special bike access to all 10 of the city’s Willamette River bridges—part of the country’s second-largest community bike ride. Choose the tough 36-mile ride, or a gentler 12- or 24-mile route. Proceeds benefit the Providence Heart and Vascular Institute. 



Galaxy Dance Festival
Aug 8–10; Directors Park
All manner of dance will be on display at Director Park, from serious ballet to fiery flamenco to amazing feats of aerial derring-do. And if you feel motivated to find your own groove, demonstrations and instruction are also available.

The Collision Series
Aug 11–12; Disjecta Contemporary Art Center
The dance newspaper/collective FRONT has assembled a daring and exceptional group of six dancers and six musicians (Nate Query and Chris Funk of the Decemberists and Black Prarie, Rebecca Gates, and others) to improvise a four-hour durational performance according to rules (or lack thereof) agreed to ahead of time—with audience participation welcomed. What transpires is anyone’s guess, but it promises to be a spectacular collision.

visual Art

Lucy Skaer
Thru Sept 12; Yale Union (YU)
A finalist for the UK’s most prestigious art award, the Turner Prize, Skaer has exhibited around the world, from the Venice and Berlin Biennials to the Centre Pompidou and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Everything about this show tugs hard on my hopes...YU’s space has yet to be used so thoughtfully, down to the necessary placement of the limestone chunks over this barely engineered (woe to anyone inside during the Big One) architecture’s structural columns. In short, I should love this show. But I don’t." Find out why in Randy Gragg's full review.

From June Yong Lee's "Torso Series" at Blue Sky Gallery

Downtown Galleries' August Shows
Thru Aug 30; various galleries
Miss First Thursday? No problem; the shows run through the end of the month. Human torsos hang like animal hides at Blue Sky (in a poignant juxtaposition to portraits of facial paralysis), photos of sinks swallow you whole at Elizabeth Leach, and tiny paintings stall you in your tracks at Froelick. Here's our menu to the downtown gallery shows that will feast your eyes in August.


Trek in the Park
Thru Aug 25; Cathedral Park
"If you remember the Shatner-narrated title sequence that opened most episodes of Star Trek, you’ll recall that the starship Enterprise’s mission—'to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations,' yada yada yada—was only ever a five-year one. So, too, the mission of Trek in the Park, theater company Atomic Arts’ annual series of live recreations of classic Star Trek episodes. Over the [last four years], Trek in the Park’s audiences grew into the four-digit range, requiring the productions to move from Woodlawn Park to Cathedral Park, and drew notice from the likes of National Public Radio and Portlandia. This month, Atomic Arts completes its mission with performances every weekend of one of Trek’s best/worst episodes, 1967’s 'The Trouble with Tribbles.'” Read our review.


Rhys Darby
Aug 8–10; Helium Comedy Club
Though Rhys Darby is probably best known for playing Murray Hewitt, the band manager of Flight of the Conchords in the HBO series, his work in comedy has won him several awards and nominations in New Zealand. Critics have recognized Darby for his energetic physical comedy routines, and his ability to tell stories through mime and sound effects.

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