Top Things to Do This Weekend: Oct 3–6

First Thursday, Wordstock, Samurai's at the art museum, Steve Martin, and the Pet Shop Boys makes the weekend too much to handle.

Edited by Aaron Scott and Nathan Tucker By Portland Monthly Staff October 3, 2013


Anything Goes
Oct 2–5, Keller Auditorium
This Cole Porter musical, set on an ocean liner traveling from London to New York, first debuted in 1934, and has been consistently performed all over the world in both professional and amateur capacities since. A 2011 Broadway revival won three Tony Awards and was nominated for six others.

Maureen Porter in Sweet and Sad

Image: Owen Carey

Sweet and Sad
Sept 27–Oct 20, Third Rail Repertory Theater
"Third Rail Repertory’s Sweet and Sad, is, of course, sweet and sad. It’s also funny, well-acted, and at times grating. Which, in varying combinations, probably sums up most families....While the humor, drama, and astute depictions still ring true [from last year's That Hopey Changey Thing], I’m delighted to report that Sweet and Sad, named for a line from Walt Whitman's poem 'The Wound Dresser,' serves up much higher stakes."  Read our full review.

The Big Meal
Sept 3–Oct 6, Artists Repertory Theater
It's the last weekend to catch this production, in which 80 years and five generations of a family, played by only eight actors, unfold over rapid-fire scenes set around restaurant tables. It's a tall order, as we found in our review: "At this 'big meal,' the company is entertaining and the service snappy. For some diners, certain courses will hit the spot, resonating like comfort food. Ultimately, however, the repast fails to capture the bittersweet complexity of family life in America today."

Grim and Fischer
Sept 26–Oct 5, Ethos at IFCC
"Once grandma Fisher (Kate Braidwood) and Grim (her husband, Andrew Phoenix) took the stage, though, we knew we were in the company of skilled clowns. They wore large, beautifully-crafted masks, Grim’s balding and sneering and Fisher’s with an old-lady smirk, that gave them the proportions of animated characters, an illusion the two complimented with their exaggerated movements..."  Read our full review of this dark comedy from the wordless, masked, Portland-based theatre company Wonderheads, in which a fesity old granny is pitted against the ultimate foe: death himself. 

Books and Talks

Oct 3–6, Oregon Convention Center
The wittiest word-crafters in the country mingle with small press and independent publishers at the largest celebration of literacy in the Pacific Northwest. Before you go, be sure to check out our guide to this year's festival, as well as our Q&A with author A.M. Homes, whose Wordstock appearances include a reading from her latest novel, May We Be Forgiven, participation in a panel discussion entitled "The Dark Side: Creating Suspense," and a spin on Live Wire. She tells us about her new novel, her post 9/11 optimism, and what dick pics on the web say about one's sense of self.

William Todd Schultz
Oct 6, Powell's
Local author Schultz will read from his new biography, Torment Saint: The Life of Elliott Smith. Check out our map of the parts of town where our city’s drizzle seeped into the singer-songwriter’s music, complete with a playlist of Smith’s songs with Rose City references.


Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers
Oct 3, Oregon Symphony
Steve Martin used to fill stadiums with nothing but a banjo and an arrow through his head. Now he’s backed by a Grammy-winning bluegrass band and a celebrated singer-songwriter, but you can bet the picking and the humor are just as sharp. Check out our lyric duel between Martin and Macklemore in our October Pomo Picks.

Pet Shop Boys
October 4, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
From “West End Girls” to “New York City Boy,” this Brit-pop duo has spanned the globe with its chart-topping songs. Despite performing for 32 years, they continue to stay relevant, whether creating a ballet or appearing at the Olympic closing ceremonies.

Laura Veirs
Oct 5, Doug Fir Lounge
The local folkster follows up her 2011 album of kids’ music with Warp and Weft, a buoyant collection of songs guest-starring Neko Case, k.d. lang, and more. Read our review of Warp and Weft and a Q&A with Veirs about the album.


First Thursday Gallery Guide
Oct 3, shows thru Nov 2; Pearl District

  • Famed photographer and photorealist painter Chuck Close puts his work on tapestries at Blue Sky Gallery, while Argentinian photographer Maria Jose D’Amico explores abandoned and disregarded domestic spaces in a bittersweet examination of familial dysfunction.
  • Seattleite Michael Schultheis transforms equations into paintings at Froelick Gallery: “The eccentric angle of a Universal Coupling is determined by the Trammel of Archimedes,” he writes of the title work. “[It] is given by the equation: {x/(L/2)}^2 + {y/(L/2)}^2 = 1. I painted this equation and explored the corresponding geometry in vermillion and white, respectively.”
  • Internationally exhibited artist Dinh Q. Lê meditates on the Buddhist concept of impermanence through her photographs at Elizabeth Leach Gallery.
  • Charles Hartman Fine Art highlights Daniel Robinson’s consistently strong, bold yet silent Eastern Oregon landscapes.
  • Breeze Block shows Mike Egan, who turned his work in funeral homes into warm paintings about death (and here Halloween), while John Casey transmogrifies his inner demons into trippy pen and ink portraits.
  • At Laura Russo, fellow PNCA alums Tom Cramer and Sherrie Wolf continue the work that’s made them Northwest staples—colorful, semi-abstract wood burnings/carvings and paintings that juxtapose still lives with art history references, respectively.
  • Monacan artist Jacques Flechmuller paints with oils and wit at PDX Contemporary.

Oct 5–Jan 12, Portland Art Museum
While knights walked Europe looking like drab wind-up tin cans, Japan’s samurai were downright sartorial: embroidered shoulder pads, flared helmets with animal motifs, stunningly bright color combinations, even man skirts! Seek some style inspiration (not to mention crazy history lessons) at the Portland Art Museum’s blockbuster look at the warrior couture of the legendary Japanese private armies. Eat your heart out, Blackwater mercenaries!

In conjunction, the NW Film Center will be screening films featuring the iconic warriors, Oct 6–Dec 21.

A Distant View: The Porcelain Sculpture of Sueharu Fukami
Oct 5–Nov 17, Portland Japanese Gardens
As part of it’s 50th anniversary celebration, the Portland Japanese Garden exhibits work by the internationally acclaimed ceramicist Fukami—whose elegant sculptures are produced by pouring liquid clay into plaster molds—alongside the photography of his longtime friend and patron, the late Jean Vollum. Read our story about how the world-class garden's CEO Steve Bloom and curator Sadafumi Uchiyama seek to reinvent the exquisite, endangered art of Japanese gardening.

Fernanda D’Agostino: The Method of Loci
Preview Reception: Sunday, October 6, 2013, 3 - 5 p.m.,; Art Gym
This internationally exhibited artist remakes the Art Gym into a multimedia, interactive video and sculpture installation looking back over her three-decade career. “A Moveable Conversation with Kristy Edmunds, Fernanda D’Agostino and Stephen Hayes” will take place Sunday, October 20 ?at 2 p.m. at the Art Gym before moving to Lewis & Clark’s Hoffman Gallery at 3:30 p.m (which is exhibiting a Hayes retrospective).

Susan Howe
Oct 5–Dec 6, Yale Union
Susan Howe was a painter and visual artist in the ‘60s and ‘70s before she became a poet, a background that is evident in her emphasis on the visual appearance of her work and the interaction of the words with the page on which they’re printed. Her show at the Yale Union—her first solo exhibition—will showcase two long poems, one from 2010 and one a recent commission. A titan of American postmodern poetry, Howe has also written celebrated books of literary criticism and released three albums with experimental musician David Grubbs. The Yale Union show will include a performance of new material with Grubbs on October 6 at 5 p.m., as well as a talk by Howe on October 4 at 7 p.m. at Literary Arts. 


Portland Baroque Orchestra: Bach Concertos
Oct 4–13, First Baptist Church
Over two weekends, PBO will perform and record 10 concertos by J. S. Bach that highlight leading period oboist Gonzalo X. Ruiz and PBO artistic director/violinist Monica Huggett.

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