Top Things To Do This Weekend: Dec 19-22

Final weekend for holiday shows, Portland Cello Project invades the Schnitz with an army of ugly sweaters, Beauty and the Beast enchants the kids, and Sallie Ford takes a victory lap.

By Nathan Tucker December 17, 2013

PCS's 'Twist Your Dickens' runs through Dec 22 at the Gerding Theatre.

Holiday Guide

We've rounded the tinsel-covered bend on the holiday season, but with one weekend left before Christmas, Portland's holiday show schedule isn't slowing down. Looking for some entertainment between last minute shopping and sneaking into the kitchen for another half-glass of eggnog? Look no further than our comprehensive guide to the Rose City's holiday shows, including these great bets for this weekend:

  • Portland Cello Project's Sweater Spectacular, Dec 20, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
  • Wanderlust Circus' A Circus Carol, Dec 20-22, Alberta Rose Theatre
  • Natalie Cole, Dec 21, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
  • Oregon Symphony's Comfort and Joy, Dec 22, Alrene Schnitzer Concert Hall
  • Nowell Syng We, Dec 20, St. James Catholic Church and Dec 22, St. Phillip Neri Catholic Church

Also, check out our reviews of some of the festive theater running through the weekend:

Dec 6–Jan 11, Winningstad Theatre
For British playwright Michael Frayn’s smash 1982 farce about a play-within-a-play whose cast’s offstage drama totally derails its onstage drama, Third Rail Repertory Theatre is mounting its biggest cast, largest set, and longest run ever. See our story about the complexity of the play’s blocking.

Dec 14–Dec 28, Newmark Theatre
"...a huge Broadway sing-along remounted with moxie by a cast of warm and lively local vets made special with truly fanciful sets and costumes. It’s an early Christmas present for musical lovers." Read our full review.

Dec 5–Jan 6, Shoebox Theatre 
Venturing outside Shakespeare’s oeuvre, Northwest Classical Theatre Company transports audiences back to Christmas 1183 for a staging of James Goldman’s Tony-winning 1966 play (adapted into an Oscar-winning movie) about the one-upmanship between King Henry II of England and his estranged wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine.


Dec 19, Roseland
Formed in 1977 with singer Exene Cervenka as its namesake, X fast became Los Angeles’s leading punk band, putting out two records in the early ’80s, Los Angeles and Wild Gift, which Rolling Stone ranks among the 500 all-time greatest albums. Following a lengthy semidormant period, the aging punks reunited in the ’00s and are presently on a Xmas tour—get it?—with fellow scene stalwarts the Blasters. 

Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside
Dec 20–21, Doug Fir Lounge
Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside wrap up a massive year for the band—which has seen the release of their sophmore effort Untamed Beast to critical acclaim—by bringing their high-energy rock and roll romp to the Doug Fir. Ford and her band have grabbed attention nationwide for their assertive and dynamic vintage rock and rockabilly stylings, and these end-of-year shows come just before the upcoming release of a new EP, Summer. Check out our review of Untamed Beast from our February 2013 issue, as well as our feature on Portland's music liscencing industry that includes the band.

Dec 20, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
The versatile, genre-hopping, local string ensemble celebrates the release of a seasonally themed EP—the locally appropriate Winter (The Best Nine Months of the Year)—with a special Holiday Sweater Spectacular featuring Oregon Symphony principal cellist Nancy Ives, Tucson songwriter Howe Gelb, and Portland folkies Laura Gibson and Laura Veirs. 


Through the month
December is a time for roaring fireplaces and roasting chestnuts, and two of Portland’s galleries have embraced the season with fire-themed shows. First up, at Blue Sky, David Nadel’s Burns series is the Yule log writ large: that is, large-format photographs of burnt forests blanketed in snow that transform devastation into abstract, haunted beauty. Next up, warm your hands at Froelick’s Fire Department group show. Consisting of some of the gallery’s best artists, it was inspired in part by a client who dreamed she saved the gallery from an attempted arsonist. Let’s just hope the flames stay on the canvas.


Dec 19–22, The Headwaters
This collaborative performance piece—featuring music, visual projection, and art installation, in addition to coreography from Tracy Broyles—claims inspiration from the elemental cycle and the idea that the audience takes part in the creation of the work. The performance is supported by a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council.
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