Top Things To Do This Weekend: Jan 16-19

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Frankenstein, Itzhak Perlman rocks the fiddle, FOCM turns 75, and a slew of new plays open at PCS, Profile, Vertigo, and Coho. How can we possibly do it all?!

By Portland Monthly Staff and Erik Maurer January 15, 2014


Jan 11–Feb 9, Gerding Theater 
Like Lost in Translation, only set in China and without the ennui, Tony winner David Henry Hwang’s 2011 comedy, produced here by Portland Center Stage, maps the Sino-American cultural divide via the misadventures of an American trying to land a business deal in the People’s Republic. 

Eyes for Consuela
Jan 16-Feb 2, Artists Repertory Theatre
Profile Theatre opens its 2014 Sam Shepard–centric season with this 1999 play, based on an Octavio Paz story, about an unmoored American’s tense encounter with an unhinged peasant in the Mexican jungle. We've got our eyes set on Profile's dynamic new artistic director, Adriana Baer, and the theater's new home at Artists Rep. She's definitely a local director to watch, not to mention read about in our profile of Profile and Baer in our January issue. 

Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller in Frankenstein

National Theatre Live's Greatest Hits
Jan 17–26, World Trade Center Theatre
Some of best theater you can see in Portland happens in Britain, filmed at the venerable National Theatre with big-name actors and then screened here by Third Rail Rep at Portland's World Trade Center. This month, three favorites return for encores: the Danny Boyle–directed Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller (Jan 17, 18 & 26), Hamlet with Rory Kinnear (Jan 19 & 25), and Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art (Jan 19 & 25). 

The End of Sex
Jan 17–Feb 15, Theatre Vertigo
In this world premiere, produced by Theatre Vertigo and written by Craig Jessen (a playwright with Oregon roots), a pharmaceutical scientist accidentally synthesizes a drug that simulates the sensation of sex, fundamentally changing the equation of human relations. 

Jan 17–Feb 8, Coho Theatre
When Toshiki Okada’s play about the employees of a Tokyo comic-book café received its American premiere in 2010, the Japanese playwright’s hyper-self-aware, inarticulate dialogue intrigued and infuriated audiences in equal measure. Now, CoHo Productions gives Enjoy its West Coast debut in a town for which Okada’s portrait of recession-battered, adrift twentysomethings should feel quite familiar. 


Gary Shteyngart
Jan 18, Powell's City of Books
Anointed one of the New Yorker’s 20 best writers under 40 after releasing his last book, the super-funny Super Sad True Love Story, this satirist now applies his wit to his own experience emigrating from the USSR in his new memoir, Little Failure.


Itzhak Perlman in Recital
Jan 19, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
The superstar Israeli-American violinist, who’s fiddled for the likes of Queen Elizabeth II and President Obama, will be accompanied by Sri Lankan pianist Rohan de Silva. 

Oregon Symphony: Sibelius’ Symphony no. 1
Jan 18 & 20, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Finnish composer Jean Sibelius’s first symphony gets top billing for this eclectic evening, but Henryk Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto no. 2 is also noteworthy: it is concertmaster Sarah Kwak’s concerto debut with the symphony.

A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra
Jan 19, First Unitarian Church
One day shy of its 75th anniversary, Friends of Chamber Music looks not to its past but to classical music’s future, presenting this Boston-based, ensemble-directed chamber orchestra. In a program as contemporary and all-American as itself, the ensemble will perform works by Charles Ives and Gershwin, as well as a piece written for the group by 30-year-old composer Kip Jones. What began long ago in 1939 is now one of the longest-running concert series in the country. 


The Harold and Maude Squad
Jan 18, Alberta Rose Theatre
Age is nothing but a number, right? "The Squad" (Chet Lyster of the Eels, Sarah King of Love Gigantic, Dave Camp of Stereovision, Lara Michelle, and Albert Parks) return to the Alberta Rose to play a live soundtrack to the 1971 cult rom-com about lively, anarchic senior Maude and depressed, mischievous adolescent Harold. You will never see the movie like this. If you're a fan, don't miss it.

Treasures from the UCLA Archives
Jan 3–30, Whitsell Auditorium
Northwest Film Center hosts a touring program of movies unearthed from UCLA’s archive, the largest collection of media in the United States besides the Library of Congress. Selections include the 1950 noir classic Gun Crazy, the Victor Fleming–directed 1926 comedy Mantrap, and Robert Altman’s 1969 thriller That Cold Day in the Park.


She Shreds Release Party with La Luz, Ghost Ease, Hooded Hags
Jan 18, Doug Fir Lounge
She Shreds, Portland’s brand new magazine for female axe-handlers, releases their #4 issue this weekend with a rockin’ party at the Doug Fir Lounge, featuring La Luz, Ghost Ease, and Hooded Hags. The groups combine ethereal, surf rock guitar, and keyboard licks with hard-hitting punk rock to deliver a night of serious girl power. 


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