Top Things To Do This Weekend: Apr 24-27

Don't miss OBT dancer Alison Roper's gorgeous final performance, the Red Dress Party, legendary SNL comic Norm MacDonald, or tickets to Broken Bells, the Head and the Heart, and the Oregon Zoo Concerts.

By Portland Monthly Staff and Danielle Klenak April 24, 2014

Ticket alerts

The following shows go on sale this Friday at 10 am:

The Book of Mormon returns for a triumphant second coming in July. Tickets go on sale May 2.


Norm MacDonald
Weds–Sat, Helium Comedy Club
Most recognized from his years on Saturday Night Live during the 1990s, where he hosted the fake-news show Weekend Update, MacDonald was named one of the 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of all time in 2005 by Comedy Central. His deadpan, off-the-cuff brand of humor is as hilarious as it is offensive. We called MacDonald to talk comedy, which means he ranted about homeless guys, Oscar Pistorius's murder trial, and his favorite SNL sketches that never made it on the air. This conversation is definitely R-Rated.

OBT ballerina Alison Roper

Image: Andy Batt


Review Oregon Ballet Theatre: Celebrate
Closes Saturday, Newmark Theatre
This show celebrates the career of retiring principal dancer Alison Roper (profiled in our April issue) with one of the most touching, beautiful tribute performances we've ever seen. Artistic director Kevin Irving took a recording of Roper telling the story of her dance life and put it to original animation on three screens above a series of dancers who perform silhouetted against a colored backdrop, like living shadow puppets of the various phases in Roper's career. The show also includes a premiere by Helen Picket that is a flirty, colorful burst of spring; a fiery, emotional pas de deux from Nacho Duato showcasing Roper and Jordan Kindell (whose performance is pure power); and a performance of 2012's sexy and gorgeous standout by Matjash Mrozewski, "The Last Dance" (read our review). If that weren't enough, there's also a charming, surpise encore. —Aaron Scott 

Special Event

Red Dress Party: Red Wedding
Saturday, Sandbox Studios
Hundreds of revelers, male and female, straight and gay, don dresses of all styles in all shades of red for this massive, late-night, dance party that benefits Our House and Morrison Child & Family Services. Whether you want to be sporty in a red tennis dress, trashy in a fuchsia tube top, or stunning in a wedding gown for this year's theme, Red Wedding: A Celebration of Equality, you better hit the thrift stores early—they get cleaned out. Need inspiration? Check out our slide show from last year.


The Last Five Years at PCS

The Last Five Years
Previews begin Saturday, Portland Center Stage
With music by Tony-winning composer Jason Robert Brown, this sung-through musical about a couple’s journey through love and ultimate divorce follows a most unusual structure: the man (Drew Harper), a successful novelist, moves through time chronologically, while the woman (Merideth Kaye Clark), a struggling actress, tells her story in reverse.

The Giver
Apr 26–May 18, Winningstad Theatre
OCT first premiered this play, about a boy who must learn to shoulder his community’s memories by Newberry Award–winner Lois Lowry, in 2006. It has seen over 200 productions since. If you didn’t see it first here, now you have a second chance.


Drive-By Truckers
Thursday, Roseland Theatre
The Southern rock journeymen, who’ve made a name for themselves over the past decade and a half with hard-hitting songwriting and tireless touring, bring their gritty, booze-drenched show to town in support of English Oceans, their 10th studio album.

Franz Ferdinand
Saturday, Roseland Theatre
While most of its peers in the angular, post-punk-influenced indie scene that exploded out of the UK in the early aughts have faded away or taken new directions, this Scottish group has stayed the course, releasing its fourth album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, last August. 

Classical Music

Third Angle: Maria de Buenos Aires
Friday, Wonder Ballroom
This seductive, surreal tango opera by modern master Astor Piazzolla is about a woman who becomes a prostitute in the Argentine capital. Pepe Raphael returns as soloist.

The Ensemble: The Ecstasies Above
Friday, First Christian Church
This season-closing performance surveys the work of living composers, including settings of medieval texts by Frank Ferko and Ola Gjeilo, a cappella pieces by Arvo Pärt and Stephen Paulus, and British composer Tarik O’Regan’s setting of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Ecstasies Above.

Oregon Symphony: Music from Final Fantasy
Saturday, Arlene Schnitzer
Anyone who’s played one of this wildly popular video game’s 14 editions probably remembers how the anthemic theme music gets stuck in your head; now you can hear new arrangements of the game’s music in celebration of its 25th anniversary.


Penny Allen Retrospective
Saturday and Sunday, Hollywood Theatre
Penny Allen—film-maker, writer, photographer, and community organizer—is one of Portland's film pioneers, capturing the weirdness of Portland in the 80s long before it was a bumper sticker slogan. Director Gus Van Sant, cinematographer Eric Edwards, and poet-writer Walt Curtis—all of whom worked together on Allen's early films—will do a Q&A after Saturday's showings of her classic work (Property, Pay Dirt); Sunday's screenings will be of her more recent work (The Soldiers Tale, The Didier Connection, Late to my Mother's Funeral). To learn more about the connections between Allen, Van Sant, Edwards, and more, see our family tree of Portland filmmakers.

ART closings - last chance to see these shows

Portland2014 Biennial Closing Party + Flock Opening
Saturday, Disjecta
Saturday is your last chance to catch this survey of some of the city's best artists—then head to Disjecta for the closing reception, which is joining forces with the opening of the new Flock Dance Center for a night of hybrid hijinks and drinks. Fourtten dancers and artists will perform throughout the evening in pieces that interact with biennial artist Kelly Rauer's video installation. Read more in our Spring Arts Preview.

Qalam, Calligraphy and Islam from the Middle Ages to the Present 
Closes Sunday, Cooley Art Gallery
Reviving its focus on calligraphy (Steve Jobs said his study there led to Mac’s revolutionizing use of fonts), Reed College welcomes renowned Iranian calligrapher Hamidreza Ghelichkhani. He will cocurate an exhibition of ninth- to 20th-century Arabic and Persian calligraphy.

Photo Month 
The annual month of all thing film and pixels gets rolling with a number of openings tonight. More shows and events will take place throughout the month.
Closing this weekend:

  • Blue Sky: Patricia Galagan & Craig Hickman
    Opening Thursday 6–9
  • Charles Hartman Fine Art: Dave Heath’s A Dialogue With Solitude 
    Opening Thursday 5–8
  • Butters Gallery: Rick Stare 
    Opening Thursday 6–9
  • PNCA: Rebecca Steele: Thoroughbred Chair – Opening Thursday 6–9
  • Waterspace Gallery: Grace Weston’s Unfamiliar Faces 
    Opening Thursday 6–9 
  • Newspace Center for Photography:Bryan Schutmaat & Mark Rupert 
    Opening Friday 6–9
  • Portland Art Museum: Halcyon Days: The Camera In The Garden 

Elizabeth Leach Gallery: Shane Adams & Lee Kelly’s Pavilion
Over 30 monumental public artworks by the iconic Northwest artist Lee Kelly can be found throughout Oregon (perhaps you've driven by one of the more recently planted, his Memory 99 marking the site of PNCA's new building). This show features this trademark sculptural work alongside his first new paintings since the 1960’s. Shane Adams show of new paintings opens tonight.

Blackfish Gallery: Members Show
The gallery collective marks its 35th anniversary—has it already been 35 years?—with an exhibition of its members’ best works.

PDX Contemporary: Wes Mills’ Hamilton Drawings
With an attention to spacial depth that evokes a quiet Zen thoughtfulness, Wes Mills’s internationally exhibited, abstract, graphic-and-ink drawings return to Portland. 

Lumber Room: Polly Apfelbaum’s Color Stations Portland
Just in time for Spring, Apfelbaum’s installations are like bright flowers of dyed velvet blossoming across the floor—the perfect work to fill Lumber Room’s bright, airy, organic space. Known for pushing the boundaries between sculpture, painting, and installation, Apfelbaum’s work has been exhibited internationally, and she’s been recognized by a laundry list of awards, including the Rome and the Guggenheim.

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