Top Things to Do This Weekend: May 28-31

Tickets go on sale for Tom Petty, Beck, and the Avett Brothers; the Decemberists play Castaways and Cutouts in its entirety, Artists Rep Playboy is a theatrical delight, and skeletons sing opera.

Edited by Aaron Scott By Portland Monthly Staff and Danielle Klenak May 29, 2014

Ticket Alert


Thursday & Friday, Crystal Ballroom
It's been several years since Portland’s most literate band of rockers graced a local stage, so it seems only fitting that, for their return, they will play their now classic album, Castaways & Cutouts, in its entirety for this "V is for Victory" fundraiser for the Victory Academy School for Children with Autism (a cause close to the band, as bandleader Colin Meloy's son has autism). Both shows are sold out, but if you search hard enough, we suspect you, too, can declare victory.

James Taylor
Friday, MODA
The sweet, Sunday-morning warble of Taylor’s perennially charming voice in classics like “Fire and Rainand “You’ve Got a Friend” is a welcome trip back in time.

Newport Jazz Festival

Albert “Tootie” Heath and Chuck Israels
Friday, Jimmy Mak’s
This month, Portland bassist Chuck Israels reunites with drummer and fellow jazz legend Albert “Tootie” Heath for Heath’s birthday celebration. Not only did they both make their recording debuts with Coltrane—Israels on Coltrane Time in 1959 and Heath on Coltrane’s first record, Coltrane, in 1957—but their paths have crossed multiple times, from the iconic pianist Bobby Timmons’s New York trio in the late 1950s to, most recently, Dr. Barry Harris’s Los Angeles trio in the ’70s. 


New Review Playboy of the Western World
Thursday-Sunday, Artist’s Repertory Theatre
This Irish car bomb of a comedy caused nationalist riots after its 1907 premiere and has since become one of the most significant plays of the 20th century, leading the export of Irish theater to the world. It’s rarely staged, and Artists Rep is pulling out all the stops in a production that seems to feature half of Portland’s best actors. "This production is a true theatrical treat..." Read our full review.

Playboy is one of four Irish plays opening in May and June, including Third Rail's The Beauty Queen of Leenane opening this weekend. Consider it a local PhD of sorts in Irish Lit. That’s a lot of craic to take in, however, so if you’re feeling a bit out of your depth, here are a few things to know about Irish theatrical tradition to help you make sense of it all.

Opening Buried Child
Thursday-Sunday, Alder Stage
Simultaneously comedic and gloomy, Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer winner tells the story of a beyond-dysfunctional midwestern farm family. This is the first show of the season artistic director Adriana Baer will direct. Read our profile about how she's taking Profile to the next stage.

Closing After the Revolution
Thru Sunday, Portland Playhouse
Portland Playhouse is staging the city’s first production of one of New York’s hottest young playwrights: Amy Herzog. Loosely based on her own family’s story of trying to defend a blacklisted grandfather only to learn he might be guilty of espionage, After the Revolution made Herzog’s name. Word is her family is coming for opening weekend. "Portland Playhouse puts on a stirring family drama with enough thought-provoking, philosophical meat to make a feast..." Read our full review.

Special Events

Opera Theater Oregon: Giasone and the Argonauts
Friday–Saturday, Hollywood Theatre

Opera Theater Oregon mixes the highbrow and the low to “make opera safe for America.” This time it resets the rarely staged Francesco Cavalli opera Giasone to the iconic 1963 fantasy film Jason and the Argonauts. They share source material, after all.

Live Wire Finale
Saturday, Alberta Rose Theater
Portland's homegrown hip hootenanny of a variety show closes its 10th anniversary season with a steller lineup, including authors Daniel H. Wilson  (Robopocalypse, Robogenesis) and David Kinney (The Dylanologists: Adventures in the Land of Bob), comedians Todd Glass and Cameron Esposito, and music from Lemolo. Read our profile of Wilson as he takes over the world with his robot apocalypse.


OBT: Create
Thursday-Sunday, BodyVox
OBT offers a behind-the-scenes perspective on how contemporary dance theater is made with this part-performance, part-discussion run that includes original works by company members (including outgoing ballerina Alison Roper) and a brief open rehearsal of an excerpt from Nacho Duato’s "Cor Perdut" led by Artistic Director Kevin Irving, followed by a discussion about the creative process.




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