Top Things to Do This Weekend: Oct 16-19

'Girls' star Lena Dunham talks with Riot Grrrl Carrie Brownstein, Bjork goes intergalactic, Arlene Schnitzer gets a retrospective, and a flood of female comedians hit town for the All Jane No Dick fest. Ladies rule the weekend.

By Portland Monthly Staff October 15, 2014

Martin Bogren: Ocean no. 8/10 (2007)


Two big shows with local focuses are opening at the Portland Art Museum on Saturday:

  • Blue Sky: The Oregon Center For The Photographic Arts At 40
    Founded by artists in 1975, Blue Sky has grown into one of the leading national photography centers, so much so that the Portland Art Museum is giving it an honor typically reserved for artists and collectors: a retrospective. More than 120 works will be displayed drawn from the gallery's 40-year history. Curator Julia Dolan and Blue Sky co-founder Christopher Rauschenberg will speak on Sunday at 2 pm. Read our story about Blue Sky and its retrospective. 
  • In Passionate Pursuit: The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Collection and Legacy
    Without the support of this art-loving couple, the local art scene wouldn’t be half what it is today. This exhibition displays the eclectic range of their collection: paintings and sculptures by Northwest and West Coast masters, Han dynasty Chinese art, Native American ceramics and beaded bags, and more. Read our profile of Arlene Schnitzer.

Zena Zezza: Anthony McCall
Opening party Sunday from 2–5 pm, Hallock & McMillan
This New York-based British artist is best known for his "solid light" installations that project particular patterns of light in dark rooms to create what feel like radiant sculptures. Arts organization Zena Zezza will invite him to transform Hallock & McMillan, Portland's oldest commercial building, dating back to 1857.

Books & Talks

Dunham's first book is out now.

James McBride
Thursday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall 
McBride has penned books that have become a high-school staple (The Color of Water), a movie by Spike Lee (Miracle at St. Anna), and the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction winner (The Good Lord Bird). 

Carrie Brownstein Talks To Lena Dunham
Sunday, Newmark Theatre 
Girls meets riot grrrls as the creator/star of HBO’s Girls talks with the Portlandia creator/star and former Sleater-Kinney guitarist about Dunham’s new book, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned.”  Brownstein told us she plans to talk about: “Her book! I mean, if I’m doing my job we’ll talk mostly about that. But I also want to talk about television, dogs, Instagram, setting and place as it informs performance, and hypo-chondria.” Read the full interview here.  


Michael Clark
Thursday–Saturday, Newmark Theatre 
This iconoclastic British choreographer's six-member dance company presents come, been and gone, an evening of intense and demanding dance set to music and video of David Bowie. Here's hoping for a "Space Oddity" re-creation—or at the very least some "Life on Mars" makeup. 

Review Oregon Ballet Theatre: OBT 25
Thursday–Saturday, Keller Auditorium  
OBT celebrates the opening of its 25th season by toasting its history through a series of duets from founding artistic director James Canfield, former resident choreographer Trey McIntyre, and former artistic director Christopher Stowell, combined with the Balanchine-Stravinsky collaboration Agon and a full-company world premiere by choreographer Nicolo Fonte with live music by Pink Martini. How's that for a retrospective?

"Anniversaries are often an excuse to look backward, but the best moments of OBT’s kickoff program for its 25th season, which meandered from crisp showcases of virtuosity to navel-gazing speechifying, were all about the future—first and foremost a big, joyous new collaboration with Portland’s own Pink Martini from longtime choreographic conspirator Nicolo Fonte.Read our full review.

Special Events 

Saturday, Ace Hotel 
On the tails of Design Week, the Ace Hotel is hosting Content, an annual installation-based art experience that allows you to walk through 28 different rooms that have be re-designed and curated by some of Portland's preeminent designers, decorators, makers, and doers—all amidst the most stylishly dressed crowd PDX sees all year. It's one of the most extensive, unique design exhibitions in Portland, presenting an array of themes and styles from some of the hands behind Tanner Goods and Pendelton, as well as local designers Liza RietzKayla MattesAlexa Stark, and more. Read our post for more


Lauren Modica as Ruth. Image: Rosemary Ragusa

Review In The Forest, She Grew Fangs
Thursday–Sunday, Defunkt Theatre
Playwright Stephen Spotswood reinvents “Little Red Riding Hood” as a deeply unsettling take on teenage bullying. Tormented by her classmates, a social outcast starts to experience strange visions just as mangled deer carcasses begin to appear around her rural town. 

"This is a timely work, not because it comes on the heels of the cultural obsession with werewolves/vampires/what have you, but because it imaginatively confronts the cultural plague of bullying that, despite contributing heavily to teen suicides, remains inadequately addressed. Fortunately, the play is not just timely: it’s good, and Defunkt does Spotswood’s script more than justice... It’s crucial material, and Defunkt tackles it fearlessly." Read our full review.

Dial "M" for Murder
Thursday–Sunday, Venetian Theatre 
For its second annual Halloween-themed show, Bag&Baggage Productions takes on Frederick Knott’s crime thriller, made famous by Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 screen adaptation starring Grace Kelly. 


Reel Music
Wednesday–Sunday, Whitsell Auditorium  
The annual cinematic celebration of all things music—features, documentaries, concert footage, music videos—continues into its second weekend with films about women in jazz, the Talking Heads, Alice Cooper, noise rock, and Jimmy Scott (a one-time collaborator with local band Pink Martini).

Bjork: Biophilia Live
Friday, Mission Theater 
Catching a live show by the outlandish Icelandic songstress in Portland is about as likely as catching sight of one of the invisible elven folk of Iceland, so the closest we might get is the theatrical release of her concert documentary Biophilia Live. The film follows the final night of her two-year, touring multimedia-extravaganza promoting the release of her eighth studio album, 2011's Biophilia, which was widely praised by critics, though its dense sound made it tough to break through. The film shows Björk in all her eccentricities, including a red wig reminiscent of those Hubble Telescope photos of faraway galaxies. 



Kate Berlant will do two nights of stand-up as a part of All Jane No Dick.

All Jane No Dick
Wednesday–Sunday, Curious Comedy Theater  
All Jane No Dick is a hysterically apt name for Portland's female-only comedy festival. Already in its third year, All Jane No Dick has consistently featured some of the most captivating women in comedy. The Curious Comedy-hosted event ranges from stand-up sets to improv sketches to film screenings, a panel discussions, an LGBTQ showcase, and more. This year's festival welcomes LA-born Kate Berlant, a young comic gaining ground through her quick-witted Twitter jabs and Youtube videos; DeAnne Smith, an up-and-comer who recently proved her chops on Comedy Central's Last Comic Standing; longstanding local comedian and Portlandia guest star Kristine Levine; and many, many more.  


Third Angle Alchemy
Thursday–Friday, Studio Two 
Third Angle’s New Music String Quartet places contrasting modern styles side by side, performing John Zorn’s chaotic, unpredictable “The Alchemist” and the introspective arpeggios of Philip Glass’s String Quartet no. 3.  

Tamara Stefonivitch
Sunday, Lincoln Performance Hall  
The Grammy-nominated sensation became the youngest student at the University of Belgrade at age 13, and earned her master’s in piano by age 19. She brings her famously varied repertoire to Portland for the first time.  


Sadie Depuis of Northampton's own Speedy Ortiz.

Speedy Ortiz
Thursday, Mississippi Studios 
These days, comparisons to ’90s indie rock are worn so thin they’re basically transparent. So instead of noting that these Northampton rockers have put fire in the eyes of jaded Pavement and Dinosaur Jr. fans, it’s best just to say that few bands today write guitar music that is simultaneously as catchy and dissonant, or as heavy-hitting and intimate.  

Trampled By Turtles
Sunday, Crystal Ballroom  
The Minnesota-based modern bluegrass favorites return to town on the back of their seventh studio album, Wild Animals, which expands on the band’s high-energy string band sound with the help of producer Alan Sparhawk.

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