Top Things To Do This Weekend: Oct 9-12

Design Week rocks on with a Ziggy Stardust party, Reel Music opens with a new Elliott Smith doc, White Bird brings the cosmic Diavolo, artists break out the rubber chickens, and musicians rage against GMOs.

By Portland Monthly Staff October 9, 2014


Review Diavolo
Thursday–Saturday, Newmark Theatre 
"At one point, the woman sitting next to me couldn’t resist exclaiming out loud, 'This is insane!' in between her running barrage of 'No way!' Which pretty much sums up Diavolo’s performance: choreographed risk that will explode your stereotypes of dance. The company’s tagline of 'Architecture in Motion' might not be poetry, but it’s an exact description of the spectacular beauty and muscular but precise choreography that brought gasps from the audience on opening night...this show is more jaw dropping than Cirque du Soleil with far cooler design than anything I’ve seen all week at Design Week...Do not miss it." Read our full review.

Oregon Ballet Theatre's Alison Roper and Artur Sultanov. Photo by Blaine Truitt Covert

Oregon Ballet Theatre: OBT 25
Saturday–Sunday, 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 a live performance by Pink Martini. How's that for a retrospective celebration? 

Read the story from our October issue about how the ballet pivoted from near bankruptcy to full flight and the ambitious 25th season.


Special Events

The one and only Ziggy Stardust.

Design Week continues to steamroll Portland with good taste, innovative ideas, and smart people. Here are our picks for the final weekend:

  • Design Rocks 
    Friday, Rotture
    It's been over three decades since Ziggy Stardust set foot on this earth, blowing minds with platform shoes and guy-liner. Think!PDX says it's time to celebrate the enigma that was Ziggy, and so they've devised Design Rocks: A Rock 'n' Roll Art & Design Gala from Mars. It's a Stardust-themed costume party, concert, and art show. Local Bowie tribute titans Dr. Spaceman will cover the performance and Light Up Loud and Make Animals will take care of the light show. It's time to put your make-up on and slip into that bell-bottomed leather jumpsuit you've hidden at the back of the closet—Ziggy's back. 
  • Design A Shoe 
    Friday, University of Oregon - White Stag Building  
    Now is your chance to make your dream kicks with shoe god Tinker Hatfield (he oversees Nike's Innovation Kitchen and has designed many of the company's most well-known shoes, including more than a dozen Air Jordans) and senior designer Wilson Smith. 
  • Portland Homes Tour 
    Saturday, American Institute of Architects
    The American Institute of Architects is hosting the Portland Homes tour, a self-guided tour through some of Portland's most unique urban living spaces designed by the city's top architects. Take a sneak peak and click through our slideshow of Portland's new architectural gems. 


The late Elliott Smith.

Reel Music
Saturday–Sunday, Whitsell Auditorium
The annual cinematic celebration of all things music—features, documentaries, concert footage, music videos—opens with the highly anticipated Elliott Smith documentary, Heaven Adores You. Directed by former Northwest Film Center intern Nickolas Dylan Rossi, the intimate tribute includes interviews with Smith's friends and some 20 unreleased songs. The festival also includes the recently released Nas documentary Time Is Illmatic and Nick Cave's 20,000 Days On Earth. Check out our critic's picks for the festival here. And read our article about Heaven Adores You here

Mid Century Oregon Genius 
Saturday–Sunday, Hollywood Theatre
Curated by Portland's Anne Richardson (who made a family tree of Portland filmmakers for PoMo in 2012), the Mid Century Oregon Genius series celebrates a handful of the most prominent Northwest filmmakers of the 20th Century. This weekend welcomes Klamath Falls–born James Ivory, who will be introducing two of his films. The first is 1989's Maurice, his adaptation of E.M. Forster's novel that follows the forbidden love affair between two Oxford classmates. Ivory will also be screening Autobiography of a Princess, a made-for-TV film about the post-colonial life of an self-exilded Indian princess. In addition to Ivory, Richard Blue will introduce his brother James Blue's award-winning The Olive Trees of Justice.


Staged!: Parade
Thursday–Sunday, Brunish Hall
This local musical theater company (which swept the 2013 Drammy's with its original musical, Ablaze) continues its love affair with the work of four-time Tony winner Jason Robert Brown with Parade, Brown's dramatization of the sensationalism and anti-Semitism surrounding the 1913 murder trial of Jewish factory manager Leo Frank. As with the last two of the composer's musicals performed by Staged!, Brown himself will come to town this Sunday and Monday for closing night of Parade, a solo concert, and to teach a Master Class.  

Michael O’Connell and Maureen Porter

Image: Owen Carey

Review  Middletown
Thursday–Sunday, Dolores Winningstad Theatre 
Taking inspiration from Our Town, playwright Will Eno plunges into quotidian life in a small hamlet—but in his world, the townsfolk are clever wordsmiths who philosophize on life's big questions. The play was the hit of the 2009 JAW Festival.  

"There’s an argument to be made that the play’s apparent distaste for small talk is admirable, but ultimately Middletown is a production for the sort of people who try to strike up meaningful conversations with strangers on the bus—or, perhaps, for those who would, but lack the courage to do so..." Read our full review

Thursday–Sunday, Artist Repertory Theatre 
Six Cuban refugees trapped in a small boat adrift after a storm are forced to confront tensions between themselves and their pasts in the Northwest premiere of this play from Cuban-born playwright and television actor Carlos Lacamara. 
Verdi's Macbeth
October 11 and 15, Regal Lloyd Center 10 Cinema
The four act masterpiece opens the Metropolitan Opera's season, which is getting beamed directly to the Lloyd Center. The New York Timesexalted Anna Netrebko for her role as Lady Macbeth: "She is a soprano with star power in the best sense, a charismatic expressivity that pervades every element of her performance." It's one of several world-class shows at the Met, the Royal Ballet, Broadway, and London's West End that you can see up close at local theaters. See the full schedule.


Photo: Robbie Augspurger

Shane Torres and Friends
Friday, Bassanova Ballroom
It's fair to say Houston-born Shane Torres won Portland over. His brutally honest jokes about cracking toilet seats and selling plasma catapulted him to local fame. Torres won the Helium Comedy Club's Funniest Person award and performed at Montreal's illustrious Just for Laughs festival in 2013, became a staple at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, made it into our roundup of our favorite local comics, and hosts a weekly radio show on XRAY.fm. Earlier this year, Torres appeared on NBC's Last Comic Standing. But, like a string of talented performers, Torres recently announced he'd leaving Portland for brighter lights (New York City, in his case), so read our exit interview here before catching him for one last hometown show. 

Friday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall 
Randy and unapologetic, Wanda Sykes is one of the funniest women cracking jokes on stage today. She's an accomplished film and TV actress as well as Emmy Award-winning writer for her work on The Chris Rock Show. She also traded jokes with President Barack Obama as the featured comic at 2009's White House Correspondents Dinner.


Portland beach rock band, Genders.

Friday, Mississippi Studios 
On the back of last year’s solid debut, Get Lost, and a tour with indie-rock patron saints Built to Spill, these local noisy indie-rock upstarts are primed for even bigger things. One of Portland’s consistently best young live acts, it would be wise to catch them while they’re still playing small venues.  

Sunday, Star Theater 
After organizing her peers against flouridated water, Dandy Warhols musician Zia McCabe is bringing together a swath of Portland's talented musicians in support of Measure 92: the effort to label genetically engineered foods in Oregon. The lineup includes Mike Coykendall (who plays with M.Ward), McCabe and Dandy Warhols' frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor, Jeremy Wilson of the Dharma Bums, and rapper Madgesdiq. Representing the food world will be Dave of Dave's Killer Bread and Tres Shannon, founder of VooDoo Doughnuts. 

Ticket Alert
Portland's alternative music station 94/7fm just released this year's lineup for their 10th annual December to Remember concert series and it's stacked: The War On Drugs (Dec. 3), Spoon (Dec. 10), TV On The Radio (Dec. 11), and Alt-J (Dec. 16), amongst many others. The presale for 94/7 Nation members has already begun at 947.fm. General public tickets will become available on Saturday.


Thursday, The Old Church 
There can’t be many better venues in town to hear the internationally celebrated Brazilian guitarist, vocalist, and composer than the sonically expansive Old Church, where you’ll be able to catch every note of his virtuosic playing.  

Saturday & Monday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall 
Rising Dutch star Simone Lamsma makes her Oregon Symphony debut with a performance of this work by 20th-century composer Erich Korngold, the first composer to win an Oscar for a film score in 1938. 

Books & Talks 

Michael Graves' Portland Building

Thursday, Portland Art Museum 
At the time of its construction in 1981, Michael Grave’s Portland Building was heralded as a post-modern architectural breakthrough. Since then, it has become the scourge of its office workers, who complain of terrible lighting, substandard ventilation, and leaks everywhere. Now, while the City of Portland is contemplating the building's future—it needs $58 million in repairs—join Graves, in conversation with Randy Gragg, the director of the University of Oregon's John Yeon Center, for his perspective of the building's lifespan and legacy, as well as his career since. For background, read our story about how the building turned into such a disaster.


Thursday–Sunday, The Art Gym
Setting out to explore the intersection between humor and art, Paraprosdokians and Rubber Chickens features numerous artists, both Portland-based and beyond (including the recent NW Bowen Award-winner Ralph Pugay), who employ comedic tropes and themes as a means of relaying their work across a far-reaching range of mediums.
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