Top Things to Do This Weekend: Nov 20–23

Between Bernadette Peters, Jeff Bridges, John Oliver's Cover Oregon spoof, and Portland's premier drag clown, this weekend is one big sing-a-long!

By Portland Monthly Staff November 20, 2014


Ages and Ages
Friday and Saturday at 9pm, Mississippi Studios
These locals’ handclaps, gang vocals, and Americana-inflected harmonies—not to mention relentless optimism and just a hint of self-righteousness—have attracted the tag “secular gospel.” Expect a tight show, as they’ve been on the road all October.

Leading Ladies in Music Fundraiser
Saturday at 6pm, Wonder Ballroom
This year's event, in support of the Rock n' Roll Camp for Girls, honors China Forbes of Pink Martini, Storm Large, Maggie Vail of Hurry Up & Strange Babes and now CASH Music, Kathy Foster of the Thermals, Rebecca Gates of the Spinanes and now Rebecca Gates and the Consortium, and former-Portlander Mirah Zeitlyn. With recent news of a Sleater-Kinney reunion, the Leading Ladies In Music fundraiser is more relevant than ever—last year's honored guest was Sleater-Kinney's main singer Corin Tucker.

Jeff Bridges and the Abiders
Sunday at 8pm, Aladdin Theater
Bridges spawned a movement as the Dude in The Big Lebowski, voiced the character of Prince Lir in The Last Unicorn (see what Prince Lir and the Dude have common here), and won an Academy Award for his role as an aging country singer in Crazy Heart. The latter role probably came naturally; when not in the studio, Bridges tours to promote his own music (his second country album, released in 2011, features production by the renowned T-Bone Burnett). View the Dude's tunes for yourself this Sunday.


John Oliver
Saturday at 8 & 10:30pm, Keller Auditorium
In April, for his opening episode of HBO’s
Last Week Tonight, this former Daily Show correspondent invited singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb to skewer Laura Gibson’s winsome jingle for the ultimately disastrous Cover Oregon health exchange. Bitterly funny medicine, John. We still plan to pelt you with organic heirloom tomatoes. 


The inimitable Carla Rossi at TBA's Critical Mascara Drag Ball

Carla Rossi Sings the End of the World
Thursday at 8pm, Alberta Rose Theater
Carla Rossi, Portland's self-proclaimed "premier drag clown," has already been featured in TBA's Critical Mascara ball, Seattle Pridefest, and Conduit Dance's DANCE+ Festival, amongst many other nightly Northwest events. For her next trick she's devised "Carla Rossi Sings the End of the World," a one-woman cabaret pinned to compare "the whirling, progressive creativity and freedom of 1920s Berlin with America today."  Maria Choban will accompany Rossi on piano while the Dolly Pops offer dance support. 

Bernadette Peters
Saturday at 7:30pm, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Peters is widely considered one of the finest living musical theater performers, as well as the greatest interpreter of legendary composer Stephen Sondheim’s work. Sondheim agrees, having told the Washington Post, “Bernadette is flawless as far as I’m concerned.” She performs with the Oregon Symphony. 

Third Rail Rep Finishes the Apple Family Cycle
Sorry on Saturday at 3pm, Regular Singer at 7:30
Third Rail Rep is finally completing Richard Nelson’s Apple Family Cycle with Sorry and Regular Singer. The company has been working its way through the four plays over the past couple years with That Hopey Changey Thing in 2012 and Sweet and Sad in 2013. Read our reviews of both here and here.

Books and Talks 

Confluence with Maya Lin
Friday at 12:15pm, City Club of Portland
Much of Maya Lin's work is indebted to the Pacific Northwest. Her most ambitious piece, a five-year-long project (2006-2011) that stretched along the Columbia River system, is called Confluence (read our extended 2009 profile here). The project featured six art installations, each inspired by passages from Lewis and Clark journals, as well as traditional Native American stories to create a nuanced exploration of the history and culture of our region.  


Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra: The Red Violin
Friday at 7:30pm at First United Mehodist Church, Sunday at 3pm at Mt. Hood Community College's College Theater
Famed violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn—whose illustrious 1720 "Red Mendelssohn" Stradivarius violin is known as the inspiration behind François Girard's 1999 film "The Red Violin—will perform John Corigliano's Chaconne, an original score written for the motion picture.

Bohemian Trumpets and Stylus Fantasticus
Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 3pm, Portland Baroque Orchestra
Artistic director Monica Huggett crafts a program of 17th-century music for trumpets and strings, including rarely performed works like Hapsburg court violinist and composer Johann Heinrich Schmelzer’s Die musikalische fechtschul.  


Exhibit: Growth
Daily through Sunday at 11am, Director Park
When it comes to banks, it looks like Portland's Umpqua is making a bid for the most creative. The company has been touring an interactive, open-air art exhibit through Oregon, and it's rolling through Portland's Director Park for ten days. The centerpiece is a geodesic dome that's motion-activated to illuminate unique, mesmerizing visual. The bank recruited eight multi-disciplinary artists from across the country to design the exhibit's installations, three of which come from Portland—Aaron Rayburn, Blaine Fontana, and Blair Saxon-Hill. Read our full story.

Kevin Cooley and Jessia Mallios: Sightings
Friday–Sunday from noon–5pm, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center
Video installations examining urban space from unusual perspectives by two artists, Kevin Cooley and Jessica Mallios, take over Disjecta; Cooley’s Skyward requires the viewer to lie down to travel through Los Angeles as a passenger in a car staring out the sunroofFriday marks the exhibit's free public reception from 6–10pm.


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