Top Things to Do This Weekend: Nov 6-9

Astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield serenades Portland, First Thursday shines with hijinks and big name portraiture, the Northwest Filmmaker's Festival puts Oregon on screen, and so much more.

By Portland Monthly Staff November 6, 2014


Die Fledermaus
Friday & Sunday, Keller Auditorium
To kick off its 50th-anniversary season, the opera revisits its first-ever production, a comedy of intoxicated scheming and romantic intrigue set around a Venetian masked ball. Featuring soprano Mary Dunleavy as Rosalinde (last seen as Donna Elvira in 2012's Don Giovanni), Daniel Belcher as Gabriel von Eisenstein (last seen as Figaro in 2010's The Barber of Seville), and Portland guest stars every night, including Body Vox, Tony Starlight, Michael Allen Harrison, Poison Waters, Susannah Mars, and Cascade from the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus.

Read our Long Story Short with Frances Britt, who started as a chorus girl at the opera in the 60's and has managed the costume shop for the past 30 years (plus see a slide show of some of the best costumes). 

Third Angle Ensemble: Afield
Thursday & Friday, Studio Two 
The local new music ensemble’s series of intimate studio performances continues with world premieres from Northwest composers Justin Ralls, Andrew Steifel, and Nayla Mehdi. All three compositions are inspired by the natural world and incorporate field recordings. 

Saturday & Sunday, St. Mary's Cathedral 
This masterpiece’s origin story—unfinished at Mozart’s death, secretly completed by other composers at his widow’s request—has taken on a mystery and mythology almost as towering as the music itself (see: the film Amadeus). Portland Symphonic Choir will perform it alongside Tarik O’Reagan’s Triptych, which has been hailed as a modern choral classic.

Books & Talks

Col. Chris Hadfield
Friday, Powell's Books 
You may know this decorated astronaut from his cover of Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” which went viral from the International Space Station. He’s also a best-selling author and comes to town in support of his new book of photographs, You Are Here, representing a single orbit of the International Space Station.


The men in 'The Piano Lesson' perform one of the most powerful moments in local theater this year with their rousing kitchen table singing.

Image: Brud Giles

The Piano Lesson
Thursday–Sunday, Portland Playhouse
Given the company's outstanding record producing the work of playwright August Wilson, it's surprising Portland Playhouse hasn't tackled the play many regard as Wilson's finest. The Pulitzer Prize winner tells the story of an African American family in 1930s Pittsburgh and its members' disagreement over what to do with an heirloom piano. Read our story about 9-year-old actor Sinai La’ryn Jones, who went from performing with Sarah Jessica Parker at the White House for Michelle Obama to acting at the Playhouse.

Opening True West
Thursday–Sunday, Alder Stage: Artists Repertory Theatre
Sibling bonds get stretched to the extremes in Sam Shepard's play about two brothers—one a Hollywood playwright, the other a drifting thief—who reconnect after years of separation only to clash over ideals and lifestyles. Like many Shepard plays, it makes your family's Thanksgiving look downright wholesome. Read our profile of director Adriana Baer.


The colorful Mrs. Margaret Cho

Margeret Cho 
Thursday–Saturday, Helium Comedy Club  
Margeret Cho's career displays a buffet of comedic art forms: her work spans from a short-lived 1994 ABC sitcom American Girl, to a one-woman off Broadway show I'm The One That I Want, to a Grammy nomination in 2011 for her comedy album, Cho Dependant, to a Lifetime Achievement Award by LA Pride. As an Asian-American lesbian, Cho's work can be personal and political. You can see Cho in Weird Al's comeback hit video for "Tacky."  

Ticket Alert John Oliver, the quick-witted British humurous and host of HBO's Last Week Tonight, will be performing stand-up at Portland's Keller Auditorium November 22. We've got tickets, enter to win here.


Deltron 3030
Friday, Roseland Theater 
The futuristic alt hip-hop super group—Dan the Automator, Kid Koala, and Del Tha Funky Homosapien—turned heads in 2000 with their dystopian debut. Through intricately orchestrated production and a novelistic attention to lyrical detail, the trio created one of the most ambitious concept albums of its time. After a hiatus that stretched over a decade, the group returned with the sequel, Event 2, in 2013. With the band's longevity always in question, catch a glimpse of the rap soothsayers while you still can. 

The mountain men of Hiss Golden Messenger

Hiss Golden Messenger
Saturday, Doug Fir Lounge
This alt-country partnership between North Carolina songwriter M. C. Taylor and multi-instrumentalist Scott Hirsch released Lateness of Dancers in September, and it’s a record born of the barely satisfied wariness of over two decades making music: Hirsch and Taylor first played together in ’90s post-hardcore band Ex-Ignota.  


Northwest Filmmakers' Festival
Friday–Sunday, Northwest Film Center 
The 41st iteration of this annual celebration of the region’s best filmmaking will feature more than 40 films culled from close to 400 submissions, a festival of work from young filmmakers age 13 to 19, and a special Veterans Day program. Take a look at our critic's picks here

Special Events

The Siren Nation Music and Arts Festival
Friday & Saturday, Various Venues 
The annual festival celebrating the women of the Northwest arts scene is back for more. Already in it's second week, Friday and Saturday offer full nights of female-fronted music like Swan Sovereign (at Mississippi Studios), Melao de Cuba (at the Alberta Rose Theatre), and Jenny Finn Orchestra (at the Secret Society), amongst many others. The festival closes on Wednesday, November 12 with a record release concert by former Portland singer-songwriter Mirah (at the Doug Fir Lounge).


Richard Mosse's The Enclave

Richard Mosse's The Enclave
Sunday, Portland Art Museum 
Irish visual artist Richard Mosse spent several years in the Democratic Republic of Congo documenting its deeply entrenched conflict using a discontinued infared film technology that renders the landscapes in Technicolor hues of crimson, pink, and lavender. (It was invented to negate camouflage during World War II.) The exhibition will include six simultaneous projections and a soundscape, immersing the viewer in the haunted landscape. There will be an artist's talk on Nov. 9 at 2 pm. 

First Thursday
Downtown Portland
The downtown gallery scene's most vibrant night of the month has every space opened late, where you can sip wine for the love of art. If you're not familiar, take a look through our beginner's guide to First Thursday for the scoop on each gallery and a map for a self-guided tour. Here's what you can catch tonight:

  • Eva & Franco, PNCA's Feldman Gallery & Project Space
    This duo delves into the nature of the Internet and its intense capacity for emotional impact through trickster stunts and crowd-sourced participation. Their works range from the banal (instructions to people around the world to record themselves and post it online) to the highly controversial (recording web-cam reactions on Chat Roulette to Franco hanging himself—and never revealing that it's faked). 
  • Through the Lens: Portraiture & Self-Potraiture, Elizabeth Leach Gallery
    This portrait show includes works by giants both international and regional, from Robert Mapplethorpe and Nan Goldin to Seattle photographer Isaac Layman and Blue Sky cofounder Christopher Rauschenberg.  
  • Jared Soares & Adriana Lopez Sanfeliu, Blue Sky Gallery
    Two photo essays set in primarily minority communities are paired for this month’s exhibition: Soares’s Small Town Hip Hop, which follows the small scene in Roanoke, Virginia, and Sanfeliu’s Life on the Block, sometimes strikingly bleak black-and-white photographs of women living in Spanish Harlem. 
  • Sun Kings: Amjad Faur, PDX Contemporary Art 
    A teacher at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Faur is gaining recognition for his large-format black-and-white photography examining cultural tensions between the West and the Middle East through the lens of his Palestinian heritage. 
  • ShowPDX: A Decade of Portland Furniture Design, Museum Of Contemporary Craft 
    For 10 years, ShowPDX has been exhibiting some of the best furniture made in Portland (since before the term 'maker' was even a thing—read our story). Now the Museum of Contemporary Craft is giving the best of the best a retrospective. 
  • Corey Arnold, Charles A. Hartman Fine Art
    This lifelong fisherman got his break when photographs he took while working on a commercial fishing boat in Alaska were used on a Times Square billboard for The Deadliest Catch. His work captures the mind-boggling might of the ocean, often offset by the small but perseverant humor of man.  

Katherine Bradford & Sarah Gamble
Opening Friday, Adams and Ollman
Sharing a tendency towards jaunty and expressive, Bradford and Gamble's art, while conceptually distinct, can visually balance the other out. Bradford's work can be abstract, at times fantastical, and yet utterly human. Gamble dabbles in a more stirring, metaphysical realm with what she creates on canvas. Read our profile of Amy Adams, the gallerist behind Bradford and Gamble's exhibition. 

Terry Atkinson
Opening Saturday, Yale Union
British conceptual artist Terry Atkinson is having his first US institutional solo exhibition in Portland. His work is based around wood and metal forms and wall-mounted sculpture, loosely based on drawings and sketches from the 1980s and 1990s. The "Greasers" will be on display along with Atkinson's drawing and paintings.  The show opening is Nov. 8 at 3pm. 

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