Top Things to Do This Weekend: Jan 15–18

Reels from the "real" Homer Simpson, Michael Chabon's comic book escapades, crazy British theatre, and Dirty Dancing on stage—it's all in PDX this weekend!

By Portland Monthly Staff January 15, 2015


Mid Century Oregon Genius: Selected Short Films by Homer Groening 
Thursday, Hollywood Theatre
The father of Simpsons creator Matt Groening (and namesake of Homer Simpson) was a filmmaker in his own right. He created hundreds of short films, ranging from commercials and public service announcements to industrial and art films, and helped jumpstart Portland’s fledgling film community by giving work to the likes of Claymation-creator Will Vinton. Join Lisa Groening, Oscar-nominated animator Bill Plympton, and other Groening friends and colleagues for this retrospective of his work (some of which you can see in our post). 


Michael Chabon
Thursday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Michael Chabon, bestselling author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and Telegraph Avenue, once said: “Personally I would prefer to see bookstores shelve all fiction together regardless of genre. Or maybe just have two sections, ‘Good Stuff’ and ‘Crap’....If I ever own a bookstore I will do it that way. Only I will just leave out the Crap section.” We'd like to see that bookstore—if the Berkeley-based scribe has time between winning Pulitzers, writing songs with British super-producer Mark Ronson, and creating comic backstories with Portland comic czar Matt Fraction (check out our preview Q&A with Chabon in advance of his Literary Arts lecture.)

Matt Love
Thursday, Powell's City of Books
In addition to running Nestucca Spit Press in Astoria and winning Literary Arts’ Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award for his contributions to Oregon history and literature, Love also happens to be one of two suspects in the biggest jewelry theft in Portland history. No arrests were made, and now that the stature of limitations has expired for the 1993 crime, Love is free to tell the outlandish story in Rose City Heist: A True Crime Portland Tale of Sex, Gravy, Jewelry and Almost Rock and Roll.


Opening The Snowstorm
Thursday–Sunday, CoHo Theatre
Written by Drammy winners Eric Nordin and Sam Gregory and directed/choreographed by Oregon Shakespeare Festival vet Jessica Wallenfels, this world premiere blends theater, puppetry, and dance with Nordin’s live performances of Rachmaninoff’s piano solos to tell an original fairy tale of sorts set in 19th-century Russia. It is a front-runner of the Fertile Ground Festival of New Works.   


Dirty Dancing
Thursday–Sunday, Keller Auditorium
We know, we know—this ’80s favorite is a little cheesy. I mean, the main characters are a teenage girl nicknamed “Baby” and a dance instructor named Johnny Castle. Johnny Castle. But let’s be honest: it’s a guilty pleasure that’ll only get better with a full live dance ensemble 

The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents
Saturday & Sunday, Shoebox Theatre
Lukas Barfuss’s dark comedy tackles the modern sexuality through the story of a young girl’s sexual awakening after being weaned off medication for her erratic behavior. The Shoebox Theater is mercilessly small—prepare to embrace the awkwardness.  

NT Live: John
Sunday, World Trade Center Theatre
This is a new, innovative production brought to you by London's dance-integrated company DV8 Physical Theatre. John depicts a string of real life stories compiled through a series of interviews by company artistic director Lloyd Newson. The performance uses movement and spoken word to represent stories of love, betrayal, drug abuse, and mystery.


Ezza Rose Band
Saturday, Mississippi Studios
On her previous albums, Rose brandished a spare blend of bluegrass-tinged folk, paring her delicate, halcyon voice with plucked and strummed strings. Now she ventures into richer, denser, more daring territory with this release concert for When the Water’s Hot

Classical Music

Carpe Diem String Quartet
Saturday, Winningstad Theatre
What this award-winning quartet actually seizes is a range of genre influences, from gypsy jazz to folk-rock, to complement its explosive performances with enough variety for everyone.

Oregon Symphony: Clarinet Swing Kings
Saturday & Sunday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall 
Clarinetist Dave Bennett has a special connection to the music of Benny Goodman—Bennett taught himself the instrument as a young boy by playing along to the clarinet pioneer’s tunes. Bennett’s Clarinet Swing Kings will perform Goodman’s music alongside that of Artie Shaw, Jimmy Dorsey, and Woody Herman. 


Jaik Faulk: Back at the Crawdaddy
Thursday–Sunday, Nationale
Nationale kicks off the year in its new space on Division, where the gallery moved in October, with an exhibition of work created by this local painter during a monthlong residency at local studio FalseFront. 

Diana Markosian and Dima Gavrysh
Thursday–Sunday, Blue Sky Gallery
Markosian’s touching photo essay Inventing My Father tells the story of her reconnection with the man after a life of estrangement through photographs sometimes as faded or obscure as her memories of him; Gavrysh’s Inshallah explores the Soviet and American occupations of Afghanistan through the lens of his own childhood war fantasies.  


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