Top Things to Do This Weekend: Jan 29–Feb 1

This weekend, we bring Patton Oswalt a ham sandwich, (boldly) go to the Oregon Symphony's Star Trek, meet piglet starlets, and try a Threesome. You only live once.

By Ramona DeNies January 29, 2015


Patton Oswalt
Thursday at 8 pm, Newmark Theatre
Oswalt is taking Portland by storm in a single day—after appearing at Powell’s the same evening to talk about his early days in Hollywood and his love of classic movies, the comedian and actor takes the stage for a stand-up set.  

Mark Twain Tonight
Saturday at 7:30 pm, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Astonishingly, actor Hal Holbrook (a.k.a. Deep Throat in All the President’s Men) has been moonlighting as Mark Twain since he first debuted this one-man show as a college student in 1954. In Mark Twain Tonight, the Tony-winning Holbrook interprets an ever-changing bill of prose from one of America’s greatest minds. We've got three reasons why you MUST see Holbrook now.


OPENING I'd Rather Goya Robbed Me of My Sleep Than Some Other Son of a Bitch
Thursday at 7:30 pm, Disjecta Arts Center
Upstart arts organization Boom Arts has been producing some of the most provocative theater in town of late. Argentine screenwriter Rodrigo García’s meditation on the gulf between cultural and financial wealth is no exception, as made evident by the live piglets (view our slideshow here!) that stand in for the sole character’s sons. 

OPENING Dead Man's Cell Phone
Thurday–Sunday at 7:30 pm, Artists Repertory Theatre
For its 2015 season, Profile turns to the work of Sarah Ruhl, whose growing canon of psychological “comedies” have earned her a MacArthur award and two Pulitzer nominations. This 2007 salute to modern techno-discontent follows a woman who pockets the titular object and starts taking the deceased’s postmortem calls. 

Thurday–Sunday at 7:30 pm, Shaking the Tree Studio
Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble follows up its stupendous take on Chekhov’s Three Sisters with a 1993 work by the avant-garde playwright María Irene Fornés that weaves fantasy with reality, along with the shattering effect of AIDS, the loneliness of private rituals, and the many forms of communion. (Our review here.)  

OPENING Threesome
Friday–Sunday at 7:30 pm, Saturday & Sunday matinees at 2 pm, Ellen Bye Studio
Some couples attempt to solve their problems with counseling, some try a vacation, some just ignore them. Then there are those who try a threesome, like the main characters in this world premiere from award-winning, Egyptian-born playwright Yussef El Guindi (check out our interview with El Guindi).


Chamber Music NW's Winter Festival
Thursday & Saturday at 7:30 pm Friday at 7 pm, Sunday at 1 pm, various locations
Don’t tell Chamber Music Northwest that classical music is fading in popularity. The 44-year-old presenter returns for its second Winter Festival after its summer fest set new attendance records. This time, the weeklong program (our preview here) focuses on masterpieces by the greats: Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, et al. Consider it a classical crash course.

Oregon Symphony: Star Trek
Friday at 7:30 pm, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
As if J. J. Abrams’s 2009 reboot of this beloved sci-fi franchise weren’t enough of a spectacle, now you can see it with Michael Giacchino’s Grammy-nominated score performed live.


Brian Doyle
Friday at 7:30 pm, Powell's City of Books
Brian Doyle's new book A Book of Uncommon Prayer: 100 Celebrations of the Miracle and Muddle of the Ordinary is just what it sounds like—an unabashed collection of meditations on the wonder of the mundane. One wonder that strikes us: how does Doyle manage to write so many quality books, in so many genres, in so little time (we hear he's got another on the way)—all while holding down his day job as editor of the University of Portland’s magazine?


NT Live: Treasure Island
Sunday at 2 pm and 7 pm, World Trade Center Theatre
Robert Louis Stevenson's time-honored novel has been adapted for the stage by British playwright Bryony Lavery. The coming-of-age adventure (suitable for kids ages 10 and up, according to London's National Theatre) follows young Jim as he finds himself at the mercy of a treasure chest—along with the many others who quest for it.



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