PoMo Picks: February's Best Bets For Things to See and Do

Alton Brown' Edible Inevitable tour, So You Think You Can Dance, RuPaul's Drag Race, and the Portland Jazz Festival hit Portland this month!

February 2, 2015 Published in the February 2015 issue of Portland Monthly

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Good Eats, the Musical?

Few modern TV personalities are as recognizable and distinct as Alton Brown. He blended Julia Child, Mr. Wizard, and Monty Python with his hit cooking show Good Eats before going on to host Iron Chef America and Cutthroat Kitchen. If you ever found yourself mesmerized by his comic, DIY kitchen tinkering, prepare to see it writ large on stage. In his Edible Inevitable Tour, he mixes humor, songs, video, and stories with giant contraptions like a fire extinguisher–powered ice cream maker and a 54,000-watt “Mega Bake Oven.” Ten bucks he calls it “golden brown and delicious.”
Feb 24 | Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

Reality TV Live

Dancing vs. Queen

Two of TV’s best competition shows bring their contestants to town. Since each is about finding
the fiercest performer of its fold—dancer and drag queen—we sized them up against each other. 

So You Think You Can Dance: 11 to 20 finalists who compete in classical, contemporary, ballroom, hip-hop, and other dance styles to be “America’s Favorite Dancer” (Feb 2 | So You Think You Can Dance Season 11 Tour | Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall)

RuPaul’s Drag Race: 14 drag queens who compete in sewing, runway-walking, lip-syncing, and sundry performance challenges to be “America’s Next Drag Superstar” (Feb 10 | RuPaul’s Drag Race Battle of the Seasons Tour | Crystal Ballroom)

Cat Deeley, 5-foot-9 Australian model-turned-professional TV host
RuPaul, 6-foot-4 African American model-turned-professional TV host/author/recording artist

“You’re on the Hot Tamale Train. Choo choo.”—Judge Mary Murphy
“Good luck, and don’t f-ck it up.” —RuPaul

Biggest Scandal: 
Murphy’s ex-manager called her a “desperate, cocaine-fueled nymphomaniac” during a 2012 lawsuit.
Dropped its “You’ve Got She-Mail” segment after outcry that it was derogatory toward the transgender community

Best line from celebrity judge Neil Patrick Harris:
“You look like you’re from the past, like from the ’30s or ’40s.... And you dance like you’re from the future.”
“It made no sense. It was Edgar Allan Poe meets a New Jersey housewife mom.”


Big in Sweden

Singer-songwriter Doug Seegers was on and off the streets in Nashville, playing open mics at a food pantry, when the Swedish country star Jill Johnson heard him play on a park bench. Taken by his beautifully worn voice, she wasted no time getting him to a recording studio. The resulting song, “Going Down to the River,” catapulted him to Scandinavian stardom last spring. Now America is playing catch-up.

Feb 21 | Mississippi Studios


Locals’ Picks for the Portland Jazz Festival
We asked father-son drummers Mel and Christopher Brown whom they’re most excited to see (and even play with):

“I’ve always known of Freda Payne because of her sister (Scherrie), who was one of the Supremes during my tenure. I love her big- band CD, and I am considering putting a quintet together to form a ‘Cannonball/Nancy Wilson’ setting to showcase her. However, I’m sure people will want to hear her Motown sound, so I’ll have something for both sides of her talent.” —Mel Brown 

“I’m finally able to bring one of my all-time heroes/mentors, Ralph Bowen, out here, and since he’s literally one of the greatest saxophonists to ever play jazz music, let alone the saxophone, I predict that witnessing everyone’s reaction to his playing is sure to be the highlight of this upcoming festival for me.” —Christopher Brown

Feb 18–Mar 1 | Various venues

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