Top Things to Do This Weekend: Feb 19–22

World-class fingerpicking' and Electric Boogaloo: the next four days go posh, with Freda Payne, Ruth Ozeki, and Tommy Emmanuel. But watch out for zombies.

February 19, 2015


Freda Payne. Credit: Portland Jazz Festival

My Town Is Motown: Freda Payne with Mel Brown
Thursday at 7 pm, Jimmy Mak's
Legendary Portland drummer Mel Brown, who played with the Supremes, had this to say about songstress Freda Payne: “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.” (More picks from Portland jazz musicians here.)

Tommy Emmanuel
Friday at 8 pm, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
The Australian fingerpicking genius and two-time Grammy nominee has steadily redefined the range of acoustic guitar over his five-decade career. Sharing stages with Chet Atkins, Les Paul, and Eric Clapton, among others, Emmanuel has earned his place among his generation’s greats with a repertoire that floats between rock, folk, and jazz.  


Credit: Ruth Ozeki

Ruth Ozeki
Thursday at 7:30 pm, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
The third novel from Ozeki—a Canadian-American filmmaker and ordained Buddhist priest—was a 2013 National Book Award finalist and long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. A Tale for the Time Being, narrated by a chatty, suicidal teenage girl in Tokyo, plays on the Buddhist notion of no-self, or anatman. 


Precious Little
Thursday–Sunday at 7:30 pm, Defunkt Theatre
Madeleine George’s fiction rules the New York YA market, but her latest play is all grown up—and pregnant. Brodie, a single, gay, fortyish doctor of linguistics, must decide if she can accept that her unborn child might lack the ability to speak. Along the way, she finds support from friends, lovers, strangers, and a gorilla.

Credit: Justin Barbin

CLOSING How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes
Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 7 pm, Portlnad Playhouse
Somewhere between theater, panel discussion, and town hall meeting, the world premiere of this interactive theater piece from Sojourn Theatre attacks the problem of poverty from a variety of angles before culminating in an audience vote on how best to donate $1,000 from ticket sales.  

CLOSING Rodger and Hammerstein's Cinderella
Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 pm, Saturday at 2 pm, Sunday at 1 and 6:30 pm, Keller Auditorium
A new take on the classic updates the story for the modern stage while keeping intact the songs that made this timeless story a worldwide hit. 


Oregon Symphony: Beethoven's Fifth
Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2 pm, Monday at 8 pm, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Arguably the most recognizable four notes ever composed, experience the awe-inspiring grandeur of the Victory Symphony along with pieces from Rachmaninoff and others. Christoph König directs with Stefan Jackiw on violin.


Electric Boogaloo: The Untold Story of Cannon Films: playing this Saturday at the Hollywood Theatre.

CLOSING 38th Portland International Film Festival
Thru Saturday. various times and locations
For 38 years, the Portland International Film Festival has brought rare cinematic gems from across the world to Portland's local theaters. This year, PIFF's roster of 97 features (and 60 shorts) includes a Spanish-language showcase (with films from Venezuela, Cuba, and more), more than two dozen Oscar-submitted flicks, and short animated cuts curated by LAIKA's Mark Shapiro. 


Zombie Apocalypse Disaster Preparedness Game
Saturday at 1 pm, Pioneer Courthouse Square
You've watched every season of Walking Dead and read World War Z, but do you feel prepared to survive when zombies take over? It's alright to say no, and that's what this is about—spreading awareness and teaching the masses how to react when the zombie apocalypse is upon us... it's also about running around in blood-curdling facepaint. 

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