Top Things to Do This Weekend: Mar 19–22

This weekend, it's Amy Schumer's Backdoor Tour, Mick Foley's backhand, Bad Religion's comeback, and back-to-back closing shows for Six Gents, Desert Cities, and Timmy Failure (and a few sure-fire fallbacks).

By Ramona DeNies March 19, 2015


Amy Schumer
Friday at 8 pm, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
This New York comedian known for gleeful, taboo-twisting comedy already has the Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer and the web series Behind Amy Schumer. So we guess that makes her stand-up appearance In Front of Amy Schumer. (Actually, she calls it her Backdoor Tour. Go figure.) 

Photo credit: Mick Foley

Mick Foley
Sunday at 7 pm, Helium Comedy Club
Stand-up comedian Mick Foley is a New York Times bestselling memoirist, children's book author, prominent supporter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, devoted Tori Amos fan, and—oh yeah!—the three-time WWE champion known as Cactus Jack, the Hardcore Legend, and Mankind. (We picked a few career highlights we hope make it into Foley's set—click here to see.) 


The Decemberists
Saturday at 8 pm, Keller Auditorium
After a four-year hiatus following 2011’s chart-topping The King Is Dead, the indie rock kings are back, fresh-faced, with perhaps their most dynamic and pop-hook-riddled record yet, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World (out January 20), ranging from the doo-wop ooh waa’s of “Philomena” to the rousing, golden melodies on the first single, “Make You Better.”  

Oregon Symphony with James Ehnes: Symphonie Fantastique
Saturday & Sunday at 7:30 pm, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Canadian violinist Ehnes is the kind of prodigy who begins playing his instrument at 4, racks up every type of award, and then becomes the youngest person ever elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Canada. In other words, he is the exact opposite of Hector Berlioz, whose epic (and autobiographical) Symphonie Fantastique tells the story of how an artist’s self-destructive obsession for a woman leads to opium fever dreams.  

Bad Religion

Bad Religion
Monday at 8 pm, Roseland Theater 
Remember Bad Religion? The Southern California band that formed in the late '70s, and spent their three-decade strong career layering pointed lyrics over fast-paced riffs and hard-edged melodies? Their discography’s lyrical content runs the gamut of sociopolitical matters of relevance, like a 30-year chronicle of everything wrong with the world. (As a pre-show primer, we charted five reasons why Bad Religion’s lyrical output is still relevant today.) 


Northwest Dance Project: Louder Than Words
Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 pm, Newmark Theatre
NWDP brings back British choreographer Ihsan Rustem for a new world premiere, after his last won the company the prestigious Sadler’s Wells Global Dance Contest. Also on the docket, a reprise of artistic director Sarah Slipper’s Pinter-inspired theatrical work on a fanciful revolving set, and an athletic ballet inspired by Rodin’s sculptures. 


OPENING The Other Place
Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2 pm, Portland Playhouse
Who does the alpha doctor call when her own mind begins to fail? For the penultimate show of its seventh season, Portland Playhouse takes on the drama that gave writer Sharr White his 2012 Broadway debut. In The Other Place—hailed by Backstage as a "taut, incisive puzzle-play"—biophysicist cum pharmaceutical peddler Juliana Smithton struggles to comprehend an "episode" that (horrors!) involves a yellow bikini.   

Photo credit: Owen Carey

The Invisible Hand
Thursday–Sunday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2 pm, Artists Repertory Theatre
Artists Rep postponed this tense political thriller not once but twice due to visa problems for the Pakistani actors whom former artistic director Allen Nause considered critical to the production. In the meantime, playwright Ayad Akhtar won the 2013 Pulitzer. Now Nause returns to direct this story of a kidnapped American futures trader in Pakistan and the Islamic militants who hold him captive. (Read our review here.)

CLOSING The Six Gentlepersons of Verona
Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2 pm, Venetian Theatre 
For its second all-female spin on a Shakespearian classic, Hillsboro's Bag&Baggage offers a world premiere based on The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Artistic Director Scott Palmer's adaptation includes 14 characters (played by a cast of five) and a rumpled pug named Crabb. 

Photo credit: Portland Center Stage

CLOSING Other Desert Cities
Thursday–Sunday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2 pm, Portland Center Stage
Jon Robin Baitz’s 2012 Pulitzer finalist, one of the 10 most-produced plays in American theater for three years running, follows a family holiday gathering in which tensions over long-held political differences erupt over a tragic family secret.  

CLOSING Timmy Failure
Saturday at 2 pm and 5 pm, Winningstad Theatre
For its second world premiere, Oregon Children's Theatre enlisted Tasmanian playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer to adapt the children’s book Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made—a wildly popular saga of a delusional kid detective from Pearls Before Swine creator Stephan Pastis. The production stars Action/Adventure Theatre founder Pat Moran as Timmy. Also on the playbill: a polar bear and Segway Scooter. (Read our review here.)

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