Top Things to Do This Weekend: Mar 26–29

In our weekend picks mash-up, a steampunk Congressman scours St. Johns for ways to save ancient Chinese culture from Mary, Queen of Scots. Also, Scarlett Johannsen!

By Ramona DeNies March 26, 2015

Electrifying: Michael Caine, Scarlett Johannsen, and Hugh Jackman on the big screen this Sunday at the 2015 Steampunk Film Festival. Not pictured: the secrets of Nikola Tesla. Photo still from The Prestige.


From the cover of Frank's first book Barney Frank: The Story of America's Only Left-Handed, Gay, Jewish Congressman.

Barney Frank
Saturday at 4 pm, Powell's City of Books
In the 114 Congressional classes since the Constitution’s advent, few members can match the longtime Massachusetts rep’s oratory powers and propensity for throwing the cleverest, most colorful insults. C-Span simply isn’t the same without Frank. So you can bet we’ll be in the front row when he reads from his new autobiography, Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex MarriagePrep for some Frank talk here with our recent interview.


Movie poster: Topsy McGee vs. the Sky Pirates

Steampunk Film Festival
Sunday from 2 pm to 10 pm, Bob White Theatre
Pneumatic tubes and goggles! This festival's fifth-year line-up promises the finest of "neo-Victorian retrofuturist cinema." That includes newish (2005 or more recent) titles from the US, UK, France, and Ireland—including the film short Topsy McGee vs. the Sky Pirates, the cabaret animation 1900–2000, and full length feature The Prestige, starring the magicky Hugh Jackman and Scarlett Johannsen.


Andy Coolquitt
Friday–Sunday from noon to 5 pm, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center
With a six-week residency in the NoPo hood of St. Johns, Texan Andy Coolquitt and his scavenged art installations have literally moved in. In Disjecta’s resulting exhibition, Coolquitt mines the intersection of home and the remnants of human activity. 


OPENING Belleville
Friday & Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2 pm, CoHo Theatre
Amy Herzog's Belleville—the story of an American expat couple in Paris (she's a yoga instructor, he's with Doctors Without Borders)—has earned mixed reviews in productions across the country. We look forward to Third Rail's take on this tricky production. Rebecca Lingafelter plays Abby, the young wife who catches hubby Zack (Isaac Lamb) with his pants down; from this seemingly small transgression, surfaces crack, and identities shift violently.  

Nikki Weaver and Sharonlee McLean in The Other Place. Photo credit: Portland Playhouse.

The Other Place
Thursday–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"—pharmaceutical peddler Juliana Smithton struggles to comprehend an "episode" that involves a yellow bikini. Read our review here. 

CLOSING Mary Stuart
Thursday–Sunday at 7:30 pm, Shoebox Theatre
Look no further for strong female leads than NW Classical Theatre Company’s adapted production of Friedrich von Schiller’s circa-1800 tragedy. It is a battle royale as Elizabeth I and her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots, face off in Peter Oswald’s Tony-nominated political potboiler. 


Shen Yun: 5,000 Years of Civilization
Friday & Saturday at 7:30 pm, Saturday & Sunday at 2 pm, Keller Auditorium
The New York-based nonprofit Shen Yun claims that six-plus decades of Communist rule mean you can no longer see shows that celebrate "authentic Chinese culture" inside the People's Republic. This touring musical extravaganza, brought to Portland by the Oregon Falun Dafa Association, melds classical Chinese dance with battle drums and striking backdrops.

Photo credit: Shen Yun

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