Top Things to Do This Weekend: June 18–21

All in one weekend: Australian pop royalty and aboriginal abstract art, free concerts for the summer solstice, wading pools the size of ice rinks, and one very confused private eye.

By Ramona DeNies June 18, 2015

Australia's princess of pop: at the Doug Fir this Friday. Phone credit: Kirstin Burns.


Friday at 8 pm, Doug Fir Lounge
The Australia native—who trained in acting with Cate Blanchett before starting as a singer—is known for soft, mesmerizing, and faux-naïf melodies often sampled by advertisers (think Coke, Windows 8, and Old Navy). She's on tour for clubby new album The Bright Side; catch our Q&A with her here.

Make Music Day PDX
Sunday from 11 am to 8 pm, Various locations
An outgrowth of the decades-old French Fête de la Musique, Make Music Day now takes over 725 cities worldwide with free shows from local musicians. Venues for Make Music Day PDX—hey, folks, it's the Summer Solstice!—range from Music Millennium to six public parks and a Beaverton Home Depot. Check the website for the live music happenings nearest you.


OPENING No Boundaries: Aboriginal Contemporary Abstract Painting
Saturday & Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art
Modern art isn’t just the province of the urban western world, as is made clear by this touring exhibit of abstract works from nine Aboriginal Australian artists. The 75 works on display—from artists including Paddy Bedford and Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri—evoke ancient cultural practices and landscape features of Australia’s Western Desert.  


Poetry Press Week
Friday & Saturday at 7 pm, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center
Poetry Press Week sends poems down the literary runway! Modeled on “Fashion Week” blowouts, eight participating poets choose a reader to showcase their own stunning creations. 


Butt Kapinski: nobody said it was gonna be pretty. Photo credit: Deanna Fleysher.

Butt Kapinski
Thursday–Sunday at 7:30 pm, CoHo Theatre
In the second show of CoHo's month-long Summerfest, farceur Deanna Fleysher plays a noirish private eye who knows how to navigate a murder scene. But when it comes to similes (and conventional gender identities), well, he gets a little lost. 

CLOSING Three Days of Rain
Thursday–Sunday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2 pm, Portland Center Stage
Last year, Grimm actor Sasha Roiz (Captain Renard) approached artistic director Chris Coleman to produce Richard Greenberg’s Three Days—a stage actor’s favorite in which siblings try to unravel the mystery of their architect parents, later playing the parents themselves, thirty years prior. In quite the buzz-worthy event for our star-hungry burg, Roiz next roped in castmate Silas Weir Mitchell to join him for their Portland stage debut. Read more in our summer theater guide.

Thursday–Sunday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2 pm, Artists Repertory Theatre
In his take on Pierre Corneille’s 1643 tale of mistaken identity and falsehoods, playwright David Ives respins a yarn so dazzling the Wall Street Journal asked if it was the funniest play ever written. We've got a review!

Each week, check back here for a weekend itinerary par excellence, excerpted from Portland Monthly's 2015 Summer Guide:


Cooling down before the hot beats: What the Festival's stage-side wading pool is the size of two ice hockey rinks. Photo credit: WTF.

An “immersive rave” with the world’s largest wading pool, a hookah lounge, and electronic music out in the Gorge, basking in the shadows of Mounts Hood and Adams? Well, sure! What The Festival’s fourth year should bring more of the artistically inclined, light-on-the-land, carnivalesque brand of fun that’s already lofted WTF to international acclaim on the festival circuit. Plus, showers and yoga and tea! But because a full weekend of raving in the sunshine can be, well, overwhelming, we won’t judge you for departing early to observe the summer solstice from the quieter sanctuary of your home on Sunday. We recommend jumping aboard a midmorning kayak tour with Alder Creek, which launches you from the Eastbank Esplanade on a three-mile paddle around Ross Island, where you’re likely to spot a good few of the 100 species of migratory birds that summer here, including bald eagles and great blue herons. Finish your splendidly chill day with a cold one in hand at the recently revived Skyline Tavern (8031 NW Skyline Blvd), where Ping-Pong, horseshoes, a DIY grill, and verdant views over the canopy of Forest Park offer the perfect punctuation for the longest day of the year.


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