Top Things to Do This Weekend: June 4–7

Sufjan Stevens at the Schnitz, Richard Dawkins takes on God, rocker Jon Fine revisits his years with Bitch Magnet, and BodyVox gets cosmic.

By Ramona DeNies June 4, 2015

Photo credit: Sufjan Stevens


Sufjan Stevens
Monday at 8 pm, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Best known for album-long odes to places he’s loved—Michigan, Illinois, Brooklyn—the prolific, genre-hopping composer’s latest record, Carrie and Lowell, turns inward to explore the 2012 death of Steven’s mother and its psychic aftershocks. Search the lyrics for manifold references to Oregon, where much of the album was recorded (among them: sea lion caves, Cottage Grove, and Eugene’s Emerald Park).  

Improvisation Summit of Portland
Thursday at Friday from 7 pm, Saturday from 11:30 am, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center
Free jazz legend Roscoe Mitchell hits Portland for the first time in two decades to headline the fourth annual experimental music fest. Between musical acts (local players include the Tenses, Doug Detrick, and the Secret Drum Band) dancers pair with musicians to animate the stage.  


Jon Lovitz
Thursday at 8 pm, Friday & Saturday at 7:30 pm, Saturday at 10 pm, Helium Comedy Club
Saturday Night Live’s Master Thespian/Hanukkah Harry has shared screens with Woody Allen and Tom Hanks; next year, he’ll reunite with many SNL alums in Adam Sandler’s The Ridiculous Six. Speaking of ridiculous, we want a reprise of his 2001 Robbie Williams duet “Well, Did You Evah!”  


Richard Dawkins: serious business. Photo credit: Shutterstock.

Richard Dawkins
Friday at 7:30 pm, Newmark Theatre
Dawkins, an Oxford biologist, rose to prominence in the 2000s on the crest of a wave that came to be called “New Atheism.” The controversial thinker—attacks just seem to make him stronger—joins PSU Professor Peter Boghossian for a no-doubt bracing public conversation on atheism, religion, and science. Prep for the debate here. 

Jon Fine
Sunday at 7:30 pm, Powell's City of Books
Die-hard indie rocker Fine used to tour with band Bitch Magnet. Then he traded his guitar for a corner office as executive editor of Inc. Magazine. Twenty years later, a band reunion reconnects Fine with his (now) middle-aged fans. The result? Memoir Your Band Sucks: What I Saw at Indie Rock’s Failed Revolution (But Can No Longer Hear). 


Photo credit: Artists Rep

The Liar
Thursday–Sunday at 7:30 pm, Saturday & 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. Read our review here. 

Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2 pm, CoHo Theatre
The story of legendary tennis champion Billie Jean King is fraught with struggle: for equal respect on the court, for acceptance as a lesbian, for choices made just prior to Roe v. Wade. Boom Arts’ multimedia production—a West Coast premiere from writer Laryssa Husiak—mines the tensions that manifest in King’s vintage recorded television interviews (and faithfully replicate her hairdos).  


From "Cosmosis" at BodyVox. Photo credit: Jingzi Photography

CLOSING BodyVox and the Amphion String Quartet
Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 pm, Saturday at 2 pm, BodyVox
Dance theater meets live chamber music as BodyVox artistic directors Ashley Roland and Jamey Hampton pair their signature choreography with “suspenseful and virtuoso playing” from this young East Coast quartet in a show called Cosmosis


OPENING One Flaming Arrow
Thursday–Sunday from noon to 6 pm, Surplus Space
One Flaming Arrow is a ten-day, city-hopping intertribal music and arts event. Events range from a film festival to poetry readings and a low ride bike workshop. On Thursday at Surplus Space, Oregon-based artists Natalie Ball, Shilo George, and Brittany Britton—Modoc–Klamath, Southern Cheyenne–Arapaho, and Hupa, respectively—will collaborate on an installation and exhibit opening, exploring themes of indigeneity and gender through such media as sculpture, textile, and drag.

At Segregated Drinking Fountain, Mobile, Alabama, 1956, archival pigment print, 14" x 14," image by Gordon Parks, courtesy of and © The Gordon Parks Foundation

Gordon Parks and Sahmer Mohdad
Thursday–Saturday from noon to 5 pm, Blue Sky Gallery
The trailblazing Parks may be best known today for helping to spawn the blaxploitation genre with his Shaft films, but just as important was his photographic work, particularly these saturated 1956 color photographs for Lifemagazine of a multigenerational Alabama family struggling with segregation. Lebanese photojournalist Mohdad’s richly textured black-and-white images frankly capture an often-undocumented world—modern Arab life from Gaza to Algeria—in their own way.  

OPENING Cloud Sourcing: Samuel Chung, Julia Galloway, Kyungmin Park, Joe Page, and Dylan Beck
Friday & Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, Eutectic Gallery
Clouds to clay: this month, Portland’s preeminent contemporary ceramics gallery reinterprets all things cirrus, stratus, and cumulus. Galloway’s “The Place It Is That I Call Home” is a room-sized piece in which organically mottled plates and bowls hang from the ceiling, mimicking a clouded sky; Page's slip-cast "bubbles" imply molecules, planets, and other objects in flux; Beck's cooling towers and ash plumes evoke the darker side of sky-watching. 

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