Top Things to Do in Portland This Weekend: Oct 1–4

Anchorman's David Koechner stands up, Elizabeth Gilbert brings big magic, musical Cuba Libre sets fire to Stumptown, and Miz Kitty unveils a vaudeville spectacular. Me-wow!

By Ramona DeNies and Brandon Staley September 30, 2015

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Elizabeth Gilbert. Photo courtesy Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.


Elizabeth Gilbert
Sunday at 7 pm, Newmark Theatre
Famous for eating, praying, and loving her way around the world, Gilbert is back with self-help book Big Magic, which promises to help aspiring creatives unlock the “vibrant, fulfilling life you’ve dreamed of.” Here are five things you don't know about the best-selling author. 



A photo posted by David Koechner (@davidkoechner) on

David Koechner
Thursday at 8 pm, Saturday & Sunday 7:30 pm and 10 pm, Helium Comedy Club
You know the surly comedian from Anchorman (both) and The Office. (Though our favorite Kouchner turn is as "Merchant of Death" Bobby Jay Bliss in 2005's  Thank You for Smoking.) Between film projects, the LA comedian takes his character-based stand-up (meet his "cast" on YouTube channel Full On Koechner) on the road.

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H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival
Friday–Sunday at various times, Hollywood Theatre
The Victorian-era horror writer’s macabre works continue to inspire films—some campy, some truly chilling. The Portland festival’s 20th anniversary offers more than 50 cinematic Lovecraftian tributes (which surely pleases the great Cthulhu, his many-tentacled occult deity).


Miz Kitty's Parlous Vaudeville Novelty Show
Saturday at 8 pm, Alberta Rose Theater
Lisa Marsicek—aka the singing, dancing, fiddling Miz Kitty—has been hosting semi-monthly vaudevillian acts since 2002. She'll kick off the show’s 14th season with an “October Spectacular” that will feature local jazz band Jacob Miller and the Bridge City Crooners, traveling clowns and acrobats troupe A Little Bit Off, and Portland entertainer Tony Starlight.

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Skeleton piano: move them bones! Photo courtesy Jennifer Wright.


Skeleton Piano Dances
Saturday & Sunday at 7:30 pm, BodyVox
The latest in the BodyVox dance repertoire, this performance mixes movement by the Agnieszka Laska Dancers and visuals from video artist Takafumi Uehara. Perhaps the true star of the performance is the Skeleton Piano, a custom-made instrument built by local pianist Jennifer Wright. The piano is played using such items as a violin bow, shot glasses, and junkyard cymbals, among others.


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Bringing timba to the land of the Timbers! Photo courtesy Tiempo Libre.

OPENING Cuba Libre
Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2 pm
Artists Rep’s “Broadway-scale” world-premiere musical counts as its house band none other than blistering, Grammy-nominated Latin act Tiempo Libre. For more on the crack team behind the 21-person show, see our anatomy of a production with Pan-American aspirations from our October print issue.

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How We Got On opens this weekend. Photo courtesy Portland Playhouse.

Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2 pm, Portland Playhouse
Three midwestern teenagers in the 1980s grasp at adulthood, catching, in the process, a sense of early hip-hop’s limitless possibilities. Jennifer Rowe directs Idris Goodwin’s play, which premiered three years ago at Kentucky’s Humana Festival.

Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2pm, Imago Theatre
Third Rail Repertory kicks off its 10th season with a witty, bawdy, frothy Restoration-era spy thriller in the vein of Tom Stoppard. Philip Cuomo directs a (very kissy) cast comprised of Maureen Porter, Amy Newman, and Damon Kupper. Was the reign of Charles III truly this libertine? We can only hope.

Passion Play Part III
Thursday–Sunday at 7:30 pm, Shaking the Tree
In Sarah Ruhl’s homage to medieval Christendom’s Eastertime passion plays (Parts I and II played in September), we find ourselves in Spearfish, South Dakota, at the onset of the Vietnam War. Reagan shows up, as do lots of fishies.

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It's Little Gem's final weekend at CoHo. Photo courtesy Corrib Theatre. 

CLOSING Little Gem
Friday–Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2 pm, CoHo Theatre
A homage to working-class women and a vehicle for one of the finest performances you’ll see on a Portland stage this year (Michele M. Mariana’s turn as an Irish grandmother will glue you to your seat), Little Gem fits its title to a T. A small play about the big drama in ordinary lives, deftly directed by Corrib’s Gemma Whelan, Little Gem is at once hilariously funny and snot-streamingly sad. Catch it on its second Portland run—this one a co-production with CoHo Theater—after playing in Kells Irish pub last year.  


OPENING Oscar Castillo
Thursday & Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, PCC Cascade
With a career that spans both politics and documentary photography, Castillo has been on the front lines of myriad social justice movements for decades. Documenting Chicano Life and Activism features 20 of his political photographs from the 1970s—from L.A.’s Chicano Moratorium March to the United Farm Workers demonstrations that ultimately won new protections for migrant laborers in California.

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All eyes on Sandy Peraza! Her new show opens this weekend at Redux.

OPENING Sandy Peraza
Thursday–Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm, Redux
The self-taught Peraza, born and raised in Cozumel, Mexico, paints pink sharks cresting a globular sea, rose-sprouting skulls, and beetles floating, cyclopean eye on abdomen, across a starry night. (Seasonally appropriate, we thought.)

OPENING Marginal Evidence
Thursday–Saturday from noon to 6 pm, White Box Gallery
Sight isn’t the only way to experience dance; take the sound of feet on floors, the brush of air on skin. Choreographer Katherine Longstreth aims to draw out these sensorial subcurrents with a multimedia art installation she calls “part forensic investigation, part archeology dig.”

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