Top Things to Do This Weekend: Oct 29–Nov 1

Boo! The Oregon Symphony gets scary, alongside Shakey Graves, horror improv at the Brody Theater, the Decemberists' Jenny Conlee, and a wild piano ride with the ghost of Fats Waller.

By Ramona DeNies and Megan Haverman October 29, 2015

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Symphonic grandeur, spooky animation: this Friday at the Schnitz!


The Nightmare Before Christmas
Friday at 7:30 pm, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Danny Elfman’s score helped make Tim Burton’s sinister stop-motion feature an instant classic. Watch it again as part of the Oregon Symphony’s "Popcorn Series," with soundtrack performed live by a full orchestra.

Dance of Death
Saturday at 7:30 pm, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
Portland's Resonance Ensemble (clad all in black) will sing a haunting choral arrangement, Distler’s Totentanz—or “Dance of Death.” (Also featuring a dual–piano Totentanz from 19th century composer Liszt, solos from Oregon Symphony violinist Ron Blessinger, and an appearance by Pink Martini’s Thomas Lauderdale, this night of dark tunes invites audiences to come in costume.)

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Shakey Graves shakes up the stage this Hallow's Eve. Image courtesy Clayton Hodges.

Shakey Graves
Saturday at 8 pm, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
This alt-country Austinite has been touring since summer’s Pickathon (where he rocked) for And the War Came—an album that critics are saying has the ring of true arrival.

Jenny Conlee and Steve Drizos
Sunday at 8 pm, Doug Fir Lounge
The keyboardist/accordianist for the Decemberists and Black Prairie releases French Kayaking Music—her first instrumental album and the score to a new documentary—in partnership with hubby Drizos (drummer with Jerry Joseph). Experimental jazzsters the Blue Cranes open.


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Scary Movie
Friday & Saturday at 7:30 pm, Brody Theater
If you’ve seen every classic horror movie on your Netflix cue, Brody Theatre is taking on the genre with an original double feature inspired by audience suggestions. The improvisation troupe brings to life imaginative horror “movies” a la 1941’s Wolf Man and 1956’s The Mole People in this Portland Halloween tradition.


Andrea Kleine with Vanessa Veselka
Sunday at 7:30 pm, Powell's City of Books
John Hinckley Jr., post-Reagan assassination attempt, became lovers with a fellow mental hospital patient who brutally murdered her daughter. True story—the latter was Kleine’s childhood friend. She mines these narratives in debut novel Calf.


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Ivories will be tickled this weekend at the Gerding.

OPENING Ain't Misbehavin'
Friday–Sunday at 7:30 pm, Gerding Theater
Fats Waller could tickle a piano like nobody’s business. This Portland Center Stage-produced musical revue culls two dozen early jazz gems from the Harlem Renaissance hero’s discography—from “Cash for Your Trash” to the titular song.

OPENING All Well [A Sightless Play]
Thursday–Sunday at 10 pm, Thursday–Saturday at 10:30 pm, Friday & Saturday at 11 pm, Sunday at 8:30 pm, 9 pm, and 9:30 pm, Imago Theatre
Set on an icebound ship in the midnight Arctic, PETE’s pitch-black play is experienced nonvisually. A hammock is your seat; soundscapes by Mark Valadez evoke the drift of explorers lost at sea.

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These Joneses keep up.

The Realistic Joneses
Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2 pm, Imago Theatre
“Wonderful and weird”: that’s how New York Times critic Charles Isherwood described Will Eno’s suburban comedy of manners on its 2014 Broadway opening. Third Rail's Rebecca Lingafelter directs. 

Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 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. Portland Playhouse’s Jennifer Rowe directs Idris Goodwin’s play, which premiered three years ago at Kentucky’s Humana Festival.


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Ripe for the picking: Burns and Young's touring show (here, in LA), makes sweet landfall at PAM.

OPENING Paradise
Thursday & Friday from 10 am to 8 pm, Saturday & Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, Portland Art Museum
In an immersive, fruit-themed installation, LA’s David Allen Burns and Austin Young pluck at the Oregon link between Eden and manifest destiny.

Friday–Sunday from noon to 5 pm, Pond Gallery
At the pocket-sized West End gallery, Pacific Northwest artists explore the motif of masks for “a depiction of the time when the veil is thin and spirits roam the streets.” We also hear tell, through the ether, of a citywide pumpkin-carving contest.

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