Top Things to Do This Weekend: Apr 21–24

From feisty newsboys to wisdom from a pizza king to three days of heavy metal, the weekend is here and ready to be seized.

By Rebecca Jacobson and Ramona DeNies April 21, 2016

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Leapin' high in Newsies.

Image: Deen van Meer


Ken Forkish
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Powell's City of Books, FREE
If you haven’t heard of The Elements of Pizza, the new pizza bible from local dough celebrity Ken Forkish (Ken’s Pizza, Ken’s Bakery, Trifecta Tavern), get yourself a copy of Portland Monthly’s April issue (or just check out the classic margherita recipe online)—it’s the last one you’ll ever need. Forkish will be on hand to talk about his pizza book, should you have any questions about dough percentages or obscure Midwestern pizza varieties.

Beyond Lolita: Literary Writers on Sex and Sexuality
7:30 p.m. Sunday, Powell's City of Books, FREE
Send out the weekend with a steamy conversation about sex and sexuality in contemporary literature. Panelists include Cheryl Strayed, Lidia Yuknavitch, Sarah Hepola, and Steve Almond.

Portland Poetry Slam
8 p.m. Sunday, Gerding Theater
Every other Sunday, slam poets of all stripes gather for a fast-paced competition: contestants may perform up to three poems, each not to exceed three minutes in length. The entire audience gets to play judge.


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Though you wouldn't guess it from this photo, the 1491s promise a mix of Chippendales and Gallagher.

The 1491s
7 p.m. Friday, Portland Art Museum
The Native American sketch comedy group aims to skewer stereotypes with both social criticism and silliness, and they've racked up more than 6 million views for their YouTube videos, which touch on everything from Avatar to the Occupy movement to hyperbolically spiritual salesmen hawking dreamcatchers and turquoise jewelry. For more, read our Q&A.


CLOSING Beautiful Decay
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Newmark Theatre
This two-part meditation on youth and aging offers new choreography from Ballet West’s Nicolo Fonte alongside local contemporary dancers Greg Bielemeier and Susan Banyas. For more, read our preview.

CLOSING Pearl Dive Project
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, BodyVox
Would Warhol still have been genius if he’d practiced dance instead? The whimsical dance troupe enlists eight creative types—nondancers all—to choreograph original works for the BodyVox company.


Frightened Rabbit
8 p.m. Thursday, Wonder Ballroom, SOLD OUT
Scottish indie rock squad Frightened Rabbit releases their new album Painting of a Panic Attack this month, which—at least lyrically—has been diagnosed with a bout of springtime sadness. However, in an interview with Gigwise magazine, lead singer Scott “Owl John” Hutchinson said the record doubles as “a place for healing.” 

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Black Cobra promises to tear off your face on Friday at Stumpfest.

Image: Raymond Ahner

7 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, Mississippi Studios
Mississippi Studios throws its annual Stumpfest once again, rallying prominent post-rock and hardcore bands like Torche, Helms Alee, and YOB for a three-day mosh pit. Tip for excited metalheads: try buying a three-day pass for $45, as a single night will cost you $20 at the door. 

Lamsma Plays Tchaikovsky
7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Dutch violinist Simone Lamsma made her Oregon Symphony debut two years ago; she’s back with Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.

Black Mountain
8 p.m. Saturday, Doug Fir
The hard-grinding Vancouver, British Columbia–based alt-rockers released new album IV earlier this month; the band cites AC/DC, King Crimson, and Kraftwerk as influences.


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Blue Door has a red moon.

Image: David Kinder

7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Profile Theatre
Tanya Barfield, the pen behind Profile’s 2016 season, won rave reviews for this 2006 tale of an insomniac mathematician confronting complex issues of black American identity. The Portland-raised playwright also writes for the screen, with credits in Starz’s upcoming series The One Percent and the new season of The Americans on FX.

CLOSING Road House: The Play
8 p.m. Friday–Saturday, Siren Theater
Bad Reputation Productions revives its ridiculously popular stage rendition of the 1989 action flick—you know, the one starring Patrick Swayze as a bouncer with feelings. It’s a bang-up cast, featuring—among others—Shelley McLendon, Jed Arkley, Paul Glazier, Ted Douglass, and Courtenay Hameister.

7:30 p.m. Thursday–Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Keller Auditorium
The world will know: everyone’s favorite newspaper hawkers are here to seize the day, once and for all.

The New Electric Ballroom
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Imago Theatre
In Enda Walsh’s wide-touring and affecting black comedy, three aging sisters in rural Ireland compulsively rehash a starry teenage night of near seduction.


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Gardening: more work than you think.

Image: Amanda Harman

Amanda Harman and Peter Brown Leighton
12–5 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
British photographer Harman presents an exhibition of still lifes exploring the overlooked labors of gardeners. Leighton, meanwhile, creates images from old analog photos that recall his childhood in ’50s America.

Srijon Chowdhury
11 a.m.–6 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, Upfor Gallery, FREE
The locally based oil painter draws on 16th-century inventor Giullio Camillo’s so-called “Memory Theater”—a fantastical machine that, he hoped, could warehouse all knowledge.

Dene bāhī Naabaahii
10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thursday–Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday–Sunday, Portland Art Museum
In this exhibition at the Portland Art Museum’s Center for Contemporary Native Art, Demian DinéYazhi’ (of the Diné tribe) and Kali Spitzer (Kaska Dena from Daylu on her father’s side and Jewish from Romania on her mother’s) present work that explores identity, gender, and sexuality. Their work crosses disciplines and probes themes of indigenous self-expression.

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