Top Things to Do This Weekend: May 12–15

From a St. Johns street fest with a stellar music lineup to an encore Hump screening to a rangy dance show, here's what you should be doing this weekend.

By Ramona DeNies, Rebecca Jacobson, and Sylvia Randall-Muñoz May 12, 2016

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Polaris leaps over benches in style at X-Posed.

Image: BMAC Studio


Katie Chase
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Powell's on Hawthorne
Portland author Katie Chase writes dark, considered stories set in a reality just like ours—only subtly, tellingly skewed. Among the eight stories in her debut collection, Man & Wife (dubbed "consistently provocative" by Publisher's Weekly), there’s one set in a refugee camp for victims of the housing crisis and another in a world of child brides and arranged marriages that otherwise smacks of American suburbia. For more, read our Q&A with Chase.  


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Comedian Iliza Shlesinger takes the mic on Saturday.

Iliza Shlesinger
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Revolution Hall
Iliza Schlesinger is the youngest and first female winner of NBC’s Last Comic Standing. Her incisive, quick wit led her debut comedy album War Paint to a number-one spot on iTunes in 2013. And, naturally, a Netflix special followed: Freezing Hot premiered last winter.


7:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday, Polaris Dance Company
The omnivorous company—which mixes contemporary, ballet, jazz, African, and hip-hop—puts on new and in-progress work from artistic director Robert Guitron as well as several guest choreographers.


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A still from Aubade.

Northwest Animation Festival
Various times Thursday–Sunday, Hollywood Theatre
From psychedelic shorts about tourists at the Parthenon to sexy cartoons featuring chimney sweeps and astronauts, the annual celebration of all things animated brings together work from all over the world. This weekend, local animation house Laika celebrates its 10th birthday with a screening of Coraline (3:30 p.m. Saturday), plus some behind-the-scenes material. For more, check out our list of five shorts you must see at this year's fest.

Hump Film Festival
7:15 and 9:30 p.m. Friday and 6 and 8:15 p.m. Saturday, Cinema 21
The Pacific Northwest’s beloved amateur porn film festival returns for an encore showing. (YACHT's much ballyhooed sex tape—errr, icky publicity stunt—will not be in the lineup.) We talked with festival creator and Savage Love columnist Dan Savage last year.


9 p.m. Thursday, Doug Fir Lounge
A Malaysian star rising on the American music scene, Yuna takes us to another realm with airy vocals blended with soulful R&B. 

Richmond Fontaine
8 p.m. Friday, Star Theater
Richmond Fontaine fans, get out your black sashes, as writer Willy Vlautin’s musical family of 22 years plans to disband after releasing You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing to Go Back To at this Star Theater show. For more, read our Q&A with Vlautin.

Violent Femmes
7 p.m. Friday, Crystal Ballroom, SOLD OUT
The Violent Femmes are so cool they inspired a television series—MTV’s Unplugged—and never actually appeared on it. But you’ve now got the chance to see the punk band, while celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release of their debut album. 

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Summer Cannibals are ready to shred.

Summer Cannibals and the Thermals
8 p.m. Friday, Wonder Ballroom
Summer Cannibals, fierce heirs to the Portland punk rock mantle, were doing a fine job as it was, with two rocking albums released on their own New Moss Records. Then, less than 12 months after Show Us Your Mind turned up the volume on its predecessor, they signed to legendary label Kill Rock Stars. The result is Full of It (due out May 27), a harder record that ups the ante for Jessica Boudreaux and co., and then delivers with a masterfully polished rawness. “I’ll do anything that you want / to feel like you’re listening,” says Boudreaux on the album’s title track. They perform tonight with Portland punk institution the Thermals.

Lily & Madeleine
9 p.m. Friday, Doug Fir Lounge
Teenage sisters Lily & Madeleine Jurkiewicz wrote The Weight of the Globe last summer, a haunting folk-pop record with sophisticated, poetic lyrics.

PDX Pop Now Compilation Release Party
7:30 p.m. Sunday, Holocene
Portland's favorite all-local music fest puts on an all-ages bash with sets from the Minders, Months, and Kulululu. Admission includes a copy of the 42–track 2016 festival compilation CD.


OPENING Hawthorne
8 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, Action/Adventure Theatre
Nancy Drew and Veronica Mars fans, rejoice! Action/Adventure's film noir-inspired play—written by Portlanders Aubrey Jessen and Greta West, with the collaboration of the cast—centers on a private investigator wrestling with anxiety and some shady real estate deals. For more, read our Q&A with Jessen and West.

OPENING The Udmurts
7:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday, Defunkt Theatre
In a Portland premiere from David Zellnik, a castoff of religious fundamentalism meets a strange and vanishing culture in a Queens flat.

CLOSING TeatroSOLO/LoneTheater
Various times Saturday–Sunday, various locations
This is next-level theater, folks: Argentine artist Matías Umpierrez’s innovative short plays are performed for just one person at a time. (Show up at an appointed location with ticket, the “actor” finds you.) The series is already a global hit; now watch as it literally pops ups across Portland. Two of the pieces were specifically created for this town, and each offers an intimate theatrical experience, with the audience member becoming folded into the fabric of these compelling, emotive works.


6–9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday, Eutectic Gallery, FREE
“Objects of conveniences”—mass-produced, disposable—are recast in clay permanence by artists Chris Dufala, Shalene Valenzuela, and Mitchell Spain.

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"Buffoon" is on display at Nationale.

Image: Ty Ennis

Ty Ennis
12–6 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, Nationale, FREE
For Stupid Man, his second solo show at Nationale, Ennis has painted a series of small, casually composed black-and-white works commenting on his daily life as an artist and young father. 

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.


St. Johns Bizarre
10 a.m.–7 p.m. Saturday
Portland's most freewheeling street fest celebrates its 10th birthday with a stellar music lineup, including R&B outfit Chanti Darling, longtime indie rockers Quasi, and glam-pop group Minden. Plus a parade, crafts, vendors, and plenty of food.

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