Top Things to Do This Weekend: May 5–8

Bike-themed movies hit the Hollywood, the Oregon Symphony takes on the Back to the Future score, and a slew of art galleries open fresh shows. We're happy to see you, May.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Ramona DeNies, Sylvia Randall-Muñoz, and Jack Rushall May 5, 2016

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Snowboards and fat bikes, together at last at Filmed by Bike.


Listen to Your Mother
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Alberta Rose Theatre
If you can’t listen to your own mom, this storytelling event offers some alternatives, with authors such as Sue Campbell, Susan Domagalski Fleming, Kylene Grell, and Amy McMullen sharing original readings on motherhood.

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Kate Tempest: poet, rapper, playwright, generally impressive human being.

Image: Alex Gent

Kate Tempest
7:30 p.m. Friday, Powell's City of Books, FREE
Just a few days ago, the wildly talented British rapper (and poet, and playwright) saw the US release of her debut novel, The Bricks That Built the Houses.

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


Portland Ballet Spring Concert
7:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday, Lincoln Performance Hall
So you think you can dance? This year’s Portland Ballet Spring Concert will offer new works by Gregg Bielemeier and Jason Davis as well as Trey McIntyre’s Mercury Half-Life (highlights) with music by Queen. 

The Art of Bellydance
6:30 p.m. Saturday, Clinton Street Theater
Get a glimpse into Portland’s thriving belly-dance scene—the city even has its own stylistic trademarks, including particularly liberal use of finger cymbals and veils—at this quarterly showcase.


Filmed by Bike
Various times Friday–Sunday, Hollywood Theatre
Velophiles will dismount en masse outside the Hollywood this month for the city’s 14th annual bike-themed film festival. With 59 films from 55 filmmakers and 19 countries promised, bike tales brought to screen include the story of a young man who fulfills his childhood dream by joining the Rwandan national cycling team, a bike ride along the “highest road in the world,” and an adventure-cycling film on the fun of fat bikes.


Joan Shelley
8 p.m. Friday, The Old Church
Like old-school folk? Louisville-bred musician Joan Shelley brings silky vocals and a couple of guitars to Over and Even, her most recent album.

Back to the Future
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Great Scott! A 31st-anniversary screening with Alan Silvestri’s score played by a full orchestra? Electrifying!

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Cool shades, brah. 

Mayer Hawthorne
7 p.m. Sunday, Revolution Hall
Quality neo-soul singers are hard to come by, but Mayer Hawthorne is one of them. The Guardian praised his new album, Man About Town for evoking “the majestic effortlessness of the Motown sound.” 


CLOSING Love and Information
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, Shoebox Theatre
Theatre Vertigo presents Caryl Churchill’s racing kaleidoscope (57 separate plays in two hours), which features a cast of 15 playing more than 100 characters. The New York Times calls it a tender surrender to data overload that “teases, thwarts and gluts.”

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.

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Ayanna Berkshire prays to the sudsy gods.

Image: David Straub

OPENING Grand Concourse
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Artists Repertory Theatre
Heidi Schreck’s 2014 play follows a college dropout who starts working alongside a Dominican immigrant and a nun in a soup kitchen in the Bronx, touching on themes of forgiveness, need, and human compassion. 

OPENING Jane Austen's Emma
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Venetian Theatre
Hillsboro's Bag & Baggage celebrates the bicentenary of Austen’s classic portrait of genteel womanhood with a stage adaptation by British playwright Michael Fry.

OPENING Desdemona, a Play about a Handkerchief
7:30 p.m. Friday–Sunday, Post5 Theatre
Paula Vogel’s cheeky, feminist adaptation of Othello imagines Desdemona as a foul-mouthed aristocrat who spends her free time filling substitute shifts at a Cyprus brothel. 


OPENING Elise Wagner
11 a.m.–5 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, Butters Gallery, FREE
For the encaustic paintings in Genesis, Wagner layers wax colors with near-geologic depth. Lines crisscross the works, sometimes creating gridlike formations. 

OPENING Ellen George
11 a.m.–6 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, PDX Contemporary Art, FREE
George, based in Vancouver, Wash., makes abstract sculptures from vibrant, hand-tinted polymer clay—long, vertical pieces that evoke vines or twigs. 

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Whoa. Trippy.

OPENING Andrés Wertheim and Thomas Bilanges
6–9 p.m. Thursday, 12–5 p.m. Friday–Sunday, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
For The Museum’s Ghosts, Wertheim superimposed teens and tourists on Bruegels and Rembrandts; in Vis-à-Vies, Bilanges pairs old portraits with modern doppelgangers.

10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, Augen Gallery, FREE
When Lake picked up a day job at a high-end clothing store, she also began to create a series called Fashion Items: paper collages and photomontages of beautiful garments floating before dramatic scenery, which the Portlander says reflects the romance and hype of the fashion world. 

OPENING Laurie Danial and Matthew Dennison
10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, Froelick Gallery, FREE
In Making Home, painter and printmaker Danial draws from what she calls her obsession with Asian art, particularly Japanese prints. In Commensalism, Dennison’s boldly colored paintings depict symbiotic relationships between species. 

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