Top Things to Do This Weekend: June 2–5

Hot, hot, hot. Yes, the weather. But also the weekend, stacked with comedy, Afro-Caribbean dance music, murderous barbers, make-believe islands, and nuclear photography.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Ramona DeNies, and Kailla Coomes June 2, 2016

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Aimee Mann and Ted Leo bring their own offbeat version of musical comedy to Revolution Hall on Friday.


Science Pub: Earthquakes
7 p.m. Thursday, Mission Theater
Is the Big One coming? Are all the bridges gonna collapse? Are we all gonna die? That, alas, is not quite the focus of this talk by seismologist Justin L. Rubinstein, deputy chief of the USGS Induced Seismicity Project. He’ll focus instead on how oil and gas production is causing the ground to rumble in places it didn’t before—like, uhh, Oklahoma. (The Sooner State had more magnitude-3 and larger earthquakes in 2014 than California.) The good thing about human-caused earthquakes? We might be able to stop them.

Backfence PDX: Mainstage
8 p.m. Saturday, Alberta Rose Theatre
One of the city’s top live storytelling events returns with five cringe-worthy tales. Flirting with Disaster will be the theme of the evening’s readings. Tellers include Moon Zappa, John Roderick, and Robert Katsuno.


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Rachel Bloom headlines a Saturday show at Bridgetown.

Bridgetown Comedy Festival
Various times and locations Thursday–Sunday
Lovingly dubbed “summer camp for comedians,” Bridgetown hits its ninth year with another stellar lineup of national and local talent. This year’s standouts include Crazy Ex-Girlfriend creator and star Rachel Bloom (fresh off a Golden Globe for Best Actress), comically gifted musicians Aimee Mann and Ted Leo, Baron Vaughn, Sara Schaefer, and Morgan Murphy. As far as locals, if you haven’t yet seen Curtis Cook or Bri Pruett perform, please get on that—Cook, for one, is about to move to LA. For more, check out our top shows to see.

Maz Jobrani
8 p.m. Saturday, Aladdin Theater
A founding member of the “Axis of Evil” comedy tour, Maz Jobrani returns with “I’m Not a Terrorist, But I’ve Played One on TV.” Among other accomplishments, the Iranian-American comedian has—no joke—performed for the King of Jordan.

Marlon Wayans
7 p.m. Sunday, Aladdin Theater
You’ve seen him in spoofs like A Haunted House and Scary Movie, and who could forget him in White Chicks? Now Marlon Wayans returns to Portland with Scandel-less. Cross your fingers and hope for some cross-dressing.


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The band behind Cuba Libre is back.

Image: Elvis Suarez

Tiempo Libre
7:30 p.m. Friday, Newmark Theatre
The Miami-based Afro-Caribbean band behind Cuba Libre—an Artists Repertory Theatre 2015 world-premiere musical—returns for an encore of smoking-hot Latin dance numbers.

Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop
8 p.m. Friday, Aladdin Theater
Sam Beam, the singer-songwriter behind Iron and Wine, recently partnered with the talented Jesca Hoop on a new album called Love Letter for Fire. Recorded in Portland, with the help of beloved producer Tucker Martine, it features some seriously swoon-inducing duets.

Aimee Mann and Ted Leo
8 p.m. Friday, Revolution Hall
As of the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Aimee Man and Ted Leo bring their musical talents—and their jokes—to the stage. Joined by comedians Morgan Murphy and Rhea Butcher, expect sweet sounds alongside legit laughter.

Improvisation Summit of Portland
Various times Thursday–Saturday, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center
An antidote to Auto-Tune and arena shows, the Creative Music Guild's feast of unconventional music (and dance, and film, and other forms of art) features everything from experimental choral singing to fret board wizardry to devotional chanting to energetic electronica.


CLOSING Cottonwood in the Flood
7.30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday, Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center
You probably already know what happened in Vanport, once Oregon’s second-largest city, on May 30, 1948, when a flood displaced more than 18,000 of the city’s working class residents, one-third of them black. But it takes a play like Cottonwood in the Flood (a 2012 JAW finalist by Rich Rubin about Vanport’s rise and fall) to humanize these historical facts, through the story of one family living through racism, poverty, and war. Powerful performances by a committed cast—S Renee Mitchell, Anthony Armstrong, and Josiah Phillips in particular—make this compulsory viewing for any Portlanders looking to understand their home town and its troubled history. 

CLOSING 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.

CLOSING Grand Concourse
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Friday and 2 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. 

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Post5 hits the books.

OPENING Stupid Kids
7:30 p.m. Friday–Sunday, Post5 Theatre
With the requisite soaring emotions and mortifying moments, this satire of teenagehood follows four students—two popular kids, two gay outcasts—at a suburban high school navigating romance, sexuality, and social hierarchies. Written by John C. Russell, who died of AIDS in 1994 at age 31, it’s a little John Hughes, a little Rebel Without a Cause.

OPENING Sweeney Todd
7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Keller Auditorium
Stephen Sondheim’s demon barber dishes up savory revenge in this musical thriller. David Pittsinger stars alongside Susannah Mars as Mrs. Lovett.


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OPENING Blake Andrews and Andrea Diefenbach
12–9 p.m. Thursday, 12–5 p.m. Friday–Sunday, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
In Pictures of the Gone World, Andrews shows black-and-white photos of his wife and kids, while Land Ohne Eltern is Diefenbach’s photo essay of Moldovan migrant workers who’ve left home to find work.

OPENING David Selleck and Mandy Stigant
11 a.m.–9 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Friday–Saturday, Blackfish Gallery, FREE
In Couch Painting, Selleck shows collage drawings, all of which he creates in 30 minutes—vivid, playful works in which he riffs on advertisements, news, and other images he consumes on an average day. In Vary Plenty, Stigant has created functional ceramics that reflect Portland’s DIY obsession: think tea sets, pickling crocks, and baskets.

OPENING Reactive Matters
10 a.m.–6 p.m. Friday–Saturday, Newspace Center for Photography, FREE
Photographers Jeremy Bolen, Abbey Hepner, and Shimpei Takeda dig into all things nuclear: nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, nuclear disasters.

OPENING Kamala Dolphin-Kingsley and Francesca Berrini
11 a.m.–8 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Sunday, Waterstone Gallery, FREE
Like the world’s greatest projects, Obscured Realm was hatched while downing rum in Hawaii—and while exploring the archipelago’s tropical wilderness. Portlanders Dolphin-Kingsley and Berrini were inspired by Kilauea, Hawaii’s most active volcano, and they began imagining the plants and animals of a make-believe island. The result? Drawings, watercolors, and mixed-media works depicting imaginary flora and the fossils of unreal animals.

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