PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: July 14–17

Prince tunes on the cello. Highland dance and stone throwing in Gresham. Jazz under the St. Johns Bridge. Speed drawing. A Wizard of Oz convention. Bring it, weekend.

By Rebecca Jacobson and Fiona McCann July 14, 2016

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Midsummer Night's Dream meets modern dance at BodyVox.

Image: Michael Shay


Tin House Summer Workshop Reading Series
8 p.m. Thursday–Sunday, Reed College

There’s a kind of magic when the hush descends at Reed College’s tree-flanked amphitheater as an author takes the podium at Tin House’s Summer Workshop reading series, which this year hosts 21 writers. You may find yourself sharing a bench with Pulitzer-winning poet Gregory Pardlo or essayist Jo Ann Beard (homework: read her powerful personal essay “The Fourth State of Matter” at once) while you listen to National Book Award finalist Rachel Kushner or Guardian columnist Kiese Laymon. 

Chad Dundas
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Powell's City of Books
Sportswriter Chad Dundas enters the fiction ring with a 1921–set novel featuring wrestling, bootlegging, gangsters, and other assorted skullduggery. He's joined in conversation by his brother (and, ahem, Portland Monthly Editor in Chief) Zach Dundas. 


Death and Delight
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, BodyVox
For the sixth year, the ever-inventive BodyVox leaps into the Chamber Music Northwest Summer Festival with dance set to live classical compositions. Up this time: original choreography set to a double bill of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, played by pianist Melvin Chen, and Mendelssohn’s spirited Midsummer Night’s Dream, with Chen joined by fellow pianist Hilda Huang.


Alley 33 Fashion Show
5 p.m. Sunday, SE Hawthorne and 33rd
Summer party meets fashion show at Alley 33's sixth annual event, with ready-to-wear looks from nearly 20 designers unveiled on a 90-foot runway.


The Fifth Element
6:45 p.m. Thursday, Hollywood Theatre

Fashion in Film—curated by Marjorie Skinner and Portland Monthly Style Editor Eden Dawn—returns with the classic 1997 sci-fi flick. But, before you can watch Milla Jovovich’s captivating eyes, Bruce Willis’s bad bleach job, and Jean Paul Gaultier’s futuristic costumes, viewers get a special bonus. Jason Calderon, designer of West Daily, created character-inspired ensembles and will debut them before the movie in a live fashion show. 

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High kicks: better in 70 mm.

Hollywood Theatre’s 90th Anniversary
7 p.m. Friday and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday–Sunday, Hollywood Theatre
Toast Portland’s stalwart movie house at a slew of special 70 mm screenings. Up this weekend: West Side Story. For more, check out our Q&A with head programmer Dan Halsted.


Chamber Music Northwest Summer Festival
Various times and locations Thursday–Sunday
Five weeks. 50 concerts. In its 46th year, the chamber music extravaganza returns to the halls of Reed and Portland State with a celebration of Beethoven, including performances of all 16 of the composer’s string quartets. Also promising: an expanded offering of Wednesday-evening concerts featuring percussion and jazz, BodyVox dancing to Shakespeare-themed chamber music (see above), and a one-man theater piece about Brahms. For more picks, check out our Q&A with Third Angle’s Ron Blessinger.

Northwest String Summit
Thursday–Sunday, Horning's Hideout, North Plains
Beyond headliners (and festival organizers) Yonder Mountain String Band, the annual rootsy festival hosts the always haunting Shook Twins, bluegrass staple Railroad Earth, Grammy-nominated quintet Infamous Stringdusters, and all-female supergroup Sideboob (which has nothing to do with the band on Orange Is the New Black).

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Nu Shooz is back with nu tunez.

Image: Hiroshi Iwaya

Nu Shooz
7 p.m. Friday, Marylhurst University
Thirty years ago, this jazz-funk-R&B outfit put Portland on the musical map with massive hit “I Can’t Wait.” After a 27-year-hiatus, husband-wife duo John Smith and Valerie Day are back with a funktastic new album, Bagtown, and are hitting the road with a full band. You’ll have to haul out to the Marylhurst University campus, but the al fresco show is free.

Fred and Toody Cole
7 p.m. Friday, Revolution Hall
Fred and Toody Cole formed Dead Moon in 1987, bringing together punk, garage rock, and country to legendary effect. When their drummer, Andrew Loomis, died in March of this year, it spelled the end of the band, but the couple still play acoustic sets together.

Portland Cello Project: Dance Party in Purple
9 p.m. Friday–Saturday, Doug Fir Lounge
Every year, Portland Cello Project puts on an “extreme dance party,” which takes large string instruments to places you’ve never dreamed possible—or is, y’know, just another excuse for the beloved, genre-bending orchestra to bust out some pop hits. This installment pays tribute to Prince, so dust off your best purple suit.

Cathedral Park Jazz Festival
5 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday–Sunday, Cathedral Park
For the 36th year, the festival serves up three days of free jazz and blues in the shadow of the St. Johns Bridge. We’re particularly stoked for Saturday’s Earth, Wind & Fire tribute.

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Chin up, M. Ward.

M. Ward
8 p.m. Saturday (sold out) and Sunday, Revolution Hall
Our resident rich-toned singer-songwriter returns with More Rain, a layered, moody ode to staying indoors in a damp climate. With cameos from Neko Case, k.d. lang, and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, Ward’s ninth album opens with the sound of actual rainfall and includes a suitably sunshine-stripped Beach Boys cover. So July is clearly the perfect time for him to hit his hometown.

Barenaked Ladies
6 p.m. Sunday, McMenamin's Edgefield, SOLD OUT
Because you still know all the lyrics to “One Week,” and you really, really want to holler them on the Edgefield lawn while chugging Ruby Ale.


Coriolanus, or The Roman Matron
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, Tom Hughes Civic Plaza, Hillsboro
Political dodgery and deception reign in Thomas Sheridan’s 18th-century adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy, given an outdoor showing by convention-busting Hillsboro theater company Bag & Baggage.

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Portland Opera explores love in the time of the Walkman.

Image: Cory Weaver

Eugene Onegin
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Newmark Theatre
Portland Opera’s new production updates Tchaikovsky’s opera to late-20th-century Russia, seeing the impetuous young lovers from the early ’80s through the collapse of Communism.

West Side Story
7:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Deb Fennell Auditorium
Tigard’s Broadway Rose continues its 25th anniversary season with Stephen Sondheim’s epic Romeo and Juliet riff.

CLOSING CoHo Summerfest
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Sunday, CoHo Theatre
For the past few summers, CoHo has handed over its stage to solo and small-cast performances, each showing for one weekend. In this final weekend, Kelly Kinsella puts on a one-woman play about anxiety.

Hands Up
7 p.m. Friday–Saturday, Wieden & Kennedy, SOLD OUT

In 2014, the New Black Fest—a New York nonprofit that supports new work by black playwrights—organized the first performance of Hands Up in response to the police shootings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The presentation, which has traveled across the nation, showcases the work of emerging black playwrights from diverse backgrounds in a series of 10- to 15-minute monologues. Two years on, as the US continues to reel from the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile (as well as the tragedy in Dallas), the issues addressed in Hands Up feel more relevant than ever. Plus: we asked five of the seven playwrights for their take on why this is essential viewing. 


Portland Biennial
Noon–5 p.m. Friday–Sunday, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center
The Portland Biennial pulls from across Oregon’s creative landscape to showcase work in 25 venues across the state. The anchor will be the 12,000-square-foot former bowling alley that’s the home base of Disjecta, the eternally scrappy North Portland nonprofit that orchestrates the whole production. For more, check out our story on the exhibit.

Reactive Matters
10 a.m.–10:30 p.m. Thursday and 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.

Monster Drawing Rally
6–9 p.m. Saturday, Portland Art Museum
For the second year running, more than 75 local artists will gather in the courtyard of the Portland Art Museum, all tasked with creating original drawings in one hour or less—work that will be immediately available for $35 a pop. Let the frenzy begin. 


Portland Highland Games
8 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday, Mt. Hood Community College
It’s tartan time at this annual celebration of all things Scottish, from highland dance to stone throwing (the burliest contestants can attempt to lob a 96-pound whopper) to the caber toss to a mile-long kilt run. All, of course, accompanied by bagpipes, shortbread, and plenty of whisky.

Friday–Sunday, Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel
Toss Toto in a basket and follow the yellow brick road (or, uh, I-205) to this annual celebration of Frank L. Baum and his magical land of Oz. Expect quizzes, panel discussions, costume contests, and plenty of opportunities for show-and-tell.

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