PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Oct 27–30

It's the Halloweekend. From cemetery tours to an oral history of death—with some vaudeville acrobatics for good measure—here's how to keep it spooky.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Ko Ricker, Webb Wright, Jason Buehrer, and Fiona McCann October 27, 2016

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The indomitable force known as MarchFourth plays Revolution Hall on Friday.

Books & Talks

Casey Jarman
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Powell's Books on Hawthorne
In his debut book, Death: An Oral History, the local writer (and, ahem, Portland Monthly music columnist) interviews a slew of folks—cartoonist Art Spiegelman, songwriter David Bazan, a funeral industry watchdog—about the end of life.

T.C. Boyle
7:30 p.m. Friday, Powell's City of Books
The author of The Tortilla Curtain and World's End has a brand-new book, The Terranauts, about eight people who volunteer to be locked in a glass box (to simulate life on another planet, of course).


7 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, 9 p.m. Friday–Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday, BodyVox
Nothing says Halloween like pirouetting poltergeists and choreography inspired by Hitchcock and folklore. The dance theater company’s annual spooktastic show—this year titled Blood Red Is the New Black—features a mix of old and new work, geared toward the whole fright-loving family.

PDX Contemporary Ballet
7:30 p.m. Friday–Sunday, New Expressive Works
The company’s season opener, Incipio, breathes life into the concepts of change and new beginnings. Choreographed by Briley Neugebauer and scored by Jorge Mendez’s “Fragments,” the piece is performed entirely en pointe and in the round on a level flush with the audience. For more, check out our preview.


Jethro Tull
8 p.m. Thursday, Keller Auditorium
In the pantheon of Scottish rock-and-roll flutists who perform on one leg, Jethro Tull front man Ian Anderson definitely ranks in the top five.

Chance the Rapper
8 p.m. Friday, Moda Center, SOLD OUT
Lauded as one of the best rap albums of the year, the powerfully soulful Coloring Book solidified the independent artist’s place among the stars. On tour, Chance’s gospel-infused hip-hop has floored audiences.

5 and 9 p.m. Friday, Revolution Hall
Whatever you’re expecting, forget it—Portland’s MarchFourth is an immersive musical experience you have to live to understand. (And if you’ve been in this city for longer than six seconds and still haven’t seen the long-running group perform, get on that.) Yes, it’s a band, but we won’t even try to tell you what kind. Salsa? Electro-swing? Steamfunk? Maybe. There will probably be vaudeville acrobatics involved.

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Blitzen Trapper brings stories, songs, and...stoicism?

Blitzen Trapper
8 p.m. Saturday, Revolution Hall
The local band’s work has ranged from old-timey bluegrass to futuristic hip-hop, and even ventured into psychedelia, but their newest album, All Across This Land, returns them to their more focused classic rock-‘n’-roll roots. The riffs are big, the hooks are bigger, and the lyrics will make you long for the high school days you maybe never had.


OPENING Bright Half Life
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Artists Repertory Theatre
Profile closes out its Tanya Barfield season with the Portland-raised playwright’s two-hander chronicling a decades-long lesbian relationship.

OPENING The How and the Why
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, CoHo Theatre
Too many topics go unexplored on American stages. Such as: menstruation. House of Cards writer Sarah Treem puts it at the center of her 2011 play, which finds two academics sparring over the biological reasons for menstruation and menopause (one theory involves a dream about toxic sperm).

OPENING Coyote on a Fence
7:30 p.m. Friday–Sunday, Post5 Theatre
Just around Halloween comes the scariest thing of all—a play about the dire consequences of society’s real-life decisions. Paul Angelo directs Bruce Graham’s drama, which centers on the interactions between two radically different inmates on death row.

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These sandwich artists can all be heroes.

Image: Owen Carey

CLOSING American Hero
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Artists Repertory Theatre
In the Northwest premiere of Bess Wohl’s comedy, a miserable squad of “sandwich artists” labor to locate their absent overseer. In spite of it all, this unlikely group of heroes manages to hang on and even thrive.

CLOSING The Drowning Girls
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, The Venetian Theatre
Get your Halloween haunts at Hillsboro’s Bag & Baggage, as the “Brides in the Bath”—three women who met their waterlogged ends at the hands of an Edwardian-era serial killer—rise from their claw-foot tubs. The Chicago Tribune called the 2008 play “morbidly funny and sometimes wistful.”

Visual Art

CLOSING 30 Years
11 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Thursday–Friday and 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday, Russo-Lee Gallery
Thirty years is a long time—maybe even longer in gallery years. But that’s how long Laura Russo Gallery has served the region’s artists and art audiences in its Northwest space. This month the gallery celebrates its 30th birthday with a new name—the Russo-Lee Gallery, after proprietor Martha Lee—and a 30th-anniversary group show, featuring work from all the contemporary artists the gallery represents, among them Samantha Wall, Michael Brophy, and Mel Katz.

CLOSING On Democracy
10 a.m.–10:30 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Friday–Saturday, Newspace Center for Photography
“What does democracy look like in 2016?” That’s the question to which photographers—from across genres and formats—have responded for this open-call group show, to be accompanied by debate screenings and a reading group on “political depression and the politics of heavy feelings.”

10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thursday–Friday and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday–Sunday, Portland Art Museum
Josh Kline’s multipart installation, hailed by the New Yorker as “galvanic,” takes on corporate greed and the erosion of civil rights via riot gear-clad Teletubbies and reimagined Obama speeches. For more, read our Q&A with Kline.

Special Events

Spirit of Halloweentown
Through Oct 31, St. Helens, Oregon
Remember the 1998 Disney film starring Marnie along with an entire town of All Hallow’s Eve permanent residents? In St. Helens, Halloweentown comes back to life every October. Just a 30-minute drive from Portland, St. Helens is, in fact, where the cult movie was filmed, and remains one of the most popular family-friendly Halloween festival destinations in the Pacific Northwest: a city-wide ceremony with myriad Halloweentown-themed events. 

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Lone Fir never looked ghostlier.

Image: Oregon Metro

Tour of Untimely Departures
5–9 p.m. Saturday, Lone Fir Cemetery
Take a family-friendly, supernatural stroll through the Sunnyside neighborhood’s historic Lone Fir Cemetery and become acquainted with some of the site’s ghostly occupants. Visitors will be guided along candle-lit walkways and regaled by tales of how some of Lone Fir’s residents met their unusual and unfortunate deaths. (Organizer suggestion: when amongst the undead, do as the undead do—wear something spooky.)

Jai Ho! Annual Bollywood Thriller Dance Party
9 p.m. Saturday, The Raven
Finally—a dance party that offers choreographed dance lessons to Michael Jackson’s timeless werewolf jam. For the sixth year in a row, Bollywood Dreams Entertainment throws what it promises will be “the biggest international Halloween dance party in Portland,” hosted by Prashant and Brittany Newton.

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