PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Dec 1–4

Amy Schumer packs the Moda Center, Michael Chabon hits Powell's, John Waters is at the Aladdin, and Japanese cinema takes over the Whitsell. Welcome to December.

By Rebecca Jacobson and Ko Ricker December 1, 2016

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Head to Blue Sky for Calvin Chen's images of children at play around the world.

Image: Calvin Chen

Books & Talks

Science Pub: Zika Virus
7 p.m. Thursday, Mission Theater
After endless partisan bickering, Congress finally agreed to help fund the fight against Zika. But what’s the science behind the virus? Scientist Dan Streblow, who works on vaccine and gene therapy at OHSU, breaks it down.

Nathan Carson
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Powell's Books on Hawthorne, FREE
Local writer and doom metal drummer Nathan Carson has just published his first novel, Starr Creek, a nostalgic jaunt into 1980s rural Oregon featuring heavy metal teens, Christian biker gangs, and, naturally, aliens. 

Michael Chabon
7:30 p.m. Friday, Powell's City of Books, FREE
In new novel Moonglow, Chabon—lover of swashbuckling adventures and epic historical tales—imagines a sprawling deathbed confession that darts around the globe and through time (and was, in fact, inspired by Chabon’s final conversations with his own grandfather).


Amy Schumer
8 p.m. Thursday, Moda Center
The raucously funny comedian with an uncanny knack for subversive social commentary (but then there was, uhh, that problematic "Formation" parody) swings through Portland on her world tour.

Bridget Everett
7:30 p.m. Friday, Aladdin Theater
Six-foot-tall alt-cabaret star Bridget Everett brings the same glorious aplomb to her raunchy humor and boob reveals as she does to her angelic-sounding songs. (She’s classically trained.) It’s vaudeville, it’s comedy, it’s performance art—and she might sit on your face. 

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Bridget Everett is wrapped up and ready to go.

Image: Kristen Welsh

A John Waters Christmas
8 p.m. Saturday, Aladdin Theater
The naughty-minded filmmaker behind Hairspray and Pink Flamingos has turned his one-man holiday celebration into a beloved annual tradition. (He’s been performing it since the early aughts.) For those who prefer sleaze to sugarplums, it’s the perfect Christmas pageant. 


Japanese Currents
Various times Friday–Sunday, Whitsell Auditorium
The NW Film Center tosses the spotlight on Japan’s impressive cinematic landscape, with screenings of contemporary films from across genres.


Portland's Singing Christmas Tree
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Keller Auditorium
Portland’s Singing Christmas Tree returns to the Keller for its 54th year, providing us once again with both contemporary and traditional holiday music as performed by nearly 400 voices and a live orchestra. Try resisting a smile, Scrooge—you can't.

Kamasi Washington
8:30 p.m. Thursday, Roseland Theater
You've heard Washington's 2015 album The Epic, right? It's 172 minutes of magic, and now the jazz saxophonist and Kendrick Lamar collaborator brings his unstoppable skills to the Roseland. 

Portland Gay Men's Chorus
8 p.m. Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Newmark Theatre
Even if holiday music normally makes you want to cram marzipan in your ears, these 150-odd, dulcet-voiced carolers singing seasonal standbys and more recent festive riffs are bound to win you over.

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Rennie and Brett Sparks are the Handsome Family.

The Handsome Family
9 p.m. Friday, Doug Fir Lounge
If you watched True Detective, you know the Handsome Family—the husband-wife duo was responsible for the spooky, richly textured theme song for that show’s first season. The sound is gothic country, with lyrics that dip frequently into the macabre.

7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
For the second show in the Oregon Symphony’s SoundSights series—featuring music alongside work of Northwest visual artists—Messiaen’s romantic composition meets the video animations of Pacific Northwest College of Art’s Rose Bond, known for site-specific installations.

Band of Horses
8 p.m. Sunday, Crystal Ballroom, SOLD OUT
At four years of age, singer Ben Bridwell’s daughter typed an enigmatic message on her mother’s phone: Why Are You OK. The missive was apparently captivating enough to prompt further introspection, and eventually, an entire Band of Horses album inspired by the stabilizing roots of family.

Pere Ubu
9 p.m. Sunday, Mississippi Studios
The art-punk trailblazers—founded by the notoriously prickly David Thomas in Cleveland in 1975—perform tunes from two recently released box sets, which feature some of the ensemble’s earliest and most turbulent tracks.


The Future Show
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Sunday, Artists Repertory Theatre
In the future, everything will be different. Or the same. It will be horrible. Or wonderful. Or maybe entirely mundane. In Deborah Pearson’s delicate but slyly captivating solo show, presented as part of Artists Rep’s Frontier Series, the Canadian-born, London-dwelling performer examines what’s to come—for her, and for us.

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After three years of playing the ghosts, Jen Rowe takes on the role of Ebenezer Scrooge.

OPENING A Christmas Carol
7 p.m. Thursday–Friday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Portland Playhouse
For the fourth year, Portland Playhouse gives the Dickens classic a song-filled kick.

OPENING Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday–Sunday, Gerding Theater
Polymath performer and pianist Hershey Felder takes us on a nostalgic spin through the life of legendary songwriter Irving Berlin, with plenty of musical stops along the way—think “Anything You Can Do,” “Easter Parade,” and, of course, “White Christmas."

Visual Art

OPENING Calvin Chen and Patricia Lay-Dorsey
Noon–9 p.m. Thursday and noon–5 p.m. Friday–Sunday, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
In Tea for Two, photographer Lay-Dorsey chronicles small moments at home with her husband—little glimpses into the shared life of an aging couple. Chen’s black-and-white series Cómo Juegan Los Niños documents children at play across the globe.

Cauleen Smith
11 a.m.–5 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design, FREE
In this video installation, Asterisms, Smith unites seemingly discrepant objects from both her personal collection (including one rock that might be a meteorite) and the Museum of Contemporary Craft.

Jaik Faulk
Noon–6 p.m. Thursday–Sunday, Nationale, FREE
A still life series that is equal parts jubilant and dismal, Louisiana painter Jaik Faulk’s I feel alright with azaleas around is an ode to the dichotomy of Southern life: hospitality and charm juxtaposed with a haunting undercurrent symbolized by skulls and dark hues.

Special Events

Portland Women March Against Hate
1 p.m. Saturday, Director Park
After speeches by recently elected city council member Chloe Eudaly and trans advocate Rebekah Katherine Brewis and a performance by the Fallen Angel Choir, join a one-mile march that aims "to show the world that misogyny, misogynoir, racism, xenophobia, transmisogyny, transphobia, and hate of any kind is not welcome in Portland." A partner event takes place in Seattle at the same time.

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