Top Things to Do This Weekend: Jan 26–29
Books & Talks
7 p.m. Thursday, Lincoln Hall, FREE
Retirement has done little to slow down former US Representative Barney Frank. After 30 years stumping for sensible government spending and blazing trails as the first openly gay member of Congress, America’s crankiest liberal continues to spends his days doing what he does best—talking about politics.
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $15–65
The best-selling author, known for tackling finance and sports with punch—he wrote The Blind Side, Moneyball, and The Big Short, all of which were adapted into films—joins NPR’s Hanna Rosin for an onstage interview. In his latest book, The Undoing Project, Lewis digs into the work of psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, who studied the irrationality of human decision-making.
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Powell's City of Books, FREE
In his memoir All Tomorrow’s Parties, the Tin House magazine editor mines his Iron Curtain–era childhood—and later-in-life soul-seeking—in Berlins both East and West. We spoke with Spillman when the book came out last spring.
Super: Women in Tech
8 p.m. Friday, Revolution Hall, $10–50
Six women—from computer animators to software engineers—take the stage to tell stories from inside the tech industry. For more, check out our preview.
8 p.m. Thursday, Newmark Theatre, $40–75
Prepare for fierce-tongued celebrity shredding and dizzying pop-culture digressions from the longtime comedian (and, apparently, next-door neighbor of Kim and Kanye).
9 p.m. Thursday, Funhouse Lounge, $20–25
Bri Pruett, one of Portland’s funniest, gutsiest comedians, is about to abandon us for Los Angeles. But first, she’s putting on a solo show that roves from body positivity to online dating to overcoming trauma to real talk about sex. Plus: song, dance, and a Sade-heavy soundtrack. Plus, check out our Q&A with Pruett.
Reel Music Festival
Various times Friday–Sunday, Whitsell Auditorium, $6–12
The NW Film Center’s multiweek, music-loving festival returns for its 34th year, with a lineup ranging from a restoration of 1930 musical revue King of Jazz to documentaries about Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, young alternative musicians in the Middle East, and three black metal fans from Colombia, Iran, and Greece on a tumultuous trek to Norway. We've selected six festival picks.
They Have a Name for Girls Like Me
11 a.m.–6 p.m. Friday–Saturday, Upfor Gallery
Who's the archetypal "Julie"? Portlander Julie Perini uses that question as the jumping-off point for her new experimental video, stitching together excerpts from films across history with characters named Julie. The video plays as an ongoing loop, with Perini giving an artist talk on Saturday at 12:15 p.m.
Chamber Music Northwest Winter Festival
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday, Lincoln Hall and Reed College's Kaul Auditorium, $10–50
The chamber music group heats up your winter with four straight nights of romantic compositions for piano and strings, including works by Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn. Concerts take place at Lincoln Hall and Reed College’s Kaul Auditorium—find the full schedule here.
8:30 p.m. Thursday, Wonder Ballroom, $25
It might be easier to say who this Brooklyn-based MC and political activist hasn’t worked with in his 20-year career. His latest capitalism-skewering album F—k the Money was released for free through his website in August of last year.
Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet
7:30 p.m. Saturday–Sunday (continues Monday), Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $23–105
It’s a Russian trifecta at this deep-winter concert, with Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, the divertimento from Stravinsky’s The Fairy’s Kiss, and Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto no. 2, performed by lauded young musician Stefan Jackiw.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aladdin Theatre, $35
The long-running, Grammy-winning South African a cappella ensemble brings its foot-kicking, intricately harmonized zeal to town.
9 p.m. Sunday, Doug Fir Lounge, $15–17
Like a riot grrrl Missy Elliott, the Minneapolis hip-hop artist serves up her rhymes with infectious energy and a take-no-prisoners message of body positivity and self-acceptance.
CLOSING Fertile Ground Festival
Various times Thursday–Sunday, various locations, festival pass $50
Think of this annual festival, now in its ninth year, as an 11-day buffet of new, locally produced performance. Things range from refined to very, very raw, but that’s part of the deliciousness (and chaos) of it. Visit the festival website for the full lineup, and check out six of our picks.
OPENING We're All Mad Here
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Shaking the Tree, $10–25
Samantha Van Der Merwe’s theater company, Shaking the Tree, had planned to produce Macbeth this winter. Then Trump won the presidential election—and they decided to shelve it till next season. (“I think it will be interesting to explore that play after a year of Trump,” she says.) In its place, Matthew Kerrigan performs a timely new solo show exploring his experiences as a young gay man in the Midwest. We talked with Kerrigan in advance of opening night.
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, CoHo Theater
What really happened when D. B. Cooper parachuted out of that Boeing 727 somewhere over the Cascades in 1971? It’s a question that’s animated obsessive quests and countless conspiracy theories, and now a world premiere by Washington-raised playwright Tommy Smith, directed by Portland fave Isaac Lamb.
OPENING Constructing Identity
10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday–Sunday, Portland Art Museum, $19.99
PAM organizes a new exhibit drawing together contemporary work by African American artists—from the masterful silhouettes of Kara Walker to the rhinestone-encrusted paintings of Mickalene Thomas—and art from the middle decades of the 20th century.
CLOSING Corita Kent: Spiritual Pop
10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thursday–Friday and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday–Sunday, Portland Art Museum, $19.99
Countercultural expression doesn’t normally come out of the convent, but Kent was an unconventional nun, as evidenced in this career-spanning collection of screen prints.
CLOSING Kris Hargis
10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, Froelick Gallery, FREE
In The less I speak, the more I learn, Hargis showcases unstinting self-portraits, including oil paintings, pastel drawings, and an eight-foot-tall sculpture made of wood, clay, hemp, and copper.
International Cat Show
3–10 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday–Sunday, Holiday Inn Portland Airport, $10
For 12 years, the International Cat show has attracted cat fanciers from all over the world to Portland. Don’t have the scratch for a ticket to the purrfect day of fun? Don’t worry: the Oregon Food bank has you covered. Two cans of (people) food will take $2 off your adult admission.