The Essentials

From Bridgetown Comedy Fest to PDX Supergroup Eyelids, May's Pop Culture Hot List

The comedy shows, record, and play you can't miss this month

By Fiona McCann April 17, 2017 Published in the May 2017 issue of Portland Monthly

Pomo 0517 bridge city 2 nrzhcc

Some of the 100-plus performers for this year's Bridgetown Comedy Festival.

The Festival

You blink, and all of a sudden your baby is 10 years old. Bridgetown Comedy Festival (May 4–7), as beloved by Portland audiences as it is by the comedians who return year on year, is back with a lineup that includes (above, clockwise from top left) Ian Karmel, Karen Kilgariff, Baron Vaughan, Janeane Garofalo, Jackie Kashian, and Eugene Mirman, among the 100-plus performers. Promoters intimate this “might be” the festival’s last year, so find your laughs while you can, Portland.

The Pre-Festival

Get your comedic game on early with a bonus Bridgetown show from Patton Oswalt ahead of the main event (Arlene Schnitzer Hall, May 2). Oswalt, who headlined the festival’s inaugural year, returns with the self-effacing, politically outspoken stand-up that made him a hit the first time around, and arguably much more material to work with.

Pomo 0517 the eyelids band cngqwk


The Record

The Decemberists, Boston Spaceships, Guided by Voices, Elliott Smith: they’re all part of the lineage that led to Portland supergroup Eyelids whose debut album, 854, revealed a jangly, guitar-driven sound with Teenage Fanclub-esque vocal lines and solid melodic hooks. They’re back, fresh from a UK tour supporting Drive-By Truckers, with Or (May 5), produced by R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck.

The Play

The 2009 debut of Sheila Callaghan’s That Pretty Pretty; or The Rape Play in the West Village had the New Yorker gushing about the “sass and sarcasm” and “high-energy punk writing.” Now Portland’s Defunkt—no stranger to politically charged work—takes on this raucous examination of objectification and male violence (May 5–June 14). Bonus: Jane Fonda appears as a character. In leg warmers. 

Show Comments