Top Things to Do This Weekend: Apr 20–23
Books & Talks
7:30 p.m. Thu, Powell's City of Books, FREE
Meidav’s new short story collection, Kingdom of the Young, spans genres and cultures, from a love-struck wanderer in the caves of Granada to a civilian fighting to escape the constraints of a dictatorship. Kirkus praised its “warmth and easy brilliance.”
Robin Romm in Conversation with Camas Davis
7:30 p.m. Fri, Apr 21, Powell’s City of Book, FREE
Local writer and editor Robin Romm has gathered thinkers from Roxane Gay to playwright Sarah Ruhl to talk about glass ceilings, leaning in, and feminism in Double Bind: Women on Ambition.
7:30 p.m. Fri, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Sat, Aladdin Theater, $30 (some shows sold out)
Maron isn’t just a master of unvarnished, aggressively personal stand-up. The comedy veteran also hosts one of the best interview podcasts out there, WTF—the dude invited Barack Obama into his garage for a candid hourlong chat, for goodness sake.
Back Fence PDX: Russian Roulette
7:30 p.m. Sat, Curious Comedy Theater, $16–20
In this off-the-cuff storytelling show, participants spin a wheel for a prompt and then craft a true five-minute tale. Tellers tonight include former Live Wire host and generally hilarious Portlander Courtenay Hameister and Los Angeles writer Joey Slamon, who counts Arrested Development among her TV credits.
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Newmark Theatre, $29–102
Oregon Ballet Theatre follows Swan Lake with a more contemporary spring lineup: four works uniting around themes of earth and the natural world, with two pieces each from revered Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato and one of America’s hottest ballet tickets, Helen Pickett. For more on OBT, check out our recent story on the company’s ambitious new approach and promising future.
7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat and 2 p.m. Sun, Polaris Dance Theatre, $25
For the seventh annual XPOSED, Polaris brings together past favorites by Gerard Regot and M’Liss Quinnly alongside exciting new works by Robert Guitron, Barbara Lima, and Jess Zoller.
Portland EcoFilm Festival
7:30 p.m. Fri and 6:30 p.m. Sat, Apr 21–22, Hollywood Theatre, $9
Celebrate Earth Day with screenings of two eco-minded documentaries. Friday brings Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry, a documentary about the farmer-activist, and Saturday features Chasing Coral, a Sundance Audience Award winner about the planet’s rapidly disappearing coral reefs.
Soul'd Out Music Festival
Various times and locations thru Sunday, prices vary
Damn—this is a lineup. Headlining the eighth annual fest is Solange, who, yes, is Beyoncé’s sister, but who also put out one of 2016’s smartest, most stirring albums, A Seat at the Table. Also on board: gender-bending New Orleans bounce queen Big Freedia (who has her own Bey connection), Afrobeat band Antibalas, Italian disco legend Giorgio Moroder, funk icons the Ohio Players, and lots of locals, including trumpeter Farnell Newton, and space age-y jazz act Coco Columbia.
I Love the '90s Tour
7:30 p.m. Fri, Veterans Memorial Coliseum, $38–215
Do you wish you could teleport back to the glory days of hip-hop and R&B? Look no further, my ’90s-loving friend. This tour brings you the most bangin’ acts of the decade: Salt-N-Pepa, Vanilla Ice, All 4 One, Tone LOC, Rob Base, and Young MC.
8 p.m. Sat, Doug Fir Lounge, $16
Classically trained Yale graduate Ellis Ludwig-Leone’s ensemble returns with the layered, lush arrangements of new album Open, and vocal assistance from Allen Tate and Charlene Kaye.
6 p.m. Sat, Secret Society, $6
This local 11-piece all-lady band brings everything from beachy vibes to folky country to the stage. Christening themselves “Portland’s Sexiest Mother Pluckers,” these ladies truly know how to jam, promising to convert all those in earshot to honest plucking fans.
8 p.m. Sun, Veterans Memorial Coliseum, $39.99–$45
UK dance beats and whispered, intimate pop meet in stripped-down form in this mega-selling English trio, now touting their third album, I See You.
OPENING Mary's Wedding
7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sun, Gerding Theater, $25–55
Stephen Massicotte’s dreamlike two-hander is a story of young romance cruelly interrupted by World War I.
7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, Imago Theatre, $19–39
Imago Theatre resurrects its tilting set—a deck suspended three feet off the stage floor that sways and leans as actors move—for Ben Power’s 2014 adaptation of the classic Greek tragedy. Local favorites Anne Sorce and Todd Van Voris star.
7:30 p.m. Fri–Sun, Apr 21–23; 7:30 p.m. Thu–Sun, Apr 27–30, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, $12–20
Spoken-word poet Dahlak Brathwaite performs a verse-fueled exploration of race, drug addiction, and the criminal justice system. For more from Brathwaite and local hip-hop artist Mic Crenshaw on why Portlanders need to see this show, read our interview.
7:30 p.m. Fri–Sun and 2 p.m. Sun, Apr 21–23, Artist Repertory Theatre, $15–30
This month marks 25 years since four LAPD officers were acquitted for their part in the brutal beating of Rodney King, a verdict that sparked riots claiming the lives of more than 50 people. Actor, playwright, and longtime Spike Lee collaborator Roger Guenveur Smith explores the story of what he calls “the first reality TV star” in his one-man show Rodney King. Now Smith ends the piece’s four-year-run in Portland, before the work goes onto Netflix in the form of a Spike Lee film, with Smith at the center. For more, check out our Q&A with Smith.
Portland Photo Month
Various times and locations thru April, FREE
Local arts nonprofit Photolucida hosts Portland Photo Month, with photography events and exhibitions running throughout April, and a photobook fair—a celebration of all sorts of photography publications—on Friday, April 21.
10 a.m.–10:30 p.m. Thu, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Fri–Sun, Newspace Center for Photography, FREE
This group photography and video exhibit explores how physical gestures intersect with social systems, such as finance, labor, and law enforcement.
11 a.m.–5 p.m. Thu–Sat, Blackfish Gallery, FREE
A new installation by brother-sister duo Geordie and Merridawn Duckler pays homage to the Rubaiyat by 12th-century Persian poet Omar Khayyam via poetry, a chorus line featuring actual robots, and, per the artists, “other cray stuff.”
Inaugurada La Primavera
Fri–Sat, Apr 21–22, Melody Ballroom/Crystal Ballroom, prices vary
The creators of the Beloved Festival partner with Voz Workers’ Rights Education Project for two nights of food, music (including Edna Vasquez and Las Cafeteras), live art, and ecstatic dance. All Saturday proceeds go directly to Voz, an organization that works to empower migrants and day laborers.