PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Apr 6–9

Mitski, a robot chorus line, opera's greatest hits, refugee tales, a dystopian antiwar novel, and some "sorbet-colored smut." In other words, a good time to get out of the house and do something.

By Rebecca Jacobson and Lauren Kershner April 6, 2017

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Portlander Dan Gluibizzi's pastel-drenched paintings are up at Russo Lee.

Books & Talks

Tawakkol Karman

7 p.m. Thu, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $20–170
The Yemeni journalist and human rights activist, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 at age 32, gives a lecture titled “Freedom and Democracy in the Middle East.”

Omar El Akkad

7:30 p.m. Fri, Powell’s City of Books, FREE
Omar El Akkad, an award-winning journalist born in Egypt and raised in Qatar, has filed dispatches from Afghanistan, the military trials at Guantánamo Bay, the Arab Spring revolution in Egypt, and the Black Lives Matter movement in Ferguson, Missouri. Now living in Portland, El Akkad turns to fiction with American War, a dystopian tale that begins in 2075 and features disaffected Southern states that secede after a ban on fossil fuels, amid rising sea levels. For more, check out our Q&A with El Akkad.

Kelly Williams Brown

7:30 p.m. Sun, Powell's City of Books, FREE
The Portland writer says that if her first book, New York Times bestseller Adulting, was about “how to get your life in order,” her second work, Gracious, is about “how to be good around and to other humans.”


Reggie Watts

8 p.m. Sat, Revolution Hall, SOLD OUT
The multi-hyphenate phenom—comedian, beatboxer, looping-pedal master, grandpa-sweater conoisseur—is a performer of superhuman talents, uniting absurdist stand-up with musical improv in a way that must be seen to be believed.


Ronald K. Brown/Evidence

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Newmark Theatre, $26–64
It’s been 12 years since Portland dance presenter White Bird hosted choreographer Ronald K. Brown and his New York company, known for melding African and contemporary dance styles with spoken word. This program features work set to the likes of Stevie Wonder and Afro-pop ensemble Zap Mama.

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Ronald K. Brown and Evidence, we've missed you.

Bellydance Evolution

8 p.m. Sun, Aladdin Theater, $30
Belly dancers reimagine Alice in Wonderland, giving a Middle Eastern spin to the classic tale. 



7:30 p.m. Sat, noon Sun, Whitsell Auditorium, $9
Adam Curtis’s 2016 BBC doc examines the rise of imaginary stories (hellooooo, fake news) over reality.

Italian Film Festival

Various times Thu–Sun, Fifth Avenue Cinema, FREE
It's a sprezzatura screen 'splosion at the 13th annual fest, with 10 films hailing from the boot-shaped nation.


Solo Hikes: Shared Solitude

7:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, New Expressive Works, $25
New music group Third Angle fetes the 100th birthday of the National Park Service with three new commissions: solo works for cello, percussion, and saxophone. For more, check out our preview of the concert.

Dave Holland

8 p.m. Fri, Revolution Hall, $25–55
The multiple Grammy Award winner brings his jazz bass expertise to Portland with the Dave Holland Trio, featuring Kevin Eubanks and Eric Harland. World-class saxophonist Chris Potter appears as a special guest. 

Big Night

7:30 p.m. Sat, Keller Auditorium, $25–65
On this evening, Portland Opera cuts the chaff and gets straight to the most awe-inspiring hits. It’s a best-of compilation in concert form.

Vanessa Carlton

9 p.m. Sat, Doug Fir Lounge, $25–27
With pixie-light vocals and teenage sentiments, Carlton shattered the airwaves in the early 2000s with her hit “A Thousand Miles.” The song’s tinkling piano riff remains one of the most recognizable melodies in music history. Her latest works, Earlier Things and Liberman Live, are a collection of live recordings that trace her evolution. Make your way down to the Doug Fir—where she put on a captivating show just last year—for Carlton’s uncharted sound: wistful, raw, with a depth that miles can’t measure. Plus, check out our Q&A with the musician.

Mozart's Requiem

7:30 p.m. Sat–Sun, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $23–105 
The Oregon Symphony pairs Mozart’s unfinished requiem—written on his deathbed—with Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements, the Russian expat’s response to World War II.

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Mitski brings her songwriting brilliance to the Wonder.


8:30 p.m. Sun, Wonder Ballroom, $15–17
“Your Best American Girl,” as Mitski refers to herself in the song of that title on her latest album, Puberty 2, was born in Japan and has lived in 13 countries, and can mine anxiety, depression, loneliness, and loss with just the right blend of indie guitar fuzz and sweet melody.


7:30 p.m. Sun, Moda Center, SOLD OUT
It’s been 21 years since the iconic English rockers performed here—when they last visited, they played seminal ’90s rock club La Luna. But they’re hitting the Rose City on a brief US tour before headlining Coachella later this month.


Urban Tellers, Immigrant & Refugee Edition

8 p.m. Fri, Fremont Theater, SOLD OUT; 8 p.m. Sat, The Old Church, $15–18
Portland Story Theater features a night of true testimonials by immigrants and refugees from Mexico, Denmark, Indonesia, Argentina, Iran, and Somalia. A portion of proceeds will benefit the United Nations Association’s Adopt-a-Future program.


7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Milagro Theatre, $18–27
The winner of the 2008 Henry Award for Outstanding New Play, Octavio Solis’s powerfully moving story follows a girl mentally crippled in a tragic accident who can only communicate with her caretaker, Lydia. 

CLOSING Playhouse Creatures

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, CoHo Theater, $20–28
Set in England in 1669, April de Angelis’s play follows the travails of four women trying to make it in a previously male-only domain: the theater.

Visual Art

OPENING Ervin A. Johnson and Cristián Ureta

Noon–5 p.m. Thu–Sun, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
#InHonor, a portrait series by young Chicago artist Ervin A. Johnson, pays tribute to victims of police brutality and racism via photographs manipulated with solvents, acrylic paint, and ink. Cristián Ureta’s Volviendo a la Tierra, meanwhile, documents a Chilean mining camp from 2003 to 2005.

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Ervin A. Johnson with some of the mammoth works from his #InHonor series.


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.”

OPENING Dan Gluibizzi

11 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, Russo Lee Gallery, FREE
The Portland-based artist trawls Tumblr—often for nudes, amateur porn, and the like—which he then reworks into what Juxtapoz magazine called “delicious, sorbet-colored smut.”

OPENING Dominant Form

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.

10,690 Wild Flowers Discussion + Workshop

1–3 p.m. Sat, Apr 8, C3:Initiative, FREE
As part of its Social Objects exhibit, C3:Initiative hosts a conversation about reproductive justice, as well as an artist workshop by Nicole Gugliotti. For her project “10,690 Wild Flowers,” Gugliotti worked with local reproductive justice organizations on handmade ceramic flowers, currently on display and for sale at several Portland locations. Proceeds to benefit the Network for Reproductive Options, a nonprofit abortion fund.

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