PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: May 11–14

A street fair in St. Johns, funky electro dance beats at the Doug Fir, animated films at the Hollywood, and 19th-century posters at the Pittock—pull out your calendar and make some plans.

By Rebecca Jacobson and Lauren Kershner May 11, 2017

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It's off to 1830s Paris in Portland Opera's production of La Bohème.

Books & Talks

Poetry and Politics

7–9 p.m. Thu, May 11, Literary Arts, FREE
Four poets—Allison Joseph, Margaret Rhee, Sam Roxas-Chua, and Neil Aitken—read from their work and discuss “literary activism, social justice, intersectionality, feminism, and allyship.”

Dani Shapiro

7:30 p.m. Fri, Powell's City of Books, FREE
Shapiro’s new memoir, Hourglass, traces the path–and fault lines–of her 18-year marriage. Delving into what it means to be with someone over time, and getting real about her own marital struggles, Shapiro describes her book as a “delicate, terrifying little piece of work.” 

Cory Doctorow

7:30 p.m. Sun, Powell's City of Books, FREE
Heralded as “a truly visionary techno-thriller” by Kirkus, the Boing Boing co-editor’s latest novel, Walkaway, imagines a future where people abandon modern society, relying on their 3-D printers to meet all their needs.


Bodies Empowered

6 p.m. Fri, May 12, Holocene, $5–50
Lingerie boutique Lille celebrates its 10th anniversary with a runway featuring pretty unmentionables from the Istanbul-based Else, with an appearance by brand founder and designer Ela Onur. All proceeds—from ticket sales as well as from a raffle and silent auction—will benefit Planned Parenthood. We’ve got more on the show here.


NW Animation Fest

Various times Thu–Sun, Hollywood Theatre, prices vary
The seventh annual NW Animation Fest showcases independently produced films by animators from across the globe. Catch flicks, chat with filmmakers, and attend free shows and after-parties.


The Flaming Lips

9 p.m. Fri, Roseland Theater, SOLD OUT
The prop-loving band—according to the Washington Post, a recent show included “confetti cannons, smoke machines, light-up gongs, oversize disco balls, blinking streamers, colored balloons, and lots and lots of pastel spotlights and giant inflatable objects”—brings its euphoric psych rock to town.

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From subway platforms to the Doug Fir: the story of Moon Hooch.

Moon Hooch

9 p.m. Sat, Doug Fir Lounge, $15–17
From busking on New York City subway platforms to sharing the stage with Beats Antique, this horn-and-percussion trio brings funky electronic dance beats to the Doug Fir underground.


7:30 p.m. Sat–Sun (continues Monday), Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $23–105
Oregon-raised puppet designer Michael Curry has created puppets—often intricate, kinetic contraptions, huge in both scale and budget—for magicians Siegfried & Roy, Cirque du Soleil, Broadway’s The Lion King, and Olympic ceremonies. Now Curry, who employs a 50-member team at a 75,000-square-foot facility in Scappoose, is collaborating with the Oregon Symphony on a new production of Stravinsky’s Persephone, which deploys elaborate props, puppets, and masks to tell the tale of a goddess kidnapped and taken to the Underworld. For more, check out our Q&A with Curry.



7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Shoebox Theatre, $10–20
Several storylines—among them, an oddball graphic novelist in rehab and a teenage girl who’s just escaped, Kimmy Schmidt–style, from basement captivity—intersect in Rob Handel’s play, which the Washington Post called “agreeably ramshackle.”


7:30 p.m. Thu and Sat, Keller Auditorium, $28–140
Puccini’s endlessly popular tale of art and young love in 1830s Paris comes to the Keller, with Italian tenor Giordano Lucá making his American debut as the poet Rodolfo.

Óye Oyá

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat and 2 p.m. Sun, Milagro Theatre, $20–27
Promising “the biggest production ever seen on a Milagro stage,” this original Spanish-language musical riffs on both Shakespeare’s The Tempest and the Cuban zarzuela, a form of operetta.

Visual Art

OPENING Quest for Beauty: The Architecture, Landscapes, and Collections of John Yeon

10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Portland Art Museum, $19.99
The museum organizes a new exhibit devoted to a seminal Northwest architect, highlighting Yeon’s building and landscape design as well as his decorative art collections from Asia and Europe. Read on in our exhibit preview.

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Local artist James Allen's "book excavations" are on show at Russo Lee.

James Allen

11 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Russo Lee Gallery, FREE
The Portland artist specializes in what he calls “book excavations,” in which he slices through book covers—leaving the spine intact—and carves around images and text to create intricate, three-dimensional works.

The Golden Age of Poster Design

11 a.m.–4 p.m. Thu–Sun, Pittock Mansion, $10
The late 19th century was a boom time for advertising, with major advances in lithographic printing and graphic design. This exhibit collects American posters from the 1890s hawking magazines such as Harper’s and (the now-defunct) Century and Lippincott’s.

Special Events

PDX Red Party

Vendor fair 4–6 p.m., dance party until 10 p.m., Friday, May 12, PSU’s Smith Memorial Student Union, FREE
Now in its second year, this party—put on by Periodic, Inc., an organization that addresses menstruation-related social inequities through advocacy, policy, and educationincludes raffle prizes, dancing, carnival games, and an array of community vendors. For more, check out our event preview.

St. Johns Bizarre

10 a.m.–7 p.m. Sat, St. Johns Neighborhood, FREE
The street fair, now in its 11th year, offers music, crafts, and food galore. The mainstage music lineup features local bands such as the Thermals and Y La Bamba.

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