Books & Talks
7 p.m. Thu, May 4, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $20–170
The New York Daily News columnist and Black Lives Matter activist—one of the country’s strongest voices on racism and police brutality—gives a lecture titled “The New Civil Rights and Global Justice.”
7 p.m. Fri, May 5, Ford Food + Drink, FREE
This reading series, founded by sisters and poets Chrys and Allison Tobey, aims to “stick it to the man (with the flaming orange head carpet) by drawing attention to the voices and ideas he and his administration attempt to silence.” Tonight features readings from five women writers: Andrea Hollander, Kate Carroll de Gutes, Natasha Sajé, Stephanie Adams-Santos, and Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo. The event is free, but donations will go towards No More Deaths / No Más Muertes.
7:30 p.m. Fri, Powell's City of Books, FREE
The Portland writer is the force behind Unchaste Readers—a quarterly reading series for women, now in its fifth year—and an award-winning flash fiction writer. Her new memoir, Narrow River, Wide Sky, is an unsentimental portrait of small-town Colorado, a formative environment that both oppressed her and shaped her identity. The book explores the complex forces of family, politics, and religion and her feminist awakenings in a chauvinist world. Plus, we've got an excerpt from the memoir.
4 p.m. Sat, Powell's City of Books, FREE
The Ghanaian-born author’s debut novel, 2016’s Homegoing, follows two family lines—one in West Africa, the other in America—across hundreds of years. The sprawling story of slavery, violence, and love packs an undeniable emotional wallop.
Various times Thu–Sun, various venues, ticket prices vary
You blink, and all of a sudden your baby is 10 years old. Bridgetown Comedy Festival, as beloved by Portland audiences as it is by the comedians who return year on year, is back with a lineup that includes 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. For more—including what it'll take to keep the festival in action—check out our interview with cofounder Andy Wood.
7 and 9:30 p.m. Sat, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $50–150
The superstar of observational comedy inked a huge deal with Netflix earlier this year. Prepare for more Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, plus two new stand-up specials and other comedy programming. In the meantime, catch him live at the Schnitz.
7:30 p.m. Sat–Sun, BodyVox Dance Center, $12
Love 4 Urban Art Dance Company, which describes itself as “empowered by the youth,” explores the history of hip hop through a series of emotional dance pieces.
Various times Fri–Sun, Hollywood Theatre, $11–60
The annual cinematic celebration of all things two-wheeled rolls into its 15th year, this time with 80 films from 18 countries. Highlights include a profile of an urban trials rider in Madagascar and short docs about epic combo-adventures: bikepacking and skiing in Arctic Norway, and mountain biking and packrafting in rural Mongolia.
9 p.m. Thu, Mississippi Studios, $8–10
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 (out May 5), produced by R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck.
9 p.m. Thu, Revolution Hall, $25–80
Fifty years. Fifty songs. That’s the conceit behind Stephin Merritt’s latest project, 50 Song Memoir, a five-disc musical journey charting the songwriter’s life thus far. He’ll be joined onstage by seven performers as well as sundry artifacts, from old computers to (apparently) a tiki bar.
9 p.m. Thu, Star Theater, $17
The son of Malian musical legend Ali Farka Touré, Vieux is a virtuosic guitarist in his own right, with a sound that’s earthy but electric. His latest album, Samba, dropped in April.
9 p.m. Fri, Mississippi Studios, SOLD OUT
Following their critically acclaimed album Away, the Austin band embarks on tour as an acoustic trio. They’re getting up close and personal on this round, visiting small, intimate venues across the country.
8 p.m. Sat, Alberta Rose Theatre, $15–18
The banjo and slide guitar player is a legend in the Portland bluegrass scene, having played this town for more than 25 years. He has a new album, The Cider House Sessions, which was recorded entirely at the Reverend Nat's taproom. For more, check out our 2015 Q&A with Furtado.
8:30 p.m. Sun, Crystal Ballroom, SOLD OUT
The indomitable, chameleonic English musician’s most recent album, The Hope Six Demolition Project, draws from research trips to Washington, DC, Afghanistan, and Kosovo, for a series of stark, sometimes apocalyptic vignettes.
7:30 p.m. Fri, Crystal Ballroom, $20–25
In this raucous, live-action parody of the ’90s film Point Break, audience members are chosen to portray Keanu Reeves’ character, special agent Johnny Utah.
7:30 p.m. Fri–Sun, Back Door Theatre, $15–25
The 2009 debut of Sheila Callaghan’s 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. Bonus: Jane Fonda appears as a character. In leg warmers.
OPENING La Bohème
7:30 p.m. Fri and 2 p.m. Sun, 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.
OPENING Miss Julie
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Shaking the Tree, $25
Shaking the Tree’s Samantha Van Der Merwe directs August Strindberg’s 1888 drama of psychosexual sparring and class conflict.
OPENING George Johanson
11 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Augen Gallery, FREE
A stalwart of Portland’s art scene since the mid-20th century—he’ll be 90 next year—Johanson showcases a new set of richly hued paintings, including a playful scene of dogs in greens, purples, and blues.
OPENING 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.
10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thu–Fri, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Portland Art Museum, FREE–$19.99
In Standard Candles, the New Zealand artist bridges film, music, performance, and installation. The exhibit, Hamilton’s first solo showing in the US, also features the premiere screening of his feature-length film, Apple Pie.