PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: June 8–11

Hip-hop violinist Damien Escobar plays the Aladdin, an all-lady cast takes on Oscar Wilde, Ira Glass hits the Schnitz, Michael Ian Black does standup at the Doug Fir, and the Portland Jewish Film Festival turns 25.

By Fiona McCann, Rebecca Jacobson, and Meagan Nolan June 8, 2017

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Virtuosic hip-hop violinist Damien Escobar performs in Portland on Saturday.

Books & Talks

Lisa Ko

7:30 p.m. Fri, Powell's City of Books, FREE
In Ko’s The Leavers, a Chinese immigrant disappears, leaving her son alone and ultimately at the whims of the white academics who adopt him. It won the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, for its “rich and sensitive portrait of lives lived across borders, cultures, and languages.”


9 p.m. Fri, Revolution Hall, $20
Calling all busybodies and eavesdroppers: if you’re into people’s darkest secrets and most revealing tales, Kevin Allison’s show—a live event and podcast since 2009—is for you.

Ira Glass

7:30 p.m. Sat, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $32.50–54
The public radio megastar and This American Life host spills seven things he’s learned (think he’ll arrange ’em as acts?) via video, music, and stories mixed live onstage.


Michael Ian Black

9 p.m. Fri, Doug Fir Lounge, $25
Two members of famed ’90s alt-comedy group the State in Portland on the same night? For real: as Kevin Allison takes Risk! to Revolution Hall, his onetime partner in crime brings his stand-up act to the Doug Fir.


Summer Splendors

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Newmark Theatre, $34–58
NW Dance Project’s annual ode to the sunny season is always one of the arts scene’s sweet harbingers of summer. This year’s Summer Splendors promises a world premiere from artistic director Sarah Slipper, as well as the return of the Chopin Project, where choreographers—Slipper, Lucas Crandall, Rachel Erdos, and Tracey Durbin—have interpreted Chopin’s 24 Preludes, with the dancers performing to the live accompaniment of local pianist Hunter Noack. 


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The Portland Jewish Film Fest opens with Joshua Goldstein's Menashe, set in a New York Hasidic community.

OPENING Portland Jewish Film Festival

7 p.m. Sun (continues thru June 25), Whitsell Auditorium, $10
The venerable fest, a coproduction of the Northwest Film Center and the Institute for Judaic Studies, hits its 25th year with a varied slate of features and documentaries. Highlights include Menashe, a drama set in a New York Hasidic community—with a script almost entirely in Yiddish—and The Settlers, a doc about Israeli settlements in the West Bank.


Puddles Pity Party

8 p.m. Thu, Alberta Rose Theatre, SOLD OUT
The "Sad Clown with the Golden Voice” does marvelously woeful covers of your favorite songs, from Lorde’s “Royals” to Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.” Puddles will have you in tears from a combination of laughter, pity, and wonderment—consider yourself warned.

The Parson Red Heads

9 p.m. Thu, Mississippi Studios, $10
The beloved folk-rock outfit got its start in Eugene, did a soul-toughening tour of duty in LA, and has peddled warm harmonies and jangly joy in Portland since 2010. It’s been a minute since their last album, but prepare your tambourine and put on your sing-along pants, because this Portland show marks the release of their fourth full-length LP, Blurred Harmony.

Damien Escobar

8 p.m. Sat, Aladdin Theater, $45–95
The virtuosic hip-hop violinist was admitted to Juilliard at age 10, performed for Barack Obama at his first inauguration, and joined Oprah Winfrey on tour a while back. He turns 30 next year. And what have you done today?


OPENING Good with People

8 p.m. Thu–Sun, Performance Works NW, $15
Set in a Scottish seaside hotel, David Harrower’s drama finds two characters confronting a brutal chapter from their past. The New York Times called it a “beautiful, deceptive wisp of a play.”

OPENING Man of La Mancha

7:30 p.m. Fri and 2 p.m. Sun, Keller Auditorium, $28–220
Chivalry! Rebellion! The Spanish Inquisition! This mid-’60s musical refashions Don Quixote as a play within a play, with author Miguel de Cervantes corralling his fellow dungeon-bound cronies for a dramatic mock trial.

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Artists Rep puts an all-lady spin on The Importance of Being Earnest.

CLOSING The Importance of Being Earnest

7:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Artists Repertory Theatre, $25–50
Boy bye: Oscar Wilde’s satire of Victorian social mores gets an all-lady cast in Artist Repertory Theatre’s season closer.

CLOSING Constellations

7:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Gerding Theater, $25–70
Grimm star Silas Weir Mitchell returns to Portland Center Stage in Nick Payne’s two-hander about theoretical physics and love, which the New York Times said “may be the most sophisticated date play Broadway has seen.”

CLOSING The Language Archive

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, CoHo Theater, $15–34
Esperanto enthusiasts, unite! That utopian international language gets some stage time in Julia Cho’s play about a linguist with some emotionally debilitating communication troubles. Portland Playhouse’s usual venue is under construction, so they’re bringing this show to CoHo.

Visual Art

Group Exhibition

11 a.m.–5 p.m. Fri–Sat, Adams & Ollman, FREE
In this exhibit—its unwieldy title is I Was a Wall, and My Breasts Were Like Fortress Towers // Her Eyes Are Like Doves Beside Streams of Water—artists of different media, painters to sculptors, explore the representation and objectification of the female body.

Sam Hamilton

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

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