PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Aug 3–6

Pickathon! Stumptown Improv Fest! Aerialists twirling from trees! The moral murkiness of parenthood! Stay cool out there, folks.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Anyi Wong-Lifton, and Fiona McCann August 3, 2017

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Stage set, blankets down: it's Pickathon time.

Image: Fiona McCann

Books & Talks

De-Canon Pop-Up Library Exhibit

Exhibit open 6–9 p.m. Thu and noon–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, poetry reading at 7 p.m. Sat, FREE
Earlier this year, local writers Dao Strom and Neil Aitken launched a “visibility project” to showcase authors of color via a growing online database and IRL events, such as this pop-up library. Expect some 150 books on modular shelving at Old Town’s Una Gallery for the month, as well as readings, workshops, and live performances, including one by dance collective Physical Education. (For more, check out our story on De-Canon.)


Stumptown Improv Festival

Various times Thu–Sat, Artists Repertory Theatre, $15–90
When this fest launched three summers ago, it seemed to arrive fully formed, booking top-notch shows from the get-go. This year’s installment promises another killer lineup, including acclaimed Los Angeles trio Dasariski, Canadian duo Hip.Bang!, and returning favorites Summerland. Locals include Broke Gravy, Curious Comedy, the Brody, and more.


Galaxy Dance Festival

11 a.m.–7 p.m. Thu–Sat, Polaris Dance Theatre, FREE
Whether you’d rather watch the pros do pirouettes or bust out your own sick moves, this three-day stretch of free performances and classes is just the ticket.

Art in the Dark

8:30 p.m. Fri–Sun, Mary S. Young Park, $23–36
When night falls, an ordinary park in West Linn becomes a surreal stage. In AWOL’s annual outdoor performance, colorfully illuminated aerialists spin and flip from towering trees.


Top Down: Rooftop Cinema

7 p.m. Thu, Whitsell Auditorium, $9–12
Every summer, the NW Film Center normally brings cinema classics to the roof of the Hotel deLuxe, but this weekend's heatwave is sending the film series inside. Up tonight: 1937’s remarriage comedy The Awful Truth.

Food & Drink

Total Brewclipse PDX

8 p.m. Sat, The Redd, $25–35
This summer, a once-in-a-lifetime eclipse will travel through Oregon. To prepare for this momentous act of nature, and to celebrate Portland Monthly’s beer-themed July issue, we’re throwing an out-of-this world party. Total Brewclipse PDX will feature some of our editors’ favorite summer beers (check out a sampling here). Guests can also expect a Reyka Vodka Moon-inspired cocktail, food trucks, live music, fortune-telling, space-gazing, and an epic dance party.


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Charles Bradley brings his soulful funk to Pickathon.


Thu–Sun, Pendarvis Farm, $125–310
High-ho, high-ho, it’s back to Happy Valley we go. It’s Pickathon, after all, and with the likes of Dinosaur Jr., Drive-By Truckers, Dezarie, and our own Last Artful, Dodgr in the lineup, it promises a hoot of a hoedown. Plus: we've got more on Pickathon's inaugural fully staged spoken-word program.

Vanport Jazz Festival

9 a.m.–9 p.m. Sat, Portland Meadows, $75–175
Commemorating the city of Vanport—which was destroyed in a 1948 flood, displacing thousands of mostly African American residents—this daylong fest features jazz stylings from the likes of Mike Phillips, Althea René, and Patrick Lamb. Check the website for the full lineup.


CLOSING Romeo & Juliet/Layla & Majnun

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Tom Hughes Civic Center Plaza, Hillsboro, $20
Scott Palmer, Bag & Baggage’s artistic director and a tenacious reinventor of Shakespeare, helms a world-premiere adaptation that blends Romeo & Juliet with an ancient Persian poem, another tragedy of lovers from warring families.


7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, CoHo Theatre, $25–45
Third Rail stages some of the pluckiest theater in town, and this two-hander by British playwright Duncan MacMillan—performed here by Darius Pierce, best known for The Santaland Diaries, and the equally ace Cristi Miles—should be no exception. It’s a dive into the moral murkiness of starting a family. Like, umm, that carbon footprint? Particularly relevant in a post-Paris-pact world.

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It's a David Lang double bill in this collaboration between Portland Opera and Imago Theatre's Jerry Mouawad.

CLOSING The Difficulty of Crossing a Field & The Little Match Girl Passion

7:30 p.m. Thu and Sat, Newmark Theatre, $28–250
Two operas by David Lang receive a West Coast premiere in a collaboration between Portland Opera and Jerry Mouawad, cofounder of venerable Portland theater company Imago (best known for the giant puppetry and comic acrobatics of shows like Frogz and ZooZoo). It’s some of the most stirring choral work from the 21st century from one of the most acclaimed composers of our time. For more, check out our event preview.

Visual Art


Noon–9 p.m. Thu, noon–5 p.m. Fri–Sun, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
Yeah, yeah, this month brings a total solar eclipse, recommended for those who dig hellish traffic and scary tourist mobs. Avoid all that at Blue Sky Gallery, where cofounder Christopher Rauschenberg curates a group show of “noncelestial eclipse images.” As in, ordinary objects obscured by other ordinary objects—think balloons or birds or books in front of people’s faces.


10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thu–Fri, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, FREE–$19.99
PAM’s new exhibit brings together photographs that were taken by, for, and of African Americans, spanning the late 1800s through the 1990s. Portraits from the estate of a prominent North Portland family appear alongside vernacular snapshots and found Polaroids—vivid glimpses into life over the course of more than a century. Plus: we've got a slideshow of images from the exhibit.

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