PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Aug 31–Sept 3

From cat-themed sketch comedy to edgy theater, alfresco concerts to fermentation festivals, here's how to fill your Labor Day weekend.

By Rebecca Jacobson and Anyi Wong-Lifton August 31, 2017

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Catch dream-pop quintet Wild Ones at Mississippi Studios on Friday.

Books & Talks

Nate Dern

7:30 p.m. Thu, Powell's City of Books, FREE
The Funny or Die senior writer drops his first book, Not Quite a Genius, a collection of absurdist essays that roam from man caves to reality TV.


Cat Patrol

7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, The Ape, $15
Does your life lack sufficient cat-themed sketch comedy? Portlanders Alissa Jessup and Brooke Totman are here to fill that void, serving up character-driven scenes about cats (but about other things, too).


Top Down: Rooftop Cinema

7 p.m. Thu, Hotel DeLuxe, $9–12
This film festival atop the Hotel deLuxe is an annual summertime treat of cinema classics alfresco, brought to you by the NW Film Center. The series ends tonight with Spring Breakers, Harmony Korine's wild, weird, candy-colored crime drama.



9 p.m. Fri–Sun, Mississippi Studios, $13–33
Send out summer with this three-night lineup of local music: dream-pop quintet Wild Ones, folksy rockers Blitzen Trapper, and the cumbia-infused Orquestra Pacifico Tropical.

In a Landscape: Classical Music in the Wild

6:30 p.m. Sat, The Shire, $50; 6:30 p.m. Sun, Columbia Gorge Hotel, $25 suggested
Portland pianist Hunter Noack brings classical music out of the concert hall and into the great outdoors, performing—on a nine-foot Steinway grand, no less—at a variety of sites across Oregon and southern Washington (here's the full lineup). Audience members will get wireless headphones, allowing them to roam as Noack plays. He'll be joined by a variety of guest performers, from Pink Martini members to the Rogue Valley Symphony. We talked with Noack before he launched the series last year.

Conor Oberst

7 p.m. Sun, Oregon Zoo, $30–90
The Bright Eyes founder has been releasing songs since age 13, first gaining fame for mournful tunes. Since retreating to his hometown of Omaha after scandal, family tragedy, and some serious health problems, his work has grown sparer but no less emotional. He’s joined tonight by Portlander M. Ward.


An Octoroon

7:30 p.m. Sun, Artists Repertory Theatre, $5–25
Artists Rep opens up its bold new season—the company’s 35th—with perhaps its most provocative work. Riffing off a wildly popular 19th-century antebellum melodrama, this Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins satire adds a black playwright to the historic cast in what the New York Times said might be “this decade’s most eloquent theatrical statement on race in America today.”

Visual Art


Noon–5 p.m. Thu–Sun, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
Yeah, yeah, this month brought a total solar eclipse. Now all that's left is 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.

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

10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thu–Fri, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, FREE–$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.

Special Events

Cirque du Soleil: Kurios

8 p.m. Thur–Sat, 4:30 p.m. Sat, 1:30 pm and 5 pm Sun, Portland Expo Center, $45–280
The Montreal troop is back with its 35th show, this one a steampunk, sci-fi spectacle starring a curious scientist and all manner of gravity defying, jelly-bodied cast members. Even jaded critics are applauding Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities, with its Victorian-era-meets-circus-dreamscape set, novel narrative action and intriguing, inventive new acts.  

Oregon Fermentation Festival

11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat, Rossi Farms, $24–35
Sauerkraut! Pickles! Kombucha! Kimchi! Booze, booze, and more booze! All that, plus workshops, yoga classes, and—of course—a DIY pickling station.

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