PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Sept 28–Oct 1

From Nick Offerman to Janet Jackson, Beyoncé-themed burlesque to the Portland EcoFilm Festival, here's how to send out September.

By Rebecca Jacobson and Fiona McCann September 28, 2017

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Nick Offerman brings his "Full Bush" tour to the Schnitz.

Books & Talks

Gwendolyn Oxenham in Conversation with Allie Long

7:30 p.m. Fri, Powell's City of Books, FREE
Journalist and documentary filmmaker Gwendolyn Oxenham’s new book, Under the Lights and in the Dark, takes on the world of women’s soccer, where players often receive few of the resources that men enjoy. She highlights a number of players from around the world, including Portland Thorns midfielder Allie Long, who’ll join her in conversation tonight. We've got more in our Q&A with Oxenham.


Nick Offerman

5:30 and 8 p.m. Sun, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $29.50–59.50
The Parks and Recreation star and rugged carpenter comes to the Schnitz to make us all feel bad about our woodworking. And, of course, do some stand-up.



8 p.m., Sat, Disjecta, $20–22
For the third year running, Pink Hanky brings back this evening of queer burlesque, performance art, and Beyoncé-themed trivia all in celebration of Queen Bey herself. Bonus: 10 percent of this year’s event proceeds go to new arts collective Ori Gallery.


Portland EcoFilm Festival

Various times Thu–Sun, Hollywood Theatre, $7–9 individual screenings; $60 festival pass
The environmental film festival puts on four days of screenings, with subject matter ranging from salmon recovery to rock climbing to the threat of climate change on Inuit villages in the Arctic Circle. Environmentalist Winona LaDuke will drop by for the opening night film, First Daughter and the Black Snake, which follows LaDuke’s protest—on horseback—against oil pipelines. The film’s director, Keri Pickett, will attend as well.


Ben Folds

8 p.m. Thu, Roseland Theater, $33.50–55
The pianist and Ben Folds Five frontman flies solo, rockin' not the suburbs but the Roseland.

Sturgill Simpson

8 p.m. Thu–Fri, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $39.50–69.50
Whether wading into nihilistic darkness or crafting a song cycle about fatherhood, the Kentucky native is one of the boldest voices in the strange world that is alt-country. 

Janet Jackson

8 p.m. Fri, Moda Center, $24.95–135
The legendary pop diva rolls through town, just after filing for divorce from her billionaire husband and having a baby. JJ, take us on an escapade!


OPENING Every Brilliant Thing

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sun, Gerding Theater, $25+
Playwright Duncan Macmillan’s one-man show—a hit Off-Broadway and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival—follows an unnamed narrator as he recounts growing up with a suicidal mother. After she first attempts to kill herself, the 7-year-old starts making a list of everything that’s brilliant: ice cream, the color yellow, people falling over. He keeps adding to it as he grows up, falls in love, and experiences his own bouts of depression. It’s a touching, very funny script, tackled here by Portland fave Isaac Lamb.

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Alex Ramirez de Cruz and Joseph Gibson star in An Octoroon at Artists Rep.

CLOSING An Octoroon

7:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Artists Repertory Theatre, $50
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

OPENING Ellen McFadden

11 a.m.–6 p.m. Thu–Sat, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun, Ampersand Gallery, FREE
When Ellen McFadden first started working as a freelance graphic designer, precision was everything. “You had to be a walking line,” she recalls of the pre-computer need for accuracy, when designers worked without digital grids and drawing a straight line was a physical process. Born in 1928, the Portlander—a “creative” who predates the title—has followed a pioneering graphic design career with a new one in painting, her exactitude visible in meticulously arranged, brightly hued compositions. For more, check out our Q&A with McFadden.

CLOSING Robert Dozono

11 a.m.–5 p.m. Thu–Fri, Blackfish Gallery, FREE
Dozono’s paintings are garbage. Literally. When out fishing on the Clackamas River, the longtime Portland artist collects pieces of trash—think bottle caps, rubber bands, and toothpaste tubes—and affixes them to large-scale, eerily beautiful riparian landscapes.

CLOSING Jo Hamilton

11 a.m.–5 p.m. Thu–Sat, Russo Lee Gallery, FREE
Portland artist Jo Hamilton’s work may at first look like colorful paintings, but make no mistake: it’s all yarn knotted by hand. This exhibition of new work showcases Hamilton’s latest crochet pieces, including portraits and Portland cityscapes.

Special Events

Cirque du Soleil: Kurios

8 p.m. Thu–Sat, 4:30 p.m. Sat, 1 and 5 p.m. Sun, Portland Expo Center, $45–280
The Montreal troupe 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. Highlights include a rolling balance act that is pretty much a direct affront to gravity and the mechanics of motion, some gobsmackingly high flying trapeze antics, an upside-down bike ride, and a delightfully simple drama starring an animated hand. 

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