PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Sept 7–10

From garbage paintings to environmental operas, OK Go to Kubrick on 70 mm, here are ways to distract yourself as the world burns.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Anyi Wong-Lifton, and Fiona McCann September 7, 2017

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The Oregon Symphony, joined by the Oregon Repertory Singers, plays the La La Land score live.

Books & Talks

Karen Locke

7:30 p.m. Sun, Powell's City of Books, FREE
It’s a well-known fact that Portlanders love beer, but local author Karen Locke’s new book distills (pun intended) why the local craft spirits scene is equally fascinating. High-Proof PDX roams from tasting tours to hangover cures, history to pro tips. Lee Medoff of Portland’s Bull Run Distilling joins tonight’s conversation.


Jen Kirkman

8 p.m. Thu, Aladdin Theater, $25 
The comedian, who's made regular appearances as a Chelsea Lately panelist, last hit town on the heels of her memoir, I Know What I’m Doing—and Other Lies I Tell Myself. That brought candid tales of sex, divorce, and turning 40. Now she embarks on her “All New Material, Girl” tour.

Demetri Martin

7 p.m. Sun, Revolution Hall, $37.50
Best known for his Comedy Central special and his work on The Daily Show, the stand-up comic comes to Portland with his Let’s Get Awkward tour. Prepare for deadpan one-liners, absurd observations, and the burn of secondhand embarrassment.


Kubrick on Film

Various times thru Mon, Hollywood Theatre, $7–9
Attention, celluloid nerds: the Hollywood pays homage to the great Stanley Kubrick, showing five different films—including 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining, of course—on either 35 or 70 mm print.



8 p.m. Fri, Roseland Theater, $20
The endlessly energetic, Grammy Award-winning quartet describes their career as “a steady state of transformation,” and their latest stuff reflects nearly two decades of experimentation—zero-gravity music videos, anyone?

Ages and Ages

9 p.m. Fri, Doug Fir Lounge, $12–15
The Portland quintet, known for big vocal harmonies and catchy handclaps, made a move toward synth grooves and electronic textures on their third and most recent release, Something to Ruin.

Benjamin Booker

9 p.m. Fri, Wonder Ballroom, $18–20
Melding a serious range of styles—including blues, soul, garage rock, and gospel—the New Orleans-based singer-songwriter takes on racism in America and the weight of witnessing such violence. His latest album even features legendary singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples.

La La Land in Concert

7:30 p.m. Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $30–115
The Oregon Symphony, joined by the Oregon Repertory Singers, plays the La La Land score live as Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling tap-dance on the big screen.


OPENING An Octoroon

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sun, 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.”

OPENING The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence

7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, CoHo Theatre, $25–32
Madeline George’s time-traveling drama unites three of history’s most famous Watsons: Sherlock Holmes’s companion, Alexander Graham Bell’s assistant, and the IBM super computer that won Jeopardy. The Chicago Tribune said the 2014 Pulitzer finalist "[probes] our insecurity about the inevitable and imminent encroachment of our sponge-like digitized assistants into the world of emotional intelligence and into our bedrooms."

OPENING Two Yosemites

7:30 p.m. Fri, Lewis & Clark’s Agnes Flanagen Chapel, $20
Opera and environmentalism collide in this musical retelling of Theodore Roosevelt’s historic meeting with conservationist John Muir in Yosemite National Park. Local composer Justin Ralls creates a drama set during just a single evening around a campfire in 1903.

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Bouchra Ouizigene explores Marrakech trance dance at TBA.

Time-Based Art Festival

Various times and locations thru Sept 17, prices vary
James Baldwin songs, a teen zine vomit confessional, meditations to help you grieve George Michael, Marrakech ritual trance dances, Sigourney Weaver jam sessions, and—say it ain’t so!—the last-ever drag ball spectacular Critical Mascara. It can only be Time-Based Art, PICA’s annual contemporary and performance art festival, now in its 15th year.

Visual Art

OPENING Robert Dozono

11 a.m.–5 p.m. Thu–Sun, 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.

OPENING 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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