PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Oct 12–15

From Laika to Loudon Wainwright, the All Jane Comedy Fest to the Paul Taylor Dance Company, here are 16 ways to spend your weekend.

By Rebecca Jacobson and Hannah Bonnie October 12, 2017

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Behind the scenes of Laika's Coraline, Bartek Prusiewicz animates a puppet up a challenging set of stairs. Laika opens a major new exhibit at the Portland Art Museum this weekend.

Books & Talks

George Saunders

7:30 p.m. Thu, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $29
Few authors anywhere get more hype than George Saunders. But the man is truly a prose wizard, as reaffirmed in this year’s Lincoln in the Bardo, which the New York Times likened to “a weird folk art diorama of a cemetery come to life.” Now he's bringing his brilliance to the screen: Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman scored the movie rights to Lincoln in the Bardo, and Amazon has filmed a TV pilot based on Saunders's 1998 short story Sea Oak, starring Glenn Close as a zombie. We caught up with him in advance of his Portland visit.

Alex Behr

7:30 p.m. Thu, Powell's City of Books, FREE
Edgy portraits of Portlanders and San Franciscans come to light in Behr’s debut story collection, Planet Grim. Behr, praised by Tom Bissell as “wild, rigorous, and totally unique,” will be joined in conversation by Portland author Mary Rechner of Nine Simple Patterns for Complicated Women.

David Biespiel & Wendy Willis

7:30 p.m. Thu, Powell's Books on Hawthorne, FREE
Portlanders Biespiel and Willis are both out with new books—Biespiel’s Education of a Young Poet is a memoir about becoming a writer, while Willis’s poetry collection A Long Late Pledge engages questions of democracy and the body politic.


All Jane Comedy Festival

Various times Thu–Sun, Curious Comedy Theater, $5–135
The all-lady comedy fest returns for its sixth year, with a bill featuring Laurie Kilmartin, Aparna Nancherla, and Amber Ruffin, as well as a long slate of locals—JoAnn Schinderle, Kirsten Kuppenbender, Katie Nguyen, and more.

Whitney Cummings

8 p.m. Sun, Aladdin Theater, $45
What lies have you told? The co-creator of the comedy series 2 Broke Girls dives deep into her own misfortunes and adventures in her new book, I’m Fine...and Other Lies. Expect oversharing and stories about codependency, workaholism, and dating narcissists.


Rhapsody in Blue/Never Stop Falling (in Love)

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Keller Auditorium, $50–125
Oregon Ballet Theatre opens its season with a world premiere, choreographed by Nicolo Fonte to Gershwin’s famous jazzy composition, performed live by Pink Martini’s Thomas Lauderdale and Hunter Noack. The full band with singer China Forbes, joins later for a reprise of the 2014 OBT hit Never Stop Falling (in Love).

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The Paul Taylor Dance Company leaps into town.

Paul Taylor Dance Company

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Newmark Theatre, $26–74
In 1997, Portland’s dance game got a serious upgrade: a presenter called White Bird arrived on the scene, bringing in hotshot companies from around the globe. Titan troupe Paul Taylor opened that season, and returns for this 20th anniversary celebration. For more on White Bird, check out our roundup of big moments from the last two decades of dance.


Sun Kil Moon

8 p.m. Fri, Aladdin Theater, $20–22
Just days after the release of his new collaborative album, Mark Kozelek with Ben Boye and Jim White, vocalist and guitarist Mark Kozelek of San Francisco folk-rock act Sun Kil Moon joins the Magik Magik Orchestra (an eight-piece string group headed by musician and singer Minna Choi) and bassist Josh Haden.

Kaki King

7:30 p.m. Sat, Winningstad Theatre, $28
The chameleonic, avant-garde musician and composer mesmerizes on lap-steel guitar, and she’s also brought her skills to multimedia shows and several film scores, including August Rush and Into the Wild. Last spring, she recorded her first full-length album with a symphony orchestra. Portland quartet Lost Lander opens.

Loudon Wainwright III

8 p.m. Sun, Alberta Rose Theatre, $26–40
The folk singer/songwriter has released his very particular brand of unstinting folk since the late ’60s, riffing wittily and candidly on philandering, family difficulties, and depression.


Left Hook

7 p.m. Fri, Oct 13, Westminster Presbyterian Church Sanctuary (NE 16th and Schuyler), $10 suggested
Set in the historically African American Albina neighborhood, this new play by local playwright Rich Rubin tackles displacement, boxing, and the Black Panther Movement in 1970s North Portland. We spoke with director Damaris Webb in advance of this staged reading. 

OPENING Insignificance 

7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, Back Door Theater, $20 suggested
Defunkt presents Terry Johnson’s 1982 play, which imagines a collision between four characters—they’re not named explicitly, but they’re basically Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, and Joseph McCarthy—in a hotel room in 1953. Discussions on the universe and the meaning of life ensue.

OPENING Nesting Vacancy

8 p.m. Fri–Sun, Shoe Box Theater, $20
This semi-scripted play returns to Theatre Vertigo for a second season, transporting audiences to an abandoned house where two siblings are tormented by the past. Catch this four-episode show over the course of four weekends, with the option to binge-watch on Saturdays.

Visual Art

Animating Life: The Art, Science, and Wonder of Laika

10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Portland Art Museum, $19.99 
The pioneers of stop-motion animation—responsible for CoralineParaNorman, and Kubo and the Two Strings—get a star turn in this major Portland Art Museum exhibit. Expect puppets and props, plus behind-the-scenes photos, film clips, and a slew of screenings.

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.

Tyler Mackie

11 a.m.–5 p.m. Thu–Sat, Wolff Gallery, FREE
In this collection of gouache paintings titled The Bleed Is Working, Portland-based artist Tyler Mackie explores the contradictions of womanhood, aiming to show that softness is power.

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