PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Nov 30–Dec 3

Joe Biden! A Die Hard musical! Pere Ubu! Animal posters! The Portland Gay Men’s Chorus! The Builders and the Butchers! Buckle up, y'all.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Kayla Brock, Eleanor Van Buren, and Fiona McCann November 30, 2017

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Beth Van Hoesen's Bobcat is on show at the Portland Art Museum's new Kingdom Animalia exhibit.

Books & Talks

Elise Hooper

7:30 p.m. Thu, Powell's Books on Hawthorne, FREE
Forget about Louisa. Elise Hooper centers her debut novel, The Other Alcott, on the life of May Alcott, the lesser-known sister of the Little Women author (Amy March was based on May). Hopper will be joined in conversation with Zach Dundas, author of The Great Detective (and editor in chief of this very magazine).

Joe Biden

7:30 p.m. Thu, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $25–325
Just when you think all hope is lost, Diamond Joe returns! The former vice president and (for some ... OK, many) walking reminder of happier times stops at the Schnitz to promote his new memoir, Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose. Given his well-documented penchant for icy-cold treats, we see this as a sort of homecoming. Have one on us, Joe!

Peter Edelman

7:30 p.m. Fri, Powell's City of Books, FREE
In Not a Crime to be Poor, the Georgetown law professor and former aide to Robert F. Kennedy examines the insidiousness of cyclical poverty, and how the criminal justice system is stacked against those without financial means.


Die Hard: The Parody Musical

7 p.m. Fri–Sat, Funhouse Lounge, $15–85
Sometimes Bruce Willis just hits you like a wall of inspiration and you turn to Kickstarter. Funhouse Lounge artistic director Andy Barrett raised more than $6,000 to adapt Die Hard—which appropriately takes place on Christmas Eve—for the stage, with 15 original songs and (of course) a singing and dancing John McClane.



7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, BodyVox Dance Center, $28–56
Motion capture: not just for Gollum anymore. The ever-inventive BodyVox—the company previously incorporated lasers and green screens in its work—harnesses that technology, along with live video and infrared sensors, for a new dance show. 


Tennis with Wild Ones

8 p.m. Thu, Wonder Ballroom, $15–18
Husband-and-wife duo Tennis dropped their fourth album, Yours Conditionally, earlier this year—written on a five-month sailing trip, it's got a warm, lo-fi feel. Local dream-pop quintet Wild Ones opens.

The Pixies

8 p.m. Thu–Fri, Roseland Theater, SOLD OUT
The longtime Boston rockers’ 2016 album Head Carrier was recorded in just three weeks, but it proved the post-reunion Pixies could still produce serious spark. Catch them before they embark on a 2018 tour with Weezer.

Mo Troper

8 p.m. Fri, The Know, $7
Mo Troper gives elaborate power pop some acerbic lyrical pep in Exposure & Response, his anthemic, throwback sound aimed at contemporary targets.

The Most Wonderful Season

8 p.m. Fri–Sat, 3 p.m. Sun, Newmark Theatre, $18–50
You can simultaneously kick off the holiday season and banish your 2017 blues at the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus’s annual all-singing, some-dancing event, The Most Wonderful Season. Research—fine, personal experience—shows it is physically impossible not to be buoyed by a PGMC show, and their holiday spectacle is the most life-affirmingly schmaltzy of them all.

Pere Ubu

9 p.m. Sat, Star Theater, $23
The art-punk trailblazers—founded by the notoriously prickly David Thomas in Cleveland in 1975—perform tunes from their latest album, 20 Years In A Montana Missile Silo.

The Builders and the Butchers

9 p.m. Sat, Doug Fir Lounge, $14–18
The twangy Portland folk-rockers manage to shirk aw-shucks earnestness, thanks to their penchant for apocalyptic lyrics and front man Ryan Sollee’s nasal yowl.


CLOSING Psychic Utopia

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, New Expressive Works, $15–25
In the 1980s, thousands descended upon a dusty patch of Central Oregon to build an alternative society. They were followers of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, an Indian guru who preached a cocktail of sexual liberation, impending nuclear catastrophe, and vigorous meditation. Now Hand2Mouth, known for inventive, vividly staged work, uses that episode as a jumping-off point for Psychic Utopia, a performance exploring intentional communities and the lengths to which people will go for a fuller, freer life. Director Jonathan Walters calls it a “mind experiment” for 2017. Read on for more about the show.

OPENING Pericles Wet

7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Artists Repertory Theatre, $20–30
In this Portland Shakespeare Project world premiere, local playwright Ellen Margolis puts a modern spin on the Bard’s fable of secrecy, guilt, and incest.

Visual Art

CLOSING Lucinda Parker

11 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 11 a.m–5 p.m. Sat, Russo-Lee Gallery, FREE
The longtime local artist—she came to Portland in the 1960s—presents Knowledge Is Not Our Enemy, a collection of paintings of Mount Hood and other Pacific Northwest landscapes, rendered with abstract forms and rich, layered color.

CLOSING Sylwia Kowalczyk and Benoit Fournier

Noon–5 p.m. Thu–Sun, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
In Babylon, Benoit Fournier juxtaposes mise-en-scènes and experiments with red hues. Meanwhile, Sylwia Kowalczyk, a Polish native, rips photographs printed on paper and rearranges the pieces to form altered figures, which she then re-photographs. The title of her exhibit, Lethe, takes its name from the river in Purgatory that cleanses Dante in the Divine Comedy.

OPENING Kingdom Animalia

10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Portland Art Museum, FREE–$19.99
This exhibit of prints, drawings, and posters—from Dürer and Picasso to regional artists Beth Van Hoesen and Frank Boyden—spans 500 years, showing animals as specimen, symbol, and everything in between.

OPENING Laura Berger

1–6 p.m. Thu–Sat, Stephanie Chefas Projects, FREE
The Chicago-based artist’s Here With You is an exploration of connectedness, with naked figures swirling in acrylic and gouache paintings.

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