PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Dec 21–24

Ian Karmel plays a hometown show, Banana Stand Media celebrates its 10th anniversary, and Imago mashes up theater and dance. Oh, and Christmas stuff. Lots of Christmas stuff.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Hannah Bonnie, Eleanor Van Buren, and Kayla Brock December 20, 2017

Iankarmel feature nsvuwu

Comedian Ian Karmel plays a sold-out hometown show on Friday.


Ian Karmel

9 p.m. Fri, Revolution Hall, SOLD OUT
The Portland-raised comic titan—he now lives in LA and tears it up writing for The Late Late Show with James Corden—brings an uncanny blend of fury and charm to the mic. He returns to his home turf for a show titled “30 Minutes About Trump, And Then 30 Minutes to Make You Forget About Trump.” Fair trade.

Die Hard: The Parody Musical

7 p.m. Thu–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.


CLOSING Hotel Gone

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Imago Theatre, $10–20
Jerry Mouawad’s latest show is a mashup of dance and live music, featuring five characters leaping and spinning in a hotel lobby. Mouawad, one of the idiosyncratic, genre-defying founders of Imago Theatre, promises “a world of timeless seduction and trapped mysteries.” 

CLOSING The Nutcracker

2 and 7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, noon Sun, Keller Auditorium, $23+
It’s not December without the pirouetting sugarplum fairies and sword-wielding mice of Balanchine’s beloved ballet. This is also the last year for soloist Candace Bouchard, who's hanging up her slippers after 15 years with Oregon Ballet Theatre—read more in our Q&A.


Christmas at the Old Church

Various times thru Dec 27, The Old Church, $22.50–49.50
Acclaimed pianist and composer Michael Allen Harrison has hosted a Christmas concert for more than 25 years, this season featuring such collaborators as vocalist Julianne Johnson and sports broadcaster Bill Schonely.

Banana Stand Media's 10-Year Anniversary

9 p.m. Fri, Mississippi Studios, $5
Looking for a night of musical madness? Head to Mississippi Studios as Banana Stand Media, a Portland-based production company, celebrates its 10th anniversary. The all-local lineup includes instrumental trio 1939 Ensemble, garage-pop band Psychomagic, and the high-concept, enigmatic Kulululu.


A Christmas Carol

7 p.m. Thu, 2 and 7 p.m. Fri–Sat, 3 p.m. Sun, Hampton Opera Center, $34–59
For the fifth year running, Portland Playhouse brings back its kicky, song-filled take on the Dickens classic.

A Christmas Memory/Winter Song

Noon and 7:30 p.m. Thu, 7:30 p.m. Fri, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat–Sun, Gerding Theater, $25–60
It’s fruitcake weather, so Truman Capote’s classic tale seems an apt addition to the holiday calendar. Portland Center Stage pairs it with a cycle of seasonal songs created by Merideth Kay Clark (a.k.a. Elphaba in the first touring production of Wicked) and PCS production associate Brandon Woolley.

A Christmas Carol: A One-Man Ghost Story

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Theatre Vertigo, $10–20
Phillip J. Berns’s one-man telling of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol returns, with music by Christopher Beatty. Tiny Tim never gets old.

Visual Art

Wendy Red Star

6 a.m.–7 p.m. Thu–Fri, 7 a.m.–7 p.m. Sat–Sun, Stumptown Downtown, FREE
In Grandmothers (I Come As One But I Stand As Ten Thousand), the Portland multimedia artist superimposes portraits of Crow Nation women, taken by photographer Richard Throssel around 1911, onto mirrors. The result, Red Star says, is that “the viewer becomes a part of the artwork and solidifies the link between past and present realities and people.”

Kingdom Animalia

10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thu–Fri, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Portland Art Museum, $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.

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