Top Things to Do This Weekend: Dec 28–Jan 31
7:30 p.m. Fri, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Sat, Helium Comedy Club, $23–25
The Portland native, Bridgetown cofounder, and all-around jovial funnyman returns home for a two-night stand-up run.
CLOSING 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.
Explode Into Colors
9 p.m. Sat–Sun, Mississippi Studios, $25–30
For roughly three years in the late aughts, the three women of this Portland band enjoyed a short but fiery run, fusing dancy beats, post-punk, fuzzy reverb, arty funk, kicky drums, and a sludgy grunge streak. They broke up in 2010 but reunited for a pair of shows in fall 2016, and now they’re back to kick good riddance to 2017.
Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons
9 p.m. Sat–Sun, Doug Fir Lounge, $20–25
From Little Women in the ’80s to his current Jackmormons trio, Joseph is an OG staple of the jam-rock scene.
Pink Martini New Year's Extravaganza
7:30 p.m. Sat, 7 and 10 p.m. Sun, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, SOLD OUT
Pink Martini brings it home with their New Year’s Eve bonanza of three shows—expect all the buoyant swing our city’s “little orchestra” is known for, plus their take on “Ode to Joy.”
8 p.m Sat–Sun, Wonder Ballroom, SOLD OUT
The Portland-formed synth-pop band stops by the Wonder for a double serving of shows that are sure to be sweaty, frenetic dance parties.
Ural Thomas & The Pain
8 p.m. Sun, Eagle's Lodge, $20–25
Ural Thomas and the Pain return to the Eagle’s Lodge for a two-hour set to bridge the years. For inspiration, check out the band’s new holiday-themed video.
CLOSING A Christmas Carol
7 p.m. Thu–Sat, Hampton Opera Center, $34–59
For the fifth year running, Portland Playhouse brings back its kicky, song-filled take on the Dickens classic.
CLOSING A Christmas Memory/Winter Song
Noon and 7:30 p.m. Thu, 7:30 p.m. Fri, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat, 2 p.m. 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.
In the Beginning: Minor White's Oregon Photographs
10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thu–Fri, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Portland Art Museum, $19.99
In 1938, the Works Progress Administration hired 30-year-old Minor White to photograph the architecture of downtown Portland. Some images—expect about 70 in this exhibit—show grand façades, while others reveal the effects of the Great Depression: run-down buildings soon to be demolished, or men huddled outside a junk shop, hoping to make a sale.
The King’s Mouth
11 a.m.–6 p.m. Fri–Sun, PNCA, FREE
If you’ve ever seen a Flaming Lips show—if you’ve experienced the confetti, disco balls, unicorns, and massive inflatable things—you’ve peeked into the madcap mind of front man Wayne Coyne. Now you can fully crawl inside: The King’s Mouth is a floor-to-ceiling installation piece at Pacific Northwest College of Art that invites viewers to lie back on plush red pillows for a spectacle of light, sound, and Day-Glo-tinged psychedelia.