Books & Talks
7:30 p.m. Fri, Powell's City of Books, FREE
In her new cookbook, Portland Cooks, the James Beard Award-winning writer shares 80 recipes from 40 of this city’s most popular restaurants and bars.
3 and 7 p.m. Sat, Powell's City of Books, SOLD OUT
The 86-year-old icon of broadcast journalism recently returned to the fray as an outspoken critic of Donald Trump, blasting the president’s volatility and his blatant disregard for facts. Rather’s new essay collection, What Unites Us, muses on patriotism in turbulent times.
7 p.m. Sat, Mississippi Studios, $13–15
Drag clown Carla Rossi hosts an evening of queer-themed storytelling, featuring six raconteurs sharing seven-minute tales.
8 p.m. Fri–Sun, Siren Theater, $10–18
Eight crack sketch artists—including Shelley McLendon, Erin Jean O’Regan, and Jed Arkley—vow to give “100 percent holiday cheer” in this variety show modeled on holiday specials of yore.
7 p.m. Sun, Alberta Rose Theatre, $20–55
Portlanders unleash their juiciest, kinkiest, and most scandalous sex stories. In other words, a great first Tinder date.
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Lincoln Hall, $34–58
Northwest Dance Project’s holiday show features a revival of resident choreographer Ihsan Rustem’s Bolero—set to Ravel’s ubiquitous Spanish-tinged score, the energetic piece debuted last December—alongside pieces choreographed by company members and set to songs by Billie Holiday.
OPENING The Nutcracker
2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat–Sun, Keller Auditorium, $23+
It’s not December without the pirouetting sugarplum fairies and sword-wielding mice of Balanchine’s beloved ballet. If you don’t like your Tchaikovsky canned, make sure to seek out one of 10 performances this season featuring a live orchestra.
7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 4 p.m. Sun, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $35–115
The 19-year tradition returns with the Northwest Community Gospel Choir joining the Oregon Symphony for a multicultural, interfaith celebration.
8 p.m. Fri–Sat, Aladdin Theater, $27.50–29
The Tennessee-raised musician straddles rootsy twang and Southern gospel, infusing her voice—which is nasal and a little weird—with melancholy.
8 p.m. Sat, Roseland Theater, SOLD OUT
The talented serpentwithfeet gave a mesmerizing opening for Perfume Genius at Revolution Hall earlier this year. Now the Baltimorean with the ethereal voice and operatic R&B sounds is back to support Brooklyn indie rockers Grizzly Bear.
9 p.m. Sat, Wonder Ballroom, $20–22
Based in Portland, the identical twin sisters make folky, haunting music that straddles the space between bouncy and bleak.
9 p.m. Sun, Doug Fir Lounge, $18–20
The co-founder of Drive-By Truckers—the Southern rockers have of late been busy rebuking Donald Trump in songs like “The Perilous Night”—plays a solo show in his adopted hometown.
CLOSING Belfast Girls
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Shaking the Tree, $20–25
Corrib Theatre’s new season launches with Jaki McCarrick’s drama, which follows five young Belfast women fleeing the Great Famine on an Australia-bound ship. Things go south (and not just literally).
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sun, Headwaters Theatre, $12–50
On an October morning in 1996, an artist and activist named Kathy Change—born Kathleen Chang—walked onto the University of Pennsylvania campus, doused herself in gasoline, and set herself on fire. This show, created by Suzi Takahashi and Soomi Kim (who was raised in Beaverton), explores Change’s complicated life and message.
Noon and 7:30 p.m. Thu, 7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 2 and 7:30 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.
10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Portland Art Museum, FREE–$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.
10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun, Portland Art Museum, FREE
Celebrate PAM's 125th (!) birthday with art-making activities, special guided tours, improv comedy, a very large cake, and a performance from the one-and-only Moshow, Portland's favorite cat rapper. Check the website for the day's full lineup.
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.