PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Apr 26–29

From a Tetris-inspired dance show to Jorja Smith, wildly talented teenage ballerinas to hypnotic Portland poet Anis Mojgani, here's what to do when the sun disappears.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Fiona McCann, and Natasha Tandler April 26, 2018

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R&B star Jorja Smith brings her soulful sound to the Wonder Ballroom on Thursday.

Books & Talks


7 p.m. Thu, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $10–70
Get your finger snaps ready: in this citywide slam, spoken-word poets from 13 local high schools perform original work in a bid for top lyrical laurels.

Madeleine Albright

7:30 p.m. Thu, Revolution Hall, SOLD OUT
As former American ambassador to the United Nations and the first female Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright devoted much of her diplomatic career to promoting democracy. She also has plenty of familiarity with democracy’s most famous foe, fascism, from her experiences fleeing Hitler’s rule as a child in Czechoslovakia to fighting against authoritarian regimes as an international leader. In her new book, Fascism: A Warning, she provides personal and plenipotentiary perspectives about the dangers we face from modern-day forms of fascism.

Anis Mojgani

7:30 p.m. Sun, Powell's City of Books, FREE
It’s hard to overstate the life-affirming joy communicated when charismatic Portlander Anis Mojgani—national slam poetry champion and beloved speaker and performer—delivers his poems in a live setting. Hear him showcase work from his latest collection, In the Pockets of Small Gods.



7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, A-WOL Dance Collective, $20–25
In Portlander Samuel Hobbs’ minimalist world, only movement, light, and sound exist. Hobbes is the artistic director of contemporary dance troupe push/FOLD, which presents his new piece, Early, exploring the juxtaposition of creation and destruction. Expect an intimate evening performed in-the-round.

Jefferson Dancers

7:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat, Newmark Theatre, $16.50–26.50
Portland’s ridiculously talented company of high school-age dancers presents its annual concert, featuring works of many genres, ballet to tap to African.


7:30 p.m. Fri, 3 p.m. Sat–Sun, Multnomah Arts Center, $8–20
Influenced by the ultra-addictive classic video game, this interactive and kid-friendly dance performance—recommended for ages 6 and up—focuses on how humans connect with each other. Created by Portland-born, Netherlands-based choreographer Erik Kaiel, the show has toured in Europe for several years, and is brought here by Boom Arts.


Jorja Smith

8 p.m. Thu, Wonder Ballroom, $25–45
This British R&B singer-songwriter, just on the brink of turning 21, has already had her work featured on the Black Panther soundtrack, collaborated with the likes of Drake and Stormzy, and won a Brits critics’ choice award. She brings her smooth beats and effortlessly soulful vocals to the Wonder.


9 p.m. Sat, Revolution Hall, SOLD OUT
This three-piece band from Texas mixes different musical genres—including psychedelic rock, soul, dub, and ’60s & ’70s Thai funk—into ear-pleasing and laidback compositions, one of which even landed in a surf culture-themed Corona beer commercial a few years ago. Khruangbin (which translates to “Engine Fly” in Thai) performs its unique arrangements at an already sold-out show at Revolution Hall.


CLOSING The Thanksgiving Play

7:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Artists Repertory Theatre, $25–50
Here’s a Sisyphean project: a politically correct school pageant about both Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month. That’s the premise of Larissa FastHorse’s new satirical comedy, a world premiere commissioned by Artists Repertory Theatre. 

Major Barbara

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sun, Gerding Theater, $25–72
Chris Coleman, Portland Center Stage’s artistic director since 2000, has chosen a classic for his farewell production at the theater. (He’s leaving to take a similar job in Denver.) In George Bernard Shaw’s comedy, a wealthy capitalist father and his selfless, idealistic daughter feud over the best way to lift people out of poverty. Who will prevail?

Visual Art

CLOSING The Academy of Saturn

Noon–5 p.m. Thu, Reed College's Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, FREE
Acclaimed British duo Jon Thomson and Allison Craighead use data as their palette—geolocated tweets form a wall of poetry, a slide show gets an eerie audio pairing to create a new narrative—to explore our technologically connected and disconnected world.

CLOSING Smith Eliot

11 a.m.–6 p.m. Thu–Sun, Wolff Gallery, FREE
In Ghost Ships, the Portland mixed-media artist showcases her photo-collaged wooden boxes—small reflections on time, memory, and secrets—alongside newer images in antique bubble-glass frames. 

CLOSING J. Fredric May and Svetlana Bailey

Noon–5 p.m. Thu–Sat, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
J. Fredric May’s Apparitions: Postcards from Eye See You draws inspiration from the visual hallucinations the photographer and filmmaker experienced after his 2012 stroke, which also led him to lose almost half of his vision. This exhibit features his vintage photographs distorted through digital and analog techniques. In Once There Was There Wasn’t, Svetlana Bailey explores the interconnections between objects, time, and space through intimate photographs taken at her home in the US, at her parents’ home in Germany, and her late grandmother’s home in Russia.

CLOSING Sondra Perry

Noon–5 p.m. Fri–Sun, Disjecta, FREE
A digital media artist interested in technology and black oppression, Perry brings Chromatic Saturation to Disjecta—a “more experimental” exhibit that riffs on sci-fi and horror.

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