PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Apr 5–8

A ninja shape-shifts into a cat, drag queens set out to save democracy, Sama Dams drops new tunes, and Hamilton wraps up its Portland run.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Fiona McCann, and Natasha Tandler April 5, 2018

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The Stephen Petronio Company brings its daring choreography to the Newmark for a three-night run.

Books & Talks

Mohsin Hamid

7:30 p.m. Thu, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $15–70
As part of the 16th annual Everybody Reads series, acclaimed author Mohsin Hamid visits Portland to talk about his novel Exit West, which intertwines a tale about two migrants with elements of magical realism. NPR described it as a “love story, a fable, and a chilling reflection on what it means to be displaced.”

Sean Penn

6 p.m. Fri, Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing, FREE
With the publication of his first novel, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, the two-time Oscar winner officially adds author (and grammar-rule rebel) to his résumé. Reviews have been ... not good. To say the least. But fans of the actor can at least get to see him up close and in conversation with Susan DeFreitas, whom the Oregonian deemed “one of 25 Oregon writers every Oregonian must read.”


Stephen Petronio Company

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Newmark Theatre, $26–70
For more than 30 years, the Stephen Petronio Company has helped define “cutting-edge” by defying gender norms and combining dance with contemporary music, visual art, and fashion. The troupe’s seventh White Bird show features works by Petronio, Yvonne Rainer, Steve Paxton, and Anna Halprin.


Japanese Currents

7 p.m. Fri, 4:30 and 7 p.m. Sat, Whitsell Auditorium, $9
For the 11th year, the NW Film Center tosses the spotlight on Japan’s impressive cinematic landscape. Expect screenings of contemporary films from across genres, anime to documentary to comedy. Also? Ninjas and cats.


Sama Dams

9 p.m. Thu, Mississippi Studios, $10–12
Proggy Portland rock trio Sama Dams drops a new album, Say It, this month, comprising 10 tracks of twisty grooves, howling guitar solos, and haunting vocals by singer-keyboardist Lisa Adams.

Colin Currie

3:30 p.m. Fri, Portland Japanese Garden, FREE
The crowd-pleasing Scottish percussionist has spent the last three years as the Oregon Symphony's artist-in-residence, but that chapter is sadly coming to an end. Catch him at this free solo concert, or later in the weekend at the Schnitz with the full symphony. For more, check out our Q&A with Currie.

Corigliano’s Conjurer/Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe

7:30 p.m. Sat–Sun, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $25–120 
Colin Currie (see above) sends out his Oregon Symphony residency with a Corigliano piece he calls "quirky, intense but also very beautiful." That work shares the bill with Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe, which is rarely performed in full.


9 p.m. Sat, Roseland Theater, $20
The Toronto group, whose Nova Scotia-born front woman Molly Rankin ever so gently channels the Cranberries, makes beautifully polished indie pop, as showcased on 2017 album Antisocialites.


OPENING And So We Walked

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sun, Gerding Theater, $30–62
For six weeks, actress DeLanna Studi and her father retraced the steps their Cherokee ancestors took on the Trail of Tears, hoping to better understand their origins as well as the tribe’s historical trauma. This theatrical memoir, written and performed by Studi, is the result of that 900-mile journey together.

OPENING The Thanksgiving Play

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 and 7:30 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. 

CLOSING Hamilton

7:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sun, Keller Auditorium, $80+
Lin-Manuel’s groundbreaking hip-hop musical about Founding Father Alexander Hamilton (aka the theater event of the millennium) has had Portland abuzz for the past two weeks. A stellar touring cast brings the punching, energetic score to life, with special shout outs to Nik Walker's astoundingly accomplished Aaron Burr, Ta'Rea Campbell's powerful vocals as Angelica, and Jon Patrick Walker's comical King George. For once a show lives up to the hype—history has never looked so good. Don't have tickets? Try your luck in the lottery.

Visual Art

OPENING The Feeling Good Handbook

11 a.m.–6 p.m. Thu–Sat, Upfor Gallery, FREE
Heidi Hahn and Shana Moulton are determined to prove that neither the most sophisticated 21st-century technology nor the “connections” made through social media can provide answers to the timeless existential questions of the human race. (No biggie, really.) The Feeling Good Handbook is their multimedia exhibit, featuring narrative paintings and episodic video works.

OPENING J. Fredric May and Svetlana Bailey

6–9 p.m. Thu, noon–5 p.m. Fri–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.

Trans Justice Art Showcase

5:30 p.m. Thu, Ori Gallery, FREE (RSVP required)
National nonprofit Forward Together joins forces with local Ori Gallery, inviting queer, trans, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people of color to a showcase featuring work from 15 artists, among them Portland artists Colin Laurel and Ebin Lee. 

Portland Photo Month

Various locations and times thru April, FREE
Local arts nonprofit Photolucida hosts Portland Photo Month, with photography events and exhibitions across the city throughout April, and a pop-up event and auction at Disjecta on Thursday, April 12.

Special Events

The Liberty Belles

6 p.m. Sun, Darcelle XV Showplace, $20
Can drag save democracy (and America as we know it)? That's the mission of these four Portland queens, who plan to tour the country with a USO-style performance that doubles as a voter registration effort. Tonight's show functions as both fundraiser and preview.

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