Top Things to Do This Weekend: May 31–June 3
Books & Talks
The Campout Cookbook
2 p.m. Sat, Powell's City of Books, FREE
Local cookbook authors and known picnic radicals Marnie Hanel and Jen Stevenson take up the mantle of campfire cooking in their just-published The Campout Cookbook. Hot dogs and oatmeal, you say? Try wood-fired skillet pizza with Calabrian chiles and dutch oven cinnamon rolls with orange almond icing. See the authors live at Powell's, and check out five of their recipes in our June issue.
Middleditch & Schwartz
7:30 p.m. Fri, Newmark Theater, $39.50
Parks and Recreation’s slang-spewing Jean-Ralphio Saperstein may seem like an unlikely comedic partner for Silicon Valley’s Richard Hendricks. But those roles’ actors, Ben Schwartz and Thomas Middleditch? A more promising pair. Find out if they deliver at this evening of long-form improv.
CLOSING Nacho Gold
8 p.m. Fri–Sat, Siren Theater, $16–19
Sketch comedy troupe the 3rd Floor spent 20 years plying their goofball trade in Portland before calling it quits in 2016. Then last year a half-dozen 3rd Floor alums decided to give it another go, under a new name. Behold the results.
7:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat, 4 p.m. Sun, BodyVox Dance Center, $29–102
Oregon Ballet Theatre brings the audience, ahem, closer in this program of new work by the company’s own dancers, presented alongside Helen Simoneau’s Departures to just 175 audience members at BodyVox. New tracks by Grammy-winning musician RAC are also in the mix.
4 p.m. Sun, Newmark Theatre, $35–99
Like Shakira or Beyoncé, dancer-actress Shobana needs no last name. She’s a megastar in India, and in this elaborate dance production, Trance, she and her troupe will reinterpret Hindu mythology through movement (specifically traditional Indian Bharatanatyam dance), poetry, and music ranging from Indian classical to contemporary electronic. Expect elaborate colorful costumes, a live orchestra, and many a dancing drum.
9 p.m. Thu, Holocene, $12–14
This Portland-based Puerto Rican pop diva announced herself in April with “War Paint,” a radio-ready rallying cry for queer self-acceptance. The pulsing dance pop track was inspired by homophobic Facebook comments she received from a family member. “It’s a song reclaiming pain and transmuting it into power,” she says. Her debut EP, Love/Warrior, drops June 1.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
8:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, Wonder Ballroom, $30–32
It’s no surprise that this Montreal-based orchestral rock band, which has been pushing the punk perimeter since the early ’90s, is making a stop in Portland for not one but two shows (one of which is already sold out). The nine-member (give or take) collective is known for live performances that incorporate 16 mm film footage and loops played on analog projectors accompanying orchestral compositions.
9 p.m. Thu–Fri, Doug Fir Lounge, $18
Singer-songwriter Damien Jurado began releasing songs in the mid-’90s, earning him a loyal fan base in his hometown of Seattle. The indie-folk rocker has collaborated with electronic music legend Moby and singer-songwriter Richard Swift, and you might have heard a few of his tracks on Netflix doc Wild Wild Country. In early May, Jurado released his 13th solo album, The Horizon Just Laughed, which Pitchfork called “wondrous.”
Puddles Pity Party
8 p.m. Sat, Newmark Theatre, $35–100
The “Sad Clown with the Golden Voice” does marvelously woeful covers of your favorite songs, from Lorde’s “Royals” to Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.” He’s a little weird, a little awkward, and far more tender than he has any right to be.
9 p.m. Sat, Mississippi Studios, $10–12
Last summer, this band hit the headlines with a PR stunt involving a fake James Comey tape and a KKK return address. (No, really—look it up.) National outcry ensued, and the full, melodic swell of their record Little Darkness got lost in the furor. Have a listen.
Yo La Tengo
9 p.m. Sat, 8 p.m. Sun, Wonder Ballroom, $20–22
For more than 30 (!) years, Yo La Tengo has made intimate, low-key melodies, spicing up their live sets with impromptu, kick-ass covers. In March of this year, the band released its 15th studio album, There’s a Riot Going On, a reference to the almost-identically-named Sly and the Family Stone LP from 1971.
7 p.m. Thu–Sat, Funhouse Lounge, $15–30
For the OUTwright Theatre Festival, which celebrates work by LBGTQ artists, Fuse Theatre Ensemble presents a site-specific rendering of John Kander and Frank Ebb’s classic musical. Set in the messy, scandalous milieu of Berlin’s Kit Kat Klub in the early 1930s, Cabaret gives a timely reminder of how fascism can creep into every corner of society.
7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Imago Theatre, $10–20
Count on Imago Theatre cofounder Carol Triffle to milk the end of the world for off-kilter humor. The playwright, known for fever-dream absurdity, sets her latest work in a nuclear fallout shelter, following three characters as things go haywire.
CLOSING Robert Lyons
10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Elizabeth Leach Gallery, FREE
In his latest series of photographs, critically acclaimed photographer Robert Lyons—best known for his work capturing the Egyptian landscape and the horrors of the Rwandan genocide—turns his lens to a familiar place, his hometown of Easthampton, Massachusetts. In One Eye Crying (from a German expression that roughly translates as “with mixed feelings”), Lyons depicts his internal tensions around returning to the US after many years abroad by presenting scenes that “appear both familiar and exotic.”
CLOSING Heather Watkins
11 a.m.–6 p.m. Thu–Sat, PDX Contemporary Art, FREE
Hand-stitched shapes are centered on raw linen in Waiting Room, a moving meditation on “being (a) patient” and a detailed representation of the passage of time by Portlander Heather Watkins. In these colored, careful pieces, simple forms become a complex testament to the work of waiting, while conjuring abstract texts, calendrical shapes, and organic matter.
OPENING Linoleum Flowers
Noon–6 p.m. Fri–Sun, Ori Gallery, FREE
For two weeks, Lo Smith and Nadia Wolff—both black queer artists living in Providence, Rhode Island—separately pondered the prompt: “How does a flower become a pattern?” The result of this botanic reflection: printed works that explore such themes as the transience of nature, the objectivity of beauty, and how black queer bodies disrupt institutional spaces.