PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: June 28–July 1

Risk/Reward showcases genre-busting performance, Ural Thomas & The Pain play Mississippi Studios, and photographer Clifford Prince King explores life as a queer black man.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Fiona McCann, and Natasha Tandler June 27, 2018

Portlander Bouton Volonté explores queerness, race, and beauty standards at Risk/Reward.

Books & Talks

Nick Dybek

7:30 p.m. Thu, Powell's City of Books, FREE
Oregon State prof Nick Dybek’s second novel, The Verdun Affair, sets a love triangle, an amnesiac soldier, and an ambulance driver gathering bones from the battlefield against the backdrop of World War I, in what Kirkus calls “a familiar love triangle reimagined in an absorbing tale.”

Nancy Rommelmann

7 p.m. Sun, Elder Hall, FREE
Just after 1 a.m. on May 23, 2009, Amanda Stott-Smith drove to the middle of the Sellwood Bridge and dropped her two children into the Willamette River, more than 90 feet below. Forty minutes later, rescuers pulled 7-year-old Trinity and 4-year-old Eldon out of the water. Trinity lived, Eldon had died. Amanda was arrested and later sentenced to 35 years in prison. The event would launch a nine-year fact-finding odyssey for Portland writer Nancy Rommelmann, culminating in a new book called To The Bridge, which she'll read from tonight. For more, check out our story about Rommelmann and her quest, along with an excerpt from the book.

Amber Tamblyn

7:30 p.m. Sun, Powell's City of Books, FREE
Time’s Up cofounder and actress Amber Tamblyn—best known for her roles in General Hospital and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants—has just published her debut novel, Any Man, which follows the violent pursuits of a female serial rapist named Maude. Narrated from the perspectives of the Maude’s many male victims, the Los Angeles Times called it “dark, feminist, and fiery.” Tamblyn will be joined in conversation by bestselling Portland author Lidia Yuknavitch.


Leave No Trace

Various times Thu–Sun, Cinema 21, $7–10
In 2004, a father and daughter were discovered in Forest Park, where they’d been living for four years. Shortly after being set up with lodging on a horse farm in Yamhill County, they disappeared again, and, as the legend goes, were never heard from again. Now their story (or a version of it, at least) gets the big-screen treatment in Leave No Trace, from Winter's Bone director Debra Granik. Adapted from a novel by Reed College professor Peter Rock, it was shot locally and drew on a legion of local experts (more on that in our recent story about the film).


Mic Check

9 p.m. Thu, White Eagle Saloon, $8
The quarterly hip-hop showcase celebrates its two-year anniversary with a lineup that includes Lake Oswego-raised (really) phenom Wynne, free-styling MC Serge Severe, and a set by DJ Trox.

Oregon Zoo Summer Concerts

7 p.m. Fri–Sat, Oregon Zoo, $35–100
The zoo’s venerable alfresco series continues, with Trampled by Turtles (plus special guest Deer Tick) on Friday, and Belle and Sebastian on Saturday.

Ural Thomas & The Pain

9 p.m. Sat, Mississippi Studios, $13–15
Everyone loves a comeback story, and that of North Portland’s veteran R&B funkmaster is a doozy. Once sharing stages with the likes of Otis Redding and James Brown, Thomas slipped into obscurity in the ’70s. Several years ago, a clutch of young Portland musicians convinced the septuagenarian to reclaim the mic. The group has since won over new generations of soul fans. Tonight marks the release of their new Tender Loving Empire 7-inch.


CLOSING The Secretaries

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Artists Repertory Theatre, $20–38
SlimFast shakes, synchronized menstrual cycles, and murder—those are the ingredients in this dark comedy by the Five Lesbian Brothers about five women working in the secretarial pool at an Oregon lumber mill. This Profile Theatre production is a rambunctious, defiantly off-kilter take on misogyny, femininity, and the ways in which women police each other's behavior. 


7:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Portland Playhouse, $34
For Fences, the seventh August Wilson play staged by Portland Playhouse, the Northeast Portland theater company taps Obie-winning director Lou Bellamy to helm the story of a hardworking African-American family man in 1950s Pittsburgh. Denzel Washington tackled the lead role in the recent film adaptation; here it’s played by Lester Purry, a veteran of Wilson’s work.

OPENING CoHo Summerfest

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sun, CoHo Theater, $20
Need an escape from the summer heat? Consider this fest your retreat, with four new productions over as many weeks. Shows range from a timely one-woman piece delving into the effects of forced migration to a multimedia performance about a cyber-celebrity trapped in social media algorithms.

Risk/Reward Festival of New Performance

7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 5 p.m. Sun, Artists Repertory Theatre, pay-what-you-will ($20 suggested)
The annual gold mine of cross-genre, boundary-busting performance is back, with six new artists who dive into gender experience, toxic masculinity, racial identity, and street dance styles.

Visual Art

CLOSING Daesha Devón Harris & Cinthya Santos-Briones

Noon–5 p.m. Thu–Sun, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
Blue Sky features work by Daesha Devón Harris and Cinthya Santos-Briones, winners of the 2018 En Foco Photography Fellowship—a program designed to support exceptional photographers of color. In My Soul Has Grown Deep Like the Rivers, Harris explores past and present racial ideologies in America through transparencies of vintage cartes de visite and cabinet card portraits placed in aquatic environments in her hometown of Saratoga Springs. Santos-Briones’s Abuelas (which translates to grandmas) recognizes the experiences of Mexican immigrant women elders in New York, with portraits in which the women selected where and how to be portrayed in their own homes.

Clifford Prince King

Noon–5 p.m. Fri–Sat, Melanie Flood Projects, FREE
L.A.-based photographer Clifford Prince King’s first solo photography exhibit, Colors So True, provides a “visual diary” of present-day experiences of queer black men. Through powerful images in which blackness predominates–such as a photo of white milk running down the shoulders of a dark-skinned man—King seeks to counteract anti-black discrimination and queer erasure.

The Shape of Speed

10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thu–Fri, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Portland Art Museum, $19.99
Take a joyful ride back in time and see some of the finest streamlined automobiles and two-wheelers from the 1930s. Throughout the summer, PAM will display 19 rare US and European vehicles and motorcycles—including a classic 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt and the unrivaled BMW R7 Concept Motorcycle—all of which show how auto designers back in the day were able to incorporate the concept of aerodynamic efficiency into car manufacturing.

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