Books & Talks
7:30 p.m. Thu, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, SOLD OUT
Kicking off Literary Arts’ 34th annual Arts & Lectures series is Jill Lepore, staff writer at the New Yorker and author of New York Times bestseller The Secret History of Wonder Woman. Lepore is set to discuss her new 960-page (!) book, These Truths, a history of the United States and our country’s political polarization (spoiler alert: it’s nothing new).
7 p.m. Fri, Revolution Hall, $35–45
As host of radio program Snap Judgment, Glynn Washington creates some of the most dynamic, haunting audio work out there. He’ll hit the Revolution Hall stage with several storytellers and a live band.
7 p.m. Sat, Winningstad Theatre, $25
The Maine-raised comedian keeps busy, hosting the Inside the Closet podcast, curating her own comedy show on SiriusXM, and appearing on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. She was also on the second season of Netflix’s The Comedy Lineup, released this summer.
8 p.m. Sat, Revolution Hall, $25
Fresh from her hourlong special Rape Jokes, in which she talks about growing up Catholic, her first girlfriend, and her own experience of sexual assault, the truth–talking, hella funny LA comic makes a Portland stop.
OPENING BloodyVox: Deadline October
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, BodyVox, $30–64
Fancy a dance with the dead? Dance-theater company BodyVox brings your fears to the stage with the latest iteration of this long-running, Halloween-inspired sensation, featuring new work by cofounders Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland.
7:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat, Newmark Theatre, $30–74
The Australia-based company, which blends dance, theater, and circus, has performed for more than one million audience members since launching in 2004. Now, Circa returns to White Bird with a new show, HUMANS, featuring 10 performers exploring the limitations of the human body (and, y'know, walking on each other's heads.)
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Keller Auditorium, $29–115
Between The Shape of Water and the merman erotica of The Pisces, aquatic romance is hot these days. Oregon Ballet Theatre taps into the trend with August Bournonville’s 1842 story ballet about a Neapolitan street girl who falls for a fisherman.
8 p.m. Thu, Doug Fir Lounge, SOLD OUT
Husband-and-wife duo Tennis dropped their fourth album, Yours Conditionally, earlier this year. Written on a five-month sailing trip and then self-produced, it boasts a warm, lo-fi feel.
8:30 p.m. Thu, Holocene, $12–14
On his debut LP, August’s RNB Vol. 1, Chanticleer Trü (who performs under the name Chanti Darling) blends shimmering electro-soul, sexy boogie-funk synths, and driving house beats, all anchored by his commanding, classically trained voice. Live, he brings party-starting charisma, a throwback wardrobe, and voguing backup dancers to the stage. In a town known mostly for contemplative head-bobbing, Trü stirs audiences to get down. Read more on the R&B phenom here.
8:30 p.m. Fri, Crystal Ballroom, SOLD OUT
Known for her confessional style and stream-of-consciousness lyrics, Grammy-nominated artist Courtney Barnett hits the Crystal with her latest album, Tell Me How You Really Feel. Waxahatchee opens.
9 p.m. Fri, Roseland Theater, SOLD OUT
After spending the last few years creating new music and reworking their legendary album Loveless, the venerable Dublin-formed rock band plays a coveted (read: already sold-out) show in Portland. Guess you’ll have to gaze at shoes at home, folks.
9 p.m. Sun, Aladdin Theater, $22–25
For more than six decades, Grammy-winning artist and producer Lee “Scratch” Perry constructed his distinctive brand of reggae-derived dub. Yes, before there was “dubstep,” there was dub—a sound that remixed a more traditional reggae approach until it was something new. Perry will perform 1973’s Blackboard Jungle Dub in its entirety along with some other well-known tracks, backed by New York’s Subatomic Sound System.
Noon and 7:30 p.m. Thu, 7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sun, The Armory, $25–57
Portland Center Stage commissioned this play by Adam Bock—though it actually premiered two years ago, in New York City—about a middle-aged, recently dumped gay man who decides to look for answers in astrology. (Can’t hurt ... right?)
Various times Thu–Sun, CoHo Theatre, most shows $15
From salacious stories to sex-positive performances about Tinder, breast cancer, and queerness, Come Inside aims to celebrate “the spectrum of sexual identities” and make “the risque relatable.” This year’s fest features performances by the likes of Shirley Gnome (stand-up and songs), Dirty Lola (talk show meets burlesque), and Siouxsie Q and Sean Andries (sex work ... and mermaids).
OPENING Small Mouth Sounds
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sun, Artists Repertory Theatre, $30–60
A weeklong silent retreat in the woods would not seem, at first blush, the best fodder for the stage. But with its minimal dialogue, Bess Wohl’s 2015 play mines quiet for humor, via carefully tuned facial expressions and body language. The LA Times called it “a comedy with satiric bite,” taking aim at “commodified spirituality that has encouraged the thinking that inner peace ... is just a guru, mantra or self-help book away.”
OPENING Fires in the Mirror
7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Artists Repertory Theatre, $20–38
Anna Deavere Smith was a Pulitzer finalist for this one-man play, based on a series of interviews the playwright conducted in the aftermath of the 1991 Crown Heights Riot, when tensions between the neighborhood’s African American and Jewish communities erupted into violence. Bobby Bermea directs Seth Rue in this Profile Theatre production.
11 a.m.–5 p.m. Thu–Sat, Adams & Ollman, FREE
Vaginal Davis’s work has been described as “terrorist drag” for the way the Los Angeles-born, Berlin-based artist rejects sanitized versions of drag and questions rather than conceals her identity: intersex, queer, biracial (“blatino,” in her own words). Here, in an exhibit titled An Invitation to the Dance, she showcases mixed-media paintings of dancers (made with the likes of nail polish, cocoa butter, and eye shadow), a 1995 video work, and a site-specific mural.
10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, various locations, FREE
More than 100 local artists offer a ground-level view of their work, inviting Portlanders into their studios to see them throw pottery, hammer metal into delicate jewelry, or brush paint onto canvas.
10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Portland Art Museum, $20
Curated by PAM’s Maribeth Graybill, this exhibit showcases Japanese poetry and the visual form it’s taken throughout the centuries. Expect to see a rare fragment of a Buddhist sutra, a painting of an immortal summoning his dragon, and countless meditations on nature.