Books & Talks
7:30 p.m. Thu, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $45–85
If science can be sexy, no one walks the runway like astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. He’ll hit the Schnitz with a lecture titled "The Cosmic Perspective," which challenges us to consider “Earth as a planet in a vast empty universe." So if you weren't feeling lonely already...
7:30 p.m. Fri, Powell's City of Books, FREE
The United States consumes up to 80 percent of the world’s opioids. How did this happen? Award-wining Guardian reporter Chris McGreal tackles the opioid epidemic in his new book, American Overdose, asking if “the cure” was actually worse than the disease—and how it went unchecked for so long.
8 p.m. Sat, Crystal Ballroom, $20–25
The Dandy Warhols take on the Crystal with opening act UNI for their Big Gay Birthday Party in the Sky for Jesus. With $1 from every ticket benefiting Portland’s Sexual and Gender Minority Youth Resource Center, the concert is the last opportunity to see the Dandys before they embark on a North American and European tour for their new album Why You So Crazy, which features no hometown stops.
8 p.m. Sat, Roseland Theater, SOLD OUT
With 2018’s Hell-On, her first solo work in five years, Neko Case reconnects with nature—the very nature that shaped her youth in Washington state and then burned down her home while she was recording the album. Somehow, she managed to transform those life twists into lyrical gems.
9 p.m. Sat, Doug Fir Lounge, $15
This fall, experimental musician Tom Krell (who performs under the name How to Dress Well) released his fifth album, The Anteroom. In Krell’s words, the album reflects his feeling of “slipping out of the world and into a cosmic loneliness in which he would eventually be dissolved.” In practice, it’s a calming, smooth, and pensive multilayered tapestry of electronic-tinged prayer.
OPENING In the Wake
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Artists Repertory Theatre, $20–38
Feel like there’s a huge divide between what you thought the world was and what it truly is? Maybe politically? You’re not alone. Profile Theatre presents Lisa Kron’s In The Wake, set during Thanksgiving in the year 2000, with the Presidential election still undecided and a group of friends trying to help each other see the blind spots in their own world views.
OPENING Bell, Book and Candle
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Vault Theater, $30–35
When a Greenwich Village witch falls in love with her neighbor, should she cast the perfect spell or give up her powers permanently to win his heart? Bag & Baggage presents John Van Druten’s 1950 supernatural classic, which became a 1958 movie starring Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart—and also helped inspire a lil ol’ TV show called Bewitched.
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sun, Artists Repertory Theatre, $30–60
Last season, Artists Rep staged Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s An Octoroon, which riffed on an antebellum melodrama. The company returns with another show by the wildly talented writer, this one inspired by a 15th-century morality play about death and Christian salvation, with roles at each performance assigned by a lottery (oh, the suspense!).
OPENING A Christmas Memory/Winter Song
7:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, The Armory, $25–60
It’s fruitcake weather, so Truman Capote’s classic tale seems an apt addition to the holiday calendar. Portland Center Stage pairs it with a cycle of seasonal songs created by Merideth Kay Clark (a.k.a. Elphaba in the first touring production of Wicked) and PCS production associate Brandon Woolley.
7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Shoebox Theater, $25
With a mission to present “world-renowned plays in an intimate performance space,” Asylum Theatre returns after a 17-year hiatus with David Mamet’s 1988 satire on Hollywood, a tale of commercialism versus art, and the misogyny that plagues the LA industry.
7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, CoHo Theater, $25–40
Annie Baker is one of the sharpest, most empathetic playwrights working today, and Third Rail Rep has chewed into the Pulitzer winner’s work with aplomb. The gothic-tinged John is set in a B&B in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where a tchotchke-obsessed proprietor watches over a young couple as they navigate a rift in their relationship.
7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 3 p.m. Sun, Winningstad Theatre, $25–39
Family-friendly opera: not an oxymoron! Opera Theater Oregon, which aims to inject the form with social relevance, presents Rachel Portman’s riff on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s much-loved novella. The kids’ll be ready for Carmen in no time.
7:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 7 and 9 p.m. Sat, Imago Theatre, $15–39
After her Portland debut last winter, stage icon Penny Arcade returns with her her fierce one-woman show, Longing Lasts Longer, along with two new works in progress: one a journey through 1960s gay bars, the other a commentary on the #MeToo movement, rape culture, and self-censorship.
CLOSING Mary Josephson
11 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Russo Lee Gallery, FREE
The Portland artist returns to Russo Lee My Scars Are My Tattoos, her first solo exhibit since November 2016’s Why I Kept a Light Burning. Josephson’s paintings depict community, with people of different shapes, sizes, genders, ages, and races rendered with distinct folk art flair. Her style is expressive and colorful, and she often incorporates mosaic and embroidery work into her paintings.
CLOSING Mako Miyamoto
1–6 p.m. Fri, Stephanie Chefas Projects, FREE
Known for saturated landscapes (and occasional Wookiees), this Portland photographer’s new show, The Spectral Divide, was inspired by the infrared of the electromagnetic spectrum, and steeps Oregon’s lush landscape in vivid reds and cool blues.
OPENING Alien ate d Rhy thm
6–9 p.m. Sat, noon–6 p.m. Sun, Ori Gallery, FREE
Hiba Ali and Jonathan Chacón, both queer artists of color, team up for a new joint exhibit. The featured work explores the circumstances and surroundings of each artist’s upbringing, with Ali and Chacón subverting the white walls of a conventional gallery with the color orange, bubbles, and foam tiles.
OPENING Between Here and Machine
Noon–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Carnation Contemporary, FREE
Comprising art in both analog and digital forms, Between Here and Machine features the work of artists Bean Gilsdorf, Rhonda Holberton, and Anthony Discenza. “Dead” images from history textbooks find new life, Instagram gets a fresh take, and the “inhuman logic of the algorithm” is sussed out in this Carnation Contemporary exhibit.