PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Jan 17–20

From Leslie Odom Jr. to Tayari Jones, Black Belt Eagle Scout to Andy Borowitz, here's what you can't miss this weekend.

By Rebecca Jacobson and Fiona McCann January 17, 2019

Leslie Odom Jr. is headed to the Schnitz on Sunday.

Books & Talks

Alicia Jo Rabins, Allison Cobb, Ashley Toliver & Hajara Quinn

7:30 p.m. Thu, Powell's City of Books, FREE
A quadrumvirate of Portland poets storm Powell’s, offering a sterling opportunity to catch a wide swath of styles–from verse that melds motherhood and Jewish mysticism to fragmented wanderings in a 19th century Brooklyn cemetery.

Tayari Jones

7:30 p.m. Thu, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, SOLD OUT
Jones’s latest novel, An American Marriage–about a young black couple weathering the husband’s wrongful incarceration–made the National Book Award longlist, Barack Obama’s summer reading list, and Oprah’s Book Club. Lady O’s production company is also turning it into a film.

Kerry Eggers

7 p.m. Broadway Books, FREE
Once upon a time (a.k.a. in the late ’90s and early ’00s), the Portland Trail Blazers won a lot of games—and did some pretty shady stuff off-court. Think dog fights, threats to referees, fistfights at practice, and numerous citations for marijuana possession. Longtime sports writer Kerry Eggers takes a look back at this era in in his new book, Jail Blazers: How the Portland Trail Blazers Became the Bad Boys of Basketball, which explores events on and off the court, including the racial elements at play.


Andy Borowitz

7:30 p.m. Fri, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $30–125
The comedian and satirist—he can hilariously riff on everything from Brett Kavanaugh's drinking to the deteriorating quality of US-based Nazis—brings "conversation and storytelling" to the Schnitz on his Make America Not Embarrassing Again tour. 

Speechless: Improvised PowerPoint Competition

8 p.m. Fri, Siren Theater, $10–15
While you might have left the nightmare of PowerPoint back in the dust of high school, you can watch some of Portland’s best and brightest comedians try not to choke as they ad-lib presentations of their own, with topics chosen by the audience.


Black Belt Eagle Scout

9 p.m. Fri, Mississippi Studios, $10–12
Portlander Katherine Paul makes aching, atmospheric music under the name Black Belt Eagle Scout. Her debut album, Mother of My Childrendraws on post-rock, riot grrrl, and the rhythmic pulse of tribal drumming.

Fruit Bats

8 p.m. Sat, Revolution Hall, $25
With two decades of shifting lineups and at least one breakup announcement behind them, the folk-rock outfit fronted by Eric D. Johnson still churns out rollicking banjo riffs and wistful ballads. Later this year they'll release their first album since 2016's Absolute Loser.

Leslie Odom Jr.

7:30 p.m. Sun, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $35–125
He was the Aaron Burr to Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton in the OG production. Now the Grammy winner takes to the Schnitz stage for an evening of jazz standards and Broadway hits. Make sure to be in the room where it happens. 



7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Portland Playhouse, $19–75
In Emma Stanton’s new play, a group of Bosnian Muslim women–all survivors of the war–open a gift shop at the Srebrenica memorial, where they must grapple daily with the lingering memories of genocide.

OPENING Sense & Sensibility

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sun, The Armory, $25–87
Part sendup, part homage, playwright Kate Hamill’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel features all the period costumes and gossipy exchanges you might expect, and adds rapid-fire scenery changes and rowdy dance scenes. The New York Times called it “an enchanting romp of a play.”

CLOSING Judge Torres

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Milagro Theatre, $20–27
Based on the real-life story of Oregon judge Xiomara Torres, Milta Ortiz’s world-premiere bilingual play follows a girl from El Salvador as she crosses into the U.S., navigates the foster care system, and eventually lands confirmation on the Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Visual Art

CLOSING Miles Cleveland Goodwin

10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Froelick Gallery, FREE
A cheetah moves through the night; a gaunt man stands naked and alone; a mermaid turns her back. In Chasing Sophia, the Georgia-based painter (and PNCA grad) showcases moody reflections on the rural South, folklore, and family.

Ashley Miller

Noon–5 p.m. Thu–Sun, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
Miller’s highly stylized still lifes depict the Sweet Things of this exhibit’s title in disturbing, incongruous tableaux: a heavily frosted and sprinkled baby-doll perches with a birthday candle on its head; two giant bugs attack a toppling tower of doughnuts against a deep purple crushed velvet. 

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