The Essentials

12 Things to See and Do in Portland: March 2019

Noname plays the Crystal, Tiffany Haddish comes to the Keller, and twisty plays take the stage at Artists Rep and Third Rail.

By Rebecca Jacobson and Fiona McCann February 26, 2019 Published in the March 2019 issue of Portland Monthly

Noname plays the Crystal March 13

1. Noname

Mar 13, Crystal Ballroom
Chicago-born Noname brings her distinct blend of smooth neo soul and personal, poetic spoken word—on subjects ranging from Morgan Freeman to veganism—to the Crystal. 

2. Carl Adamshick & Michael Dickman

Mar 27, Powell’s City of Books
Two longtime Portland poets debut new collections. From Adamshick comes Birches, about watching over his mother as she was dying, while Dickman’s Days & Days roves from parenthood to prescription drugs to graffiti.

3. Because of Her, We Make Songs: Music for Female Poets

Mar 25, The Old Church
Works from Emily Dickinson, Elinor Wylie, Gabriela Mistral, and more receive musical interpretation in songs by five contemporary composers at this Fear No Music event, the title of which is borrowed from a poem by Luci Tapahonso, who in 2013 was named the Navajo Nation’s first poet laureate.

4. Wolf Play

Mar 10–Apr 7, Artists Repertory Theatre
This Artists Rep commission from South Korean playwright Hansol Jung tells of an American couple whose decision to “rehome” their adopted Korean son after they have a biological child results in his being taken in by a lesbian couple. The twist? The boy thinks he’s a wolf. But wait! He’s really a puppet. And that’s not even a spoiler.

5. Kiss

Mar 15–Apr 6, CoHo Theater
Chilean dramatist Guillermo Calderón’s first English-language work, presented here by Third Rail, is a twisty play-within-a-play about a troupe of American actors staging a Syrian soap opera—raising thorny questions about art, politics, and the limits of understanding.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

6. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Mar 14, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
The Nigerian writer—she penned the scorching Americanah and the TedX talk-turned-book We Should All Be Feminists, among other works—brings her vital intelligence to the Schnitz for the county library’s Everybody Reads program.

7. Compagnie Marie Chouinard

Mar 7–9, Newmark Theatre
White Bird last brought these French-Canadian dancers to Portland for a carnal, physically taxing take on The Rite of Spring. That’s par for the course for the troupe, which returns with a piece inspired by Belgian artist Henri Michaux and another set to a live performance of Chopin’s 24 Preludes.

8. Adia Victoria

Mar 11, Doug Fir Lounge
At Pickathon a few years back, this South Carolina–raised singer-songwriter crooned of a dead cat while sunbeams glinted off her dress. Her sound is lyrical Southern gothic, fueled by howling guitar and emotional ferocity.

9. Tiffany Haddish

Mar 16, Keller Auditorium
The irreverent comedic gem, who stole scenes from her high-wattage costars in 2017’s Girls Trip, brings her full-body funnies to town on her She Ready tour.

10. Small Talk Collective

Feb 27–Apr 28, Wolff Gallery
Seven women make up this local photography collective, which formed in 2015. Their work ranges from misty nature shots to moody domestic scenes to spare still lifes.

Read It

Portlander Melissa Duclos’s debut novel, Besotted, follows two Americans in Shanghai as they navigate the city’s rowdy expat community as well as the highs and lows of love. Kirkus praised Duclos’s worldbuilding as “excellent.” She’s at Powell’s City of Books March 13.

See It

POW Film Fest brings the late Kathleen Collins’s Losing Ground—the story of an academic and her artist husband was lauded by the New York Times’ A. O. Scott as “a puzzle and a marvel”—to Portland as part of its four-day celebration of women- and nonbinary-directed films (March 28–31). Collins’s daughter Nina Lorez Collins will be present at the screening to discuss her mother’s work. 

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