PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Feb 7–10

Michelle Obama comes to the Moda, Ezza Rose plays the Doug Fir, zombies invade a sleepy Oregon town, and the Winter Light Festival illuminates the city.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Wriik Maui, and Fiona McCann February 7, 2019

Brace yourselves: Michelle Obama hits the Moda Center on Saturday.

Books & Talks

Dana Frank

7:30 p.m. Thu, Powell's Books on Hawthorne, FREE
In her ninth book, The Long Honduran Night, historian and activist Dana Frank weaves gritty ground-level personal accounts with political and historical context about Honduras, where generations have been subject to violence, poverty, and human rights violations. Frank also looks closely at the detrimental role that U.S. policy has played in the war-torn Central American country.

Michelle Obama

8 p.m. Sat, Moda Center, $950
Don your sparkliest leggings for this appearance by the former first lady and queen of everything, whose new memoir, Becoming, has sold zillions of copies. She'll be joined in conversation by comedian Phoebe Robinson, a badass in her own right.


The Cutting Room

7:30 p.m. Fri, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat, BodyVox Dance Center, $30–64
Playful dance-theater company BodyVox takes inspiration from cinema in its newest show, blending sci-fi, action, comedy, and drama to create “movement motifs.” How will it all play out? Expect a “journey to an intersection of nostalgia, performance, animation, and innovation.”

The Gift

7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, The Headwaters Theatre, $21
Local movement arts group PDX Dance Collective presents a contemporary performance that promises a spin on the tension between “conformity and individuality,” with original choreography by cofounder Rachael Singer and members April MacKay and Zahra Garrett.


Gaytheist and Nasalrod

9 p.m. Thu, Mississippi Studios, $8–10
Headbang and chill with Portland trio Gaytheist as they supply your eardrums with fierce vocals and high-energy riffs. Co-headliners and fellow locals Nasalrod deliver layers of heavy-hitting rhythm, thick bass lines, and mosh-pit-inducing vocals.

Ezza Rose

8 p.m. Fri, Doug Fir Lounge, $10–12
Rose City’s damsel-not-in-distress Ezza Rose delivers intimate songwriting, velvety vocals, and nostalgic melodies on her fourth album, No Means No. With bandmates Craig Rupert, Ray Johnson, and Alec England, this LP leaves behind folk music in favor of dreamy rock ‘n’ roll and psychedelic pop.

Crossing Borders

4 p.m. Sat, Lincoln Hall, $25
The Bravo Youth Orchestra’s annual benefit offers up a celebration of world cultures through music, this year featuring works from Ireland, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela. Among the artists featured: legendary fiddler Kevin Burke, local soul queen Blossom, and Freddy Vilches on the Venezuelan cuarto.

Y La Bamba

9 p.m. Sat, Revolution Hall, SOLD OUT
“Somos mujeres, mujeres, somos poderosas.” We are women, we are powerful: the fierce, lucid vocals of Luz Mendoza blast against a bare and driving drumbeat. The Chicana raised in Southern Oregon draws deep from her Mexican roots with her band Y La Bamba to make music that sounds like no one else in Portland right now. Need proof? Mujeres, the band’s fifth studio album, vibrates with immediacy and a message that’s about survival and strength. (For more, check out our story on the new record, which drops Friday.) Fellow locals Sávila, who bring a hypnotic, modern take to Latin music, open the show.


A Doll's House, Part 2

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sun, Artists Repertory Theatre, $30–60
Playwright Lucas Hnath scored a Tony nomination for this show, which imagines a sequel to Ibsen’s 1879 drama. In Hnath’s play, which the New York Times called “smart, funny, and utterly engrossing,” Norwegian housewife Nora Helmer returns after 15 years away, now a successful writer—and in need of her husband’s signature on the divorce papers. The stellar Linda Alper stars in this Artists Rep production.


7 p.m. Fri, 3 p.m. Sat, Imago Theatre, $8–50
Chilean theater artists Silencio Blanco—which last brought their simple papier-mâché puppets to Portland for a wordless show about the dangers and exploitations of coal mining—returns to town with a piece about a fisherman navigating his trade in the era of industrial fishing.


7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Milagro Theatre, $10–40
Written by Alberto Cañas Escalante, La Segua is a Costa Rican folk tale of a haunted young woman whose beauty lures philandering men to insanity or death. In this Milagro production (in Spanish, with English supertitles), Johanna Echavarría stars as Encarnación Sancho, whose good looks become monstrous when men try to escort her home.

OPENING Tragedy: A Tragedy

7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Back Door Theater, pay-what-you-will
Defunkt presents Will Eno’s satire of the television news biz, which follows a team of journalists on a day when the sun doesn’t rise. Literally. (How’s that for a metaphor, folks?)

OPENING Pontypool

7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, CoHo Theater, $32–49
Canadian novelist and screenwriter Tony Burgess takes on zombies in Pontypool, a witty, blood-soaked play about a small Oregon town with a big undead problem. Portland actor Gavin Hoffman directs the show, which features a virus with a strange MO—it is carried by the English language. 

CLOSING Sense & Sensibility

Noon and 7:30 p.m. Thu, 7:30 p.m. Fri, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat, 2 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. This Portland Center Stage production is smart and kinetic, with several scene-stealing moments from local actor Lauren Modica.


7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Portland Playhouse, $25–34
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. 

Visual Art

OPENING Jinhyun Cha

Noon–9 p.m. Thu, noon–5 p.m. Fri–Sun, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
South Korea-based documentary photographer Jinhyun Cha’s Post-Border Line considers Korea’s state of division via candid moments of reflection. His black-and-white, street photography-style images of the Korean Demilitarized Zone reflect on both physical and ideological borders.

OPENING Think of Me

11 a.m.–5 p.m. Fri–Sat, Adams & Ollman
This group exhibition explores the meaning of keepsakes and mementos, with work from artists Anthony Campuzano, Felipe Jesus Consalvos, Paul Lee, Em Rooney, and Dennis Witkin. Expect both 2-D and 3-D pieces, ranging from abstract drawings to folk-art collages to mise-en-scène displays.

Special Events

Portland Winter Light Festival

Thu–Sat, various locations, FREE
An interactive flaming portal, a giant disco ball suspended 20 feet in the air, and a flamethrower chandelier. These are just some of the luminous creations for 2019’s festival, where some 80 artists’ work populates Portland’s outdoor spaces to light up the city.

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