Books & Talks
7 p.m. Thu, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $10–70
Get your finger snaps ready: in this citywide slam, spoken-word poets from a dozen local high schools perform original work in a bid for top lyrical laurels.
7:30 p.m. Thu, Powell's City of Books, FREE
What started as a 30,000-word story in the New York Times Magazine last summer has become a staggering book on climate science in the decade between 1979 and 1989. In short, Nathaniel Rich’s Losing Earth: A Recent History shows that we’ve known about all this for years, yet we still slept on fixing it.
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Newmark Theatre, $34–58
In Encores, NW Dance Project reprises favorites by choreographers Sarah Slipper, Ihsan Rustem, and Patrick Delcroix. Founding artistic director Slipper's "Casual Act" is an adaptation of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, while Rustem's "Yidam" explores his quest to Buddhism. Finally, Delcroix's "Drifting Thoughts" is part sci-fi, part end of the world.
8 p.m. Thu–Fri, 2 and 8 p.m. Sat, Polaris Dance Theatre, $18–25
Polaris Dance Theatre presents its annual spring showcase with new work from its two in-house companies, Polaris Dance Theatre and Ela FaLa Collective. Expect pieces exploring such topics such as gun control, racism, and climate change.
7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, Performance Works NW, $15
Portland choreographers Kelly Koltiska and Amelia Unsicker showcase original work, performed by an ensemble of dancers, about the connections we build in our lives. They promise “thoughtful, beautiful, intriguing, quirky movement.”
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Chapel Theatre, $15
Quirky local dance company Trip the Dark stages a new show based on the 2017 movie A Ghost Story—you know, the one with Casey Affleck as a bedsheet-clad specter—that aims to explore grief, love, and loss.
8 p.m. Fri–Sat, Roseland Theater, SOLD OUT
Are there even words? The indomitable Minneapolis hip-hop artist serves up her rhymes with infectious energy and a take-no-prisoners message of body positivity and self-acceptance. Her two-night Portland run, to zero surprise, sold out in an instant.
9 p.m. Fri, Doug Fir Lounge, $13–15
The Portland pop group, known for big vocal harmonies and catchy handclaps, made a move toward synth grooves and electronic textures on their 2016 album, Something to Ruin. Now they’re back with a self-released LP, Me You They We, which attempts to make sense of the political (and emotional) storm that followed the 2016 election.
9 p.m. Sat, Doug Fir Lounge, $17
The Los Angeles-based songwriter strolls into town on the heels of her latest release, Quiet Signs, which NPR praised for its “deliberative and serene aura ... and its lingering, haunting melodies.” Fellow LA indie poppers Business of Dreams open.
8 p.m. Sun, Mississippi Studios, $14–16
Jenn Wasner (a.k.a Flock of Dimes, a.k.a. half of Wye Oak) and Madeline Kenney have history. They’ve been roommates, and Wasner produced Kenney’s Perfect Shapes last year. Together, they released a split single The Sisters/Helpless on Carpark Records earlier this year. The two are now supporting each other on tour, bringing their art-pop sensibilities to Portland.
9:15 p.m. Sun, Rontoms, FREE
Veteran Portland indie folk rockers Loch Lomond, known for bittersweet harmonies and instrumental intricacy, play a free Sunday show at Rontoms. Gloom-pop band Merō opens.
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, CoHo Theatre, $25–32
Angel Cruz spends most of his day locked up. He’s on trial for murder and his only other human contact is with a serial killer cellmate and a tough-as-nails guard. But Cruz’s public defender risks her career to help get him out in this play by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis.
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Shoebox Theatre, $5–20
How do we respond to surprising loss? In this world-premiere play by Don Zolidis, presented by Theatre Vertigo, a cast of six women patch together the story of a young man who’s been killed by a community member.
OPENING Josh Keyes
11 a.m.–5 p.m. Thu–Sat, Talon Gallery, FREE
Tacoma-born, Portland-based artist Josh Keyes paints animals—think grizzly bears, galloping rhinos, wild horses, battling tigers—in incongruous environs, their wild and realistically rendered forms pushing up against urban, man-made elements, from buildings to roads to subway steps. For more, check out our recent story on Keyes.
CLOSING Modern American Realism
10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thu–Fri, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Portland Art Museum, $20
See the arc of the century and modern realist representations of a changing America in this wide-ranging exhibit—think Isabel Bishop, Paul Cadmus, Edward Hopper, Jacob Lawrence—on loan from the Smithsonian.
CLOSING Ronny Quevedo
11 a.m.–6 p.m. Thu–Sat, Upfor Gallery, FREE
Ecuador-born artist Ronny Quevedo uses embossing to create pieces for Every Measure of Zero, which explores marginalized cultures and their relationship to physical labor. The resulting pieces are geometric, abstract representations of personal stories and the traditions of uncolonized societies. We've got more on the show here.
11 a.m.–6 p.m. Thu–Sun, Wolff Gallery, FREE
Seven women make up Small Talk Collective, a local photography group that formed in 2015 and now presents a new exhibit at Wolff. Their work ranges from misty nature shots to moody domestic scenes to spare still lifes.
8 p.m. Fri, Revolution Hall, $30–34
In a world of superficial small talk and manicured Instagram posts, the podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking is a snot-streaked antidote, in the best way possible. Host Nora McInerny, whose first husband died of brain cancer at age 35, tells stories of heartbreak, loss, and grief with nuance and heart (and, somehow, humor). This stage show adds live music and multimedia pizzazz.
8 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat, Keller Auditorium, $85–250
If you’ve been on the internet in the last decade, you’ve seen a TED talk. TED, short for Technology Entertainment and Design, is the organization behind inspirational lectures covering everything from climate change to Beyoncé. Portland’s independently organized TED event is now in its ninth year, and the theme this time around is “Reimagine.” American Cannabinoid Clinics cofounder Rachel Knox and Salt & Straw’s Tyler Malek are just two of the many presenters, with performances by Portland Cello Project and NW Dance Project also on deck.