PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Apr 4–7

What's on deck? A dance tribute to New Orleans jazz, clowns in (existential) crisis, a post-punk/dark wave fest, and Japanese films galore.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Jackson Main, and Fiona McCann April 3, 2019

In "Whirlaway," Parsons Dance pays tribute to New Orleans jazz.

Books & Talks

Jacqueline Woodson

7:30 p.m. Thu, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, SOLD OUT (limited number of general admission tickets—$32 plus fees—available night of)
Literary Arts closes this year's Portland's Arts & Lectures series with Jacqueline Woodson, best known for her National Book Award-winning Brown Girl Dreaming, a memoir in verse about growing up in South Carolina and New York during the '60s and '70s.


Pearl Dive Project

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, BodyVox Dance Center, $30–64
For the second time around, BodyVox has enlisted nondancers, from chef John Gorham to photographer Susan Seubert to roboticist/author Daniel Wilson, to choreograph original works (with assistance from the company). What could go wrong?

Parsons Dance

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Newmark Theatre, $30–74
The exuberant, athletic contemporary company, which last visited Portland in 1998, pays tribute to New Orleans jazz with two pieces: David Parsons’s “Whirlaway,” set to lively tunes by Allen Touissant, and Trey McIntyre’s “Ma Maison,” with dancers in skeleton masks and harlequin costumes grooving to the sounds of the Preservation Jazz Hall Band. They’ll also perform the company’s signature piece, “Caught,” in which strobe-light trickery makes it seem as if the dancers’ feet never touch the ground.


Japanese Currents

Various times Fri–Sun, Whitsell Auditorium, $5–10
For the 12th year, the NW Film Center tosses the spotlight on Japan’s impressive cinematic landscape. Expect screenings of contemporary films from across genres, anime to documentary to comedy.


Out from the Shadows Festival

7 p.m. Thu–Sat, Tonic Lounge, $15–45
XRAY.fm DJ Dave Cantrell launched this post-punk/dark wave fest in 2015 as a one-night affair with nine bands, most of them local. Five years later, it's a three-day spree featuring 23 bands from as far afield as Paris, Copenhagen, and Puerto Rico (and a strong Portland contingent, of course).

Damien Jurado

9 p.m. Fri, Revolution Hall, $18–20
Singer-songwriter Damien Jurado began releasing songs in the mid-’90s, earning him a loyal fan base in his hometown of Seattle. The indie-folk rocker has collaborated with electronic music legend Moby and singer-songwriter Richard Swift, and you might have heard a few of his tracks on Netflix doc Wild Wild Country. Last spring, Jurado released his 13th solo album, The Horizon Just Laughed, which Pitchfork called “wondrous.”

Weezer and the Pixies

7 p.m. Sat, Moda Center, $36.50+
It's all about the '90s nostalgia tonight at the Moda, with the bafflingly indestructible Weezer and Gen-X heroes the Pixies sharing top billing. (In St. Paul, Weezer apparently came out dressed like a barbershop quartet to sing "Pork and Beans.")

Shook Twins

8 p.m. Sat, Revolution Hall, $20–25
Based in Portland, the identical twin sisters make folky, haunting music that straddles the space between bouncy and bleak. Tonight, they celebrate the release of their fourth album, Some Good Lives, which honors a variety of men in their lives, from their late grandfather to (oh yes) Bernie Sanders.


Until the Flood

Noon and 7:30 p.m. Thu, 7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, The Armory, $28.50–57
Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith’s latest play is built on stories and interviews gathered after the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Portland Center Stage tackles the production, with Orlandersmith starring in the solo show.


7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, CoHo Theatre, $25–45
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.

CLOSING To Fly Again

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Imago Theatre, $15–20
Imago’s Jerry Mouawad revives his original absurdist play, which explores humanity with an odd, comical tilt. In To Fly Again, a kooky group of clowns roams a bleak landscape in search of a place to camp, attempting to make sense of their own existences while also running into “dusty dancers who live in a world beyond speech.”


7:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat–Sun, Artists Repertory Theatre, $30–60
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.

Visual Art

OPENING Noah Addis

Noon–9 p.m. Thu, noon–5 p.m. Fri–Sun, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
For Future Cities, Philadelphia-based photographer Noah Addis traveled the world to document informal settlements in some of the world’s densest metropolises, from Rio de Janeiro to Mexico City to Mumbai to Cairo. The series shows sprawl and destitution in these squatter communities, but also creativity and resilience.

OPENING Associated American Artists: Prints for the People

10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Portland Art Museum, $20
After the Great Depression, an organization called the Associated American Artists formed to make affordable art prints more accessible across the US, with original, limited-run lithographs sold for $5 a pop (that pencils out to about $88 today). This exhibit collects about 60 of those prints, whose creators included Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and John Steuart Curry, as well as works by Latin American artists and foreign printmakers living in America.

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