13 Things to See and Do in Portland: June 2019
1. Melissa Villaseñor
June 6–8, Helium Comedy Club
The Saturday Night Live performer—the first Latina cast member in the show’s history—is a crackerjack impressionist, with a range that spans Björk to Lady Gaga to Sonia Sotomayor to Owen Wilson (truly astounding, that one).
2. Paris 1900
June 8–Sept 8, Portland Art Museum
It’s a Parisian time-travel vacay at the Portland Art Museum, with a sweeping exhibit that luxuriates in the opulence of the Belle Époque via paintings (including by Camille Pissarro and Berthe Morisot), posters, jewelry, art nouveau furniture, early film clips, and more, all on loan from museums in the French capital. Très magnifique!
3. Arlington [a love story]
May 31–June 22, CoHo Theatre
Irish playwright Enda Walsh is a singular force. In addition to penning a mountain of plays, he’s worked in opera and film and devised haunting theatrical installations (another notable credit: adapting Roald Dahl’s The Twits for the stage). Third Rail takes on his 2017 play Arlington, a dreamlike, dystopian tale of solitary confinement that also features a wordless, movement-filled second act.
4. Summer Premieres
June 13–15, Lincoln Hall
NW Dance Project caps its 15th season with a trio of world-premiere works from Barcelona-based Cayetano Soto (expect futuristic costumes), German choreographer Felix Landerer (theme: polar bears), and Oregon Ballet Theatre founder and perennial tradition-buster James Canfield, who’s adapting A Streetcar Named Desire, complete with miniature props and set pieces.
5. Anderson .Paak
June 22, McMenamins Edgefield
The California-raised polymath is unstoppable—his album Oxnard dropped last November, followed just five months later by Ventura (somewhere in the middle, he also won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance). He brings his high-pitched rasp, strutting lyrics, and surprising instrumental turns to the Edgefield lawn.
6. Tess Rubinstein
June 8–July 13, Stephanie Chefas Projects
In the solo show A Jug of Wine, a Table in the Sun, the Bay Area illustrator and painter—who favors organic, interlocking shapes in warm colors—depicts the simple, sensual pleasures of everyday life, from ripe fruit to beams of sunlight.
7. Glory Edim
June 3, Powell's City of Books
The force behind Well-Read Black Girl—a popular digital community that began as an IRL book club with a modest Instagram account—comes to Powell’s with a new essay anthology in which the likes of N. K. Jemisin, Jesmyn Ward, and Lynn Nottage reflect on when they first saw themselves in literature.
8. Patty Griffin
June 14, Revolution Hall
The folk singer-songwriter brings wisdom and warmth to her self-titled 10th album, released earlier this year. The 13 tracks, written while Griffin was battling and recovering from breast cancer, draw on earthy blues and Celtic balladry, fueled by tender vocals.
9. Risk/Reward Festival of New Performance
June 28–30, Imago Theatre
In its 12th year, the genre-defying fest hops the river to Southeast’s Imago Theatre, with five West Coast artists exploring neurodiversity, fatness, and video games, among other matters. Plus: site-specific works in and around the nearby Jupiter Hotel.
10. Live Wire 15th Anniversary Show
June 21, Revolution Hall
Our homegrown radio variety show celebrates 15 years with a stacked lineup: former Live Wire host and head writer Courtenay Hameister, Shrill author Lindy West, and soirée-starting musicians Pink Martini.
11. Portland Pride Festival
The annual LGBTQ+ Waterfront fest, which dates back to the mid-’70s, is basically a weekend-long, fiercely inclusive street party, crowned by one of the city’s largest (and most fabulously rambunctious) parades.
Team Dresch is so wound up in the Northwest’s family tree of punk bands, labels, and zines it’s hard to imagine the ’90s without them. Relive the queercore legends’ heyday with reissues of Personal Best and Captain My Captain, plus a singles compilation. They play Mississippi Studios June 14–15.
No far-flung sojourns on deck this summer? Go the armchair route via Barry Lopez’s Horizon, in which the National Book Award–winning local writer roams from the Oregon Coast to Kenya to Antarctica (where a scuba trip beneath the sea ice brings him face to face with a very large Weddell seal).