PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: May 16–19

Hannah Gadsby brings her stand-up to the Newmark, Michael Pollan tells psychedelic tales at the Keller, Julia Jacklin plays Mississippi Studios, and bikey films hit the Hollywood.

By Rebecca Jacobson May 15, 2019

Comedian Hannah Gadsby brings her new stand-up show—inspired by her dog, Douglas—to the Newmark.

Books & Talks

Roy Christopher

7:30 p.m. Thu, Powell's City of Books, FREE
In his recently published Dead Precedents, Chicago-based writer Roy Christopher examines how hip-hop and cyberpunk, two movements that hatched in the 1980s, have come to define the world we currently inhabit.

Michael Pollan

8 p.m. Sun, Keller Auditorium, $45–150
For his latest book, How to Change Your Mind, the best-selling author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and The Botany of Desire turned to very different sorts of plants and fungi: the psychedelic variety. Tonight, he’ll dig into these consciousness-changing drugs and their role in mental health care (hopefully telling some trippy personal tales along the way). 


Maria Bamford

8 p.m. Thu, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Fri–Sat, Helium Comedy Club, $25–38
The Minnesota-raised comedian has made a career of channeling her own mental health issues—she’s struggled with bipolar disorder and OCD—into bizarro, brainy stand-up. 

Hannah Gadsby

8 p.m. Thu–Fri, 9 p.m. Sat, Newmark Theatre, $42.25–63.50
The Tasmanian comedian’s Netflix special, Nanette, was a scorcher of a show: an hourlong storm about otherness and misogyny and art history (and so, so much more). How’s she following it up? With Douglas, a show named after her dog—who, in photos, seems a real fluffernutter of floof. 



7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, New Expressive Works, $15–25
PDX Contemporary Ballet closes its season-long consideration of Richard Yates’s novel Revolutionary Road with Undone, which explores what happens when people, especially women, compromise themselves by conforming to society’s expectations rather than following their own desires.

Rush Hour

6 and 8 p.m. Sat, Marine Artists Studios Northwest, $15–25
This new interdisciplinary performance from Heidi Duckler Dance/Northwest features a number of pieces exploring identity and relationship, all set in, on, or around various (unmoving) vehicles—including motorcycles, cars, bicycles, and vintage horse trailers.


Filmed by Bike

Various times Fri–Sun, Hollywood Theatre, tickets $15 or festival pass $70
Now in its 17th year, this showcase of inspiring, breathtaking, and quirky bike-centric flicks also features a bike ride, filmmaker discussions, and after-parties.


Neil Young

7:30 p.m. Fri, Keller Auditorium, $59.50–250
Incredibly prolific and still very busy—his longtime archives project is an ongoing, mammoth undertaking—the Canadian singer-songwriter hits Portland for a solo show at the Keller.

Water Spirit: A Tribute to Jim Pepper

8 p.m. Sat, The Old Church, $5–30
Portland-raised jazz saxophonist Jim Pepper, who died of lymphoma in 1992, might be best known for his song “Witchi Tai-To.” But Pepper’s output went well beyond that, and his legacy still reverberates today. This Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble concert honors Pepper’s creative process, which fused jazz with elements of Native American music. Expect new compositions inspired by Pepper as well as fresh arrangements of songs by guest hip-hop artist 2 8 Tha Native.

Julia Jacklin

8 p.m. Sun, Mississippi Studios, SOLD OUT
Crushing, the latest album from the Australian singer-songwriter, is an introspective investigation of the highs and lows of relationships. “Ghostly, rollicking,” said the Guardian.


CLOSING Sirens of Coos Bay

10 p.m. Fri, 8 p.m. Sat, Clinton Street Theater, $15–25
It’s Coos Bay in the 1990s, and the town is torn asunder by the spotted owl controversy. Also, fishers are battling with macho grunge musicians. Oh, and there’s a mermaid. This isn’t the first time Broken Planetarium has mined Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales for musical theater, and this time around, the scrappy, low-budget company promises ripped T-shirts and off-kilter humor. 

The Revolutionists

7:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat–Sun, Artists Repertory Theatre, $30–60
It’s 1793 and France is in the midst of the Reign of Terror. Four women—a playwright, a Haitian spy, an assassin, and an ex-queen—are fighting for their lives, doing their damnedest to avoid the guillotine in this fantasy comedy by Lauren Gunderson.

The Evolve Experience

7:30 p.m. Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, pay-what-you-can ($20 suggested)
Portland arts organization August Wilson Red Door Project aims to kindle conversations about race. Since 2016, its calling card has been Hands Up, a show comprising seven searing monologues about racial profiling and police violence, told from the perspectives of people of color. Last fall, the group premiered a powerful new collection of monologues called Cop Out—these all told from the perspectives of police officers. This newly conceived performance features monologues from both Hands Up and Cop Out. For more on the Red Door Project, check out our story from the January 2019 issue.

Visual Art

Jo Hamilton

11 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat, Russo Lee Gallery, FREE
In The Matriarchs, the Masked and the Naked Man, the Scotland-born Portland crochet artist turns her remarkable technique—intricate works made of yarn that blast apart any perceptions of the craft as dowdy—to portraits that explore the superficial judgments we pass on others. 

An Inward Gaze

Noon–5 p.m. Thu–Sun, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
This joint exhibit features the work of two photographers who challenge the male gaze: New York City’s Arielle Bobb-Willis, whose boldly hued images transform bodies into disjointed sculptures, and Portland’s Brittney Cathey-Adams, whose black-and-white self-portraits claim her right to take up space as a person of size. 

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