PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: May 23–26

Sticking around town for the long weekend? We've got you covered.

By Rebecca Jacobson and Fiona McCann May 22, 2019

Mel Bochner, whose Oregon Jewish Museum exhibit closes this weekend, often incorporates colloquial speech into his art.

Books & Talks

Karen Russell

7:30 p.m. Fri, Powell's City of Books, FREE
The Portland-based author, best known for her Pulitzer-nominated novel Swamplandia!, drops a new short story collection, Orange World. It’s a dark and magical book, beginning in the mountains of Oregon, tracing paths through western California, Florida, and an island off the coast of northern Europe, and ending in a very contemporary Portland, recognizable in all but the presence of a demon who feeds at the breast of new mothers. For more, check out our recent story about Russell and her new book.


CLOSING The Lost Boys Live

8 p.m. Fri–Sat, Siren Theater, $18–25
Bad Reputation Productions returns with its perennially popular live-action parody of the 1987 teenage-vampire cult classic.


Portland Tap Dance Festival

Various times Fri–Sun, DoubleTree Hotel, prices vary
This fourth annual fest brings together about a dozen faculty and a couple hundred students from across the country for master classes, improv contests, and public performances. A highlight: the Portland Tap Company, which made its debut last fall, presents a a piece inspired by Neil Gaiman’s short story “The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury.” In our current issue, we dig deep into Portland's tap scene.


Xiu Xiu

5 p.m. Sat, Holocene, $15–17
Jamie Stewart's venerable (and polarizing) avant-garde/post-punk project has served up a stylistic smorgasbord of sounds since its 2002 debut, and earlier this year dropped its 11th full-length album, Girl With Basket of Fruit.

Bridgetown Bluegrass Festival

10 a.m.–midnight Sat, Alberta Abbey, $22
Get your banjo-and-fiddle fix at the third annual installment of this one-day, kid-friendly fest, featuring 15 bands on two stages.


The Evolve Experience

7:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 2 p.m. Sat, 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. Plus, check out our January 2019 story about Red Door.

CLOSING Curve of Departure

7 p.m. Thu–Sat, Chapel Theatre, $25
New company Chapel Theatre Collective, currently in its first season, presents Rachel Bonds’s Curve of Departure, about a fractured family stuck in a New Mexico hotel room.

CLOSING 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.

Visual Art

CLOSING Mel Bochner

11 a.m.–5 p.m. Thu, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Fri, noon–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Oregon Jewish Museum, $8
In Enough Said, printmaker Mel Bochner considers everyday language as both image and concept, filling his bold, often colorful work with words like “blah” and “haha” and “kvetch.” Raised in an Orthodox Jewish home, Bochner frequently incorporates Yiddish words into his art, to humorous and powerful effect.

CLOSING Josh Keyes

11 a.m.–5 p.m. Thu–Sun, 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, here's our recent story on Keyes.

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