PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: May 9–12

Ezra Furman! Mermaids in Coos Bay! The Lost Boys live! Shannon Shaw! Robot nannies! Bring it, weekend.

By Rebecca Jacobson May 8, 2019

The enigmatic Ezra Furman plays the Aladdin on Thursday.

Books & Talks

Ted Chiang

7:30 p.m. Thu, Powell's City of Books, FREE
Praised by the New Yorker for his "soulful science fiction" (the 2016 film Arrival was based on one of his short stories), Chiang returns with a collection titled Exhalation, which includes a time-travel tale about ancient Baghdad and a consideration of robot nannies. He'll be joined in conversation by local author/roboticist Daniel H. Wilson.


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.


Shaun Keylock Company

7:30 p.m Fri–Sun, New Expressive Works, $16–25
Born and raised in Portland, Shaun Keylock debuts his first full-length program with his dance troupe, with four works by three Northwest choreographers. In the mix: a duet inspired by letters written by women during and after World War II, a piece exploring Walt Whitman’s writings and oral histories of Civilian Conservation Corps members, and one featuring pastel-colored wigs. 


Ezra Furman

9 p.m. Thu, Aladdin Theater, $15–17
The unclassifiable art rocker's latest, Transangelic Exodus, is, in Furman's words, "a queer outlaw saga" about two lovers, one of whom is an angel, on the run from the law. "The misfit feelings surging through his back catalog crystallize here into detailed imagery, giving the album a lurid, cinematic sheen," wrote Pitchfork.

Tomorrow Will Be...

7 p.m. Fri–Sat, The Old Church, $10–50
Brooklyn-based experimental performance ensemble the Team joins Portland’s Boom Arts for an interactive, multigenerational evening of new arrangements of protest songs from across history, plus “devised group conversation” (each show features different community guests) and general revelry.

21 Cartas

7:30 p.m. Fri (Alberta Rose Theatre) and Sat (Walters Cultural Arts Center), $5–30
Two extraordinary local musicians—singer-songwriter Edna Vazquez and jazz pianist Darrell Grant—unite for a concert of songs based on letters written by mothers at an immigrant detention center in South Texas. The bilingual compositions, which will be accompanied by immigrant photos from Portlander Adolfo Cantú-Villareal, span styles from battle cries to lullabies. Sample lyric: “May they have dreams that I did not have, and may they know that they will always have me.” 

Shannon Shaw

9 p.m. Fri, Mississippi Studios, $15–18
The frontwoman for garage-punk outfit Shannon and the Clams channels Roy Orbison and Dusty Springfield on her Dan Auerbach–produced solo debut, Shannon in Nashville. Live, Shaw puts on a soulful, blistering show.


CLOSING A Dark Sky Full of Stars

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 Sirens of Coos Bay

8 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, 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. 

OPENING Curve of Departure

7 p.m. Fri–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, 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.

OPENING Let Me Down Easy/Well

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sun, Portland Playhouse, $20–38
Profile has devoted the last 18 months to playwrights Anna Deavere Smith and Lisa Kron, and the company now closes this double season with two shows in rotating repertory. In Let Me Down Easy, Smith brings her signature form of documentary-style theater to the health care debate, piecing together interviews with subjects ranging from former Texas governor Ann Richards to cyclist Lance Armstrong to a doctor who was in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Kron's Tony-nominated Well, meanwhile, is an autobiographical play about a mother-daughter relationship, illness, and community—evidently with plenty of humor. The shows feature the same six-person casts.

Visual Art

Susan Seubert

10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Froelick Gallery, FREE
The award-winning Portland photographer turns her lens on grief in A Typology of Lament, a series of photographs of delicate lace handkerchiefs—for wiping tears, perhaps?—that the artist says “tend towards stereotypes of femininity.” They’ve all been rendered using the 19th-century technique of wet plate collodion, a process that produces a negative image on glass from which prints are made.

Associated American Artists: Prints for the People

10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thu–Fri, 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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