Books & Talks
7:30 p.m. Thu, Powell's City of Books, FREE
The author lauded by the Wall Street Journal as “the great nature writer of this generation” will be joined in conversation by fellow environmental writer and Oregonian Barry Lopez as he reads from his latest book. Underland: A Deep Time Journey promises an experiential exploration of our world’s landscape, and a piercing examination of the darkness that lies beneath its surface.
8 p.m. Thu, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Fri–Sat, Helium Comedy Club, $22–28
Once famous (on the Internet, at least) for getting embroiled in an elaborate prank involving a fake Pace Salsa Twitter account, Kinane is a sharp, self-deprecating stand-up comic who delights in poking at life’s absurdities.
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Newmark Theatre, $29–105
This new annual repertory program from Oregon Ballet Theatre was launched with the intent of highlighting unique voices in American choreography. The inaugural showcase features the work of legendary choreographer Alvin Ailey set to Duke Ellington, a piece by Trey McIntyre set to Fleet Foxes, and the world premiere of Big Shoes, choreographed by BodyVox cofounders Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland.
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Lincoln Hall, $34–58
NW Dance Project caps its 15th season with a trio of world-premiere works from artistic director Sarah Slipper, 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. Curious about that Canfield piece? We visited rehearsal and reported back.
7 p.m. Sun, Whitsell Auditorium, $8–10
The NW Film Center’s annual festival, co-presented with the Institute for Judaic Studies, is back with 13 films released between 2017 and 2019. Titles range from a documentary about Israel’s national baseball team to a brooding noir set in mid-’30s Budapest.
Noon Fri, The Old Church, $10
Portland-based contemporary music ensemble Fear No Music presents a re-airing of last season’s bonus concert, a showcase meant to highlight the work of composers from countries that have been vilified in our national conversation. The concert, which pointedly coincides with Donald Trump’s birthday, is free for all immigrants and refugees.
8 p.m. Fri–Sat, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, $24
This one-man show from Portland musician Matt Sheehy is billed as “part rock concert, part podcast, and part The Twilight Zone.” In addition to touring with bands like EL VY, Sheehy is the front man of electro-pop group Lost Lander. This wide-ranging performance, inspired by Sheehy’s time living and working as a forester in Aberdeen, Washington, runs about 80 minutes and includes live-action and animated projections.
8 p.m. Fri, The Old Church, SOLD OUT
The former Of Montreal member rolls through town fresh on the release of his fourth solo album, Omoiyari, which reflects on both the incarceration of Japanese-Americans in the 1940s and our present-day sociopolitical tumult.
8 p.m. Fri, Revolution Hall, SOLD OUT
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 p.m. Fri–Sat, Mississippi Studios, SOLD OUT
The members of Team Dresch are so wound up in the Northwest’s family tree of punk bands and labels and zines (Hazel, Chainsaw, Kill Rock Stars…) it’s hard to imagine the ’90s without them. Relive the queercore legends’ heyday (and maybe your own) with reissues of Personal Best and Captain My Captain, as well as a singles compilation, swerving from the wall-of-sound rage of “Hate the Christian Right!” to the sweetly poppy “She’s Amazing” and “Hand Grenade.”
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, CoHo Theatre, $25–45
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.
OPENING SoLow Fest
Various times and locations Thu–Sun, prices vary
The Philadelphia-forged theater festival makes its way to Portland, with venues ranging from a swamp in Forest Park to a living room on Southeast Belmont. The focus is on low-budget devised work, with a hefty emphasis on dance and movement.
CLOSING The Barber of Seville
7:30 p.m. Thu & Sat, Keller Auditorium, $35+
Rossini’s famed 19th-century opera revolves around scheming barber Figaro as he attempts to help a young count vie for the hand of the lovely Rosina. Metropolitan Opera baritone John Moore stars as Figaro, and Christopher Mattaliano directs this Portland Opera production of the comic masterpiece.
CLOSING Let Me Down Easy/Well
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Portland Playhouse, $20–36
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.
10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thu–Fri, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Portland Art Museum, $17–20
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.
11 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat, Russo Lee Gallery, FREE
The Seattle-based, self-taught artist makes use of a wide range of forms—from painting to sculpture to photography—as a means of exploring race, identity, and culture. As part of the gallery’s “In The Office” series, Russo Lee hosts hosting a collection of Johnson’s work, largely consisting of his vibrantly colored mixed-media portraits.
Sat–Sun, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, FREE (VIP passes available for $75)
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.
Books & Talks