PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: July 11–14

Kyle Craft! Wicked! Ten Tiny Dances! Portland Sketch Comedy Fest! Sun Ra Arkestra! The weekend is ready and waiting.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Brendan Nagle, and Conner Reed July 10, 2019

It’s your last chance for Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble’s Our Ruined House, which promises Pussy Riot masks and more.

Books & Talks

Lisa Taddeo 

7:30 p.m. Thu, Powell's City of Books, FREE
Journalist Lisa Taddeo’s much-hyped book debut, Three Women, draws on eight years of reporting to chronicle the sex lives of three American women: a mother in suburban Indiana who plunges into an intense affair, a restaurateur in the Northeast whose husband likes watching her have sex with other people, and a young North Dakotan navigating the fallout from a relationship with her high school English teacher.


Portland Sketch Comedy Festival

7 p.m. Thu–Sat, Siren Theater, $12–95
Bridgetown Comedy Festival might be no more, but our city’s not hurting for humor. This celebration of sketch returns for year three, with a slew of hometown troupes, including the Aces and Spectravagasm, joined by funny folks from New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Back Fence PDX: Russian Roulette

7:30 p.m. Sat, The Old Church, $16–26
In this off-the-cuff storytelling show, participants spin a wheel for a prompt and then craft a true five-minute tale. Tellers tonight include Noble Rot chef Leather Storrs, Front Porch Sessions creator Chris Williams, and Katie Piatt, a member of feminist comedy collective That’s What She Said.


Pretty Creatives Showing

7:30 p.m. Sat, Lincoln Hall, $20–25
Kaloyan Boyadjiev and Joseph Hernandez, the winners of NW Dance Project’s 11th annual Pretty Creatives International Choreographic Competition—an opportunity for emerging choreographers to set work on young professional dancers—present their brand-new pieces.

Ten Tiny Dances

10 a.m.–1 p.m. Sat, Downtown Beaverton, FREE
Constraints are said to be good for creativity, a maxim embraced by this beloved performance series since 2002. As the name suggests, expect 10 different dance pieces popping up on five four-by-four-foot stages across downtown Beaverton. You’ve got three hours to catch them all. 


Kyle Craft

9 p.m. Thu, Mississippi Studios, $15
The Sub Pop signee and Portland local has always worn his influences proudly on his sleeve—Bowie, Dylan, and the Stones all course through his veins—but he still maintains a distinctive flair all his own. Craft’s third album, Showboat Honey, comes out July 12, but you can hear his new songs live at Mississippi Studios, a day early.  

Cate Le Bon

9 p.m. Fri, Doug Fir Lounge, SOLD OUT
Over the last decade, the Welsh singer-songwriter has gradually made a name for herself with a string of exceptional full-lengths and EPs that showcase her eclectic range of influences and unmistakable voice. She’ll perform at the Doug Fir in support of her latest album, Rewardperhaps her strongest work yet. 

Sun Ra Arkestra

8:30 p.m. Sun (and Mon–Tue), Hollywood Theatre, $40
Cosmic jazz luminary Sun Ra passed away in 1993, but his legendary Arkestra has kept his radical, mind-bending legacy alive. Now lead by 95-year-old alto saxophonist Marshal Allen, the 15-member group will play three nights at the Hollywood Theatre, backed by psychedelic projections on the big screen.



8 p.m. Thu–Fri, 2 and 8 p.m. Sat, Milagro Theatre, $25
In 1989 in Aloha, Oregon, a 14-year-old named Joaquin Lopez came out as gay. It was a rough time to be a queer kid, but Lopez found release on the dance floors of under-21 clubs in downtown Portland. Thirty years later, he’s completed a Spanish-language electro-pop album inspired by the music that soundtracked his teen years, accompanied by a multimedia show premiering this month at Milagro Theatre. For more, check out our show preview.

CLOSING Our Ruined House

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Reed College Performing Arts Building, $20–25
The ever-iconoclastic Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble promises Pussy Riot masks, live-feed surveillance video, and a giant octopus in this new show, an exploration of relationships both romantic and geopolitical.


7:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat, 1 and 6 p.m. Sun, Keller Auditorium, $49+
Since its debut in 2003, the famed Broadway show has broken countless box office records, establishing itself as one of the most widely beloved musicals of the 2000s.
 As a reimagining of The Wizard of Oz’s embattled witches, it tells the story of Glinda the Good Witch and Elphaba, Wicked Witch of the West, long before Dorothy entered the fold.  

OPENING Much Ado About Nothing

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Vault Theater, $27–32
Perhaps the greatest of Shakespeare’s comedies, Much Ado About Nothing is a twisty tale of love and deceit and an uproarious farce to boot. Hillsboro’s Bag & Baggage Productions offers a modern take on the classic source material, promising an exploration of “love and its many facets with a fluid approach to gender.” 

OPENING La Finta Giardiniera

7:30 p.m. Fri, 2 p.m. Sun, Newmark Theatre, $35–200
Portland Opera's penultimate production of the season is Mozart's classic tale of lust and mistaken identity (which he wrote at 18). Complementary events include a lunchtime performance at Director Park on July 15 and a starlit simulcast in the South Park Blocks on the 24th. 

Visual Art

CLOSING Tess Rubinstein

1–6 p.m. Thu–Sat, Stephanie Chefas Projects, FREE
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.

Paris 1900

10 a.m–8 p.m. Thu–Fri, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Portland Art Museum, $20
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!

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