Pomo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Feb 27–Mar 1

White Bird brings French-Candian acrobats to town, plus an embarrassment of plays and exhibitions.

By Conner Reed and Daniel Bromfield February 26, 2020

Volcano!, exclamation point and all, is on at the Portland Art Museum through mid-May.



7:30 p.m. Thurs–Sat, Newmark, $30–75
The folks at White Bird bring Quebec’s Cirque Alfonse, a troupe of acrobats whose work focuses on French-Canadian folklore, to the Newmark for TABARNAK. It pays tribute to the small church that served the village where the performers grew up, complete with roller skates, massive whips, and face-melting drum solos.


PDX Jazz Festival

Thurs–Sun, Various times and venues
The festival’s 17th iteration promises an embarrassment of riches, from local drumming legend Mel Brown to Nigeria-born, LA-based, angel-voiced crooner Douyé. Our pick? Thundercat, the gonzo multi-instrumentalist whose catalog spans from Kendrick Lamar guest spots to songs about Dragon Ball Z, will play at the Portland Art Museum on February 29.


The Found Dog Ribbon Dance

7:30 p.m. Thurs–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, CoHo Productions, $20–35
Reed alum Dominic Finocchiaro’s play The Found Dog Ribbon Dance explores the “anatomy of loneliness” through the eyes of two Northwesterners: a ribbon-dancer and a professional cuddler. Connery MacRae directs CoHo Productions’ take on this quirky but resonant comedy, which features perhaps the most memorable use of a Whitney Houston song since The Bodyguard.


7:30 p.m. Thurs–Sun, 2 p.m. Sat–Sun, Lincoln Hall, $30–60
Profile teams up with Artists Rep to produce Paula Vogel’s Tony-winning playOne of the most-produced works in the country last season, Indecent tells the story of the controversial 1923 Broadway production of God of Vengeance.


7:30 p.m. Thurs–Sun, 2 p.m. Sat–Sun, Portland Playhouse, $26–36
Variety called Dominique Morriseau’s play about American education disparities an “emotionally harrowing” drama that “raises barbed questions about class, race, [and] parental duty” when it premiered in New York in 2017. Now Portland Playhouse teams up with Confrontation Theatre (dedicated to “present[ing] excellent, affordable theatre by and about the African diaspora”) for its Portland premiere.

Visual Art

Art and Race Matters

10 a.m.–5 p.m. Thurs–Sun, Portland Art Museum, $17–20
Fresh off a 2019 stint at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, this retrospective on Portland painter Robert Colescott comes to PAM. Colescott got his start in the early ’60s after Arlene Schnitzer showed his work at her Fountain Gallery, and he went on to become a notable neo-expressionist—Art and Race Matters pulls pieces from his five-decade career and wades into his legacy as a race-and-sex focused upstart.


12–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Disjecta, FREE
The Nierika, a “God’s eye” used as a ritual item by Mexico’s indigenous Wixarika (Huichol) people, is at the center of queer Wixarika artist and self-described witch Edgar Fabián Frias’s new exhibit. Incorporating prints and videos alongside readymades like shower curtains and pillows, Nierika is an idiosyncratic exploration of “how we are linked to a larger world through ecology, community, and spirituality.” 


10 a.m.–5 p.m. Thurs–Sun, Portland Art Museum, $17–20
Forty years ago, Mount St. Helens blew its top, killing 57 people and casting an ashy film over the entire northwest. This is something most millennials were told in third grade, but it’s tough to actually imagine. Enter the Portland Art Museum. Using photos, paintings, and drawings dating back to 1845, PAM has assembled an exhibit meant to tell the story of St. Helens in images. 

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