Top Things to Do in Portland This Week: July 22–28
We're right in the thick of a summer that's going by way too quickly. Time to maximize fun with Shakespeare in the Park, some open-air dance classes, a showy weekend-long celebration of downtown, and a bloody mary bike tour. See you there.
2–9 p.m. Thurs, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Sat, Jul 11 & 24, Old Moody Stages at Zidell Yards, $10 per event
Originally planned as a combo class-and-performance festival, this initiative from Dance Wire has now split in half—classes now, performances in August. Interested parties can sign up for outdoor workshops in everything from Bollywood to ballet this week down at Moody Stages, the all-new space on the South Waterfront at Zidell Yards.
The Muppet Movie
Doors 7 p.m. Tues, July 27, The Lot at Zidell Yards, $35–50 per person
As I am always saying, "The only thing that could make the Muppets better is a little live jazz." Look no further! Local avant-jazz wizards The 1939 Ensemble will play an opening set for one of cinema's most thrilling origin stories: 1979's The Muppet Movie. My money's on them covering "The Rainbow Connection" and me crying. (As always, tickets will be sold in pods of 2, 4, or 6.)
Doors 8 p.m. Sun, July 25, Lloyd Center rooftop, $20
The NW Film Center's rooftop screening series—formerly located at Portland State University—continues into its fourth weekend at the Lloyd Center with a contemporary title: Zola, the Janicza Bravo/Jeremy O. Harris flick based on a viral 2015 Twitter thread that's also playing at various indoor, non-rooftop theaters around town.
Chamber Music NW Summer Festival
Various times July 1–25, Kaul Auditorium at Reed College, $20–325
Chamber Music NW's ambitious summer festival rolls into its final week, with both in-person and virtual events and a home base at Reed College's Kaul Auditorium. The grand finale includes four performances from the renowned Juilliard-originating Brentano String Quartet and streaming performances of pieces by Aaron Copland, Marc-André Hamelin, and more.
Polka Dot Downtown
Noon daily (plus additional times, see here) through August, Pioneer Courthouse Square, FREE
Portland artist Bill Will has unleashed a set of more than 100 colorful 12-foot vinyl dots throughout downtown, setting a wide variety of stages for local musicians and artists. The dots, created last summer, were designed to provide a safe entertainment space for Portlanders to enjoy local music during the pandemic.
Doors 5 p.m. Thurs, July 22, Topaz Farm, $25
Sauvie Island's Topaz Farm is hosting outdoor shows every Thursday throughout the summer, and this week, the billing's hot: indie darling Black Belt Eagle Scout, PDX/LA power duo Reyna Tropical (featuring Fabi Reyna of Sávila), and a super-secret guest, for a show called "She Shreds."
Downtown Reopening Weekend
July 23–25, Various downtown locations
In an attempt to muster some new interest in the city's core, Here for Portland will host a slew of events this weekend, celebrating the "reopening" of downtown. On the docket: the official launch of the Ankeny West food cart pod near Broadway and Burnside, featuring a number of spots that shuttered in favor of the Ritz Carlton on SW Alder in 2019; a drag show at the new Moxy hotel; a fashion show at the Portland Art Museum; a Pink Martini concert; and more.
June 1–Aug 31, Various prices and locations
Pedalpalooza is upon us, the beloved three-month biking festival that holds multiple events every single day. For this weekend specifically, start it off on the right wheels on Friday with a 7 p.m. Katy Perry/Taylor Swift-themed ride (or a 7:30 p.m. nude ride leaving from Colonel Summers, for the brave). Take a Saturday morning ride down to the PSU farmers market, and round out the weekend with a Sunday bloody mary circuit.
7 p.m. Fri–Sat, July 23–24, Bridgetown Conservatory of Musical Theatre, FREE (suggested donation)
Portland performers Jen Grinels and Meredith Kaye Clark will present the beginnings a new folk-rock musical about the life of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, who enlisted in the Union Army in 1862 as a man named Lyons Wakeman, this weekend at the Bridgetown Musical Theatre Conservatory in St. Johns. A cast of youth performers will sing Grinel's original songs in a concert-style staging (the project currently lacks a book). Check out Grinel and Clark performing "Goodnight Sun, Hello Moon, " a cut from the musical, below:
Original Practice Shakespeare Festival
7–9:30 p.m. Thurs–Sun, July 22–25, Irving Park, FREE
Portland's preeminent Shakespeare in the Park company makes its returns to actual parks this summer, after a year of fruitful livestreams. This week they're setting up shop at Irving Park to perform four straight days of different Bard plays: Winter's Tale, Measure for Measure (new to their repertory this year), Othello, and Henry V.
Color Line: Black Excellence on the World Stage
10 a.m.–5 p.m. Wed–Sun through August 1, Portland Art Museum, $17–20
This exhibit was originally put together as "The American Negro Exhibit" by sociologist, historian, and civil rights activist W.E.B. Dubois for the 1900 Paris Exposition. Dubois created this collection of photographs of African American men and women, and other institutions such as churches, to challenge the racist stereotypes and the existing “colorline,” which he deemed the 20th century’s worst problem.
Ansel Adams in Our Time
10 a.m.–5 p.m. Wed–Sun through August 1, Portland Art Museum, $17–20
This exhibition (originally from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston) revitalizes the work of legendary landscape photographer Ansel Adams, successfully reminding us that his legacy spans far beyond postcards. Putting Adams’ photographs—particularly shots of the Bay Area and the Southwest—in conversation with contemporary images of the same landscapes, the show underlines his considerable influence on our collective understanding of the West. And crucially, it treats the contemporary work as more than just a foil, with enough variety per room to hold down several individual shows.
I Am My Story: Voices of Hope
Noon–5 p.m. Wed–Fri & Sun, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat, through August 22, Oregon Historical Society, FREE–$10
The latest collaboration between The Immigrant Story and Oregon Historical Society focuses on six women who’ve come to Oregon from Burundi, Congo, and Eritrea. Featuring their portraits, words, and photographs of the objects they brought with them from Africa to Oregon, the exhibition is an extension of Jim Lommasson’s What We Carried series.
Noon–5 p.m. Fri–Sun, through August 8, Oregon Contemporary, FREE
This group show—the first to open at North Portland’s newly renamed Oregon Contemporary (formerly Disjecta)—features works by Lisa Jarret, Bean Gilsdorf, and several others that distort the figure to tease out questions about our physical relationship with time.