While the omicron variant has kept Portland's social calendar on unsteady footing in recent weeks, plenty of events are forging ahead, and the worst of cancellations may(?) be behind us. (Here is a friendly redirect to our booster shot guide.) For the comfortable on-the-towners, this week offers some riches: Aminé at the Moda Center, a pair of films about women on the margins, new dance pieces at A-WOL (including one set to Pink Martini), plenty of visual art, and more. Here's what we have our eyes on.
8 p.m. Thu, 7:30 & 10 p.m. Fri–Sat, Jan 27–29, Helium Comedy Club, $25–33
You may recognize Garofalo’s fast-talking and sardonic wit from Wet Hot American Summer and/or The Larry Sanders Show. With five Helium shows packed in over three days, there's plenty of time to catch this funny lady’s comedic stylings in the Rose City.
7:30 p.m. Wed–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Jan 26–30, A-WOL Dance Collective, $21–35
Contemporary choreographer and dance instructor Graham Cole presents three new theatrical pieces alongside performers Lindsay Dreyer and Jordan Kriston. Plus, the pieces will be accompanied by Portland musical artists Pink Martini and Ryan Wolfe.
7:30 p.m. Mon, Jan 24, Hollywood Theatre, $8–10
For its Sonic Cinema series, the Hollywood is cuing up this 2020 doc about Karen Dalton, the ultra-distinctive folk-and-blues vocalist idolized by the likes of Bob Dylan and Nick Cave. Largely forgotten by history, her two albums (particularly the second, which gives the doc its name) have reemerged in recent years—anyone interested in recovering a key piece of the ’60s Greenwich Village scene would do well to secure a ticket.
7 p.m. Mon, Jan 24, Clinton Street Theater, $5–8
This recently recovered jewel of independent cinema—the only film by Barbara Loden, whom the New Yorker's Richard Brody has compared to Cassavetes—is the vérité account of its title character (played by Loden) as she traverses the lonely, grainy rust belt, running late to divorce proceedings and eventually falling into the thrall of a menacing bank robber. Shot largely without a script, Wanda is a hypnotic, audacious document, whose influence on many "Great American Films" of the ’70s is undeniable.
8 p.m. Sat, Jan 29, Moda Center, $42–605
Hot off the release of his fourth mixtape, TwoPointFive, and an appearance in HBO’s Insecure, local wunderkind Aminé returns home for a sure-to-be triumphant performance at Moda Center. Considering all the pent-up material from 2020's Limbo, it's a must-see show.
7:30 p.m. Wed–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun through Jan 30, Imago Theatre, $35–45
After a surprise late-summer start to its season on the South Waterfront, Profile Theatre is back at Imago for the latest installation in its Branden Jacobs-Jenkins series. Gloria, Jacobs-Jenkins's 2016 Pulitzer finalist, is a (very) dark workplace comedy about magazine writers that skewers our violence-hungry culture.
Various times through Feb 27, Portland Playhouse, $19–38
Thurgood—the true story of Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to sit on the United States Supreme Court—opens at Portland Playhouse this Friday, January 21. Directed by Lou Bellamy, the autobiographical one-man show spans Marshall’s entire career, from his early work as an attorney on the Brown v. Board of Education case all the way up to his SCOTUS appointment. Broadway World has commended star Lester Purry’s performance, saying he “convincingly changes his voice and stage presence to reflect the many chapters of the man's life without losing his mannerisms.”
Noon–5 p.m. Wed–Fri through Jan 29, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
Assembled largely using postcard collages, this surreal exhibition from Japanese artist Kensuke Koike rearranges existing figures to delight, disarm, and question the ways we present ourselves and communicate with others.
10 a.m.–5 p.m. Wed–Sun through Feb 27, Portland Art Museum, $22–25
Local radio station the Numberz has been managing its own gallery at PAM since August, and this current show features a series of portraits by Portland photographer Jason Hill that track the Black Diaspora in Oregon. From Technicolor shots in collaboration with local afro-pop singer I$$A to stunning tableaus from off-duty touring members of the Lion King cast, Hill's photos are rich, sumptuous, and gorgeously lit. The gallery also features a bodega, open noon–5 p.m., selling work from local BIPOC artists.
Noon–5 p.m. Sat–Sun through Jan 30, Well Well Projects, FREE
A collaborative exhibition between two self-proclaimed “partners in crime,” Mirror Mirror, Mira Mira is an eclectic collection of multimedia art. Laura Camila Medina’s anthropomorphic watercolors “transport viewers to an indistinct space,” per the artist, while Angela Maree Saenz’s oil-on-canvas freeform portraits place us back in reality. Medina and Saenz’s artistic goal is to pose questions about the nature of our relationships and to “imply the familiar manner in which faces, objects, and patterns can transport the viewer to a dreamlike place and state.”
Various times through Jan 30, Building 5, FREE
Portland-based artist Julie Rall’s latest gallery installation, A Soft Landing, is now up at Building 5 in the NW Industrial District. Constructed solely from repurposed items, including recycled sheets, painted globes, and an antique parachute, the large-scale project—chewing on lofty thoughts about the state of our social contract—is on view through the end of January.
Noon–5 p.m. Fri–Sat, through Feb 12, Holding Contemporary, FREE
Featuring work from Emily Bixler, Jovencio de la Paz, Kassandra Howk, Kellie Romany, Stacy Jo Scott, and Sarah Wertzberger, this multimedia show features everything from sculpture to printmaking to textiles. Focusing on the formal elements of abstract art, expect unconventional approaches like fabrics made from digital looms and interlocking chainmail sculptures.