Pomo Picks

Things to Do in Portland This Week

Weird Al comes to town, the Hollywood puts up Jurassic Park at Rooster Rock, PETE opens an intriguingly chilly Cherry Orchard, and more

By Conner Reed, Shannon Daehnke, and Michelle Harris

Header image of The Cherry Orchard by Owen Carey


Jump to Your Genre:

Books & Talks | Comedy | Dance | Film |  Music

Special Events | Theater | Visual Art


From a Weird Al double bill to Jurassic Park at Rooster Rock and Chekhov in the Tundra, there's plenty to keep you busy in and around Portland this week. Here's what we've got our eyes on. (For more things to do around the state this month, check out our roundup of what to do in Oregon in June.) 


Books & Talks

Ada Calhoun

7 p.m. Thu, June 23 | Powell's City of Books, FREE

Nonfiction writer Ada Calhoun's father, New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl, died before he could complete his biography of legendary poet Frank O'Hara. A fan of O'Hara herself, Calhoun scoured her father's tapes after he passed in hopes she might complete his project—instead, she wound up with Also a Poet, a memoir about the complicated benefits and drawbacks about an upbringing among her father's arty milieu. She'll be at Powell's on Burnside this week to chat about the book and sign copies.

Lynn Xu, Joshua Edwards, and Stacey Tran

7 p.m. Sat, June 25 | Mother Foucault's Bookshop, FREE

If you're looking to beat the heat with some good old-fashioned poetry, look no further than this weekend triple bill at Mother Foucault's. Lynn Xu will appear hot off the publication of her book-length poem And Those Ashen Heaps That Cantilevered Vase of Moonlight, joined by fellow Canarium Books editor Joshua Edwards and Portland's own Stacey Tran, founder of food and storytelling series Tender Table

Comedy

Margaret Cho

Various times Thu–Sat, June 23–26 | Helium Comedy Club, $30–38

Fresh off appearances in Hacks and Fire Island, the inexhaustible comedian will play a whopping six shows at Helium in Portland this weekend. (More than half are already sold out, so act fast—and be willing to stay up until midnight.) She's been provoking and delighting for nearly 30 years with sharp, loud, incredibly gay comedy that's earned her a laundry list of high-profile gigs and accolades.

Dance

Opacity of Performance

Various times Thu–Sun through June 26 | Portland Art Museum, $22–25

Portland choreographer Takahiro Yamamoto brings a live dance installation to PAM’s gallery of European art. Curtains will section off individual performances, toying with perspective and visibility to make audiences do what audiences love: consider the potentially violent effects of their gaze. 

Film

Sebastiane

7 p.m. Tue, June 21 | Clinton Street Theater, $8

British filmmaker Derek Jarman is not exactly known for timidity, but Sebastiane, his hot-blooded homoerotic 1976 rendering of Saint Sebastian's life and times, is notably bold, even for him. Essentially a 90 minute series of male nudes with Latin dialogue and a Brian Eno score, it is admittedly not for everyone, but it's a queer cult classic, and an excellent comedown from Pride weekend. (This screening is 21+.)

Jurassic Park

9 p.m. Sat, June 26 | Rooster Rock State Park, FREE

While Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard sweatily race through whatever passes for a sequel at multiplexes across town, the Hollywood Theatre presents the ripple in the water that started it all for free at Rooster Rock. Part of the Oregon State Parks centennial celebration, the screening of Steven Spielberg's 1993 classic will take place circa sunset, no tickets required.

UHF

3 p.m. Sun, June 26 | Whitsell Auditorium, $12

Before Weird Al take the stage at the Schnitz on Sunday, PAM CUT will screen his 1989 cult classic just down the street. A silly, kaleidoscopic story about a weirdo who starts programming his own TV station, the film flopped at the box office before gradually growing in stature through cable broadcasts. It remains Weird Al's only starring role—though he'll return to the screen (sort of) later this year when Daniel Radcliffe plays him in the forthcoming biopic Weird.

Velvet Goldmine

7:30 p.m. Sun, June 26 | Hollywood Theatre, $8–10

Sometime Portlander Todd Haynes's glam rock opus is a bona fide classic of New Queer Cinema, stuffing eye-popping costumes, undeniable tunes, and memorable turns from Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale, Eddie Izzard, Toni Collette, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers into a Citizen Kane-informed quasi-biopic of David Bowie and his milieu. To kick off its brand-new Thanks God It's Queer series, the Hollywood Theatre will screen Goldmine on 35mm film and follow it up with an in-house Todd Haynes Q&A. 

Music

 

Chamber Music Northwest Summer Festival

Various times June 25–July 31 | Various prices and locations

Under the theme “Inspirations and Influences,” Chamber Music NW presents a sprawling monthlong ode to the ways composers shape and impact one another. With in-person and virutal concerts, galas, late-night musical mixers, and more, prepare to immerse yourself in classical compositions from across the globe.

Chris Isaak and Lyle Lovett

6 p.m. Sun, June 26 | Edgefield Amphitheater, $59.50–109.50

The two singer-songwriters, who come at classic country and Americana sounds from a left-of-center sensibility (which has led Isaak to associate closely with David Lynch), will share a billing at Edgefield on Sunday. Think of it as a gentle, lightly trippy cap to what's expected to be a scorching weekend.

Reyna Tropical

9 p.m. Thu, June 23 | Doug Fir Lounge, $18–22

Comprised of Portlander Fabiola Reyna (who also plays with Sávila) and producer Sumohair, Reyna Tropical make lively, experimental music that's born mostly from improvisation. They'll be joined by hip-hop artist Xiuhtezcatl for a late week double-bill at the Doug Fir.

Weird Al Yankovic

8 p.m. Sun, June 26 | Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $39.50–99.50

The parody song god, responsible for nearly 40 years of novelty hits like "White and Nerdy" and "Smells Like Nirvana," comes to the Schnitz on his "Unfortunate Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent Ill-Advised Vanity Tour" with special guest Emo Philips. Expect polka, laughs, and middle school nostalgia.

Special Events

Pedalpalooza

Various dates and times through August 31 | Various locations, FREE

Portland's beloved summer-long bike fest officially kicked off June 1, followed be a dance party at the Fields Park. Highlights from this week's lineup include a naked solstice ridesecret roller disco and a tour of Portland's dog-friendliest spots.

Portland Flea

11 a.m.–4 p.m. Sundays through October | 240 SE Clay St, FREE

The now-weekly vintage shopping bonanza will hold down the lot at SE Second and Clay well into the fall. Expect food, clothes, plants, prints, music, and more, with some of the city's most exciting and well-curated vendors making a showing.

Theater

Cats

7:30 p.m. Tue–Sat, 2 p.m. Sat, 1 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. Sun, June 21–26 | Keller Auditorium, $29.50–124.50

What is there to say that hasn't been said? If you would like to wash your brain clean of any lingering images from Tom Hooper's mathematically baffling 2019 film, feel free to snag a ticket to and kick back for what may be the single most insane musical of all time. Andrew Lloyd Weber songs, T.S. Eliot poems of questionable taste, and (admittedly impressive) feline choreography—if that floats your boat, it'll be here all week.

The Cherry Orchard

7:30 p.m. Wed–Sun, June 24–July 9 | Reed College Performing Arts Building, $20–30

The Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble’s long-delayed production will take Chekhov’s tale of aristocratic unease to the tundra. Drawing on elements of the Russian master’s unfinished final play, plus contemporary climate anxieties, the always-reliable company will “step out from the shadow” of past Cherry Orchards to “make something of [their] own,” per director Alice Reagan. 

The God Cluster

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 3 p.m. Sun through June 26 | Back Door Theatre, FREE

As part of its annual OutWright Theatre Festival, Fuse Theatre Ensemble is mounting a new play from Portlander Ernie Lijoli. Per press materials, the "part fever dream, part prognosis" is inspired by Lijoli's experiences working in a COVID ICU, and takes place during the vaccine development stages for another pandemic in the near future, weaving in themes of queer trauma, religious struggle, and climate change. You know: the easy stuff!

The Music Man

Various times Thu–Sun through July 3 | CoHo Theatre, $25–45

At the Tonys on Sunday night, the current Broadway revival of The Music Man walked home empty-handed (not especially surprising, maybe, given the critical response). Any disappointed Harold Hill-heads need not fret long, however: this weekend, Third Rail Repertory Theatre will open its deconstructed take on the classic musical. Using just six performers (all female or nonbinary) to fill out the entire cast, the production will take a cue from the Broadway revivals of John Doyle, with each performer playing their own instruments.

Rent

Various times Wed–Sun through July 10 | Portland Center Stage, $25–85

Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer- and Tony-winning smash, which transposes Puccini's La Boheme to Manhattan's Lower East Side in the thick of the AIDS crisis, is getting fresh eyes from the folks at Portland Center Stage. The season-ending production, which opened late after a COVID delay, runs through mid-July.

Risk/Reward Festival

Various times Thu–Sat, June 24–26 | Ellyn Bye Studio at Portland Center Stage, suggested donation $20

Let us take a moment to celebrate the real win of this new, liberated phase of the pandemic: the return of weird-ass performance festivals. Risk/Reward is always a trip, and for its fourteenth year, it will present five new works from seven artists at Portland Center Stage’s downstairs studio. 

Visual Art

 

Breathe When You Need To

11 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon–Tues & Thu–Sat, noon–5 p.m. Sun through July 10 | Nationale, FREE

Portland artist Pace Taylor's latest exhibition, inspired by the works of French photographer and sculptor Claude Cahun, brings striking patches of warm color to scenes of (mostly queer) intimacy at Nationale's main gallery. The pieces—all sold, but on view for three more weeks—draw attention to the body as armor, a means of connection, and an ever-insufficient display of our interiority.

El Césped del Otro Lado

Noon–5 p.m. Wed–Sat through July 2 | Blue Sky Gallery, FREE

The Pearl District's Blue Sky Gallery hosts a show by Mexico-born, New York–based photographer Luis Manuel Diaz that, per press materials, "examines the post-migration consciousness through a familial lens." His ghostly black-and-white photographs, most focused on domestic settings, are almost indescribably poignant. 

Fool's Gold

Noon–5 p.m. Fri–Sat through July 30 | Holding Contemporary, FREE

Portland artist Jodie Cavalier's latest exhibition focuses on her mourning grandfather, and spans found objects, ceramics, and works on paper. She carves out space for humor, deep feeling, and broad cultural history in this otherwise tightly personal showcase about memory, loss, and the things we accumulate. 

Peaking

Noon–5 p.m. Fri–Sun through June 26 | Oregon Contemporary, FREE

Eugene artist and U of O professor Rick Silva's first solo exhibition in Portland uses 3-D models of mountain peaks to ask very chill, low-stakes questions like "Are we at the end of society?" and "How do we navigate a degrading physical landscape?" Peaking mostly consists of one large, 25-minute video work, and its scale and pace make for clarifying, deliberately overwhelming viewing.  

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