The fall air is creeping its way into our skies. August sipped away like a bottle of wine—speaking of which. Still, it's technically summer, and we're willing to wring that technicality for all it's worth. Looking for some laughs? Some movies? A stage parody of the 1989 film Road House? Us too. We've got you covered—here's what we have our eyes on this week.
6 p.m. Friday, Sept 10, Laurelhurst Park, FREE
Incredibly reliable local comedy collective Kickstand has been performing free shows every other Friday in Laurelhurst park throughout the summer, and this week, it all comes to an end. We’ve been in weeks past, and can fully attest to the therapeutic value of gathering with a hundred or so fellow Portlanders and their adorable, anxious dogs to laugh outdoors near a duck pond. Don't miss out.
8 p.m. Fri, Sept 10, OMSI Bridge Lot, $20
After a fire at the Lloyd Center put their rooftop programming on pause, the NW Film Center has set up shop at the OMSI Bridge Lot on the east bank of the Willamette and fired its projector back up. This weekend kicks off with a postponed screening of Dirty Dancing, the ’80s classic that taught us never to put Baby in a corner and taught Ryan Gosling his moves in Crazy, Stupid, Love. If it were up to us, we would program the trainwreck 2017 made-for-TV adaptation starring Debra Messing, but lucky for you, it is not up to us.
3 p.m. Sat–Sun, Sept 11–12, Hollywood Theatre, $7
The 2008 Studio Ghibli cut is remembered, perhaps, as a mid-tier endeavor, but we are enormous fans: it's a big-hearted, wide-eyed, gorgeously rendered testament to friendship and the beauty of the natural world. The Hollywood has programmed two matinee screenings this weekend for a crisp seven dollars, and while we understand the impulse to soak up the last of the summer sun, they'd make a great mid-afternoon break.
8 p.m. Sat, Sept 11, The Lot at Zidell Yards, $55–80 per person
After a brief hiatus, the Lot at Zidell Yards is back in business, with a Saturday-night show from Portland's own Dandy Warhols—their second at the venue this year. Word is still out whether they'll stick to their classic alt-rock roots or break out something from last year's four-hour avant-garded dinner-music experiment Tafelmuzik Mean More When You're Alone, but either way, it's bound to be interesting. (Those who would prefer to stay inside can livestream the show for $20.)
10 a.m.–2 p.m. Sat, Sept 11, $10–15
The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon's feline-focused event returns for its 9th year this weekend, featuring an in-person or virtual tour of eight ideal outdoor spaces for your furry friends. Proceeds from the event (and its auxiliary raffle) will go to the Cat Coalition and Portland Audubon's Cats Safe at Home program, which aims to curb free-roaming kitties with things like, say, catios.
11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Sun, Sept 12, The Hotel Zags, $65
Local queens Syrah St. James and Feather Dusted launched this new, weekly drag event at downtown's Hotel Zags last Sunday. Attendees receive a full brunch, plus a painting setup, on-loan apron, take-home canvas, and all. St. James and Dusted will provide step-by-step painting instructions (and critiques) throughout, and yes, booze is available for purchase.
Various times Fri–Sun, Sept 10–12, Oregon Convention Center, $15–135
The three-day pop culture fest returns to the Convention Center this year, after a 2020 COVID hiatus. Starry guests include George Takei, Jon Heder of Napoleon Dynamite, Christina Ricci, Mythbuster Adam Savage, and voice-of-Mario Charles Martinet; there are also plenty of cosplay meetups, panels, live podcasts, and workshops to keep the con-obsessed happy.
8 p.m. Fri–Sat, Sept 10–11, The Siren Theater, $20–25
In 2010, Portland comedian Shelley McLendon (artistic director of Old Town comedy venue Siren Theater) wrote a parody of the insane 1989 Patrick Swayze skull-crushing flick Road House. Ever since, it's become a sold-out Siren staple. Catch it this weekend or miss out completely—proof of vaccination required.
8:30 p.m. Thu, Sept 9, Veterans Memorial Coliseum Pavilion, $10–35
This five-years-in-the-making jazz opera about the gentrification of Portland's Black neighborhoods was slated to premiere last April. This week, it finally saw the light, with music by local jazz composer Darrell Grant, a libretto by Oregon poet laureate Anis Mojgani, and performances from local heavyweights including Damien Geter, Onry, Marilyn Keller, and Ithica Tell. It is, all told, a pretty much can't-miss situation—the final performance goes up Thursday night.