Your Guide to the Perfect Portland Weekend: June 11-14

Each week throughout the summer, we'll share dozens of ways to make the most of your days off!

By Rachel Ritchie June 12, 2015

Oaks Amusement Park

Image: Leah Nash

GET LOUD & BE PROUD this weekend

This year, the Portland Pride Festival kicks off Thursday night with a white-hot burst: Portland Monthly’s own Flare, featuring Spinderella (yes, that one!) on the turntables, glowing geodesic domes, and the city’s finest cocktails. And if you dance like we hope you do, you’ll need a touch of fresh air and open space to revive you on Friday. Stretch those legs out on the scenic 12-mile bike loop around Sauvie Island, that agricultural oasis just 10 miles northwest of downtown. Point your wheels toward Collins Beach at its northern terminus, where you can elect to either strip down to your birthday suit in the nude section (it is Pride, after all), or play it safe and keep that bathing suit on. For an après-beach treat, swing by Bella Organic farm to pick a few pints of strawberries at their peak—paired with a bit of rhubarb, they’ll fuel the ultimate early-summer pie. Come Saturday, the Portland Fruit Beer Festival descends upon the parking lot at Burnside Brewing Co. Sunday is a day for low-key thrills, and there’s no better place to indulge than Oaks Amusement Park, where bumper cars, mini golf, and vintage carnival games offer a sweet dose of youthful nostalgia.


Marriage, for a Superman like me? I must flee! Ralph Fiennes broadcast live this Sunday. Image credit: NTLive.

NT Live: Man and Superman
Sunday at 2 pm and 7 pm, World Trade Center Theatre
Jack Tanner (the stunningly nuanced Ralph Fiennes) is a fiery radical philosopher threatened by the prospect of marriage. Bernard Shaw's 1903 four-act drama gets a "satanic" update from London's National Theatre. (Meaning, they've kept, and reworked—with much success, says the Guardian—the oft-omitted "Don Juan in Hell" scene of Shaw's original script, in which Tanner (played by the superbly sexy Ralph Fiennes) debates the devil. 

Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2 pm, Portland Center Stage
What does the “best musical of the year” sound like? Well, sort of existentially acoustic. Traveling troubadour Benjamin Scheuer’s one-man, six-guitar show starts off wholesome and sweet—with memories of the cookie-tin banjo made by his late father—but soon navigates a “Freudian minefield,” according to the Huffington Post, to arrive somewhere far more macabre. Check out our review

Gordy Boudreau churns, er, the butter? Image credit: Carr Hagerman Photography.

OPENINGThe Wildly Inappropriate Poetry of Arthur Greenleaf Holmes 
Thursday–Sunday at 7:30 pm, CoHo Theatre
Kicking off CoHo's annual Summerfest is local roustabout Gordy Boundreau, whose fictional 16th-century “libertine poet” is most certainly unsuitable for children or unplucked maids.

OPENING In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play
Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2 pm, Artists Repertory Theatre
Adriana Baer directs Sarah Ruhl’s spin on Victorian sex therapy for “feminine hysteria.” Tired? Hungry? Nervous? Spastic? If you’re an ailing lady in the 1880s, you might require treatment from the good Dr. Givings. 

A still from Dough, starring Jerome Holder and Jonathan Pryce, playing at the 2015 Portland Jewish Film Festival. Image credit: Dough Films Ltd.


OPENING Portland Jewish Film Festival
Sunday at 7 pm, Whitsell Auditorium
The 23rd annual festival explores Jewish identity through films including Israeli documentary The Muses of Isaac Bashevis SingerMagic Men (a Hasidic rapper on a road trip to Greece with his dad), 2014's Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholem Aleichem, (in which the well-known actor finds links between his life and that of the Russian playwright) and British flick Dough, where a bakery’s challah meets hash, and a rare friendship arises. 


Jacques-Louis David, Erasistratus Discovers the Cause of Antiochus' Disease, 1774, Oil on canvas. École des Beaux-Arts, Paris (PRP 18). Photo courtesy American Federation of Arts.

OPENING Gods and Heroes
Thursday & Friday from 10 am to 8 pm, Saturday & Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, Portland Art Museum
Paris’s École des Beaux-Arts trained artists like Jean-Honoré Fragonard, François Boucher, and Jacques-Louis David. See the biblical and Homer-inspired works that made them heroes in their own time.  


OPENING The Rake's Progress
Thursday & Friday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2 pm, Keller Auditorium
Stravinsky’s 1951 opera, based on the cautionary series from 18th-century morality painter William Hogarth (whose dissipated rake ultimately lands in Bedlam), got a striking, whimsical update in 1975 with stage design from the eminent artist David Hockney. The show runs in tandem with an exhibition of Hogarth and Hockney at the Portland Art Museum.

What the Festival

...And start making plans for June 19-21!

An “immersive rave” with the world’s largest wading pool, a hookah lounge, and electronic music out in the Gorge, basking in the shadows of Mounts Hood and Adams? Well, sure! What The Festival’s fourth year should bring more of the artistically inclined, light-on-the-land, carnivalesque brand of fun that’s already lofted WTF to international acclaim on the festival circuit. Plus, showers and yoga and tea! But because a full weekend of raving in the sunshine can be, well, overwhelming, we won’t judge you for departing early to observe the summer solstice from the quieter sanctuary of your home on Sunday. We recommend jumping aboard a midmorning kayak tour with Alder Creek, which launches you from the Eastbank Esplanade on a three-mile paddle around Ross Island, where you’re likely to spot a good few of the 100 species of migratory birds that summer here, including bald eagles and great blue herons. Finish your splendidly chill day with a cold one in hand at the recently revived Skyline Tavern (8031 NW Skyline Blvd), where Ping-Pong, horseshoes, a DIY grill, and verdant views over the canopy of Forest Park offer the perfect punctuation for the longest day of the year.

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