APRIL 6–MAY 1 Set in 1920s-era Chicago, MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM, by Pulitzer–winning playwright August Wilson, focuses on a group of musicians and explores race, art, philosophy, and the historic exploitation of black recording artists by white producers. Black Bottom is the third installment in Wilson’s 10-play Pittsburgh Cycle, an epic chronicle of 20th-century history. portlandplayhouse.org

APRIL 16–17 Grab your laughing goggles (a.k.a. “reading glasses”) for the eighth annual STUMPTOWN COMICS FEST, a showcase for local and national comic book authors and the largest creator-focused comics convention in the Pacific Northwest. stumptowncomics.com

APRIL 22–23 Raise a souvenir glass to the 17th annual SPRING BEER & WINE FEST with more than 150 vendors serving beer, wine, and artisan cheeses at the Oregon Convention Center. On-site massage is available if all that stresses you out. springbeerfest.com

APRIL 30–MAY 1 Test the best kayaks, canoes, and paddle boats on the market at the SPRING PADDLE FESTIVAL on Vancouver Lake, a free event including introductory classes, clinics, and complimentary use of boats and equipment from numerous kayak vendors. aldercreek.com

This article appeared in the April 2011 issue of Portland Monthly Magazine.

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