Top Things to Do This Weekend: Mar 15-17
Provocative art, jazz hands, and stripped-down blues are on our calendar.
Keep Hope Alive Block Party
Pacific Northwest College of Art; Sat, noon–5pm
While a small minority might possess most of the world’s wealth, the Critical Art Ensemble is throwing a downtown block party blowout to remind the rest of us that we still have enough to keep our heads up. There'll be: “sustenance (soup kitchen open all afternoon); delirium (forty-ounce bottles of Miller High Life for those of age, and Big Gulps of Mountain Dew for under-agers); and hope (raffle tickets offering big cash prizes, so that for a lucky few, economic mobility will not only be downward).” For more about CAE, check out our preview of the international bioart agitators' events.
Gregory Grenon Talk
Laura Russo Gallery; Sat at 11am
Aptly titled, the works in well-known NW painter Gregory Grenon’s The Glass Opera depict a series of women with so much mood and often pathos that there’s a little opera in each. And of course, in Grenon’s personal technique, they are painted with oil on the reverse side of glass, so that they are always looking at the viewer through a window of glass. Sometimes they meet our gaze (some more defiantly than others), sometimes they look away, but always they seem to have a story to tell in their simple but evocative colors and lines that we can only begin to glimpse. Grenon gives a talk Saturday at 11.
New Arrangements Opening Reception
PICA; Sat 6–8pm
PICA curator Kristan Kennedy sees a thrilling interplay between the works of Michihiro Kosuge, a 70-year-old sculptor raised in post-World War II Japan who has refined himself into a regional fixture by channeling Oregon’s calmer spirit into stone, and Ned Colclough, an enigmatic 36-year-old upstart from New York who incorporates cast-offs from expensive buildouts into his sculptural critiques of commercialism. Come see if you can see it too at this opening reception. You can read our preview of the show here.
Mother Teresa Is Dead
Portland Playhouse; Thu–Sat at 7:30; Sun at 2
Which is greater: our responsibility to our families, or our responsibility to our fellow global denizens (like, say, the Syrians)? That’s the question Portland Playhouse poses with its production of highly respected British playwright Helen Edmundson’s story of a young English mother who trades her problems at home for the issues of a village in India. The cast features local stage vet Gretchen Corbett.
Music is more integral to The Legend of Zelda than to perhaps any other video-game franchise: in the iconic Nintendo games, players cannot progress without using a virtual ocarina to solve musical puzzles. The touring production Symphony of the Goddesses, mounted here by the Oregon Symphony and the Pacific Youth Choir, takes Zelda’s maddeningly memorable ocarina ditties to the extreme: a four-movement, video-accompanied orchestral adaptation conducted by notable video-game composer Eímear Noone.
Newmark Theatre; Fri at 7:30; Sun at 2; Mar 19–23 at 7:30
A knight in the First Crusade must battle sorcerers, spirits, and dragons to save the woman he loves in Portland Opera’s brand new production of Handel’s Rinaldo. Fortunately, our knight will have the support of the fine musicians of Portland Baroque Orchestra as his accompaniment, the second such collaboration for the two organizations at the relatively intimate Newmark Theatre.
Helium Comedy Club; Thur at 8; Fri-Sat at 7:30 & 10
From a man who once said, “In my family, goodness is just badness before its had something to drink,” comes a smorgasbord of tales spanning life as it actually happens—nothing is candy coated here. Veteran comic Titus has a knack for turning tension and tales of familial trauma into cathartic laughter.
Portland Gay Men's Chorus: Jazzify
Reed College, Kaul Auditorium; Sat at 8; Sun at 3
Portland’s harmonious Gay Men’s Chorus welcomes veteran singer-arranger Louise Rose to this swinging soiree. Rose is a seasoned pro who studied with the likes of Leonard Bernstein, Duke Ellington, and Oscar Peterson.
Doug Fir Lounge; Fri–Sat at 9
If you like your blues on the unvarnished side, this local duo will punch your ticket. Guitarist Henry Kammerer and drummer John Johnson, who pounds away on an assortment of buckets and cans, are masters of what they call "North Mississippi, hill-country trance blues." Kammerer's slide guitar playing stings like a swarm of killer bees. Except in a pleasant way.
Tribute Band Night
Hawthorne Theatre; Sat at 7:30
Awww, you never got to see hard-rock heroes in their heyday? Not to worry! Hawthorne Theater has a triple header of tribute bands for your head-banging pleasure. Crazy Train zips through a set that ranges from Black Sabbath to Ozzy Osbourne's solo material; Highway Star will deliver Deep Purple's greatest hits, including the first song anyone ever learns on the guitar, "Smoke on the Water," and Mercury Rising will attempt to sound as much like Queen as they possibly can.
OMSI: Fri-Sun, all day
Here’s an event for the insatiably inquisitive! Discovery Channel’s “MythBusters” asks all those questions you’ve probably wondered about when caught in a bipolar Oregon rainstorm—like, “Who gets wetter: someone running or walking through the rain?” Here’s your chance to tussle with science and satisfy that curiosity. For more, read our interview with MythBuster Kari Byron.