Top Things to Do This Weekend: Mar 29-31
Charity karaoke, thunderous drums, and a timely tale of love and death are among this weekend's cultural high points.
Bernhardt Epple & James Minden
Augen Gallery; Tue-Sat, all day
For one final week, local painter James Minden and the late German-born artist Bernhardt Epple will have collections on view at Augen Gallery. Minden’s REAL/UNREAL is a play on circles, symmetry, and shading; his acrylic paintings hold rich seasonal hues. Epple’s collection presents two distinct aesthetics—one of street-savvy farbige grafik and the other of wondrous fantasy images.
Anything But Brilliant
Theater! Theatre!; Sat at 7:30
Playwright Bobby Ryan and director Matt Pavik from Lights Up! Productions deliver a modern meditation on love shared and love lost between two longtime partners. Sam is a playwright who works to finish a script that attempts to put his relationship with deceased lover Jesse in perspective. During the process, he recognizes what to remember and what to let go of when death’s permanence is finally realized. It's a timely production as the Supreme Court listens to the arguments for and against gay marriage.
Slabtown; Fri at 8:30
Instead of suffering through a bunch of singers who can't carry a tune in a garbage bag, let the pros handle it. Portland vocalists of note Rebecca Gates, Corrina Repp, Holcombe Waller, Janet Weiss, JR Pella, and Rebecca Cole join forces with the Karaoke From Hell band in a rocking fundraiser for Reading Frenzy.
Helium Comedy Club; Fri–Sat at 7:30 & 10
A Twitter page can say a lot about a performer’s daily life and unscripted humor. Take Doug Benson, the 48-year-old San Diego comic whose tweets about Hotlanta, weed, and Spring Breakers are enough to make an inquisitive passerby chuckle. High Times magazine named this irreverent funnyman 2006’s Stoner of the Year, so apparently his film Super High Me required no actual acting ability.
Aladdin Theater; Sat at 8
Buress is a former writer for both Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, but he's quite adept at getting laughs on his own. No less a comic authority than Chris Rock called him "the funniest young comic I've seen in years." He also claims to be an international criminal after he recently got a $37 jaywalking ticket in Montreal.
Aladdin Theater; Friday at 8
He was one quarter of the Monkees, the executive producer of cult classic Repo Man, a key player in launching MTV back in 1980, and a genuine pioneer of country rock. Michael Nesmith is back, and this time, spreading far and wide across the U.S. in a rare solo tour. Rolling Stone magazine reflected on Nesmith’s 2006 album, Rays as “the greatest music never heard.” We caught up with him on the phone to talk about how he balances it all.
Portland Taiko: Insatiable
Lincoln Hall, Portland State University; Fri at 8, Sat at 2 & 8
Brought to you by Portland Taiko, a revered source of Portland musical and dance performances since ’94, “Insatiable” is a combination of thundering giant drums and exquisite Japanese folk dance, but the heart of the production lies in its thematic focus on life cycles and time—specifically the mind’s ability to make connections between relationships and identifying how time, as a force of its own, shapes the decisions we make.
The English Beat
Wonder Ballroom; Sun at 9
Take me back to Birmingham (the one in Britain), 1979. Whether the name of the game is ska, pop, punk, reggae, or soul, the English Beat is fresh no matter the decade’s current condition. If you’re feeling especially nostalgic, get thee to the Wonder Ballroom for an evening of hits from the '80s, like “Mirror in the Bathroom” and “Save It For Later,” not to mention tunes from the band’s side project, General Public, like the buoyant pop ditty "Tenderness."
Singin' in the Square
Pioneer Courthouse Square; Sat at 3
Join in on the city's most majestic sing-a-long ever accompanied by the full Pink Martini band (with both China Forbes AND Storm Large), members of the Oregon Symphony and the Von Trapp grandchildren, and of course, hundreds of your fellow Portlanders. "This is what I’ve always dreamed of doing with the band," says Pink Martini bandleader Thomas Lauderdale. "I can’t imagine anything more lovely, inclusive, festive, uplifting and wonderful than this." Lauderdale's holiday party sing-a-longs are the stuff of legend, meaning this is a Portland event not to miss.
Alberta Rose Theater; Sat at 7:30
The guests on this installment of Live Wire! should be familiar to readers of Portland Monthly, as most have been profiled in the pages of this very magazine! Comedian Ron Funches no longer resides in Portland, but since moving to Los Angeles his career has blossomed—he's currently in the cast of a TV network pilot! Fingers crossed, Ron! Mariachi phenom Edna Vazquez, the Dandy Warhols, and resident zine queen Nicole J. Georges have also gotten plenty of PM love.