Top Things To Do This Weekend: July 25-28
Whether it's floating down the Willamette in a tube, kicking back for rooftop cinema, or sampling new brews, this weekend offers a plethora of ways to chill out.
What the Festival
Fri-Sun; Wolf Run Ranch
For the second year running, Oregon's hottest new electronic music festival features a wonderland of experiences including three stages, a hookah lounge, organic food vendors, comedy acts, interactive artwork, and a bucolic forest setting. This year, What The Festival (WTF) relocates to Wolf Run Ranch, a beautiful 250-acre stretch abutting Mt. Hood National Forest, with acts like A-Trak, Gramatik, and Purity Ring. Read our full profile on the festival.
The Flaming Lips
Sat at 6:30; McMenamins Edgefield
Though it's been a decade since they broke ground with Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, this is one band that only seems to improve with time. We hope bandleader Wayne Green will climb inside his giant plastic hamster ball in order to be passed around by his giddy followers (although rumor is he retired it), while his collaborators crank up the cosmic orchestral pop.
Fri at 7; Oregon Zoo
If you’re only familiar with this singer-songwriter’s works as a composer for big-screen features such as Toy Story and Monsters Inc, or for novelty hits like "Short People" and "I Love L.A.," be advised that this man is a living national treasure. His acerbic wit shines through on classics like "Sail Away" and "Let's Drop the Big One," in which he makes short work of fools, nitwits, and incompetents, while taking the pulse of a nation in turmoil on highlight tunes, "A Few Words in Defense of Our Country" and "Easy Street." Maybe he’ll even break out some of his tunes from Toy Story for the kiddies in the crowd.
The Big Float
Sun at 12pm; Tom McCall Waterfront Park
Join more than 2,000 of Portland's costumed crazies for a day of tubing, rafting, and doggie-paddling down the Willamette for no other reason than because we can (and to support the nonprofit Human Access Project). Our advice? Don't forget your life vest, and make sure to stay for the beach party; namely, the three bands (Big Duck, Garcia Birthday Band, and Lewi Longmire), food carts, and beer. For other do's and don't's, check out our Play Like a Kid feature.
Thurs from 6-10pm; Anne Amie Vineyards
An evening of the finest wine and cuisine that Oregon has to offer, with indie music and a roaring bonfire? This ain’t your parents’ wine tasting. International winemakers pair pours with Portland’s hottest dishes (including bites from Le Pigeon, Pok Pok, and Biwa) at Anne Amie's gorgeous hilltop winery.
Oregon Brewers Festival
Weds-Sat from 12-9pm, Sun from 12-7pm; Tom McCall Waterfront Park
With more than 80 brews on tap, the Oregon Brewers Festival has become recognized as one of the best craft-beer festivals in the world. Find out why, and catch some great local musicians (like Fruition, Friday at 7) in the process.
Top Down: Rooftop Cinema
Thurs at 7; Hotel deLuxe
Do you ever feel guilty about enjoying a movie when the weather is so beautiful? Worry no more: the Northwest Film Center’s annual rooftop festival is always a riveting mixture of obscure, outré, and outstanding cinema. Local bands of distinction are usually on hand to warm up the crowd. Perched atop the Hotel deLuxe’s parking structure, this eclectic annual film series kicks off July 25 with Jacques Tati’s Jour de Fête in tandem with the art museum’s bicycle design exhibition, Cyclepedia.
Flicks on the Bricks
Fri at 7; Pioneer Courthouse Square
“Portland’s Living Room” becomes the city’s largest outdoor movie theater for this Friday-night movie series, featuring family-friendly films selected via the public’s online vote. The pick for this week is Finding Nemo, a favorite of sea creatures and land-dwellers alike.
JAW: A Playwrights Festival Preview
Fri-Sat, 4 & 8pm; Portland Center Stage
The plays that come out of Portland Center Stage’s JAW playwrights’ festival aren’t just amateur impulses. Many of the scripts given readings here later transition to big-name productions across the country. The works showing on Friday will be: complex by Dominic Finocchiaro (4pm) and The Ocean All Around Us by David Lavine (8pm). Saturdays showings are: Threesome by Yussef El Guindi (4pm) and Mai Dang Lao by David Jacobi (8pm). For more info about the plays, see our conversation with the fest's director, Rose Riordan.
The Taming of the Shrew
Thurs-Sat at 7:30; Artists Repertory Theatre
Though you've probably seen at least one adaption of the Bard's most beloved romantic comedy, you haven't seen it like this; Portland Shakespeare Project claims, "it's anything but tame." Director Michael Mendelson plans to explore “the lengths a person will go to transform somebody they love into the person they wish them to be."
Running in tandem with its follow-up...
The Tamer Tamed
Sat at 2, Sun at 7:30; Artists Repertory Theatre
John Fletcher's The Tamer Tamed continues Shakespeare’s story of Petruchio and his problems with women that began in Taming of the Shrew. Critics have referred to the play as being ‘proto-feminist,’ which is amazing considering that it was first published in 1647.