Top Things To Do This Weekend: Sept 12-15
Pink Martini gets happy with a free concert, the TBA Festival kicks off with a new home, Portland Center Stage takes on its biggest show ever, and more to see you through the sunshine.
Pink Martini Free Record Release Concert
Sept 16; Pioneer Courthouse Square
Monday generally feels like the day furthest from the weekend, but not this week. Over the last 19 years, Portland’s de facto house band, Pink Martini, has only grown in fame, spreading its joy de vivre around the globe with each high-energy, high-cheer show. But we have to admit, we’ve liked every successive album since the ’97 debut masterpiece, Sympathique, a little less than the previous album. Which is why we grew intrigued when we started to hear whispers that the new album, Get Happy, due out September 24, is the best since Sympathique. And the whispers proved true. Being an album almost entirely of what Pink Martini does best—adapt the classics that bandleader Thomas Lauderdale unearths from the vaults of history—Get Happy goes back to the band’s roots, while also encompassing the far-flung musical family the band has assembled over the years (and songs from even further reaches of the globe). There’re cameos by Rufus Wainwright, NPR reporter and Portland native Ari Shapiro, Phyllis Diller, Philippe Katerine, the von Trapps grandchildren, and the chanteuse Meow Meow (see below), as well as both band divas, China Forbes and Storm Large. To celebrate, the band is throwing a free concert at Pioneer Square—the gloomiest day of the week—in order to invite you to get happy.
Lee Fields and the Expressions
Sept 16; Aladdin Theater
Monday's are the new Fridays! We also are giving away a pair of tickets for this soul sensation. When Lee Fields’ career was just beginning in the early 70’s, he was often called “Little JB” for his visual and vocal similarities to James Brown. But anyone who’s heard his recent work with the Expressions knows that over the course of a 40-plus year career, Fields has carved out a space in the soul pantheon all for himself. Win tickets here.
Meow Meow and Thomas Lauderdale with the Oregon Symphony
Sept 14, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
The artistic love affair between Pink Martini bandleader Thomas Lauderdale and globe-scorching cabaret diva Meow Meow went from TBA:2005 to the Sydney Opera House and back. Don’t be surprised if Meow Meow is the first person you ever see crowd surfing in the Schnitz.
Sept 12, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
The dexterous and debonair Chinese piano whiz will tackle El Salón Mexico and Billy the Kid: Suite, a pair of works by renowned American composer Aaron Copland.
Theater and Performance
Sept 12–22, Various venues
PICA's annual Time-Based Art Festival kicks off tonight at 10:30 with a free concert by the Julie Ruin, the new band of feminist rock star Kathleen Hanna (she was recently on the cover of Spin). But just as excitingly, the fest has a new HQ: a former Con-Way building. We've seen it, and it's a magnificent return to TBA's earlier days of decorated raw warehouses. Which is to say, you and everyone else in town will be there—or at least should be. What follows are 10 days of performance and visual art in a celebration that draws artists and audiences from all over the country and world. There's a lot to take in, though, so make sure to check out our experts' guide to the festival's offerings (in which we consult the literal experts: curators from around the country), as well as our profile of PICA artistic directorAngela Mattox and our own picks in our Fall Arts Preview.
Fiddler on the Roof
Sept 14–Oct 27, Portland Center Stage
Portland Center Stage artistic director Chris Coleman has dreamed of doing this Tony Award–winning classic for 20 years. “The music is so simple, but so moving,” he says. His patience paid off: he’s staging it with the largest known cast in PCS history. Previews open this weekend.
Sept 6–21, Portland Actors Conservatory
Brand new theater company Push Leg presents a show inspired by Edward Hopper's iconic painting Nighthawks, bringing to life the regulars who haunt the late-night diner Hopper depicted. The classic American image serves as the starting point for an inventive exploration of equally classic American themes. Plus, if you show up early, there will be pie!
Diary of a Madman
Sept 11-13, The Headwaters
Noperks Theater’s adaptation of the Gogol short story involves only one actor and three musicians to present the story of a man slowly receding into a world of fantasy. The show premiered in Brooklyn in 2012 and was most recently performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This three-night run in Portland marks both the culmination of this particular adaptation as well as something of a homecoming for lead actor Miro Caltagiroine, who first came to Portland as an exchange student at Lincoln and Grant high schools in 1999-2000.
The Standard's Volunteer Expo
Sept 13, Pioneer Courthouse Square
Everyone’s got at least one local nonprofit that they support and love. If you’re missing out on the sharing and caring, the annual volunteer expo presented by the Standard is a great way to get better acquainted with more than 125 area nonprofit agencies, while listening to live music. Chances are you (yes, you!) have the skills, passion, and most importantly, the time, to lend a hand.
La Luna Nueva
Sept 13–28, Milagro Theatre
The Miracle Theater Group's annual multidisciplinary festival of Latino arts and culture kicks off this weekend, including performances by flamenco guitarist Ricardo Diaz and local musician Gerardo Calderon.
Portland Mini Maker Faire 2013
Sept 14–15, OMSI
Started as a grassroots organization in the Bay Area, this celebration of the Maker movement has (fittingly) expanded to Portland, the land of everything DIY. This year's Faire will run the gamut from the latest technology, including demonstrations of 3D printing robots, a Tesla coil, and Frankenstein the Electric Bike, to rocket-making, sustainable art, blacksmithing, welding, a motion-sensor sky diving game, and much more.