Note: The weekend can't start soon enough for us, so we're including some Thursday happenings, too. It's called "added value" people!

Books, Comedy & Talks

David Sedaris
Fri at 8. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Sedaris always packs 'em in around these parts, because we're always dying to know what fresh mischief this beloved essayist has stumbled into this time. He'll be turning a few pages of his latest collection of comic confusion, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, which includes Sedaris's trenchant take on Obamacare, gay marriage, and French dentistry as well as droll reminiscence from his formative years.

Portland Story Theater: Singlehandedly
Fri–Sat at 8. Hipbone Studio
It's two consecutive nights of skewed solo storytelling. On Friday, Vagabond Opera singer and accordionist Eric Stern talks about his criminal past, followed by Annie Rosen, a local musician, clown, and yoga teacher, who opens up about her work with the homeless and how her ecelectic skill-set often saves the day. Saturday night features Portland puppeteer Penny Walter and PST artist-in-residence Annie La Ganga.

Concerts

Shoehorn: One of the top tap-dancing sax players in town!

Umbrella Festival
Fri & Sun at 8; Sun at 2. Alberta Rose Theatre
Portland is a city that prides itself on resurrecting bygone forms of entertainment, and nowhere is this more in evidence than at the Umbrella Festival. Prepare yourself for a barrage of vaudeville, juggling, acrobatics, comedy, magic, and the tapdancing saxophonist known as Shoehorn.

Marnie Stern
Fri at 9. Mississippi Studios
The lovely and talented singer-guitarist earned a reputation as a "shredder," and, indeed, her flying fretwork has lost none of its potency. But on her latest album, The Chronicals of Marnia on the Kill Rock Stars label, she's toned down the pyrotechnics (slightly), resulting in what the Boston Globe calls "the most human-sounding record she’s made."

Special Events

Stumptown Comics Fest
Sat at 10 am; Sun at noon. Oregon Convention Center
Rather than superheroes and swag bags, Stumptown Comics Fest focuses on comic books, zines, and graphic novels that are a little less mainstream. Among the honored guests are Jan Van Meter (Hopeless Savages), Greg Rucka (Stumptown, Punisher), Brian Hurtt (The Sixth Gun), and Sina Grace (Li'l Depressed Boy). 

Taylor Dayne sings the hits at Cascade AIDS Art Auction.

Cascade AIDS Project Art Auction & Gala
Sat at 6. Memorial Coliseum
One of the most-anticipated charity events of the year is Cascade AIDS Project's annual art auction. Last year, the event raised over $600,000 for CAP's ongoing mission to prevent HIV infections, support and empower people affected and infected by HIV/AIDS, and eliminate HIV/AIDS-related stigma. This year's shindig should be extra glamorous with the addition of pop star Taylor Dayne as the featured entertainment! "Say a Prayer" that you can still get a ticket!

Oh, Radiation City. Why can't we quit you?

Live Wire!
Sat at 7:30. Alberta Rose Theater
Soon-to-be-departing hostess Courtenay Hameister welcomes memoirist Augusten Burroughs (Running With Scissors) and filmmaker Kyle Patrick Alvarez, who recently completed C.O.G., a locally shot adaptation of a David Sedaris short story based in Oregon (and the first of his stories to be made into film). Musical guests Radiation City's new album earned a gushing review in this very magazine. We're also premiering Radiation City's new music video, "Foreign Bodies," today.

Theater

Ablaze
Thu–Sat at 7:30; Sun at 2. Brunish Theater
It's an "a cappella thriller" of survival and songs penned by former Stark Raving Theatre artistic director Matt Zrebski, who describes the dramatic action thusly: "What would happen if a psychopath trapped a group of teenagers and kept them captive for 19 days in a pit under an old abandoned high school?" We're not exactly sure, but we can safely predict that the kids will break into song periodically.

Visual Arts

Lena Lencek
Recpetion Thu 6–8; gallery hours Sun 12–5. Vollum Lounge, Reed College
Lencek, a Reed College professor of Russian and Humanities, will be on hand to discuss Geochromes, her her latest exhibition of paintings inspired by her travels that is on display until June 15 at the Vollum Lounge.

Vanessa Renwick: Film Retrospective
Thu–Fri at 7:30. Hollywood Theatre
One of Portland's most influential experimental filmmakers gets a two-night retrospective from over 30 years of unique cinematic selections, ranging from trips with her pet half-wolf dog to an operatic rendition of the Trojan power plant’s demolition to Kodak-hour panoramas of the industrial tidal flats of Puget Sound.

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