Special Events

The Bite of Oregon
Friday–Sunday, Tom McCall Waterfront Park
Three days of gastronomic festivities fill Waterfront Park with everything from street food to Oregon's finest restaurant fare, washed down with wares from the wineries, breweries, and craft distilleries that we all can't get enough of.

Providence Bridge Pedal
Sunday, Tom McCall Waterfront Park
Cyclists from all around the Pacific Northwest descend on Portland to take advantage of the once-a-year opportunity to ride traffic-free and enjoy the views on bridges like the Fremont and the Marquam, and even through downtown on I-405, with different routes catering to all ages and fitness levels.

First Thursday
Mothers hiding from their babies like ostriches, James Lavadour's really good year, ceramics inspired by Cormac McCarthy's The Road, pregnant ladies painted in ASCII text, and much more to get you out on this gorgeous night (or month). Check out our First Thursday Gallery Guide, including PDX Contemporary, Elizabeth Leach, Blue Sky, Augen, Froelick, and Upfor.

 

 

Concerts

Dan Deacon
Thursday, Mississippi Studios
You might know Dan Deacon as the guy with the music video that should come with a seizure warning. You might know Dan Deacon as the guy who made you put your hands on a complete stranger's head while opening for Animal Collective at last year's Music Fest NW. You might not know Dan Deacon, but you should. With his undeniably fun take on electronica, and his insistence on ice-breaking crowd participation, he's like the best camp counselor you've ever had... on acid.

John Hiatt and the Combo
Friday, Oregon Zoo
Over the course of 20 studio albums, the gruff-voiced songwriter has succeeded in a variety of styles that range from the country rock of 1988's Slow Turning, to the piano balladry of "Have A Little Faith in Me," to the intimate bluegrass-tinged folk of the Grammy-nominated Crossing Muddy Waters.

Eldar
Friday, Jimmy Mak's
Signed at the age of 17, and with a Grammy nomination under his belt, Kirgistan-born pianist Eldar is no stranger to the stage. He brings his expertise to Portland, alongside drummer Todd Strait and bassist Dave Captein.

Like a Villain
Sunday, Mississippi Studios
Local singer Holland Andrews has a powerful and commanding voice, and the music she composes as Like a Villain pairs those pipes with looped clarinet and glockenspiel. The result is a bizarre amalgamation of musical theater and Philip Glass-esque minimalism that's as emotionally resonant as it is uniquely ear-catching. She'll be celebrating the highly anticipated release of her new record.

Film

Top Down: Rooftop Cinema: The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T
Thursday, Hotel deLuxe
This screening features a rare sojourn into the cinematic world of Dr. Seuss, who wrote and designed the movie, although ultimately scrubbed it from his biography. The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T tells the tale of Bart, a child with a passionate hatred for his piano teacher. When a nightmare brings Bart into the evil world of his teacher's piano institute, it's up to Bart to save himself and 499 other children from constant piano practice. Pre-show music by the band Grand Style Orchestra.

Classical

Washington Park Summer Festival
All concerts are free and at 6 pm.
  • Aug 8—Opera in the Park: NormaFor the first evening of the Washington Park Summer Festival, acclaimed soprano Angela Meade of New York's Metropolitan Opera graces the Rose Garden with a star turn in Vincenzo Bellini's Norma. Read our interview with Meade from last year.
  • Aug 9—Portland TaikoThe Northwest's first professional taiko group celebrates its 20th anniversary with a "Summer Taiko Extravaganza" that will include a revisiting of the ensemble's first original composition and a collaboration with South Indian dance company Kalabharathi Dance.
  • Aug 10—Portland Festival SymphonyThis summer ensemble's annual Summer Fest sojourn includes guest conductor Cameron May leading a rendition of Svoboda's Overture to the Season, plus the icnoic Lajos Balogh conducting the rest. The symphony also plays Saturday at Grant Park.
  • Aug 11—Ural Thomas and the Pain
  • Aug 12—Jerry Joseph & the Jack Mormons with Ashleigh Flynn
  • Aug 13—The Wizard of Oz (begins at dusk)
  • Aug 14—Little Boxes: The Songs of Malvina Reynolds & Pete Seeger
  • Aug 15—PDX Jazz presents Nancy King: Just Friends

William Byrd Festival: Hear the Voice and Prayer
Friday, St. Stephen's Church
The 17th annual installment of this festival celebrating the English Renaissance composer features lecturers and guest directors from around the country and from Byrd's homeland, anchored by local sacred polyphony specialists Cantores in Ecclesia. This opening performance will include eight solo voices performing works by Byrd; an earlier composer, Thomas Tallis; and successors of the two, including Orlando Gibbons.

Comedy

Bath Night
Friday–Saturday, Shaking the Tree Studio
From the mind of Sean McGrath (writer of Weekend at Bernie's: The Play and the web series Hundredaires, in addition to being a long-standing writer and actor for Live Wire) comes a fast-paced, off-the-wall sketch show. Performers include Scott Engdahl, who performed in Bob Odenkirk's A Load of Hooey, and Brooke Totman, a former featured cast member on MADtv. McGrath shared with us the difficulties of naming a sketch show—and five of the names he discarded before arriving at Bath Night. (Angel Tit? Serious?)

Books & Talks

Chris Leslie-Hynan: Ride Around Shining
Friday, Powell's City of Books
Will this nervy, dark tale of a white, hipster chauffeur and the fading Portland Trail Blazer baller he works for—and fixates on—be a slam dunk for this first-time Portland author? Certainly the spheres of racial politics, Portlandia, and basketball have rarely collided with such uncomfortable intensity.

The Mystery Box Show
Saturday, Mississippi Studios
If you've ever wished there were a place to hear strangers talk about kinky stuff on stage—and really, who hasn't?—you're in luck: Portland's live storytelling series dedicated to sex and sexuality returns for a night of tales you're not likely to soon forget. Check your awkwardness at the door.

Dance

Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre: Whistling in the Dark
Thursday, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center
Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre Northwest uses Disjecta's courtyard as the setting for the new site-specific dance Whistling in the Dark. The dance combines elements of ballroom, salsa, and break dance with the setting summer sun for a night of sensual music and dance. The evening includes a wine reception with Duckler and the cast.

Every Thursday: The city's best arts and entertainment, can't-miss events, plus artist interviews and ticket giveaways. (See an example!)