OBT's 2012 production of 'The Nutcracker'

Holiday Guide

Hopefully you're not getting tired of holiday-themed festivies yet, because we're not even halfway through December. If you need help navigating all the decked-out halls, check out our handy guide to all of the Rose City's holiday entertainmentwhich includes some of these sure bets for this weekend:

Plus, check out our reviews of three Christmas shows continuing through the weekend:

Music

Portugal. The Man
Dec 12, Crystal Ballroom
Radio station 94.7’s December to Remember festival brings the Portland–via–Wasilla, Alaska, psych-poppers home amid a globetrotting tour in support of their new, Danger Mouse–produced album, Evil Friends. "A million times, I’ve wondered why Danger Mouse would want to work with our band," bandleader John Gourley said in our interview with him this summer.

Morning Ritual
Dec 13, Secret Society

This collaboration between piano player, organ player, and composer Ben Darwish and female folk duo the Shook Twins hits Secret Society as part of Northwest mini-tour in support of their recently self-released debut album, The Clear Blue Pearl. Darwish's jazz and R&B background and the Twins' gorgeous voices make for an instantly compelling mix: the group pairs infectious melodies with strong but quiet grooves. Read our review of Darwish's recent song cycle and multimedia performance piece, The Lonely Night.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Live Wire!
Dec 14, Alberta Rose Theater
For the fall season finale of Live Wire! Radio, host Luke Burbank welcomes a jam-packed list of guests including comedian and Simpsons writer Dana Gould, celebrated character actor Stephen Tobolowsky (MementoGroundhog Day), NPR's Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg, local expiremental country rockers Blitzen Trapper, and Portland's favorite rock and roll cabaret singer, Storm Large, whose rendition of "O Holy Night" with actor Rodney Hicks will supposedly break your heart. 

Masquerade Ball
Dec 14, Refuge
For the fourth year in a row, Proper Villain Productions presents Portland's Masquerade Ball and fundraiser for Rafael House. With enough musical styles to satisfy everyone's tastes—breakbeat! soul-rock! funk! samba! electronic! headlined by MarchFourth Marching Band—plus circus performers, a diversity of dancers, a hookah lounge, body art and tarot readings, this equation calculates into a party—with no Christmas carols in sight.

Books

Comics For Change! Release Party
Dec 12, Darcelle XV Showplace
Know Your City, the local history-championing nonprofit formerly known as the Dill Pickle Club, hosts a release party for Comics for Change! Illustrated Stories from Oregon's Front Lines, their new box-set of comics that celebrates living activists from our great state who are doing their best to make Oregon a better place for everyone—including drag queen Darcelle, who is hosting the event at her nightclub. The event will feature a brief slideshow about the project presented by some of the writers and artists who worked on it, as well as original artwork from the comic on display for one night only.

David Shields
Dec 12, Powell's
If you need some motivation to make it through the winter doldrums, Shields might have some tips for you. Author of 15 books, including New York Times bestsellers The Thing About Life is that One Day You’ll be Dead and Salinger, Shields reflects in his new book, How Literature Saved My Life, on his own struggle overcoming loneliness and how he has found purpose and human connection through literature. 

Book Release for William Stafford's "Winterward"
Dec 14, First Unitarian Church
Tavern Books hosts this release party for the posthumous publication of Stafford's 1954 creative dissertation at the University of Iowa, which contained poems that would go on to appear in his first three published books. The event serves as an early preview of the 2014 Stafford Centennial, and will include readings from Kim Stafford, Paulann Petersen, Paul Merchant, and Carl Adamshick.

Theater

Beauty and the Beast
Thru Dec 29, Newmark Theatre
"Enchanting is a word that gets tossed around a lot, especially when you’re dealing with princesses and magical castles, but Pixie Dust Production’s Portland version of the Beauty & the Beast musical is exactly that: a huge Broadway sing-along remounted with moxie by a cast of warm and lively local vets made special with truly fanciful sets and costumes. It’s an early Christmas present for musical lovers—especially those with kids in tow." Read our full review, and enter to win tickets.

American Fiesta
Thru Dec 22, Sanctuary at Sandy Plaza
Triangle Productions stages Steven Tomlinson’s 2006 one-man show about his metaphor-rich quest for the perfect Fiesta dinnerware set. The show is dedicated to a longtime arts patron, Joan Hayward, who recently passed away—and left the theater company her own beloved collection of the iconic, Depression-era china. Gary Wayne Cash stars.

FILM

What the Water Said
Dec 12–13, 12128 Boat Space, Multnomah Yacht Repair
Aboard crabbing ship–turned–art gallery 12128 Boat Space, moored on the Columbia in far Northwest Portland, avant-garde film presenters Cinema Project will screen a program of ocean-themed experimental films, including a series from filmmaker David Gatten created by submerging unexposed celluloid in the Atlantic.

Art

Monique Mouton
Dec 13–Jan 26, Fourteen30 Contemporary
This young, New York–based painter applies translucently thin layers of color to hand-cut wooden panels with visible brushstrokes, creating abstract works that reveal themselves only to the patient viewer. The opening reception is on Friday from 6–8 p.m.

Family

Frogz
Dec 13–Jan 5, Imago Theatre
Imago Theatre reprises its longest-running and most successful show, which has been produced on Broadway—twice—and toured the world. In the kid-friendly work, the company employs costumes, acrobatics, and universal themes to bring into existence a surrealist world of fantastical creatures and inanimate objects. 

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