Spring Arts Calendar

Cirque du Soleil's Totem
Cirque du Soleil's Totem

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre
Mar 4
White Bird: The most important contemporary dance company in Asia comes to Portland for a show that promises sheer, breathtaking spectacle—and three-and-a-half tons of rice! (Read our review)

March Music Moderne
Mar 7–16
This year’s festival features 32 events spanning 67 composers, including Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony stretched to 24 hours.

Hilary Hahn
Mar 8–10
Oregon Symphony: The Grammy-winning violinist returns to put her chops to work in service of Danish great Carl Nielsen’s Concerto for Violin.

Sonia Sotomayor
Mar 11
Literary Arts: Capping Multnomah County Library’s Everybody Reads campaign, the Supreme Court justice shares her inspiring memoir, My
Beloved World

Mar 27–May 4
Cirque du Soleil brings back its blue-and-yellow big top for this latest cavalcade, described as “somewhere between science and legend.”

Mar 28–Apr 19
Third Rail Rep: The theater company flirts with its first musical in this two-person romance about trying desperately not to fall in love. “It’s super-funny, romantic, sexy, and foul-mouthed,” says Isaac Lamb, one of the show’s two actors. What more do you need?

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
Apr 1
The standard-bearers for revivalist soul come through town on a comeback of sorts: their tour and fifth album were postponed after Jones was diagnosed with cancer.

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo
Apr 2
White Bird: The men in tutus return to Portland for one night of works by Merce Cunningham, Jerome Robbins, and, inevitably, their tongue-in-slipper versions of Dying Swan and Swan Lake. 

Julia Alvarez
Apr 3
Literary Arts: Widely considered one of the most significant Latina writers of her generation, Alvarez pens vibrant prose style that plunges into issues of identity and culture. literary-arts.org

Director’s Choice
Apr 3–5
Northwest Dance Project: To celebrate the company’s 10th anniversary, Artistic Director Sarah Slipper selects the best works from the past decade, including dances by Patrick Delcroix, Ihsan Rustem, and Slipper herself.

The Quality of Life
Apr 8–May 11
Artists Rep: Involving the death of a child, terminal cancer, a burned-down house, and the reality of vastly differing values, Jane Anderson’s drama’s title, well, speaks for itself. artistsrep.org

Soul’d Out Festival
Apr 10–20
This annual festival brings to town national and local acts in genres ranging from R&B to jazz to hip-hop, including Little Dragon.

The Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Garden at Portland Art Museum
The Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Garden at Portland Art Museum

Vanessa Renwick
Apr 14–May 17
Art Gym: The veteran NW artist covers the gallery’s large windows with colored gels in the shapes of seven birds, which combine with videos of Vaux’s swifts and geese for the full Renwick experience.

Apr 17–26
Oregon Ballet Theatre: To honor retiring dancer Alison Roper, OBT revives Matjash Mrozewski’s gorgeously sultry The Lost Dance and premieres new works from Nacho Duato and Helen Pickett.

Maria de Buenos Aires
Apr 25
Third Angle New Music Ensemble: This seductive, surreal tango opera by modern master Ástor Piazzolla is about a woman who becomes a prostitute in the Argentine capital.

Apr 29
Portland’s reigning high school poets go head to head in an epic spoken word battle to take home the citywide crown.

After the Revolution
Apr 30–June 1
Portland Playhouse: This play—about a daughter who defends her famously blacklisted (and perhaps guilty) grandfather—is the first Portland production of one of New York’s hottest young playwrights, Amy Herzog.

Garrick Ohlsson
May 4
Portland Piano International: The first and only American pianist to have won the prestigious International Chopin Competition.

Fashioning Cascadia
May 9–Oct 11
Museum of Contemporary Craft: With local designers continuing to rule Project Runway, the city can add fashion to our cultural badges for food and music. This show explores the craft of the region’s pattern makers and scissor wielders.

Dan Attoe
May 23–July 6
Fourteen30:  Despite solo shows around the world, local painter Dan Attoe has never had one here—until now. His humorous takes on red-blooded American iconography, from strippers to rural settings, barrel deep into our psyche.

Lizzie: The Musical
May 24–June 29
Portland Center Stage: We can’t believe there hasn’t already been a macabre rock musical about Ms. Borden, the infamous, ax-yielding poster child for ungrateful youth. Catch the West Coast premiere before it takes a whack at Broadway.

The Greatest Love of All: The Whitney Houston Show
May 28
South African singer Belinda Davids stars in this big-budget tribute to the late iconic pop diva. Yours won’t be the only tears during “I Will Always Love You.”

Buried Child
May 29–June 15
Profile Theatre: Simultaneously comedic and gloomy, Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer winner tells the story of a beyond-dysfunctional midwestern farm family.

Giasone and the Argonauts
May 30–June 7
Opera Theater Oregon mixes the highbrow and the low to “make opera safe for America.” This time it resets the rarely staged Francesco Cavalli opera Giasone to the iconic 1963 fantasy film Jason and the Argonauts. They share source material, after all.

June 10–15
A Dublin street performer is set to relinquish his dream when a young woman falls in love with his songs, igniting a romance too strong for just words—or just one Tony (it scored eight, plus a Grammy).

The Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Garden
June 14–Sept 21
Portland Art Museum More than 100 works of art that have long called the famed Tuileries home leave Paris, many for the first time.