Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: Apr 12-14 2024

Paris, Texas, Cherry Blossom Bazaar, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
April 12, 2024
Catch Wim Wenders's iconic neo-Western Paris, Texas at Cinema 21 on Saturday.
Take a break from doing your taxes and go have some thrifty fun this weekend. We've gathered all the best events under $15, from ​​​​​​​Sci-Fi Film Festival 2024 to Cherry Blossom Bazaar and from Paris, Texas to Piano Queen. For more ideas, check out our guide to the top events of the week.

Jump to: Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Multi-Day



Mean Girls (2004) with Kickstand Comedy Improv Past Event List
Tina Fey tried to make "fetch" happen again in this year's musical "twist on a modern classic," a phrase that made me feel irreparably old. (Pack it up, fellow millennials—our journey to cultural obsolescence is complete, I guess.) However, you can't improve upon perfection, so 2024's Mean Girls sorta Shein-ified the original. I recommend reliving the fanatical chokehold on teen society of Mean Girls (2004) at this screening, during which Kickstand Comedy's improvisers will devise scenes based on the film. LC
(Tomorrow Theater, Richmond, $15)



Paris, Texas Past Event List
Paris, Texas is my favorite film of all time, and my second and third are True Stories and 3 Women, both of which could arguably exist in Paris, Texas's universe. A disheveled Travis (Harry Dean Stanton) meanders out of the matte desert, where he's reunited with his eight-year-old son, Hunter, and his billboard-designing brother in the neon canyons of Los Angeles. He tries on different roles: He imagines becoming the "rich father," accomplishing nothing but to chase after his son's affection. A road trip then guides Hunter and Travis back to the root of their trauma. The result is a neo-Western that feels spiritually in tune with Twin Peaks, Repo Man, and—hear me out—the myth of Odysseus. It also did more to promote pink fuzzy sweaters than the entirety of Barbie's endless press campaign. By the way, I'd typically balk at a 127-minute runtime, but Wim Wenders's ultra-deliberate filmmaking (and Robby Müller's choreography) demands a slow read. Certain shots linger long after the credits roll. LC
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $9)


World Foods 10 Year Anniversary Past Event List
The Pearl District's family-owned specialty grocer World Foods is throwing a bash to mark a decade of business. They'll go all out with appearances from brewers, vendors, and winemakers, plus sidewalk grilling, cocktail specials, and other festivities. JB
(World Foods, Northwest Portland, free)


TROPITAAL! Desi Latino Soundclash Vaisakhi Edition with DJ Anjali and The Incredible Kid Past Event List
Latin American tropical sounds blend (or as the hosts describe, "clash") with rhythms from India to create a distinctive sound that perfectly soundtracks this recurring dance party. This time around, resident selectors Anjali & The Incredible Kid will celebrate the Indian spring harvest festival Vaisakhi with an extra serving of bhangra, giddha, and Punjabi tunes. AV
(Goodfoot, Kerns, $12)


Spectrum Spring Art Market Past Event List
Show off your pride (and gear up for Pride Month!) with some fresh duds and housewares at this LGBTQ2SIA+ pop-up market, where local artists hawking ceramics, art, textiles, apparel, jewelry, and accessories will celebrate spring by keeping things rainbow-hued and sparkly at Lloyd Center. I'm stoked for the market's sequined pieces, zines about leather culture, and upcycled accessories. LC
(Lloyd Center, Lloyd District, free)


Anna Rogers: Ouchie My Hands Past Event List
Bam Murals co-founder Anna Rogers's Ouchie My Hands is a bright, graphic woodcut series that's "for viewers to simply look at...say 'ha,' and not think too hard about it. A brief respite. That’s about it." Okay, I'm on board! Rogers references her disability in the show's title, emphasizing her dedication to lo-fi, jigsaw-cut works despite her physical limitations. Drop by the opening party on April 13 for snacks and vinyl spun by DJ Rammpower. LC
(Albina Press, North Portland, free)

Math Bass: Full Body Parentheses Remind List
Math Bass's latest is a mid-career survey of the Los Angeles-based abstract artist's sculptural pieces, site-specific murals, and paintings. Bass began their practice in the performance art realm, but expanded their visual lexicon to include many mediums—and the graphic, symbolic style for which they're best known—over time. In Full Body Parentheses, Bass’s sculptures "animate and complicate those more familiar, flattened forms, creating a resonant, playful world of iconic objects." LC
(lumber room, Pearl District, free)



Little Shop of Horrors with Gone West PDX Plant Sales Past Event List
Fans of carnivorous plants, aliens, and doo-wop will appreciate this sci-fi frolic, wherein a seemingly benign new plant at a flower shop develops an unfortunate fondness for human blood. Frank Oz's Little Shop of Horrors is also the freakiest Muppet movie—it includes frankly incomparable puppetry straight from Jim Henson's workshop, it's set to a swinging Motown soundtrack, and it offers an unexpectedly pointed capitalist critique. What more do you want?! Well, you might also want plants, in which case Go West PDX will have you covered with a pop-up plant sale staged in the lobby before the screening. LC
(Tomorrow Theater, Richmond, $15)


Cyane (fka Dolphin Midwives), Meroitic, and Cha Cha Past Event List
Cyane (fka Dolphin Midwives) is a solo project of Portland-based artist Sage Fisher, who is known for combining classical instruments like the harp and zither with electronic technology that results in an experimental explosion of ethereal bliss. Don't miss opening performances from fellow multimedia/sound artists Meroitic and Cha Cha. AV
(Holocene, Buckman, $12 - $15)


Piano Queen Past Event List
Portland's only live-singing, piano-playing drag queen Saint Syndrome will bring you another evening filled with classic covers, comedy, and original songs, all with her signature grace and vintage elegance. This time around, she will be joined by the self-proclaimed "broad-shouldered broad of Portland," Tomboy. As Liza Minnelli says in Cabaret, "What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play!" AV
(Star Theater, Old Town-Chinatown, $12)



Civil War Past Event List
Alex Garland's latest, Civil War, is A24's most expensive in-house production to date, following a group of military-embedded journos headed to DC "before rebel factions descend upon the White House." Honestly, I'm wary of how he'll handle this one, although Garland's work does tend to thrive in dystopian settings. But Kristen Dunst stars as a photojournalist, which is reason enough to watch. Also, Garland may or may not be retiring from directing ("I’m going to take a break for the foreseeable future," he clarified recently), so if you're a fan of the filmmaker behind Annihilation and Men, you should plan to let his new one marinate. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $10 - $12, Friday-Sunday)

Sci-Fi Film Festival 2024 Past Event List
OMSI's Sci-Fi Film Festival seems like a solid opportunity to watch science fiction flicks in the way god intended: on the Empirical Theater's gigantic four-story screen. The museum will screen over 40 spacey greats, with genre classics (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and personal fave The Thing) and more recent entries (Blade Runner 2049, Annihilation) represented. The fest's closing night celebration on May 24 will feature a screening of George Miller's latest madhouse, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. LC
(Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), Central Eastside, Passes $65-$95, individual tickets $6.50-$8, Friday-Sunday)

The Vertical Ray of the Sun Past Event List
In EverOut food and drink editor Julianne Bell's recent Stranger review of Trần Anh Hùng's The Taste of Things (2023), she explains that the director "allows long, uninterrupted cooking sequences to speak for themselves. Instead of relying on music to evoke emotion, he scores the movie with a symphony of sounds: the clink of cutlery against china, the sizzle of short ribs in a pan, and the crackle of a hearth, all set against a near-constant backdrop of birdsong and buzzing bees." Whether you've already caught The Taste of Things and you're in search of a digestif, or you're new to Hùng's oeuvre, I recommend turning to The Vertical Ray of the Sun; it's an elegiac jewel humming with the gentle drone of insects, birds, and water. LC
(Fifth Avenue Cinema, Southwest Portland, $0 - $7, Friday-Sunday)


Craft, Community, and Care: The Art and Legacy of Bob Shimabukuro Past Event List
Although he was a brilliant artist and social justice writer in the Pacific Northwest region, you might not have heard of Bob Shimabukuro. You can change that at Craft, Community, and Care: The Art and Legacy of Bob Shimabukuro, which centers the life of the Okinawan American activist and creative. He designed the beloved, now-shuttered sake bar Tanuki, but when Shimabukuro wasn't woodworking and building furniture, he was serving as an editor and columnist for the Pacific Citizen and the International Examiner in Seattle, and was "instrumental" in the Pacific Northwest’s Japanese American Redress movement. LC
(Japanese American Museum of Oregon, Old Town-Chinatown, $5 - $8, Friday-Sunday; closing)

Kinke Kooi: The Male Part of the Flower Past Event List
I last wrote about Kinke Kooi's squishy bodily compositions in 2021, when her exhibition The Grotesk of Raising interrupted my pandemic isolation with "a non-hierarchical Eden, where curving pearl-forms and intestine-like masses intertwined, becoming body and beyond-body." Praise be. Kooi returns to Adams and Ollman with The Male Part of the Flower, in which the artist remains true to her fleshy forms, oceanic realms, and collaged elements. LC
(Adams and Ollman, Northwest Portland, free, Friday-Saturday)

Atrás Do Pensamento (Behind Thought): Quinha Faria Past Event List
Far be it from me to pass up an opportunity to talk about Clarice Lispector, which means Quinha Faria and I have something in common. Faria's newest work, presented in Atrás Do Pensamento (Behind Thought), reflects on the Brazilian writer's unconventional, stream-of-consciousness 1973 book Agua Viva, which was originally titled Behind Thought. Faria's compositions contemplate Lispector's totally singular style with layers of thin paint and curious textures. The artist also "encourages viewers to consider the unseen elements of a space" with contributions by scent-focused bodyworker Tatiana Godoy-Betancur and sound artist Ryan Windus. LC
(Carnation Contemporary, Kenton, free, Saturday-Sunday)

Changing the Narrative: Epilogue Past Event List
Featuring new works by Arantza Peña Popo, Christina Tran, Daniela Ortiz Mendez, Jai Milx, Kacy McKinney, Kimberléa Ruffu, Liz Yerby, and many others, Changing the Narrative: Epilogue explores homelessness research through multimedia. Comics, textiles, ceramics, installations, and collage works will be exhibited alongside the original 10 comics from Changing the Narrative. Best part? "Sales of the exhibition book will benefit the Independent Resource Center, and sales of the third edition of Changing the Narrative (with new content from Street Roots vendors) will benefit Street Roots," ILY2 explains. LC
(ILY2 too, Lloyd District, free, Saturday-Sunday; opening)

Francesca Capone: A Mother's Discourse Remind List
I first wrote about Francesca Capone's work back in 2018—the artist's show Think of Seashells was the subject of one of my first long-form reviews. While researching for my BFA thesis in fibers, I also turned to her textile pieces, so Capone's tactile language has left a lasting impact on my occipital lobe. Perhaps you'll develop the same attachment after seeing this exhibition: Capone's latest, A Mother's Discourse, explores the complexities of post-Roe v. Wade motherhood through soft weavings and an archive library of child-rearing literature. (For more art that traverses the complex terrain of maternity, check out Toni Pepe: Mothercraft at Blue Sky Gallery.) LC
(Nationale, Buckman, free, Saturday-Sunday; opening)


Oregon Spring Cleanup Past Event List
In honor of Earth Day, environmental nonprofit SOLVE puts on its biggest annual event with numerous volunteer opportunities that invite you and your friends and family to help make our planet cleaner and greener. From beach cleanups to mulching projects, there's something for all kinds of volunteers (green thumb or not). The statewide effort kicks off on April 13, with a majority of the events scheduled for Saturday, April 20, and the cleanup concludes on Earth Day, April 22. SL
(Various locations, free, Saturday-Sunday)


Cherry Blossom Bazaar Past Event List
If your social media feed is anything like mine, it's been filled with photos of cherry blossoms. Put down the phone and instead embark on a treasure hunt at this sale of unique Japanese collectibles, art, furniture, and more. With multiple rooms to explore, you're sure to find something to brighten up your space or give as a gift to a loved one (heads up: Mother's Day is on May 12). Some items cost as little as 25 cents, and proceeds benefit the Japanese American Museum of Oregon. SL
(Royal Palm Hotel, Old Town-Chinatown, free, Saturday-Sunday)

Portland Bazaar Past Event List
It might actually feel like spring this weekend, so I recommend embracing the sun and heading outside for the first Portland Bazaar of the year! Shop from over 120 vendors selling wares like jewelry, ceramics, and vintage clothing. The theme of the event is florals, so don't forget to grab a fresh (or dried) bouquet from local florists and farmers. Straightaway Cocktails will be hosting the bar for any attendees 21-and-up who want a little booze with their blooms. SL
(2355 NW Vaughn St, Northwest Portland, free, Saturday-Sunday)

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