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The Best Things To Do from Home: COVID-Safe Portland Events for Dec 21-Jan 3, 2021

A One-Man Christmas Carol, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, and More Top Picks
December 21, 2020
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In social distancing-appropriate fashion, Tony Award-winning actor Jefferson Mays stars on his own in all 50 roles of the Portland Center Stage online production of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Portland Center Stage)

Everyone's plans for the final stretch of 2020 are different, but one thing we'll all be doing is continuing to stay home as much as possible. Whether you're looking for something fun to do with your quarantine pod or you're feeling lonely and want some virtual company, our latest roundup of picks for online events will hopefully bring some wintry warmth to your four walls. We've compiled options all the way through the new year below—from the Rose City Circus's White Album Xmas to a Haitian freedom soup cooking class, and from an Interactive New Year's Eve Bollywood Party with DJ Prashant to Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 21

MUSIC

Solstice Quartet || Linda Austin + Jeff Forbes
Dancers Linda Austin and Jeff Forbes will celebrate the solstice (and the 20th anniversary of Performance Works Northwest) with an experimental at-home performance with music by Matt Marble and Juniana Lanning.

PERFORMANCE

Longest Night: Solstice Ceremony 2020
Seattle's Northwest Film Forum and Portland's Holocene will tap into their ethereal side for a night of ambient music, live performances, guided movement and wellness activities, and "countless inventions culled from subconscious states" presented in five virtual rooms. Why? It's the winter solstice, baby!

TAC's 7th Annual Talent Show
Join the Ally Coalition for an online talent show hosted by fashion designer Rachel Antonoff and featuring performances from Bleachers, Brittany Howard, Rufus Wainwright, the Chicks, Wallows, Mike Birbiglia, and Aidy Bryant. Not only does this lineup drastically eclipse the one from your high-school auditorium (no offense), donations will also support Black LGBTQ+ youth-centered organizations. 

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22

MUSIC

T.C. O'Leary's Christmas Special!
Sway to traditional Yuletide Irish music with Portland musicians Tom O'Leary and Michael Steen. 

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 23

COMMUNITY

Silent Reading Party
A lot of people are taking the opportunity to turn the online version of The Stranger's super-successful words 'n' vibes experience into a weekly online destination, a respite from (waves hands exasperatedly at basically everything) and an opportunity to simply... slow up, sit down, and just listen to live piano music while sinking into a good book. If you haven't tried it out yet, tonight's the night, and we'll see you at 6pm. If you have tried it out before? Welcome back. It's a damn nice oasis of low-key bliss, isn't it?

FILM

Free Online Roast of Rudolph
As if Rudolph hasn't been roasted enough by his peers who long excluded him from their reindeer games, this online event invites you to join local comedians in submitting snarky comments during a screening of the classic animated tale. 

MUSIC

Blind Boys of Alabama
The Blind Boys of Alabama will dust off some favorites from their 2014 album Talkin’ Christmas! and their Grammy-winning Christmas recording of "Go Tell It on the Mountain," along with gospel standards from their long career. 

Jerry Joseph – Happy Book – Special Solo Show
Jerry Joseph and his rock trio the Jackmormons present a holiday edition of their Happy Book livestream series. 

THEATER & PERFORMANCE

Bag&Baggage Presents: Home for the Holidays
Local theater company Bag&Baggage presents Phillip J. Berns's one-man version of A Christmas Carol, as well as a program of holiday music by a rotating cast of local musicians.

THROUGH DECEMBER 24

THEATER & PERFORMANCE

Christmas My Way: A Sinatra Holiday Bash
Get in that classy, Rat Pack-y Christmas mood with a night of theatrical takes on Frank Sinatra hits and Christmas carols.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24

GEEK

A Very Nerdy Holiday Variety Show!
Music, geekdom, and holiday cheer will collide at this online variety show with the PDX Broadsides, a band that makes original music inspired by their love of Star Trek, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, and the like. 

MUSIC

The Storm Large Holiday Ordeal
Singer-songwriter Storm Large, who got her start in 2006 as a finalist on the CBS show Rock Star: Supernova, will treat you to a night of music, "outrageousness," and some special guest performances.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 25

MUSIC

The Portland Music Stream Presents White Album XMAS - A Virtual Holiday Spectacular World Premiere
Sing along to your favorite Beatles songs off The White Album as the Rose City Circus screens a prerecorded performance set to its entirety.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 26

FOOD AND DRINK

The Winter Wedge - Portland Celebrates Cheese for the Holidays!
Brush up on the finer points of fromage and support local cheesemakers with this cheese tasting. If you placed an order earlier this month, you'll receive a kit with over five pounds of Oregon cheeses, Mt. Hope Farms jam, Effie's Homemade Crackers, chocolate truffles from Whole Foods, and DriftWest Sparkling Water Kefir in a reusable insulated tote. If you missed the ordering deadline, the Wedge also has a list of cheese partners on their website, if you'd like to source your own kit. Either way, on December 26, follow along with a tasting on Facebook Live, with more information about the cheeses and cheesemakers, pairing suggestions, a comparison of aged Tillamook white cheddars (aged three, five, and 10 years), and a live raffle.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 27

WINTER HOLIDAYS

Apollo Theater Presents Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night
Celebrate and learn about Kwanzaa, a winter holiday celebrating Black American culture that culminates in a feast, with this multi-disciplinary performance featuring Abdel R. Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre and livestreamed from New York's Apollo Theater.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 28

FILM

Collide-O-Scope: Now Leaving 2020
Collide-O-Scope's final show of the year will pack as many reality-bending montages as possible into a single evening's program. 

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 29

COMEDY

The I, Anonymous Live-streaming Show!
If you're desperately needing some top notch comedy, then the I, Anonymous Show is for you! Here's how it works: We get the funniest local and national comedians to riff and heckle the wildest, jaw-droppingly wrong, and uncensored I, Anonymous submissions from the famous Stranger and Portland Mercury column, and in return you laugh yer buttz off! Joining your delightful host Kate Murphy (a Mercury "Undisputable Genius of Comedy") will be the following murderers' row of hilarious, nationally beloved comedians: Sean Jordan, Bri Pruett, and Adam Cayton-Holland. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

WINTER HOLIDAYS

Ujamaa Virtual Craft Fair: A Celebration Of Cooperative Economics
The Portland Willamette Valley Chapter of Jack and Jill of America will celebrate the fourth day of Kwanzaa, Ujamaa, with a virtual marketplace highlighting local Black-owned businesses.

THROUGH DECEMBER 30

MUSIC

Patti Smith and Her Band: A Live Birthday Performance
NYC rock legend Patti Smith is giving the people the gift of a live performance on her own birthday.

SHOPPING

Roux Poster Show
Buy cute posters created around the theme of food and gathering by artists around the world, including Luisa Martínez and Courtney Knight. 

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30

MUSIC

The Dandy Warhols 13 X20 a 20th Anniversary Concert
Watch a previously unreleased recording of big-time alt-rock band the Dandy Warhols performing their album 13 Tales from Urban Bohemia in its entirety at the Wonder Ballroom. 

DECEMBER 30-31

FOOD AND DRINK

Freedom Soup or Pumpkin Soup or Soup Joumou and Kremas Class
Recently, Bon Appétit faced criticism after publishing advisor and guest editor Marcus Samuelsson's recipe for joumou, a Haitian pumpkin soup also known as independence soup or freedom soup. The dish is extremely culturally significant for Haitians, as Haitian slaves once made it for their French masters but were forbidden to eat it, and then ate the soup after independence was achieved to celebrate their freedom. Haitians also eat the soup yearly on January 1 to commemorate the anniversary of their independence. However, Samuelsson's version, which has received hundreds of negative reviews and has since been edited to be called "Pumpkin Soup with Spiced Notes," was criticized by many for misrepresenting and white-washing the sacred dish. Creole Me Up founder Elsy Dinvil is now offering an online class on December 30 and 31 to teach the proper way to make the soup, as well as kremas, a coconut-rum elixir.

THROUGH DECEMBER 31

THEATER & PERFORMANCE

An Xmas Cuento Remix
The Dickens classic gets a refreshing Latinx take in Maya Malan-Gonzalez and Andrés Alcalá's adaptation of A Christmas Carol.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31

MUSIC

THE AVETT BROTHERS - New Year’s Eve Virtual Celebration
Folk familiars the Avett Brothers will break out their woo-woo approach to Americana this New Year's Eve, their years of work heavily driven by pleasant harmony-riddled messages of good and evil, banjo and fiddle.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit | New Year’s Eve Celebration
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, who won a Grammy for best Americana album for his interpretative continuation of The Nashville Sound, will play their twangy rock all the way into the new year.

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve
At least one New Year's Eve tradition from The Before will go on as planned—Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve won't have a massive audience in Times Square, but you can still count down to midnight with host Ryan Seacrest, co-hosts Lucy Hale, Billy Porter, and Ciara, and glitzed-out performers like Miley Cyrus, Jimmie Allen, Nelly, and J-Lo. 

DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid's Twentieth Anniversary New Year's Eve Livestream Dance Party
Having started their New Year's Eve party-circuit career at the Medicine Hat in the year 2000, DJ Anjali and the Incredible Kid will bring the end-of-year bash to your living room. 

Interactive New Year's Eve Bollywood Party
Join the king of Portland Bollywood parties, DJ Prashant, for a New Year's Eve bash on Zoom. Instead of just watching, you'll get to be a part of the party by having your little video square show up alongside those of other guests. 

New Year's Eve Concert Livestream
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral's resident organists will join up with the Brent Follis Quartet, the Renegade Opera, and bagpiper Mark Mullaney for a lively online concert on New Year's Eve. 

Pink Martini New Year's Eve Concert
Pianist Thomas Lauderdale and his legendary Portland-based jazz and classical pop ensemble will bid adieu to this horrible year with a live concert filmed in front of a 35-foot Christmas tree in Portland.

T-Mobile Presents: NYE Live with Justin Bieber
J Biebs will carry you into 2021 with a melange of his chart-topping hits. 

WINTER HOLIDAYS

Commemorative Kwanzaa Ken-Tu Fest
Before your late-night New Year's Eve plans, join Kúkátónón Oregon, an organization that broadens awareness of African and Black American cultural traditions, for a Kwanzaa celebration featuring a performance from Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding. 

JANUARY 1-4

THEATER & PERFORMANCE

Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical
This crowd-sourced, community-written musical adaptation of the Pixar film about a tiny rat chef is made possible by the plethora of Broadway stans on TikTok. Proceeds from this one-time online premiere will benefit out-of-work performs through the Actors Fund.

JANUARY 1-FEBRUARY 15

THEATER & PERFORMANCE

RE: Lilith Lopez
Described in press materials as "one part augmented reality play and one part scavenger hunt," the Reformers' latest online theatrical experience sends you on a quest to find a missing woman, Lilith Lopez, alongside paranormal investigator Tamsin Walsh.

THROUGH JANUARY 3

THEATER & PERFORMANCE

Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol'
Portland Center Stage brings Charles Dickens's classic Christmas ghost story to the digital stage, featuring Tony Award-winning actor Jefferson Mays (I Am My Own Wife, Gentleman’s Guide...) in 50 (!) roles. Michael Arden, another Tony winner, directs.