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The Best Things To Do from Home This Week: COVID-Safe Portland Events for Nov 30-Dec 6, 2020

November 30, 2020
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PNW drag celebs Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme's on-demand Holiday Special brings sentient eggnog and holiday tunes to an electronic device near you this Tuesday. (Jinkx Monsoon via Facebook)

As you continue to quarantine at home, count on our latest roundup of picks for ways to stay entertained without venturing into the germy outside world. We've compiled them below—from Consider This with Masha Gessen to The Moth and Literary Arts' Virtual Portland Mainstage, and from the New York Times Cookie Swap to Nordic Northwest's ScanFair Market. Plus, check out our StreamLocal events hub and stay tuned for a roundup of the best socially distanced things to do this weekend. 


Jump to: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Multi-Day


MONDAY

VISUAL ART

Visual AIDS Presents: Transmissions
See commissioned films and performance art in response to the AIDS crisis and the ongoing conversation around the virus, followed by a Q&A talk led by Jih-Fei Cheng, a professor of feminist, gender, and sexuality studies.

See Also: Multi-Day Events


TUESDAY

COMMUNITY

Can We Get Along? Examining Our Personal Experiences of Connection and Community
Why has history proven it so difficult for people of different backgrounds, races, and ethnicities to find common ground (other than, you know, institutionalized prejudice)? Facilitator Chisao Hata will address that question in this online talk hosted by Oregon Humanities. 

GEEK

Virtual OMSI Science Pub: The 22nd Century Survival Project
Led by Oregon State University science professors, this virtual OMSI talk will focus on the climate challenges and opportunities facing the world over the next century.

MUSIC

Kasey Anderson: Livestream
After parting ways with his bands Hawks and Doves and the Honkies, singer-songwriter Kasey Anderson's solo career is going strong. He'll play tracks from his new (and apparently his last) album on Music Millennium's virtual stage.

Save Your Seat: A Giving Tuesday Virtual Benefit Concert
On Giving Tuesday, the State Theatre of Ithaca (the last remaining historic performing arts venue in New York's Tompkins County) will host a virtual benefit concert with Graham Nash, the Avett Brothers, Keb Mo, Béla Fleck, and other headliner-worthy acts. 

Sylvan Esso
Former Stranger staffer Kim Selling wrote, "Every new generation of college kids needs at least one party album to rally behind. For my freshman year, it was M.I.A.’s Kala and Kanye West’s Graduation—for this year’s crop, it will be Sylvan Esso’s What Now. Their electrified, multilayered pop is clever, bright, and fully hitched to dance as a primary activity in a way that feels much like two-dimensional worship. Preaching a lifestyle adjacent to “the power of dance heals all” is a little #LoveWins for my taste, but Sylvan Esso manage to carry their music through these lyrical tropes with a strength of conviction that is truly impressive (and occasionally beguiling). And hey—who am I to shit on such an active joy?" Join the artist for an online concert with Wonder Ballroom.

See Also: Multi-Day Events


WEDNESDAY

FOOD & DRINK

Chanukah Cooking Demonstration with Chef Michael Solomonov
James Beard Award-winning cookbook author Michael Solomonov, the Israeli American chef known for his Philadelphia restaurant Zahav, will help you prepare a festive Hanukkah feast in this online cooking class. You'll be making apple shrub, Abe Fisher’s potato latkes, Roman artichokes with arugula and olive oil, poached salmon, and sfenj (Moroccan fritters) with cinnamon and sugar.

GEEK

Holiday Films Trivia
Stumptown Trivia will give you a reason to tuck into some of your favorite holiday movies in preparation for this online quiz night sponsored by Beaverton's Raindrop Taphouse. 

READINGS & TALKS

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?

MUSIC

Jimmie Herrod and Friends - Live from The 1905
Pink Martini's Jimmie Herrod will round up some of his musical comrades for this online concert streamed live from the 1905.

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.

See Also: Multi-Day Events


THURSDAY

COMMUNITY

Consider This with Masha Gessen
Oregon Humanities' 2020/21 Consider This conversation series, which is all about the inner workings and failings of democracy, will continue with journalist and cultural critic Masha Gessen (Surviving Autocracy, The Man Without a Face, Words Will Break Cement).

Hugo Moreno and Guadalupe GarcĂ­a McCall
Two Northwest Latinx authors, Hugo Moreno and Guadalupe García McCall, will read from their new books. 

MUSIC

The Beat Goes On
Throw some dollars toward the production of The Beat Goes On, a new documentary celebrating Pink Martini percussionist Derek Rieth, at this virtual concert with the Phil Baker Quintet, Tony Ozier & the DooDoo Funk Allstars, Miguel Bernal, and Pink Martini's Thomas Lauderdale and China Forbes.

READINGS & TALKS

Powell's Books Presents Kathryn D. Sullivan
The first American woman to walk in space recounts her experience as part of the team that launched, rescued, repaired, and maintained the Hubble Space Telescope in her new book, Handprints on Hubble: An Astronaut’s Story of Invention. She'll sit down virtually with Powell's tonight.

WINTER HOLIDAYS

98th Annual National Christmas Tree Lighting
The National Park Foundation will light up the President's Park's 56 trees—one for every U.S. state and territory, plus the District of Columbia—at this 98th annual holiday event, streamed live for all to see. 

See Also: Multi-Day Events


FRIDAY

COMMUNITY

Friday Night Lecture: Growing Up in Denmark
Hear Kim Bergenser and Aase Beaulieu share their experience growing up in Denmark during World War II and meeting years later in Portland. They'll even touch on some Danish Christmas traditions for a little seasonal punch. 

MUSIC

River Rising - Virtual Album Release Party!
XRAYfm's Robert Ham will debut local composer Kirsten Volness's brand-new album, River Rising.

See Also: Multi-Day Events


SATURDAY

FOOD & DRINK

The New York Times Cookie Swap
Invite a little festive warmth into your home with this live, interactive event starring New York Times food writers. Cookbook author Melissa Clark will demonstrate a cookie recipe and field burning cookie questions, along with cookie queen Dorie Greenspan, YouTube favorite Sohla El-Waylly and James Beard-nominated food writer Samantha Seneviratne.

MUSIC

Concert - Songs for Lucia
Portland Chamber Orchestra and Nordic Northwest present a holiday concert with the Rose City Brass Trio, streaming live from the Nordia House. 

Marc-André Hamelin & Gloria Chien: Virtuoso Pianos
This concert, livestreamed from Worcester's Mechanics Hall and presented by Chamber Music Northwest, will feature piano virtuosos Marc-AndrĂ© Hamelin and Gloria Chien, who will perform Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and other works.

READINGS & TALKS

The Moth x Literary Arts Virtual Portland Mainstage
The Moth and Literary Arts will team up once again to present the Portland Mainstage, an evening of candid storytelling, live online.

See Also: Multi-Day Events


SUNDAY

COMMUNITY

Art and Race Matters: Keynote Talk with Erin Christovale
Erin Christovale, the associate curator at the Hammer Museum and the co-founder of the experimental film program Black Radical Imagination, will examine Robert Colescott's Emergency Room and Carrie Mae Weems's Framed By Modernism, two paintings that question societal depictions of race and gender. 


MULTI-DAY

FESTIVALS

TechfestNW 2020 - A Virtual Event
TechfestNW and PitchfestNW are teaming up for a virtual festival dedicated to the future of work, cities, health, privacy, and equity.

(Tuesday-Friday)

READINGS & TALKS

Penguin Random House Holiday House Presented by Zenni
Penguin Random House will round up some of their favorite celebrity home cooks and cookbook authors—like Barefoot Contessa's Ina Garten and Bon AppĂ©tit pastry queen Claire Saffitz—for a festive night of holiday book recommendations, holiday movie trivia, cooking demos, and raffles.
(Wednesday-Thursday)

SHOPPING

The OAT Auction: For Ag. Forever.
Help the Oregon Agricultural Trust protect essential lands across the state by shopping for locally sourced gifts for the farmers, ranchers, foodies, and gardeners in your life. You can bid on auction items online and have them delivered.
(Monday-Saturday)

ScanFair Market by Nordic Northwest
ScanFair's online holiday market is a must for anyone who appreciates Nordic crafts. Shop for goods online and pick them up from Nordia House.
(All week)

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. 
(All week)

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.  
(Friday-Sunday)

Christmas with the Crawfords
This Tinseltown tribute created by Richard Winchester and written by Mark Sargent stars Jeremy Anderson-Sloan as an aging Joan Crawford.
(All week)

The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Special
If you watched the new K-Stew holiday rom-com Happiest Season on Hulu, you've already gotten a taste of Seattle drag legends Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme's holiday special, which is available to rent on-demand on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast. According to press materials, it's the story of two queens who set out to create a classic Christmas TV variety show but just can’t agree on how. It also involves the spirit of DeLa's deceased grandma, who resides in a glass of eggnog, and plenty of musical numbers. On Friday, Varla Jean Merman and Outfest will host an online Q&A and watch party with the stars.
(Tuesday-Sunday)

Kitten N' Lou Present: Jingle All the Gay!
Recorded in front of a live audience interwoven with phone calls, love letters, and other mid-pandemic quarantine modes of communication, this year's edition of Kitten N' Lou holiday special Jingle All the Gay! will bring you some queer-tastic comfort.
(Friday-Sunday)

PETE’s Weather Room
"Since their founding in 2011, Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble (PETE) has graced our city with astonishing, if infrequent, productions of thoughtful, occasionally aggressive, and generally very weird theater," wrote The Mercury's Suzette Smith. These three solo performances, recorded in the same environment and with the same timecode and design score, are at your disposal as a viewer—you can choose to watch one performance all the way through or move between the three pieces to create your own adventure. "Weather Room: a record of standing in the dark down by the river... is an invitation to survey a moment in time from late-2020, with an eye towards seeing- and imagining- what comes next," reads press materials.
(All week)

Profile Theatre Presents Lynn Nottage's Las Meninas (An Audio Play)
Tune your ears into Profile Theatre's audio rendition of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage's Las Meninas, which is set in the court of Louis XIV and tells the "probably true" story of Spain's Queen Marie-Thérèse and her affair with Dahomey's Nabo Sensugali.
(Wednesday-Sunday)

Scott Shoemaker's War on Christmas!
Scott Shoemaker (Ms. Pak-Man) and illustrious friends like Ade, Waxie Moon, Mandy Price, and Fageddy Randy will lead a fearless investigation into the War on Christmas. Their weapons: "ALL NEW hilarious comedy, songs, dance numbers, amazing videos and partial nudity!"
(Saturday-Sunday)

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

WINTER HOLIDAYS

Safeway Providence Festival of Trees
KATU will help you stay home for the holidays by hosting a holiday tree auction and holiday performances with acts like Amos Lee.
(Thursday & Saturday)