Best Things To Do

The Top 21 Events in Portland This Week: November 8-14, 2021

The Portland Book Festival, Shot and Beer Week, Hasan Minhaj, and More Top Picks
November 8, 2021
Single tickets are still available for Peabody Award-winning comic Hasan Minhaj's tour stop at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall this Thursday.

Another rainy week lies ahead, but luckily there are some great events on deck to reverse your soggy, soggy doldrums. So many, in fact, that you might have trouble deciding how to spend your precious free time. We’re here with a new roundup of picks to help you fill out your schedule, from an evening with Yann Tiersen to The Mercury's inaugural Shot and Beer Week, and from the Portland Book Festival to Urban Craft Uprising's Thanksgiving specialty food show Gobble Up. Read about those and more below.

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Portland Film Festival
The Portland Film Festival will once again be streaming this year, with over 300 titles to keep your eyes glued to the screen in themed blocks such as Black voices, indigenous voices, LGBTQIA+ voices, veterans’ voices, and voices of mental health.


Harry Styles: Love On Tour
Pop-rock icon and fashion darling Harry Styles will croon singles from his second solo studio album, Fine Line, to what is sure to be an arena chock-a-block (there’s some British slang for you) with hordes of screaming fans. Styles will be supported by indie queen and former Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis.
Moda Center (Lloyd District)



Nas with the Oregon Symphony
Get ready for a collision of genres as Grammy-winning, NYC-bred rapper Nas bolsters his "hyper-visual storytelling and topical verse" with the Oregon Symphony.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (South Park Blocks)


Best Of Broadway: Mean Girls
A fish-out-of-water teenage nerd is tempted by a cruel high school clique in this musical based on the Tina Fey movie, with music by Jeff Richmond (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), lyrics by Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde), and direction by Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon).
Keller Auditorium (Downtown)



Hasan Minhaj - The King’s Jester
With his weekly show Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj tragically canceled (curse you, Netflix!), we can't wait to see what this two-time Peabody Award-winning comic does next. With all the shit going down in the world right now, Minhaj is sure to inject a dose of humor into reverent takes during his live show.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (South Park Blocks)


Trattoria Nights at Ava Gene's
A new bi-weekly dinner series brings Roman-inspired three-course menus to the upscale Italian joint, highlighting locally sourced produce, meat, and seafood.
Ava Gene's (Richmond)



Kikagayu Moyo
Japanese psychedelic rock band Kikagaku Moyo had humble beginnings busking on the street in Tokyo. Their name translates to “geometric patterns” in English. They have played at festivals worldwide and been commissioned by fashion brands Gucci and Issey Miyake.
Roseland Theater (Old Town-Chinatown)

Perfume Genius
Queer pop dignitary (and excellent Tweeter) Perfume Genius will stop in Stumptown on tour for his latest album, 2020's Set My Heart on Fire Immediately.
Revolution Hall (Buckman)

Yann Tiersen
Were you one of the millions whose trousers got charmed off while watching the 2001 film Amélie? Then you likely recall the score by one Yann Tiersen, the French composer whose festive, lilting themes on accordion, harpsichord, toy piano, and other non-rock instruments fortuitously soundtracked the title character’s whimsical adventures (most of the pieces were collated from earlier Tiersen recordings). That huge exposure made Tiersen a global star, and he’s gone on to cut multiple albums, including 2014's ∞ (Infinity, if you’re nasty). It’s a rich, orchestral collection that has a patina of high European culture spread lightly over everything. ∞ is a bit more elevated, delicate, and precious than 2011’s Skyline, which soared in the same slate-gray skies as Coldplay and lesser, later Sigur Rós works. DAVE SEGAL
Crystal Ballroom (West End)



Gobble Up
Just in time for Thanksgiving (and the subsequent holidays), Urban Craft Uprising will host this specialty food show for the fifth year in a row, promising over 75 local vendors slinging everything from craft spirits to CBD gummies to nut butters.
Alder Block (Central Eastside)


Everclear, Wheatus
If you're a Gen X alt-rock fan still living with the ghost of '90s Portland hitmakers Everclear, don't miss out on their headlining tour stop with eternal teenage dirtbags Wheatus.
Crystal Ballroom (West End)

Playboi Carti: Narcissist
Former Stranger contributor Larry Mizell Jr. once wrote, "In a genre where all but the avant fringes utilize the exact same type of beats, flows, and worldview, grown people who still enjoy the hypnotizing, war-chant quality of contemporary rap have to find what they like along the spectrum (a term popularly swiped from the mental-health world and appropriately appropriated here). Maybe you can’t fuck with most SoundCloud bottom-feeders and their lo-fi, mainstream trap reenactment society. Or maybe you, like me, can’t really stand Uzi but find that 'South Atlanta goon.' Playboi Carti more smoothly deploys that effort-free 'ooh-yah' filler-flow, without the artificial sweeteners. As a far better MC once said: 'So we internalize that, but then we customize that..'" Catch the artist as he rolls through town on his Narcissist Tour.
Theater of the Clouds (Lloyd District)


Foodways: Kate Lebo & Cecily Wong
Sit in on a discussion about the way food shapes our identities and the way we experience the world, with The Book of Difficult Fruit author Kate Lebo and Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer's Guide co-author Cecily Wong, moderated by Dumplings Equal Love author Liz Crain.
Winningstad Theatre (South Park Blocks)

Live Wire presents: Portland Book Festival, Atusko Okatsuka, and more!
A comedian, TV writer, and the host of Let's Go, Atsuko! A (woke) Japanese Game Show, Atusko Okatsuka will make an appearance at this Portland Book Festival event alongside acclaimed novelists Omar El Akkad and Gary Shteyngart, and folk duo The Lowest Pair.
Alberta Rose Theatre (Concordia)



One Man Star Wars® Trilogy
Canadian actor and Star Wars superfan Charles Ross delivers his solo madcap creation of the trilogy to the stage in a cool 60 minutes. Don't expect costumes, props, or fancy sets, but do expect music, sky battles, and the magic of distant galaxies. 
Newmark Theatre (South Park Blocks)



Shot and Beer Week 2021
If you've had a challenging year (and… hello! Who hasn't?), we've got just the thing to make life a little more fun: It's the Portland Mercury's Shot & Beer Week! That's correct: For one glorious week, your favorite local bars and restaurants will be serving up a one-of-a-kind, creative "shot & a beer" pairing-and all for the low price of $8! 
Various locations (all week)

Gastro Obscura Presents: The World's Most Unusual Vending Machine
Visit Gastro Obscura's "World's Most Unusual Vending Machine," stocked with oddities and wonders ranging from miracle berries to color-changing flower powder, at the Portland Art Museum's sculpture garden. The machine is part of a promotional tour for Gastro Obscura's new book book Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer's Guide, which details everything from a beer made from fog in Chile to the 2000-year-old egg ovens of Egypt, by Portland-based co-author Cecily Wong, who will be onsite for a meet-and-greet from 2-5 pm, followed by an intriguing-sounding "fruit and vegetable synth performance."
Portland Art Museum, South Park Blocks (Saturday-Sunday)


Julien Baker
Memphis native Julien Baker discusses any and all things melancholy in her music, including substance abuse, questioning God, not being good enough... the list goes on. She pairs this with minimal piano or guitar chords that hit the sweet spot to get a tear rolling down your cheek. All sadness aside, Baker’s tracks are raw, mature, and breathtakingly beautiful—it’s almost as if she opens her diary to be read aloud. Baker’s music is refreshing in a time when many songwriters are recycling the same themes and concepts. ANNA KAPLAN
Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn (Monday-Tuesday)


The Birds
Four characters struggle to survive an ever-encroaching airborne apocalypse in Conor McPherson's staged spin on Alfred Hitchock's The Birds.
Imago Theatre, Buckman (Friday-Saturday)

Die Hard the Musical Parody
Andy Barrett and the musically-minded comedy crew at the Funhouse decide to set sights on a modern-day Christmas classic, with 15 original songs helping reinterpret the adventures of John McClane.
Funhouse Lounge, Hosford-Abernethy (Thursday-Saturday)


Portland Book Festival
Offering something for readers of all ages, the Portland Book Festival stacks a lineup of author talks by Lauren Groff, Brandon Taylor, Maggie Nelson, in-person writing workshops, and more. The bulk of this year's festival will be virtual, leading up to an in-person day at the Portland Art Museum with a book fair and food trucks to cap off the week. 
Portland Art Museum, Downtown (Monday-Saturday)