Best Things To Do

The Top 27 Events in Portland This Week: Nov 15-21, 2021

La Luz, Patton Oswalt, ZooLights, and More Top Picks
November 12, 2021
Laugh the pain away at Patton Oswalt's Friday-night show at Arlene Schnitzer.

You might call this week the calm before the holiday storm, so why not take the opportunity to hit up all the best events around town before your energy depletes? We've rounded up our picks, from comedy shows with Patton Oswalt and Jo Koy to concerts with La Luz and Cowboy Junkies to ZooLights and the Portland Holiday Market


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MONDAY

GEEK & GAMING

The Price Is Right Live
Come on down(town) to play Plinko and Cliffhangers, spin the Big Wheel, and vie for a chance to win shiny gadgets, vacations, and possibly a brand-new car. That's right, folks, your grandma's favorite game show is jumping from the TV to the Portland stage. 
Keller Auditorium (Downtown)

TUESDAY

PERFORMANCE

The Hip Hop Nutcracker
A remixed and re-imagined production of the Christmas classic, The Hip Hop Nutcracker brings dynamic dance performances, contemporary visuals, and a DJ to audiences familiar with the ballet and Tchaikovsky's iconic score. The legendary MC Kurtis Blow, one of hip hop's founding fathers, will open the show with a set.
Keller Auditorium (Downtown)

WEDNESDAY

MUSIC

Loudon Wainwright III
One of the most enduring songwriters of the last 40 years makes another stop at the Alberta Rose. In addition to his musicianship, Wainwright is a humorist, actor, and father of musicians Rufus and Martha Wainwright.
Alberta Rose Theatre (Concordia)

The Shivas
Recording for respected labels such as K and Burger, Portland's the Shivas write easy-rolling, reverb-laden rock tunes that adhere to traditional psych- and garage-rock moves with the devotion of an Ugly Things magazine writer. True, there's no innovation going on in a Shivas song, but the compositional panache is so strong and the instrumentation so tantalizing that the music's familiarity leads to "yeahs" not yawns. Shiva is the Hindu deity of destruction, but the Shivas are more apt to pacify you than prod you into a violent rampage. DAVE SEGAL
Polaris Hall (Humboldt)

X Ambassadors - The Beautiful Liar Tour
Rockers X Ambassadors will be joined by Scarypoolparty and Taylor Janzen on their Beautiful Liar tour.
Roseland Theater (Old Town-Chinatown)

THURSDAY

MUSIC

AAN
Psychadelic pop gets a hard edge with Portland's Aan, who promise "gauzy synths, stuttering drums, serene harmonies, and acerbic guitar hooks." 
Polaris Hall (Humboldt)

La Luz
Seattle rockers La Luz head south to grace Portland with their “surf noir” layered vocal harmonies. Stretch beforehand; the band’s live performances often include dance contests and crowd surfing. With special guest Tropa Magica.
Wonder Ballroom (Eliot)

Moorea Masa & The Mood
In her latest album, Heart In the Wild Side: Side A, Moorea Masa grapples with her relationship with her estranged mother, a queer Black woman suffering from debilitating mental illness. She'll head up Mississippi with support from Frankie Simone and Portland favorite Blossom.
Mississippi Studios (Mississippi)

Black Lodge Burlesque
David Lynch freaks can unleash their unconditional love for Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, Wild at Heart, and more by the cult-favorite director by reveling in Lynchian burlesque and drag performances by Natasha Riot, Isaiah Esquire, Tas Al-Ghul, Johnny Nuriel, Wanda Bones, and other beautiful angels.
Star Theater (Old Town-Chinatown)

FRIDAY

COMEDY

Patton Oswalt Live: Who’s Ready to Laugh?
You'll probably recognize Patton Oswalt from his numerous appearances on TV shows from Veep to Parks and Recreation, or from his comedy specials. He's a talented comedian and very active Twitter user (of the sane, liberal variety), and appears in the upcoming screen adaptation of Dave Eggers's tech dystopia novel The Circle
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (South Park Blocks)

MUSIC

JPEGMAFIA
Critically acclaimed rapper, singer, and record producer JPEGMAFIA will bring his experimental hip-hop to Portland. The rapper released a pair of EPs in 2020 and 2021.
Wonder Ballroom (Eliot)

Kuinka
Seattle’s Kuinka plays heart-bursting, jangly, all-together-now folk-pop that’ll have you stomping your feet and singing along. Don’t be surprised if you hear them in a cutesy movie or car commercial soon. But first, they're in town to help you beat your early-winter haze.
Doug Fir Lounge (East Burnside)

TOC MOON SERIES: Pure Bathing Culture
Elegant indie-pop group Pure Bathing Culture recently returned to the pop culture fore with their latest Infinite Companion release, Night Pass, which explores themes of love and loss via dewy, dream-like sounds. KIM SELLING
The Old Church (Downtown)

TOKiMONSTA with Machinedrum & Player Dave
Los Angeles-based hip-hop and electronica producer Jennifer Lee, better known by her stage name TOKiMONSTA, returns to Portland as part of her latest tour with Machinedrum and Player Dave. 
The North Warehouse (North Portland)

Vinyl Night w/ Nick Waterhouse
Hang out in the KEX Hotel's swanky library for a free live DJ set from Nick Waterhouse.
KEX (East Burnside)

SATURDAY

COMEDY

David Spade
The recognizable Emmy-nominated actor and SNL vet David Spade will bring his signature wit to the Portland stage.
Revolution Hall (Buckman)

MUSIC

Nick Waterhouse: Promenade Blue Tour
Drawing influence from decades past, singer-songwriter and guitarist Nick Waterhouse’s signature genre-spanning sound is on full display in his latest LP Promenade Blue
Mississippi Studios (Mississippi)

VISUAL ART

Ukiyo-e to Shin Hanga: Changing Tastes in Japanese Woodblock Prints
Dramatic shifts in Japan's social, political, and economic culture between the mid-19th and early 20th centuries are depicted through woodblock prints by late artists Toyohara Kunichika and Kawase Hasui.
Portland Japanese Garden (Washington Park)

SUNDAY

COMEDY

Jo Koy - Just Kidding World Tour
Filipino American comic Joy Koy (whose most recent trip to town centered his memoir, Mixed Plate: Chronicles of an All-American Combo) will liven up your Sunday with brand-new material on his Just Kidding World Tour.
Theater of the Clouds (Lloyd District)

MUSIC

Cowboy Junkies
The first time I ever heard Cowboy Junkies was on a dirty, beer-stained couch at the radio station I used to help run in college. My friend and I were supposed to be studying, but we ended up just lying around listening to music. She put on their cover of Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane,” which seemed to fit every mood I could ever have at 21—melancholy, meditative, cautious, ready to yield to the good things in life. Like the rest of the band’s work. JAS KEIMIG
Revolution Hall (Buckman)

Queen Naija
Atlanta-based R&B singer-songwriter Queen Naija has been deemed “the first soul star of the social media generation” by The New York Times. The 25-year-old Detroit native will come through town in support of last year's missunderstood
Wonder Ballroom (Eliot)

MULTI-DAY

PERFORMANCE

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) 

Come On In
In her dance works, New York-based choreographer Faye Driscoll has always aimed to "activate the dynamic space between artist, performers, and audience." The artist's first solo exhibition bifurcates the subjectivity of the performing arts by depicting the experience of both a performer on stage and an audience member.
PICA, Eliot (Friday-Saturday); opening

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)

SHOPPING

Portland Holiday Market
Looking for that special gift for your loved ones? You’ll find it at the Northwest’s premier holiday food, craft, and gift show. There are over 100,000 square feet of display space with hundreds of local makers selling unique, one-of-a-kind items. Shop outside the big box and do ALL your holiday shopping in one place, at one time, under one roof.
Portland Expo Center, Kenton (Thursday-Saturday)

VISUAL ART

Beyond Van Gogh Immersive Experience
Modeled after similar installations that have toured Europe in recent years (although it is not the same as the one featured in Emily in Paris, in case you were wondering) and comprising a 360-degree floor-to-ceiling rig that unfetters paintings like "The Starry Night" from the borders of their original canvases (who can forget that "Wheatfield with Crows" allegory in Greg Araki's Mysterious Skin?!), this traveling exhibit leaves viewers to literally bask in their light. Beyond the main room, smaller galleries will provide context on the artist's life alongside "larger than life" re-creations. There's also a virtual reality component at the end of the show (for which you can get front-of-line access if you purchase VIP tickets), a 10-minute journey billed as "a day in the life of the artist" that's designed to make you feel as if you're strolling alongside Vincent as he discovers scenes that would inspire eight of his seminal paintings.  
Oregon Convention Center, Lloyd District (Friday-Sunday)

WINTER HOLIDAYS

Oregon ZooLights
The Oregon Zoo's annual display of over half a million lights is a beloved activity for any and all who love exotic animals and holiday spirit, and this year they're continuing the tradition in COVID-safe fashion with a drive-through pathway.
Oregon Zoo, Washington Park (Friday-Sunday)