Best Things To Do

The Top 35 Events in Portland This Week: Jan 31-Feb 6, 2022

Tig Notaro, Portland Winter Light Festival, and More Top Picks
January 31, 2022
The Portland Winter Light Festival will light up dark winter nights with eye-catching installations. (Portland Winter Light Festival)
This week, January swiftly gives way to February, but that doesn’t mean there will be a lapse in stellar events. Read on for details on comedy powerhouses Mike Birbiglia and Tig Notaro, plus the dazzling Portland Winter Light Festival. For ideas on how to celebrate the Year of the Tiger starting tomorrow, check out our full guide to Lunar New Year events and specials.

Stay safe out there, Portland! As always,
get tested and stay home if you feel sick—and get your booster while it's hot. Speaking of omicron, we advise checking directly with venues for the latest updates—including health guidelines, postponements, and cancellations—before heading out.

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Remi Wolf Add to a List
Unless you held onto the end and watched season 13 of American Idol, you might not know that California-born singer Remi Wolf was sent along to Hollywood by judges JLo, Harry Connick Jr., and Keith Urban. Despite being sent home shortly afterward, Remi Wolf has earned far more critic and fan acclaim compared to what most Idol stars receive. With her unique vocal style, psychedelic pop sound, and colorful maximalist fashion, she has cemented herself as a distinctive voice in the pop universe.
(Crystal Ballroom, West End)



All Them Witches with Blackwater Holylight Add to a List
Nashville-based hard-rockers All Them Witches are known for their forward-thinking ideas and everchanging sound. The band will play in support of their latest album, Nothing as the Idea, which explodes with a fierce punchy sound demonstrating heavy progressive and psychedelic influences. Harmonizing heavy-psych/doom metal quartet Blackwater Holylight will start off the night.
(Polaris Hall, Humboldt)

The Apricots Add to a List
The Apricots are an indie-pop band with alt-funk tendencies known for their candy-sweet harmonies and melodic rhythm section. They will be accompanied by Seattle-based sister-led indie rockers La Fonda and neo-soul singer-songwriter Lo Steele.
(Doug Fir Lounge, Buckman)


Fredrik Logevall: 2022 Hatfield Lecture Add to a List
An award-winning historian and prolific writer on the Vietnam War, Fredrik Logevall's epic Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in History. His most recent book, JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917–1956, is the first volume of a two-part biography, and it'll serve as the centerpiece of tonight's lecture.
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)

Simon Jacobs in Conversation With Mona Awad Add to a List
Simon Jacobs's String Follow takes the suburban Gothic genre to Adena, Ohio, where a strange force that thrives on exploitation and chaos is taking over a group of teens. Hear Jacobs read experts from the novel and discuss it with Mona Awad (All’s Well, Bunny, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl).
(Virtual via Powell's Books)



Armchair Expert Presents… Armchaired & Dangerous LIVE Add to a List
Armcherries assemble! Armchaired & Dangerous, a series contained within Dax Shepard and Monica Padman’s wildly popular podcast Armchair Expert, will hit the road (armchairs and all) to explore enthralling conspiracy theories with journalist and filmmaker David Farrier.
(Keller Auditorium, Downtown)


David Sanchez in Conversation With Karen Russell Add to a List
Florida’s drug-riddled Gulf Coast sets the scene for David Sanchez's debut novel, All Day Is A Long Time, which follows a boy's long journey with crack addiction and recovery. Sanchez will be joined in conversation by the brilliant Karen Russell (Orange World and Other Stories, Swamplandia!). 
(Virtual via Powell's Books)



Eyelids with Whisper Hiss Add to a List
Portland indie-rock band Eyelids will be celebrating the release of their latest album, Everything That I See, You See Better, which is their first with new member Victor Krummenacher (formerly of Camper Van Beethoven) and is produced by regular collaborator Peter Buck (R.E.M). They will be joined with dark-wave post-punk from Whisper Hiss.
(Doug Fir Lounge, Buckman)

The Thesis: Karma Rivera, Dreemy Alpha, TROX, Alana Rich, DJ Verbz Add to a List
There’s no slowing down The Thesis, Portland’s long-standing hip-hop and soul series showcasing talented local artists (and beyond) at Kelly’s Olympian. In addition to the headliner, local stalwart rapper Karma Rivera and Portland-to-San Antonio producer Trox, another big highlight on this month’s bill is Dreemy Alpha, a nostalgic hip-hop artist whom T-Pain has even co-signed. He’ll no doubt be performing tracks from his latest project, ReLOADN. Genre-fluid pop singer Alana Rich will open up the show, and afterward, DJ Verbz will spin some locally-minded cuts on the ones and twos.
(Kelly's Olympian, Downtown)


Portland Opera presents When the Sun Comes Out Add to a List
Leslie Uyeda's poetic chamber opera tells the story of Solana, who falls in love with a woman from her past in a state that oppresses fluid expressions of gender and sexuality. With libretto by Rachel Rose, the production features a quintet of violin, cello, flute, clarinet, and piano.
(Hampton Opera Center, Central Eastside)


Doja Dance Add to a List
Take a ride to Planet Her with a Doja Cat-themed dance party. The night with feature nothing but hits from our favorite unpredictable pop star so don't be afraid to get into it (yuh).
(Holocene, Buckman)


Mike Birbiglia Add to a List
With over a decade’s worth of stand-up specials, one-man shows, and feature films to his credit, comedian and filmmaker Mike Birbiglia has earned his household name status in the world of comedy. Don't miss him as he swings through town on his latest tour.
(Newmark Theatre, South Park Blocks)

Tig Notaro: Hello Again Tour Add to a List
Check out Tig Notaro's Grammy-nominated standup special, Live; her Emmy-nominated HBO special, Boyish Girl Interrupted; and the intense Netflix documentary, Tig, to prepare for what will surely be a wildly popular Portland tour stop.
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)



Miz Cracker - She's a Woman Tour Add to a List
RuPaul's Drag Race star and comedy queen Miz Cracker will help you embrace your mistakes and truck along this road we call life with a full hour of jokes and musical numbers in what the organizers describe as "a show for anyone who loves not loving life."
(Revolution Hall, Buckman)


Goth Babe Add to a List
Slacker rocker/dream-popper Goth Babe, now based in the mountains of Washington, takes inspiration from his outdoor hobbies and off-the-grid lifestyle, hence why his lo-fi indie rock sound could be described as "surf." 
(Roseland Theater, Old Town-Chinatown)

Peter Bradley Adams Add to a List
Alabama-born folk singer Peter Bradley Adams will bring his signature tender vocals accompanied by delicate instrumentation for a cozy evening of Americana. Singer-songwriter Liv Greene will join with her rich vocals and apt storytelling.
(Mississippi Studios, Boise)

Ty Segall & The Freedom Band Add to a List
Beloved garage rock sage Ty Segall is back with his Freedom Band in support of their latest album, Harmonizer, which Pitchfork called "simultaneously sleek and sludgy." The album's tight beats, lustrous harmonies, and sometimes glitzy qualities bring Segall on a smoother and more polished ride.
(Crystal Ballroom, West End)



In My Shoes: Walking Tour Storytelling Project Add to a List
In honor of Black History Month, Word Is Bond (an organization whose goal is "creating positive relationships between young Black men and law enforcement") presents a storytelling campaign featuring nine walking tours in neighborhoods across Portland designed to highlight the "voices, dreams, and experiences of rising Black men" and the neighborhoods they call home.
(Various locations)


33rd Annual Winterfolk Add to a List
An array of talented folk singer-songwriters, including Kate Power and Steve Einhorn, Kristen Grainger and True North, Michael Henchman, Mary Flower, Ben and Heidi Sadler, and Tom May with Donny Wright and Matt Snook, make their way to the Alberta Rose stage to celebrate the Portland community. This event will raise money for JOIN PDX and their ongoing effort to assist folks in finding and maintaining housing in the metro area.
(Alberta Rose Theatre, Concordia)

A Night of Tributes with Beatles Unplugged, Harvest Gold, and Fortunate Son Add to a List
This dream tribute lineup will bring an acoustic performance of classic Beatles tunes with an Americana twist from Beatles Unplugged, a faithful Neil Young tribute from Harvest Gold, and that '60s San Francisco sound from Fortunate Son, a tribute to Creedence Clearwater Revival.
(White Eagle Saloon, Eliot)

Hip Hop Fighting Cancer Add to a List
This benefit concert for OHSU's Knight Cancer Institute will feature local hip hop talent including singer and poet Veana Baby, rapper Rony, singer and event founder iamjordan, rapper and vocalist Sotaé, and producer and DJ Drae Slapz.
(Kelly's Olympian, Downtown)

Marina: Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land Tour Add to a List
Let your Tumblr-era cybergirl shine through with Welsh pop superstar Marina (fka Marina and the Diamonds), who will return to Portland in support of her critically acclaimed fifth studio album, Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land, which draws on feminist themes of the divine feminine, the Salem witch trials, and the #MeToo movement.
(Keller Auditorium, Downtown)

Ural Thomas & the Pain Add to a List
Local legend Ural Thomas and his nine-piece band The Pain will have you movin' and groovin' with a setlist "compiled from the gilded age of soul and R&B." 
(Mississippi Studios, Boise)



Dumpling Week Add to a List
The Oregonian/Oregon Live's annual Dumpling Week celebrates comforting, pillowy pockets of goodness in all of their forms with specials from over 30 participating restaurants, from sweet potato dumplings with green curry, herb oil, and crispy shallots at Oma's Hideaway to chicken parm dumplings from Grassa. Print off a passport from the website and set out to try them all.
(Various locations, Monday-Saturday)

Umi Kobe + Portland Yakisoba Project Add to a List
Inspired by the entrancing series Midnight Diner, restaurants across Portland, including Expatriate, Oma's Hideaway, Obon Shokudo, and Sunrice at Deadshot, are teaming up with Umi Organic to create the perfect late-night snack and drink combo: Each restaurant will present its unique spin on yakisoba-pan (a milk bun stuffed with yakisoba noodles), paired with a refreshing Kobe-style highball cocktail featuring Umi's Ramen Spirit (which is made from repurposed ramen noodles). You can also find the yakisoba-pan by itself at Oyatsupan and Shizuku, as well as the Umi Ramen Spirit on its own at Zilla Sake.
(Various locations, Monday-Tuesday)


Chinese New Year 2022 at Lan Su Chinese Garden Add to a List
Celebrating the traditional 15-day period of Chinese New Year, Lan Su will welcome the Year of the Tiger with cultural programming, lantern viewing evenings (Feb 3-6 and 10-13), and more. The festivities will be kicked off with a free community event (Tues Feb 1) at the garden's entrance plaza featuring a lion dance performance by Portland Lee's Association Dragon & Lion Dance Team. Garden visitors will also receive a hong bao (lucky red envelope). 
(Lan Su Chinese Garden, Old Town-Chinatown, Tuesday-Sunday)

Fertile Ground Festival 2022 Add to a List
Spearheaded by the Portland Area Theatre Alliance (PATA), this arts festival highlights new works in a variety of disciplines, such as dance, puppetry, circus, animation, improv, spoken word, stop-motion animation, musical and devised theatre. A platfrom for cultivation, the 13th iteration of the event will present 38 projects via online programming with select in-person companion events.
(Virtual, Monday-Sunday)

Portland Winter Light Festival 2022 Add to a List
The holidays are behind us, but the Portland Winter Light Festival is here to remind you that the city’s best winter lights tradition actually happens in February. The celebration features dozens of illuminated art installations, along with unique performances and live events to help brighten up the Northwest winter doldrums. With massive interactive spaces to explore on both sides of the Willamette River, the Portland Spirit will be working overtime to offer complimentary cruises between the festival’s East and West hubs, and who doesn’t love a free boat ride?
(Various locations, Friday-Sunday)


32nd Annual Cascade Festival of African Films Add to a List
This local film festival, which shows African films made by African filmmakers and encourages Western viewers to engage authentically with African cultures, will offer a mix of in-person and virtual screenings this year. The program, which lasts for over a month, includes acclaimed films like Ephraim Asili’s The Inheritance, Sundance favorites like Suzannah Mirghani Al-Sit, and many others.
(Virtual via Portland Community College, Friday-Sunday)


Bakersfield Mist Add to a List
Maude, a 50-something unemployed bartender living in a trailer park, buys a painting for a few bucks from a thrift store and is convinced it’s a lost masterpiece by Jackson Pollock worth millions. But when world-class art expert Lionel Percy flies over from New York to authenticate the painting, his discovery is bigger than either of them could have imagined. Inspired by true events, this dramedy comes from Stephen Sachs.
(Triangle Productions, Kerns, Thursday-Sunday)

Great Gatsby's Daisy Add to a List
This interactive reimagining of The Great Gatsby will offer some surprising twists on F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic 1925 novel. Not only will attendees get the chance to party with the likes of Nick Carraway, Tom Buchanan, Jordan Baker, Jay Gatsby, and Ms. Daisy Buchanan; they'll also get to explore Buchanan manor, Nick's cottage, the speakeasy club called the Miramar, and of course, Gatsby's mansion.
(The Beaverton Masonic Lodge, Central Beaverton, Monday-Sunday)

The Great Leap Add to a List
Penned by playwright Lauren Yee, this comedic production "traverses history both personal and political." Set in 1989 San Francisco, Manford Lum dominates the basketball courts of Chinatown. Using her father's basketball background as a template, Yee catapults her teenaged protagonist to China for a "friendship" game, resulting in a story with unexpected outcomes.
(Gerding Theater at the Armory, Pearl District, Wednesday-Sunday)

Hedwig and the Angry Inch Add to a List
The quintessential rock musical, Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a four-time Tony winner that's "part rock concert, part cabaret, and part stand-up comedy routine." The life story of Hedwig Robinson, a genderqueer German singer of a fictional rock and roll band who's "one of the most unique characters to ever hit the stage," will unfold as she searches for love and stardom.
(Portland Center Stage, Pearl District, Wednesday-Sunday)

Thurgood Add to a List
Actor Lester Purry and director Lou Bellamy, founder of Penumbra Theatre (the largest African-American theater in the country), return to the Portland Playhouse to tell the story of Thurgood Marshall, the first Black justice to serve on the Supreme Court. The one-man show spans Marshall's 58-year career, from his beginnings as a civil rights lawyer arguing Brown v. Board of Education to his SCOTUS appointment.
(Portland Playhouse, King, Monday-Sunday)


USS Improvise: the Next Generation: the Musical Add to a List
See your favorite Star Trek characters in a new, unscripted light as a group of Portland's nerdiest musical comedians riffs on The Next Generation. 
(Funhouse Lounge, Hosford-Abernethy, Thursday-Saturday)

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