Best Things To Do

The Top 37 Events in Portland This Week: Nov 13–19, 2023

Nikki Glazer, Iliza Shlesinger, Nathaniel Rateliff, and More Top Picks
November 13, 2023
Nikki Glaser claims her Good Girl tour contains the best material she's ever written. (Nikki Glaser)
Another week calls for another one of our weekly guides. We're clueing you in on the best ways to spend your time, with events from Nikki Glaser: The Good Girl Tour to Iliza: Hard Feelings Tour and from Nathaniel Rateliff to the Portland Art Museum's new exhibition Africa Fashion.

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Twin Peaks Mondays Past Event List
Hosted by "trans femme drag enigma" Violet Hex, this weekly series screens two episodes of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s 1990 creepy, cult-favorite show Twin Peaks every Monday at Black Water Bar, accompanied by themed drag and burlesque performances with a different special guest each time. I don't know about you, but watching talented performers embody the likenesses of Audrey Horne, Laura Palmer, the Log Lady, and other fan favorites sounds like, excuse me, a damn fine time. JB
(Black Water Bar, Irvington)


Liz Phair: Guyville Tour Past Event List
Liz Phair's presence in my life is like a cool aunt who has been there through my purest joys and roughest patches. I was seven years old when her self-titled pop album was released. Fueled by a cocktail of Fruit Roll-Ups and Sprite, I danced around my room to "Why Can't I?" on repeat until I collapsed into bed. As a teen, I found my dad's copy of Exile in Guyville and cried in my car to "Fuck and Run" and "Divorce Song." In college, I dug deeper into the archives. I downloaded her Girly-Sound demo tapes from a questionable online forum and became obsessed with deep cuts like "Ant in Alaska" and "Batmobile." I've had phases with every single one of her albums, but Guyville is her magnum opus—it captures the nuances of womanhood in a way that no other album can (or will). She will celebrate its 30th anniversary by playing the album front to back, along with some additional hits. AV
(Revolution Hall, Buckman)

Mississippi Records Fire Recovery Fundraiser: Lonnie Holley, Marisa Anderson, and Roman Norfleet And Be Present Art Group Past Event List
Beloved musician Lonnie Holley, sometimes called "the cosmic Stevie Wonder," is known for genre-defying music that ranges from soul to jazz to rock to gospel. Holley will be joined by a stack of local talent including experimental guitarist Marisa Anderson and spiritual jazz troupe Roman Norfleet And Be Present Art Group for this special fundraiser concert. All proceeds will go to Mississippi Records' fire recovery fund. AV
(Polaris Hall, Humboldt)

Pussy Riot: Riot Days Past Event List
Former Stranger writer Jas Keimig wrote: “Blending music, performance art, and political protest, the Russian punk collective is continuing to promote the overthrowing of imperialism, capitalism, and fascism while facing continued harassment from the Russian government.” The fearless feminist performance group Pussy Riot—this time, consisting of members Maria “Masha” Alyokhina, Diana Burkot, Olga Broisova, and Alina Petrovawill—will take the stage with poignant protest anthems in support of the Ukrainian Children’s Hospital. AV
(Hawthorne Theatre, Hawthorne District)



Joy Oladokun Past Event List
Ever since Nashville-based singer-songwriter Joy Oladokun saw Tracy Chapman on TV at age ten, she has been under the spell of the acoustic guitar. Now, she churns out folky R&B, rock, and pop songs about her experiences as a queer woman of color. She will support her critically acclaimed fourth album, Proof of Life, which features guest appearances from Mt. Joy, Manchester Orchestra, Chris Stapleton, Maxo Kream, and Noah Kahan. AV
(Crystal Ballroom, West End)


The Hip Hop Nutcracker Past Event List
If the idea of a Hip-Hop Nutcracker playing at the Keller Auditorium fills you with dread, rest assured this updated version of the Tchaikovsky classic is worth a look. Maria-Clara and the Nutcracker prince time-travel to 1980s Brooklyn where lots of old-school hip-hop, beatboxing, and breakdancing ensues. This energetic production features MC Kurtis Blow, and was choreographed and directed by Tony and Olivier Award-nominated "physical storyteller" Jennifer Weber—and is a funky-fresh take on the dusty holiday chestnut. PORTLAND MERCURY EDITOR-IN-CHIEF WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
(Keller Auditorium, Downtown)



Portland Latin American Film Festival Remind List
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and support Latin cinema in one fell swoop at the Portland Latin American Film Festival, which has returned again this year with seven feature flicks that can be enjoyed by Spanish, Portuguese, and English speakers. PDXLAFF will continue on November 15 with Song that Burns (Canción Que Quema), which follows the cult Mexican rock band San Pascualito Rey as they return to the studio to record their album “Todo Nos Trajo Hasta Hoy.” TV and film score composer and Mexican rock band San Pascualito Rey frontman Pascual Reyes will introduce the film and participate in a Q&A. The film festival's offerings will conclude on November 30. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District)


Haley Reinhart Past Event List
Sultry-voiced singer-songwriter Haley Reinhart has shared the stage with the likes of Jeff Goldblum (who knew?) and Steven Tyler. Another one of her claims to fame? Tom Hanks voted for her twice when she was on American Idol in 2011. She'll stop by Beaverton to support her most recent release Off the Ground. AV
(Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton)

Noname Past Event List
Chicago-born rapper Noname's style is thought-provoking, self-aware, and conversational with an improvisational flow to match her jazz-infused backing tracks. On her highly anticipated sophomore album, Sundial, she sorts through her thoughts and feelings around fame, race, capitalism, and the intersections between them. This is especially prevalent in "Namesake," where she calls out Rihanna, Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, and even herself for hypocrisy. "Go, Noname, go" she raps. "Coachella stage got sanitized / I said I wouldn't perform for them / And somehow I still fell in line." Noname doesn't pretend to have all the answers, but she's brave enough to say the inside part out loud. She will support the album alongside experimental jazz vocalist ST0UT. AV
(Roseland Theater, Old Town-Chinatown)



Outside the Frame: In The Grey Wild Past Event List
Youth who have experienced houselessness will share their films at this all-ages, free screening as part of Outside the Frame's media production program, which "trains homeless and marginalized youth to be directors of their own films and lives." This year's theme, "In the Grey Wild," follows filmmakers into the "grey wild" of the streets, prisons, and refugee camps in which they've lived. In Stories I Told the StarsOutside the Frame alumna and Oregon Film Museum Selig Award winner Fevan "Rose" Solomon shares the stories of three men who left Ethiopia in the '80s to escape civil war;From the Streets to the Symphony documents a collaboration between Outside the Frame participants and the Oregon Symphony. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District)


An Evening with SYML Past Event List
It's easy to see the title of SYML's latest album, The Day My Father Died, and think "damn that sounds depressing"—but it's quite the contrary! The album is full of polished, floaty radio-friendly pop tracks with cerebral lyrics that focus on love over grief. For this performance, he will play songs from the album with a full band after an opening solo set. AV
(Revolution Hall, Buckman)


The Greatest Generation: The Share Your Embarrassment Tour Past Event List
Benjamin Ahr Harrison and Adam Pranica will present a live rendition of The Greatest Generation, their comedy podcast about Star Trek V: The Final Frontier that caters to fans of the series and newcomers alike. Co-written and directed by William Shatner, the film is "about boldly going to the center of the galaxy to shoot photon torpedoes at God," which sounds pretty damn roastable to me. LC
(Alberta Rose Theatre, Concordia)

This Is Important Live Past Event List
On the This Is Important podcast, cohosts Adam Devine, Anders Holm, Blake Anderson, and Kyle Newacheck (who created and starred in the longtime Comedy Central sitcom Workaholics) think about the important stuff, which, from their standpoints, includes "grown men fighting children, diarrhea, boners, and naked grandmas." I think our perspectives diverge on what qualifies as "important," but I digress. Go be a fly on the wall for this live edition of the podcast, which is bound to at least distract you from the world's more pressing issues. LC
(Keller Auditorium, Downtown)


Adoption Passages: An Evening of Stories, Art, and Music Past Event List
In celebration of National Adoption Month, drop by community-focused media arts center Open Signal for a night of "storytelling, music, poetry, photography, and more." Six performers, including Bay Area music expert and longtime postal worker William Smith (Nichols), Portland-based anthropologist Ali Maaxa, and Alex Behr, an adoptive mother in a transracial family, will share their varying perspectives on adoption. Award-winning author Nastashia Minto will also have copies of her latest poetry collection available for purchase at the event. LC
(Open Signal, Eliot)



Iliza: Hard Feelings Tour Past Event List
I work hard to stay removed from the world of weddings, nightclubs, and biological clocks, but I can’t deny that Iliza Shlesinger’s Netflix specials on those topics, like Confirmed Kills and Elder Millennial, are stunningly funny. Hot take: Shlesinger’s animal impressions are her ace in the hole. So don’t be off-put by her Elder Millennial impression, because that’s just a warm-up for when she becomes a baby-craving dragon. PORTLAND MERCURY ARTS EDITOR SUZETTE SMITH
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)


Altin Gün Past Event List
Amsterdam-based six-piece Altın Gün revives the psychedelic-folk sound of mid-century Turkey, often fuzz-ifying traditional Anatolian songs and turning them into trippy grooves full of wah-wah guitars and retro organs. The band is even known to record their albums on tape to produce a '70s-quality sound. They will support their latest album, Aş​k, which returns to their live-instrument roots after several albums of experimentation with synths and drum machines. Early roots reggae-inspired artist Pachyman will get the night started with some feel-good dub. AV
(Crystal Ballroom, West End)

Mudhoney Past Event List
Somehow, Seattle's grunge sweeties Mudhoney have managed to maintain their cool factor for more than 35 years. That's nearly incomprehensible when you think about major label sellouts like Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters (calm down—I'm joking!) The quartet will return to Portland with tracks off their new album, Plastic Eternity, which Bandcamp Daily hailed as "a ripper that reaffirms their place in the annals of American hardcore and punk rock." LA-based garage rockers Hooveriii will open. AV
(Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn)

Nathaniel Rateliff with Kevin Morby Past Event List
Denver-based singer-songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff will swing through town with an intimate solo set of whisky-soaked rock, soul, and roots music. He will likely play tracks from his most recent album, The Future, which Rateliff wrote "from a place of hope" amid the pandemic. Indie-folk troubadour Kevin Morby will start the show with tracks off of his latest album, This Is a Photograph. AV
(Keller Auditorium, Downtown)



Nikki Glaser: The Good Girl Tour Past Event List
Potty-mouthed blonde and legendary roaster (she's made appearances at the roasts of Rob Lowe, Bruce Willis, and Alec Baldwin) will drop by Portland to offer up more delightfully crass observations. You'll dig her style if you're sick of Amy Schumer's problematic shit but down for extended bits on the horror and devastation of learning about blowjobs. (“My mouth?! That’s where candy goes, I can’t believe you would put a dick there!” says Glaser in her 2019 Netflix special Bangin'.) LC
(Keller Auditorium, Downtown)


Fondue Night Past Event List
What is cold weather for if not dunking bread into warm, oozy ribbons of cheese? The coffee shop Bastion will serve fondue for one night, complemented by wine. If you can handle additional dairy, save some room for soft serve for dessert (you might want to pack a Lactaid). Tables are first come, first served, but worry not: if you don't snag one, plenty of fondue, ice cream, and wine will be available to-go for a moveable feast. JB
(Bastion Coffee Roasters, Overlook)


Artists in Conversation Festival Past Event List
Portland's "modern and immersive" opera company, Renegade Opera, will present two new works at Alberta House for this year's Artists in Conversation festival. The fest "explores the future of opera and the performing arts through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion." I'm excited about Samantha Rose Williams's American Patriots, which pulls from interviews with Americans to reflect on African American, Native American, new American, and white working-class American perspectives, and She Loves You Back, a collection of "staged art songs" exploring the femininity and exploitation of Mother Earth. LC
(Alberta House, Concordia)



Yvie Oddly presents Strange Love Past Event List
She's odd, but like, in a good way—avant-garde drag diva, legendary cackler, RuPaul's Drag Race season 11 winner, and "authentic weirdo" Yvie Oddly will slay in Portland in this one-woman show of songs and tea-spilling. Bring your curious crushes along for the ride and prepare to fall in strange love with the alien-glam powerhouse. (You should probably pregame with Yvie's debut rap album, Drag Trap, before the show.) LC
(Hawthorne Theatre, Hawthorne District)


Zoo Lights Remind List
Lions, tigers, and bears will have you saying "oh my!" in childlike wonder at the Oregon Zoo's immersive holiday lights experience. Be mesmerized as you walk through tunnels of sparkling lights, take a ride on the zoo train, and enjoy treats like elephant ears and hot cocoa. Looking to avoid the little ones? Opening weekend is 21+ only for Brew Lights, featuring live music and samples of adult bevvies from over 55 Northwest breweries and cideries. SL
(Oregon Zoo, Washington Park)



Celebrating Birds of the Pacific Northwest Past Event List
In 2020, I started birding: I'd been laid off from my previous job due to COVID-19 uncertainty and found myself with an unfamiliar amount of hours to fill. (It's interesting how a brief respite from the binds of capitalism nudges us toward the natural world, but anyway.) If you're "going through it" in any capacity, I highly recommend looking toward the skies—there's a lot going on up there. Or maybe you're a birder already. If so, what's your spark bird?! Mine is the northern flicker...but I digress. This exhibition of works by contemporary wildlife photographers Ken Goldman, Ryan Hooper, Dan Kearl, and Diana Rebman explores the abundance and diversity of our avian friends. You'll catch sight of regional beauts like the lazuli bunting, osprey, and great horned owl. Chances are good that you'll be inspired to pick up some 'nocs afterward. LC
(Oregon Historical Society, South Park Blocks, Monday-Sunday)


Killers of The Flower Moon Past Event List
The calendar is inching closer to Oscar season, and with it will come a film that already rivals the chatter of this summer's Barbie and Oppenheimer, if that's even possible. Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon, which the Guardian described as an "epic of creeping, existential horror about the birth of the American century," follows the true story of quasi-genocidal serial killings that impacted Oklahoma's Osage tribal community in the '20s. The film takes a "show, don't tell" approach to illustrating the epidemic of violence against Native people in the United States. Calling it now: Based on the trailer alone, Killers of the Flower Moon blends Western sensibilities, true crime, and the macabre in an enthralling way that'll land each and every butt in a theater seat. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Monday-Thursday)

Priscilla Past Event List
Sofia Coppola basically invented the "young women coming of age amid heartbreak" genre, so it should come as no surprise that she wanted to tell Priscilla Beaulieu's story. The trailer for Priscilla is all dreamy and forlorn, full of eyelashes and big hair and foreboding. (I mean, she's 14 and hanging out with Elvis. What could go wrong?) I will be seated, not because I'm particularly interested in the great American myth that is Presley, but because the people who radiate around larger-than-life figures are often the most interesting ones. LC
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, Monday-Thursday)


Veganizer: World Vegan Month 2023 Remind List
In celebration of World Vegan Month, Veganizer PDX is collaborating with over 20 plant-based restaurants and food carts across the city to offer exclusive food and drink specials. A portion of sales from each business's special will be donated to their selected nonprofit. Some of our favorite spots in town are getting in on the philanthropic fun: Speed-o Cappuccino is raising funds for the PDX Sex Worker Resource Project, Ice Queen is contributing to Native American Youth and Family Center, Mis Tacones will donate to Meals On Us...the list goes on. It's a great chance to contribute to some magnanimous causes while partaking in some magnificent meatless meals. JB
(Various locations, Monday-Sunday)


Kumoricon Past Event List
Portland's annual anime and Japanese culture con celebrates twenty years in the Pacific Northwest with three days of workshops, karaoke, cosplay (including a chess game and lingerie show), a "Japanese maid cafe experience," and more. The KumoriMarket will sell official merch and fan creations from art to tabletop games and plushies. The con itself is named after our infamous weather pattern (kumori means "cloudy" in Japanese), which we love! SL
(Oregon Convention Center, Lloyd District, Friday-Sunday)


Andrew Tay and Stephen Thompson: Make Banana Cry Past Event List
Andrew Tay and Stephen Thompson question Asian stereotypes, shake off fetishization, and generally cause trouble for the Western gaze in Make Banana Cry, a "critical and destabilizing dance performance" that's part of PICA's Time-Released. The runway presentation features six artists who draw from their intersectional backgrounds to subvert clichés of “Asian-ness” with physicality, high fashion, and a side of humor, and a fake museum exhibition created by artist Dominque Petrin serves as an immersive container for the piece. LC
(PICA, Eliot, Friday-Saturday)

Liberace & Liza Holiday at the Mansion (A Tribute) Remind List
It's November, which means the holidays are in full swing, whether you like it or not!! Get into it with this sequined holiday tribute, in which classically trained pianist David Saffert and singer/actor Jillian Snow Harris will charm the crowd as showstoppers Liberace and Liza Minnelli. Liberace's real-life music director Bo Ayars will conduct the musical performance; expect foot-tapping piano medleys and jazzy tribute songs. LC
(Portland Center Stage, Pearl District, Wednesday–Sunday)

push/FOLD Presents: Union PDX - Festival:23 Past Event List
Contemporary dance company push/FOLD will present another edition of this annual festival, which expands on Bharatanatyam (an Indian classical dance), modern break, and street dance styles through master workshops, career development sessions, and world-class performances. With both in-person and virtual viewing options, Festival:23 features buzzy performances by Italy's Compagnia Bellanda, Los Angeles's Outrun the Bear, and Portland's own Sridharini Sridharan, push/FOLD, and Open Space Dance. LC
(Hampton Opera Center, Hosford-Abernethy, Friday-Sunday)

White Bird Presents: Abby Z and the New Utility Past Event List
Choreographer Abby Zbikowski's fresh work with the New Utility dancers, Radioactive Practice, is performed in the round, pulling from a wide variety of movement forms (street dance, contemporary African forms, and martial arts among them) to place physicality "at the heart of larger philosophical questions about the meaning and function of dance across cultures." The production aims to smash assumptions about these forms and "generate a penetrating vision of what it means to be alive today." Want to be right in the middle of the action? That's an option! Attendees can elect to purchase seats on the stage. LC
(Lincoln Hall, South Park Blocks, Thursday-Saturday)


Africa Fashion Remind List
London's Victoria and Albert Museum curated this major exhibition, which will bring dozens of well-dressed mannequins to the Portland Art Museum this fall and winter for an exploration of African fashion culture and history from the mid-20th century to the present. Africa Fashion includes "garments, textiles, adornments, personal testimonies, photographs, film, and catwalk footage," with artifacts pulled straight from the archives of legendary African designers like Shade Thomas-Fahm, Chris Seydou, Kofi Ansah, Naïma Bennis, and Alphadi and contemporary creatives Imane Ayissi, IAMISIGO, Moshions, Thebe Magugu, and Maison Art. Not sold? The exhibition was featured in Vogue, Forbes, and CNN, which deemed the show "an archive of achievement." LC
(Portland Art Museum, South Park Blocks, Saturday-Sunday; opening)

Anya Roberts-Toney: Water Witch Moon Mother Remind List
I gushed about Anya Roberts-Toney's work in a piece for Art & About PDX a few years back, so it's safe to say I'm stoked to see her return to Nationale for another solo exhibition of jewel-toned compositions, which typically contain equal parts feminine revelry and illusive unease. Sneak peeks on her Instagram reveal a move toward bolder, more color-forward compositions in oil-on-linen, but Roberts-Toney maintains a dreamy sensibility that always reminds me of that one episode of Wishbone where he travels to the Eloi's futuristic, pink-tinged fruit garden from The Time Machine, in the best possible way. (If you have no idea what I'm referencing, why not remedy that by spending some time with Water Witch Moon Mother?) LC
(Nationale, Buckman, Monday/Thursday-Sunday)

Secret Room Work•Shop Pop-Up Remind List
Risograph print studio and comics and art publisher Secret Room Press has joined the other lovably artsy weirdos at Lloyd Center and opened a sparkly new pop-up art gallery and print shop. The Secret Room Work•Shop is home to Life on Earth: A RISO Art Show, "a RISO art show showcasing over 25 cartoonists from the Pacific Northwest and beyond," plusweekly events and workshops and a curated selection of books, cassettes, vinyl, and VHS. Drop by the next time you're headed to Floating World Comics. LC
(Lloyd Center, Lloyd District, Wednesday–Sunday)

Seeding: A Group Exhibition of Seattle Artists Past Event List
This cross-city pollination invites six artists from the Seattle "artist-forward exhibition space" The Vestibule to showcase work in Portland, while Well Well Projects collective artists will install an exhibition in Seattle. Curated by Kascha Semonovitch, The Vestibule's exhibition Seeding "challenged notions of installation art, possession of place, and expectations of a gallery experience" with focuses on material growth and "seeds" of future conversation. I'm excited to see what one of my favorite regional artists, Francesca Lohmann, will share on these themes. LC
(Well Well, Kenton, Friday-Saturday)

Yellena James: Weightless Past Event List
Bosnian-born artist Yellena James came to the United States with her family as a refugee in 1995 in the aftermath of the Bosnian Civil War. After studying painting and graphic design at the University of Central Florida, she made her way to Portland; since then, she's developed an aesthetic of organic forms with a fantastical feel. James's compositions are easy to get lost in—they're inspired by design principles of the natural world, and often feel like bouquets from another planet. LC
(Chefas Projects, Central Eastside, Wednesday-Saturday; closing)

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