Best Things To Do

The Top 49 Events in Portland This Week: Jan 9-16, 2023

Portland's Folk Festival, Undisputable Geniuses of Comedy, and More Top Picks
January 9, 2023
Take part in a winter tradition at Cornelius Pass Roadhouse's Sixth Annual Wassail Cider Fest. (McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse via Facebook)
We're here to help you stick to your resolution to get out more and with event suggestions worth braving the winter weather, from Portland's Folk Festival to the Sixth Annual Wassail Cider Fest and from Portland Mercury presents The 2023 Undisputable Geniuses of Comedy to King: A Filmed Record.

Venues may have health guidelines in place—we advise directly checking the specific protocols for an event before heading out.

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Everything and Nothing: Live! Add to a List
Hosts Kris Cox and Charlie Hickmott will head to the stage with a trio of local laugh lovers for another edition of Everything and Nothing, which includes conversations with Portland's funniest folks, games with the audience, a "signature mental health check," and tunes as part of Portland Music Month Add to a List .
(Kelly's Olympian, Downtown)


The Harder They Come Add to a List
The Harder They Come perfectly encapsulates the sensory experience of '70s Jamaica—the smoke is thick and the fashion is on point in this anti-capitalist action flick. Colorful, gritty cinematography and a killer soundtrack immerse viewers in the story of a young reggae singer on the run. 
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy)


Fear No Music: Locally Sourced Sounds VIII Add to a List
Fear No Music's Locally Sourced Sounds series is back for its eighth year to shine a spotlight on new music from composers with strong ties to Oregon. This edition will include performances from Grace Miedziak, Rohan Srinivasan, Dr. Ryan Francis, and Arbielle.
(The Old Church, Downtown)



Oregon Humanities Conversation Project: Music as a Tool for Justice with Donavan Scribes Add to a List
Writer, artist, and native Portlander Donovan Scribes, whose platform Gentrification is WEIRD! is "dedicated to elevating and capturing Black Oregon history and shaping its future," will present this interactive talk on the history of Black musicians in Oregon as part of Oregon Humanities' ongoing conversation project.
(Beaverton City Library, Beaverton)

Science Pub Portland: Amazing Nature: Life in Extreme Environments Add to a List
Dr. Annie Lindgren, director of PSU's Center for Life in Extreme Environments, takes a dip into a pitch-black world of "superpowered" creatures for this deep sea edition of Science Pub. Armed with glowy communication skills and the ability to survive with little food and almost no oxygen, deep sea animals are one fascinating aspect of their extreme environment. Learn more about it at Dr. Lindgren's talk, and bring your questions about all things hadalpelagic.
(OMSI, Central Eastside)



The Future Ain't What It Used to Be Add to a List
Local film archivists Ioana Cherascu and Garrett Schroeder, AKA Astral Projections, will present another trippy ride of 16mm shorts with The Future Ain't What It Used to Be—expect a glimmering medley of exploding zeppelins, futuristic homes, hippies, and laser beams this time around. The duo's compilation screenings tend to have a psychedelic edge, so you're sure to thrill your eyeballs.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District)


Oregon Symphony Presents: Open Music With Vijay Iyer Add to a List
Composer/pianist Vijay Iyer, described by The New York Times as a "social conscience, multimedia collaborator, system builder, rhapsodist, historical thinker, and multicultural gateway," will be joined by Oregon Symphony musicians and host Nathalie Joachim for a performance of Schnittke's Piano Quintet, Iyler's Run, and Bach's Cello Suite in C Major, among other classical works.
(Alberta Rose Theatre, Concordia)

Sons Of (Sam Prekop & John McEntire) with Jeremiah Chiu Add to a List
Forward-thinking duo Sam Prekop and John McEntire (of indie rock band The Sea and Cake) present their latest collaboration of synthesizer modules, samplers, trigger pads, and other electronic elements to unearth "unique textures and untapped worlds of possibility." They will play tracks off of their new album, Sons Of, which Pitchfork featured in their "best new music" category, noting that the album "exemplifies the ramshackle, improvisatory spirit that’s at the heart of modular synthesis." Don't miss an opening set from LA-based artist and DJ Jeremiah Chiu.
(Holocene, Buckman)



ReBuilding Center's Shed Talks: Panel Discussion with GLEAN 2022 Artists Add to a List
Aiming to inspire Portlanders through discussions at the intersection of sustainability and art, ReBuilding Center's Shed Talks series continues with this panel. GLEAN Portland participating artists Val Britton, Maddy Dubin, Joshua Sin, Ahuva S. Zaslavsky, and Oregon Poet Laureate Anis Mojgani will share their experiences with the reuse-focused residency process, which asks artists to gather materials for new work from the Metro Central Transfer Station (AKA the dump).
(ReBuilding Center, Boise)

Reel Science: The Arctic: Our Last Great Wilderness Add to a List
Merging Science Pub shenanigans with a film screening, OMSI's latest Reel Science event starts with a lecture and Q&A session about Arctic protection efforts with conservationist Chad Brown and Alaska Wilderness League outreach director Monica Scherer. Then, attendees will journey toward the Arctic coastal plain with Florian Schulz in the 45-minute documentary The Arctic: Our Last Great Wilderness.
(OMSI, Central Eastside)



Pete Holmes Live: Where Were We Add to a List
Pete Holmes has a lot going on—he's a touring stand-up comedian, actor, “Christ-leaning spiritual seeker,” improviser, cartoonist, and podcaster. (You may have heard an episode of his hit podcast You Made It Weird, which features ultra-famous guests like Deepak Chopra and Seth Rogen.) Sarah Silverman describes Holmes as "like Hunter S. Thompson if he was square as shit and funny as fuck." He'll bring more of that thoughtful, yet still hilarious, style to this performance.
(Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn)

Portland Mercury presents The 2023 Undisputable Geniuses of Comedy Add to a List
It's not often that you'll find crowd favorites like Sean Jordan, Arlo Weierhauser, Katie Nguyen, Jaren George, Imani Denae, the Broke Gravy dudes, and others all on the same stage. Portland’s funny legends will bring the laughs alongside hilarious rising stars for a night of improv and stand-up hosted by local knee-slapper Nariko Ott.
(Revolution Hall, Buckman)


Friday the 13th Part VII with Kane Hodder Add to a List
Start the new year with a machete at this special screening of Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, a wild ride of telekinesis, gross-out scenes, and teen stereotypes directed by gory special effects whiz John Carl Buechler. Kane Hodder, who played a brawny zombified Jason in the flick, will be in attendance for this screening, so watch your back!
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District)


New Nordic Cuisine Opening Add to a List
In the last 15 years, the Nordic food movement, defined by its emphasis on local, natural and seasonal produce, has inspired world-famous chefs and home cooks alike. Nordia House will kick off their New Nordic Cuisine Add to a List exhibit, which examines the Nordic value-driven food system, with appetizers and a lecture from Thor Erikson.
(Nordia House, Metzger)


Candlelight: A Tribute To Taylor Swift Add to a List
Break into your cottagecore era with this classical Taylor Swift tribute concert from the Listeso String Quartet, who will perform her beloved hits like "Cardigan," "Enchanted," "Invisible String," and "Love Story," all under the gentle glow of candlelight.
(Alberta Rose Theatre, Concordia)

Pops Fernandez Add to a List
Dubbed the "Philippines Concert Queen," vocalist, TV personality, and fashion mogul Pops Fernandez will bring her soft rock, smooth jazz, and vocal pop to Beaverton for a benefit concert supporting the Calabarzon Foundation, which provides free dental care, supplies, and education to rural and impoverished communities in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
(Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton)

Portland Old Time Music Gathering Add to a List
Portland nonprofit Bubbaville hosts a giant-size celebration of fiddlin', banjo-playin', square-dancin' old-timey fun, featuring some of the region’s best musicians and performers, and offering opportunities for attendees to learn a little more about the traditions in the music, and how to dance to it!
(Alberta Abbey, King)

The Ghost Ease with Slang and Dim Wit Add to a List
Back in 2016, former Mercury writer Ciara Dolan wrote: "The Ghost Ease's self-described ‘shreddy daydream’ rock 'n' roll takes as many unexpected turns as a hazy reverie. The Portland trio's sophomore album, Raw, despite its spontaneous trajectory, delivers unwavering, electric power while exuding smoky mysteriousness with song titles like ‘Pareidolia’ and ‘Gemini Rise.’" They will take the stage supporting their latest album, PSYCHE LIFELINE, alongside indie rock supergroup Slang (featuring members of Sleater-Kinney, The Thermals, Viva Voce, and more), and funk-pop duo Dim Wit.
(Mississippi Studios, Boise)


Ruby Mcconnell and Char Miller Add to a List
Char Miller, the W.M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis and History at Pomona College, and geologist and outdoor adventurer Ruby McConnell will come together for this celebration of their respective books, Natural Consequences: Intimate Essays for a Planet in Peril and Ground Truth: A Geological Survey of Life. The two authors look closely at our rapidly changing planet, but use different approaches to illuminate harsh facts. McConnell's Ground Truth takes the form of a eulogy for Earth, while Miller's Natural Consequences compiles "site-specific essays" with insightful historical context for today's environmental quandaries.
(Literary Arts, Southwest Portland)



Sixth Annual Wassail Cider Fest Add to a List
Wassailing is an ancient custom that involves toasting to health and prosperity in the new year (often with cider-based beverages) and visiting an orchard to promote a bountiful harvest. McMenamins will put its own spin on the Old English tradition with a special toast, an orchard parade, live music, and of course, plenty of cider. Come dressed in "bright colors with medieval flair" for a chance to win a costume contest.
(Cornelius Pass Roadhouse, Hillsboro)


The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute Add to a List
Emmy Award-winning tribute group The Fab Four will return to Portland with note-for-note renditions of The Beatles' classic songs, costume changes that reflect the band’s distinct eras, and carefully coiffed mop tops that will make it seem like you're watching the real thing.
(Newmark Theatre, South Park Blocks)

Portland Chamber Orchestra: My Words Are My Sword Add to a List
Hailed by the Indianapolis Star as being capable of “pulling a palette of moods from every register,” pianist Kenny Broberg will bring his passionate and innovative style to the stage with an ardent program that includes Franck's Prelude, Fugue, and Variation in B Minor, Chopin's Ballade No. 4 in F Minor, and Medtner's Sonata No. 7.
(Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton)

Stravinsky’s The Firebird with the Oregon Symphony Add to a List
Associate conductor Deanna Tham will lead the Oregon Symphony in a performance of Igor Stravinsky's epic score to The Firebird ballet, followed by the debut of Grammy-nominated composer Vijay Iyer's new concerto for cellist Inbal Segev.
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)

Suki Waterhouse Add to a List
Model/actress-turned-singer-songwriter Suki Waterhouse will headline with intimate Lana Del Rey-esque pop ballads from her debut album, I Can't Let Go, which was released on Sub Pop earlier this year. Like-minded pop artist Jane. will support.
(Wonder Ballroom, Eliot)



Binary Brewer's Dinner Add to a List
At their inaugural brewer's dinner, Binary Brewing will team up with the restaurant Megabites to present a banquet-style, five-course meal with specially curated beer pairings.
(Binary Brewing, Beaverton)


Alela Diane with Peter Broderick Add to a List
Portland-via-California songwriter Alela Diane will bring her "immaculately beautiful indie-folk songs" (Paste Magazine) to the stage in support of her sixth studio album, Looking Glass. The album employs delicately plucked guitars, haunting strings, and moving piano melodies for a cathartic journey through motherhood and other life-changing transitions. Acclaimed Oregon-based composer Peter Broderick will open.
(The Old Church, Downtown)

The Simon & Garfunkel Story Add to a List
This immersive concert-style theater show chronicles the musical journey of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel from their meek beginnings, to their rise as one of the bestselling music groups of the '60s, and ultimately to their dramatic breakup in 1970. This unique show will include projections of original photos and film footage, as well as a live band performing the duo's iconic folk-rock hits. 
(Newmark Theatre, South Park Blocks)


Emme Lund in Conversation With Vanessa Friedman Add to a List
Portland-based novelist Emme Lund, whose 2022 coming-of-age tale The Boy with a Bird in His Chest was hailed as “poignantly rendered and illuminating” by The Washington Post, will be joined in conversation by Vanessa Friedman, writer, teacher, and community editor at Autostraddle, for this celebration of the book's paperback release.
(Powell's City of Books, Pearl District)



King: A Filmed Record Add to a List
This digital restoration of a cinema treasure follows Dr. Martin Luther King from 1955 to 1968, as he evolved from a regional activist to a critical voice in the civil rights movement. King: A Filmed Record has become a documentary classic since its 1970 release, weaving together rarely seen footage of speeches and protests with testimonials from Hollywood greats.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District)

Passing the Torch — Still We Rise Add to a List
In celebration of civil rights gamechanger (and Baptist minister) Martin Luther King Jr., this program will feature tunes from gospel crooners DaNell Daymon & Greater Works, a vendor marketplace, and a speech by Mayor Ted Wheeler. 
(Highland Christian Center, Montavilla)



Navajo Skies Add to a List
Navajo folklore comes to the domed Kendall Planetarium this month, with awe-inspiring celestial stories told in Navajo and English, plus brilliant imagery set to traditional songs and Native American flute music.
(OMSI, Central Eastside, Tuesday-Sunday)


Portland EcoFilm Festival Add to a List
The year-round Portland EcoFilm Festival will offer three screenings at the Hollywood this month in support of their ongoing mission to showcase the best in environmental cinema. On January 14, the Trees and the People Who Love Them program will include three short films centering tree-huggers from Madagascar to California; later that evening, the New Ecological Short Films program will share stories from the Canadian Arctic, the Albanian Alps, and elsewhere. Head back to the theater on January 15 for Beans, a feature-length flick starring Reservation Dogs cast members, inspired by the 1990 Indigenous uprising known as the Oka Crisis.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Saturday-Sunday)

Women Talking Add to a List
Miriam Toews's bestselling 2018 novel Women Talking unraveled the tense tale of a group of women clawing to escape from an isolated Mennonite colony. This film adaptation boasts an all-star cast including Claire Foy, Frances McDormand, Jessie Buckley, and Rooney Mara; The Los Angeles Times described director Sarah Polley's approach as "an artful, incisive distillation of Toews’ arguments."
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, Monday-Thursday)


Double Mountain Brewery Rare Barrel Aged Beers Showcase Add to a List
Seize the opportunity to taste eight hard-to-find beers from the local favorite Double Mountain Brewery, in addition to four of their standard offerings.
(Loyal Legion, Buckman, Thursday-Monday)

Nano Beer Fest Add to a List
Toast to all things nano-brewing at this festival uplifting pint-sized producers. Your ticket will afford you 10 tastes of beer, cider, mead, and wine from small local businesses around the region.
(John's Marketplace, Creston-Kenilworth, Friday-Saturday)


Portland's Folk Festival Add to a List
Eight folk, Americana, blues, and bluegrass acts will set up shop at the historic theater for a three-day festival with performances from Hawaii-based blues troubadour Ron Artis II, cosmic folk artist Eddie Berman, bucket-banging rockabilly duo Hillstomp, dreamy indie folk trio Glitterfox, soulful roots ensemble The Get Ahead, hip-hop infused Americana outfit The Junebugs, folk-pop singer-songwriter Jacob Westfall, and neo-folk musician Karyn Ann.
(Crystal Ballroom, West End, Friday-Sunday)


American Fast Add to a List
This Rolling World Premiere launch by director Kareem Fahmy follows a top-ranked college basketball player whose faith is challenged when March Madness falls during Ramadan. Khady Salama's religious mother expects her to fast during game days, and as she rises in the ranks and inspires other Muslim players, Khady must give careful consideration to what matters most.
(Portland Center Stage, Pearl District, Wednesday-Sunday)

Moulin Rouge! The Musical Add to a List
Baz Luhrmann's sparkly world hits the theatrical stage in this musical directed by Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers. You probably already know the plot of the romantic drama set in turn-of-the-century Paris, so just sit back and thrill your eyeballs with the glamour of the show—Moulin Rouge! brings new meaning to the word "extra."
(Keller Auditorium, Downtown, Tuesday-Sunday)

Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt. 2B Add to a List
Penned by playwright Kate Hamill and adapted from the stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this tongue-in-cheek feminist farce sees two female roommates stumble across mysteries and villains they never expected. Oregon Artswatch described Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt. 2B as a "buddy comedy," so expect more laughs and less Jack the Ripper-esque horror.
(Portland Center Stage, Pearl District, Saturday-Sunday)

Semillas Add to a List
Written and directed by Uruguayan playwright Alicia Dogliotti, Semillas is "a hymn to life, to struggle, and to salvation of the environment." The eco-conscious play follows a young man who abandons his 9-to-5 to pursue reforestation technology with the help of his wife and a monk with a green thumb.
(Milagro Theatre, Buckman, Thursday-Sunday)


The Architecture of L’Ancien Village: A Memorial Exhibition Add to a List
Just one segment of late photographer David Pace's practice of documenting life in Bereba, Burkina Faso, The Architecture of L’Ancien Village captures the rural village's hardships, beauty, and unique sense of community. Hoping to "challenge the negativity about African life and culture dominant in the Western imagination," Pace aimed to create colorful, vivid compositions that told an honest, optimistic story of the region.
(Blue Sky Gallery, Pearl District, Wednesday-Saturday)

Charlie Salas-Humara: Carts Behind the Jewel Osco Add to a List
Self-taught painter and musician Charlie Salas-Humara channels liminal spaces in Carts Behind the Jewel Osco, a solo exhibition of thickly impastoed works. With titles like Hidden Alleyway and In the Denny’s Parking Lot, Salas-Humara reflects on washed-out, forgotten, and ignored spaces, creating densely layered surfaces that evoke a landlord's hasty paint job in a new rental. (In a good way.) The show prompts an engaging question—just what is happening under the surface? 
(Nationale, Buckman, Thursday-Sunday; closing)

Eli Durst: The Community Add to a List
Photographer Eli Durst's initial practice of capturing church basements on camera expanded to look closely at "the fundamental search for community in America," from Boy Scout meetings to corporate team-building sessions and New Age spaces. In Durst's documentary-style exhibition of black-and-white photos, aptly titled The Community, Durst seems to ask: What might we do to feel more in connection with others? How are these seemingly ubiquitous practices still imbued with ambiguity and strangeness? 
(Blue Sky Gallery, Pearl District, Wednesday-Saturday)

Flowstone Add to a List
WAVE Contemporary co-founder Hannah Newman and widely exhibited artist Susan Murrell "explore the end of day as it relates to the end of days" in Flowstone, a collaborative project. Through familiar lenses of landscape painting and figurative sculpture, Newman and Murrell delve into complicated territories of body and land, untold futures, and ecological dread.
(Carnation Contemporary, Kenton, Saturday-Sunday)

InterACT! The Art of Creating Together Add to a List
JAMO's month of interactive art-making will include zine and printmaking workshops, guided conversations, and ample opportunities for collaboration, plus a performance and book talk by national performing artists Nobuko Miyamoto and traci kato-kiriyama. InterACT! The Art of Creating Together offers an intentional way to move forward from the isolating years of the pandemic toward a renewed sense of unity, so head to their weekend programming throughout the month to create in community.
(Japanese American Museum of Oregon, Old Town-Chinatown, Saturday-Sunday)

Kris Hargis: There Are No Roads Here Add to a List
Created while living in an "off-grid cabin in the Oregon coastal range," Kris Hargis's There Are No Roads Here explores a new sense of stillness and quietude in the artist's process. Meditating on the life cycle with softness and a sense of calm, Hargis's paintings contain a subtle sadness expressed through thoughtful human faces and bundles of flowers. 
(Froelick Gallery, Pearl District, Tuesday-Saturday)

Rick Bartow: Frog Talk Seriously Add to a List
Rick Bartow, an enrolled member of the Mad River Band of Wiyot Indians, Vietnam War veteran, and leading voice in the contemporary Native American art movement, passed in 2016. Those unfamiliar with his work shouldn't miss this multimedia solo show—Bartow's expressive, gestural style comes to life in brilliant mark-making and naturalistic storytelling.
(Froelick Gallery, Pearl District, Tuesday-Saturday)

Vince Skelly and Lynne Woods Turner Add to a List
Sculptor Vince Skelly and two-dimensional artist Lynne Woods Turner join heads for this two-person exhibition at contemporary mainstay Adams and Ollman. The duo explores opportunities for playful skewing of scale and form through oil paintings on cheesecloth, chainsaw-sculpted furniture, and other unexpected mediums and tools.
(Adams and Ollman, Northwest Portland, Wednesday-Saturday; closing)

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