Best Things To Do

The Top 50 Events in Portland This Week: May 2-8, 2022

Big Thief, Mt. Hood Center Derby Party, and More Top Picks
May 2, 2022
Folk-rock favorites Big Thief will play two nights in support of their latest album, Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You. (Mikey Buishas)
Mother's Day will cap off this eventful first week of May, but before we reach Sunday, there's Cinco de Mayo, music from Big Thief, and happenings from Tiny Fish Co. Pop-Up to Mt. Hood Center Derby Party to keep you busy. For more ideas for the month ahead, check out our guide to May events.

Oregon’s statewide mask mandate has been lifted, venues may have their own health guidelines in place. We advise directly checking the specific protocols for an event before heading out.

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Hollywood Shuffle in 35mm Add to a List
When a hot dog hawker/aspiring actor finds himself being typecast in a racist Hollywood flick, his dreams begin to revolve around Hollywood's culture of stereotyping. Robert Townsend's scalding spoof on racism in the film industry was co-written by Keenan Ivory Wayans, and it'll be screened in 35mm as part of the "Wayans' World" series. 
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District)

The Wobblies Add to a List
The secret of power is organization! Back in 1905, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) organized "unskilled" workers in factories, forests, mines, and docks into a gargantuan union that transformed American history. Deborah Shaffer and Stewart Bird share the story of IWW workers (aka "Wobblies") and their demands for improved wages, healthcare, and working conditions in this documentary, which compiles archival footage, interviews, art, and rebellious Wobbly songs.
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy)


Come Thru Market Add to a List
Come Thru Market serves as an incubator for Black and Indigenous farmers and makers. By buying from BIPOC growers, you can help in their small business development while shopping locally and sustainably. For the 2022 season, the market has shifted its hours to the afternoon/evening so you can come through after work and pick up produce for dinner or grab a bite.
(The Redd on Salmon, Buckman)

Tiny Fish Co. Pop-Up Add to a List
Embrace the "hot girl food" du jour—tinned fish—with Top Chef: Portland contestants Sara Hauman (who launched her own tinned fish line Tiny Fish Co.) and Byron Gomez. The pop-up will feature four different snacks made with Tiny Fish Co. products, plus a handful of raffles for branded merch.
(Bar Norman, Hosford-Abernethy)


Floating Room, Sour Widows, and Babytooth Add to a List
Portland indie-rock band Floating Room has experimented with a variety of genres over their six-year run, including shoegaze, art pop, slowcore, and baroque pop. On their latest output, Shima, the band dives deeper into straight-forward rock complete with buzzing riffs and pounding drums. They will take the stage after opening sets from California alt-rock trio Sour Widows and indie-folk band Babytooth.
(Doug Fir Lounge, Buckman)

John Craigie Performs The Beatles "Let It Be (Lonely)" Add to a List
"Modern-day troubadour" John Craigie will bring his tender folk sound and comedic storytelling to the classic tunes of the fab four with his take on the Beatles' seminal 1970 album, Let It Be. 
(Mississippi Studios, Boise)

Lil Tecca: Tecca Loves You Tour Add to a List
What were you doing at 19 years old? Queens-born rapper Lil Tecca is a multi-platinum selling artist who already has two albums out, both of which were praised for his striking wordplay and mystical melodies. The young star will play in support of his second album, We Love You Tecca 2, which features rap heroes Chief Keef and Lil Yachty. Fellow rising rap stars BabySantana, Bktherula, and Yvngxchris will support. 
(Hawthorne Theatre, Hawthorne District)


Kathryn Schulz in Conversation With Karen Russell Add to a List
Kathryn Schulz's New Yorker article "The Really Big One," covering seismic risk in the Pacific Northwest, should be required reading for everyone in the region—impeccably researched, the piece won a National Magazine Award and a Pulitzer Prize. Her new memoir, Lost & Found, is shaped by the human experience of loss and discovery. Schulz will be joined in conversation by Karen Russell, whose award-winning fiction works are tinged with magical realism.
(Powell's City of Books, Pearl District)



Black Podcast Festival Add to a List
The Numberz, Portland's Black-owned and operated radio station, will present this podcast fest from Pioneer Square's new Welcome Dome. Each week, live podcast sessions will feature a different show—The Bruce Poinsette Show, hosted by the local community organizer, will kick off the festival, followed by sessions of Chloe Said It, Klyph Notes, and more.
(Pioneer Courthouse Square, Downtown)


Andy McKee & Yasmin Williams Add to a List
Revel in an evening with two of the world's most innovative guitarists. Acoustic virtuoso Andy McKee is known for utilizing all parts of the guitar, turning the single instrument into an entire orchestra with percussive hits, altered tunings, partial capos, and other experimental tactics. Finger-style guitarist and composer Yasmin Williams will follow with imaginative stylings off of her 2021 album, Urban Driftwood, which received praise from major publications like The New York Times, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and NPR Music.
(Star Theater, Old Town-Chinatown)

Oberhofer Add to a List
New York-via-Tacoma composer, producer, and musician Brad Oberhofer, known mononymously by his last name, initially made waves with bedroom recordings that gained praise from critics before championing the 2010s surf-pop revival sound with his debut full-length, Time Capsules II. Catch him as he supports his latest work, SMOTHERED, an experimental exploration into care-free dream-pop.
(Doug Fir Lounge, Buckman)


Swirl in the Pearl Add to a List
Playwright Kamila Bush's play-within-a-play will bring the glam shenanigans for this evening of fundraising for Portland Center Stage. Chow down on yummy bites from Nong's, Tamale Boy, and more at the pre-show reception, and try your luck at the wine wall with vintage selections from Argyle Winery. There'll be an after-show dance party with even more treats and libations, so get ready to indulge for a good cause! 
(The Armory, South Park Blocks)



Church of Film: The Dawn of Color Add to a List
Church of Film's latest collection of short films compiles the multicolor madness of cinema from the early- to mid-20th century, when filmmakers found colorful new inspiration beyond black-and-white. This selection of fairy tales and dance flicks will include hand stenciling, two-tone processing, and other early color film techniques.
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy)


May The 4th Star Wars Trivia Add to a List
Celebrate the geekiest day on the calendar at a brewery obsessed with space! Geeks Who Drink will host this Star Wars-themed trivia night with prizes at the end of each round and gift cards for the top-scoring teams. Plus, come dressed as your favorite droid, alien humanoid, or other galactic creature and you might win the costume contest with a $50 Ecliptic gift card—definitely worth more than those old republic credits!
(The Moon Room, Buckman)


Juana Molina Add to a List
Argentine singer-songwriter Juana Molina has lived many lives. The daughter of famed parents (tango singer Horacio Molina and actress Elva “Chunchuna” Villafañe)  made a name for herself as a popular comedic actress before pursuing a career as an experimental musician. Although her debut album perplexed Argentinian fans and media, Molina eventually moved to LA where she released her sophomore album, Segundo, an experimental folk masterpiece that utilizes electronics and looping. Anticipate hearing songs off of that seminal 2000 album, which was reissued last year, after an opening set from LA-based singer-songwriter A.O. Gerber.
(Mississippi Studios, Boise)

July Talk Add to a List
The Toronto-hailing rock 'n' roll quintet took home a Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year in 2021 for their third album, Pray For It. Expect to hear tracks off the acclaimed album, which Exclaim! described as a "haunting, mid-tempo offering, more suitable to a smoky lounge than a dingy dive bar."
(Polaris Hall, Humboldt)


Dance Theatre of Harlem Add to a List
The Dance Theatre of Harlem's history dates back to 1969, when the company was founded by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook at the height of the civil rights movement. Known as the first major ballet company to center Black dancers, the company is still recognized for its inclusive approach today. This program is part of White Bird's WE ARE ONE Festival Add to a List .
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)


Paul Holes in Conversation With Yeardley Smith and Dan & Dave from Small Town Dicks Add to a List
When cold case investigator Paul Holes came across the Golden State Killer file in 1994, he resolved to finally unravel the mystery of the serial killer who stalked Californians in the '70s and '80s. And in 2018, he did—Joseph J. DeAngelo, a former cop, was identified as the long-sought murderer. In Unmasked, Holes delves into his career as a crime solver, touching on infamous cases like the Golden State Killer, Laci Peterson's murder, and Jaycee Dugard's kidnapping. Holes will be joined in conversation by Emmy winner Yeardley Smith (the voice of Lisa Simpson) and Detectives Dan and Dave from the Small Town Dicks podcast.
(Powell's City of Books, Pearl District)



Cinco de Mayo Party Add to a List
This Cinco de Mayo celebration promises an all-day fiesta filled with delicious food, a full bar, some lucha libre viewing, and talent from all over Oregon. Look forward to a live tribute to Tejano music queen Selena, mariachi performances, a Vicente Fernández sing-along, and music from Forest Grove's Ballet Folklórico Mexico en la Piel.
(Stage 722, Buckman)

Jens Lekman & Youth Orchestras Across The USA Add to a List
Swedish guitar-pop mastermind Jens Lekman will finally set off on his four-years-in-the-making Youth Orchestras Across The USA tour, which blossomed out of an interest in learning from students and exploring the “energy that is present when a young person is still exploring and mastering an instrument.”
(Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn)

Pom Pom Squad: Death of a Cheerleader Tour with Chloe Lilac Add to a List
Brooklyn-based trio Pom Pom Squad make indie rock tunes inspired by the '90s riot grrrl movement and the '60s soul that they call "quiet grrrl punk." The band will support their debut full-length album, Death of a Cheerleader, with support from like-minded singer-songwriter Chloe Lilac.
(Holocene, Buckman)

Sleaford Mods Add to a List
When you hear a song by English post-punk duo Sleaford Mods, you know it's Sleaford Mods. Their minimalist beats, confrontational spoken-word style, and heavy East Midlands accent stand singular in the world of contemporary rock. Catch up with the pair as they support their eleventh (!) studio album, Spare Ribs, alongside fellow British rock band Sorry.
(Wonder Ballroom, Eliot)

The Music of Queen with Your Oregon Symphony Add to a List
The Oregon Symphony will rock you as they join a full rock band and vocalist to perform classical interpretations of rock and roll anthems from the legendary British four-piece Queen. Anticipate a reimagining of hits like “We Will Rock You,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” like you’ve never heard before.
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)

The Thesis: Sotaè, Marki$, Apollo, Snoogz, and KNDRX Add to a List
Longstanding first Thursday hip-hop night The Thesis continues its streak with another stellar May showcase. This month, they’re shining a hot spotlight on rapper, singer-songwriter, and rising star in the local hip-hop/R&B scene Sotaé—who has been winning crowds for her collaborations with other Portland-based artists like Fountaine on the rousing “Lil B, ” and with soul singer Veana Baby on the smooth and sultry “Honey Dip” and “Wake Up.” In addition to being an excellent opportunity to experience Sotaé live, this month’s Thesis also offers sets from trap-influenced Dallas-to Portland rapper Marki$ Apollo, fellow Portland rapper and Vinnie Dewayne-collaborator Snoogz, and hip-hop artist KNDRX (FKA Cory Kendrix)—who’s currently on tour in support of his recent project Gumbo. And don’t overlook the stalwart hosting of DJ Verbz. JENNI MOORE
(Kelly's Olympian, Downtown)


Chicks in the Office Add to a List
Ria and Fran have the tea on celeb breakups, the Kardashians, Vanderpump Rules, and all that other stuff you're afraid to admit you love. They'll bring some extra-special guests and offer trivia prizes for this live podcast performance.
(Helium Comedy Club, Hosford-Abernethy)


Douglas Stuart in Conversation With Omar El Akkad Add to a List
Douglas Stuart's harrowing Bildungsroman Shuggie Bain—the writer's debut novel—was rejected by 30 publishers before its 2020 publication, going on to win the Booker Prize, two British Book Awards, and the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction. Not bad! On the heels of his last success, Stuart's new novel follows a queer love story in divided, working-class Glasgow. Stuart will share the stage with Omar El Akkad, whose debut novel American War won an Oregon Book Award for fiction.
(Powell's City of Books, Pearl District)



I Am an American Live Add to a List
The Immigrant Story presents I Am an American Live, an evening of Asian American storytelling and pan-Asian musical traditions arranged by Indian film music composer Balamurali Balu. The event is part of ongoing programming by the Oregon Rises Above Hate coalition, planned in observance of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
(Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton)


Kyle Dunnigan Add to a List
Emmy-, Peabody-, and Writer’s Guild Award-winning comedy writer Kyle Dunnigan is pretty good at constructing a joke. We hope to hear more of his star-studded impressions of household names like Caitlyn Jenner, Mark Zuckerberg, and Donald Trump for this performance.
(Helium Comedy Club, Hosford-Abernethy)

Lone Wolves Add to a List
Smart, sharp sketch comedy returns with the Lone Wolves, a seasoned local comedy team directed by Shelley McLendon.
(Siren Theater, Old Town-Chinatown)

The Nancy Boys Add to a List
Hilarious husbands Nick and Justin Condon present The Nancy Boys, a campy, tongue-in-cheek improvised mystery series. Starring as the plucky Nancy brothers, the duo cracks a curious caper for each performance with assistance from special guest improv teams.
(Curious Comedy Theater, King)


Crumb Add to a List
NYC-based quartet Crumb, headed by guitarist/vocalist Lila Ramani, brings their shape-shifting blend of pop, jazz, and psych-rock to town supporting Ice Melt, their latest release and most experimental album to date. Local synth-pop quartet Reptaliens will start off the night with some sci-fi-inspired tunes.
(Revolution Hall, Buckman)


Letters to the Moon Add to a List
Blending aerial movement, acrobatics, theater, dance, and live music, this collaborative production by contemporary circus company Tempos kicks off spring with a family-friendly tribute to the moon.
(A-WOL Warehouse Space, Eliot)



Kentucky Derby at Satellite Add to a List
Don the largest hat in your closet and trot over to Satellite Tavern for their first ever Kentucky Derby viewing party. The equestrian fête will include Kentucky-themed cocktails and cuisine, live music, a "best dressed" contest, raffle, and more. A portion of net proceeds from the event will go to the Big Yard Foundation. 
(Satellite Tavern, Overlook)

Mt. Hood Center Derby Party Add to a List
There's no better place to celebrate the 148th "Run for the Roses" than at the historic equestrian facility Mt. Hood Center. This Saturday, put on your Sunday best for a party complete with live derby races, live music, derby fare, mint juleps, a livestream of the Kentucky Derby, games, photo ops, and more.
(Mt. Hood Center, Boring)


Damien Geter: An African American Requiem Add to a List
Portland composer Damien Geter premieres An African American Requiem, his musical response to violence against African Americans in the United States. The piece takes inspiration from traditional Latin requiem text, civil rights declarations, Ida B. Wells’s “Lynching is Color Line Murder” speech, and modern activism to shape a moving and thought-provoking masterwork performed by the Oregon Symphony and Resonance Ensemble.
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)

Post Animal Add to a List
Chicago-based psych rockers Post Animal will take you on a trippy journey with their 70s-inspired rock riffs in support of their latest album, Levitation Sessions, which contains live recordings of new and old material.
(Polaris Hall, Humboldt)



Whose Live Anyway? Add to a List
Check in with the current cast of the classic Emmy-nominated Whose Line Is It Anyway? on this comedy tour of unpredictable tomfoolery. In true improv style, audience members will shout out suggestions for Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Jeff B. Davis, and Joel Murray, who will then create uproarious scenes off the cuff.
(Revolution Hall, Buckman)


Billie Marten Add to a List
Growing up in rural North Yorkshire around the sounds of her parents’ favorite folk artists like Nick Drake, John Maryn, and Joni Mitchell, singer-songwriter Billie Marten draws from her upbringing in her pastoral acoustic folk songs. She will play in support of her latest album, Flora Fauna, after an opening set from Portland folk duo Blue Darling.
(Mississippi Studios, Boise)



Big Thief Add to a List
Hailed by notable publications such as Pitchfork and NPR, this indie rock band with folk tendencies employs homey guitars, rattling percussion, and grounded yet whimsical storytelling on their latest output, Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You. The album was recorded in four different locations across the United States after the band quarantined together in the Vermont woods.
(Roseland Theater, Old Town-Chinatown, Tuesday-Wednesday)


I Am an American Add to a List
Hate crimes targeting Asian Americans are on the rise—if you don't know about it, you haven't been paying attention. In collaboration with Portland photographer Jim Lommasson and artist Roberta Wong, The Immigrant Story presents this exhibition of photographs, objects, and artwork to bring awareness to the current experiences of Asian Americans. The show's title, I Am An American, became a rallying cry after Japanese Americans were imprisoned in internment camps in WWII. While trends of xenophobia and discrimination continue, this exhibition speaks to the endurance of strength of Asian Americans in the face of generations of adversity.
(PLACE, Nob Hill, Monday-Friday)

Na Omi Judy Shintani: Dream Refuge for Children Imprisoned Add to a List
San Francisco-based artist Na Omi Judy Shintani presents this installation as a sacred space within which to explore the trauma of incarcerated children. Shintani's images of children drawn on mattresses reference a devastating web of youth imprisonment throughout history, including the Japanese American children sent to internment camps in WWII, Indigenous American children sent to abusive boarding schools, and the Central American children who have faced familial separation and detention at the US border.
(Japanese American Museum of Oregon, Old Town-Chinatown, Friday-Sunday)


Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins Add to a List
When three combative siblings converge on their late father's estate to settle his affairs, their own baggage gets in the way, leading to an explosive reveal. Winning the 2014–2015 Obie Award for Best New American Play, Appropriate was deemed "gut-punching" and "exceptionally brilliant" by Time Out.
(Imago Theatre, Buckman, Thursday-Sunday)

The Children Add to a List
This frighteningly timely look at the realities of climate change follows retired nuclear physicists Robin and Hazel, who live a meager existence without electricity or potable water. When an old colleague makes a disturbing proposal, they are faced with a deep ethical dilemma, and begin to question their responsibility to future generations.
(Portland Center Stage, Pearl District, Wednesday-Sunday)

Don't Hug Me Add to a List
This Fargoesque musical comedy follows the trail of a greasy karaoke salesman who's making waves in the chilly small town of Bunyan Bay. LA Weekly deemed the show "terrifically silly."
(Broadway Rose New Stage Theatre, Tigard, Thursday-Sunday)


Banksyland Add to a List
Immerse yourself in Banksy's strange, elusive world with this touring exhibit, which features over 100 of the mysterious artist's works, including never-before-seen installations, salvaged street art, and original studio pieces.
(The Factor Building, Central Eastside, Monday-Sunday)

Dan Lam: Personal Legend Add to a List
In college, Dan Lam was told by a professor that her work was "too pretty." The artist now explores the notion of excessive beauty through globular clouds, vibrant bubbles and drips, and translucent embryonic forms, using foam, acrylic, and resin to bring life to her trippy vision. Like colorful aliens, Lam's sculptures are both alluring and repulsive at once, challenging the viewer's notions of desire and disgust.
(Stephanie Chefas Projects, Central Eastside, Thursday-Saturday)

Oregon Potters Association 39th Annual Ceramic Showcase Add to a List
Over 300 artists will share their wares at this ceramics showcase, which also features works in metal, glass, wood, fiber, and more. Moms love well-crafted housewares, so snag a piece for her during Sunday's Mother's Day specials.
(Oregon Convention Center, Lloyd District, Friday-Sunday)

Ryan McLaughlin Add to a List
Ryan McLaughlin vacillates between subjective fragments and clear signifiers in this series of painted and stenciled works, compiled for the artist's third solo exhibition at Adams and Ollman. McLaughlin blends contrasting methods of mark-making to form compositions that allow for diverse interpretations.
(Adams and Ollman, Northwest Portland, Wednesday-Saturday; closing)

Second Honeymoon Add to a List
Second Honeymoon's dyed silk tapestries and audio works reveal the colorful, humorous inner landscape of artist Dana Robinson, who drew inspiration from '70s- and '80s-era Ebony mags to create blurred scenes of middle-class Black life. Recordings of sounds from her grandmother's bell collection serve as a continual punctuation of time.
(Fuller Rosen Gallery, Northwest District, Thursday-Sunday; closing)

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