Best Things To Do

The Top 51 Events in Portland This Week: May 23-29, 2022

Portland Rose Festival, TEDxPortland, and More Top Picks
May 23, 2022
Modern poet Rupi Kaur has achieved rockstar-like success with her brand of "Instapoetry." (Rupi Kaur via Facebook)
With a long weekend in sight, you may feel like you need to power through the week and keep your eyes on the prize. But as you'll see below in our roundup of top events, there's plenty of enjoyment to be had all week long, from the Rose City Reunion Concert to Rupi Kaur and from Stars On Ice to TEDxPortland.

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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Baon Kainan Pairing Dinner Add to a List
Enjoy a one-of-a-kind collaboration between the up-and-coming Filipino food cart Baon Kainan and the distinguished spirits den Multnomah Whiskey Library, with dishes like calamansi gelée, kare kare croquettes, bistek, and ube profiteroles. MWL Spirit Curator and Education Manager Brett Adams will curate cocktail and spirit pairings for each course.
(Multnomah Whiskey Library, Downtown)


The Antlers Add to a List
Much-beloved indie-rock and dream-folk outfit The Antlers will stop in town supporting their long-awaited sixth album, Green to Gold, a sunlit album filled with pastoral harmonies and memory-driven lyrics that frontman Peter Silberman describes as "Sunday music."
(Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn)

Wagner & Strauss: Stories Without Words Add to a List
The Oregon Symphony will bring Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde and Richard Strauss’ Rosenkavalier to life alongside Riprap, a mini-concerto for marimba by composer Gabriella Smith, performed by principal percussionist Michael Roberts.
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)


Aubrey Gordon in Conversation With Dan Casey Add to a List
Anti-fatness is everywhere, and Aubrey Gordon has something to say about it. The writer, podcaster, and creator of the Medium column Your Fat Friend has written a book pushing for authentic fat activism. It's clear that prevalent cultural attitudes discriminate against fat people; Gordon posits that it's time to end legal weight discrimination, grant equal access to health care for large people, increase access to public spaces, and end anti-fat violence. What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat is not a self-love diatribe—it's a critical tool toward collective liberation.
(Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing, Beaverton)



King Hannah Add to a List
Liverpool-based rock duo King Hannah will support their debut album, I'm Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me, a series of darkly dusted tracks that recall soothsayers of '90s alt-rock like Red House Painters, Mazzy Star, and PJ Harvey.
(Doug Fir Lounge, Buckman)

Stanley Clarke Quartet Add to a List
Legendary bassist and jazz-fusion pioneer Stanley Clarke will be joined by his quartet for a sampling of sounds from his over 50-year music career and 40 albums(!).
(Revolution Hall, Buckman)


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)


Liz Carlisle in Conversation With Latrice Tatsey Add to a List
Agriculturalists everywhere are getting involved in the struggle against climate change, and Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian American farmers are leading the way. In Healing Grounds, Liz Carlisle shares their stories and ancestral farming methods that enrich soil, nurture fungi, and help repair the natural carbon cycle. Carlisle advocates for a truly regenerative form of agriculture—one that values holistic diversity and dismantles discriminatory power structures. She'll be joined by Latrice Tatsey, an ecologist and advocate for tribally-directed bison restoration.
(Powell's City of Books, Pearl District)



Mainstage Kabuki in English: The Sardine Seller's Net of Love Add to a List
Yukio Mishima's storytelling brilliance shines in The Sardine Seller's Net of Love, a kabuki production that tells a sweeping tale of romance between a modest salesman and a spellbinding Kyoto courtesan. PSU is the only university in the US that stages a yearly kabuki production, combining music, dance, and miming in the traditional Japanese style.
(Lincoln Hall, South Park Blocks)


OMSI After Dark CiderFest Add to a List
Quaff boozy local ciders, learn about cidermaking, and traipse through OMSI's featured "The World of da Vinci Add to a List " exhibit. Local food vendors like 1927 S'mores, La Moule, and Steven Smith Teamakers will also offer tasty treats. Activities include juggling performances and laser shows set to the music of Prince and Lizzo.
(OMSI, Central Eastside)


Columbia Riverkeeper Benefit Concert: Waterways Add to a List
Columbia Riverkeeper, a program committed to protecting the Columbia River, will host this concert, art exhibit, and album release party. Composer-in-residence Deena T. Grossman and painter Collin Murphy will be accompanied by Oregon Symphony members for the world premiere of their collaborative project "Waterways," a multimedia experience aiming to evoke their "deepest feelings of healing and rejuvenation." 
(The Old Church, Downtown)

Ezra Furman Add to a List
Indie-punk gem Ezra Furman will stop by just ahead of the release of her new album, All Of Us Flames, which she describes as a "queer album for the stage of life when you start to understand that you are not a lone wolf, but depend on finding your family, your people, how you work as part of a larger whole." Expect to hear some new material as well as familiar tunes from Netflix's Sex Education, which Furman provided the soundtrack for.
(Wonder Ballroom, Eliot)

Girl Ultra with Jasper Bones Add to a List
Mexico-City-based vocalist Girl Ultra will hit the stage just after the release of her new EP, EL SUR, which steps away from the sensual Latin R&B sound of her past and leaps boldly into a marriage of beating dancefloor rhythms and nostalgic rock. Soulful singer-songwriter Jasper Bones will get things started with tunes from his EP, Lobo.
(Star Theater, Old Town-Chinatown)

Oh Wonder Add to a List
Below-the-radar British pop duo Oh Wonder's 2021 album 22 Break chronicles the married couple's rocky road through the pandemic and is self-described as "maybe the first break-up album in history written and recorded with the person you're breaking up with." Feel all the feels with them as they take a tour before the summer release of companion album 22 Make.
(Roseland Theater, Old Town-Chinatown)

Pop + Puppetry: Sheers, Foamboy, and Salo Panto Add to a List
If you're still searching for that rainbow connection, look no further! Local groups including soulful experimental pop band Sheers, post-disco duo Foamboy, and trippy rock outfit Salo Panto will be joined by a gaggle of puppeteers for an interdisciplinary puppet show extravaganza.
(Holocene, Buckman)


Complexions Contemporary Ballet Add to a List
Blending multicultural dance and athleticism, Complexions will present the politically-minded Woke and the Lenny Kravitz-fueled LOVE ROCKS, both led by dance icons and artistic directors Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson. 
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)



Emma Willmann Add to a List
A favorite of New Yorkers hip to the comedy scene, Maine native Emma Willmann has also made appearances on Judd Apatow’s Crashing and the CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and is the host of hit podcast Inside The Closet. Will we hear more about her roommate's many personalities in this performance?
(Helium Comedy Club, Hosford-Abernethy)


Anthony Green, Laura Jane Grace, and Tim Kasher: Carousel Tour Add to a List
Early aughts rockers Laura Jane Grace of Against Me!, Tim Kasher of Cursive, and Anthony Green of Circa Survive have joined forces for their Carousel Tour, playing a combination of solo and collaborative sets. Fuzzed-out folk-rock artist Oceanator will start the evening supporting their latest album, Nothing's Ever Fine.
(Wonder Ballroom, Eliot)

Rose City Reunion Concert featuring the Oregon Symphony Add to a List
The Oregon Symphony, led by conductor Norman Huynh, will help welcome the return of the Portland Rose Festival with an outdoor performance of songs by John Williams as well as other classic orchestral pieces. Plus, experience the world premiere of "From One Rose," an original song written by Rose Festival board member Ron Carr and arranged by Grammy-nominated composer Bruce Broughton.
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)

Snow Tha Product: Dale Gas Tour Add to a List
San Jose-born hip-hop artist and actress Claudia Alexandra Madriz Meza (AKA Snow Tha Product) will bring her lightning-speed razor-sharp bilingual raps back to Portland as a part of her Dale Gas tour, just ahead of the release of her new album, VALEMADRE.
(Roseland Theater, Old Town-Chinatown)

Tomberlin Add to a List
On her latest album, i don’t know who needs to hear this…, Kentucky folk singer-songwriter Tomberlin explores the concept of "holding space" for each other's emotions. The sparse acoustic instrumentation does just that—it holds space for the powerful lyrics which tackle the triumphs and tribulations of the past two years. Jana Horn will support.
(Mississippi Studios, Boise)


Rupi Kaur: World Tour Add to a List
You have to hand it to Rupi Kaur for writing her first poetry collection, milk and honey, as a 21-year-old college student. The self-published volume catapulted Kaur into poetry stardom, which is no easy feat. Kaur's most recent book, home body, was an instant bestseller, and her new spoken word poetry tour will create an immersive auditory experience for her fans, expanding on themes of love, loss, trauma, healing, femininity, and migration with original musical scores and projections. Sounds like a perfect friend date.
(Newmark Theatre, South Park Blocks)



Jeff Ross Add to a List
"Roastmaster General" Jeff Ross is the king of roasting as social commentary, as evidenced in his Netflix series Historical Roasts, where he skewers everyone from Abraham Lincoln to Freddie Mercury. Sounds spicy. Fresh off a tour with fellow funnyman Dave Atell, Ross will hit Portland with more hot takes.
(Helium Comedy Club, Hosford-Abernethy)


CityFair Add to a List
As the kick-off event and hub for the Portland Rose Festival, CityFair will take over Waterfront Park for three consecutive weekends with carnival rides, fair food vendors, interactive exhibits, live music, and more.
(Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Downtown)


Memoria Add to a List
Palme D’or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul has made waves with lush, liminal spaces in Tropical Malady and Cemetery of Splendor. The Thai director's latest film stars Tilda Swinton as a Scottish woman who begins to have unexplained symptoms after experiencing a strange sonic phenomenon in the jungles of Colombia.
(Whitsell Auditorium, South Park Blocks)


Role Model: TouRX 2022 Add to a List
Rising singer-songwriter Tucker Pillsbury, better known by his stage name Role Model, will bring his bedroom pop sound that The Line of Best Fit lauded as being full of "tenderness and Gen Z apathy” out west to support his new album, Rx.
(Wonder Ballroom, Eliot)

Slang Add to a List
Portland supergroup Slang, consisting of Janet Weiss (Quasi, Sleater-Kinney), Drew Grow (Pastor's Wives, Modern Kin), Kathy Foster (The Thermals, All Girl Summer Fun Band), and Anita Lee Elliott (Viva Voce, Blue Giant) blend their separate histories to create a single cosmic rock quartet. The band will jam tunes off of their debut album, Cockroach In A Ghost Town, alongside art-rock artist Kelli Schaefer and fellow Portlanders Field Drums.
(Mississippi Studios, Boise)

Thelma and the Sleaze with The Barbaras Add to a List
Nashville-based quartet Thelma and the Sleaze keeps rock and roll alive with their riff-fueled jams that have noted inspiration from '80s metal, Eddie Money, and Depeche Mode. IRL sister duo The Barbaras will start the night with their classic country croons and doo-wop harmonies.
(Doug Fir Lounge, Buckman)


Rose Festival Opening Night & Fireworks Add to a List
The 2022 Portland Rose Festival will return with a BANG at this festive night, which will include a ribbon cutting, carnival rides, food and drink, live music from Hit Machine, and an after-dark fireworks extravaganza.
(Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Downtown)



Aliens Add to a List
It's been 57 years since galactic badass Ellen Ripley (and Jonesy!) somehow survived a catastrophic hurtle through space aboard the Nostromo. Now Ripley's on a new rescue mission, assigned by the ever-mysterious Company to search a partially terraformed planet for signs of life.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District)


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix™ in Concert Add to a List
Step into the world of witches, wizards, Lord Voldemort, and Cornelius Fudge with the Oregon Symphony, who will play the iconic score along with the film.
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)


TEDxPortland Year 10 Add to a List
The phrase "Thank you for coming to my TEDxTalk" will take on its original meaning at year ten of this annual event. Speakers Rukaiyah Adams (Chief Investment Officer, Meyer Memorial Trust), Jelani Memory (founder and CEO, A Kids Book About), Eric Tran, PhD (cancer research scientist, Earle A. Chiles Research Institute), and others will share "ideas worth spreading." Plus, the best of Pacific Northwest music will take the stage, with Portugal. The Man, Death Cab For Cutie, Pink Martini, and more on the lineup.
(Moda Center, Lloyd District)


It's Often a Performance and Little Star Add to a List
In this two-person exhibition, Brittany Connelly considers the relationship between viewer and performer in It's Often a Performance, while Leslie Vigeant's Little Star ruminates on the prolonged collective grief experienced over the last two years.
(Carnation Contemporary, Kenton)



à table: Culinary Rummage Sale & Bake Sale Add to a List
Sift through a selection of kitchen gadgets, small appliances, cookware, cookbooks, glassware, bar tools, vintage linens, dishes, and more at this rummage sale from the Portland chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier. Baked goods, beer, and wine will also be available for purchase. All proceeds will go to AHIVOY, Growing Gardens,and the Dames d'Escoffier Portland chapter scholarship fund.
(Pix Pâtisserie, Kerns)


Alok Add to a List
As a transfeminine writer, performer, comedian, fashion icon, activist, and public speaker, ALOK wears many hats. Creator of the #DeGenderFashion movement and author of Beyond the Gender Binary, ALOK is a boundary-pushing changemaker to watch. The multitalented creative has developed a unique blend of poetry, comedy, and vulnerability on stage, often touching on topics of trauma and belonging.
(Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn)

Stars On Ice 2022 Tour Add to a List
This showcase of the best medal contenders on the U.S. Figure Skating team will have you wistfully recalling your childhood ice skating dreams. (No? Just us?) Reigning World and U.S. National Champion Nathan Chen will hit the ice alongside U.S. Champions Alysa Liu and Madison Hubbell, World Medalist Vincent Zhou, Olympic Medalist Mirai Nagasu, and many more.
(Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Lloyd District)



AAPI Weekend Bash Add to a List
Close out AANHPI Heritage Month in style at this cultural celebration thrown by Grate Company. DJ Anjali will provide the tunes for a Friday night dance party, you can duck into the Chinese Lion Polaroid photo booth, and snack and sip on limited edition lychee or black sesame macarons by Hedonish Desserts, samosas by Namaste, and cocktails from Spirit of Sage featuring CHO Wines.
(Grate Company, Downtown)


HOLI Spring Festival Add to a List
Topaz Farm is honoring the season of rebirth on their land while celebrating the South Asian festival of Holi, which marks the arrival of spring. A vibrant dance party will be soundtracked by DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid, during which festival goers will pelt each other with brightly colored organic, plant-based powders imported from India. Plus, dig into food from Bhuna, Big Elephant Kitchen, Chaat Wallah, DesiPDX, and Kulfi. A percentage of proceeds from the event will benefit farmers in India.
(Topaz Farm, Sauvie Island, Saturday-Sunday)

The 7th Vanport Mosaic Festival Add to a List
Vanport, the largest WWII federal housing project in the United States and once Oregon's second-largest city, celebrates its 80th anniversary this year. With performances, film screenings, exhibitions, tours, and conversations, the Vanport Mosaic Festival commemorates the city's founding through an activist, community-minded lens.
(Various locations and Virtual, Monday-Sunday)


Everything Everywhere All at Once Add to a List
From directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, aka "The Daniels," this boggling blend of action, sci-fi, and comedy begins with an unlikely hero: an overworked laundromat owner struggling with her taxes. Michelle Yeoh stars as Evelyn, multiverse explorer, martial arts aficionado, and world saver.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Monday-Thursday)

Men Add to a List
Director Alex Garland has a gift for feverish, psych-out sci-fi with strong female leads—he made both Ex Machina and Annihilation. Garland's first horror flick follows Harper (played by Jessie Buckley) on an English country retreat after a death in her life. It's anything but relaxing, though—toxic masculinity simmers under the surface of the dreadful town.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Monday-Thursday)

The Northman Add to a List
Robert Eggers's masterful brand of psychological storytelling blends myth, folklore, and tireless historical research. The visionary director of The Witch and The Lighthouse has set his sights on Viking lore, telling the story of a prince who must avenge his father’s brutal murder. Among the all-star cast is Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, and Björk as a mysterious seeress.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Monday-Thursday)


Bella: An American Tall Tale Add to a List
Giddy up! This Western musical is a rowdy romp of mythical proportions, following a woman's journey out yonder to escape her nefarious past. Playwright Kirsten Childs' Bella: An American Tall Tale combines soulful songs with madcap hilarity for something fresh and wild.
(Portland Playhouse, King, Monday-Sunday)

The Legend of Georgia McBride Add to a List
We're pretty sure this hip-shakin' drag jamboree would be Trixie Mattel approved. When a down-on-his-luck Elvis impersonator struggles to pay the bills and keep his landlord at bay in small-town Florida, his chance encounter with a second-rate drag show gives him a glamorous idea.
(Funhouse Lounge, Hosford-Abernethy, Thursday-Saturday)

Ring of Fire, the Music of Johnny Cash Add to a List
The Man in Black comes back to life in this toe-tapping musical. You'll hear all of Cash's soulful hits—“I Walk the Line,” “A Boy Named Sue,” “Ring of Fire,” and more—and learn about his rowdy, raucous skyrocket to success, too. Ring of Fire, the Music of Johnny Cash paints a jangly portrait of Cash's life and salutes the singer-songwriter's musical legacy.
(Winningstad Theatre, South Park Blocks, Thursday-Sunday)

Sex on the River Add to a List
It's 1880, and you're chilling on the bank of the Willamette River. A lively barge floats into view—it's Nancy Boggs's floating bordello, complete with a saloon and dance hall. Boggs, a divorced mom with few prospects, kept her finances afloat by gaming the system in more ways than one. The offbeat, inspiring true story comes back to life in this musical production, complete with can-can and nine original songs.
(Triangle Productions, Kerns, Thursday-Friday)

Vanport the Musical Add to a List
When local actor, author, and playwright Shalanda Sims started researching her family's arrival on Portland soil, she discovered that they worked at the Vanport shipyard on the heels of the Great Depression. Sims's Vanport: The Musical comes to life as an ode to the city's hidden history and its important role on a national scale during World War II.
(Northwest Children's Theater & School, Northwest Portland, Friday-Saturday)


Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism Add to a List
This traveling exhibit showcases Mexican postwar identity from the early 20th century through the eyes of artists such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. While Frida Kahlo's surrealist art is an exploration of her personal Mexican identity through painting and fashion, Diego Rivera's political murals chartered conversations of national identity. On view are several works by both artists, as well as a collection of artworks featuring Frida Kahlo, and other Mexican modernist artists.
(Portland Art Museum, South Park Blocks, Wednesday-Sunday)

Gambatte! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit Add to a List
Inspired by gambatte, a Japanese concept of perseverance, this exhibition illustrates the impact of forced incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Gambatte! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit includes contemporary photographs snapped by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Paul Kitagaki, Jr. and historic images captured by Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, Clem Albers, Tom Parker, Francis Stewart, and others.
(Oregon Historical Society, South Park Blocks, Friday-Sunday; opening)

Gifts from Japan: A Horticultural Tale Told through Botanical Art Add to a List
We all love flowers, but the unique role they play in culture is often overlooked. Delving into the Japanese American experience of flora, this exhibition touches on immigrant-cultivated gardens and the origin stories of flowers now presumed to be native to the US. Gifts from Japan compiles botanical illustrations from The Huntington Library, the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, and guest botanical artists from Japan.
(Portland Japanese Garden, Washington Park, Monday-Sunday)

Storm Tharp: In This Garden Add to a List
Portland-based artist Storm Tharp's newest paintings draw from garden scenes in a style of improvisational abstraction that allows him to create massive works. Tharp's swift, self-assured methods lead to large compositions that still feel effortless and light as a feather.
(PDX CONTEMPORARY ART, Slabtown, Tuesday-Saturday)

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