Best Things To Do

These Are the Top 32 Events Happening in Portland This Week: Oct 18-24, 2021

Death Cab For Cutie, The Nightmare Before Christmas with the Oregon Symphony, Neon Rose Fest, and More
October 18, 2021

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The Oregon Symphony will take you on a musical journey to Halloween Town during their live performance of The Nightmare Before Christmas. (Oregon Symphony)

This week brings a wide-ranging host of popular bands through town, from Death Cab For Cutie to Bleachers and Jungle to Rebirth Brass Band. Plus, get in the Halloween spirit at the Neon Rose Fest 2021 or The Nightmare Before Christmas with the Oregon Symphony. For more ideas, check out our guide to Halloween events or our complete food and drink guide. 

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Alyssa Edwards: Memoirs of a Traveling Queen
This autobiographical show will shine a spotlight on tongue poppin’ drag legend Alyssa Edwards as you’ve never seen her. Expect costume changes, wigs aplenty, and stunning choreography while the dancing queen divulges stories from her childhood, her appearances on Drag Race, and more.
Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn



45th Parallel Universe presents Currents: The Gemini Project / Pyxis Quartet
The chamber orchestra opens their season with Shostakovich’s final symphony, collaborating with Portland filmmaker Scott Ballard and featuring dance from BodyVox. The program will also include Portland animator Zak Margolis' Andante with accompanying music by the Pyxis Quartet.
Portland Center Stage, Pearl District

Walk the Moon - Dream Plane Tour
Cincinnati trio WALK THE MOON's energetic live shows are reflective of their pop-infused rock music. This Dream Plane Tour stop precedes the release of their upcoming fifth studio album, Heights, and will hopefully include new tracks along with the album's first two singles "Can You Handle My Love??" and "Fire In Your House."
Crystal Ballroom, West End 



Shaping the sound of 2010s pop, Jack Antonoff has written and produced music for Lana Del Rey, Taylor Swift, St. Vincent, Lorde, Troye Sivan, and more. His solo project Bleachers started as a creative outlet when he was on the road as part of Fun. His latest album under the Bleachers moniker, Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night, incorporates synth-pop, arena rock, and rockabilly music, and was called his "most cohesive album yet" by Rolling Stone.
Crystal Ballroom, West End

Fin De Cinema: Valerie and Her Week of Wonders
Holocene's live film score series, curated by Gina Altamura, returns after a two-year hiatus. Kicking things off is Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970), a vampire fantasy/horror presented in glorious 4K with music by pianist Akila Fields (aka Palm Dat) and saxophonist Noah Bernstein (both members of Shy Girls), vocalist and soundscape artists Yaara Valey, and Derek Hunter Wilson on synth, viola, and piano.
Holocene, Buckman

Rebirth Brass Band
The Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band is a New Orleans institution, a raucous bunch exemplifying jazz and funk with an infusion of hip hop. “Rebirth can be precise whenever it wants to, but it’s more like a party than a machine. It’s a working model of the New Orleans musical ethos: as long as everybody knows what they’re doing, anyone can cut loose.” (NYT) Known for their longrunning Tuesday night gig at The Maple Leaf, the band has also appeared on HBO's Treme and NCIS: New Orleans.
Revolution Hall, Buckman 



Vir Das: Manic Man World Tour
Vir Das may not be a household name in the States, but the Bollywood star is India's biggest English-speaking stand-up comedian—the first from the South Asian country to have a Netflix special. In fact, he has four and was also hailed by Variety as a "Top 10 Comic to Watch." Get a taste for his charismatic brand of comedy in his latest special, a lockdown show titled Outside In, before heading to the Portland stop of his brand new world tour. 
Revolution Hall, Buckman



Booklover’s Burlesque: The Gothic Edition
Being well-read is always sexy in our books, but this literary salon takes that notion to the next level, pairing book readings from professional readers, actors, and local authors & writers with inspired burlesque, boylesque, and draglesque performances. Come ready to "explore the strange, the mysterious, the creepy, and the unexplained" at this stimulating, one-of-a-kind show.
Alberta Rose Theatre, Alberta Arts District


Milagro's 25th Original DĂ­a de Muertos Festival
Bilingual theatre Milagro presents their annual DĂ­a de Muertos festival, providing a joyous space for reunion to celebrate and honor those who have passed. Exploring the concepts of rebirth and renewal, this month-long program will include an altar, craft workshops, concerts, poetry, readings, a DĂ­a de Muertos documentary, and more.
Milagro Theatre, Buckman


Quality Ski Time Film Tour
Global snowsports brand Salomon is "kicking off fall the best way we know how: by dreaming of winter." Get stoked for ski season with this program of five ski films, Tales from Cascadia by Blank Collective Films, Summit Fever by The Fifty Project and Cody Townsend, Girl Crush by Mali Noyes and Mary McIntyre, Ups and Downs by Sweetgrass Productions and Drew Petersen, and Pit Boss by Blank Collective Films and Chris Rubens. The evening will also include athlete poster signings and gear giveaways.
Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn


The Nightmare Before Christmas with the Oregon Symphony
The Oregon Symphony will perform Danny Elfman's haunting film score from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, bringing Jack Skellington, Sally, and crew to life on the big screen. Costumes are encouraged to truly get into the Halloween spirit.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks



Fright Night at the Davis Graveyard
Meet the devilishly talented crew of the elaborate yard display Davis Graveyard. You'll get a behind-the-scenes look at the "cemetery's" setup while enjoying food (vegan options available) and an open bar, a roaring fire, and a spooky goodie bag. The event will also include a costume contest and proceeds will go to HIV/AIDS organizations Cascade AIDS Project and Our House.
Davis Graveyard, Milwaukie


Joy Cinema Scare-A-Thon
The independent west side movie house presents a monstrous fright fest featuring older classics, an '80s vampire flick, and rare gems. See one or see them all, but keep a tight grip on your popcorn and other movie snacks. Host Jeff "Punk Rock" Martin will provide entertainment during intermissions with trivia, merch, and "plenty of bad jokes."
Joy Cinema & Pub, Tigard


British funk/neo-soul duo Jungle will be joined by an additional five members on tour. Their feel-good, nostalgic sound will wash away your worries and urge you to "Keep Moving" and grooving.
Crystal Ballroom, West End


Beer and Wine Oyster Fest
Gulp some slippery bivalves from POP Oysters, paired with wine, cider, and beer from several coastal breweries on tap.
The Civic Taproom & Bottleshop, Goose Hollow


Blow Pony's Annual Homoween
Queer nightlife staple Blowpony makes their triumphant return just in time for Halloween with Dai Burger, Will Sheridan, Zepheur, Angelica D'Vil (Horse Mother), and more fierce and filthy performers. Let's ride. 
Bossanova Ballroom, Buckman


Wild Wild Christian
Fans of the 2018 Netflix docuseries Wild Wild Country, this one’s for you. This comedy show takes you through comedian Simone McAlonen’s journey through puberty, spiritual evolution, and sexual frustration....all while living at a Christian summer camp. Written with material from McAlonen’s middle school journals, get a glimpse of what happened to the sprawling property that infamously used to be known as Rajneeshpuram.
Curious Comedy Theater, King



The 13th Annual GuignolFest
This year, 33 filmmaking teams will have 72 hours to create a short film masterpiece (that clocks in at 6 minutes and 66 seconds) in an attempt to strike fear into your heart. A matinee screening will feature the works of teams who have been competing for less than three years, while the nighttime screening will show shorts from teams that have competed for three or more years. Steel yourselves for a ride through horror subgenres such as occult, haunted object, slasher, and more.
Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy


Portland Flea
Hunt for a Halloween costume at the Flea’s last event of the season, which will include games and prizes. You’ll also find fall florals and spooky decor from vendors like Bramble Workshop, Hallow PDX, and Vibrant Valley Farm.
Electric Blocks, Central Eastside



15 Years of LAIKA
Stop-motion studio LAIKA, based in Hillsboro and owned by none other than Nike co-founder Phil Knight, is celebrating its 15th anniversary with screenings (complete with filmmaker Q&As) of all five of its Oscar-nominated films, from Coraline to Missing Link. Before or after you enjoy one of the films, examine displays of meticulously made puppets and set pieces in the accompanying pop-up exhibit.
OMSI, Central Eastside (Tuesday-Sunday)

Queen Nefertari’s Egypt
Learn about the royal life of the revered (and highly educated for the time) Queen Nefertari, wife of Pharaoh Ramesses II. Curated by the world-renowned Museo Egizio in Turin, Italy, the exhibition examines the role of women in ancient Egypt through over 220 works of art, including the Queen's elaborately decorated burial chamber, sculptures, and everyday objects.
Portland Art Museum, South Park Blocks (Monday-Sunday)


Ecliptic Brewing's 8th Orbit Anniversary Celebration
Help the galactic-themed brewery celebrate eight trips around the sun with the release of a new anniversary beer (8th Orbit, an Italian-style pilsner available in cans and on tap starting October 20), a limited-edition tie-dye 8th Orbit Anniversary T-shirt, special rare beers on tap, and a special spiced goat cheese-stuffed endive with olive tapenade appetizer (or a vegan variation). Ecliptic will also release their rare 2016 Barrel-Aged Oort Imperial Stout from their cellars and will have bottles available for sale.
Ecliptic Brewing, Mississippi (Wednesday-Sunday)

Dine the Couve 2021
All month long, you can take advantage of super-cheap "3 for $20" or "3 for $30" specials from over 30 participating Clark County restaurants, including Locust Cider & Brewing, Slow Fox Chili, Rally Pizza, and Mt. Tabor Brewing. If you redeem five different offers during the promotion, you'll be entered to win a $100 gift certificate to the participating restaurant of your choice.
Various locations (Monday-Sunday)


Death Cab For Cutie
Death Cab For Cutie embarked on a mini tour this fall, surprising Portland with not one, but two shows (one all-ages, one 21+) just a week in advance. Hopefully their re-emergence signals the release of new music soon. Their latest EP, released in 2020, was a collection of covers by Georgia artists with proceeds going towards Stacey Abrams' Fair Fight Action. 
Wonder Ballroom, Eliot (Wednesday-Thursday)

Neon Rose Fest 2021
Portland's "premier retro inspired music festival" will span four days and three locations with different themes each night, and include costume contests, nightly giveaways, and more. This year's Halloween-themed event brings artists ranging from "synthwave and chillwave to goth and coldwave, to darksynth and darkwave, to flowave and hip hop," with headline sets from Brothel, Com Truise, Sadistik, and Memorex Memories.
Various locations (Thursday-Sunday)

Yo La Tengo
Hear songs from Yo La Tengo's 2020 album, We Have Amnesia Sometimes, which was recorded over a 10-day period early into the pandemic. The perennial critic faves improvised all five songs, resulting in an ambient sound.
Wonder Ballroom, Eliot (Monday-Tuesday)


Murder Mystery Machine
The Funhouse Lounge brings back their Halloween show favorite, Murder Mystery Machine, in which improv actors will bring an audience-guided slasher story to life and then investigate the whodunit as the hijinks-prone Scooby Gang. Watch as they "puzzle over clues, jump to conclusions, chase monsters, and gobble up Scooby snacks. Zoinks!"
Funhouse Lounge, Hosford-Abernethy (Thursday-Saturday)

Frida... A Self Portrait
Brazilian playwright and actress Vanessa Severo takes on double duty as the writer and performer of this intimate portrait of iconic Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. "Infused with music, movement, and Kahlo's words," the one-woman show bears witness to the artist's extraordinary life on the eve of her death. 
The Armory, Pearl District (Wednesday-Sunday)

Bojangles of Harlem: The Bill Robinson Musical
This dazzling theatrical experience tells the true story of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, a pioneer of tap dance and civil rights. His life story is rarely told, but Robinson was the most famous and highest paid African American entertainer in the U.S. during the first half of the 20th century. Packed with new showstoppers and classic standards, plus direction and choreography by the award-winning Christopher George Patterson, Bojangles of Harlem touches on fame, love, and loss.
Winningstad Theatre, South Park Blocks (Thursday-Sunday)

Conceived by Kailey Rhodes and Samson Syharath of Hillsboro's "resident professional theatre" Bag&Baggage, Bluebeard is an interactive outdoor theatre experience centered around the spooky union between the mysterious title character and his intended fiancée.
Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals, Hillsboro (Thursday-Saturday)


Kids Monster Fest
Geared towards kids 12 and under (and scaredy cats of all ages—no judgment!), this matinee event will take you through Underhill Manor, where you'll receive a magic beacon designed to ward off ghouls and monsters. Keep an eye out for resident bat Harry to win prizes, and get in the wholesome Halloween spirit without having to worry about nightmares later.
Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Lloyd District (Saturday-Sunday)


Portland Film Festival
The Portland Film Festival will once again be streaming this year, with over 300 titles to keep your eyes glued to the screen in themed blocks such as Black voices, indigenous voices, LGBTQIA+ voices, veterans’ voices, and voices of mental health.
Virtual (Monday-Sunday)