The old April proverb about this month's rain bringing next month's flowers also applies to the pandemic: stick to COVID-safe environments when and if you go out so that we don't have another wave of cases before the majority of us are vaccinated (it's not as catchy as the showers/flowers rhyme, but you get it). To help you out, we've rounded up this month's most noteworthy events both online and in the socially distant outside world, from the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival to Portland Pizza Week, and from the Darcelle XV's Drag Drive-In to the Portland Art Museum reopening. For even more options, check out our complete streaming events calendar and our socially distanced in-person calendar.
Events are online unless otherwise noted.
Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
Gazing at forty acres of tulips lined up in orderly rows against the majestic backdrop of Mount Hood never gets old. In previous years at least, the traffic tends to be pretty bad on weekends, but it’s worth the wait if your eyes are starved for color. Peak blooms are expected to come in early to mid-April, but the fields are open for viewing (so long as you buy a ticket in advance) all month long.
Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, Woodburn (through May 2)
Elastic Time: A Richard Linklater Master Class
As the pandemic continues to skew our individual and collective sense of time, it's as good a time as any to delve into the work of Gen-X director Richard Linklater, for whom the passage of time has always been a theme worth investigating. In this three-week Movie Madness masterclass, the director will join you as you dissect three gems from his filmography (which you can stream online or rent from Movie Madness): Boyhood, Dazed & Confused (this session happens to fall on 4/20, wink wink), and Before Sunset.
Rocky Horror Picture Show
After a year of anticippppation, Portland's longest-running Rocky Horror venue returns! Capping off at 50 people, there probably won't be as much audience participation as your standard show, but you should still absolutely dust off your fishnets and bustiers.
Clinton Street Theater, Southeast (Sat April 3)
2021 SPLIFF Film Festival
As everyone's favorite day to smoke weed draws near, it's time for another installment of short cannabis-themed films made for and by stoners just like you. You'll have a grand old time watching the screenings themselves, but you'll be even more delighted by this year's live(streamed) viewing parties hosted by various dynamic weed-loving duos, from The Stranger's Chase Burns and Jasmyne Keimig to Seattle drag stars Cookie Couture and Betty Wetter to comedians Alyssa Yeoman and Erin Ingle.
FOOD & DRINK
The Dinner Detective
Enjoy a meal of crostini, pan-fried trout (or chicken breast or mushroom ragu), and flan, but know that a killer is in the room, and they may just be hidden at your table. Dinner theatre gets an extra interactive boost at this murder mystery event with a prize package for best detective. This 25%-capacity event will feature touchless clues that you can access via your phone. Don't forget a mask.
Embassy Suites, Southwest (Sat April 24)
Le Pigeon Burger Pop-Up
Chef Gabriel Rucker's cult-favorite burger, a Portland classic that hasn't been available all year, will make a return for this pop-up. The Le Pigeon team will only be grilling up a hundred burgers, so get there early if you want to get your hands on one. The burger will also come with butter lettuce salad and a Sweet Matt’s foie gras profiterole cookie (!). Picnic tables and drinks will also be available if weather permits.
Le Pigeon, Southeast (Fri April 2)
Portland Pizza Week 2021
After a hiatus in 2020, the Portland Mercury’s Pizza Week is returning in 2021 to team up with Portland's best pizza purveyors to offer amazing, delicious, $2 slices to the masses! (Or $16 whole pies.) With over 30 restaurants and bars taking part, you’ll never be far from your next slice, and your week—nay, your life—will be all the better for it. Get excited.
Various locations (Apr 19-25)
Pour Oregon: A Cellar 503 Wine Festival
Meet winemakers from Oregon's 21 wine regions without leaving home at this four-day virtual conference, where you'll get bottles and other wine-related treats shipped to your door.
(April 29-May 2)
Spumoni Wine Release Party
The new winery Spumoni will unveil its first vintages at this party, which will feature wine pours, bottles for sale, and snacks like hot dogs and shrimp cocktail.
Someday, Southeast (Fri April 2)
Virtual OMSI After Dark: Mixology
Add some science magic to your mixed-drink experience at this virtual OMSI class, where you'll learn to make four cocktails or mocktails from local Oregon distilleries and witness science demos, play trivia, and more.
(Fri April 30)
Breaking the Silence
Give the Portland Gay Men's Chorus's a cappella ensemble Cascade a warm welcome for their first performance, which will feature a melange of pop and Broadway hits.
Armed with the sword of harmony and a panoply of pristine voices, Chanticleer has been combatting toxic masculinity for more than 40 years. The San Francisco choral ensemble presents a program based off their most recent recording, a celebration of the group’s repertoire that encompasses the Renaissance polyphony of Palestrina, the jazz of Gershwin, hits from the Judeo-Christian tradition, and a host of music in between. BRIAN HORAY
(Mon April 12)
Fear No Music Headliner Concert
Violinist Inés Voglar-Belgique, cellist Nancy Ives, percussionist Michael Roberts, and musicians from BRAVO! Youth Orchestras will perform an eclectic program of Jessie Montgomery's Rhapsody no. 1 for solo violin, Marcos Balter's Descarga for solo percussion, selections from Daniel Bernard Roumain's Hip Hop Studies and Etudes, and more.
Journeys To Justice
Portland Opera presents compositions about love, justice, and the Black American experience, including Jasmine Barnes's "Songs for the African Violet" and Carlos Simon's "Night Trip."
(April 16-May 31)
Mixtape Revival Concert Series
What more retro way to bop around to hits from the '80s and '90s than in your car? This drive-in series will feature live throwbacks by local cover band Hair Jordans. Submit your "car-aoke" videos for the chance to win prizes.
Oaks Park, Southeast (through April 16)
Parker Quartet: Inventive & Inspired
The Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet will apply their virtuosity to compositions from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, including Beethoven’s Heiliger Dankgesang string quartet.
(Sat April 24)
Promises of Spring: A Virtual Concert
Take your headphones on a spring walk and enjoy these pre-recorded choir and solo performances from Choral Arts Ensemble of Portland singers, as well as a new piece from Portland-based Haitian American composer Sydney Guillaume.
(Sat April 24)
PYPFEST Vol. 2: The Orchestra Strikes Back
Portland Youth Philharmonic presents 10 brand-new compositions by Eduardo Alonso-Crespo, Tatev Amiryan, Jonathan Bingham, Sakari Dixon Vanderveer, and others.
(Sat April 10)
Rachel Barton Pine
Hear internationally acclaimed violinist Rachel Barton Pine perform live with Friends of Chamber Music, which will be free and virtual in place of her canceled IRL concert.
(Sun April 25)
Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale
Recorded live from Disjecta, the Portland Columbia Symphony will revive Stravinsky’s fairytale rags-to-riches story for the digital stage, complete with a cast of actors.
(Sat April 17)
Darcelle XV's Drag Drive-In
The resident stars of the Darcelle XV Showplace (home of the West Coast’s longest-running drag show and owned by the world’s oldest drag queen, 89-year-old Walter Cole, aka Darcelle) will make itself accessible to people of all ages at this three-day drive-in promising Vegas-style glitz, glamour, and comedy.
Zidell Yards, Southeast (April 9-11)
Geo Alva, Robi Arce, and Michael Cavazos will perform a series of works that explore the physical and emotional distance between humans created by the pandemic and how we've learned to overcome them.
The Last Five Years
Jason Robert Brown's musical love story with music and lyrics by Tony Award-winner Jason Robert Brown, pre-recorded on the Broadway Rose stage, The Last Five Years is a non-linear story about the brief marriage between two artists.
(April 23-May 6)
Pods of four or fewer can reserve an appropriately distanced outdoor picnic table at which to watch live comedy from the likes of Amanda Arnold, Becky Braunstein, Shain Brenden, and other local funnypeople. Tickets to this Rose City Rollers and Portland Mercury event also get you access to a beer garden and food service from the folks at Killer Burger.
Oaks Park, Southeast (April 22-24)
Harking all the way back to the first Native American tribe whose land was stolen by European colonizers, Mary Kathryn Nagle's 2018 play uses the story of the Lenape people to reflect on the injustice of the country's founding and the ongoing mistreatment of Native peoples.
(Through April 24)
Two Black men, Ishmael and Keith, relive their respective stories of childhood abuse in what press materials describe as a "multi-sensory, multimedia, post-traumatic story." Note that half of the performances in this run are reserved for Black and Brown audience members only, so be sure to purchase tickets accordingly if you're not a BIPOC viewer.
(Through April 4)
The Vertical City
Turn your ears to a new audio drama—Diana Burbano's character study set in a future-Portland built to survive the effects of climate change—performed by second-year Conservatory students.
(Sat April 24)
READINGS & TALKS
Amanda L. Tyler: 2021 Hatfield Lecture
In addition to her full-time professor gig at UC Berkeley's School of Law, Amanda L. Tyler co-wrote the book Justice, Justice Thou Shalt Pursue: A Life’s Work Fighting for a More Perfect Union with the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; an outgrowth of Ginsburg’s 2019 visit to Berkeley Law, where she talked with Tyler about her life's work. Tyler will talk about that conversation at tonight's online Hatfield Lecture presented by Portland'5 Center for the Arts.
(Tues April 13)
Broken (In the Best Possible Way)
Following her comic memoir The Hilarious World of Depression, Jenny Lawson shares her experience with transcranial magnetic stimulation—a noninvasive procedure that sends an electric current through the brain to improve symptoms of depression—in her new book, Broken (In the Best Possible Way). Hear her talk about it with Powell's and Luvvie Ajayi Jones, host of the Rants & Randomness podcast and author of I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual.
(Tues April 6)
Dawnie Walton in Conversation With Nadia Owusu
After getting discovered at her local bar's amateur night, an aspiring Black British singer-songwriter gets signed with a fledgling rock label and moves from Detroit to New York City in the 1970s. There, she's met with unexpected hatred as a rival band on the label brandishes a confederate flag on stage, leading to a whirlwind of clashes and discoveries about the racism of the popular music industry. Hear Dawnie Walton talk more about her new novel, The Final Revival of Opal and Nev, alongside memoirist Nadia Owusu (Aftershocks).
(Thurs April 8)
Elissa Washuta, Kristin Arnett, Morgan Parker and Tommy Pico: White Magic
Kristen Arnett (Mostly Dead Things), Tommy Pico (Junk, Nature Poem), and Morgan Parker (Magical Negro)—some of the freshest Saggitarian poets and fiction writers in the biz—will gather under one virtual canopy for a chat with Washington State Book Award finalist Elissa Washuta on her new book, White Magic.
(Thurs April 29)
Everybody Reads: Ross Gay
This year's selection for Everybody Reads—an annual Multnomah County Library program that encourages community members to check out the same book from their local branch and join a series of discussions—is poet Ross Gay's essay collection The Book of Delights, which is comprised of odes to things that bring him joy. Per tradition, the author will join the library for a conversation with a fellow author (this time it's Lidia Yuknavitch), which will be streamed online.
(Thurs April 8)
Independent Bookstore Day
The premise of Indie Bookstore Day is as simple and enticing as it gets: seek out your local independent booksellers and shop from their online or IRL shelves so that Amazon never becomes our only option for procuring new reading material. Many participating bookstores boast further incentives like giveaways and scavenger hunts, so stay tuned.
(Sat April 24)
Jeff Vandermeer in Convo with Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Writer Kristen Roupenian (of "Cat Person" fame) calls Jeff VanderMeer's new book Hummingbird Salamander "an existential mindfuck cleverly disguised as a thriller." In it, security consultant Jane Smith receives an envelope with a key to a storage unit that holds a taxidermied hummingbird and clues leading her to a taxidermied salamander. Silvina, the dead woman who left the note, is a reputed ecoterrorist and the daughter of an Argentine industrialist. By taking the hummingbird from the storage unit, Jane sets in motion a series of events that quickly spin beyond her control. If you're intrigued, hear the author in conversation with Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Mexican Gothic).
(Fri April 9)
With nine poetry collections, a memoir, and several plays and children's books under her belt (not to mention four albums—she's also an accomplished saxophonist), Literary Arts poet laureate Joy Harjo (a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation) will read some recently published poems featured in American Sunrise, as well as excerpts from her aforementioned 2012 memoir, Crazy Brave.
(Tues April 20)
The renowned theoretical physicist Michio Kaku will lay out the concepts outlined in his book The God Equation: The Quest for a Theory of Everything in laypeople's terms.
(Thurs April 15)
Patrick Radden Keefe in Conversation With Lydia Polgreen
One of the richest families in the world, known for their philanthropic support of the arts and the sciences, made their fortune on Valium before OxyContin swooped in and shattered their reputation (and got millions of people addicted to prescription opiates, but that's another story). New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe's Empire of Pain follows three generations of the Sackler family and traces their downfall.
(Thurs April 22)
Paula McLain in Conversation With Sue Monk Kidd
From the author of The Paris Wife comes a new mystery novel about a seasoned missing-persons detective in San Francisco who flees to Mendocino after the tragic death of a loved one. Instead of the downtime she was hoping for, she finds herself involved, off-duty, in the case of a missing teenager. Hear more from the author at this Powell's talk with Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees).
(Tues April 20)
#virtualandia! 2021: Youth Poetry Slam Championship
Ten youth slam poets selected from a pool of 300 candidates will have their original poems recorded, aired, and scored by five judges. The winner will receive a $1,000 Visa gift card (and the honor of being a publicly recognized Talented Teen).
(Thurs April 29)
Willy Vlautin in Conversation With Chelsea Cain
A victim of Portland gentrification gets the spotlight in Willy Vlautin's new novel about a 30-year-old woman with bad credit and multiple jobs who desperately wants to buy the house she lives in with her mother and developmentally disabled brother, Kenny. Hear the author in conversation with Chelsea Cain (Heartsick).
(Wed April 7)
Creative Exchange Lab: Meet the Artists
PICA's prestigious Creative Exchange Lab invites emerging and established artists to share their latest work and engage in peer-to-peer dialogue. Don't miss your chance to meet the artists of this year's program, including Javaad Alipoor, Reese Bowes, Fernanda D’Agostino, and Sorour Darabi.
(Sat April 24)
Disjecta ART FIRST Artists' Auction
Disjecta's annual fundraiser features new works donated by over 50 artists. Depending on which ticket option you choose, this year's virtual edition will also send you goodies from local businesses to enjoy whilst you place your bids, like cocktail kits from Buffalo Trace.
(Thurs April 1)
Black history and the landscape of the American West intersect in this series of self-portraits from New York-based photographer Johnnie Chatman.
Blue Sky Gallery, Northwest (April 1-May 29)
Lora Webb Nichols
The Wyoming homesteader and photographer Lora Webb Nichols (1883-1962) created and collected approximately 24,000 negatives over the course of her lifetime in the mining town of Encampment. This show chronicles the domestic, social, and economic aspects of the sparsely populated (and poorly named) frontier.
Blue Sky Gallery, Northwest (April 1-May 1)
Portland Art Museum Reopening
Mask up and reserve your timed tickets for a visit to the Portland Art Museum, which will reopen at reduced capacity from 10 am-5 pm on Wednesday-Sunday. You'll be able to see photographs by Victor Jorgensen, Ed Bereal's Apex, Ishaka Shamsud-Din's Rock of Ages, Portraiture from the Collection of Northwest Art, and visit the gift shop, but the cafe will remain closed.
Portland Art Museum, Southwest (Sat April 10)
SPORTS & RECREATION
Hop Hop Half
Run, walk, or adopt a bunny-like hop for this half marathon, 5K, or 10K race that you can complete at your convenience. Whatever ticket you choose, you'll get a $10 Grand Central Bakery gift card, a mini mimosa kit and commemorative champagne flutes, egg medals, and more swag.
Wherever you are (April 3-17)
Portland Thorns FC Home Games
Portland's pro women's soccer team will welcome back fans to Providence park for two home games (one against Kansas City NWSL and one against Tacoma's OL Reign) in April.
Providence Park, Southwest (April 9 & 21)