Arts

Your Guide to Fall 2022 Arts Events in Portland

Jonathan Van Ness, Portland Book Festival, and More Top Picks
September 12, 2022
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NPR calls Aaron Sorkin's stage adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird “one of the greatest plays in history.” (Broadway Across America)
Cooler weather calls for ducking inside, whether it's to catch a film at the cinema, see your favorite artist light up the stage in a dark venue, take in a lecture, or peruse an art show. To keep you supplied with a steady dose of culture, we’ve rounded up the most noteworthy arts events this season, from Jonathan Van Ness to Florence + The Machine with Japanese Breakfast and from To Kill a Mockingbird to the Portland Book Festival.
 

🍁 Plus, check out the rest of our fall arts guide to read even more about all the great events coming up this season, like: 


Jump to: Comedy | Film | Live Music | Performance | Readings & Talks | Visual Art


COMEDY

Amy Schumer: Whore Tour Add to a List
Aside from her weird reputation for insensitivity, Amy Schumer has certainly made her mark on comedy over the last few years, winning several Emmy awards for Inside Amy Schumer and hosting this year's kerfuffle-filled Oscars. She'll land in Portland with more wisecracks, hopefully keeping the racism at bay.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Oct 6-7)

Lewis Black: Off the Rails Add to a List
What's under Lewis Black's skin this time? Every dad's favorite ranter will point fingers and name names in Portland this October, bringing more of the satirical skewering and brutal brilliance for which he's known and loved.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Fri Oct 21)

Kurtis Conner Add to a List
Sure, Kurtis Conner kind of looks like a comedian/YouTuber/podcaster you'd meet on Tinder and spend a tumultuous few weeks with, but he's actually...a comedian/YouTuber/podcaster, and he's hilarious, so that's fine by us. The mulleted sensation will "go cheesesteak mode" with fresh jokes for this performance. (His tour bus recently burned down, so show him some support!)
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Thurs Nov 3)

Nigel Ng: The Haiyaa World Tour Add to a List
With 345 million views on YouTube, Nigel Ng's portrayal of discerning rice critic Uncle Roger basically broke the internet. The promising Malaysian comic quit his data science job to tell jokes full-time in 2019 (pretty comedic timing, if you ask us). Since then, Ng's character parodies and cultural comedy have led to sold-out shows in the UK and Europe.
Newmark Theatre, South Park Blocks (Wed Nov 23)

Jonathan Van Ness: Imaginary Living Room Olympian Add to a List
Can you believe? Beloved hair stylist, noted Michelle Kwan stan, and Queer Eye's resident Aries Jonathan Van Ness will head to Portland, probably to make us laugh, spin some uplifting yarns, and show off their perfectly coiffed locks.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Mon Dec 12)

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FILM

DOC-O-RAMA Add to a List
PAM/CUT will screen five bold documentaries for this series, centering stories of radical change told through personal growth, social justice, and more. DOC-O-RAMA kicks off with Workhorse Queen, which follows drag diva Mrs. Kasha Davis on her journey from Scranton telemarketer to RuPaul's Drag Race season seven star. We're stoked for Moonage Daydream, a neon-tinged Bowie doc, and Wildness, which spotlights an LA gay bar's connection to the Latinx immigrant community.
Whitsell Auditorium, South Park Blocks (Sept 16-30)

Earth II Add to a List
Anonymous collective The Anti-Banality Union creates astonishing feature-length films that are entirely comprised of existing Hollywood film footage. The results are surprisingly poetic. For their fourth feature, Earth II, the mysterious group channeled climate grief with an action-packed blend of disaster flick footage—expect Keanu Reeves, Will Smith, and Matt Damon to make appearances.
Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy (Tues Sept 27)

Portland Film Festival Add to a List
With both in-person and virtual screening options this year, the Portland Film Festival will continue to celebrate independent cinema with a diverse lineup of films. 
Various locations and virtual (Oct 12-22)

All Night Horror Marathon Add to a List
Oodles of ghouls and goblins will descend on Hollywood Theatre for this all-night celebration of cinematic terror. Expect a back-to-back fright fest of '70s- and '80s-era horror flicks screened in rare 35mm (with one digital restoration in the mix, too). Oh, and you won't get to hear in advance what's playing—it's a secret. Spooky!
Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District (Sat Oct 22)

Deep Red with Claudio Simonetti's Goblin Add to a List
Italian prog-rock ghouls Goblin, led by keyboardist Claudio Simonetti, will provide a live score for Dario Argento's lurid, bloody Deep Red at this screening. The band is well-known for their utterly freaky soundtrack to Suspiria, but they originally formed in 1975 expressly to create the Deep Red score, which they claim to have composed in a single night. Sick! Stick around after the giallo screening for a full-length concert of haunting tunes spanning Simonetti's whole career.
Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District (Dec 2–3)

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LIVE MUSIC

The Season Premiere: Renée Fleming and the Oregon Symphony Add to a List
The Oregon Symphony will kick off its new season with soprano superstar Renée Fleming and baritone Rodney Gilfry performing Kevin Puts' The Brightness of Light, which tells the story of artists Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz's passionate relationship. Music director David Danzmayr will also lead the symphony in a performance of Elgar's Enigma Variations.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Sept 24-26)

Arooj Aftab Add to a List
New York-based Pakistani singer-songwriter (and recent Grammy Award-winner) Arooj Aftab blends traditional Sufi devotional poetry with gentle folk guitar, new age production, and minimal electronic elements that perfectly cradle her ethereal vocals.
Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn (Mon Sept 26)

Florence + The Machine with Japanese Breakfast Add to a List
On their latest album, Dance Fever, ethereal pop heavies Florence + the Machine pull inspiration from eclectic sources such as 1973's The Wicker Man, the pre-Raphaelite sisterhood, choreomania, and alt-folk artists like Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams. They will be joined by beloved alt-pop band Japanese Breakfast, supporting their critically acclaimed third album, Jubilee.
Moda Center, Lloyd District (Fri Oct 7)

Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band Add to a List
Here's your chance to see a real-life Beatle live! Legendary drummer Ringo Starr will treat Portlanders to a well-rounded set of Beatles songs, original solo tunes, and other crowd pleasing covers. He will welcome endless amounts of peace and love, but please don't give him any fan mail.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Wed Oct 12)

Revolution: The Music of The Beatles – A Symphonic Experience Add to a List
The Oregon Symphony (with a little help from their friend, conductor Jeff Tyzik) will pay tribute to the fab four with a symphonic journey through The Beatles' iconic catalog, including hits like "Ticket to Ride" and "Hey, Jude," transcribed from the original Abbey Road master recordings. Plus, rare and unseen photos of the band will accompany the music for a fully immersive experience.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Oct 15-16)

King Princess with Dora Jar Add to a List
Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist King Princess will bring her silky vocals and pop beats to town just after the release of her highly anticipated sophomore album, Hold On Baby, which features song titles like "I Hate Myself, I Want To Party" and "Sex Shop." Bedroom pop artist Dora Jar will start the night with tracks off of her new EP, Comfortably In Pain.
Roseland Theater, Old Town-Chinatown (Sat Oct 22)

Hocus Pocus in Concert Add to a List
Follow the spellbinding adventures of three badass witches (played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy) who want to suck out children’s souls as the Oregon Symphony provides a live score to one of the most beloved Halloween films of all time.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Oct 29-30)

Lizzo: The Special Tour Add to a List
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past three years, we're sure that you already love national treasure/pop superstar Lizzo. Known for her self-love anthems, genuine reliability, and jaw-dropping flute playing skills, her latest album, Special, embraces disco beats and '80s synths for smooth-as-hell R&B-pop loaded with lyrics about being a bad bitch and loving yourself. She will support the album alongside rising rapper Latto, best known for her infectious radio hit "Big Energy." 
Moda Center, Lloyd District (Nov 4 & 10)

Kristin Chenoweth with the Oregon Symphony Add to a List
Tony Award-winning actor, recording artist, and overall Broadway sweetheart Kristin Chenoweth will be accompanied by the Oregon Symphony as she brings joy to the PNW for a festive evening of holiday tunes from her latest Christmas album, Happiness Is...Christmas!
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Thurs Dec 15)

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PERFORMANCE

Theresa Caputo Live! Add to a List
The bigger the hair, the closer to the spirit world, right? LongIsland Medium star Theresa Caputo will share the deets on her "psychic gifts" at this performance, delivering healing messages to audience members who have lost loved ones. 
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Sun Oct 2)

Midsummer Night's Dream Add to a List
Oregon Ballet Theatre will offer a joyful, magic-tinged program for fall. Each performance will begin with a premiere of Christopher Bruce's light-hearted circus tale Hush, followed by George Balanchine’s highly technical eight-minute sparkler Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. Then, they'll head to the forest for​ some prank-heavy, fairy-tinged comedy with Christopher Stowell’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, set to Mendelssohn’s cherished score performed by the OBT Orchestra.
Keller Auditorium, Downtown (Oct 8-16)

Fucking A Add to a List
When an abortion provider plans to buy her incarcerated son's freedom, a complicated quest unfolds. Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, MacArthur Genius Award recipient and the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, pens this blend of tragic, vengeance-driven story and song. 
Shaking the Tree Theatre, Hosford-Abernethy (Oct 8-Nov 5)

To Kill a Mockingbird Add to a List
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and required reading at schools everywhere, was translated into a record-shattering play by Academy Award-winner Aaron Sorkin in 2018 (it's the highest-grossing American play in Broadway history, according to Deadline). See what the fuss is about at this performance of the complex coming-of-age tale.
Keller Auditorium, Downtown (Oct 18-23)

Carmen Add to a List
This fresh translation of Georges Bizet's 19th-century opera shares the story of Carmen, a vivacious cigarette factory worker whose obsessed lover lashes out violently when she leaves him.
Keller Auditorium, Downtown (Nov 5-13)

Jagged Little Pill Add to a List
Written by punchy Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno), Jagged Little Pill is based on the fearless heartache of Alanis Morissette's music. The jukebox musical follows an imperfect American family and "sustains the best hopes of Broadway," according to The New York Times, with lyrics written by Morissette herself. (And yes, you'll hear both "Ironic" and "You Oughta Know.")
Keller Auditorium, Downtown (Nov 15-20)

A John Waters Christmas Add to a List
John Waters, who shall henceforth be known as the "anti-Santa," will land his perverse sleigh in Portland for Christmas twistedness and holiday jeers. He might stomp on your perfectly wrapped presents, but this evening with the cult filmmaker seems promising for those on the holiday-averse end of the spectrum.
Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn (Thurs Dec 1)

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READINGS & TALKS

2022/23 Portland Arts & Lectures: Abdulrazak Gurnah Add to a List
Abdulrazak Gurnah, winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature, will discuss his lauded 2020 book Afterlives in this talk. Gurnah's expansive novel of displacement and erasure offers a stark description of the colonization of east Africa.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Thurs Sept 22)

Powell's Books Presents Jodi Picoult & Jennifer Finney Boylan Add to a List
Jodi Picoult's work is often categorized as "chick lit," or something your mom might like, but you'd be wise to give the 28-time bestselling novelist, Harvard grad, and Wonder Woman writer's work a second glance—Picoult's family sagas tend to have underpinnings of social commentary and deep moral dilemmas. Alongside her bestselling co-writer Jennifer Finney Boylan, Picoult will present their new novel, Mad Honey. Expect an unannounced special guest, too.
Revolution Hall, Buckman (Mon Oct 10)

Pete Souza Add to a List
As the White House photographer during the Obama administration, Pete Souza saw his fair share of the Oval Office—he created nearly two million photographs over the course of Obama's eight-year term. In The West Wing and Beyond: What I Saw Inside the Presidency, Souza shares a unique insider's perspective on democracy, depicting everyone from national security staffers to the White House groundskeeper. He'll present his rare photos and share stories from the book at this talk.
Revolution Hall, Buckman (Tues Oct 18)

Amber Tamblyn in conversation with Lidia Yuknavitch, Dr. Mindy Nettifee, and Dr. Nicole Apelian Add to a List
Edited by actress-turned-activist Amber Tamblyn, the new anthology Listening in the Dark is a who's who of powerful women's voices; it includes essays by US Poet Laureate Ada Limón, America Ferrera, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Amy Poehler, Samantha Irby, Jia Tolentino, Jessica Valenti, and others, each sharing the varied ways in which they follow their gut. Digging into the complex topic of women's intuition, which is often ignored, cast aside, and demeaned, the writers wonder how their innate instincts might be reclaimed. Tamblyn will be joined in conversation by Listening in the Dark contributors Lidia Yuknavitch, Dr. Mindy Nettifee, and Dr. Nicole Apelian.
Powell's City of Books, Pearl District (Tues Oct 25)

Pop-Up Magazine: The Fall Issue Add to a List
Blending film, music, comedy, and more, Pop-Up Magazine is a "live magazine," designed to engage audiences through multimedia storytelling from top journalists and performers. This fall "issue" will include an original score performed onstage by Magik*Magik Orchestra.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Wed Oct 26)

Portland Book Festival Add to a List
Throngs of book lovers will flock to the Portland Art Museum on November 5 for the Portland Book Festival, which promises an unmatched lineup of buzzy wordsmiths sharing their writing secrets, plus lots of folks with cool tote bags. We recommend stopping by to snag a book you're stoked about.
Portland Art Museum, South Park Blocks (Sat Nov 5)

2022/23 Portland Arts & Lectures: Anthony Doerr Add to a List
Pulitzer Prize winner and National Book Award finalist Anthony Doerr will head to Portland to discuss his lyrical, non-linear writing style, made famous in lauded works All the Light We Cannot See and Cloud Cuckoo Land.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Thurs Nov 17)

An Evening with David Sedaris Add to a List
David Sedaris, quintessential humorist and beloved icon of NPR fans everywhere, presents his latest book, Happy-Go-Lucky, at this talk. The book compiles Sedaris's notes on his pre- and mid-pandemic life—when once he learned to shoot guns and hung out in Serbian flea markets, he's now shifted to solitary walks and reflections on a battle-scarred country marked by empty storefronts and political graffiti.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Tues Nov 22)

Patti Smith: Songs & Stories Add to a List
Renaissance woman Patti Smith has lent an unparalleled punk rock edge to her writing, visual art, and performances for decades. Next up: selfies. In 2018, Smith posted her first Instagram photo, and the practice spiraled from there with years of personal photos that served as vignettes of a deeply creative life. Smith’s new book, A Book of Days, takes a similar approach, compiling vintage photographs and travel writings to archive her journey as a poet and artist.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Thurs Dec 1)

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VISUAL ART

Time-Based Art (TBA) Festival 2022 Add to a List
Deemed “the best contemporary summer festival in the country” by The New York Times, PICA's Time-Based Art Festival is your yearly reminder to question everything. Buckle in for ten days of experimental art, temporal performances, and interactive lectures from local and far-flung artists who'll challenge your preconceived notions of art. (There are always some pretty cool dance parties, too.) This year, the festival will introduce new Night School programming, modeled after alternative education methods and late-night learning and led by artist-educators Pepper Pepper, Zach Blas, Nana Adusei-Poku, and Kite. 
PICA, Eliot (Sept 8-18)

Jeremy Okai Davis: A Good Sport Add to a List
Jeremy Okai Davis's new collection of figurative paintings shines a light on the experiences of Black Americans in traditional sportsmanship roles within the rigid confines of athleticism and academia. Davis's derby jockeys, basketball players, and other subjects contain a rare emotional depth, due in part to the large size of the works—several of the paintings exhibited in A Good Sport are the largest the artist has ever created.
Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Pearl District (Sept 12-Oct 29)

I Am An American: Stories of Exclusion and Belonging 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.
Oregon Historical Society, Southwest Portland (Sept 12-Dec 30)

Jeffrey Gibson: They Come From Fire Add to a List
Mississippi Choctaw-Cherokee artist Jeffrey Gibson will transform the Portland Art Museum's exterior facade with a fiery combination of text, photography, and suspended glass panels, forming a bridge between the museum’s contemporary and Native American art collections. They Come From Fire, which coincides with Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe Add to a List , was created with help from Indigenous, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ artists to celebrate Portland’s Indigenous history and contemporary culture. 
Portland Art Museum, South Park Blocks (Oct 15-Dec 31)

Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe Add to a List
As one of the most expressive Native American painters of the 20th century, Yanktonai Dakota artist Oscar Howe blended modern trends in art-making with traditional Sioux aesthetics, challenging perceptions and helping to preserve Native artistic culture along the way. This exhibition follows Howe's work across 40 years of creative development, from his teenage beginnings to sophisticated, abstracted works made in the '50s and '60s.
Portland Art Museum, South Park Blocks (Oct 29-Dec 31)

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