Look Ahead

Your Guide to February 2023 Events in Portland

Portland Winter Light Festival, Bruce Springsteen, and More
January 25, 2023
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Portland Winter Light Festival will illuminate the dreary winter season. (Dylan Evanston/Portland Winter Light Festival)
It may be the shortest month of the year, but thankfully, February isn't short on superb things to do. There's still plenty going on in every category of events, plus big dates like Valentine's Day and the Super Bowl. Find all of February's highlights below, with events from Bruce Springsteen to the 2023 Biamp Portland Jazz Festival and from Portland Winter Light Festival to The Portland Mercury's Highball 2023.

Jump to: Comedy | Community & Festivals | Film | Food & Drink | Live Music | Performance & Theater | Readings & Talks | Visual Art


COMEDY

Sam Morril: The Class Act Tour Add to a List
Meteoric NYC funnyman Sam Morril will visit Portland on his Class Act tour, where he's sure to encounter some skinny jean-wearin’ disciplinarians.
Revolution Hall, Buckman (Feb 4-5)

David Nihill Add to a List
Irish-born comic Dave Nihill draws from his vast international experiences—he's been to 70 countries, and lived in 12—to reflect on cultural norms, drinking sessions, and his life as a slightly confused US immigrant. Nihill's unconventional rise to comedy fame began when he crashed festivals and comedy clubs, pretending to be a successful comic named "Irish Dave." We hope to see more of Nihill's enterprising spirit, and hear that cool accent, in this performance.
Helium Comedy Club, Hosford-Abernethy (Wed Feb 8)

The Second City Swipes Right: An Incomplete Guide to The Ultimate Date Night Add to a List
The Second City, Chicago's oldest ongoing improv theater troupe (and original stomping grounds of greats like Chris Farley, John Candy, and Amy Poehler) will head to Portland with an evening of caliente comedy and naughty hilarity that your Tinder date will dig.
Newmark Theatre, South Park Blocks (Fri Feb 10)

John Early Add to a List
"Godfather of alt comedy" John Early will be joined by musical guest Michael Hesslein and special character Vicky with a V for this performance, which will offer up tunes and musings from the buzzy creator of A24 sketch special Would It Kill You To Laugh? and star of HBO Max sitcom Search Party.
Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn (Wed Feb 15)

Broke Gravy: The Turnout Add to a List
The Broke Gravy dudes (Chris, Leon, and Eric) have forged a unique path in improv comedy, using the off-the-cuff medium to inspire deeper conversations on their perspectives as Black Americans. In celebration of Portland's Black community, this storytelling series will take place across four days in the heart of the historic Alberta neighborhood, with offerings including a community gallery night, improv comedy, workshops, and open mic sessions.
Alberta House, Concordia (Feb 16-19)

NW Black Comedy Festival Add to a List
The NW Black Comedy Festival returns with 11 "bigger, Blacker, and funnier" showcases and two live podcasts that aim to upstage the previous years' offerings. Over 60 Black comics will head to Portland from near and far for storytelling show The Blackonteurs, longstanding favorite Minority Retort, and more.
Curious Comedy Theater, King (Feb 16-19)

Ryan Hamilton Add to a List
Squeaky clean Idahoan stand-up Ryan Hamilton will stop by Portland on the heels of his writing gig for the 94th Academy Awards (we hope to hear more about how that went). According to the New York Times, the observational comic "often riffs on the absurdity of his own wholesomeness.” Cute!
Newmark Theatre, South Park Blocks (Fri Feb 17)

Becky Robinson: She Gone Tour Add to a List
Portland-raised LGBTQ+ comedian Becky Robinson has made a name for herself in LA, creating a loveable loudmouth character that went viral during the darkest days of the pandemic and developing a one-woman show, The Heavy Pour Tour, that sold out venues nationwide last year. Find out what the fuss is about at this performance—we hope Robinson has more Tinder tales to tell. 
Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn (Sat Feb 18)

Jack Whitehall: Jackarse Tour Add to a List
Award-winning actor and comedian Jack Whitehall, who you may have spotted in Bad Education,Jungle Cruise, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and laugh-out-loud family travelogue show Travels with My Father, hits Portland with more deadpan British humor.
Revolution Hall, Buckman (Tues Feb 28)

COMMUNITY & FESTIVALS

Lunar New Year Lantern Viewing Evenings Add to a List
Welcome the Year of the Rabbit at this Chinese New Year celebration, which will include several evenings of cultural programming, red lantern viewings, and more. Inspired by the Lantern Festival, or Yuan Xian Jie, the nights of festivities will include a glowy dragon procession throughout the garden, a chopstick challenge, and tea and bites at the garden's teahouse.
Lan Su Chinese Garden, Old Town-Chinatown (Jan 26-Feb 5)

Portland Winter Light Festival Add to a List
The Portland Winter Light Festival is an after-holiday reminder that the best lights of the year don't illuminate until February. Brighten up from the winter blues with dozens of free art installations and interactive spaces on either side of the Willamette; don't miss the "fire-based sculptures," illuminated bike ride, and 16-foot-tall robot!
Various locations (Feb 3-11)

Oregon 2023 Lunar New Year Celebration Add to a List
This multicultural Lunar New Year celebration pulls out all the stops, with calligraphy exhibits and performances by magician Eric Qiu (aka "Mr. Magic of Shanghai,") singer Sofyia Xue, and international Wushu champions. Visual artists will also offer craft workshops, so attendees can join in on the cultural fun.
Keller Auditorium, Downtown (Sat Feb 4)

FAN EXPO Portland Add to a List
Once known as Wizard World Portland, this con draws thousands of comics, sci-fi, anime, horror, and gaming nerds from near and far. This year, FAN EXPO will offer tabletop gaming, family-friendly activities, and workshops with expert fabricators and actors, plus photo ops with Michael J. Fox, Bruce Campbell, William Shatner, Ron Perlman, Leslie David Baker (aka Stanley!), and other fan faves.
Oregon Convention Center, Lloyd District (Feb 17-19)

FILM

Cascade Festival of African Films Add to a List
The "longest-running annual, non-profit, non-commercial, largely volunteer-run African film festival in the United States" features works by African directors, centering non-Western perspectives on African culture with films like Neptune Frost and Juwaa. Live interviews with filmmakers and community conversations round out the exciting cultural event, with opportunities for virtual and in-person viewing. 
Various locations and virtual (Feb 3-Mar 4)

Portland Comedy Film Festival Add to a List
Head to historic haunt Clinton St. Theater for this all-day screening of the buzziest comedy flicks, music videos, and series episodes on the film festival circuit.
Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy (Sun Feb 12)

Queer Horror: Picnic at Hanging Rock Add to a List
Grab your rose water and your candelabras, girls, 'cause nothing says Valentine's Day like a clique of dreamy boarding schoolers gone missing in Victorian-era Australia. This screening of Peter Weir's wistful madhouse Picnic at Hanging Rock is sure to take your breath away. Screened as part of the Hollywood’s bimonthly Queer Horror program, premier drag clown Carla Rossi will return to host the date night, which will open with a pre-show eleganza by unannounced "PDX all-stars."
Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District (Tues Feb 14)

Afrofuturist Double Feature Add to a List
Strap on your space helmets! Directed by John Coney, the Sun Ra-penned pioneering Afrofuturist science fiction film Space is the Place will kick off this intergalactic double feature, followed by John Akomfrah's searing '96 cinematic essay The Last Angel of History.
Fifth Avenue Cinema, Southwest Portland (Feb 17-19)

Portland Black Film Festival: Greased Lightning in 35mm Add to a List
Starring Richard Pryor and Pam Grier, Greased Lightning tells the tale of Wendell Scott, America's first African American NASCAR driver. When Scott returns from serving in World War II to find his town fueled by racism and hatred, he hits the racetrack to try and fight the system. The Hollywood will screen a rare, dreamy 35mm print of the criminally overlooked '77 classic.
Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District (Sun Feb 26)

FOOD & DRINK

Oregon Truffle Festival Add to a List
The 18th edition of the Oregon Truffle Festival presents a series of events dedicated to the prized delicacy, including truffle dog championships, fancy dinners, a truffle market, and more.
Various locations (Feb 3-25)

The Great Portland Beer Fest Add to a List
Savor a dozen tastes of beer from over 30 local breweries, plus food from local vendors like Pleasure Burger, Kotsu Ramen, Teote, and Shanghai's Best.
Pine Street Market, Old Town-Chinatown (Feb 17-19)

Locals Only PDX Wine Fest Add to a List
The upcoming cart 82nd Wine will host a tasting with a variety of local winemakers represented.
CORE, Lents (Sat Feb 18)

Oregon Distilled Add to a List
This spirited event will gather over 30 of Oregon's best distillers in one place, along with five chefs, various food vendors, and plenty of cocktails. Sip all the whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, and aquavit you can handle, brush up on your cocktail-making skills, and savor small plates.
The Redd on Salmon, Buckman (Sat Feb 18)

Zwickelmania® 2023 Add to a List
Prime your liver for Zwickelmania, the annual event where more than 120 breweries open their doors for your drinking pleasure, with free samples, tastings, meet-the-brewer events, pairings, tours, and beer releases. The first weekend is open throughout the Portland area, while the second is held all over the state.
Various locations (Feb 18 & 25)

The Portland Mercury's Highball 2023 Add to a List
BEHOLD! It's the triumphant return of the Portland Mercury's HIGHBALL! That's correct: Get ready for an ENTIRE WEEK (February 20-26) of specially crafted, original cocktails mixed by the best bartenders in town… and get this, they're only $8 each! We've teamed up with the finest bars and restaurants in Portland—along with our cocktail-lovin' pals at Jim Beam—to bring you this one-of-a-kind booze-tacular! At each of Highball's locations, you'll find $8 specially crafted cocktails, and even better? They'll be available ALL DAY (not just during happy hour)! Stay tuned for the full list of cocktails.
Various locations (Feb 20-26)

Suttle Lodge's Winter Beer Fest Add to a List
Channel après-ski vibes with this wintry Bavarian-inspired beer festival, which will feature over 25 craft breweries, food, snacks, live music, and a cozy fireplace. A portion of proceeds will be donated to the nonprofit CASA of Central Oregon, which "recruits, trains and supports volunteers who advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the court system."
The Suttle Lodge & Boathouse, Sisters (Feb 24-26)

LIVE MUSIC

34th Annual Winterfolk – A Benefit For Transition Projects Add to a List
An array of talented folk singer-songwriters, including Tracy Grammer, Tom May & Friends, Michael Henchman, Kate Power and Steve Einhorn, Jim Page, the Prairie Blossoms, Doug & Judy Koch Smith, and Hanz Araki & Colleen Raney, make their way to the Alberta Rose stage to celebrate the Portland community. This event will raise money for Transition Projects and their ongoing effort to assist folks in finding and maintaining housing in the Portland area.
Alberta Rose Theatre, Concordia (Sat Feb 4)

Unwound Add to a List
Back in 2015, VICE wrote, "Unwound will never reunite so get over it.” The Olympia, WA-born post-hardcore quartet will defy all odds, heading out on their first tour in twenty years with a three-night stint in Portland, playing songs from their seven-album catalog. Bassist Jared Warren (of Karp, The Melvins, and Big Business) will fill the shoes of founding member Vern Rumsey, who passed away in 2020.
Revolution Hall, Buckman (Feb 6-8)

New Found Glory: Make The Most Of It Acoustic Tour Add to a List
Bust out your eyeliner and studded accessories and sing along to New Found Glory's pop-punk classics like “My Friends Over You” and "Head on Collision," stripped down for this special unplugged tour. Arrive in time to catch an opening set from viral singer-songwriter Leanna Firestone.
Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn (Wed Feb 8)

Pop Fever: A Multi-Dimensional AAPI Music & Arts Showcase Add to a List
Show up for your AAPI neighbors with a sampling of Portland's top voices in pop music. Thythy will get you on your feet with her Y2K-inspired pop grooves alongside captivating rapper Real3AM, dance-pop hit machine Alana Rich, hip-hop mastermind GI Rich, R&B artist Piscee, and DJ chingooz. In addition, there will also be a showcase of visual art from local AAPI creators.
Holocene, Buckman (Wed Feb 8)

Black Belt Eagle Scout Add to a List
Portland’s Katherine Paul is the queer and Indigenous musician behind the Black Belt Eagle Scout moniker. In 2020, Paul made the journey from Portland back to the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Reservation, where she grew up, about 20 minutes south of Anacortes, Washington along the Skagit River. That’s where she eventually became a jingle dress dancer—wearing traditional powwow regalia made with 365 tobacco can lids curled into cone-like shape, and sewn closely together with ribbons. On her forthcoming album The Land, The Water, The Sky, Paul will serve as a storyteller over the course of 12 tracks, evoking feelings of deep sadness, but also joy and hope, as Paul remembers the land, wisdom, knowledge, and traditions passed down by her ancestors—and weaves those inspirations in with her grunge and riot grrrl sounds. On the day of the project’s release, Black Belt Eagle Scout will play an album release show at Aladdin Theater—tickets are a mere $20 and guaranteed to evaporate. PORTLAND MERCURY CONTRIBUTOR JENNI MOORE
Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn (Fri Feb 10)

Archers of Loaf Add to a List
The beloved Chapel Hill-hailing quartet Archers of Loaf will bring their anthemic and gritty indie rock back to town for a two-night stint supporting their long-awaited album, Reason in Decline, their first release since 1998. Toronto-based jangle-pop band Ducks Ltd. will open.
Mississippi Studios, Boise (Feb 10-11)

Margo Price: 'Til The Wheels Fall Off Tour Add to a List
The Nashville-hailing singer-songwriter brings her blend of old-school country, Americana, and bluegrass to Portland in support of her psychedelic new album, Strays, which was written by her and her husband/collaborator Jeremy Ivey while on an extended mushroom trip. Don't miss an opening set from indie folk singer Lola Kirke (she's the daughter of Free/Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke and sister of Girls actress Jemima Kirke!)
Crystal Ballroom, West End (Mon Feb 13)

Steve Lacy: Give You The World Tour Add to a List
After two rounds of cancellations, the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter, producer, and guitarist for the Grammy-nominated neo-soul band, the Internet, Steve Lacy will finally make his way to Portland supporting his sophomore album, Gemini Rights, a jammy collection of tunes that fuse together R&B, funk, jazz, psych, and hip-hop. Don't miss an opening set from soul singer-songwriter Fousheé, who will perform songs off of her new album softCORE.
Roseland Theater, Old Town-Chinatown (Mon Feb 13)

Portland Chamber Orchestra Presents: Love, Chocolate and The Brain Add to a List
Looking for Valentine's Day plans that are out of the ordinary? OHSU neuroscientist Larry Sherman will be joined by the Portland Chamber Orchestra and vocalist Naomi LaViolette for a thought-provoking, educational, and humorous multimedia discussion/concert that explores love, music, chocolate, and how the brain experiences pleasure. 
Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton (Tues Feb 14)

The Beths Add to a List
Don’t worry about placing the Beths within a larger trajectory of New Zealand music. Sure, the Auckland four-piece has a few things in common with the influential “Dunedin sound” and the reservoir of remarkable bands that made up the roster of Flying Nun Records, but the Beths are closer to power-pop than jingle-jangle, existing in a warm, cozily seductive place that’s not quite twee, not really punk, not exactly pop, and not too rock—it’s a place that can only be described as the Beths, and it stands a pretty good chance of being your favorite new place to hang out this year. STRANGER STAFF WRITER JAS KEIMIG
Wonder Ballroom, Eliot (Wed Feb 15)

The Charlatans with Ride Add to a List
English rock bands the Charlatans and Ride will head out on a joint tour playing the swirly, fuzzed-out psychedelic tunes that made them some of the hippest bands to namedrop in the '90s.
Crystal Ballroom, West End (Wed Feb 15)

2023 Biamp Portland Jazz Festival Add to a List
Biamp PDX Jazz Festival is back for its 20th annual celebration of Portland Jazz music and culture. This absolutely stacked lineup features a jaw-dropping mix of award-winning masters and a new wave of musicians who are innovating the genre. Highlights include "Africa's premier diva" (Time) Angélique Kidjo Add to a List , Aussie jazz-funk ensemble Hiatus Kaiyote Add to a List , legendary flutist Hubert Laws Add to a List , and Afrofuturist hip-hop project Shabazz Palaces Add to a List .
Various locations (Feb 16-25)

Angélique Kidjo: Remain In Light with DJ Nickodemus Add to a List
Catch the five-time Grammy-winning Beninese vocalist Angélique Kidjo as she stops by on tour supporting her 2018 album, Remain in Light, an homage to the new wave quartet Talking Heads. Gear up for a lively performance of the classic tunes reimagined with West African influence, explosive percussion, horn orchestrations, and bilingual lyrics.
Roseland Theater, Old Town-Chinatown (Fri Feb 17)

Isabeau Waia'u Walker with Night Heron Add to a List
Come out to Doug Fir next month for an exceedingly local show featuring Portland-based singer-songwriter (and touring member of Y La Bamba) Isabeau Waia'u Walker. Originally from Hawaii, the former high school teacher weaves culture, language, and race into her soothing, powerful, and bright—but gloomy—music. As headliner Waia’u Walker will likely perform songs from her 2022 full-length, Body. Portland pop / R&B group Night Heron are also on the bill, still showing off songs from their excellent most recent album, the 2021 Instructions for the Night. Opening the vibey bill is Portland-based Puerto Rican hip-hop producer Luvjones. PORTLAND MERCURY CONTRIBUTOR JENNI MOORE
Doug Fir Lounge, Buckman (Fri Feb 17)

Tank and The Bangas Add to a List
Tarriona "Tank" Ball is the founder and frontwoman of the funky, gospel-inspired hip-hop troupe Tank and the Bangas, who you may know from their wildly popular NPR Tiny Desk Concert (seriously, the video has over 13 million views!) Don't miss this local tour stop as they play tracks off their latest release Red Balloon.
Revolution Hall, Buckman (Fri Feb 17)

The Goonies in Concert Add to a List
Deanna Tham will lead the Oregon Symphony through the latest in their live-score series, this time bringing their considerable talents to bear on Dave Grusin's score for the Astoria-filmed cult classic The Goonies. Keep an ear open for a quick hit of John Williams during a key moment in the movie, too.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Sat Feb 18)

Eagles: Hotel California Tour Add to a List
Classic rock legends the Eagles, including Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmit, and Vince Gill, will soar into town to play their iconic album Hotel California front-to-back with cinematic accompaniments by a live orchestra and choir.
Moda Center, Lloyd District (Sun Feb 19)

Lucki – Flawless Like Me: The Made Martian Tour Add to a List
“Chicago's best conscious rapper" (Chicago Reader) Lucki initially blew up with his debut mixtape, Alternative Trap, and has since worked with big names like Chance the Rapper, FKA Twigs, Earl Sweatshirt, and Lil Yachty. Lucki will most likely play songs from his latest album, Flawless Like Me, after an opening set from up-and-coming rapper Eem Triplin.
Roseland Theater, Old Town-Chinatown (Sun Feb 19)

Yo La Tengo: This Stupid World Add to a List
Dreamy Hoboken rockers Yo La Tengo will support their forthcoming album, This Stupid World (out February 10)—the effort was produced and mixed solely by the band, and press materials describe it as "the most live-sounding Yo La Tengo album in years."
Wonder Ballroom, Eliot (Sun Feb 19)

Jungle Brothers Add to a List
NYC hip-hop trio Jungle Brothers helped pave the way for alt-hip-hop and jazz-rap legends like De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, and Queen Latifah with their Afrocentric lyrics and jazz samples that eventually founded the Native Tongues collective. 
Star Theater, Old Town-Chinatown (Mon Feb 20)

An Evening with The Roots Add to a List
Listen up kids: The Roots’ importance goes wayyyy beyond their role as house band on The Tonight Show. To witness Questlove and Black Thought lead the nine-piece band live is more than just a “good” show—it’s an eclectic, jazz-infused experience that’ll cement Black Thought as one of the most skilled, entertaining, and versatile MCs of all time. If you need further proof of Black Thought’s dominance as a lyricist, head on over to his masterful 10-minute freestyle on Hot 97 with Funk Flex. PORTLAND MERCURY CONTRIBUTOR JENNI MOORE
Crystal Ballroom, West End (Tues Feb 21)

Hiatus Kaiyote with Butcher Brown Add to a List
Aussie jazz-funk ensemble Hiatus Kaiyote will take the stage in support of their new remix album Mood Variant, which press materials describe as a "collection of flips, reworks, and remixes of their world-acclaimed Mood Valiant." They will be joined by Richmond, VA-based project Butcher Brown with a set of hip-hop-, funk-, rock-, and soul-infused jazz.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Tues Feb 21)

Shabazz Palaces with Moor Mother Add to a List
Stranger writer Dave Segal wrote that Shabazz Palaces frontman Ishmael Butler "has the unparalleled nonchalance of Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, and Lou Reed—people so gifted, they don't ever need to get in your face about their talents." Butler will offer you some of his brilliance at a rare music workshop followed by a live set of his experimental jazz- and electronic-influenced hip-hop tunes. He will be joined by like-minded avant-rap artist Moor Mother.
Alberta Rose Theatre, Concordia (Wed Feb 22)

Thee Sacred Souls with Orquestra Pacifico Tropical Add to a List
With a smooth sound that takes cues from vintage R&B, San Diego-based trio Thee Sacred Souls landed a record deal with legendary neo-soul Daptone after their first handful of live performances. They will support their debut self-titled album, which earned them A-list fans like Gary Clark Jr., Princess Nokia, and Timbaland, alongside vintage cumbia ensemble Orquestra Pacifico Tropical.
Revolution Hall, Buckman (Fri Feb 24)

Bruce Springsteen Add to a List
Ever since Jon Bon Jovi tragically died of a bad medicine overdose, New Jersey has had one, and only one, poet laureate: Bruce Motherfucking Springsteen. The Boss graces Portland for one of his marathon shows, with the legendary E Street Band in tow. Expect nothing less than a rollicking, rocking tour through some of the greatest music America's ever known. ERIK HENRIKSEN
Moda Center, Lloyd District (Sat Feb 25)

Cass McCombs with Weak Signal Add to a List
Mercury writer Leilani Polk wrote: "Cass McCombs has that vocal quality that sounds like he’s not trying hard at all, effortless and occasionally breathy and spacious. He makes singer-songwriter fare that feels dusty and worn and warm, whose maker you can picture having that sort of tousled, just-out-of-bed, never-brushed-but-probably-washed sort of hair. It’s easygoing folkadelia, not hard to like, and maybe you’ll love it, because it reminds you of something on the tip of your brain that you just can’t place. RIYL: John Cale, Kurt Vile, Phosphorescent." He will play tracks from his latest album, Heartmind, alongside New York-based indie rock band Weak Signal.
Doug Fir Lounge, Buckman (Sat Feb 25)

Damien Jurado with Chris Pureka Add to a List
Acclaimed Seattle-born singer-songwriter Damien Jurado will bring his melodic and shapeshifting indie-folk back to the Pacific Northwest in support of his latest release Reggae Film Star. Chicago-based artist Hannah Frances will join the celebration with an opening set of dreamy folk tunes. Local indie-Americana artist Chris Pureka will open with a set of acoustic tunes.
Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn (Sat Feb 25)

Hubert Laws Quintet with Brian Jackson Add to a List
Renowned flutist Hubert Laws is a rare example of a classical artist who managed to master jazz, pop, and R&B, playing with an eclectic list of artists throughout his six-decade-long career including Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, Ella Fitzgerald, and Quincy Jones, and on film scores for The Wiz and The Color Purple. He will perform alongside fellow jazz legend Brian Jackson, best known for his work with poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron.
Newmark Theatre, South Park Blocks (Sat Feb 25)

Tove Lo: Dirt Femme Tour Add to a List
The Swedish princess of dark pop Tove Lo (pronounced Too-veh-Loo) will bring her Dirt Femme tour to Portland, supporting her new album of the same name, which Pitchfork called "the first Tove Lo album you can play for your grandparents." Don't miss an opening set from electropop artist Slayyyter.
Roseland Theater, Old Town-Chinatown (Sat Feb 25)

Stephen Marley: Old Soul Unplugged Add to a List
The winding road of musical history is paved with the sons and daughters of icons, who (often through nepotism, sometimes with talent) gave a shot at their own careers, never to step out from the shadow of their legendary parents (see: Sean Lennon, that poor so-and-so). What sets reggae icon Bob Marley’s brood apart is their undeniable hit-making abilities: Damian’s blistering 'Welcome to Jamrock' was pretty much inescapable the summer it was released, and Stephen’s a Grammy-winning, critically lauded artist in his own right. His is a dressed-up, omnivorous take on reggae, incorporating hip-hop drum breaks, record scratches, and pop-leaning female backup singers, along with the requisite mentions of Jah. It’s sort of a globalized, millennial take on reggae, and while it lacks the rootsy charm of his father's classic records, it’s nice to see the Marley clan doing their own thing and doing it well. KYLE FLECK
Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn (Sun Feb 26)

PERFORMANCE & THEATER

Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt. 2B Add to a List
Penned by playwright Kate Hamill and adapted from the stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this tongue-in-cheek feminist farce sees two female roommates stumble across mysteries and villains they never expected. Oregon Artswatch described Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt. 2B as a "buddy comedy," so expect more laughs and less Jack the Ripper-esque horror.
Portland Center Stage, Pearl District (Feb 1-12)

Stuff You Should Know Add to a List
Certified info nerds Josh Clark and Charles “Chuck” Bryant will take their popular podcast Stuff You Should Know to the stage for a night of fun-lovin' research-sharing on topics you never knew you were fascinated by (think ayahuasca, the Satanic Panic, and pizza).
Revolution Hall, Buckman (Thurs Feb 2)

Cabaret Add to a List
Former Stranger editor Christopher Frizzelle once wrote: "Cabaret is the best musical of all time, because Kander and Ebb were geniuses and because it neatly solves the problem inherent in musicals (why are these people breaking into song?). Its bawdy, funny, hedonistic songs aren't indulgent for indulgence's sake. What goes on inside the Kit Kat Klub, in Berlin in 1931, is ignorant bliss on amphetamines, a carnival of humanity not aware what's coming their way." This version of the Weimar Germany-set musical will be presented by the nonprofit musical theater company Stumptown Stages, which delivered a killer interpretation of Little Shop of Horrors last year.
Winningstad Theatre, South Park Blocks (Feb 2-12)

Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook Add to a List
Blending musical revue and original musical elements, Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook features a "treasure trove" of beloved hits by composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Godspell). The performance follows a pair of empty-nesters whose yellowing photographs help them revisit fond memories and uncover unexpected secrets.
Broadway Rose New Stage Theatre, Tigard (Feb 2-19)

Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations Add to a List
We're not too proud to beg for this 12-time Tony-winning jukebox musical, which weaves the story of the Detroit Motown band's rise to fame through foot-tapping tunes and killer dance moves. Obie-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau, Tony-winning director Des McAnuff, and Tony-winning Sergio Trujillo join heads for Ain't Too Proud, which moves to the beat of “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” and other hits.
Keller Auditorium, Downtown (Feb 7-12)

What I Learned in Paris Add to a List
Set amid a historic campaign win for Maynard Jackson, the first Black mayor of Atlanta, What I Learned in Paris follows a complex web of romance, truth-telling, and temptation in '70s Georgia.
Portland Playhouse, King (Feb 8-Mar 26)

Boom Arts presents US Premiere of OKINUM by ONISHKA productions Add to a List
Following its run at the International PuSh Festival in Vancouver, BC, and Berlin, Boom Arts and interdisciplinary artist Émilie Monnet will present the US premiere of solo theater performance OKINUM. The hypnotic experience blends French, Anishnabemowin, and English spoken word with a live score by musician Jackie Gallant to "investigate the impacts of colonialism and the stories of Indigenous women through a narrative and documentary lens."
Hampton Opera Center, Central Eastside (Feb 9-11)

Trinity Irish Dance Company Add to a List
Dance advocates White Bird will return to the Reser with Trinity Irish Dance Company for a performance that merges mesmerizing traditional Irish step dance with contemporary innovations to the form.  
Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton (Feb 9-11)

Welcome to Arroyo’s Add to a List
Award-winning actor and theater-maker Bobby Bermea directs this ode to hip-hop, street art, and family, set within the graffitied walls of the struggling Arroyo’s Lounge.
Imago Theatre, Buckman (Feb 9-26)

Yvie Oddly presents Strange Love Add to a List
She's odd, but like, in a good way—avant-garde drag diva, RuPaul's Drag Race season 11 winner, and "authentic weirdo" Yvie Oddly will slay in Portland in this one-woman show of songs and tea-spilling.
Hawthorne Theatre, Hawthorne District (Sat Feb 11)

Young Americans Add to a List
This world premiere by playwright Ă  la mode Lauren Yee takes audiences on two road trips, 20 years apart. Weaving together immigrant narratives and "intimate, music-led comedy," Young Americans looks closely at tough transitions and how we define home.
Portland Center Stage, Pearl District (Feb 11-Mar 26)

White Bird Dance Series/WE ARE ONE Festival: Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE Add to a List
Dance organization White Bird's outside-the-box WE ARE ONE Festival season continues with a performance by choreographer Ronald K. Brown and his company, EVIDENCE, which "uses movement to reinforce community in African American culture and to acquaint audiences with the striking beauty of traditional African dance forms and rhythms." They'll perform Brown's newest work, Equality of Night and Day, which incorporates spoken word elements by Angela Davis.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (Wed Feb 15)

La Sylphide Add to a List
This sparkly gem of the Romantic ballet era follows a betrothed young man who is mesmerized by the presence of the evasive Sylphide. His newfound obsession leads to encounters with venomous witches and otherworldly forest spirits, and an ultimate tragedy. A live score performed by OBT's orchestra will set the magical atmosphere.
Keller Auditorium, Downtown (Feb 18-25)

Memphis Jookin’: The Show featuring Lil Buck Add to a List
World-renowned performance artist Lil Buck brings his signature style of "Memphis jookin'" to the stage for this 90-minute show, which chronicles the emergence of the Tennessee dance form as an international sensation.
Newmark Theatre, South Park Blocks (Tues Feb 21)

Where We Belong Add to a List
This contemporary solo piece follows an Indigenous theater-maker whose pursuit of a Ph.D. and a new life in England is rattled by the Brexit vote and the country's colonialist ideals.
Portland Center Stage, Pearl District (Feb 25-Mar 26)

And That’s Why We Drink: On the Rocks Tour Add to a List
Fans of creep-out comedy will dig the mega-successful podcast And That's Why We Drink, which blends research into real-life true crime cases with tales of the paranormal for a spine-tingling good time.
Revolution Hall, Buckman (Sun Feb 26)

My Fair Lady Add to a List
Lerner and Loewe's '56 stage musical is revived in this production directed by Bartlett Sher, which sees pedantic professor Henry Higgins attempt to woo Cockney flower seller Eliza Doolittle and turn her into a "lady." We know, barf, but this revival is apparently “thrilling, glorious and better than it ever was” (New York Times).
Keller Auditorium, Downtown (Feb 28-Mar 5)

READINGS & TALKS

Amor Towles Add to a List
Bestselling wordsmith Amor Towles, whose books Rules of Civility and A Gentleman in Moscow have flown off the shelves for the past decade, will drop by the Schnitz to discuss his elegant approach to historical fiction and his new novel, The Lincoln Highway, which follows an off-kilter '50s-era road trip.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Wed Feb 1)

Miriam Toews in Conversation With Chelsea Bieker Add to a List
Miriam Toews will celebrate the paperback launch of her critically acclaimed novel Fight Night, which NPR described as "an ardent, hilarious, and moving addition" to her body of work. Toews (who also penned Women Talking, which was recently adapted for film) will chat with Chelsea Bieker, the Portland-based author of Heartbroke and Godshot.
Powell's City of Books, Pearl District (Wed Feb 1)

VOICES Lecture Series Add to a List
In celebration of their 30th anniversary, VOICES Lectures will share the stories of fascinating women this fall and winter. The series continues on February 1 with a talk from awe-inspiring National Geographic photojournalist, documentarian, and Nikon ambassador Ami Vitale.
Revolution Hall, Buckman (Wed Feb 1)

Nina Totenberg Add to a List
Nina Totenberg, who has covered American legal affairs at NPR for over 40 years, brings her extensive knowledge of the Supreme Court to the stage for this lecture on "the inner workings of the nation’s highest court." The award-winning journalist is still chasing leads today—Totenberg's reports are regularly featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Thurs Feb 2)

Chuck Klosterman Add to a List
Chuck Klosterman, noted culture critic, columnist, and award-winning author, returns with a novel-length analysis of the '90s. Delving into the love-it-or-hate-it decade, The Nineties reckons with slacker apathy, glossy magazines, MTV, and more.
Powell's City of Books, Pearl District (Tues Feb 7)

Live Wire with Luke Burbank: Cheryl Strayed, Iliana Regan, Margo Cilker and more! Add to a List
Live Wire's 2023 offerings kick off with this evening of honest, inspiring conversation between #1 New York Times bestselling author and Portland gem Cheryl Strayed and Iliana Regan, a Michelin-starred chef and National Book Award nominee. Oregon-raised singer-songwriter and festival favorite Margo Cilker will provide the Western-inspired tunes, which some describe as similar to Lucinda Williams and Townes Van Zandt.
Alberta Rose Theatre, Concordia (Thurs Feb 9)

2022/23 Portland Arts & Lectures: Patrick Radden Keefe Add to a List
Patrick Radden Keefe, award-winning New Yorker staff writer and best-selling author of Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, will bring his "obsessive report[ing] and research[ing]" (Rolling Stone) to the stage for this literary discussion.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Wed Feb 22)

National Geographic Live: How to Clone a Mammoth Add to a List
Centering the research of National Geographic Emerging Explorer Beth Shapiro, this presentation looks closely at how extinct species like mammoths and passenger pigeons might be resurrected, and all the sticky technical and ethical challenges entangled with cloning science. How to Clone a Mammoth will be presented as part of the National Geographic Live series, which shares the efforts of its diverse, adventurous contributors.
Newmark Theatre, South Park Blocks (Mon Feb 27)

VISUAL ART

Benjamin Mefford: Materia Add to a List
Emerging artist Benjamin Mefford's extensive material explorations make this solo exhibition a tactile treat. The multimedia works featured in Materia include a sculpture made of Scotch tape, pencils, pencil shavings, and Elmer's glue.
Blackfish Gallery, Pearl District (Feb 1-25)

Winter Group Exhibition Add to a List
Froelick's group exhibition of works by the gallery's represented artists starts 2023 on a colorful foot, with multimedia offerings by local faves like Emma Gerigscott, Holly Osborne, Rick Bartow, Laurie Danial, Benny Fountain, and others. 
Froelick Gallery, Pearl District (Feb 1-28)

John Vitale: What Has Gone Wrong Becomes an Opening Add to a List
John Vitale's first solo exhibition at Nationale documents the Illinois-born artist and skateboard brand founder's "ongoing search for new beginnings and moments of exploration," thoughtfully revealed through abstract compositions and intuitive meditations on sensory stimuli.
Nationale, Buckman (Feb 2-26)

Chrysalis (Generativity): Fernanda D’Agostino Add to a List
As part of Site, Oregon Contemporary's ongoing series of "site-specific large-scale solo exhibitions by artists of the Pacific Northwest," this solo exhibition by Fernanda D’Agostino draws from an unusual inspiration—the nests of tent caterpillars. D'Agostino's curious installation of sculptural works blends materials like netting and found branches with creative coding and MadMapper to think carefully about sacredness, merging, and emerging with a childlike sense of marvel.
Oregon Contemporary, Kenton (Feb 3-Mar 5)

Hito Steyerl: This is the Future Add to a List
German filmmaker and futuristic thinker Hito Steyerl will bring a "vibrant, imagined garden" to Portland Art Museum, blending short film, "video sculptures," and an augmented reality (AR) experience in This is the Future to think critically about the tangled web of global capitalism and digital advancements.
Portland Art Museum, South Park Blocks (Feb 11-May 27)

Remembering to Remember: Experiments in Sound Add to a List
Curated by Roya Amirsoleymani and Felisha Ledesma, Remembering to Remember: Experiments in Sound (named after a Pauline Oliveros quote, natch) includes live performances, workshops, multichannel compositions, and video works at the cutting edge of experimental sound and moving image art. An exhibition with works by contemporary tastemakers like Crystal Quartez, Nyokabi Kariũki, Synth Library Portland, Takashi Makino, and others will set the scene. In February and March, visitors can take part in workshops on multi-channel sound compositions, outdoor "soundwalking", and collaboration, or enjoy live performances by Lucy Liyou, Hiro Kone, Sholeh Asgary, and others.
PICA, Eliot (Feb 17-Mar 19)

I have done it again / One year in every ten / I manage it— Add to a List
Contemporary mainstay Adams and Ollman will celebrate their 10th anniversary with a special exhibition, which compiles works by self-taught and boundary-pushing artists, important influencers, and special friends from the gallery's roster. Buzz-building favorites like Mariel Capanna, Vaginal Davis, and Jessica Jackson Hutchins will have works on display alongside visionary 20th-century painters Katherine Bradford, Charles Burchfield, and others.
Adams and Ollman, Northwest Portland (Feb 25-Mar 25)

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