Home Samurai culture Things to do in Portland this week: November 15-21

Things to do in Portland this week: November 15-21


The days may be getting shorter, but Portland’s social calendars are filling up. Most of the city’s main arts organizations have come back to life and things have started, dare we say it, to come closer to a sort of “normal” for the city’s hopes. This week brings the return of Funhouse Lounge’s Die hard musical, a visit to the Hip Hop Nutcracker, the home stretch of Clinton’s Akira Kurosawa Film Festival, and more. Here’s what we have our eyes on.

To dance

The Nutcracker Hip Hop

7:30 p.m., Tuesday, November 16, Auditorium Keller, $ 25-55

This holiday staple, now in its seventh year, has its port stop early in Portland. Long before most others Nutcracker power up, that of Jennifer Weber Hip Hop Nutcracker will come to the Keller – it uses pieces from original Tchaikovsky compositions, presents an updated contemporary history, and opens with an ensemble from hip-hop legend Kurtis Blow.


Akira Kurosawa Film Festival

Various hours Nov 6-20, Clinton Street Theater, $ 10-50

The Clinton celebrates the legendary Japanese filmmaker throughout the month of November with seven (samurai) of his major works. Individual tickets will set you back $ 10 a pop, or you can grab a full festival pass for $ 50. This week’s entries include, inspired by Noh Macbeth adaptation Throne of Blood, Classic samurai The hidden fortress, and the color King Lear rework Run.

Donnie Darko

7:30 p.m. Saturday and 9 p.m. Sunday, November 20-21, Hollywood Theater, $ 8-10

Arguably the Jake Gyllenhaal’s founding text, this classic slice of suburban paranoid sci-fi still works like gangbusters, revealing new contours of foreknowledge every year. It’s a blast in a theater, if only for the fact that you’re inevitably going to say “Seth Rogen?!?” aloud when Seth Rogen appears.


Sweet buck

9 p.m. Tue November 16, Doug Fir lounge, $ 15

The Big Thief singer / guitarist has a tremendous career outside of the successful indie band. Last year he released his second solo album, Two saviors, whose dilapidated “whispering intimacy”, Grateful Dead-esque approach fork rented. Anyone looking for a slightly psychedelic honky tonk moment will likely find themselves in heaven.


8:30 p.m., Friday, November 19, Wonder Ballroom, $ 30 and up

The delightfully center-left master of ceremonies Brookyln has released his fourth album, LP!, end of October. It featured guest spots by Denzel Curry, songs with emojis for the titles and others with amazing names like “God Don’t Like Ugly!” Watch it live at Wonder this weekend.

Special events

15 years of LAIKA

Different times from Tuesday to Sunday until November 28, OMSI, various prices

To honor the pride and joy of Portland’s 15th anniversary stop-motion, OMSI has put together a series of special exhibitions and screenings that have been extended until the end of November. You can access the pop-up exhibit – featuring sets and models from the studio’s films – with museum admission, and screen each of LAIKA’s five feature films at the OMSI Empirical Theater. This week’s schedule: Coraline Friday, Kubo on Saturday, and Paranorman on Sunday.


Die Hard: the musical parody

6:45 p.m. Thu to Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday to December 18, Funhouse Lounge, $ 40 to $ 65

The beloved SE Portland party tradition is back: Equipped with 13 original songs, the folks at Funhouse Lounge effectively turned everyone’s favorite non-traditional Christmas movie into a ridiculous, drunken adventure. Enjoy it in their newly renovated digs with a cocktail or seven, for maximum effect.


7:30 p.m. Thu-Sat, 5 p.m. Sun, Shaking the Tree Theater, $ 2 to $ 30

After a COVID-related hiatus, the spooky season opening of Shaking the Tree Theater is back, proving the fall chills don’t have to stop once Halloween has passed. Celine Song Family is a surreal take on family decadence, and Shaking the Tree’s eternal risk-takers fit the material perfectly.

Visual art

Private fears

Noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday until November 27, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE

Inspired by his experiences with a stalker, photographer Carl Bower started a series where he approached complete strangers and asked them to share their fears. During or shortly after their confessions, he photographed them, attempting to immortalize the moment of vulnerability and question the tension between self-presentation and the mud of self-doubt. The portraits – of subjects whose expressions range from striking to mundane – are now on display at the Pearl’s Blue Sky Gallery.

Water: NFS

12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday to Sunday through January 2, Oregon Contemporary, FREE

In place of this year’s Portland Biennale, Oregon Contemporary (née Disjecta) is launching a program called Site, “a series of large-scale solo exhibitions by artists from Oregon.” First, Natalie Ball and Annelia Hillman pue-leek-la ‘, whose work deals with water sources in their respective tribal communities.