Portland’s Red Dress Party is one of the biggest benefit parties of the season—and certainly the most gender-bending. It’s a chance for everybody from activists and politicos to divas and twinks to shrug out of their work wear and get gussied up in red dresses (kilts and culottes don’t count, gents). Proceeds from this year’s party, an airport-themed bash complete with cute flight attendants, live tunes from Storm Large, and “salty nuts,” benefit Esther’s Pantry, which provides food to cash-strapped people living with HIV-AIDS; SHARE, which finds affordable housing for elder sexual minorities; and Outside In, which serves low-income and homeless youth. Last year, nearly 2,000 people attended Red Dress. Even former first daughter Chelsea Clinton showed up. How do you top that? We think this year’s special guests should include some high-profile homophobes and conservatives. Maybe if these anti-gay activists took a night off to dance-party with their political foes, they’d accidentally shake those sticks outta their behinds.
Topeka, Kan.-based Westboro Baptist Church’s notoriously picket-happy pastor, the man who popularized the phrase “God hates fags,” last sent his minions to Oregon in November to protest Silverton’s newly elected transgender mayor, Stu Rasmussen. He’ll be a hoot, with all that blather about being accosted by roving gays in public parks and the insidious, “homo-fascist” nation of Sweden.
Conversation starter: “I too think Stephen Colbert is a sign of the impending apocalypse.”
The political director of the Oregon Family Council and a local printing biz honcho, Nashif led the Defense of Marriage Coalition’s successful Measure 36 campaign to outlaw same-sex marriage way back in 2004. Maybe it’s time he reconnected with some of his old opponents.
Conversation starter: “Spent any time in Vermont lately?”
Yes, this Republican state rep from Keizer flaunts an über-conservative voting record, but we’re betting it’d only take a Talbots knee-length chiffon number and a shot or two of Rumple Minze to turn her into a friend of friends of Dorothy. After all, a certain 17-year-old named Beau Breedlove was her intern back in 2005.
Conversation starter: “Way to go pushing to keep the names of people carrying concealed handguns secret! Wanna guess what’s in my pocket?”
GO:“Red Eye,” the 9th Annual Red Dress Party, takes place at the BodyVox Warehouse, 1201 NW 17th Ave. 9 pm Saturday, May 2. Coach tickets $50, first-class tickets with VIP pre-party and first-class lounge access $125. 21+. Visit reddresspdx.com for details and tickets.
WEDNESDAY APRIL 29
[SCREEN] THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF LITTLE DIZZLE
Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Get a man pregnant with fish and you have the latest hallucinatory comedy from Seattle director David Russo. NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Ave., 221-1156. 7 pm. $5-$8.
THURSDAY APRIL 30
[MUSIC] WOW FLUTTER
Portland’s own Wow Flutter stage a tiny gig with a special light show that is intended to “blind as well as deafen their audience.” Take that, OMSI! The Know, 2026 NE Alberta St., 473-8729. 8 pm. $5. 21+.
Japan’s Ghost—one of the weirder (it makes its own instruments!) acts around—hits town for the first time since the Bush administration started. Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside St., 231-9663. 9 pm. $12. 21+.
FRIDAY MAY 1
[IMPROV] UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE TOURING COMPANY
Performers from the legendary company come to town for 90 minutes of long-form improv comedy. The Brody Theater, 16 NW Broadway., 224-2227. 8 and 10:30 pm. $15.
[SCREEN] OREGON SESQUICENTENNIAL FILM FEST
Archivist Dennis Nyback stuffs 150 years of Oregon moviemaking into 10 days. Which means James Ivory and Gus Van Sant share a stage on opening night. Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St., 534-4028. 7 pm. $5-$15.
SATURDAY MAY 2
[DISH] CHEERS TO BELGIAN BEERS
Here’s a twist on the beer fest formula: Oregon brewers all use the same strain of yeast to produce their own Belgian-style ale. Lucky Labrador Beer Hall, 1945 NW Quimby St., oregonbeer.org/pctbb. Noon-10 pm Friday-Saturday, May 1-2. $5 tasting goblet, $1 tasting ticket.
SUNDAY MAY 3
[MUSIC] CONGRATULATIONS, OLD BELIEVERS
We’ve coaxed Eskimo Sons out of semi-retirement tonight for WW’s own Portland Makes Music series. First question: Why the name change? Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th Ave., 248-1030. 9 pm. Free. 21+.
TUESDAY MAY 5
[PARTY] CINCO DE MAYO FIESTA
PDX’s waterfront hosts a five-day fiesta! Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Front Avenue between SW Harrison and NW Glisan streets. 11 am-11 pm Friday-Tuesday May 1-5. $8. Visit cincodemayo.org for tickets and freebies.