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?"
WEDNESDAY APRIL 29
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.
THURSDAY APRIL 30
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!
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
Performers from the legendary company come to town for 90 minutes of long-form improv comedy.
[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
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.
SUNDAY MAY 3
We've coaxed Eskimo Sons out of semi-retirement tonight for
's own Portland Makes Music series. First question: Why the name change?
TUESDAY MAY 5
PDX's waterfront hosts a five-day fiesta!