Harper Lee's Racist New Book Shouldn't Destroy Your Love for Scout Finch

Books I first saw the movie To Kill a Mockingbird when I was 6 and have loved Scout Finch ever since. As a willful tomboy, she spoke to me like no other character ever had. When I was older and read Harper ... More

Jul 21, 2015 11:24 am by LIZZY ACKER

Ernest Cline, Armada

The Last Geekfighter.

Books Short of being abducted by a benevolent alien race to save the universe from imminent destruction, author Ernest Cline is living every geek’s ultimate fantasy. His best-selling debut novel, vi ... More

Jul 15, 2015 12:01 am by PENELOPE BASS

Lidia Yuknavitch, The Small Backs of Children: Book Review

L’art pour l’art.

Books The plot of The Small Backs of Children (Harper, 240 pages, $24.99), by Portland indie darling Lidia Yuknavitch, is almost irrelevant. But here it is anyway: A writer gives up on life because of grief ... More

Jul 8, 2015 12:01 am by LIZZY ACKER

Interview: Fred Pearce, The New Wild

An environmental journalist says we shouldn’t hate invasive species.

Books You might sit up late these hot summer nights, sweating over the influx of Californians on your block. But according to environmental journalist Fred Pearce’s latest book, The New Wild (Beacon Press ... More

Jun 24, 2015 12:01 am by ALLIE DONAHUE

H.W. Brands, Reagan: The Life: Book Review

Another one for the Gipper.

Books Republicans deify him. The Tea Party tries to remake him in its own image. But as H.W. Brands reminds us in his new biography, Reagan: The Life (Doubleday, 816 pages, $35), not even Ronald Reagan ... More

Jun 10, 2015 12:01 am by MATT BUCKINGHAM

Jon Fine, Your Band Sucks

Our band could ruin your life.

Books It’s time to admit that punk rock failed. In terms of widespread cultural revolution, punk and its offspring now sit at the losers’ table with the hippies, watching as hip-hop and electronic ... More

Jun 3, 2015 12:01 am by MATTHEW SINGER

Greg Rucka and Justin Greenwood, Stumptown, Vol. 3

Books Forget what Portlandia or Portland Monthly would have you believe. Scratch the skin of this town and you come up with dirt under your fingernails—theft rings under bridges, child prostitutio ... More

May 20, 2015 12:01 am by MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Jeremy Robert Johnson, Skullcrack City

Hex and violence.

Books Jeremy Robert Johnson is a madman. As poster boy for the locally driven Bizarro fiction movement, he’s spent years combating adherence to a single genre, with several collections of violent, d ... More

May 13, 2015 12:01 am by NATHAN CARSON

Michaelangelo Matos, The Underground Is Massive: Book Review

Books It’s right on the damn cover: “EDM,” highlighted in the divisive and corporate genre tag’s unofficial color, hot pink. Considering the inside pages, the placement of that term on the cov ... More

Apr 29, 2015 12:01 am by MITCH LILLIE

Sam Quinones, Dreamland: Book Review

A nation nods off.

Books In March of 2013, WW ran a cover story titled “Who Wants to Save a Junkie?” It described a drug, Narcan, that could snap users out of heroin overdoses. By then, American OD deaths from opi ... More

Apr 22, 2015 12:01 am by AARON MESH

United We Laugh

Hari Kondabolu doesn’t want you to come for dick jokes.

Comedy and Variety Appearing on Late Night With David Letterman, Conan, Jimmy Kimmel Live and NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, comedian Hari Kondabolu has parlayed a master’s degree in human rights into a successfu ... More

Jul 22, 2015 12:01 am by WILLIAM KENNEDY

Funny Knows Funny

We asked past Funniest 5 comics to pick what’s best at this year’s Bridgetown.

Comedy and Variety Nathan BrannonIMAGE: Inger Klekacz7 Minutes in Purgatory at Doug Fir Lounge, 7 pm Saturday. $20.  Ian Abramson created this show, where comedians do their standup set in a soundproof room to ... More

May 6, 2015 12:01 am by WW Culture Staff

Multnomah Falls (Funhouse Lounge)

The Falls falls, hard.

Comedy and Variety You’d think an improv-fueled, Portland-centric parody of glitzy Reagan-era melodramas was inspired by Portland’s original version—Pillars of Portland, the ’80s PDX soap by former WW colu ... More

Apr 22, 2015 12:01 am by JAY HORTON

Michael McDonald

Comedy and Variety The Michael McDonald headlining Helium Comedy Club is not a silver fox serenader from the Doobie Brothers. But he is silvering, and that’s rare in standup. While SNL retirees go silver on the ... More

Mar 18, 2015 12:01 am by ENID SPITZ

Karmel Kwiz

Comedy and Variety You know who Ian Karmel is. You know he’s one of the biggest standup comedians to come out of Portland, you know he’s written for Chelsea Handler, and you might even know he’s now writing ... More

Feb 4, 2015 12:01 am by JAMES HELMSWORTH

The Haha House

Standup comedy invades the living rooms and garages of Portland.

Comedy and Variety House shows have been a staple of the music scene forever. But there’s a different art form encroaching onto this turf: standup comedy. In a town with more comics than there are open slots ... More

Jan 14, 2015 12:01 am by WW Staff

Lickety Brit

English comic Matt Kirshen makes himself more than a novelty act.

Comedy and Variety As a Brit living in the U.S., comedian Matt Kirshen knows his accent can be a bit distracting. But sometimes, it slips his mind that he sounds different from everyone else. “It’s like th ... More

Nov 26, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

Funniest Five Comics 2014: Number 1, Sean Jordan

Comedy and Variety Sean Jordan is the first to admit he’s somewhat forgettable. A tall, decent-looking white dude, perpetually clad in jeans and a hoodie, he looks like a skater bro who never grew up. Sometimes, ... More

Nov 26, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

Funniest Five Comics 2014: Number 2, Curtis Cook

Comedy and Variety Curtis Cook is used to telling jokes to white people. He got his first crack at standup in middle school in Auburn Township, Ohio, a rural exurb east of Cleveland that’s 97 percent white. The se ... More

Nov 26, 2014 12:01 am by JAMES HELMSWORTH

Funniest Five Comics 2014: Number 3, Steven Wilber

Comedy and Variety Three years ago, Steven Wilber was worn down. He was stuck in an uninspiring administrative job at a collection agency and felt short on creative motivation. So he made himself a promise: seven ... More

Nov 26, 2014 12:01 am by RIHANNA WEISS

À La Mode (Moxie Contemporary Ballet)

A ballet where weight doesn’t matter.

Dance At 5-foot-10, Briley Neugebauer was too tall. At 125 pounds, Amanda Coleman was too heavy. The strict physical requirements for female ballerinas are tighter than their pointe shoes. Which is ... More

Jun 3, 2015 12:01 am by ENID SPITZ

The Blues Project (Dorrance Dance)

New Yorkers swing into Portland’s untapped tap scene.

Dance This ain’t your mama’s tap dancing. There is a drummer on stage. She starts up “this slow and sticky 12-beat blues.” Then the violinist comes in, and the audience starts clapping early ... More

Apr 29, 2015 12:01 am by ENID SPITZ

Open Space

Portland’s dance companies fight breweries for urban real estate.

Dance First, they came for the bars. Now, Portland dance is getting pushed around. In the past seven months, at least four different Portland dance companies have been shunted to new spaces—only som ... More

Apr 1, 2015 12:01 am by KAITIE TODD

Ching Ching Wong (Northwest Dance Project)

For one dancer, NWDP is more than a company, it’s family.

Dance Ching Ching Wong, all 4 feet 11 inches of her, wriggles in her chair as she throws up jazz hands: “I want to dance forever. Like in retirement homes in my wheelchair, I’m going to be killi ... More

Mar 18, 2015 12:01 am by KAITIE TODD

The Box Marked Black

Checking in.

Dance In 2013, as an intern at WW, I wrote this about local actress, teacher and dancer Damaris Webb’s one-woman show The Box Marked Black: “In the absence of easy description, ‘delightful’ will ... More

Mar 4, 2015 12:01 am by ENID SPITZ

Hold Me Closer, Tango Dancer

Clay Nelson built the longest-running tango festival in North America—in Portland.

Dance Clay Nelson knows all about the Portland tango. After all, he’s the main reason it exists. Each year, dancers and instructors come from all over the world to the ValenTango festival he found ... More

Feb 18, 2015 12:01 am by KAITIE TODD

Firewall (BodyVox)

A dance company reveals the tricks behind the technology.

Dance If you saw Inception a few years back, chances are you marveled at the film’s spinning, zero-gravity hallway scene. BodyVox didn’t stop at admiration—the 17-year-old dance company decided ... More

Dec 3, 2014 12:01 am by KAITIE TODD

A-Bout (TopShakeDance)

Dancing themselves black and blue.

Dance TopShakeDance is about to hit the dance floor hard. Literally: To explore competition and groupthink, the company’s newest work, A-bout, employs wrestling mats, mixed martial arts-inspired choreog ... More

Nov 12, 2014 12:01 am by KAITIE TODD

Togetherness (Danielle Ross and Stacey Tran)

Uniting the melodramatic and the mundane.

Dance How would you move if you were a Greek god? That’s just one question posed during Togetherness, a new dance piece by choreographer Danielle Ross. In the piece, dancers strike iconic poses of ... More

Nov 5, 2014 12:01 am by KAITIE TODD

All That Glitters

Allie Hankins channels one of the greatest dancers of the 20th Century.

Dance By the time he was 29, legendary Russian ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky was calling it quits. Allie Hankins, on the other hand, didn’t start dancing until college. Now 30, the local dancer-ch ... More

Oct 22, 2014 12:01 am by KAITIE TODD

Spring Fresh

A few favorite pieces from Portland designers’ spring lines.

Fashion Portland’s fashion is uniquely utilitarian. It’s a lifestyle thing: When you’re riding a bike in the rain, you can’t wear the precious high-heel shoes or spiffy designer suit. We don�� ... More

Feb 18, 2015 12:01 am by LUCAS CHEMOTTI

DGAFuccboi

Are you wearing presentable streetwear?

Fashion From try-hard high-fashion haters to trust-fund hypebeast high-schoolers, the fuccbois are out there, and we’re gonna help you find them. A fuccboi (pronounced like and originating from the ... More

Feb 4, 2015 12:01 am by LUCAS CHEMOTTI

It’s All About... Are You Freakin’ Kidding Me?

Fashion We love a good practical joke, but our nation’s current situation is getting out of control. It’s like the country is collectively living that damn Groundhog Day movie, only instead of the ... More

Apr 1, 2009 12:00 am by Laura Shinn

It’s All About... Hey, lady! What’s in that big-ass bag

Fashion Purse, handbag, tote…whatever you call it these days, lugging around a bag o’ crap is part of a female’s DNA. Even though it’s a health hazard. You heard me: Big bags jam-pack ... More

Mar 18, 2009 12:00 am by Laura Shinn

It’s All About... A Person’s Place For Things

Fashion If you visit Noun (3300 SE Belmont St., 235-0078), the little quirky-chic design and decor shop in Southeast Portland, you’ll think three things: (1) DANG, this place is cute; (2) DANG, let&rsqu ... More

Mar 11, 2009 12:00 am by Laura Shinn

It’s All About... Drugstore Cowgirls

Fashion Ever heard of the diamond sparkle spa set from Body Systems? You know, the $78 lotion and body scrub that supposedly contains 13.25 carats of real ground diamonds? Probably not, because it’s fuc ... More

Feb 25, 2009 12:00 am by Laura Shinn

It’s All About... Sloppy, Happy, Totally Dork-Tacular Love

Fashion You thought we’d pooh-pooh the whole Valentine’s thing, didn’t you? Maybe do an entire “Love is for Losers” column just dedicated to Morrissey, black roses and explicit i ... More

Feb 11, 2009 12:00 am by Laura Shinn

It’s All About... Frank James Goes To The Bins

Fashion PHOTOS BY HEATHER ZINGERWe’d like to publicly thank Jebus for Frank James. No, not the less-famous outlaw and brother of Jesse, but Frank James the PDX store. Opened last fall, the boutique for ... More

Feb 4, 2009 12:00 am by Laura Shinn

It’s All About...Cold Comfort

Fashion Yeah, last week was sunny, but damn if the cold didn’t bite us right in the ass. Know what else bit us? A rhinovirus. That’s right: We have the nastiest lung-buttery malaise this side of t ... More

Jan 21, 2009 12:00 am by Laura Shinn

It’s All About...Inauguration Balls

Fashion Judging from the rabble-rousing and ballyhoo that went down on the streets of Portland on Nov. 4, we’re guessing Jan. 20 is going to be off the hook. After all, Messrs. Obama and Biden are publi ... More

Jan 14, 2009 12:00 am by WW Editorial Staff

The Elixir of Love (Portland Opera)

Bel canto in the Wild West is a refreshing tonic.

Performance If you’re Portland Opera, how do you follow Igor Stravinsky’s prickly, unnerving morality tale, The Rake’s Progress? You veer to the other extreme and close the season with a beloved comedy, G ... More

Jul 15, 2015 12:01 am by RICHARD SPEER

The Rake’s Progress (Portland Opera)

Portland’s Progress is a pop-art take on Freud and Facebook.

Performance Give in to temptation at your own peril: That’s the moral of Igor Stravinsky’s spiky, sexy opera The Rake’s Progress. This archetypal morality play opens in an idyllic countryside, where a c ... More

Jun 10, 2015 12:01 am by RICHARD SPEER

The Phantom of the Opera (Portland Opera)

Lloyd Webber’s music of the night goes flat.

Performance The iconic white mask is still there. So, too, the crystal chandelier that famously crashes at the end of the first act. And those histrionic, undeniably memorable tunes are all intact. But vete ... More

May 20, 2015 12:01 am by RICHARD SPEER

Storefront Revue: The Babes Are Back (Triangle Productions)

Part scandalous musical, part historical biopic.

Performance Three songs after the Kent State shootings, a man unbuttons the front of his costume to expose a massive, star-spangled phallus. Like the legendary 1970s-’90s Portland theater that inspired ... More

May 13, 2015 12:01 am by ENID SPITZ

Carmen at Portland Opera: Review

Portland Opera puts on a cathartic, passionate, bravura production of Carmen.

Performance Portland Opera’s impassioned take on Georges Bizet’s Carmen is the most electrifying production the company has staged since 2010’s sad-clown-fest, Pagliacci. Like that opera, Carmen centers ... More

Feb 11, 2015 12:01 am by RICHARD SPEER

Spring Awakening

Performance picks for spring 2015.

Performance THEATER The Snowstorm As part of Fertile Ground—an 11-day spree of locally produced new works—pianist Eric Nordin and choreographer Jessica Wallenfels collaborate on an original piece of d ... More

Dec 31, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON, KAITIE TODD

Best of the Stage

Performance Death, sex and money featured prominently on Portland stages in 2014. So did punk rock, kitty litter and confetti. The year’s top theater and dance shows embraced raw emotion—several gave ... More

Dec 24, 2014 12:01 am by WW Culture Staff

Die Fledermaus (Portland Opera)

Adultery, masked balls and arias soaked in Champagne.

Performance Viennese waltz maestro Johann Strauss II concocted a delightful trifle with Die Fledermaus, his 1874 operetta about a wayward husband and his comeuppance at the hand of a treacherous friend who ... More

Nov 12, 2014 12:01 am by JOHN BEER

Lulu Luscious

A drag queen with hustle, humility and a fierce hair game.

Performance The success of a drag performance set to Britney Spears’ “I’m a Slave 4 U” rests on a few factors. You need a jungle vixen ensemble, a killer lip-synch (just like Britney’s), sexy gyrati ... More

Sep 24, 2014 12:01 am by AARON SPENCER

The Test of Time

Sex and mythical America in week two of the Time-Based Art Festival.

Performance The first week of the Time-Based Art Festival brought mind-boggling sonic manipulation, walrus imitations, doughnut-themed drag queens, aggressive confrontation of gender expectations and lots a ... More

Sep 17, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON, MATTHEW KORFHAGE, KAITIE TODD

Much Ado About Nothing (Post5)

Tired Shakespeare, turned inside out.

Theater Love him or hate him, Shakespeare had one damn good formula for a hit.  The same premise and plot barrel through practically all his comedies: Factions clash, mistaken identiti ... More

Jul 22, 2015 12:01 am by ENID SPITZ

Twelfth Night (Portland Shakespeare Project)

Three hours of Shakespeare is no picnic, but Nause keeps it cool.

Theater So far this summer, Portland theater has given us Richard III in a park, The Merry Wives of Windsor in a park and Macbeth in a cemetery. Post5 Theatre mixed things up by staging Much Ado About Nothi ... More

Jul 15, 2015 12:01 am by ENID SPITZ

Thoroughly Modern Millie (Broadway Rose): Theater Review

Sexual slavery is something to sing about at Broadway Rose.

Theater As the title suggests, Millie Dillmount is a modern woman. She left her little hometown of Salina, Kan., for life in the big city, determined to find a job—as long as that job has a wealthy, single ... More

Jul 8, 2015 12:01 am by PENELOPE BASS

Summerfest (Coho Productions): Theater Review

Sweet relief from theater’s dog days of drought.

Theater Your lawn isn’t the only thing this heat wave is drying up. During the summer, theater across the nation slows to a meager drizzle, and the occasional Shakespeare galas in the parks ... More

Jul 8, 2015 12:01 am by ALLIE DONAHUE

J.A.W.Z. The Musical—in 3D (The Saloon Ensemble): Theater Review

A shark satire that’s more shallow than sharp.

Theater Comedy sketches, much like sharks, endure as evolutionary marvels of brutal efficiency. They’re borne forward on sheer momentum, form-bound to a brutal functionality and devoid of shame. As audience ... More

Jul 1, 2015 12:01 am by JAY HORTON

Macbeth (Portland Actors Ensemble): Theater Review

Don’t risk your lily-whites for this Scottish play.

Theater Portland’s outdoor theater has shriveled in the sun. It’s a good thing you can strip and cycle with thousands of naked Portlanders, or gorge on Potato Champion’s poutine while ... More

Jun 24, 2015 12:01 am by ALLIE DONAHUE

The Comedy of Errors (Post5 Theatre)

Ty Boice’s twinning update makes Shakespeare hip.

Theater The Comedy of Errors is one of the Bard’s lighter farces, often ignored, and it’s all a rip-off. Shakespeare modernized Roman playwright Plautus’ comedy Menaechmi and directly borrowed m ... More

Jun 17, 2015 12:01 am by EDWARD MORRIS

Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) (Northwest Classical Theatre)

Shakespearean theory in the age of fanfic.

Theater Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) is like fan fiction writ large. A long-suffering grad student falls down a trash-can rabbit hole and into a parallel reality, where the plots of two o ... More

Jun 10, 2015 12:01 am by RIHANNA WEISS

George Washington Slept Here (Twilight Theater Company)

This old house might just fall down.

Theater George Washington Slept Here is one fixer-upper of a play, one of the lesser comedies from legendary playwriting duo George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart (You Can’t Take It With You, The Man Who Came T ... More

Jun 3, 2015 12:01 am by JAY HORTON

The Liar (Artists Repertory Theatre)

Ives’ web of lies flies.

Theater The Liar is flouncing in on the coattails of Portland’s 17th-century comedy binge. Theater Vertigo’s The School for Lies, Portland State University’s The Misanthrope and Portland Center Stage� ... More

Jun 3, 2015 12:01 am by AMY WOLFE

Visual Art: Isaac Tin Wei Lin, Chromatic Intercession

Graphic groupings are a bright idea.

Visual Arts Isaac Tin Wei Lin’s new work at Adams and Ollman might be too bright to handle on a sunny day. Chromatic Intercession juxtaposes vibrant acrylic paintings with pen-and-ink drawings on paper. The ten ... More

Jul 22, 2015 12:01 am by MEGAN HARNED

No Boundaries

Abstract Aboriginal art feels a world apart.

Visual Arts Despite the curator’s opening salvo that “these painters have gone far beyond the boundaries of their community, their ‘country,’ and the very idea of their work as merely ethno-graphic, ... More

Jul 15, 2015 12:01 am by MEGAN HARNED

Don Edler, Boredom Is The Ultimate Weapon: Visual Arts Review

Portland’s junk looks sexy when sculpted.

Visual Arts  In Joshua Tree National Park, with nothing to do and nothing to do it with, Don Edler began Boredom Is the Ultimate Weapon, his ongoing series about what we create when bereft of inspiration.  ... More

Jul 8, 2015 12:01 am by MEGAN HARNED

Ethan Rose, Entwined: A Sound Installation

Art all about that bass.

Visual Arts Ethan Rose’s sound installation at PDX Contemporary Art, Entwined, is about making the invisible visible. Speakers emit tones that oscillate across attached strings, allowing viewers to observ ... More

Jun 10, 2015 12:01 am by MEGAN HARNED

Off The Streets

Portland graffiti waxes genteel.

Visual Arts You will never see the full mural on the west wall of Southeast Stark Street’s Bonfire Lounge. The graffitied wall is a story-high epitaph to Michael Brown, painted by local muralist Ashley ... More

May 27, 2015 12:01 am by ENID SPITZ

Jeremy Okai Davis, Those Days Are Over

Painting a convincing memory lane.

Visual Arts Those Days Are Over began when local artist Jeremy Okai Davis’ landlord gave him an album of photographs left behind by a travel agency. The pictures of friends vacationing in the 1980s inspir ... More

May 13, 2015 12:01 am by MEGAN HARNED

Storefront Revisited

Storefront’s vintage costumes put sexuality front and center.

Visual Arts When a nearly naked black actor played Spartacus in American Theatre Company’s 1969 production of The Gladiator at Portland State University, it was the beginning of the end.Costumes from the co ... More

Apr 29, 2015 12:01 am by MEGAN HARNED

Photography Month at Elizabeth Leach

Rauschenberg and Hilliard go opposite ways.

Visual Arts Call me old-fashioned, but I’ve always had trouble thinking of photography as fine art. Well, Photolucida’s Portland Photo Month shows at Elizabeth Leach are forcing me to reconsider.One of ... More

Apr 8, 2015 12:01 am by MEGAN HARNED

Favorite Portland Art Shows, 2002-2015

Richard Speer’s 10 favorite shows from 2002 to 2015, in chronological order.

Visual Arts Julia Fenton’s Devices and Desires (Mark Woolley Gallery, April 2003) Visually extravagant with pink feathers and over-the-top sculptures, this show was also deeply thoughtful in its critique of ... More

Apr 1, 2015 12:01 am by RICHARD SPEER

PNCA’s New Digs

Look closely for the schooner…

Visual Arts First Thursday’s must-see destination for March was the brand-flippin’-new campus of Pacific Northwest College of Art, which crowns the North Park Blocks at 511 NW Broadway. Although the b ... More

Mar 11, 2015 12:01 am by RICHARD SPEER
 

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