What to Do This Week (March 2-8)

Watch one of the final plays from Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson, listen to Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr. sing with the Oregon Symphony, or stuff yourself with beer and chili and vote for your favorite.

WATCH | Gem of the Ocean

One of the final plays from Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson, Gem of the Ocean is about Citizen Barlow, a man whose quest for redemption leads him to the City of Bones, a metropolis in the Atlantic Ocean created from the bones of African slaves. In Portland Center Stage’s production, Henry Noble plays Citizen Barlow and Treasure Lunan plays Aunt Ester Tyler, the 285-year-old healer who inspires Citizen’s journey. The play is an installment in the Pittsburgh Cycle, Wilson’s 10-part chronicle of 20th century Black lives. Portland Center Stage, 128 NW 11th Ave., 503-445-3700, pcs.org. 7:30 pm Wednesday-Sunday, 2 pm Saturday-Sunday, 2 pm select Thursdays, March 5-April 3. $21-$87.

EAT | Beer and Chili Festival

If you want to ignite a passionate debate, start talking about chili. Meat only, beans or bust, spicy, chocolaty, or in a Frito pie—everyone has a preference and thinks that every other style is an abomination. There’s no better place to take your strong opinions about chili than Uptown Beer’s annual festival, where seven Portland-area breweries will be trying to win you over with their take on the dish. Each bowl will be paired with a beer, and once you sample them all, you’ll get to vote for your favorite. Uptown Beer, 6620 SW Scholls Ferry Road, 503-336-4783, uptownbeer.co. 3 pm Saturday, March 5. $45 includes a glass, sticker, 4-ounce samples of each beer paired with 2-ounce samples of each chili, and a pint. 21+.

GO | Smoulder

It’s hard to imagine something as devastating as the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire inspiring anything beautiful, but the blaze is exactly what prompted a new musical work. Smoulder, written by award-winning Portland composer Andrea Reinkemeyer, underscores how fragile the Pacific Northwest’s treasured natural settings can be in an age of increased wildfire danger. The production is a partnership between Friends of the Columbia Gorge and the Metropolitan Youth Symphony to help educate the public about climate change and elevate young voices. Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 503-248-4335, playmys.org. 7:30 pm Sunday, March 6. $11-$38.

GO | Abya Yala

With vision and verve, Resonance Ensemble has repeatedly proved that choral music can work under pandemic restrictions—they even sounded sublime when they wore masks for their Under the Overpass concerts. Abya Yala, which will showcase the music and visual art of Indigenous artists, promises to be one their ambitious and imaginative ventures, not least of all because it features the world premiere of the Abya Yala Choral Suite, which was composed by the Chilean-born Portland composer Freddy Vilches. Cerimon House, 5131 NE 23rd Ave., 503-307-9599, resonancechoral.org. 7:30 pm Saturday and 3 pm Sunday, March 5-6. $10-$35.

GO | Leslie Odom Jr. with the Oregon Symphony

In a season that runs the gamut from Beethoven to Ben Folds, the Oregon Symphony’s buzziest move might be collaborating with Leslie Odom Jr., who won a 2016 Tony Award for his performance as Aaron Burr in Hamilton. Norman Huynh conducts the concert, which will feature both jazz and Broadway songs. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 503-248-4335, orsymphony.org. 7:30 pm Thursday, March 3. $45-$125.