What to Do in Portland This Week (Sept. 7-13, 2022)

Watch legendary blues player John Primer perform, laugh at Broke Gravy’s improv stylings, help clean up the Clackamas River, or savor the flavors of the season at a tomato festival.

broke-gravy Photo by Talon Bigelow

LISTEN: John Primer Blues Benefit Concert

Born and raised in a Mississippi sharecropper shack, his father tragically dying at the age of 22 and his mother abandoning him to live with relatives shortly thereafter, musician John Primer certainly has the résumé to sing the blues. His talent and authenticity led him to quick acceptance in the up-and-coming Chicago blues scene in the 1960s, and later a place in legendary Muddy Waters’ band. Since then, Primer has recorded more than 87 albums, earned two Grammy nominations and been inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame. This week, he brings his talents to the historic Alberta Abbey for a concert benefiting local nonprofits. Alberta Abbey, 126 NE Alberta St., albertaabbey.org. 7-11 pm Thursday, Sept. 8. $25-$150.

DRINK: Beer Flights & Dinner

Oregon Garden Resort’s neighbor, Silver Falls Brewery, is highlighted in its latest beer dinner series, where you’ll get four 4-ounce pours alongside four courses of food as well as one full pint of your favorite brew. Be sure to tour the property’s late summer blooms before they disappear. Inquire with the resort about special overnight packages. Oregon Garden Resort, 895 W Main St., Silverton, 503-874-2500, oregongardenresort.com. 6-8 pm Friday, Sept. 9. $45. 21+.

WATCH: Shroom Show: A Foraging Tour

There’s a little something for everyone in Fuse Theatre Ensemble’s latest production. It’s part variety show, part opera, part forest hike, part treasure hunt, part hero’s journey, and appropriate for all ages (with parental discretion). At its mycelia, Shroom Show is about examining humanity’s relationship with fungi. Most performances take place at Tryon Life Community Farm, so grab your foraging basket. A few indoor stagings at Back Door Theater are scheduled for those who aren’t into slogging along a trail. Tryon Life Community Farm, 11640 SW Boones Ferry Road; Back Door Theater, 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd.; fusetheatreensemble.com. 6 pm Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 9-Oct. 2. Free.

WATCH: Blithe Spirit

Lakewood Theatre Company is opening its 70th season with Sir Noël Coward’s supernatural comedy Blithe Spirit, a reprisal of its very first production. If you’ve never seen the classic farce, consider it a cautionary tale about séances. Replete with Coward’s wit and charm, Blithe Spirit is considered a comedic masterpiece. And if you book your tickets on certain Wednesdays, you can participate in complimentary wine or whiskey tastings before the show. Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S State St., Lake Oswego, 503-635-3901, lakewood-center.org. 7:30 pm Wednesday-Saturday, 2 pm Sunday, Sept. 9–Oct. 16. $25-$39.

LAUGH: Broke Gravy

The masterminds behind Broke Gravy (Eric Simons, Leon Anderson and Chris Williams) have earned comedic clout over the years, and most recently snagged a much-desired slot at the TEDxPortland seminar. The trio will next unleash their improv skills at Clinton Street Theater, drawing inspiration from three local storytellers (Flynne Olivarez, Monica Dailey and Mary C. Parker) who will also take the stage. A portion of the proceeds go to Kickstand Comedy’s BIPOC improv program. Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St., 503-719-5685, brokegravy.com. 8 pm Saturday, Sept. 10. $15 presale, $20 at the door.

GO: Down the River Cleanup

Every year, volunteers pull approximately 2 tons of trash out of the Clackamas River during an end-of-summer cleanup—detritus left, undoubtedly, by buzzed jerks on inner tubes, but also clumsy kayakers or kids playing along the banks who accidentally drop a food wrapper or lose a shoe. Earn a pat on the back and then enjoy a free cookout by joining the ranks of these noble junk collectors for the annual event, which organizers promise is 90% leisurely floating. Clackamas River (various start locations), welovecleanrivers.org. 8 am-5 pm Sunday, Sept. 11. Free.

EAT: Wellspent Market’s 2nd Annual Tomato Fest

If your taste for tomatoes has evolved past McDonald’s ketchup packets (or even if not), head to Wellspent Market’s 2nd Annual Tomato Fest. It’s a chance to educate your palate with free tasting kits from Oregon State University’s vegetable program, learn about more sustainable tomato-growing methods, and gather some sweet and savory tomato-based treats from local bakery Lauretta Jean’s. There will also be BLTs, an Italian housewares market, and a bulk tomato pre-purchase option for those looking to channel their inner sauce-making nonna. Wellspent Market, 935 NE Couch St., 503-987-0828, wellspentmarket.com. Noon-4 pm Sunday, Sept. 11. Free.

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