What to Do in Portland (Jan. 10-16, 2024)

Milagro’s “¡Huelga!,” which chronicles the life of legendary labor activist Dolores Huerta, helps kick off a new season of theater in Portland.

LISTEN: Word Is Bond: The Black Stars World Premiere With Ken Boddie

Witness the life-changing journey of eight young, local Black men, who spent two weeks in Ghana and had it all documented in The Black Stars. Directed by 21-year-old Portland native Twixx Williams, the film follows the group during their trip to the West African nation for a leadership conference led by Word Is Bond, a local nonprofit focused on mentorship. This premiere will get the red carpet treatment: KOIN’s Ken Boddie hosts, live music is scheduled before the screening, and a panel discussion with the documentary’s subjects gets underway after the show. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-493-1128, hollywoodtheatre.org. 6:30 pm Thursday, Jan. 11. $20-$1,000.

DRINK & EAT: Stoller Wine Dinner

Events are finally back at the former Altabira space on the sixth floor of Hotel Eastlund, occupied by Urban Restaurant Group’s Metropolitan Tavern since 2021. Following its glitzy New Year’s Eve party, the property is kicking off 2024 with this six-course dinner centered on Stoller Family wines. You’ll taste your way through a brut sparkling, pinot noir rose, cabernet sauvignon, riesling and more paired with dishes ranging from pheasant confit salad rolls to wild boar pappardelle. If you didn’t get to toast the new year properly, consider this a do-over. Metropolitan Tavern, 1021 NE Grand Ave., #600, 503-963-3600, eventbrite.com. 6:30 pm Thursday, Jan. 11. $100. 21+.

GO: Fan Expo Portland

There is no shortage of conventions geared toward supernerds these days. And while the quality tends to vary depending on the organizer, Fan Expo—which was founded in 2013 as Wizard World—seems to have secured a pretty solid lineup of celebrity attendees, including Danny Trejo, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jason Lee and Joseph Quinn (aka Eddie, everyone’s favorite D&D Dungeon Master in Stranger Things). You can also let your geek flag fly by attending one of the many cosplay meetups, participate in a lightsaber battle, or track down the Autobots and Decepticons hidden throughout the Convention Center as part of a Transformers-themed scavenger hunt. Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., 503-235-7575, fanexpohq.com/fanexpoportland. 3-8 pm Friday, 10 am-7 pm Saturday, 10 am-5 pm Sunday, Jan. 12-14. $28-$299.

WATCH: ¡Huelga!

From the Hollywood strikes to the autoworkers’ negotiations to the historic Portland Public Schools teacher walkout, laborers’ rights was a predominant theme in 2023 and will likely remain so into the new year. It’s fitting, then, that Milagro’s first production in 2024 focuses on Dolores Huerta, a fierce activist who co-founded the United Farm Workers Association with César Chávez in 1962. Should a performance inspire you to become more involved in the fight for fair pay and working conditions, the theater company is also hosting social justice workshops. Milagro Theatre, 525 SE Stark St., 503-236-7253, milagro.org. Preview 7:30 pm Thursday, Jan. 11. 7:30 pm Friday-Saturday and 2 pm Sunday, Jan. 11-27. $22-$30.

DRINK & EAT: 3rd Annual Brine, Brew & Barrel Fermentation Festival

Does it seem like everyone in Portland but you is pickling vegetables or brewing kombucha shrubs (and talking endlessly about it)? Yes, you’re late to the fermentation party, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still join in. This three-day festival will provide you with all of the basics you need to know to get started—whether you’re interested in sauerkraut, sourdough or cheese. You can expect hands-on workshops on topics like lacto-fermenting daikon, demos with cider and cocktails, and talks on the science behind the process. It’s a lot to learn, we get it. Fortunately, organizers have built in plenty of breaks in the form of a Cider Social, bloody mary brunches, and a Brew Bash Dinner featuring beverages from Tillamook’s de Garde. Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites and Convention Center, 2525 Ashland St., 855-482-8310, oregonfermentationfest.com. 6:30 pm Friday, 9:30 am Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 12-14. $20 for a day pass, $30 for a weekend pass. Kids 12 and younger get in free.

LISTEN: Portland’s Folk Festival

Portland’s Folk Festival began as a one-day event, or as local folk legends and festival hosts Fox and Bones describe it, “a 12-hour love fest,” at McMenamins White Eagle Saloon in 2018. Since then, the event has expanded into a three-day, community-centered celebration of modern folk, Americana and roots music at the Crystal Ballroom. At the 2024 festival, attendees can look forward to a lineup of 15 artists—including Alo, Thunderstorm Artis, Glitterfox, Rainbow Girls, and The Talbott Brothers. The festival will donate proceeds to All Good Northwest—a nonprofit that operates low-barrier homeless shelters. McMenamins Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., 503-225-0047, portlandsfolkfestival.com. 6 pm Friday-Saturday and 2 pm Sunday, Jan. 12-14. $35 for a day pass, $90 for a three-day pass.

WATCH: Imposter/Switch #5

This quarterly show has fun with the common fear of “faking it until you make it.” In the latest installment of Imposter/Switch, six artists specializing in various disciplines have been randomly assigned a new medium that’s not in their wheelhouse and given two weeks to prepare to dazzle you with their new skills (hopefully). That means a classically trained ballerina could end up putting on a puppet show, or a painter might end up on stage tap dancing. No matter what the results are, it should be entertaining. Performance Works NW, 4625 SE 67th Ave., 503-400-6691, pwnw-pdx.org. 8 pm Saturday, Jan. 13. $5-$20 sliding scale.

GO: Old New Year Magic

Wondering how you can celebrate New Year’s Eve twice? Try a little magic, which is the theme of the latest party thrown by Chervona, Portland’s undisputed champion of Russian pop and Romani folk music. In fact, the event is inspired by the Eastern European tradition of marking the Old New Year, also known as Orthodox New Year, which falls on Jan. 14 on the Gregorian calendar. Look at it this way: If you already gave up on a resolution, here’s your chance to count down all over again and start fresh. Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave., 866-777-8932, startheaterportland.com. 9 pm Saturday, Jan. 13. $35-$360. 21+.

WATCH: Sleeping Beauty: The Panto

Forget everything you know about the old fairy tale with a pivotal scene involving consent that is questionable at best and take the kids to this fresh take by The Portland Panto Players, perhaps the city’s only company devoted to the art of British pantomime. Which likely prompts the question, “What the hell is British pantomime?” Well, the Players promise “singing, dancing and lots of audience interactions.” Sounds like a solid way to keep the little ones occupied for an hour or so. Cardinal Theater, 1750 SW Salmon St., portlandpantoplayers.com. 1 and 5 pm Saturday, 11 am and 3 pm Sunday, 7:30 pm Friday, Jan. 13-14, Jan. 19-21. $22 for children and seniors, $28 for adults.

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