What to Do in Portland (Feb. 21–27, 2024)

Black Grace returns to White Bird for the first time since 2013 for one performance only,

White Bird: Black Grace (Taoki Okano)

GO: Hell, I Love Everybody: An Evening of James Tate Poetry

Local poets will gather at Broadway Books to celebrate the release of Hell, I Love Everybody, a collection of essential James Tate poems. Tate, who died in 2015, wrote poems described by the Poetry Foundation as “tragic, comic, absurdist, ironic, hopeful, haunting, lonely and surreal.” The 52 poems in the new volume provide readers with a poem for every week of the year, every mood and season. Featured writers at the Broadway Books event will include John Morrison, Zachary Schomburg and Leni Zumas. Masks are required at this event. Broadway Books, 1714 NE Broadway, 503-284-1726, broadwaybooks.net. 6 pm Wednesday, Feb. 21. Free.

GO: Black Grace New Zealand dance company

Black Grace returns to White Bird for the first time since 2013 for one performance only, on Feb. 21. Choreographer Neil Ieremia fuses contemporary dance with traditional Samoan movement to create a program that is “eloquent, spiritual, athletic and lyrical,” according to organizers. This company’s efforts to embrace the diversity of New Zealand’s multicultural population have garnered critical and audience acclaim from around the world. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, whitebird.org. 7:30 pm Wednesday, Feb. 21. $12–$95.

GO: Great White Gives It Up

The Fuse Theatre Ensemble play Great White Gives It Up follows the love saga of Bert (Patrick Hilton) and Sandeep (Ajai Tripathi) as they discover whether love across cultures can really last. The couple travels to Ireland, where Bert hopes to propose to Sandeep, but their romantic getaway turns into a historical adventure, as they immerse themselves in the stories of Indian and Irish freedom fighters. They face questions about their own identities, cultures and histories, along the way leaving the audience wondering if they’ll find their happy ending. This is a sequel to Tripathi’s play Great White Gets Off, but the 80-minute production also stands on its own. On Feb. 24 and March 2, Fuse will run a 5 pm matinee of Great White Gets Off before the 7:30 pm Great White Gives It Up performance for those wanting to catch up. Fuse Theatre Ensemble at The Back Door Theater, 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd., fusetheatreensemble.com. 7:30 pm Thursday–Saturday, 3 pm Sunday, through March 10. Free, but tickets must be reserved.

WATCH: Psycho Beach Party

As part of its Great Escape series, the Tomorrow Theater screens the 2000 cult classic Psycho Beach Party, directed by Robert Lee King. It’s a mashup spoof of ‘50s psychodramas, ‘60s beach movies and ‘80s slashers all in one, based on a play by Charles Busch. The plot follows teenager Chicklet (Lauren Ambrose) who wants to fit in with the cool Malibu surfers, but her multiple personality disorder makes it difficult. Squint and you’ll see Amy Adams in a supporting role. Tomorrow Theater, 3530 SE Division St. 503-221-1156, tomorrowtheater.org. 7 pm Thursday, Feb. 22. $15.

LISTEN: The Music of David Bowie with John Cameron Mitchell

Calling all Bowie fans: the Starman’s music will be honored and his life remembered through his farewell album, Blackstar, released in 2016 just before his death. It’ll be performed by the Oregon Symphony and vocal icon, actor, writer and director John Cameron Mitchell, who created Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Tim Davies conducts. The evening includes a celebration of Bowie’s iconic song catalog, including “Space Oddity,” “Life on Mars” and “Heroes.” Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 503-248-4335, orsymphony.org. 7:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 22. $25–$85.

LAUGH: Ben Miller’s Stand-up Science

Lovers of science and comedy gather for this multimedia performance by Ben Miller. He employs personal stories to explore topics like his medical condition, his childhood history with milk, and more through a unique comedic lens. Miller holds degrees in materials science and engineering from Columbia University, worked with electron microscopes, taught science on a bus, and 3D-printed cookies, creating a scientific résumé worth boasting about. But his status as the top roast battler in NYC who’s performed at all the top clubs, such as Broadway Comedy Club, Stand Up NY, Dangerfield’s, Carolines, and The Stand are why people flock to these shows. He even sold out every show at the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, so tickets for this one are expected to go fast. Brunish Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 503-248-4335, portland5.com. 7:30 pm Friday, Feb. 23. $25.

GO: The Evolve Experience

The Evolve Experience is a two-day-only event by the Red Door Project showcasing monologues meant to inspire true dialogue. This award-winning show tells real-life stories from police officers, judges and Black community members as they share their journeys and perspectives. Afterward, through a facilitated discussion, they hope to be the spark for change by offering unfiltered voices and sympathetic ears. “We don’t have to like or even agree with what we hear, but through our common humanity we will build the world we want to live in, and that begins with listening,” director Kevin Jones says. Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, 12625 SW Crescent St., Beaverton, 971-501-7722, reddoorproject.org/evolve-experience-show. 7:30 pm Friday-Saturday, Feb. 23–24. $24.

EAT: Chowder Fest

This event hosts five local chefs showcasing their culinary skills and creativity with five different chowders, ranging from traditional to adventurous. Attendees can sample each one and then vote on their favorite; there will also be wine tastings and live music. Participating chefs this year are from Metropolitan Tavern, Southpark Seafood, Dan & Louis Oyster Bar, the Benson and Tanner Spring. Half of all proceeds will be donated to the Oregon Humane Society. Foundry at Oswego Pointe, 320 Oswego Pointe Drive, Lake Oswego, eventbrite.com. Noon–4 pm Saturday, Feb 24. $35. 21+.

DRINK: Hillsdale Brewfest

Hillsdale Pub & Brewery holds a place in Oregon’s beer history as the first brewpub in the state after Prohibition ended, and that’s something worth celebrating. This cozy pub near Ida B. Wells High School was founded in 1985; the brewfest started eight years later. This year’s 31st annual Brewfest is a weekendlong event that will allow attendees to vote on their favorites in the Battle of the Belt. They’ll also have two taster trays to choose from (each with nine beers), food specials, and two Saturday performances by an ‘80s cover band. McMenamins Hillsdale Brewery & Public House, 1505 SW Sunset Blvd., 503-223-0109, mcmenamins.com. 11 am–8 pm Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 24-25. $18.

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