Chuck Wendig in Conversation with Cassandra Khaw
Bestselling author of Star Wars: Aftermath and Wanderers, Chuck Wendig has another gripping, smart work of literary horror for you to gobble down. The Book of Accidents has enough family secrets, forgotten trauma, and haunted family history to make you want to stay away, but Wendig’s prose just won’t let you go. He’s also a little more fun to watch onstage than most authors. Wendig will be joined by game writer and author Cassandra Khaw. Register for the Zoom event at powells.com. 5 pm Thursday, July 29. Free.
Sketch and standup comedian Nicole Byer held us all together this past year with her amazing sex and relationships podcast Why Won’t You Date Me? riffing on everything from polyamory to butt stuff to grown-up breakups. She’s an Upright Citizens Brigade alum and has worked on shows like Girl Code. You’ve most recently obsessed over her endless one-liners on Netflix’s Nailed It! or the gift basket of character voices she performs on Cartoon Network’s Tuca & Bertie. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 10th Ave., portland.heliumcomedy.com. 7:15 pm Thursday, 7 and 9:30 pm Friday-Saturday, July 29-31. $25. 21+.
Oregon’s landscape is said to be its own character in this locally shot film, so it’s fitting that Lorelei will get to debut in a movie theater, allowing audiences to soak in the state’s natural beauty on the big screen. A backdrop of mist-shrouded forests sets the tone for a fable about second chances in which Wayland (Pablo Schreiber) reconnects with his high school girlfriend Dolores (Jena Malone) after being released from prison for armed robbery. With Dolores now a single mother of three—all named after shades of blue—Wayland finds himself in the role of reluctant father figure not long after they reunite. Regret and missed opportunities weigh on both of them, but that ultimately gives way to a renewed sense of hope. Catch one of the two evening screenings at Living Room for a Q&A session with first-time director Sabrina Doyle. Living Room, 341 SW 10th Ave., pdx.livingroomtheaters.com. 7:15 and 9:25 pm Friday, July 30. $13.75.
Minority Retort Presents: Neel Nanda
This long-standing showcase with a focus on comedians of color is also, hands down, one of the best curated comedy showcases in the city. Neel Nanda’s strange thought trajectories about dating, roommates and beatboxing are great examples of what Minority Retort brings on the regular. Will there be a piano so he can do “Piano Jokes”? The crowd is hungry for it. Carlos Windham and Anthony Robinson also appear. Jason Lamb and Julia Ramos host. Siren Theater, 315 NW Davis St, sirentheater.com. 8 pm Friday, July 30. $25.
Dreckig and Yawa
Dreckig and Yawa are two very idiosyncratic Portland bands that really know how to put on a show. Formed by two Portland scene stalwarts, Dreckig performs their krautrock cumbia wearing metallic hooded capes, like some kind of flute-solo space wizards. There’s a certain alchemy to Yawa’s stage presence, too. The singer and loop-pedal virtuoso blends hip-hop-influenced beats with swirling electronica that’s equally trance-inducing and danceable. Kelly’s Olympian, 426 SW Washington St., kellysolypian.com. 9 pm Friday, July 30. $8 advance, $10 at the door. 21+.
Lots of Laughs: Bri Pruett
Bri Pruett’s Blazers huddle joke is borderline immortal in terms of how many times you can hear it and somehow find it’s still funny and fresh as a daisy. Her 2016 one-woman show Stellar bordered on a serious piece of art—in addition to just making the audience laugh and cry all over their soft, sweet hearts. Pruett is one of many talented Portland-area original comics making her way back home to visit as society continues to cautiously open up. The Lots of Laughs venue is well ventilated—it’s the Helium parking lot. Helium Comedy Club,1510 SE 9th Ave. 5 pm Sunday, July 31. $15. Bring your own chair, or sit on the pavement like a serf.
Putney Swope (1969)
Written and directed by the late Robert Downey Sr., this satirical comedy follows Putney Swope (Arnold Johnson), the only Black executive at an advertising agency. After he’s accidentally voted the new chairman of the board, Putney quickly finds success in his new role by completely overhauling the company, leading the uptight U.S. government to consider him a threat. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-493-1128, hollywoodtheatre.org. 7:30 pm Tuesday, Aug. 3. $8-$10.