Stream: WW’s Funniest Five Showcase
Every year, Willamette Week surveys the local comedy community to find the city's best comics. Usually, that leads to a live standup showcase held in a packed theater somewhere in town. Of course, that can't happen this year. But in Portland, funny never stops. So we're going digital. Bri Pruett, herself a finalist in the poll's inaugural 2013 edition, hosts the Funniest Five Class of 2021, who'll be coming to you live from their living rooms and doing some show-and-tell with their variation quarantine projects. It's the live incarnation of the "Could a depressed person make this?" meme, except funny. Mostly funny. 6 pm Thursday, Feb. 18. $5-$15. Get tickets here.
Watch: “Young Hearts”
As much a tribute to the beauty of our fair city as a ballad to the seismic feels sparked by first love, just-released high school rom-com Young Hearts might seem like the sort of slice-of-life story to have sprung from the mind of an exceptionally talented Portland teen. But Sarah and Zachary Ray Sherman, the locally raised brother-sister team behind the film, are well past adolescence. Still, the two manage to capture the essence of a coming-of-age romance. Originally premiering at the Slamdance Film Festival as Thunderbolt in Mine Eye, the movie stars two of Zachary Ray Sherman's Everything Sucks! castmates: Anjini Taneja Azhar as a high school freshman, and Quinn Liebling as her older brother's best friend and love interest. Shot in just 15 days on a shoestring budget, Young Hearts managed to secure the support of the Duplass brothers, who came on as executive producers, and just saw its widespread release last Friday. On Demand. Read more here.
Stream: An Evening with Robert Michael Pyle and David Cross
In last year's The Dark Divide, comedian David Cross played Robert Michael Pyle, a bereaved lepidopterist chasing butterflies through the Pacific Northwest wilderness while mourning his late wife and wearing a vintage Lewis and Clark College sweatshirt. It's an account of the nature writer's trek through the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, captured in his 1995 book, Where Bigfoot Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide. (Yes, there is a Sasquatch element.) Tonight, the real Pyle—who did teach at L&C for a time—and the fictionalized one come together for a conversation, moderated by author Kathleen Dean Moore, whose book Wild Comfort also explores the intersection of grief and nature. 6 pm Friday, Feb. 19. $5. Go here for tickets.
Watch: “Little Miss Sunshine”
Chloé Zhao's materful drama, Nomadland, is getting a lot of awards buzz, and will debut on Hulu Feb. 19. If streaming that film sparks a desire to watch some other tales of the open road, you can't go wrong with Little Miss Sunshine. The Oscar-nominated 2006 indie dramedy follows a dysfunctional family traveling from New Mexico to California in their rundown VW van to escort 7-year-old Olive (Abigail Breslin) to a beauty pageant. The all-star ensemble of Steve Carell, Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Paul Dano and Alan Arkin deliver stellar performances. Amazon Prime, Google Play, Hulu and other streaming platforms.
Stream: Blue Lab Beats at PDX Jazz Festival
PDX Jazz Festival is still happening this year—and you don't have to leave the safety of your home to participate. The 10 days of virtual concerts and movie screenings kicks off on February 18, and in the first few days alone, you can catch performances streaming from Portland, Havana and London. This workshop-performance-Q&A hybrid with Blue Lab Beats is sure to be a highlight. The UK duo blends smooth jazz with futuristic hip-hop, and are at the forefront of a rising generation of genre-fusing jazz musicians. 5 pm Saturday, Feb. 20. Free. See pdxjazz.com for streaming information.
Stream: Medicare for All Rave
If anyone's going to get you hype about improving America's depressing health care system, it's Maarquii. The Portland rapper and vouger has spent the past year forming the House of Juju, working on community aid and brewing spiritual oils. This week, they're performing a rare virtual set as the headliner Rhythm Nation's Medicare for All Rave. The Twitch stream will kick off with a local panel discussing a campaign to achieve universal healthcare by 2022. Then, there'll be live performances–along with Maarquii, there'll be a whomping beat set from J.Phlip and a set from local producer-rapper Theory Hazit. 8 pm Saturday, Feb. 20. twitch.tv/holoceneportland.
Listen: Sun Kin’s “After the House”
L.A.'s Sun Kin (a.k.a. Mumbai-born Kabir Kumar) hits a fearsome stride on After the House, whose title gives away its genre allegiance. Dignified and hard-hitting, its seven-track structure as redolent of Gaucho as its gloss, After the House starts with the sound of classic Chicago house producers like Frankie Knuckles and Larry Heard and blesses it with yacht-rock pixie dust. Kumar's disarmingly angelic voice isn't the focus this time around, but they're at least as fearsome as a producer as they are a singer. Stream on Spotify.
Hear: “The Berlin Diaries”
"He who forgets what he cannot change is happy." Those words are spoken multiple times in Andrea Stolowitz's The Berlin Diaries, but not because she believes them. The play is about Stolowitz's fraught relationship with the journal of her great-grandfather, Max Cohnreich, a Jewish doctor who escaped Berlin during the Holocaust. It has been reconfigured as an audio drama by Artists Repertory Theatre, a transformation that hasn't diminished either its intense compassion or its offbeat wit. Stream at artistsrep.org.
Watch: “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy”
Actor Stanley Tucci, aka the Tooch, became everyone's mature COVID boyfriend during the first wave of quarantine via his Instagram cocktail-making tutorials. (He was making them for his wife, but she was behind the camera, so it was easy to pretend she didn't exist.) Now, CNN is harnessing his Big Zaddy Energy for this six-part documentary series, filmed in the major food regions of Italy between the country's coronavirus surges last summer. It's a mix of travel porn, food porn and several other fetishes, which at this stage of self-isolation will either be torturous or rapturous to experience vicariously, depending on how desperately you want to be whisked off on an international vacation by a charming middle-aged bald man who knows how to make a mean negroni. New episodes Sunday at 9 pm on CNN.