Need some wabi-sabi in your life? The Portland Japanese Garden (611 SW Kingston Avenue, Portland) makes it accessible with their annual Arts and Crafts Show and Sale, running Aug. 1- Sept. 8. More than 35 artists will present ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, jewelry, and textiles for sale in the Garden Pavilion; in addition, on most Saturday and Sunday mornings during the sale, a wide array of artisans will host live demonstrations of their handiwork. The garden is open Mondays, noon-7 p.m., and Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; admission is $9.50 for adults, with discounted admission for seniors, college students, and youth. For more information, visit JapaneseGarden.com.
PQ’s own Belinda Carroll is a semifinalist to be the nation’s Next Great Queer Comedian in a competition sponsored by Advocate.com, OUTLAUGH, and Zanie’s Chicago. If Belinda makes it to the finals, she’ll I get to go to sexy, sexy Chicago and compete in a line-up with eight of the hottest queer comedians today for a chance to win the title, $2,000, and a full-page article in the Advocate in which she will definitely talk about how rad PQ readers are and what handsome beasts the PQ staff writers are. So, help a sister out: go to advocate.com/comedy, click on “WATCH AND VOTE: Who Is The Next Great Queer Comedian?” and select our lady Belinda. You can only vote until Aug. 20, but you can vote every day until then — so vote early and vote often!
Boylescapade! The name alone deserves to be followed by that “woo woo” live studio audience noise that always happens when people kiss on sitcoms. This boylesque extravaganza will demand many such “woo woos,” with such local gentlemen as Esequiel Cortez, Isaiah Tillman, and Tod Alan gracing the stage along with international guest James AndTheGiant Pasty and lovely host Zora Phoenix. Everything goes down Aug. 23 at Crush (1400 SE Morrison, Portland), with doors at 8 p.m. for advance ticketholders (available at boylescapade.bpt.me/) and general admission doors at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 general admission, $15 VIP, and — for the fanciest amongst us — $50 for an entire VIP table. Trust us: go for the table.
Are you ready to FOLK ROCK!? Well, mark your calendar for Aug. 24, when queer folk troubadours Tom Goss and Jeremiah Clark play at the Metropolitan Community Church (2400 NE Broadway, Portland). The church’s beautiful sanctuary has some of the best acoustics in the city, as well as a marvelous concert grand piano — so you definitely do not want to miss these two filling the beautiful space with their beautiful sounds. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m.; tickets are $10, available at TomGossMusic.net.
Get wild at “A Midsummer Night’s Somnambulism,” Fuse Theatre Ensemble’s presentation of Shakespeare’s classic play told during an overnight camping adventure at Bagby Hot Springs. This real-time, site-specific, fully experiential rendition casts Lysander and Hermio as men, while Demetria and Helena are women — setting the stage for “Midsummer” to be queerer than ever. The camp-out begins Aug. 24 at 2 p.m. and lasts until Aug. 25 — so clear your calendar, because it’s one night only. Tickets are $35, including campsite and hot tub fees. Upon purchasing a ticket, attendees will receive their “wedding invitation” from Philostrate, Master of Revels, including a camping checklist and other critical logistical details. It may sound a bit complex overall — but man, will it be worth it in the end. For more information, go to FusePDX.org.
Diva watch: two major pop queens are releasing singles from their highly-anticipated new albums. Part one: Lady Gaga drops “Applause,” the first official single off the forthcoming album “Artpop,” on Aug. 19. While we must give Mother Monster props for her recent work with Marina Abramovic, if Gaga’s leaked demo track “Burqua/Aura” is any indication, “Applause” will be at least a little bit offensive (again, folks, she’s singing about burquas) and we’ll shortly go back to pretending that she was dead. Part two: Katy Perry released “Roar,” a track from the soon-to-be-released ‘Prism,’ on Aug. 12. While the pre-release promotional clips clearly conveyed Perry’s subliminal cry “marrying Russell Brand and practicing Transcendental Meditation left me utterly demonized and thus I went kind of goth,” we’re just pleased that Perry burned her blue wig. You know what? Whatever — call us hipsters, but we’re really most excited about Neko Case releasing her new album “The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You” on Sept. 3. Have you heard the singles “Man” or “Night Still Comes” yet? If not, get on it. You’ll thank us shortly.
The consistently bold and brilliant defunkt theatre presents their season launch party and silent auction fundraiser on Sept. 4. Mingle with your favorite defunktionals and their marvelous guest artists and bid on a plethora of sexy trips, services, artwork, products and other fabulousness to support experimental theatre in the Rose City. DJ Tammy Whynot’s delightful Tender Mom Jams may make you want to break out your rollerskates, so be sure to keep your kneepads in your car. Enjoy the fun from 6 p.m. onwards on Sept. 4 at Crush (1412 SE Morrison); for more info, visit defunktheatre.com.
The sixth annual — yet sadly final — Peacock After Dark, hosted by Portland’s crown jewels Maria Peters Lake and Poison Waters, assembles some of the city’s finest entertainment as they present over $15,000 in scholarships to some wonderfully deserving students. Sometimes campy, sometimes cutting edge, but always entertaining, Peacock After Dark is a top-notch, family-friendly way for the community to come together. The celebration occurs Sept. 8 at the Newmark Theater (1111 SW Broadway, Portland). Tickets are $35 — available from TicketsWest.com, the PCPA Box Office, or from any Peacock Productions, Inc. / Audria M. Edwards Scholarship Fund board member. (If you’re out and about in town, you probably know at least one.)
Join Basic Rights Oregon’s Racial Justice and Transgender Justice programs for Front and Center: Racial Justice and Trans Justice Showcase. Featuring singer Kokumo, poet Kit Yan, and local performers from our shared communities, proceeds from the show support BRO’s Racial Justice and Transgender Justice programs. The all-ages event occurs at 6 p.m. on Sept. 12 at SMYRC (2406 NE Sandy #101, Portland); tickets are $10 online, $15-20 sliding scale at the door, with no one turned away for lack of funds.