Weekend Plan: Audition Comedians, Sample Chanteuses

We all encounter the same dilemma with our precious time and our entertainment dollars: where to spend? On what and whom? You often can’t know til you’re forty minutes deep whether you’ve chosen a show that suits your taste. This is especially true of the persona-driven, solo-style artists, like comedians and solo/lead musicians. If  you invest in a such a show and then can’t connect to its central PERSON—well, you’re stuck. “I’ll go to a festival,” you might say. “Then I’ll see everyone!” True. And if you have the patience for it, festivals can be a great forum for discovering new favorites. Risk/Reward and TBA will soon let you vet contemporary performers, while PDX POP NOW! will trot out the latest players on the local music scene. But at each of these fests, you’ll have to give each act 20-30 minutes of your energy, like ’em or not.

This weekend, two events offer a quicker turnaround: Siren Nation’s Dolly Hoot trots out a fleet of female singers, and Helium’s Funniest Person in Portland unleashes a cavalcade of comedians. In both events, each performer will be given very limited time, almost like an audition. If you pay attention—or better, take notes—you might find favorites in these disciplines, then look for shows that feature them in the future.


Siren Nation’s 8th Annual Dolly Hoot

Various local female-fronted bands take over the Alberta Rose to put their own spin on a sure thing: Dolly Parton’s song catalogue. The hand-picked 10-act roster includes Ruby Feathers, who bring a country/bluegrass twang; Woodwinds, who, despite the misleading name, revive a 90’s grunge-esque sound; and Brownish Black, who belt it out he-she gospel style.

comedycrowdHelium’s Funniest Person in Portland Contest

The culmination of a week-long throwdown, this contest will peak on Saturday and Sunday, with semi-final and final rounds. Ultimately, Helium will only name one victor—but you’re welcome to gleefully disagree, collecting a short list of favorite funny-people to look for around town in the months to come (until they move to LA, a la Ron Funches and Ian Karmel).


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