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Also, check out some Portland events to consider attending in the next week or so.

Big birthday

John "Elvis" Schroder, a longtime fixture of downtown Portland as he serenades people at Saturday Market with the King of Rock and Roll's songs, turns 60 years old, and there'll be a birthday party at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at The Vern, 2622 S.E. Belmont St.

There'll be live music performances, including by "Elvis" Schroder, accompanied by guitarist Erik Menteer, formerly of Blitzen Trapper.

"Elvis" has performed at the Rose Festival and appeared as grand marshal of the Starlight Parade. He has been on "The Tonight Show" twice. He performs each Friday at Dante's.

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New artistic director

Artists Repertory Theatre has named Jeanette Harrison its new artistic director, replacing Damaso Rodriguez.

Harrison transitions into the role starting Oct. 1, following a national search after the departure of Dámaso Rodríguez earlier this year. Well known in the San Francisco Bay Area as the co-founder and artistic director of the award-winning AlterTheater, Harrison developed the ground-breaking AlterLab playwright residency program and has led more than 25 new plays to world premiere productions. Artists Rep said Harrison's award-winning work coupled with her approach and dedication to developing and producing new plays — as well as a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion — make her the ideal creative leader; only the third artistic director in ART's 41-year history.

Latin American films

Reminder: The Portland Latin American Film Festival returns for its 16th version, Sept. 28 to Dec. 7 at Hollywood Theatre.

There will be feature films, documentaries and short films from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Uruguay and the United States. The films can be enjoyed by Spanish, Portuguese and English speakers and other lovers of Latin culture.

The festival serves as a vehicle to showcase Latin American perspectives through films and increasing visibility of Latin American cinema.

The festival kicks off on 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, at with the 2011 film "Mighty Victoria (Poderoso Victoria)," and director Raul Ramon and Mexican actor Roberto Sosa will be in attendance to introduce the film and participate in a question-answer session after the screening at Hey Love in the Jupiter Next Hotel, 920 S.E. Burnside St.

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'Thriller' dance

The 16th Thrill the World Portland dance, part of a global dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller," takes place at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at Irving Park, Northeast Seventh Avenue and Fremont Street. And, there'll be two more practice dances to prepare people: 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 1-2, at the Irving Park covered courts.

It benefits KBOO Community Radio.

To prepare you at home, here are the details of how to dance, courtesy of the Thrill the World folks (and you can also find instruction on YouTube):

Step 1 — Turn to the left, raising your hands in front of you like a begging zombie-dog. Stand on your left leg.

Step 2 — Now turn to the right. Keep your arms in the same position, but stand on your right left.

Step 3 — Crouch down with both hands on your knees. Extend your left foot away from your body.

Olivia Newton-John

Portland's TidalWave Comics honors late performer Olivia Newton-John with a "Tribute" comic book. It was released in time for the icon's birthday, Sept. 26.

It was written by Sandra C. Ruckdeschel with an epilogue by Michael Frizell, and it's illustrated by Alessandro Miracle and Pablo Martinena.

It's available digitally and in print.

COURTESY PHOTO: TIDALWAVE COMICS  - TidalWave Comics gives the late Olivia Newton-John the comic book treatment.Part of the proceeds will be donated to the ONJ Foundation. Newton-John was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992. She died earlier this year.

"We were honored to work with Olivia on a comic book years ago. She gave us her insight and exclusive info which we have used in this issue as well. She was amazing and inspiring to work with," said TidalWave's publisher, Darren G. Davis.

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Upcoming events

• White Bird Dance launches its 25th anniversary season with "Swing Out," a Joyce Theater production featuring the best swing dancers in the United States and a live band. It takes place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

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• Intergalactic lords and masters Gwar brings its act on their "Black Death Rager" tour to Roseland Theater, 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30. Its new album is "The New Dark Ages," and the band also has a new documentary, "This is Gwar," available on horror streaming service Shudder.

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• The Oregon Brewers Guild's Portland Fresh Hops Festival celebrates 18 years, 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at Oaks Amusement Park.

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• The great trumpet player and Oregon native Chris Botti returns to Portland to play with the Oregon Symphony, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1.

Botti grew up in Corvallis, attending Crescent Valley High School through his junior year (with the exception of living a couple years in Italy), and then moved to Portland to attend Mt. Hood Community College, where he could finish his high school requirements and begin college classes — and play clubs at night.

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• My Chemical Romance comes through Portland on tour and plays Moda Center, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2.

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