Our music critics have already chosen the 39 best concerts in Seattle this week, but now it's our arts critics' turn to pick the best events in their areas of expertise. Here are their picks in every genre—from This Is What Resistance Looks Like with Ijeoma Oluo to Wellesley Girl, and from Beer and Ballet (featuring Ballet on Broadway) to the closing week of Jacob Lawrence's The Migration Series at SAM. See them all below, and find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.
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MONDAYFOOD & DRINK
"Two chefs. Two taco specials. Only one winner." Chef Alvin and Chef Mark of Wallingford eatery mkt. are throwing down to see who makes the best taco in the city. Their last culinary battle (involving ramen) was a tie, so it's safe to say the pressure is on.
Moving Mountains: Healing the Ideological Divide
The 2016 election revealed how terrifyingly deep the political gap between city and country has grown. Following the advice of Philip Bump of the Washington Post, who advocated friendly outreach to Trump voters, Anika Anand and Monica Guzman of the Evergrey set out for Sherman County, Oregon, where 74% of the voting population chose Trump. There, along with a group of 20 like-minded Seattleites, they sought out hard conversations with their political opposites. At this discussion, they'll share what they learned on their trip among Americans with very different views. They'll be joined by Bo Zhang, founder of Between Americans, and Kellie Newton and Heidi Petak from HeartPerceptionProject.com.
Omar El Akkad: American War
Portland-based journalist Omar El Akkad has written about military trials at Guantanamo Bay, the war in Afghanistan, Egypt's Arab Spring, and Black Lives Matter—now, he's making his first foray into fiction with American War, a novel that imagines a second American civil war in which the United States turned "its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself."
The Rise of the Right Across Western Democracies
Where did this explosion of right-wing populist crazy come from? It's not limited to Trump's triumph and Brexit; France, Holland, Germany, and other European nations are full of those denouncing their country's perceived degradation and trumpeting the racial and cultural supremacy of the majority. A panel of experts will grapple with some of the big questions about these movements: Their origin, their degrees of interrelation with movements in other countries, and their implications for democracy. Join four professors from University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University to learn more about this ominous shift—and try to figure out where it's going.
Aftermash: Local Artists on African American Experience
Shoreline City Hall will host a multimedia exhibit (portraiture, conceptual installation art, photography, painting, video, and sculpture) that will explore "a wide range of African American experience" through the work of Yadesa Bojia, Vincent Keele, Christen Mattix, Fiona McCargo, Kemba Opio, Brandon Roach, and Woron Ta Tele.
This exhibit closes Friday.
The Fog Machine Play
Alternate title: "Experientia de Apparatus Producens Nebula." (Actually, the same title, in a fancier language.) Copious Love Productions apparently felt really bad for their fog machine, purchased in 2013 and never given a starring role. So now, they're putting on 18 short plays by Brendan Mack in which their dear, neglected machine will be an essential player. Take part in a fringe theater experiment that they promise will be "unfogettable" (sadly, we can't take credit for that pun).
There will be no performances on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Championing Youth: The Amara Film Series
Amara (a nonprofit that offers support to foster children and their parents) will host this poignant and thought-provoking film series that will highlight a number of real stories from our city and state; every screening will be followed by a discussion. Tonight, watch The Long Night, which tells the stories of seven people affected by minor sex trafficking and is set in Seattle. With direction and cinematography by Tim Matsui, who has worked on other projects exposing the reality of sex trafficking, including Leaving the Life. The post-film discussion will feature Tim Matsui, Detective Joel Banks (featured in the film), Jennifer Strus (the Assistant Secretary of Children's Administration at Washington's DSHS), and speakers from Stolen Youth, Center for Children and Youth Justice, and the King County Commercially Sexually Exploited Children Task Force.
The Films of Douglas Sirk
The master of simmering melodrama and “women’s pictures,” Douglas Sirk (born Detlef Sierck in Germany) brought out the colorful beauty and underlying strife of small-town and big-city America in the 1950s. During the third week in the series, watch Written on the Wind, a 1956 film starring Rock Hudson and Lauren Bacall.
3% Seattle: Mapping Challenges to Female Leadership
Creative women leaders will impart wisdom on empowering your fellow lady artists and improving working environments for all. Hear about their career paths and ask your questions.
Thomas Frank: Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?
Thomas Frank is a best-selling author, journalist, and historian, best known for his 2004 book What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (about the dramatic political shifts that happened in his home state). His latest work from 2016, Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?, is probably the most precise and thorough work that currently exists explaining the Democratic Party's 2016 defeat (and what led up to it), especially their failure to close or slow the widening wealth gap—which has resulted in decreased numbers of working class Democratic voters.
Trans & Genderqueer Open Mic: Transgender HIV Testing Day
Last year was the first official National Transgender HIV Testing Day—commemorate the second year with an open mic reading that promises performance art, community love, and on-site HIV testing. The performance will be headlined by poet, musician, and "space-witch" Scarlett D'Giacomo and hosted by Tobi Hill-Meyer and Jax Braun.
Word Works: Terrance Hayes
In this Word Works lecture, poet and educator Terrance Hayes—author of collections including How to Be Drawn, Wind in a Box, and the National Book Award-winning Lighthead—will explore recurring themes in the work of poet Lynda Hull (1954-1994) by examining pieces from three of her books: Ghost Money (1986), Star Ledger (1991), and The Only World (1995). Stranger book critic Rich Smith will lead a discussion and Q&A following the lecture.
Hari Kondabolu's New Material Night
It's not always a guaranteed pleasure to watch comedians working out new material, but Hari Kondabolu is not just any comedian. You could make the case that his asides, self-edits, and ad-libs are as funny as the individual finished bits. Though the finished work is, all in all, a whole other level of funny. These shows give small audiences an intimate look at the process of a comic whose trajectory is thrilling to behold. Plus, when you see the final, polished gems months from now, in video clips from TV appearances shared on your Facebook feed, you'll be in a great position to make the comments all about how YOU saw it first. Everybody wins! SEAN NELSON
Cirque du Soleil: Luzia
Cirque du Soleil's latest atmospheric, high-flying, fantastical production is called Luzia: A Waking Dream of Mexico, and will celebrate aspects of Mexican culture and climate from lively games of fútbol to glamorous butterflies. Christopher Frizzelle saw it and described it thus: "Highlights of the show include rain onstage (a first for a touring Cirque production) and a lifelike jaguar puppet (props to the producers and designers for proving long ago that no circus needs real animals). Acrobatic highlights include an act called 'Hoop Diving,' in which tumblers dressed as birds fly through rings, sometimes with their bodies folded in half; 'Adagio,' in which University of Washington–trained gymnast Kelly McDonald is used as a human jump rope; and 'Contortion,' in which Alexey Goloborodko does unbelievable things with his body."
Here Lies Love
David Byrne’s critically adored disco musical about the life and times of Imelda Marcos, disco-obsessed wife of Ferdinand Marcos. She danced by his side (and by Richard Nixon’s—look it up on YouTube) while his dictatorial ass terrorized the Philippines. Unlike other musicals, you don’t have to forgive this one for its melodramatic, sappy songs. The fast numbers are groovy disco bangers and the slow numbers are touching, tropically inflected twee rock/pop. Production-wise, this show will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen at the Rep. The installation of mobile dance floors will significantly change the theater’s seating situation, and the audience will be dancing (according to the demands of the dictator, of course) throughout the show. RICH SMITH
The Secret Garden
The quietly mesmerizing musical The Secret Garden (written by Pulitzer Prize winner Marsha Norman with music by Lucy Simon) comes to 5th Avenue Theatre, directed by David Armstrong.
WEDNESDAYREADINGS & TALKS
Fail Again. Fail Better: A Conversation on Artistic Failure
Learn about artistic failure from a panel of artists known for their successes: Valerie Curtis-Newton (UW School of Drama, Founding Artistic Director of The Hansberry Project, and Stranger Genius), Sheila Klein (Rich Smith described her as a "successful sculptor who installs a lot of really whimsical public art"), novelist Peter Mountford, and musician/composer/writer/performer/Stranger Genius Ahamefule Oluo. Moderated by Artist Trust Program Director Brian McGuigan.
Intrepid Explorers in an Impossible World: The Amazing Drawings of Ethan Murrow
In June 2015, Jen Graves wrote, "So many questions about Boston-based artist Ethan Murrow's drawings at Winston Wächter Fine Art this month. What are those men doing? Who do they work for? Why is there a painting underground? How big is that painting? What is the man inside the painting doing? What does the number 136 (just under the arch, to the right of the light shaft) refer to? Why is this drawing called Columbia River Beehive? Looking at it, I feel like I'm in a parallel universe where all I get to see of how the world works are these ultimately mystifying details." Learn about how Murrow cultivates that poignant mystery (and "his affectionate but skeptical take on society’s faith in rationalism and the scientific method") at this talk, where he'll be joined by panelists including Seattle Times art critic Gary Faigin and Facebook computer vision scientist Dr. Michael Cohen.
: The Collapsing Empire
John Scalzi is an acclaimed science fiction writer and author of Redshirts, which Paul Constant described as "a hell of a lot of fun," writing that it offered "a clever genre riff, a great sense of humor, some good action, and some high-concept headfuckery." Scalzi is in town to present his latest work, The Collapsing Empire, about "an extradimensional field available at certain points in space-time, which can take us to other planets around other stars."
Lidia Yuknavitch: The Book of Joan
Lidia Yuknavitch (author of the novels Dora: A Headcase, about a famous study by Sigmund Freud, and The Small Backs of Children, about a very influential war photograph, as well as celebrated memoir The Chronology of Water) will read from her latest novel, The Book of Joan, a reworked story of Joan of Arc that Kirkus Reviews wrote contained "her characteristic fusion of poetic precision and barbed ferocity."
Rain City Slam 2017 Grand Slam with Paul Tran
All of the excitement of competitive sports with none of the BO! Nine powerful poets will duke it out for the right to represent Seattle at the National Poetry Slam in Denver this year. The prospective Grand Slam champions are Ms. Mac, Maya Hersh, Ian Martinez, Roma Raye, Garfield Hillson, Chelsey Brown, Ray Stoeve, Ben Yisrael, and Elisa Chavez. The Pushcart-winning Vietnamese American poet Paul Tran will headline.
WordsWest 25: Terrance Hayes and Jane Wong
Two terrific poets will share their pieces in WordWest's "living anthology" format, a collaborative reading style. Jane Wong's Overpour debuted last year to much praise. The Stranger's Rich Smith loved her "precise and gritty-gorgeous images" and lyrical but not idealized depictions of nature. Terrance Hayes is a National Book Award Winner and Wong's onetime teacher. Their symbiotic performance should make a worthy celebration of Poetry Month.
Goodship Higher Education: I Am Fake News
Tim Keck, the Stranger's publisher and the founder of the Onion satirical newspaper, will tell you high-minded (heh heh) media junkies all about fake news, the Spanish-American War, independent journalism in the age of Trump, and, of course, "the thrill of fucking shit up." Please come prepared; no weed consumption on site is allowed.
Who Am I / Who I Am
A program of local all-stars (choreographer and dancer Markeith Wiley, playwright Nelle Tankus, painter Starheadboy, and photographer Angel O'Leary) spent 21 days collaborating on an immersive exhibition curated by Barry Johnson—and you only have two days to go experience this promising combination of live performance and visual art. They'll offer commentary on "gender, sexuality, identity, societal roles and community," as well as a full bar, live music, and a playful "pARTy" vibe.
Michael Kenna and Mark Thompson
See photographs by Michael Kenna (known for his emphasis on light and use of long exposures) alongside paintings and drawings by evocative place-portraitist Mark Thompson—before this exhibit closes this weekend. Jen Graves wrote that Thompson's black-and-white landscapes from a few years ago "pulled our hearts halfway out."
Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series
Last year around this time, I was so excited about the Museum of Modern Art's exhibition of all 60 of Jacob Lawrence's paintings of the Great Migration that I wrote about it, even though I couldn't get there to see the art in person. But now all 60 panels—all 60 panels!—are coming to Seattle Art Museum. This is the first time they've been seen all together on the West Coast in two decades. Lawrence lived the last years of his life in Seattle, teaching at the University of Washington, so the venue makes good sense. At MoMA, it was the first time in two decades they'd been seen together on the East Coast. It nearly takes an act of heaven itself for it to happen, since half of the series is held at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, and the other half at MoMA. MoMA's iteration included works of poetry, music, and photography, to place the 23-year-old Lawrence, whose own parents fled north, in the creative context of his peers. The exhibition was appealing and in-depth, unlike the all-too-often "uniformly flat-footed and sentimentalist uses of Jacob Lawrence,” described by Darby English. JEN GRAVES
This exhibit closes Sunday.
French Kiss is a sexy production that features dancers performing original choreography by Fae Pink, elaborate sets and projections, and themed food and cocktails.
Family Circle: The Films of Yasujiro Ozu
"The films in SAM's tribute to one of the three masters of Japan's Golden Age of film, Yasujiro Ozu, are all beautiful and have at their core the quiet spirit of their times and places—mid-century, post-war Japan," wrote Charles Mudede. For this week's film, SAM will screen Early Spring, a 1957 film about a young married man who has an affair.
Puget Soundtrack: Hair and Space Museum Presents THX 1138
Puget Soundtrack invites musicians to create a live score for a film of their own choosing. In this iteration, multimedia duo David Golightly and Emily Pothast (aka Hair and Space Museum) will create a live soundtrack for George Lucas' 1971 science fiction film THX 1138.
Guest Chef Night
FareStart is a fantastic organization that empowers disadvantaged and homeless men and women by training them for work in the restaurant industry. Every Thursday, they host a Guest Chef Night, featuring a three-course dinner from a notable Seattle chef for just $29.95. This week, Chef Maximillian Petty of Eden Hill will cook a menu including poached King salmon, two-smoked maple-braised beef brisket, and Molly Moon's strawberry ice cream profiteroles.
Happy Hour Food Walk
Returning for the first time this year, the Happy Hour Food Walk is when participating restaurants in the Chinatown-International District have $2, $4, or $6 bites to sample.
Kraken Congee Two-Year Anniversary
It seems like just yesterday that we were tirelessly playing a game of culinary cat-and-mouse with Kraken Congee, as we stalked every pop-up dinner they put on and every delectable bowl of pork belly adobo congee they created. After quickly establishing themselves as a staple on the city's pop-up food rotation, Chefs Garrett Doherty and Shane Robinson transitioned to a permanent location in 2015. Join Doherty and Robinson as they celebrate the past two years in their brick-and-mortar location in Pioneer Square. To commemorate, Kraken Congee will feature happy hour prices all night long, along with a special guest appearance. They also promise tunes by DJ Daps, and special prizes courtesy of Leafly, including two tickets to Damon Wayans Jr. We don't mind chasing good food, but Kraken Congee makes us want to sit and stay awhile.
Beer and Ballet
Broadway-inspired sing-along ballet is fun, accessible, set to recognizable music, and follows a simple plot—perfect for those passionate about musicals, ambivalent about ballet, or curious about the intersection of the two. Tickets to Pacific Northwest Ballet's Ballet on Broadway will normally cost you up to $135—but on this Thursday, many of the floor seats are just $29. It's a perfect chance to try out ballet if you'd never normally attend, and you have a great excuse to drink with the special deals they're offering on rosé and Fremont Brewing beers. This program will feature Carousel (A Dance) (based on the strange, slightly dark New England musical that includes an ensemble number titled "That Was a Real Nice Clambake"), Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (from the musical comedy On Your Toes), and West Side Story Suite (dancing gangsters).
David Callahan with Paul Shoemaker: The Givers
David Callahan (author of books about society and politics including The Cheating Culture, The Moral Center, Dangerous Capabilities, and Unwinnable Wars) will present his most recent work, The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age, which deals with the way philanthropy and philanthropists influence our world—and describes the massive amount of power we may not realize that they hold.
An Evening of Poetry with Linda Bierds and Tod Marshall
Linda Bierds' intellectual, sciencey poetry and Seattle Poet Laureate Tod Marshall's celebrated verses will mark this National Poetry Month reading.
NOTIS: Spring Translation Slam
Explore the nuances of translation as two members of the NW Literary Translators group battle to see who has the better English version of an Augusto Monterroso story. There should be lots of interaction, as you're invited to ask challenging questions and vote on the translation you prefer.
Bongwater Galore, 4/20: So Great You Won't Remember
Still looking for something to do this 4/20? Consider Über Tavern's "Bongwater Galore" night, full of weed-related beers paired with (free) "culinary chip masterpieces that you won't remember."
Neon Taco Bell Night
It's 4/20, everyone's favorite arbitrary, urban-legend-based stoner holiday. Where it once was the touchstone of a semi-secret society of pot enthusiasts, it's fast becoming a marketing bonanza the likes of Black Friday or Valentine's Day. However, there is still some weirdness left in weed, and what better way to celebrate it than by visiting Neon Taco for their "Neon Taco Bell" menu? Monica Dimas has transmogrified her already stoner-friendly menu into an even more stoner-friendly Taco Bell knockoff, replete with Doritos nachos and Doritos-shell tacos, and it's available all day on 4/20. Thursday is also DJ night at Nacho Borracho, so you can get high as a kite, stuff yourself with exquisitely terrible food, and dance yourself into blissful oblivion. Hell, if you work in the weed industry, your boss probably won't even be surprised when you call in sick the next day. TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE
Miss Richfield 1981: 2020 Vision
What on earth is Miss Richfield 1981? For years, this Midwestern maven has been winning hearts from Minnesota to the coasts with folksy wisdom and frilly couture, and after charming the pants off of Provincetown, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, she'd finally deigned to examine Seattle. She's debuting a brand-new show just for us, and she promises to offer a message of hope—or at least survival—for this wild new world in which we find ourselves living. Expect an evening of comedy, videos, storytelling, and songs, some of which Miss Richfield may actually remember the words to. MATT BAUME
Brown Derby Series: T2 (Terminator 2, Judgement Day)
"Seattle has a venerable and undignified tradition of marvelously ramshackle bar theater. If Dina Martina is its queen, Ian Bell's Brown Derby Series—which adapts major motion pictures for raucous, boozy audiences—is the crown prince," former Stranger theater critic Brendan Kiley once wrote. This time, the Derby players will restage T2: Judgment Day, complete with genocidal artificial intelligence, two terminators (for the price of one), and probably some killer shades and leather jackets. T2 should be a delectable challenge for Brown Derby: They write, "Just try figuring how to make an actor into a shape-shifting liquid metal robot on stage!"
Now It's Dark: The Films of David Lynch
"Even if the Twin Peaks revival weren’t right around the corner, it would still be a perfect time to reimmerse yourself in the incomparable cinema of David Lynch. If you’re looking for a true escape from the unraveling world, no other filmmaker creates a more thorough or engaging alternative," wrote Sean Nelson last week, when SIFF's tribute began. This week, SIFF will screen Lost Highway, Blue Velvet, and Dune.
MoPOP Pop Conference 2017
Generally, if you care about something, maybe it’s good to talk about it. And with something so creatively magnanimous as music, maybe it’s good to talk about it all the time, so that every facet can be fully represented. The MoPOP Pop Con is a solid example of intellectualizing art without squashing the abilities of everyman creation. Analysis of art does not diminish its power, and, as it stands, art remains one of the few things that gains ground as we discuss it. The theme of this year’s Pop Con is “Sign O' the Times: Music and Politics,” so naturally all conference components will focus on the dovetailing of music and politics in creative, personal, and public realms. Panels throughout the conference—some of which will be led by Ann Powers, Damon Krukowski, and Franz Nicolay, as well as a slew of other pop-culture experts and prolific music critics—attend to art-activated variables, like environmental impact or historical legacy, with discussions touching on everything from identity politics to protest music in the modern era. KIM SELLING
Shoegaze rock is accruing momentum akin to that of the jam-band circuit, with festivals dedicated to the gauzy, dreamy subgenre, reunion tours by the original key players, and growing acceptance from major media outlets. For the second year, Seagaze Festival showcases this oft-transcendent music with 19 acts over four nights. Thursday be sure to check out the Malady of Sevendials, a family of teenage brooders evoking the hushed splendors of Cocteau Twins and A.R. Kane. Friday is stacked with reliable psych-leaning vets like Kingdom of the Holy Sun, This Blinding Light, Black Nite Crash, and the kosmische solo-guitar sojourns of God & Vanilla. Saturday, producer extraordinaire/Stranger Genius Erik Blood flies in from LA to school everyone on lush textures and luscious melodies, while the songs of fest organizer Jeff McCollough’s band, Blackpool Astronomy, whiplash you like prime-time Swervedriver. Sunday, scope Portland’s Coloring Electric Like, who rampage beautifully, like a Northwestern My Bloody Valentine. These are but a small sampling of artists who strive to swirl your brain cells into a purple haze of bliss. DAVE SEGAL
Ballet on Broadway
Broadway-inspired sing-along ballet is fun, accessible, set to recognizable music, and follows a simple plot—perfect for those passionate about musicals, ambivalent about ballet, or curious about the intersection of the two. This program will feature Carousel (A Dance) (based on the strange, slightly dark New England musical that includes an ensemble number titled "That Was a Real Nice Clambake"), Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (from the musical comedy On Your Toes), and West Side Story Suite (dancing gangsters).
Deep Space Lez
I had a good feeling about Deep Space Lez as soon as I saw the promotional photo: a group dressed in flannel with shiny boots and rolled-up cuffs crowded around a commanding woman sitting in Captain Kirk's chair. Why isn't there more lesbian science-fiction theater in Seattle? Fortunately, performer ilvs strauss (whose 2015 production Manifesto was either "a parody of modern dance" or "really smart and bold") has created a new show in which a ship of communally-living lesbians seek a home world and are waylaid by a sapphic distress call. Expect feminist wisdom, loose-leaf tea, guidance from the goddess, and arguments about whose turn it is to buy bulk nutritional yeast. MATT BAUME
The Institute of Memory (TIMe)
This experimental theater piece by Early Morning Opera about a misanthropic cold-war operative is a warped echo of the father of the company's founder, Lars Jan. Take a story of paranoia and family, add luminescent kinetic sculpture, communist spies' letters and wiretaps, and brain scans, and you've got what promises to be one intriguing night of avant-garde theater.
In May, Twin Peaks will return after more than 25 years off the air—celebrate with this food- and performance-based homage to David Lynch, with all the small-town charm and creepy suspense you'll find in his work. They'll investigate the question: "Who killed Chef Nordo Lefesczki?" Enjoy a score by Annastasia Workman, script by Terry Podgorski, direction and menu design by Erin Brindley, and performances by Devin Bannon (on lead vocals—fun fact: he's a performer, director, and Stranger sales rep), Matt Manges (drums), Dave Pascal (bass), Ryan Higgins, Ayo Tushinde, Opal Peachey, Carol Thompson, Ronnie Hill, and Laura Dux.
Nike Imoru's dance-theater work folds a moon landing, robot surgery, and other future-shock elements into a poetic "stage song." The performance on Thursday is free.
This is basically the zenith of fun in a dreary Seattle winter. You get wasted, you play bizarro-world mini golf (including a hole featuring a golf ball cannon), and you generally are reminded how fun works. Last time I went, they even had the Infernal Noise Brigade marching around the venue, sowing chaos. TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE
Make Space Zine Issue #6 Release Party
The genius lady brains behind the womxn-centric Make Space Zine have done it again, with Issue #6 hot off the presses and prominently featured at their upcoming release party tonight. Artists in this issue (and present for performance and casual conversation at this party) include cosmic tune weaver Guayaba, Indian Summer owner and celeb stylist Adria Garcia, chef and restauranteur Monica Dimas, and Amanya Maloba and Janice Ibarra of Women.Weed.Wifi. The event is free and open to everyone, but bring cash for zines, prints, art, and drinks.
The Seattle Process with Brett Hamil
Described as "Seattle's only intentionally funny talk show" and "a mudpie lobbed into the halls of power," The Seattle Process with Brett Hamil offers politics, exasperation, information, and comedy, plus tons of guest appearances from artists to government officials. This time, the guests will be Washington State Solicitor General Noah Purcell ("a.k.a. the guy who trounced Trump's Muslim Ban in federal court") and City Council candidate and former Seattle Process Participation Award Recipient Jon Grant.
Jason Whitmarsh: The Histories
May Swenson Award-winner Jason Whitmarsh has a background in mathematics and poetry. His second book of poems, The Histories, is still hot off the Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series presses. This reading promises lyrical flights of invention and imagination.
A live amateur storytelling competition in which audience members who put their names in a hat are randomly chosen to tell stories on a theme. Local comedians tend to show up, but lots of nonperformers get in on the action as well. This week's theme is "Duped," so expect stories about deception, pranks, April Fools' jokes, and other tricks.
Converge Dance Festival 2017
This year's fourth annual Converge Dance Festival will stage works by eight choreographers who are just coming into their own or hitting mid-career. As always, the festival will focus on strengthening ties to the local community and providing a showcase for Seattle's performers and dance artists.
Pop-Up Book Sale
This weekend, Folio will host what we hope will be the first of many book sales. Peruse hundreds of collectible used poetry, prose, and nonfiction tomes in the historic brick building.
In her new play Nadeshiko, Keiko Green confronts the stereotype of the perfect (and sexually available) Asian woman in two periods of history. The story of a "Nadeshiko"—a woman enlisted to cheer kamikaze pilots in World War II before their last mission—intersects with that of a present-day American, Risa, who answers a Craiglist ad for a "peculiar gig." Check out the Gregory Award-winning Sound Theatre Company's first production of 2017 in a season focused on women's experiences and voices.
After a massive environmental catastrophe, the United States has been reduced to fewer than 435 people living within a walled city that used to be the wealthy suburbs of Boston. When outsiders suddenly appear and set up camp outside the citadel walls, the miniature United States must decide whether to send a diplomat to welcome them, preemptively bomb them, or just hunker down and hope for the best. A few moments in playwright Brendan Pelsue's otherwise excellent script invite overly melodramatic readings. Overall, however, the scenes are tight, the dialogue is smart, and the story is thrilling. Even when the identity of the barbarians at the gate is revealed, I kept wondering, "WHAT NEXT?!" That doesn't happen very often in Seattle theater. RICH SMITH
Drone Cinema Film Festival
Last year’s Drone Cinema Film Festival at Grand Illusion yielded synergistic dazzlements between poetic, mesmerizing images and rigorous ambient music. Expect more of that tonight at the bigger, acoustically superior Chapel Performance Space. Created and curated by David Lynch’s assistant music editor for Twin Peaks and Wild at Heart, Kim Cascone, Drone Cinema presents transcendental experiences through sound and vision. Eight films and soundtracks by the likes of AUME, Phillipe Neau, Kat Cascone, and others will be complemented by a live set from sublime local drone ensemble bitès. If you’re into sacred minimalists like Terry Riley and La Monte Young and experimental film, immerse yourself in these heady atmospheres. DAVE SEGAL
Record Store Day
Record Store Day is a scourge to most small indie labels. For several months, major labels clog the vinyl pressing plants with their massive orders for records that commonly can be found used for under $10, thus delaying schedules for less powerful companies doing smaller runs. Mix in crass music-biz opportunism and consumers who care nothing about the releases except for their resale value, and you have a shitshow that seems to worsen every year. You know the drill. However! A small percentage of RSD releases are actually worth hearing, as best as we can gauge (we'll get to those soon) and the frenzied, extravagant shopping obviously boosts the financial health of brick-and-mortar stores. That is no small thing. RSD may be a "one step forward, two steps backward" affair, but it doesn't look like it's going to hit the run-off groove in the foreseeable future. Let's try to make the best of the situation, shall we? Take a look at the list of participating Seattle establishments here. DAVE SEGAL
Elisa Chavez Scratch Night: Nerds & Nazis
Eliza Chavez, author of the post-election call-to-arms poem "Revenge" and Gamergate slam critiques, has received a lot of online troll hatred for her work. Her experience led her to ask, "What do a bunch of angry video gamers, skinhead rockers, and anti-postmodern Ovid fans have in common?" Join her for a discussion of the male-dominated festerweb.
Lena Khalaf Tuffaha: Water & Salt
Local poet Lena Khalaf Tuffaha will present her debut work, Water & Salt, a poetry collection that will offer an emotional and varied take on people whose lives have been marred by violence. The book "sings in the voices of people ravaged by cycles of war and news coverage."
Roger Fernandes, Lower Elwha Band of the S’Klallam Indians Storyteller
Lower Elwha Band S’Klallam Indian storyteller Roger Fernandes will perform Native American and global stories with song and dance.
The great protest art of the Donald Trump era is already happening, with the Mimosas crew choosing a daring show to stage as their latest 30ish-minute musical. They're doing the show Cabaret, a song-and-dance extravaganza set in the days of Hitler's rise to power. The allegories to today are chillingly perfect, from nationalist Nazis singing "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" to the gut-wrenching appearance of the Star of David. For 50 years, Cabaret has been a reflection on the past, but now it's a scream of alarm about the future. You won't just cry at this show, you will sob. MATT BAUME
WTF Joan Mitchell?
Suzanne Walker's WTF? Art History series playfully and accessibly introduces you to artists and movements. For this class, Walker will delve into the work of Joan Mitchell, a prominent American abstract expressionist.
DAKHABRAKHA Perform the Live Film Score of "Earth"
Ukrainian quartet DAKHABRAKHA, a name that means “give/take” in the old Ukrainian language, play what they describe as “ethno chaos.” Accompanied by traditional instrumentation of Indian, Arabic, African, Russian, and Australian origin, the quartet will perform their original score during a screening of Aleksandr Dovzhenko's 1930 film Earth, which is considered one of the most important films of the Soviet era and which was banned nine days after its original release.
Marcus Harrison Green Scratch Night: Caucasians Anonymous
Marcus Harrison Green, columnist for the Aspiring Gentleman magazine and journalistic freelancer, has written a play called Caucasians Anonymous to help deconstruct whiteness and its weight on society. Hear a staged reading, followed by Q&A with white anti-racist activists.
This Is What Resistance Looks Like
The Establishment editor-at-large (and Stranger contributor) Ijeoma Oluo will present short films, political talks, and comedy with Seattle movers and shakers like mayoral candidate/activist/poet/boxer Nikkita Oliver and local-politics-related humorist Brett Hamil.