This week, our arts critics have recommended the best events in every genre—from a mock Trump vs. Bernie debate to Assassins to Chocolate for Choice. See them all below, and find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.
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READINGS & TALKS
The Crocodile presents Andrea Gibson & Jinkx Monsoon
An evening of poetry and music, featuring spoken word artist Andrea Gibson (“The Jewelry Store,” “Yellowbird,” and “When the Bough Breaks”) alongside Jinkx Monsoon, whom Christopher Frizzelle calls "brain-explodingly brilliant."
RuPaul's Drag Race Viewing Party with Robbie Turner
Drag queen Robbie Turner has been hosting Monday-night screenings of RuPaul's Drag Race at R Place for some time, but now at last she's on the show herself. Go cheer on our local gal every week — Robbie is smart and funny, and she has impeccable vintage style, so we're thrilled to bits by the prospect of watching her onstage and on-screen at the same time. The only thing better than a show that features Robbie Turner is a show that features TWO Robbie Turners. MATT BAUME
Trimpin: Hear We Are
Trimpin, famous local sound artist and sculptor, presents works at Winston Wachter Fine Art. (Through Wed)
Trump vs. Bernie: The Debate! With James Adomian and Anthony Atamanuik
James Adomian, as Bernie Sanders, takes on Anthony Atamanuik, as Trump, in a topical, timely, and probably hilarious take on the current presidential race.
Comedy Nest Open Mic featuring Jill Maragos
Comedy Womb has become Comedy Nest in the name of inclusivity, and unsurprisingly, they write that "although the name has changed the mission is still the same." The rules of this pro-lady stand-up night are refreshing in their simplicity: no misogyny, racism, homophobia, hatred, or heckling. Tonight's show features Jill Maragos, who was a semi-finalist in the 36th annual Seattle International Comedy Competition.
READINGS & TALKS
Buddhism in Black America: A Global Perspective
This dialogue between Charles Johnson and Lama Choyin Rangdrol on "Buddhist philosophy and practice and its relevance for Black America" is presented by Seattle University EcoSangha and Global African Studies.
J. Anderson Coats, Marissa Meyer, Jessica Spotswood, and Leslye Walton
Celebrate the release of historical anthology A Tyranny of Petticoats, about women across centuries who didn't stay in "their place," with contributors J. Anderson Coats, Marissa Meyer, Jessica Spotswood, and Leslye Walton.
Marginalia: An Event on Revision
Learn details about the intimate, tailored process of revision from novelists Dana Spiotta, Adrianne Harun, and Ramon Isao, who will also read from their work.
In Assassins, the Stephen Sondheim musical running through May 8 at ACT Theatre and produced in partnership with 5th Avenue Theatre, everyone from John Wilkes Booth to John Hinckley Jr. gets a chance to explain themselves: Some are driven by insanity, some by politics, some by a desire to be remembered. Their motives and circumstances vary, but their common bond is that they all grasped for power by taking shots at some of the most powerful men on earth. The cast members of Assassins face the exhausting task of identifying with killers and trying to convince the audience to take their side. Ultimately, as actor Louis Hobson (who’s playing John Wilkes Booth) said, “The show is a meditation on the American dream... It's America dreaming of itself, and that dream turns into a nightmare where the fatal flaw of the dream takes over, the idea that everybody has the right to be happy... that we all have the ability to go after what we want. But the truth of the matter is that not all of us do." MATT BAUME (Through Sun)
READINGS & TALKS
Beacon Bards Poetry Reading Series
A monthly poetry reading series featuring talented local poets—this month, it's Co-Founder of the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Program Matt Gano, 17-year-old Leija Farr, and Aaron Counts, a teaching artist with the Writers-in-the-Schools program.
Sean Beaudoin, known for his young adult novels, presents his first book for adults: a short story collection featuring twelve works full of black humor.
FOOD & DRINK
Chocolate for Choice
Last week, the US Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments in Women’s Whole Health v. Hellerstedt, arguably the most important abortion-rights case since Roe v. Wade. The court’s decision will determine whether 34 out of 40 abortion clinics in the state of Texas will be shut down, forcing women to travel thousands of miles or resort to other desperate measures to access a common medical procedure. Here in Washington State, conservative legislators continue to introduce bills that would limit abortion access for women and families who need it the most. Want to help? Tonight, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington is making it simple for you with Chocolate for Choice. For $50, you get to wander around a room with a glass of wine and sample chocolate—truffles, cakes, bars, pies, cheesecakes, and other confections—made by some of the best chocolatiers, chefs, and bakers from around the city. It’s literally the easiest thing you can do to be a part of this hugely important fight. ANGELA GARBES
Paradox of Place: Contemporary Korean Art
To try to represent contemporary art in Korea with a single exhibition that includes only six artists would be absurd, so that is not the goal of this show—the first major exhibition of Korean contemporary art in Seattle in a decade. Rather, the focus is on the concept of paradox, referring to the split nature of the country, although it often emerges in the work less as paradox and more as plain old dualistic conflict. JEN GRAVES (Through Sun)
Fabrice Monteiro: Maroons
Mariane Ibrahim Gallery presents this solo show of photography by Fabrice Monteiro. The viscerally uncomfortable images feature Beninese models wearing shackles that Monteiro designed to match examples depicted in historical documents. For the location, he chose Ouidah, Benin—a city that served as a major port along the "Slave Coast" in West Africa. Monteiro's Maroons firmly and calmly recognizes that those real horrors, seemingly distant, are far too bright and close to look at. (Through Sat)
9 to 5: The Musical
The irresistibly lovable Dolly Parton musical comes to Magnuson Park Theatre (via Seattle Musical Theatre). The production promises perfectly period costumes and tunes you can't get out of your head. (Through Sun)
Theatre22 and director Julie Beckman present Sharr White's Annapurna, a play that ran on Broadway last year with Nick Offerman and Megan Mullaly. Come to see a couple's intimate, funny, emotional negotiation. (Through Sat)
Justin Drew Bieber might be a complete toilet person in real life, but in his songs, he’s obviously the Best. Boyfriend. Everrrrr. ... “One Time,” his first big hit, is a puppy love anthem that was written and produced in part by R&B master The-Dream. “Your world is my world, my fight is your fight,” baby Biebs croons, lyrics that could give even a 35-year-old woman The Feels. But as the singer has gotten older, love—and life—have become more complicated. He explores these themes in his latest album, Purpose, the bulk of which was produced by EDM juggernaut Skrillex. ... Tonight, he kicks off his Purpose tour right here at KeyArena. I can picture the frenzied laser show and weeping teens already. ANGELA GARBES
You don't see this opera much, but it tells the fantastically juicy story of the real-life 16th-century battle to the death between Mary Queen of Scots, the Catholic, and Queen Elizabeth I, the Virgin icon. It's not too dramatic to say that this battle was crucial in shaping the course of Western modern history. JEN GRAVES (Also Fri-Sat)
In 2003, the underground post-hardcore and screamo scene was blowing up, with every “Verb the Noun” band and their side projects getting massive amounts of coverage in outlets like Alternative Press magazine and even MTV2. From day one, Ontario-based band Silverstein stood out with lead vocalist Shane Told’s piercing screams and sing-songy harmonies complementing the band's almost annoyingly catchy riffs. While the scene thinned out with their contemporaries breaking up or changing directions, Silverstein remained on course, releasing eight studio albums and touring nearly nonstop—proof that for every subgenre, there are always a few artists who stand the test of time. KEVIN DIERS
READINGS & TALKS
A Craft Talk with Susan Orlean
Susan Orlean has been a staff writer for the New Yorker for more than two decades. During her tenure there, she's written about many subjects, but primarily and most movingly about relationships between humans and nonhumans. Within this realm, she looks deeply into subcultures—pigeon racers, animal actors, taxidermists—and reveals the humanlike characteristics of animals and the animallike characteristics of humans. And there was that one time when Meryl Streep was nominated for an Oscar after playing Orlean in a Charlie Kaufman–written, Spike Jonze–directed film based on a best-selling book Orlean wrote called The Orchid Thief. Getting down to brass tacks about craft with a writer who's produced work in many genres should benefit writers of all stripes. After that talk, Claire Dederer, Hugo House instructor and author of the New York Times best-selling memoir Poser, will lead a Q&A. RICH SMITH
Eli Sanders and Joanne Silberner
Our own (Pulitzer Prize-winning) Eli Sanders is the author of this stunning feature and subsequent book—the latter of which is a true crime investigation that weaves together structural issues surrounding policing and mental health, and personal stories of those most closely affected. At this event, Eli Sanders will join Joanne Silberner, whose voice you might recognize from her 18 years on NPR, for a discussion about the craft of writing about mental health.
Capitol Hill Art Walk
The monthly art walk on Capitol Hill! Always worth checking out are: Photo Center NW, True Love Art Gallery, Ghost Gallery, and, on the outskirts but worth the trip, the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park and Gage Academy next to St. Mark's Cathedral.
CICAP: Park McArthur
Park McArthur, the artist known for her institutional critique of disability accessibility in the art world, comes to Seattle as a part of The University of Washington's CICAP (Critical Issues in Contemporary Art Practice) lecture series.
Takoma Records Guitar Masters
Tonight’s event, which has been tagged "Spirt of John Fahey Tour,” is pretty fucking massive. Dig the lineup of avant-folk guitarists: Peter Lang, Rick Ruskin, and Toulouse Engelhardt! Y’all may not recognize the names, but all three of these pickers were ORIGINAL members of the “Takoma 7.” The Takoma 7 were top players "hand picked by the late John Fahey" to make records for his important label, Takoma. Oh, and Michael Wohl ain’t no slouch, either—he’s just younger. This ain’t some old-time sideshow, thick-bearded folkie trip; in fact, a show this BIG might not come along again, so attendance is mandatory for anyone with even the slightest interest in well-composed songs and top-class musicianship. MIKE NIPPER
MOTOR: Aos, Sean Pierce, Purpura
DJ/producer AOS (Kayla Waldorf), one of the linchpins of Seattle electronic-music collective secondnature, shows a serious talent for crafting deep, emotive techno that doesn't rely on pummeling beats to activate dance floors. ... Portland's Sean Pierce, who released the Transit EP on MOTOR last year, peddles pugilistic techno that gets crispily acidic around the edges, beating you into submission and frying your synapses in the process. ... The mysterious American producer Purpura is one of those artists who excels at many styles—chaotic, noisy techno, shoegaze haze, abstract industrial electronic, and other mutations on the sonic spectrum—so it's advisable to get to Kremwerk. DAVE SEGAL
Esperanza Spalding Presents: Emily's D+Evolution
Having won three Grammys, performed a handful of times for the president, and opened for Prince, 31-year-old jazz prodigy Esperanza Spalding clearly has establishment cred. To say it was manufactured, however, would be false. The bassist/trilingual vocalist has been grabbing listeners since dropping her her 2006 debut, Junjo, and dazzling concertgoers every time she’s touched the stage. TODD HAMM
Magma Fest is an annual, month-long series of shows (mostly music) hosted by Hollow Earth Radio that aims to highlight experimental and little-known artists in Seattle.
Heiress Record Release Show
Their new album Made Wrong is a study in aural depression and malice, with songs lurching from pensive Unwound-esque passages to cacophonous swaths of post-metal strum-and-clang to unmitigated sludge breakdowns. While their eminently named brothers pushed hard rock toward more mainstream audiences, Heiress dig deeper into dissonance. They might not challenge rock’s machismo, but you’ll also never hear an Heiress song co-opted into a sporting-event anthem. BRIAN COOK
It takes guts and smarts to make punk rock sound vital in 2016. On their debut EP, First Comes Money, the wild bucks in SSDD (Steal Shit Do Drugs) found a way to do just that, harnessing the libidinous whirlwind of Fun House-era Stooges, whoop-ass elements from Pussy Galore circa Right Now!, and channeling Flipper in Generic mode. DAVE SEGAL
Junior Boys, Jessy Lanza, and Borys
Canadian producer/vocalist Jessy Lanza represents the more accessible side of highly regarded UK label Hyperdub’s roster. Her 2013 debut LP for the label, Pull My Hair Back, smoothly fused R&B with house music, with Lanza drizzling icy yet emotive vocals over the rhythmic burble and textural sparkle. It’s music for manufacturing love to, with great poise, methodical purpose, and just enough drama to keep things interesting. DAVE SEGAL
London, England duo Stanton Warriors—Dominic Butler and Mark Yardley—straddle the mainstream and underground dance-music worlds with swagger. There’s a reason they’ve remixed cuts by Daft Punk, M.I.A., and Eurythmics as well as those by Alter Ego and Claude VonStroke: SW know how to work both sides of that binary. Descendants of Britain’s ’90s big beat movement, Stanton Warriors revisit that genre’s for 21st-century clubbers’ bass-heavier requirements and revel in its appetite for diverse, party-starting tracks. You don’t go to a Stanton Warriors show for beard-stroking deep cuts, but rather for amped-to-11, funked-to-heaven floor-fillers. Still, though, their last album is called Rebel Bass, could use more rebelliousness. DAVE SEGAL
READINGS & TALKS
Daniel Clowes: Patience
Cartoonist and writer Daniel Clowes (Ghost World, Wilson) will sign his newest graphic novel, Patience (Fantagraphics).
Helen Oyeyemi (named one of Granta's best young British novelists) will read from What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, a book of short stories.
FOOD & DRINK
Bacon, Eggs & Kegs
Morning food and alcohol has never been this spectacularly large. At this two-day celebration of all things brunch, stream into CenturyLink Field's North Plaza with other PNW bacon-lovers, and munch to your heart's content while enjoying beer and cider from local breweries. (Through Sun)
Harvest and identify edible sea creatures at this free, hands-on series of events hosted by Hama Hama Oyster Company. Recommended supplies include "a bucket, ice, a clam rake (a hand held garden tool), gloves, sunglasses, rain jacket, and knee boots," and no matter how cute or delicious they are, you shouldn't bring dogs or booze.
Georgetown Art Attack
Once a month, the art that resides in the tiny airport hamlet of Georgetown ATTACKS all passersby. In more literal terms, it's the day of art openings and street wonderment.
Every month at Bacon Strip, hostess Sylvia O’Stayformore brings us comedy, costumes, outrageousness, and drag performances featuring local acts and special guests. Come for the smoked pig products—stay for the men with penises tucked between their butt cheeks. The theme of this month's show is "The Little Darling Show," a takeover by the House of Darling featuring an Easter Eggstravaganza and bonnets aplenty. "Singing, dancing, and praise," promise the organizers. "You will definitely feel his love inside of you." Remember to dress in your Sunday best, including a clean pair of underwear. Just in case. MATT BAUME
Eldridge Gravy & The Court Supreme
You can always count on Eldridge Gravy & the Court Supreme for a GOOD god-damn time; they never fail to brang it, swang it, and then hang it out to dry. I’d rate ’em as some kinda Seattle institution. Seriously. MIKE NIPPER
Edhochuli, Hang the Old Year, Slow Code, and Miscomings
The all-ages venue tucked inside the downtown YMCA, Fusion Cafe, is hosting tonight's best weird punk show. Don't miss new Seattle band Miscomings, whose no-wave roots evoke an intentionally pervasive, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks-y disheveled discord. ... Pittsburgh's sprawliest post-hardcore band, Edhochuli, play lengthy, methodical songs with big, sometimes squirrelly prog tendencies. If you're into a bunch of dudes screaming at the same time and near-masturbatory prog-rock riffs, this might be your thing. BRITTNIE FULLER
Whether you’re “down with the sickness” or not, there’s no denying that over the past 16 years, the nü-metal overlords known as Disturbed have devised a winning formula that’s kept them relevant as the majority of their peers fell off. The Chicago-based band is one of only three groups in history—behind Dave Matthews Band and Metallica—to debut at number one on the US Billboard Top 200 chart for five consecutive albums. The fact that this Disturbed are scaling down their arena-ready rock for an intimate set at Showbox is a testament to their dedication to the legions of fans that never outgrew “the sickness.” KEVIN DIERS
READINGS & TALKS
Meditations on Coltrane
I do not believe in God, but I do deeply believe in these humans, all of whom are dead: Baruch Spinoza, Lynn Margulis, and John Coltrane. The first is the father of philosophy; the second, the mother of biology; the third, the holy ghost of the highest art, music. What made John Coltrane so great? It was not his playing but the idea in his playing. ... Tonight, saxophonist Steve Griggs, bassist Evan Flory-Barnes, and drummer Gregg Keplinger will perform music inspired by this great American ghost. There will also be conversation between Griggs and Yashuhiro Fujioka, a Coltrane scholar. CHARLES MUDEDE
Wine Shots: Comedy's Happiest Hour
This all-female comedy variety show comes complete with an all-female Michael Bolton cover band, Lightning Bolton. Organized by the very funny Elicia Sanchez, it’s every second Sunday of the month in the Grotto at the Rendezvous, and every audience member gets a free shot of wine.
Few bands double down on jubilant spectacle as hard as Gogol Bordello. The so-called “gypsy punk” outfit, consisting of charismatic singer Eugene Hutz and a revolving door of multi-ethnic and international musicians, blends big, simple rock hooks with accordion, violin, and a quirky sense of humor that is equal parts snarky and literary. At first brush it's the Clash for NPR listeners, but deeper listens reveal a strong dedication to George Clinton's funk sound, as well as big Def Leppard-ish hooks. JOSEPH SCHAFER
Waxahatchee, Briana Marela and Globelamp
Waxahatchee’s coming through with their latest record, Ivy Tripp, their first for Merge. On this one, Katie Crutchfield gives us more of the same indie excellence: lots of fuzzy guitars and multivalent lyrics about trying to find strength in the unknown (e.g. “I get lost looking up.”) Briana Marela and Globelamp are two very different but boldly vulnerable singer-songwriters straight out the anti-big-city-until-you-kill-it-in-the-big-city farm system of Olympia. Marela’s soaring, ethereal, synthy bedroom pop makes you want to run through the fields with the person you love again. But her sound’s not all awash—the chorus on her track, “Surrender,” shows Marela to be a crafter of complex and yet precise earworms. Not gonna lie—“Surrender” closes out my 5-mile run playlist, and it showers the world in silver for me every time. In her dark-and-deep acoustic sets, Globelamp keeps you on your toes with wild vocal flourishes. RICH SMITH