Our music critics have already chosen the 30 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 Bastille Day parties to Campout Cinema's showing of The Hunger to the opening of the inflatable art exhibit Blow Up. See them all below, and find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.
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:| Depths |: Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Depths is a monthly audiovisual show by Andrew Crawshaw and Justin Thomas Kleine, who create live, drony electronic soundtracks for cult films. Stranger music critic Dave Segal has written, "It's impressive how these musicians transform what can be overly familiar scenes with their spontaneous interpretations." July's feature is the miasmically disturbing Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the version with Donald Sutherland and Evil Mr. Spock).
Pressure Cooker: Please Open Your Mouth
Produced as part of Cafe Nordo's new works incubator, The Pressure Cooker, this experimental work written by Joanna Garner and directed by Norah Elges Schneyer is set in a "clandestine supper club," and offers audiences the chance to "explore their fantasies, fetishes, and taboos around food, sex, and society."
TUESDAYCOMMUNITY & CIVICS
The Washington Bus & The Stranger Present Candidate Survivor 2017: A Seattle Space Odyssey
Don't feel involved in local politics? On this night, you'll have more power over the public service hopefuls than you've ever had before. The top eight—not just six!—mayoral candidates will battle to remain on stage as you, the audience, vote by text to dump the losers. Brought to you by the civic participation group Washington Bus—and us!
Free Slurpee Day
Every year on 7/11, 7-Eleven gives away a free small Slurpee. Go to the nearest location and claim what is yours.
Clarion West presents Connie Willis
Connie Willis is the winner of an unprecedented total of 11 Hugo Awards and seven Nebula Awards, and she's reading in Seattle as part of the Clarion West science fiction series. She'll share some of her favorite new work and answer questions about process, teaching, and more.
A Conversation with Attorney General Bob Ferguson
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson made international news this year when he instigated the first lawsuit that blocked the implementation of Trump's Muslim ban. In this interview moderated by Enrique Cerna, swoon over Ferguson's political conviction and unstoppable motivation while you learn about his fight against the new and revised version of the ban.
Alden Mason: The 1970s - A Time of Change
This solo exhibition features work by Northwest Master Alden Mason, known for his humorous and poignant paintings as well as his controversial murals. The show will highlight his pieces from the 1970s, including the bold Burpee Garden series.
Closes July 15.
¡Cuidado! - The Help
Los Angeles artist Ramiro Gomez alters found images and advertisements by superimposing painterly silhouettes of Latino service workers onto their idealized surfaces, highlighting the often invisible labor that allows these capitalist dreamworlds to function. These paintings come from firsthand knowledge—before he was a successful artist, he worked as a nanny for wealthy parents. Gomez is one of 13 artists in ¡Cuidado! - The Help, a group exhibition about labor, class, and the racism that hierarchies get built on. The exhibition is, according to the gallery, a form of protest against Trump's xenophobic ideas about immigration and the war on those at the bottom of the economic ladder. EMILY POTHAST
Closes July 15.
TUESDAY & SUNDAYPERFORMANCE
As the books and theater writer at The Stranger, it's impossible for me to overstate how excited I am to see Fun Home in Seattle this week. The graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, which Lisa Kron based her Tony Award–winning show on, kills me. Part of that excitement is nervousness, though. The reason I like the graphic novel so much is because of all the subtle literary connections Bechdel makes between her life and the books she came up with, came out with, and related to her father's death. Will those subtleties translate to the stage, or will the stage transform the nature of those subtleties, or does FIVE Tonys mean none of this matters? Jessica Fu, The Stranger's erstwhile social-media manager, put me at ease. She saw the show in New York and reported back thusly: "I cried during and after! And then the next morning." Better bring a box of tissues. RICH SMITH
WEDNESDAYREADINGS & TALKS
Pundamonium: Pun Slam Competition
Puns are the highest and lowest form of humor: They somehow refresh the materiality of language, reminding you that a word is a figure, a thing that can be looked at from several different angles. So whoever wins the pun competition Pundamonium will likely be one of Seattle’s great crafters of language, both in a Renaissance fair kind of way but also in a literary genius kind of way. The contestants will be chosen from the audience on a first-come, first-served basis, so the title could go to anyone. RICH SMITH
French Truly Salon: Ridicule
Celebrate Bastille Day in the Frenchest way possible: with cinema, pastry, and wine. SIFF's French Truly Salon offers a movie screening preceded by a cultural presentation plus treats. This month's film is Patrice Leconte's Ridicule, a sharp-witted pre-Revolutionary comedy about a poor, well-intentioned nobleman who tries to stay afloat in the merciless court of Versailles, where reputations are exalted and trashed by the art of clever insults and cruel jokes. If you've got an eye for great French actors, check out this cast: Charles Berling, Judith Godrèche, Fanny Ardant, and Jean Rochefort.
Much Ado About Nothing
Paul Constant (former Stranger books editor and co-founder of the Seattle Review of Books) wrote, "Because Much Ado About Nothing is arguably the world's first rom-com, every major player makes one asshole move that seems totally out of character." Come see the drama in a beautiful outdoor setting, presented as part of Seattle Shakespeare's Wooden O summer series, which will also present Pericles.
Paul Constant wrote, "Pericles is so poorly written that, for centuries, Shakespeare scholars tried with all their nerdy might to deny he wrote it. Funny thing is, it was beloved in Shakespearean times because it's the Armageddon of Shakespeare plays, a title usually reserved for the oft-underappreciated Titus Andronicus. The first hour alone is packed with cheap-seat-pleasing thrills: shipwrecks, a jousting match for the hand of a princess, and buckets of scandal—the play opens with an incestuous relationship and, before everything is done, a murder plot is foiled by pirates, and someone gets sold into sex slavery." See Pericles performed outdoors at this event presented as part of Seattle Shakespeare's Wooden O summer series, which will also present Much Ado About Nothing.
Capitol Hill Art Walk
Every second Thursday, rain or shine, the streets of Capitol Hill are filled with tipsy art lovers checking out galleries and special events. In July, don't miss Art, Music, and Drinks with Sanctuary Art Center and Blow Up.
Celebrating Cary Grant
Once again, SAM will spend the summer celebrating the devilish charms of Cary Grant. This week's feature is Mr. Lucky, about a ne'er-do-well gambler who rethinks his plan to swindle a war charity when he meets a beautiful, altruistic socialite.
The Future Is Feminist Film Festival
The Future Is Feminist Film Festival, a collaboration of Real Grrls, the Northwest Film Forum, and the NFFTY young filmmakers' festival, boosts young women's moviemaking talents and brings them to a wider audience. See the work of women who are just starting out on their artistic paths.
Cocktail Class Series | Classics & Mixology Basics
Join E. Smith Mercantile for its beginner's mixologist class, which will kick off with a tour and history lesson of pre-prohibition spirits and how to use them; followed by a tools and techniques lesson. The event promises "an arsenal of classic recipes and the hands-on experience to recreate them at home," plus the opportunity to taste your way through the class under the watchful eyes of an expert bartender. The ticket includes the demonstration, recipes, cocktail tasting and snack pairing. Kits and take-home packages will be available for purchase, too. Get there at least an hour before the class if you desire a "pre-funk cocktail and a snack."
Fiona Davis: The Dollhouse
Until 1981, New York City's famous Barbizon Hotel for Women did not allow men to ascend past the ground floor. Celebrities and intellectuals—from Grace Kelly to Joan Didion to Mona Simpson—filled the living spaces. In The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath describes a hotel called "The Amazon" that seems to be based on the Barbizon: ambitious young women, stacked on top of each other, without husbands. Fiona Davis's debut novel, The Dollhouse, offers a fictionalized history of the building that's full of drama and intrigue.
Mandy Len Catron: How to Fall in Love with Anyone
Have you ever been on a date where the person coyly asked you 36 invasive questions under the guise of quickly building intimacy and trust with you, and this despite the fact that you both know you met each other while scrolling absentmindedly through a series of photos on an internet application while spending a hungover morning on your respective bathroom floors? Chances are that person read Mandy Len Catron's viral Modern Love article in the New York Times, "To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This." Now she's out with a new memoir called How to Fall in Love with Anyone, which is all about the ways romantic narratives on film (aka rom-coms) limit our ability to create and sustain relationships. Falling in love, after all, is the easy part. RICH SMITH
Where No Man Has Gone Before: An Improvised Parody of the Original Star Trek Series
Where No Man Has Gone Before takes a standard Star Trek plot and asks the audience to shape key elements: The goodship Enterprise transports an alien crew (defined by the audience) onboard, but it's not clear whether these rescued beings are ill- or well-intentioned. The show is presented by Seattle Experimental Theatre in association with Theatre off Jackson and directed by Jeannine Clarke.
Timber! Outdoor Music Festival
Seattle music has changed for the better in the past half decade, becoming more diverse both stylistically and in terms of the voices that get championed. But the lineup at Timber!, now in its fifth year, scans as a throwback to five or six years ago, when Ballard Avenue was a destination for folk music and you could read about the dude from the Head and the Heart assaulting a sound guy on one of several regularly updated local music blogs. Veteran singer-songwriters (Sera Cahoone, Shelby Earl, Cataldo) predominate; Southern folk duo Shovels & Rope, fresh off opening for the Avett Brothers, headline; and the first night ends with a campfire sing-along of Violent Femmes songs led by KEXP DJ Troy Nelson. ANDREW GOSPE
THURSDAY-SUNDAYFOOD & DRINK
Outstanding in the Field
This event series markets itself as a "roving culinary adventure," which means they set up tables in gardens, farms, and other unique, non-restaurant spaces around the country and the world to serve farm-to-table dinners. Each meal puts a strong emphasis on the source of the ingredients in order to "re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it." Outstanding in the Field has existed since 1999, and, this week, will bring the experience to the Seattle area. As of Monday afternoon, there are still tickets available for the Thursday afternoon meal on Maple Rock Farm on Orcas Island and the Sunday afternoon meal on Bullock Lake Farm in Vancouver.
Sound Theatre Company has teamed up with the Hansberry Project to bring Katori Hall's Hoodoo Love to the Seattle stage for the first time. Working closely with the all-powerful Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Lynn Nottage, Hall debuted this paean to Depression-era voodoo love in New York City to rave reviews. "It's about Memphis music. When you drink the water in Memphis, blues comes out," Hall said in an interview with the Paris Review. All that music finds its way into the rich, lyrical language that drives Hall's play. Directed by rising star Malika Oyetimein. RICH SMITH
Bastille Day is kind of the French version of Independence Day. It celebrates the Storming of the Bastille, considered the turning point of the French Revolution, and is very much in the same spirit of the common man throwing off the yoke of tyranny. It’s harder to see the Fourth in that light this year, given the yoke of tyranny we’ve currently thrown around our own necks, and the rapaciousness said tyrants have shown in gutting any and all publicly beneficial government programs they can get their hands on. Perhaps, then, Bastille Day can serve as something of a consolation prize. They had the good sense to ditch xenophobe right-winger Marine Le Pen, which is definitely worth celebrating, and the food is inarguably way better on Bastille Day. Here in Seattle, we’re blessed with a number of lovely French restaurants, and almost all of them throw a helluva fete on the 14th. The eponymous Bastille Cafe and Bar does a great one, offering up the perfect recipe for a memorable debauch—oysters, champagne, and a photo booth—for a mere $45 (there’s also a fancy prix fixe for $125, if you’ve got it like that). For more centrally located partygoers, Cafe Campagne’s chaotic alleyway carnival simply can’t be beat. Except, perhaps, by their neighbors at Le Pichet, who also serve up a bunch of great French street food and live music. Best of all, both are free to attend—you just purchase the food and drinks you desire—so you don’t really have to pick. Vive la France! TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE
Shock Opera: The (Un)authorized Alice Cooper Story
Elements of Alice Cooper's terrifying live performances will surely be woven into this rock opera about the history of the band.
Pat Tanumihardja Food Sampling & Book Signing
If Bastille Day isn't your thing, not to worry: there are other things going on that day, and one of them is a food sampling and book talk/signing from Pat Tanumihardja, food writer, cook and author of "Farm to Table Asian Secrets," a new cookbook focusing on Asian recipes that are vegetarian and vegan-friendly. The event will include a presentation, food sampling, signing and ingredients demonstration. And fun fact: Tanumihardja is also the blogger behind the "Pickles and Tea" food blog, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Asia Pacific American Center.
Fresh: A Drag Show for New Talent
Ineffable drag monster Arson Nicki will present eight new faces of queerdom over two nights. On Friday, see brand new queens/kings/wild cards Arrhythmia, Parker Poseur, Vincent Milay, Voodoo Nightshade; on Saturday, it'll be the turn of Angel Baby, Indira Cunty, PhD, SHE, and Visage LaRue.
Not Too Late with Elicia Sanchez
The late show with local favorite Elicia Sanchez and "comedian/non-musician" Nick Sahoyah promises stunts, music, comedy, weirdness, and surprises.
LGBTQ Advocacy Training
With guidance from the community group Elevate, learn to use your story of recovery from addiction to engage with advocates and political officials. Special guests Senator Marko Liias, County Councilmember Joe McDermott, and Gary Davis of Companis will also speak. Lunch will be provided.
Campout Cinema: The Hunger (21+)
About The Hunger, Charles Mudede wrote, "Because we can’t stop missing David Bowie, and because it is one of the greatest vampire films ever made, you must do everything you can to watch The Hunger this weekend. Yes, you can see it on video or online. But nothing beats the dark magic of seeing Catherine Deneuve and Bowie and pre-Bernie-bonkers Susan Sarandon on a movie screen, nothing beats watching this erotic trio in the company of strangers. And then there is the beat of Bauhaus’s gothic dub, 'Bela Lugosi’s Dead.' Are you feeling me? This is the 1980s in a state that’s close to perfection." This is a great opportunity to see this beloved vampire story at MoPOP—bring stuff to make yourself cozy (blankets, pillows, etc, but no chairs) and they'll have drink specials on offer as well as trivia, giveaways, and "other surprises." Your tickets also include admission to the exhibit Bowie by Mick Rock.
GOLD & JUICY
Kristi Brown, of generally awesome food company/caterer/movement That Brown Girl Cooks!, is doing a fish-fry pop-up, and it looks good. So good, in fact, that this inveterate Francophile is choosing to highlight Brown's pop-up over Bastille Day (which is mercifully not on the same day). You should go enjoy your French delights on Friday, but if you don't save some money and stomach space for this fish fry on Saturday, you'll be doing yourself a grave disservice. There's a bottomless mimosa brunch buffet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the insanely reasonable price of $35, followed by dinner service 5 to 9 p.m., with a $30 chicken-only option, a $35 catfish-only option, or a $40 combo option. Clearly you want the combo, so you can enjoy all the delicious deep-fried things. The event takes place at El Centro de la Raza's Centilia Cultural Center on Beacon Hill, and there will be drinks for purchase, as well as a buffet of all the traditional sides. Is it Saturday yet? TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE
Bonus: Make a Beacon Hill day of it and check out El Centro de la Raza's Pozole Making Cooking Class.READINGS & TALKS
Erin Jorgensen: Undertones
Erin Jorgensen's Undertones podcast combines trance and electronica with sparing words. Stranger contributor Andrew Hamlin writes, "This is supposed to be a transmission from outer space broadcast directly to your subconscious mind. The aliens may or may not tell us to send more Chuck Berry. They may or may not want to demolish Earth to build a bypass. Hope. Pray if you’re into that. Lock in the dial."
Kaitlin Solimine and Warren Read
Kaitlin Solimine's Empire of Glass—about memory, oral history, and pre- and post-revolutionary China—is a book-within-a-book with detailed footnotes that tell a second story. Colson Whitehead (who wrote The Underground Railroad, a book that Rich Smith called "the Big Book of the Fall Season" and "even better than the hype") awarded an earlier draft of Empire of Glass the 2012 Dzanc Books/Disquiet International Literary Program award. Solimine will be joined by Warren Read (also the author of a book about history and memory: The Lyncher in Me, a memoir about discovering his great-grandfather had incited a lynching) who will share his latest work, Ash Falls, a thriller set in the Pacific Northwest.
Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival 2017
Theater is alive in Seattle, but, as in most places, it generally isn't cheap. GreenStage, Theater Schmeater, and Wooden O Productions set out to change that in 2001 with the first Outdoor Theater Festival. Watch Shakespeare plays and more contemporary pieces from 14/48, Jet City, Last Leaf Productions, Shakespeare Northwest, and the festival's founders over what will hopefully be a sunny weekend.
SUNDAYFOOD & DRINK
7th Annual Garden Party Extravaganza!
Celebrate Serafina's 26 years in business at its annual Garden Party, which boasts whole roasted animals, patio grilling, an oyster bar, paella, gelato, wood-fired bites from Serafina's sibling restaurant, Cicchetti, and an "Iron Bartender" competition.
Third Annual Gay Day
Wild Waves is "one of the greatest places in Seattle," says a friend who just went. The usual crowd is tattooed country folk, but today the water park will be overrun with queers and their allies. According to my source, there are legitimately thrilling slides, aquatic play areas, a wave pool, a beer garden, and lots of kinds of carnival food, including hot dogs and hamburgers. "And there's not a lot of supervision, because children are the authority," my source says, referring to the teen lifeguards. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
The King According to a Queen
"Glamazon Goddess and Queen of the Pigs" Isabella Extynn will debut her one-woman show based on Elvis Presley. Rock and roll with Isabella and the legacy of the King.
Mermaid Tales: Drag Queen Story Time with Sparkle Leigh
You just can't keep a good merm down! Sparkle Leigh is back and sparklier than ever with a magical drag-queen story time for kids at the University Branch of the Seattle Public Library. Always uplifting, Sparkle will enchant and delight and possibly transform into sea foam. If you don't have a child of your own, that's okay: Just dress up your terrier in an outfit from a discarded Cabbage Patch doll and act indignant if anyone questions your very hairy son. JK! Do not actually do that. Do ask one of your friends with kids if you can take them off their hands for a few hours. MATT BAUME
Note: Aleksa Manila will fill in for Sparkle Leigh at this event (and will also be sure to enchant and delight). Aleksa adds: "Aleksa Manila may look like a Princess, but she's a Queen. #YasssQueen"