Nola Avienne's Sleep Study will be on view at SOIL. SOIL Gallery
Our music critics have already chosen the 20 Best Concerts in Seattle This Week, but now it's our arts critics' turn. Here are their picks for the best events in every genre—from the benefit drag show A Night in Texas to the new opera An American Dream and from A Drink for Vera to a book reading by Mike Love. See them all below, and find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.

Get all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app—available now on the App Store and Google Play.


Jump to: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday

MONDAY

READINGS & TALKS

John Nichols: Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse
Progressive journalist and author John Nichols (known for telling it like it is and authoring many works of political/cultural nonfiction including The Genius of Impeachment, The Death and Life of American Journalism and Dollarocracy: How the Money-and-Media-Election Complex is Destroying America) will share his latest book, Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America. Prepare for a passionate talk that will outline the insanity of Trump's administration and offer potential avenues for resistance.

PERFORMANCE

Season (Bottle) Opener
Drink beer and learn about the Seattle theater community's fall season, where theaters including Seattle Rep, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Annex Theater, and more will introduce their upcoming shows.

The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music is a sweet, musical romp through the Bavarian Alps that offers wise nuns, charming children, elegant dancing, and an (almost) lovable Nazi.

MONDAY-SATURDAY

HERON Ensemble: The Earth Shakes
HERON Ensemble presents this multidisciplinary take on Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, written by NYC playwright Samantha Cooper and featuring modern choreography as well as original music performed live.
No performances on Tuesday or Wednesday.

TUESDAY

READINGS & TALKS

Ben Blum: Ranger Games
Based on the true story of his own cousin holding up a bank in Tacoma and thereby ending his career as a U.S. Army Ranger, Ben Blum brings us a gripping account of the crime and an insightful investigation into the toxic masculinity and family weirdness that fostered it. No less an authority than Mary Gaitskill said it is "one of those rare books that illuminates its subject beyond what you thought possible–and then transcends its subject to become something more." Blum lived and wrote in Seattle while he completed parts of this book, so this reading will be a bit of a homecoming for him. RICH SMITH

Jonathan White: TIDES, The Science and Spirit of the Ocean
Tides is the latest work by writer/sailer/surfer Jonathan White, combining memoir, science, and anthropology for a cultural and scientific investigation into the significance of (you guessed it) tides. White travelled around the world conducting interviews and assessing the impact of these mysterious moon-driven forces.

Poetry Northwest Reading: Alan Lau, Jessica Johnson, Quenton Baker, Christine Robbins
Poetry Northwest will celebrate its one-year anniversary with a night of readings from recent and future contributors Alan Lau, Jessica Johnson, Quenton Baker, and Christine Robbins.

TUESDAY-SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

King of the Yees
Nationally-celebrated playwright Lauren Yee is just 21 years old, and already she's written more than a half-dozen plays that explore culture and history through humor and charming dialogue. She only seems to be picking up steam: another of her works, The Great Leap, will be staged at the Seattle Rep in the spring. King of the Yees promises a self-aware analysis of her own family history. F. Kathleen Foley at the Los Angeles Times wrote: "Although the play can be maddeningly random, it is a delightfully disorderly entertainment, as sprawling and silly as it is unexpectedly moving."

Something Rotten!
In addition to Adam Pascal (who played Roger in the original production of Rent), the show also stars Rob McClure and Josh Grisetti as two brothers who are trying to write a hit play in the 1590s, but are stuck in Shakespeare's shadow. When a soothsayer tells them that the future of theater involves singing, dancing, and acting at the same time, they set out to write the world’s very first musical. This show was supposed to be in the 5th Avenue's 2014-2015 season but was canceled because it went straight to Broadway. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

WEDNESDAY

FOOD & DRINK

A Drink for Vera: Fall Edition
Support your favorite all-ages music and arts space by drinking a ton and throwing your money around. The Vera Project asks for your best liver on three Wednesdays in September with their annual booze-infused fundraiser that contributes to their venue upkeep and programming. Start off with Shadowland on September 13, continue the party at Screwdriver on September 20, and cap off the month at Central Saloon. On each night, DJs will shepherd the night along with their best cuts.

Hop Randalls!
Taste twelve different versions of Fremont Brewing's Universale Pale, each with a different "whole cone hop varietal." Pick and choose individual beers or opt for the whole flight.

Work Release: Chef Marco Marin
Work Release is a series of pop-up dinners at the Carlile Room that invites sous chefs and line cooks to come in and cook whatever they want for a night. Turns out, giving creative culinary types carte blanche to cook the food that speaks to their soul usually works out pretty marvelously. For this one, which coincides with the 2017 MexAm Festival, they’ve nabbed chef Marco Marin of Baja’s Latitud 32. He’s already cooking exactly the food he wants—his own take on Baja/Yucatan fusion—but will be doing it for us lucky Seattleites. Latitud 32’s menu might read like somewhat standard steak house fare, but don’t let that fool you. Marin spent time at NOMA, René Redzepi’s world-famous Copenhagen hotspot. To wit, Marin’s menu includes such eclectic selections as octopus tacos, risotto with duck magret, and a horchata smorgasbord. I have no idea what a horchata smorgasbord involves, but it certainly sounds epic. Carlile Room bar manager Nick Jarvis will also be whipping up some interesting beverages to go with. He promises gose micheladas, tempranillo grown in Guadalupe, and avocado tepache—a fermented drink made from pineapple rinds and sweetened with raw cane sugar. Work Release dinners are already a treat, but this is a particularly rare one. TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE

MUSIC

The Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter presents Advocacy Town Hall
Watch a presentation from the Recording Academy's senior director of advocacy and public policy, Todd Dupler, a "music advocacy" panel discussion with songwriter Sue Ennis, PNW chapter trustee and co-chair of the national advocacy committee of the Recording Academy Andrew Joslyn, and hiphop/R&B artist and producer Eric "Blakksoul" Keith. Live performances include Otieno Terry, followed by a "music community networking mixer."

Star Trek Beyond Live
The Seattle Symphony will take on the cultural phenomenon that is Star Trek with a performance of Star Trek Beyond, in a chance for the audience to relive the magic of the film in high-definition on a giant screen amid its unforgettable score.

QUEER

A Night in Texas: A Drag Benefit for Houston
Help raise money for the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at a Texas-themed drag show hosted by Irene Dubois. Performers include Amanda Black, Americano, Cookie Couture, Sam I Am, She, and Voodoo Nightshade.

READINGS & TALKS

Barbara Johns: The Hope of Another Spring
Art historian and curator Barbara Johns will share her new book, The Hope of Another Spring, a biography of Japanese-American artist Takuichi Fujii that highlights both his artistic contributions and the historical context of his life (including his incarceration in several American internment camps during World War II). The book features a previously unknown collection of art that Fujii created during his internment, including a detailed and illustrated diary.

Mike Love: Good Vibrations
Mike Love (yes, that Mike Love, a quite controversial founder of the Beach Boys) will share his memoir, Good Vibrations. Bob Stanley at the Guardian reviewed the book: "As Wilson’s brothers Dennis and Carl are no longer around to tell their side of the story, there’s a strong case for Love being the Beach Boys’ most reliable narrator. And given that the story involves Charles Manson, Leonard Bernstein, Republican fundraisers, parental abuse, mental illness, and a cataclysmic fall from grace, as well as some of the greatest music of the 20th century, it’s a story well worth reading."

The Revival of Seattle's Left
Seattle's own labor activist Jonathan Rosenblum's new book Beyond $15: Immigrant Workers, Faith Activists, and the Revival of the Labor Movement begins with the first successful movement—which Rosenblum himself helped lead—to raise the minimum wage to $15. He'll explain how the initiative prevailed thanks to a coalition of workers, religious leaders, and community organizers. In this talk, he'll participate in a discussion with other "New Left" politicians and activists in Seattle.

Vanessa Grigoriadis with Claire Dederer: Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus
Vanessa Grigoriadis is known for her award-winning feature-length articles (including her super-famous 9,000-word essay on Britney Spears) and today she'll share her new book, Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus. She'll be joined in discussion by memoirist Claire Dederer.

WEDNESDAY-SATURDAY

PERFORMANCE

The Tempest
The Fern Shakespeare Company tackles Shakespeare's sorta trippy tale of a powerful duke-magician, his slaves (an air spirit and a bitter native), his hot daughter, and their plot to regain the dukedom of Milan—despite being isolated on an island. See the play that launched a million papers on post-colonialism.

WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY

ART

Summer Wheat: Full Circle
Brooklyn-based visual artist Summer Wheat is known for her abstract expressionism and colorful paintings that depict chaos, often through everyday figures and scenes. This exhibit features a series of large-scale paintings and intimate drawings that explore the big and small: the sun, the moon, and the stars, alongside quotidian events and chores.
This exhibition closes Sunday.

PERFORMANCE

Dragon Lady
Sara Porkalob has been completely overhauling this show about her badass Filipino gangster grandma for a couple years. It began as a solo show at the Fringe Festival, morphed into a more refined solo show at Theater Off Jackson, transformed into a dinner theater musical at Cafe Nordo, and is now a full-fledged musical with a live band and a tighter book. If you have yet to check out any of Dragon Lady's many iterations, this is the one to see. Intiman artistic director Andrew Russell, who is leaving us soon, will direct. RICH SMITH

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Book-It Repertory Theatre is known for their excellent adaptations of classic literature, and they'll open their 2017-2018 season with a production of one of the most celebrated and necessary autobiographies ever: Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Racism, sexism, and trauma are explored intimately and poetically through Angelou's childhood and teenage years. The play was originally adapted for Book-It in 2003; Charles Mudede wrote, "The translation of the book into this new play by Myra Platt is successful not because it's faithful to its great source, whose pleasures are purely literary (the calm then intense rhythm of Angelou's sentences, paragraphs, chapters). It's successful because the dynamic wills of the characters who populate Maya Angelou's first literary world are captured and at times enhanced by this theatrical one." Platt will return in collaboration with Malika Oyetimein to present a new, 2017-ready version of the script.

Julius Caesar
Seattle Shakespeare Company will stage one of Shakespeare's most intricate (and currently relevant) plays, a fresco of ambition, patriotism, irrationality, friendship, doom, and a bit of skulduggery.

THURSDAY

ART

Artist Talk with Storme Webber and Miranda Belarde-Lewis
Storme Webber—who Emily Pothast describes as "a Two-Spirit First Nations (Alutiiq/Black/Choctaw) interdisciplinary artist, curator, writer, and performer who creates socially engaged texts and images at the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, memory, and spirit"—will join with curator Miranda Belarde-Lewis (known for working with local museums as a curator, development coordinator, and fundraiser, as well as elevating Native and First Nations voices in art) for a discussion of Webber's exhibit Casino: A Palimpsest.

FOOD & DRINK

Eat Out Seattle Fundraiser
Eat and drink at any of fifteen participating restaurants in Seattle, including Bimbo's Cantina, Hello Robin, Rhein House, and more to support "high quality, caring, culturally appropriate primary health care."

PERFORMANCE

Throwing Shade
As my final queer calendar write-up for The Stranger, it's a real pleasure to recommend—no, DEMAND—that the entire city attend Throwing Shade, the live version of the unreasonably perfect podcast hosted by Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson. Every week, they address issues important to women and gays, treating those issues with much less respect than they deserve. And now they're here to do the same to Seattle. Well, it's about time SOMEONE did. MATT BAUME

READINGS & TALKS

Food Action Launches the Washington Food Bill
Seattle-based nonprofit Food Action presents this launch party for their "first-in-the-nation statewide 'Food Bill,'" featuring two notable guest speakers: politician and Grist CEO Brady Walkinshaw and State Senator Rebecca Saldaña.

Molly Hashimoto: Colors of the West
Molly Hashimoto will talk about her work in honor of her new book, Colors of the West, which explores wildlife and landscapes through "en plein air" watercolor.

RESISTANCE & SOLIDARITY

Seattle Beer & Justice
Drink with fighters for the Campaign for Equal Justice, which provides legal aid to people who can't afford it otherwise. Lucy Lee Helm, Chief Partner Officer at Starbucks, will speak at this event hosted by Beer & Justice and Councilmember Lorena Gonzàlez. Drinks and snacks will be provided. Donate generously.

THURSDAY-SATURDAY

PERFORMANCE

Why We Have a Body
Claire Chafee's 1993 play, which features an all-woman cast, explores queer lives in opposition to the patriarchy through short monologues and scenes. Rhonda J Soikowski will direct this Strawberry Theatre Workshop production.

THURSDAY-SUNDAY

ART

Nola Avienne: Sleep Study
By day, Nola Avienne works as a phlebotomist—the technician who draws your blood at the doctor's office. She's also a scientifically minded artist whose work has incorporated, among other things, expertly handled blood. For her new show at SOIL, Avienne translates MRI images of her own brain into large-scale watercolors and magnetic sculptures inspired by the science of sleep. In choosing the mapping of the unconscious mind as her subject matter, Avienne reveals a paradox: What is the true nature of the hidden places we visit in dream states? Rather than attempt an answer, Avienne uses these maps to aestheticize the experience of interior worlds. EMILY POTHAST

PERFORMANCE

An American Dream
The opera nuts I know are still talking about the 2015 world premiere of this chamber piece by San Francisco composer Jack Perla (with libretto by Jessica Murphy Moo), which was commissioned by Seattle Opera. The story is set in the Puget Sound region during WWII, and it follows the lives of two women: One is a Japanese American woman who was swept into an internment camp, and the other is a German Jewish immigrant who has moved into the Japanese woman's recently deserted home. But before audience members settle into their well-appointed seats to watch the narrative play out, the production team sends them through a booking process designed to resemble the one imposed by US officials at the Japanese internment camps. Considering Trump's decision to rescind DACA, this operatic dive into this region's past might also offer us a glimpse of its dark future. RICH SMITH
There will be no performance on Saturday.

Blues for Mister Charlie
A black musician is killed by a white man with a history of violence in a small Southern town. James Baldwin's play dramatizes the consequences, in which the white man's wife, a black minister, and a local newspaperman struggle with the truth—and tell lies. Presented by The Williams Project, and performed at the Emerald City Bible Fellowship and Franklin High School.

Teh Internet Is Serious Business
Tim Price—a young Welsh playwright who has been making a name for himself by writing plays about protest movements—is responsible for writing this one about the rise of Anonymous, the group of hackers who are single-handedly trying to maintain the cultural relevancy of Guy Fawkes masks, and who, for now, seem to wield lots of headless shadow power on the internet. In the play, two British teens start hacking for the lulz. Then they start hacking in order to rid the world of Scientology. Watching them walk the path from "hahahaha, we're having fun" to "we are the saviors of the internet world" (no offense, love you guys) might tell us something about the stories men tell themselves. RICH SMITH

Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike
Lamplight Productions presents the 2013 Tony Award-winning comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, a Chekhov-inspired (but timely!) family quibble.

The Who & the What
Ayad Akhtar is best known for his celebrated and Pulitzer Prize-winning play Disgraced (2012), which explored Muslim identity and Islamophobia through an animated conversation at a four-person dinner party. ArtsWest will open their season with Akhtar's 2014 play The Who & the What, which again investigates elements of Muslim identity while also examining gender roles and familial expectations. Akhtar's writing is full of drama and humor, and this play features dating woes, family strife, and a controversial book about the prophet Muhammad.

FRIDAY

ART

Artist Talk: James Allen - Book Excavations
Cut Up/Cut Out's James Allen, an artist who "excavates" books by cutting them into sculptural object, will talk about his artistic process.

COMEDY

Chris Rock
For the first time in more than nine years, acclaimed comedian and actor Chris Rock will take to the stage and share the inside of his brain with audiences around the country. Hopefully, his set will contain timely new material that skewers politics and society. Only one way to find out!

PERFORMANCE

The Construction Zone
This edition of the Construction Zone is a month-long workshop curated by eSe Teatro, where you have the chance to see new work by contemporary Latino playwrights. Plus, you'll get a preview of what's coming up next at ACT, because one play from the series will be featured in ACTLab and eSe Teatro's 2018 season. This week's play is Elaine Romero's Modern Slave.

READINGS & TALKS

Carolina Ebeid and Charif Shanahan
This event offers readings from debut works by two promising poets: Carolina Ebeid (author of You Ask Me To Talk About the Interior and editor of online journal Visible Binary) and Charif Shanahan (Stanford Stegner Fellow and author of the award-winning collection Into Each Room We Enter Without Knowing).

Elizabeth Rosner: Survivor Cafe
Elizabeth Rosner, author of books including the lyrical Speed of Light and historical novel Electric City, will present her latest work: Survivor Café, about the impending disappearance of survivors (of the Holocaust, Pearl Harbor, and the Killing Fields, just to name a few) and what it means for our understanding of history and our collective memory.

Hugo Literary Series: Meghan Daum, Solmaz Sharif, Sonora Jha, and Joy Mills
In honor of their return to their original (but hopefully, very much improved!) space, Hugo House has commissioned work on the theme "Sequels." Three writers (Meghan Daum, Solmaz Sharif, and Sonora Jha) and a musician (Joy Mills) will present original work created for this event.

FRIDAY-SATURDAY

ART

Off the Walls
We miss the Asian Art Museum. So this event is a welcome little interlude—before the renovation starts in full, they're opening their doors to the public so we can explore the museum and enjoy special installations created just for this weekend. Activities on Friday include a lecture on 15th-century Jain manuscripts by Ayla Joncheere and a reception featuring an electric Indian fusion band and DJs. Saturday promises a community day with family-friendly art-making, and an evening event with music, dancing, art-making, and a cash bar.

QUEER

The Rocky Horror Aerial Show
See the Time Warp and other pervy showstoppers performed in mid-air. For the love of Frank-N-Furter, don't throw toast this time.

FRIDAY-SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

Mrs. Bave Presents the Pig War
The Pig War is a piece of unique local history that's fun to pull out for trivia purposes occasionally—the "war" had no deaths, and its end result was the designation of the San Juan Islands as U.S. territory. Bellingham TheatreWorks presents this "almost true" story based on the historical event.

SATURDAY

COMEDY

Jim Gaffigan
If you're looking for an evening of relatively family-friendly comedy, watch Jim Gaffigan make jokes about impressive food consumption and the trials and tribulations of daily life. Gaffigan's known for his TV and film appearances, stand-up specials Mr. Universe and Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed, and his books Dad is Fat and Food: A Love Story.

FOOD & DRINK

Builder's Dinner 2017
Join Smoke Farm and Chef Josh Hart of Ba Bar for the annual Builder's Dinner, a "barn-raising fundraiser" benefiting the Rubicon Foundation. The spread is a salmon dinner courtesy of Hart, and proceeds will go towards supporting Rubicon, the main organizer of Smoke Farm. Rubicon arranges educational events, poetry retreats, study groups, and more. You're also welcome to get there early to tour the farm and check out some of the current building projects.

Second Annual Oktoberfest Brewer's Kick-Off
Altstadt is bringing back its Oktoberfest celebration for a second year, and once again this will begin in mid-September and will stretch well into October with German-style beer, traditional food, and seasonal cocktails. On the opening day, there will be a special menu featuring items like Dampfnudel (steamed dumpling with either bacon and Emmental or vanilla sauce and plums), Steckerlfisch (grilled whole mackerel stuffed with lemon and herbs), Schweinbraten (beer-roasted pork loin served with onions, carrots, and mustard), Kartoffelpuffer (crispy potato pancakes served with light salad), and house-made soft pretzels served with traditional spreads. There will also be live music from The Millennial Falcons, plus prizes and giveaways.

MUSIC

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."

PERFORMANCE

Finnegan's Wake: Part 1, Chapter 1
Seattle composer, musician, and substitute teacher Neal Kosaly-Meyer will perform the first four chapters of Jame's Joyce's Finnegans Wake from memory, devoting special attention to the work's musical detail.

SUNDAY

FOOD & DRINK

Annual Korean BBQ Cook-Off
Battle it out (or just sit back and eat/observe) to see who has the best kalbi in town. In this annual cook-off, anyone can enter the contest for a chance to win one of two titles: "Baddest Kalbi in the Northwest," and/or "People's Choice Kalbi." If you're up for the challenge, visit the event website for information on how to enter.

Sunday Cooking Classes at Addo
Chef Eric Rivera tirelessly holds pop-up cooking classes around the city, focusing on everything from sous vide techniques to fermentation. He also holds foraging classes, plus other events like lechoneras (inspired by traditional South American restaurants selling roasted pork). Sign up for one or many—you'll be sure to learn something, and Rivera promises he'll feed you, too.

Get all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app—available now on the App Store and Google Play.