Our music critics have already chosen the 30 best concerts this week, but now it's our arts critics' turn. Here are their picks for the best events in every genre—from the Short Run Comix & Arts Festival to Seattle Restaurant Week, and from the CoCA Legacy Marathon & Auction to Halloween events like Cucci's Spooky Weed x Messy Webs. See them all below, and find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.
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Long before The History Channel broadcast its first cheesy historical reenactment, the Danish director Benjamin Christensen read the infamous Malleus Maleficarum (or "witch-hammer"), a 15th-century guide to black magic for German inquisitors, and decided to endow it with cinematic life. Häxan (1922) is actually a rationalist semi-documentary, focusing on the dangers of superstition and prejudice. But after seeing a few of his bug-out witch-sabbath sequences, you might be excused for speculating that Christensen just needed an excuse to freak people out. And he did—the film was even banned in the US. Just to make this fearsome Halloween treat totally irresistible, Dangerknife (aka Nico Sophiea of somesurprises and Darb Aduor of Leviathan Worship Service) and friends will be improvising an appropriately dark score.
Halloween Double Feature hosted by Robbie Turner
Gush over your love of Jamie Lee Curtis and Bette Midler's spookier sides with a screening of two classics, Hocus Pocus and Halloween, hosted by RuPaul's Drag Race star Robbie Turner. Enjoy complimentary popcorn, candy, and drink specials all night long.
Ask the Oracle: Richard Chiem, Meredith Clark, and Marie-Caroline Moir
On the eve of All Hallows' Eve, check out a spooky Halloween edition of literary divination, hosted by Johnny Horton. Tonight’s writer-oracles are Richard Chiem, Meredith Clark, and Marie-Caroline Moir.
The very influential Walter Isaacson (President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, former CEO of CNN, and former managing editor of Time) has written a number of very good biographies of people including Henry Kissinger, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Steve Jobs. At this event, he'll share his latest book: Leonardo Da Vinci, which explores the artist's life and essential genius.
Witch-Ikon: An Exhibition of Contemporary Witchcraft Imagery
The witch: manifestation of satanic evil? Embodiment of earthly feminine wisdom? Victim of superstitious hysteria? These artists are hanging works depicting witches and the occult, whatever it means to them. Just in time for Samhain! Contributors include Benjamin Vierling, K. Lenore Siner, David Herrerías, Dolorosa de la Cruz, Rory MacLean, Santiago Caruso, Marzena Ablewska-Lech, Timo Ketola, and others.
MONDAY-THURSDAYFOOD & DRINK
Seattle Restaurant Week
I think Seattle Restaurant Week benefits all parties involved. For one, it provides access to a host of the city's best restaurants at a price comparable to what you'd pay to Postmates for some mediocre pad thai. You can go out to all the places you've been meaning to go, try a wide swath of their menu, and leave with your financial well-being intact. It's only $33 for three courses, and only $18 at lunch! At places like Lark, Tilth, and Terra Plata! For two, restaurants win because it brings in all those people who have been meaning to go but have never gone, and potentially converts them to return customers. Regulars are, as any restauranteur will tell you, the real meat and bread of the business. Lastly, the actual restaurant staff wins because, if you're not a bad person, you listen to the sage advice my predecessor Bethany Jean Clement used to give every year, "Tip well, these things are hell for servers." TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE
Zaria Forman: Antarctica
This exhibit featuring work by Zaria Forman is inspired by the month she spent aboard the National Geographic Explorer in Antarctica. Large-scale, immediate, and almost photo-realistic, these soft, chilly pastel landscapes memorialize a vanishing environment and capture a crucial moment in our environmental history. As the global ice caps continue to melt, Forman's art allows us to witness our planet in flux.
Last Stop on Lilac
Annex celebrates the opening of its 30th season with this 1960s LA murder mystery written by local playwright Kelleen Conway Blanchard. The show centers on the death of “sweet-faced Bunny Le Blanc,” a Hollywood starlet who met her end on Lilac Lane. Gumshoes Larry Bruce (William Zimmerman) and Candy Spice (Jen Nelson) investigate the crime, which apparently involves “sacrifices, Tupperware, and go-go dancing knife fights.” I’m on board for Blanchard’s writing, which can be hilarious and wild when it wants to be. RICH SMITH
No performance on Tuesday or Wednesday.
UNLEASHED! New Pulp Stories for the 21st Century
Pork-Filled Productions is producing its own remedy for racial type-casting: Creating new, fun roles for Chinese, African, and Korean American cast members and playwrights to work in, escaping the demand to constantly address "pain, oppression and social issues." Watch them blast off with tales of ninjas, noir nightclub denizens, and a pirate queen. Every night is a different play; you can see all of them for $20. Sara Porkalob directs the last one, Persimmon Nights!
Special Halloween Tour
Explore the seamy side of the Frye's collection, including "occult, mad scientists, vampires, and things that go bump in the night" in Mike Kelley: Day is Done and the work of the Munich Secessionists in the regular collection. Plus, discover Manuel Álvarez Bravo's photographs of the Day of the Dead.
KEXP's Second Annual Halloween Open House
KEXP’s second annual Halloween Open House promises plenty of treats, but no tricks. See crafts from SeattleArtLeague, pose in a photo booth, take a tour of the station, go on a KEXPassport Scavenger Hunt, and enjoy treats and discounts on horror LPs at Light in the Attic record shop. To top it all off, La Marzocco Cafe will be serving a special hot chocolate.
The Fremont Troll is frequently held up by travel guides as an icon of Fremont's artsy, underground "quirkiness." Nowadays, expensive condos bear the name of the Volkswagen-clutching cement giant. But if Fremont's changing, the Fremont Arts Council still knows how to throw a hell of a weird party. This Halloween, the Fremont Troll will reach the ripe old age of 27. Help it through its quarter-life crisis by putting on your spookiest getup and galavanting down 36th Avenue during the Haunt of Fremont and Trollogogo.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Removed as they are from the modern moviegoing experience, silent movies possess a special kind of hypnotic otherwordliness—and few are stranger than Robert Wiene's 1919 Expressionist masterwork The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Characters creep and scurry through an demented painted landscape In this tale of a malevolent fairground "doctor" and the unfortunate sleepwalker who murders at his command. Conrad Veidt's haunted eyes struggling open in his emaciated, heavily made-up face is one of the quintessential moments in horror cinema. Don't miss your chance to see this film with a score by Wayne Horvitz, performed live by the Wayne Horvitz Ensemble.
Pettirosso Turns Five!
Enjoy $5 drinks at this celebration of the restaurant-cafe-bar-DJ spot Pettirosso, which is marking its fifth year with beats by DJ Mister Sister and a costume party.
Tarot Card Tuesdays
Spend your Tuesdays sipping cocktails and letting a wise stranger tell you about your future.
Spend the holiday experiencing a delightfully freaky, swirly montage of music and mayhem made of found-footage phantasmagoria from the archives of the cheeky Collide-O-Scope duo, Shane Wahlund and Michael Anderson. Come in costume—they may bestow one of their much-coveted prizes upon you! What will the booty be? "A poster? Some DVDs? Some random thing from the dollar sore [sic]? Or maybe an ACTUAL HUMAN HEAD?!?!" There's a special treat this time: a performance by the local cabaret star and drag disaster Ms. Pak-Man.
Cucci's Spooky Weed x Messy Webs
What's spookier than spending Halloween stoned with Cucci Binaca? Binaca is a ringleader among today's alt-drag scene, which includes performers who are more likely to spend their number bleeding onto a canvas than lip-synching to Britney Spears. Cucci's Spooky Weed is a biannual offering from Binaca, and this round features popular enfants terribles like Arson Nicki, Butylene O'Kipple, and Miss Texas 1988. Get hella high, bring some dollars for tipping, and prepare to be spooked. CHASE BURNS
This is Halloween
Can Can's creepy yet cheery musical is back! Last year, Rich Smith wrote: "It's Tim Burton's classic The Nightmare Before Christmas repackaged as a semi-scandalous spectacle for the masses. The audience eats chicken skewers and knocks back $10 cocktails while they watch Tim Keller as Jack 'the Pumpkin King' Skellington sing and dance, cabaret-style, along with Luminous Pariah, Paris Original, Marissa Quimby, and Baby Kate, while a ghoulish orchestra pumps out the show's signature tunes. Despite the glitzy and consumerist exterior, the crew manages to smuggle a complicated cabaret about the horror of fixed identities into the unpretentious space of the Triple Door."
Zombie Cheerleaders From Hell!
The Heavenly Spies are back with their annual Halloween show featuring scary hot dancers—plus "terrifying masks and pretty pasties, black cats and twerking booties, sweet transvestites and dancing cuties."
Tickets are only available for tonight's 9:30 pm performance.
Dragula Season 2 Viewing Party
Sink your fangs into a handful of popcorn as Lucy Tealheart Paradisco and Stacey Starstruck host the season return of Dragula, "the scariest drag show on television," for free.
What if Cheers were about a bunch of drunk animals instead of drunk humans? This play (written by Marcus Gorman and directed by Tootsie Spangles and Quiqui Dominguez) has all the answers.
The first half of this group show about materiality and time will feature work by UW MFA students in Art + Art History + Design, and the second half will highlight pieces by UW alumni, UW faculty, and regional artists. Both phases of the exhibition will "enact changes over time, taking up the dynamic forces of that continually shape and reshape matter, extending the legacies of kinetic art and process-based artworks."
Tip Toland: 'Fall Out'
Hyperrealism is already kind of unnerving, especially in sculpted form. Nothing quite gets you into uncanny valley territory like a facsimile of life in perfect stillness. Northwest artist Tip Toland's painted clay figures seem to concentrate our reality to explosive density, whether through their apparent emotional extremity or their air of not-quite-humanity. Five of these sculptures, entitled Refugee, Cloud, Tantrum, Beauty Parlor, and Remembrance, are showing at the Traver Gallery in October. You won't catch them breathing, but it may be hard not to try.
Want to grope through a pitch-black maze with a bloody clown screaming in your ear, but most likely emerge with all your important bits still attached? Cheesy as it looks, Georgetown Morgue has scared a lot of people. Not recommended for claustrophobes.
No haunt on Wednesday or Thursday.
Best known to the public for creating the colorful glass mosaic backdrop for Seattle Center's Mural Amphitheater, Paul Horiuchi immigrated to the United States from Japan as a teenager and spent many years as a railroad worker. After World War II, he moved to Seattle, where he became associated with Mark Tobey and the rest of the Northwest School. Following successful shows at Zoë Dusanne Gallery and the Seattle Art Museum, he was represented by Woodside/Braseth Gallery until his death in 1999. The current exhibition features important works in painting and collage by this essential 20th century Northwest artist. EMILY POTHAST
This musical is “rarely produced at the professional level due to the sheer size of it,” a source at 5th Avenue Theatre said. “It calls for a nearly 30-person cast and the orchestra is monstrous.” But after Theatre Latte Da in Minneapolis produced a stripped-down, streamlined version of Ragtime with very little in the way of a set, the 5th Avenue hired that same director, Peter Rothstein, to do a similar production for Seattle. The cast includes talented 5th Avenue all-stars like Joshua Carter, Louis Hobson, and Kendra Kassebaum. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
Civic Cocktail: City Hall in Motion + #MeToo
Tim Burgess, who served on the Seattle City Council for a decade before being appointed mayor in September, will discuss his priorities as Seattle's interim mayor, the challenges facing the city, and more. Following his talk, hear from former first lady of Washington State Mona Locke and University of Puget Sound professor Dr. Alisa Kessel as they address harassment in the workplace and on campus, as well as the significance of the #MeToo movement. Joni Balter moderates.
Brooke Gladstone, the cohost (and editor) of the indispensable radio show/podcast On the Media, comes to read from her slim but deep book The Trouble with Reality: A Rumination on Moral Panic in Our Time, which is about the troubling degree to which we have allowed ourselves to abandon the world of the actual and factual in favor of more convenient, self-congratulatory, and, oh yeah, empirically false narratives. Gladstone’s trademark gallows wit and sharp analysis enliven the writing, but, like Kurt Andersen’s recent Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire, Reality is pretty grim going—but you were the one who woke up on November 9 asking: “What. The. Fuck. Just. Happened?” I’m grateful for Gladstone’s ongoing contribution to the project of answering that question. SEAN NELSON
Jodie Hollander with Susan Rich and Katy E. Ellis
Jodie Hollander will headline this group reading with poems from her debut collection, My Dark Horses, which revolves around a family of musicians. Susan Rich, author of Cloud Pharmacy and Katy E. Ellis, author of Night Watch, will also share their recent work.
Coriolanus: Fight Like a Bitch
The all-woman cast of this infrequently produced Shakespearian tragedy stars Z Nation’s Nike Imoru, who showed off her ability to play King Lear and Lady Macbeth in her solo show Ode earlier this year. When she bellowed Lear's famous line, "Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage! Blow!" I felt a desperate urge to see her take on a kingly role of classical proportions, and the theater gods (who are taking the form of Rebel Kat Productions) have granted me this wish. Straight from the audition materials: “What happens when we smash our current political, gendered landscape onto the sacrosanct canvas of one of the greatest playwrights ever? If a man can destroy an entire city… can’t a woman do the same? We say they can.” RICH SMITH
Denzil Hurley: Disclosures
UW professor Denzil Hurley creates paintings that are almost sculptural—and perfect for a period in which committed citizens are taking to the streets with signs every other weekend. His monochrome canvases mounted on sticks and poles will challenge the way you think about communication, and how it relates to both artistic expression and the way we interact with the world at large. Look forward to a thoughtful take on signage and meaning conveyed through dark, layered blocks of color.
John Langs’s version of Arthur Miller’s fuck you to McCarthyism is powerful enough to blow the dust off a play as played out as The Crucible. This production is so good, it makes me want to use a bunch of clichéd theater-critic phrases like “Thrilling!” and “A delight!” and “I was on the edge of my seat!” or whatever I have to say to get you people off your asses and into the Falls Theatre at ACT to see this thing. Even at nearly three hours, the script feels trimmed and somehow muscular, and the story feels as urgent as it ever was, if for no other reason than for its implicit endorsement of the permissiveness of polyamory. There isn’t one weak link in the ensemble, and there’s only one or two very small directorial choices I question. But on the whole, this is the best show I’ve seen this season, and it’s hard to imagine topping it. RICH SMITH
The Government Inspector
The richest tradition in Russian literature does not begin with Leo Tolstoy but with Nikolai Gogol. In the first half of the 19th century, Gogol formed the foundation of a tradition that includes Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Yury Olesha, Vladimir Nabokov, Sasha Sokolov, and Tatyana Tolstaya with only three major works: a novel (Dead Souls), a novella (The Overcoat), and a play (The Government Inspector). The first work is one of the greatest things ever written in the universe that is known. The second is a masterpiece of Russian literature, and the third is just plain fun. The play involves a young man who is mistaken for a secret inspector by the corrupt officials of a small town. These officials do everything they can to please the young man. Wives and daughters are offered to him, and he accepts all of these gifts. Like Dead Souls and Overcoat, the humor in The Government Inspector is not bright or totally dark. It’s a humor that’s mezhdu sokakoi i volkom—between the dog and the wolf. This is the time of day when the shepherd can’t tell who is the friend and who is the enemy of his flock. This is the twilight time. CHARLES MUDEDE
Love, Chaos, and Dinner
Beloved circus/cabaret/comedy institution Teatro ZinZanni will return to Seattle for a dinner theater production of Love, Chaos, and Dinner. They promise "the same stunning, velvet-laden, and iconic Belgian spiegeltent Seattleites will remember from Teatro ZinZanni’s former location on lower Queen Anne." The cast is led by first-time "Madame ZinZanni" Ariana Savalas, and will feature a duo on aerial trapeze, a magician, a "contortionist-puppet," a yodeling dominatrix, a hoop aerialist, and a Parisian acrobat.
This dinner theater production will explore a San Junipero-style fantasy: a world in which people live out their lives virtually, with their brains connected to the cloud. The machines at onērus™ offer "100% organic dreams harvested from Deviants"—see what that might look like at this Cafe Nordo spectacular.
First Thursday Art Walk
Once a month, Seattleites flock to the streets in Pioneer Square for a chance to stroll, sip on booze, and attend as many art openings as possible at First Thursday. It's the city's central and oldest art walk, and takes place in a historic neighborhood known for its abundance of galleries. Wine and hobnobbing will steal the scene for some, but at its core, it's an impressive communal unveiling of new artwork. This month, don't miss Once a month, Seattleites flock to the streets in Pioneer Square for a chance to stroll, sip on booze, and attend as many art openings as possible at First Thursday. It's the city's central and oldest art walk, and takes place in a historic neighborhood known for its abundance of galleries. Wine and hobnobbing will steal the scene for some, but at its core, it's an impressive communal unveiling of new artwork. This month, don't miss the opening receptions for David Byrd and Michael Dailey, David Hytone, Fred Birchman and Kathy Gore Fuss, Ivy Jacobsen, and Sōsaku-hanga.
Seattle Winter Ciderfest
It's the perfect harvest drink. Try every variety of local winter cider, whether spiced, barrel-aged, pumpkin-infused, or what have you. There will also be food and "lifestyle exhibits."
Climate Science on Tap Presents Climate Engineering: What Is It and Should It Be Field Tested?
Since governments aren't acting particularly fast on climate change, is geoengineering a feasible, ethical possibility? Join Thomas Ackerman of the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, political scientist Sikina Jinnah, and ethicist Christopher Preston of the University of Montana for more insight on controlling the environment.
Hope and Activism in a Complex Political Landscape
Marcus Harrison Green (the South Seattle Emerald) and Mark Baumgarten (the Seattle Weekly) will launch their book Fly to the Assemblies! Voices of Dissent from the Pacific Northwest, which features essays by Baumgarten, Green, Sharon H. Chang, David Kroman, Kristin Leong, Reagan Jackson, and others on fresh ideas in our awful political climate.
Nisi Shawl: The Obama Inheritance
World Fantasy Award nominee and James Tiptree, Jr. Award winner Nisi Shawl, author of Everfair, will present this collection of pulp "conspiracy noir" featuring diverse authors. The Obama Inheritance, edited by Gary Phillips, includes stories by Robert Silverberg, Kate Flora, Walter Mosley, Adam Lance Garcia, Lisa Mclendon, Desirée Zamorand, and others, all poking serious fun at the racist conspiracy theories surrounding the Obama administration.
On Love and Books
Gordana Crnkovic, Slavic professor of Comparative Literature, Cinema, and Media at the University of Washington, will give a talk about Bohumil Hrabal's iconic novel Too Loud a Solitude. Specifically, she'll touch on the novel's themes of art, ethics, animal welfare, and technology.
CoCA Legacy Marathon & Auction
The Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA) is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its 24-Hour Art Marathon and Auction, an annual tradition in which artists spend 24 hours of "controlled chaos" creating new works of art to be auctioned off at the Legacy Auction on November 3. The action begins at 10 a.m. on Thursday, November 2, and the marathon will be open to the public during the First Thursday art walk. While you're in the neighborhood, don't miss CoCA's Legacy Exhibition at their Third Avenue Gallery, featuring an impressive roster of artists who have shown at CoCA through the years. EMILY POTHAST
The International Comic Arts Forum
This academic conference, founded more than 20 years ago at Georgetown University, is a chance for scholars to share their studies in comic art, graphic novels, cartooning, etc. This year, the conference will be held in Seattle, city of Fantagraphics, to which we say: appropriate choice! They've invited Peruvian author/illustrator Jésus Cossio (Los Años del Terror), artist/author Emil Ferris (My Favorite Thing Is Monsters), manga artist Moto Hagio, comics writer Kelly Sue DeConnick (Captain Marvel, Bitch Planet), and artist Jim Woodring (Congress of the Animals) to speak, along with many others. The keynote speaker will be Professor Ramzi Fawaz from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Sustaining New Patronage: A Brainstorming Project
This group show investigates the complicated workings of the gallery world, a pressing issue as galleries in Seattle and around the world struggle to adapt to new approaches to art buying. This show will explore "the idea of 21st century patronage, how the ways people engage with the art world is changing, and how people from varying economic backgrounds may gain and benefit from artist and gallery relationships outside of or in addition to buying art."
Clear & Sweet 360
Before Clear & Sweet opened at the Local Sightings film festival in September, Rich Smith wrote the following about this new, 14-minute, virtual reality, "gorgeous, apocalyptic" show from Stranger Geniuses Zoe | Juniper: "Clear & Sweet is a mix of haunting shape-note singing, atmospheric sludge metal, and Zoe Scofield's sharp and innovative choreography. Juniper Shuey uses his digital wizardry to conjure up intimate battles between heaven and hell, submission and domination, and the living and the dead." This version will feature a 2D and VR 360º screening of the dance film.
It Can't Happen Here
It Can’t Happen Here, a "cautionary tale about the fragility of Democracy," explores the threat of racism in America. The play is based on Sinclair Lewis' classic novel, written during the Great Depression in 1935, which "juxtaposes sharp political satire with the chillingly realistic rise of a president who becomes a dictator to save the nation from welfare cheats, sex, and a liberal press."
Clean Rooms. Low Rates.
This exhibition by Marina Fini (installation) with Jeff Parker and Brendan Barry (photo-text art book) explores a quintessentially American locus: the motel. Promising a "private-turned-public and mundane-turned-psychedelic space," this work will bring to light the aesthetic, economic, sociological, and poetic aspects of the roadside inn. This Sunday, they will throw a book release party for the volume by Parker and Barry.
Piff the Magic Dragon
Piff the Magic Dragon is (1) British, and (2) performs very impressive and hilarious magic, while (3) dressed as a dragon. In a way, it’s like: What more do you want, jam on it? But in another way, his performance elevates what might and should have been pure gimmickry into something approaching the exalted state of high lowbrow, something that transcends this unbearable world by being utterly of it. Or maybe it is just pure gimmickry, but if so, the emphasis is on “pure,” which makes him a must-see. SEAN NELSON
13th Annual HUMP! Film Festival
Every year we put out the call to sex-havers everywhere to submit a homegrown amateur porn film depicting whatever they're into (barring poop, kids, and animals, of course). The result is an incredibly diverse representation of human sexuality in all its straight, gay, trans, queer, kinky, funny, pissy, painful, and pretty forms. (And then it goes away, allowing the filmmakers to go back to their normal lives, thanks to the festival's strict privacy and security policies.) That diversity is also reflected in HUMP!'s audiences, making for a unique theater experience. The person sitting next to you might be seeing your everyday kind of sex for the very first time. In a world where fear and ignorance breed hatred, HUMP!'s demystifying inclusivity is on the front line of deflecting destructive alienation. (You also might surprise yourself by getting turned on by something unexpected.) And, like the best film festivals, it's also fun, thought provoking, and often hilarious. MARJORIE SKINNER
Seattle Turkish Film Festival
The Turkish American Cultural Association of Washington will present this community-driven, volunteer-led festival featuring a rich panorama of new Turkish films. Titles include the LGBT doc Mr. Gay Syria, [deep breath] Don't Tell Orhan Pamuk that His Novel Snow is in the Film I Made About Kars, and the rock doc Blue.
There are plays and there are plays. Lanford Wilson’s Burn This is the latter. It’s heavy, funny, and real (at least it was in 1987), and it's made for actors to sink their fangs into. Most of all, however, it is canon, and therefore both a challenge and an opportunity for a small local theater company to put its stamp on. Theatre 22 has enlisted a fantastic cast for the task: Carolyn Marie Monroe, Jason Sanford, Alex Garnett, and Tim Gouran in the critical role of Pale. This means they have a good shot. It also means that if they don’t bring it off, I’m gonna cry all over your shirt. SEAN NELSON
Go, Dog. Go!
Look: P.D. Eastman’s 1961 children’s classic is about multicolored dogs that drive cars and ride scooters and ski so that they can all get to the party. In short: It’s a perfect book, but it doesn’t exactly scream out to be adapted for the legitimate stage. AND YET, the visionaries at Seattle Children’s Theatre have done just that, and brilliantly, from a script by playwright Steven Dietz, with inspired direction by Allison Gregory, and the work of a nimble, excellent cast. They did such a great job that the production is now in its second revival. If you have kids who aren’t robots yet, you could do a lot worse than taking them to see it. And even though that’s the point, the simple fact is that the production’s ingenuity is so impressive that a grown-up (especially one who’s a little, umm, s-t-o-n-e-d) would enjoy it a lot, too. SEAN NELSON
This show is a tour through a bunch of gay history some people know very little about: the so-called “pansy shows” of the 1930s, a sort of gay minstrelsy most often performed by straight guys. Chauncey Miles (played by Richard Gray), a gay “nance” actor, must “hide his identity while he mocks it onstage” as he and his friends fight back police raids and general disdain. Look for Jasmine Jean Sim to turn in a good performance. And if you want to really make a night of it, for a few extra bucks you can buy cabaret seats, where you and a friend can share a complimentary bottle of wine, which you might need to get through the sad parts. RICH SMITH
The World of Extreme Happiness
This production follows the life of a young girl abandoned in rural China as a baby and forced to scrabble her way out of poverty as a teenager.
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. Past esteemed guests have included Stranger Genius Lindy West, Kshama Savant, former Stranger associate editor David Schmader, and Pramila Jayapal. This installment features Cary Moon and interim council member Kirsten Harris-Talley. Plus, Kevin Murphy of the Moondoggies will give a closing performance.
Barry Blitt with Luke Burbank
Think of any memorable, timely New Yorker cover in recent memory, and chances are good that Barry Blitt drew it. Donald Trump as a beauty queen wearing a sash that said “Miss Congeniality” in October 2016, when it seemed like he was going to lose. The guy on the subway right after the election reading a newspaper headlined “OH SWEET JESUS, PLEASE GOD, NO.” Even the highly controversial satirical drawing of Barack Obama in a turban fist-bumping a heavily armed Michelle Obama was his. There is much to discuss—and funny guy Luke Burbank will be asking the questions. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
Mike Birbiglia (who David Schmader described as "the beloved storyteller and This American Life contributor with the famous sleepwalking problems and habit of saying 'uhhhhh…'") will entertain at the Moore.
International fine-dining chef Justin Khanna (Per Se, Grace, the French Laundry, Lysverket) is bringing fancy cuisine to an old storefront on Beacon Hill, and you won't have to bankrupt yourself to indulge in it. The "Dish Drop" on November 4 will feature a new dish his team has been working on for just $10 to $15 ($15 to $20 with a drink). Make sure to reserve your spot online. If you want to dig into something more elaborate, spring for Khanna and Hubert Tsai's nine-course autumnal tasting menu on November 3 and 4.
The work of three very different, very major choreographers will be on display during this female-focused program. Crystal Pite's kinetic and structurally fascinating Plot Point makes its Pacific Northwest Ballet premiere, and Twyla Tharp's weird, swirling, galloping Afternoon Ball returns to wow and exhaust us, as does Jessica Lang's Her Door to the Sky, which will explode with a million soft New Mexico sunset colors. RICH SMITH
Short Run Marathon Art Show & Festival Reception
Short Run Comix & Arts Festival (happening on Saturday) is an overwhelming yet essential Seattle indie experience—celebrate the event with this accompanying art show featuring works by local favorites including Gemma Correll, Tom Hart, Anders Nilsen, Julia Wertz, Leela Corman, Rebecca Artemisa, Jordan Crane, Nishat Akhtar, and Anders Nilsen.
SATURDAYFOOD & DRINK
The American Whiskey Experience
Consider a "Northwest premiere showcase of some of the finest and rarest American whiskeys." Drink cocktails, sample whiskey, and eat "whiskey-centric food pairings" from local chefs.
Appetite for Justice
This Trinidadian dinner aims to prove that food justice is scrumptious. While you tackle the vegan spread, you'll benefit from the knowledge of lauren Ornelas, founder of the Food Empowerment Project, which encourages sustainable, healthy, and fair-trade consumption. You'll also get to mosey through the Northwest African American Museum in fancy attire, and you can bid on "truly unique" items at the auction. If you love your vegetables and care about the future of life on earth, this is your night.
Oysters + Bubbly
If the November cold has you feeling blue, oysters and champagne aren't a bad way to cheer up. For the first event in a series of three, slurp oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Co. and sip a variety of bubbly while enjoying live folk music from the Maracuja Duo.
Taste bivalves from across the land, enjoy wine pairings, compare "oyster culture" in various regions, and learn how to properly shuck and prepare oysters.
Vegetarian Tamale Cooking Class
Good news for all you vegetarians out there (plus just those who enjoy vegetables): El Centro de la Raza is now holding vegetarian tamale classes as well as its more meat-friendly ones. The price may seem a bit steep, but it's worth it: the cost not only includes the recipe, the class and one dozen uncooked tamales, but also benefits the center's Senior Nutrition & Wellness Program, which offers a variety of services to senior citizens on a daily and weekly basis.
Gay Seattle Pageant: Space Galaxy
Join past Mr., Miss, and Ms. Gay Seattle winners in ringing in this year's contestants and seeing who gets the coveted crowns with a night of performances hosted by Aleska Manilla, Olympia 35, and Alexis Boom Boom Cheesecake.
Claudia Castro Luna's Book Launch & Day of the Dead Celebration
Join Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs and poet Claudia Castro Luna for a reading of Luna's new collection of poems Killing Marías and a Day of the Dead celebration.
An Evening with John Hodgman
Much as his look has undergone a radical transformation—from tweedy (popliny, if we’re being fussy), smooth-faced intellectual to medium-shaggy, facial-haired normal—John Hodgman’s writing has also recently emerged from a chrysalis. His new book, Vacationland, is a departure (YES, pun intended) from the ingenious, deceptive complexity of his fake trivia trilogy and an effort to move the complexity to the foreground, treating race and class in Trumpmerica while sustaining the wry, absurd sense of humor that has made him a beloved figure. PS: I hereby disclose that Hodgman and I are friends. But I further disclose that if the book weren’t good, some other sucker would have had to write this blurb. SEAN NELSON
Short Run Comix & Arts Festival
Now in its seventh year, Short Run has firmly established itself as an indie comix festival of the first order, featuring well over a hundred local, national, and international publishers. You should take your time and do a couple loops, but I guarantee the following artists/tables will have the best shit: Taylor Dow, 2dcloud, Fantagraphics, Cold Cube Press, and Wave Books. This year, I'm especially excited to see special guests Anders Nilsen (Big Questions) and Julia Wertz (Tenements, Towers & Trash) in the lineup. RICH SMITH
SUNDAYREADINGS & TALKS
Nicole J. Georges and Julia Wertz
Join two notable cartoonists, Nicole J. Georges (Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home) and Julia Wertz (Tenements, Towers & Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City). They'll read to you and discuss their careers with moderator E.T. Russian.
SAL Presents: A Conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates
The title of MacArthur genius Ta-Nehisi Coates's new book, We Were Eight Years in Power, sounds like a quote pulled from the mouth of a Democrat in 2017, but it comes from the mouth of Thomas Miller, a black congressman from South Carolina who was elected to office during the relatively progressive period of Reconstruction. Not much changes, I guess, when it comes to the racist's response to much change. In this collection of essays, mostly composed of stuff he published in the Atlantic during Obama's presidency, Coates looks back at how the GOP used the election of the country's first black president to dogwhistle for eight years, and thus usher in the current hounds. RICH SMITH