In Seattle, the beginning of May means not just warmer weather, but also plenty of ways to go out and enjoy it. We've rounded up the 74 biggest events that you should know about below, including plenty of festivals featuring music (like Upstream and Sasquatch), film (the Seattle International Film Festival 2017, Translations, and HUMP!), and community celebration (Folklife and the University District Streetfair). Plus, we've got you covered with plenty of events for holidays (like Cinco de Mayo and Mother's Day), other city-wide festivals (like Red May and Seattle Beer Week), and every other big concert, performance, and art show in between. As always, for even more events happening in Seattle every day, check out our complete Things To Do calendar.
MAY 3-21THEATER & DANCE
1. Cirque du Soleil: Luzia
Cirque du Soleil's latest atmospheric, high-flying, fantastical production is called Luzia: A Waking Dream of Mexico, and will celebrate aspects of Mexican culture and climate from lively games of fútbol to glamorous butterflies. Christopher Frizzelle saw it and described it thus: "Highlights of the show include rain onstage (a first for a touring Cirque production) and a lifelike jaguar puppet (props to the producers and designers for proving long ago that no circus needs real animals). Acrobatic highlights include an act called 'Hoop Diving,' in which tumblers dressed as birds fly through rings, sometimes with their bodies folded in half; 'Adagio,' in which University of Washington–trained gymnast Kelly McDonald is used as a human jump rope; and 'Contortion,' in which Alexey Goloborodko does unbelievable things with his body."
2. Red May
Philip Wohlstetter, a local intellectual who has been a part of the Seattle art scene since the early 1980s, when he helped produce one of the first crowd-sourced anythings by means of a computer (a novel called Invisible City), has organized a world-class radical-left festival that will run in the month of May. This thing is big, ambitious, and timely—though Wohlstetter began putting it together long before anyone could believe that Trump would be our next president. The event is called Red May, it will include a bunch of brilliant and noted radical thinkers and artists (Michael Hardt, China Miéville, Joshua Clover, Nisi Shawl, Steven Shaviro, Kathi Weeks, Geoff Mann—to name a few), and it occurs at a number of popular venues (Northwest Film Forum, Saint John's Bar and Eatery). Look at its rather extensive schedule and find things (films, exhibits, talks) that catch your eye immediately. CHARLES MUDEDE
3. French Kiss
French Kiss is a sexy production that features dancers performing original choreography by Fae Pink, elaborate sets and projections, and themed food and cocktails.
MAY 3-JUNE 11THEATER & DANCE
4. Murder for Two
Contemporary musical comedy Murder for Two (with book by Kellen Blair and Joe Kinosian, music by Joe Kinosian, and lyrics by Kellen Blair) is a piano-filled murder mystery that features two actors: one who attempts to solve the murder, and another that plays all the suspects.
MAY 3-JUNE 18THEATER & DANCE
5. Here Lies Love
David Byrne’s critically adored disco musical about the life and times of Imelda Marcos, disco-obsessed wife of Ferdinand Marcos. She danced by his side (and by Richard Nixon’s—look it up on YouTube) while his dictatorial ass terrorized the Philippines. Unlike other musicals, you don’t have to forgive this one for its melodramatic, sappy songs. The fast numbers are groovy disco bangers and the slow numbers are touching, tropically inflected twee rock/pop. Production-wise, this show will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen at the Rep. The installation of mobile dance floors will significantly change the theater’s seating situation, and the audience will be dancing (according to the demands of the dictator, of course) throughout the show. RICH SMITH
MAY 4READINGS & TALKS
6. Women You Need to Know: Emily Nussbaum
With her omnivorous cultural taste, expansive intellect, and wry humor, the New Yorker's Pulitzer Prize-winning television critic guided us and continues to guide us through American television's golden age. She was way ahead of the game re: academic takes on Buffy. She helped everyone figure out why they liked Mad Men so much. And, in general, she elevated TV crit at least to the vaunted heights of film crit. Get to know her a little better at SAL's Women You Need to Know series, hosted this time at Town Hall. RICH SMITH
7. Translations Film Festival
Three Dollar Bill Cinema presents their 12th annual festival highlighting more than 70 films and artists from around the world that explore transgender experiences. This year, opening night promises a screening of Free Cece!, a documentary featuring Laverne Cox and Cece McDonald that explores Cece McDonald's incarceration in a men's prison—as well as systemic injustices and violence that transgender women of color face. (McDonald and director Jacqueline Gares will attend the opening night party at the Egyptian.) The festival will also host discussions and special events, including a live concert featuring Joe Stevens. The closing night screening is Die Beautiful, a Filipino comedy-drama that won Best Actor and the Audience Choice Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival. MATT BAUME
8. Seattle Beer Week
Dozens of watering holes will celebrate beer with even more zeal than usual during Beer Week, which officially launches at Flatstick Pub on Friday and continues in virtually every Seattle neighborhood and many some suburbs. Particular events will focus your taste buds on nanobrews, stouts, cedar-aged IPAs, German beers, and more—plus there's a beer can derby, a Hangover Breakfast, beer dinners, beer and yoga, and a football-throwing contest. See the full schedule here.
MAY 4-15THEATER & DANCE
9. Cherdonna's Doll's House
The local powerhouse and "female impersonator impersonator" Cherdonna Shinatra (Jody Kuehner) deconstructs and reconstructs Henrik Ibsen’s arguably already feminist classic A Doll's House. Will Nora realize that her life doesn’t necessarily exist in relation to a man’s life, but for real this time? Will Cherdonna bust into the middle of scenes and sing surprisingly relevant pop songs in an operatic voice that make the play more intersectional? Kuehner's work defies divining of any kind. But if she’s doing a thing, you go and you see that thing. Those are the rules. Presented by Washington Ensemble Theatre, adapted by Ali Mohamed el-Gasseir and Jody Kuehner, and directed by Ali Mohamed el-Gasseir. RICH SMITH
MAY 4-20THEATER & DANCE
10. Chitrangada, The Warrior Princess
Dance drama Chitrangada follows the story of a warrior princess who decides to become less powerful, less useful, and more feminine in order to win the affections of a man. Thankfully, that's just the setup. The famous drama is based on the one-act play Chitra by renowned Bengali playwright Rabindranath Tagore, who is known for his contributions not just to theater but also to music, literature, and visual art. This production, co-presented by Seattle-based South Asian arts nonprofit Pratidhwani and directed by Moumita Bhattacharya, promises 11 forms of classical and contemporary Indian dance as well as original music. Plus, look forward to grand dance numbers performed by a cast of 40.
MAY 4-JUNE 25THEATER & DANCE
11. Lost Falls
In May, Twin Peaks will return after more than 25 years off the air—celebrate with this food- and performance-based homage to David Lynch, with all the small-town charm and creepy suspense you'll find in his work. They'll investigate the question: "Who killed Chef Nordo Lefesczki?" Enjoy a score by Annastasia Workman, script by Terry Podgorski, direction and menu design by Erin Brindley, and performances by Devin Bannon (on lead vocals—fun fact: he's a performer, director, and Stranger sales rep), Evan Mosher (trumpet, vocals, sound effects and more), Matt Manges (drums), Dave Pascal (bass), Ryan Higgins, Ayo Tushinde, Opal Peachey, Carol Thompson, Ronnie Hill, and Laura Dux.
12. PJ Harvey
Musicians who keep their own counsel over an extended period of time represent an all-too-rare phenomenon. Polly Jean Harvey arrived fully formed with her accomplished 1992 debut, Dry. It was a critical smash, but like David Bowie, Neil Young, and other major recording artists before her, she refused to make the same record twice. After Dry came the ferocious Rid of Me, the blues-saturated To Bring You My Love, and so on throughout her discography, including 2016’s openhearted The Hope Six Demolition Project. If some albums work better than others—the wraith-like singing on White Chalk was a bit much—she’s become a confident performer since her first tentative Seattle gig. In a music world filled with people-pleasers and trend-hoppers, she’s the real deal. KATHY FENNESSY
MAY 5-7FOOD & DRINK
13. Nordic Culinary Conference
Danish chef Claus Meyer will be the star attraction of this weekend for enthusiasts of Nordic culinary history, philosophy, and technique.
Crypticon will fill the DoubleTree with hundreds of gorehounds, bloodsluts, zombbros, and creepazoids. This year will feature Matthew Lillard (Scooby Doo, Scream, the new Twin Peaks), as well as some of the cast members who got their brains eaten in the film that launched a gazillion zombies, Night of the Living Dead. Other special guests will include Doug Bradley (Hellraiser), Judie Aronson (Weird Science), John Amplas (Martin), and other denizens of the B-movie shadow realm. Dress up and enter the cosplay contest, attend the Rocky Horror Picture Show with Shadowcast, watch new horror shorts at the film festival, and party on the 13th floor.
15. Cinco de Mayo
Check out our complete Cinco de Mayo calendar for events like the Third Annual Madness de Mayo Bartending Competition, the Cinco De Mayo Block Party at Greenlake, the Windermere Cut Party, the ¡Fiesta 5K Olé! & Taco Truck Challenge, and El Centro de la Raza's 12th Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration.
16. Smash Putt
This is basically the zenith of fun in a dreary Seattle winter. You get wasted, you play bizarro-world mini golf (including a hole featuring a golf ball cannon), and you generally are reminded how fun works. Last time I went, they even had the Infernal Noise Brigade marching around the venue, sowing chaos. This is its final week ever, so don't miss it. TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE
17. Art Rising
Art will occupy South Lake Union in the form of interactive installations, which visitors will be encouraged to climb, photograph, touch, or even move. Urban Craft Uprising vendors will sell art you can take home.
18. Seattle Opening Day
On Opening Day of the Seattle boating season, the Montlake Bridge will be ceremonially raised, crews and sailboats will race, and decorated yachts will glide down the Lake Washington Ship Canal in the Grand Opening Day Boat Parade, which this year has the theme of "Emerald City Aahs!" Bring a picnic lunch and cheer for your favorite vessels.
19. Debacle Fest 2017
Now in its 10th year, Debacle Fest remains a low-budget, all-purpose banquet for experimental music of many stripes. Once more, the organizers are keeping it largely Northwest-centric, but their acute ears for underground talent make for another interesting lineup, featuring 24 acts from Seattle, Vashon Island, Olympia, Anacortes, Portland, Oakland, and New York. On the docket: transcendent drones (Ashley Bellouin, L.A. Lungs), electronic-folk fusions (Medina/Walsh, Tiny Vipers, Elkhorn), audacious psych rock (Galaxy Research, Volcanic Pinnacles), guitar-based noise expressionism (Nordra, Pink Void), mutations of electronic songcraft (Barnett + Coloccia, Cruel Diagonals), and radical analog-synth alchemy (Raica). Prepare for a kaleidoscopic array of unusual sounds hitting you from many angles. DAVE SEGAL
20. Obscura Day 2017
Obscura Day (a creation of Atlas Obscura, an online magazine devoted to the weird, wondrous, and underappreciated), is a worldwide celebration of unique, offbeat locations and experiences, with events that range from a visit to a miniature city in an Alabaman grotto to a tour of Bulgaria's concrete Communist landmarks. Closer to home, visit the secret Freeway Park, learn of hidden tragedies in the Mount Auburn cemetery, tour Town Hall's concealed organ, call up the Ghosts of Seattle, discover 3 Howls Distillery, and more.
22. Bliss: Transcendence
USC cracks spring wide open with Bliss: Transcendence, a festival designed to take its audience on a sublime journey through the senses with electronic music as their guide. Headliners for this fest include Markus Schulz, Andrew Bayer, Ilan Bluestone, Bryan Kearney, Sneijder, and Menno De Jong.
23. A Festival for May
"Bryng in the May" at Camlann, a recreation of an English village in 1376 (just before the Hundred Years' War). They'll have a peaceful May Day celebration with maypole dancing, craft booths with medieval artisan demos, dancing, archery, medieval music, and more. Medieval clothing is encouraged (they suggest "greens, yellows and a chaplet for your hair"), but not required, and you can either eat at the Bors Hede restaurant or reserve your place at the more indulgent May Banquet.
24. Magnetic Fields 50 Song Memoir: Parts I & II
Stephin Merritt is a genius, but I’m not gonna blow smoke. The last multi-disc set from the Magnetic Fields, 69 Love Songs, from 18 years back, he turned up with one solid set, two others that had moments, but, more miss than hit—then somehow convinced anybody who was everybody that this stunt made for a masterpiece. Hope springs eternal for me, especially for geniuses, but I’m not sure what to make of this year’s 50 Song Memoir, where the disc count goes to five (although the songs could have fit on three) and the focus shifts to the self. Has he that much to withdraw from the self? Sign of hope: One new tune has Tetris in it! ANDREW HAMLIN
25. The Magic Flute
Unfairly considered to be a beginner's opera, The Magic Flute is truly a unique masterpiece of Mozart's, blending myth and fantasy to convey the message that love truly conquers all—a relevant message certainly for his time and ours. Follow along with the journey of a prince and his sidekick as they are tasked with rescuing the Queen of the Night’s daughter from a group of possibly dangerous priests, armed only with enchanted musical instruments (namely the magic flute). The opera is in German with English subtitles, but don't let that deter you from its language-surpassing beauty.
26. Divine Ammunition: The Sculpture of Al Farrow
In introducing this exhibition—in which Al Farrow creates sculptures of reliquaries, cathedrals, synagogues, mosques, mausoleums, and devotional objects using guns and ammunition—the press release says delicately that Farrow "denigrates no one belief in his work, being mindful, discriminating, and probing toward all." But the simpler fact is that all of his objects are as terrible as beautiful, and they suggest that our strongest devotions inspire our greatest blind violence. The implications are painful and real, and the ornate pieces are a sight to see, more likable than we might wish them to be given their materials. JEN GRAVES
This exhibit closes today.
27. Melissa Etheridge
Folk-rock legend and '90s lesbian rumor mill icon Melissa Etheridge spreads her wings and does other inspiring Americana metaphors on her This is MEmphis Rock & Soul Tour, a "soul-lute" to the legacy of Stax Records.
28. An Intimate Evening with Lea Michele
Glee star and Broadway belle Lea Michele hosts an intimate evening of pop, cabaret, and showtunes.
29. Aimee Mann with Jonathan Coulton
This event pairs indie powerhouse Aimee Mann with new school troubadour Jonathan Coulton, promising performances of music from both of their latest albums.
MAY 9-14THEATER & DANCE
30. An American in Paris
This new musical, based loosely (very loosely) on the movie starring Gene Kelly and featuring the songs of George and Ira Gershwin, took home four Tonys (including set design and choreography) plus a slew of other awards and nominations.
31. Chris Brown with 50 Cent, Fabolous, O.T. Genasis, Kap G
Often in the news for not great reasons, Chris Brown bucks the serious stuff and heads to KeyArena to show off his R&B side, with hiphop guests 50 Cent, Fabolous, O.T. Genasis, and Kap G on The Party Tour.
32. Tanya Tagaq
Tanya Tagaq, an Inuk throat singer who uses orchestral arrangements and solo harmonizing to create a unique and disturbing sonic majesty all her own, presents new work from her upcoming album Retribution, and will be joined in her efforts by vocal chameleon Christine Duncan, drummer Jean Martin, and violinist Jesse Zubot.
33. Sherman Alexie Loves: First Loves: Park, Schrag & Yapa
SAL's new "Sherman Alexie Loves" series works not only because the acronyms align, but because it's fascinating to see a literary titan like Alexie geek out about stuff. Instead of standing in the spotlight, which is where we all want him to be, he assumes the role of spotlight, employing his intellect and enthusiasm to illuminate artists you may have never heard of, but also artists you absolutely have heard of (e.g. Bryan Cranston.) This particular lovefest features novelist Patricia Park (Re Jane), graphic artist Ariel Schrag (ADAM), and fiction writer Sunil Yapa, whose debut novel, Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist, renders the WTO protests from the perspective of six characters. RICH SMITH
34. Carlos Mencia
Love him or hate him, Carlos Mencia is an incredibly famous comedian (best known for his Comedy Central TV show Mind of Mencia) and now he's on tour. Come to Bellevue for political commentary and humor.
35. Downstream Music Festival & Art Show
In a feat of underground community planning, Substation will host a music and art festival called Downstream, directly positioned against Paul Allen's Upstream, its cultural and financial polar opposite. Substation is in Ballard, so if you run downstream from Ballard, you'll hit Upstream, located in Pioneer Square, and vice versa. It's a cute trick. For three straight days, the venue will boast double digits worth of local talents spanning across all genres, with bands like Witch Ripper, Vomitface, Peace & Red Velvet, RA Scion, and many more. Ten bucks gets you in each day, with every cent going straight to the bands.
36. Upstream Music Fest + Summit
Upstream is a three-day music festival and summit set to take place in 25 venues around Pioneer Square. It's Paul Allen’s attempt to mold a PNW-focused South by Southwest type large-scale festival, with music, art, tech, and film programming involving many local emerging talents, and more than 300 artists, and keynote speakers Macklemore, Quincy Jones, and Portia Sabin. Curated by longtime hiphop booker and former talent-buyer at the Crocodile Meli Darby, the vast majority of bands are Seattle-and-NW centric, including Shabazz Palaces, electro-jammers Beat Connection, Iska Dhaaf, glam-rockers Thunderpussy and R&B trio The Flavr Blue. Also on the roster is genre-bending hiphop wunderkind DoNormaal, Grammy-winning jazz-fusion ensemble Snarky Puppy, the sublime soundscapes of Bardo:Basho, Freeway Park, SassyBlack, folk wailer Shelby Earl, Raica, pop-duo SISTERS, So Pitted, The Spider Ferns, Youryoungbody, and punk-rock dreamboats Boyfriends. See the full schedule on our Upstream calendar.
37. HUMP! Film Festival 2017
If you missed the amateur porn films that played at the 12th annual HUMP! Film Festival in November 2016, now's your chance to see them again (including the winners of the HUMP! Awards), as part of the 2017 national tour, before the new crop of films that will be part of the 13th annual festival in November 2017. Don't know what HUMP! is? Here's Marjorie Skinner to explain: "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."
MAY 13FOOD & DRINK
38. Annual Pierogi Fest
The first thing you'll discover at this love-fest for Polish cooking: People really, really, really want to eat pierogi. They will show up in the hundreds for these starchy treasures, which can be filled with potato, meat, cheese, or even plums. You'll get a full plate for $10, and you can also purchase beer and other Polish dishes or cultural souvenirs like cutout art, folk wear, and sports scarves.
39. UW Night Market 2017
Night markets are a festive, noisy, and tasty autumn tradition in Taiwanese communities. Vendors sell delicious bites, gadgets, and other bargains to an enthusiastic public after dark. University of Washington's Taiwanese students have brought this tradition to Seattle every year since 2001. Come for food, traditional games, and music.
40. Big Dig Record Show
Twenty of the Northwest's top record dealers will converge and spread every style and genre of vinyl before us, with live sets by local DJs all evening long.
Witness legendary rockers and iTunes abusers U2 recreate their classic album The Joshua Tree in concert on the thirtieth anniversary of its release.
43. The Color Run
Run through a cloud of colored cornstarch, fling your own color packet at other racers, and finish the race looking like a human tie-dye. The price includes a t-shirt, headband, the colored powder, and a Unicorn Finisher's Medal.
44. Chris Fleming
Comedian Chris Fleming, creator of the popular web series Gayle, makes videos in between sketch and stand-up that highlight his self-proclaimed "flaccid social anxiety," skewer his family (and everyone else's), and investigate ideas of masculinity. From one of his videos: "Can I consider myself a man if, in a pinch, I can dry myself off with a hand towel?"
45. 17th of May Festival
The 17th of May (Syttende Mai) marks Norwegian independence and is the occasion for people to don adorable national dress and march through Ballard. The parade starts at night, but you can enjoy free admission to the Nordic Heritage Museum all day.
46. Ballard Jazz Festival 2017
The 15th Annual Ballard Jazz Festival is happening again this year at various locations around the neighborhood, including New York Fashion Academy, Conor Byrne Pub, and the Nordic Heritage Museum. Enjoy live sets from local and national acts, like Chico Freeman, Marina Albero, and Evan Flory-Barnes, a jazz walk down Ballard Avenue, and more.
MAY 18FOOD & DRINK
47. Studio Supper: PK Kounpungchart of Little Uncle
Studio Suppers at On the Boards are Seattle civic treasures that manage to turn the dinner-and-a-show formula into something truly exciting. Before the opening performance of one of OtB’s provocative shows, you join 50 other people at a communal table for a family-style meal prepared by a local chef. There’s lots of wine and, because diners get to pay on a sliding scale ($25–$100), you’ll actually have interesting conversations with a diverse mix of people. This Studio Supper, on the opening night of Tesseract, features dinner by Little Uncle’s PK Frank, whose excellent Thai food is influenced by her own family, as well as the many family-run restaurants in Thailand that keep the country’s culinary traditions alive. ANGELA GARBES
48. Eat Read Hugo 2017
Raise money for all of the very impressive work Hugo House does throughout the year—including workshops, classes, and youth programs—at this community event featuring auctioneer Laura Michalek, emcee and author Karen Finneyfrock, and special guest speaker/nationally famous author Sherman Alexie, who's known for his funny, touching novels and startlingly honest poetry.
49. The Fight of our Lives: An Evening with the ACLU's Anthony Romero
One of the more trivial casualties of the Trump administration is the lawyer joke. Who can now refer to advocates as the scum of the earth when so many rushed to the aid of detainees at national airports following Trump's first Muslim ban? The ACLU played a huge part in the defense of immigrants' rights, and as the challenges to civil liberties mount, they will no doubt continue to lead on the legal front. The ACLU's director since 2001, Anthony Romero, will speak about the organization's battle on behalf of "equality, freedom, justice and our democracy."
MAY 18-JUNE 11FILM
50. Seattle International Film Festival 2017
The Seattle International Film Festival is the largest film festival in the US, with more than 450 films (spread over 25 days) watched by around 150,000 people. It's impressively grand, and is one of the most exciting and widely-attended arts events Seattle has to offer. See the full schedule, buy tickets, watch trailers, and read Stranger reviews on our complete SIFF 2017 guide.
51. Fleet Foxes
Former Stranger intern Robin Pecknold and company return from a six-year hiatus with an orchestral folk-rock epic that prefigures the Seattle-affiliated group's third album, Crack-Up (out June 16). There's a shaggy expansiveness here that hints at cosmic Chris Bell and John Martyn territory without quite capturing the transcendent vibe those guys summoned at their peaks. Still, it's an ambitious, nearly hymnal song (about Pecknold's "unresolved, unrequited" relationship with band mate Skyler Skjelset), and it's one of Fleet Foxes' best. DAVE SEGAL
52. Celebrational Muppetational
Spend the entire evening of May 19 celebrating Jim Henson's artistic imagination in the context of the magical, vaudevillian, and highly entertaining Muppets. The event lineup is packed, and includes live musical performances ("Rainbow Connection" included, obviously), appearances by a Muppet performer and a puppeteer, a costume parade, a dance party, a puppet-making workshop, a scavenger hunt, and screenings of Henson's TV and film work. This event is presented in conjunction with The Jim Henson Exhibition, which opens on May 20.
53. Amie Siegel
Amie Siegel is mainly known as a filmmaker, but her work includes other elements (photography, performance, and installation) as well as a deliberately self-conscious, self-reflective philosophy that examines the nature of these media while, at the same time, taking full advantage of their form. For example, her 2013 work Provenance explores expensive and revered French modernist furniture—from its origins in Chandigarh, India, to its restoration, the way it's shipped, and the mounting prices depicted through scenes in auction houses.
This exhibit opens today and runs through September.
Get swept up in the political drama, scientific exhilaration, and cultural significance of the Space Race at this exhibit that will feature a number of fascinating and iconic artifacts: "an early Soviet space suit, a 1992 Russian Resurs 500 spacecraft, sections of NASA’s 1960s Houston Mission Control, a Boeing lunar rover, the first Apollo command module, and the only Viking Mars lander on Earth."
This ongoing exhibit opens today.
55. Paula Poundstone
Paula Poundstone is best known for her regular appearances on NPR's weekly quiz show Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! for which she apparently holds the record for game losses—but that doesn't stop her from being one of the most beloved panelists on the show, thanks to her quick wit and endearing frankness. She's also a celebrated stand-up comedian.
56. W. Kamau Bell
W. Kamau Bell is a political comedian known for his 2012 FX series Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, as well as CNN's new travel show The United Shades of America, and the two podcasts he co-hosts (Denzel Washington Is The Greatest Actor Of All Time Period with Kevin Avery and Politically Re-Active with the great Hari Kondabolu). Bell is truly funny and offers refreshingly honest (and well-informed) takes on race, politics, and society—in the age of Trump, his commentary is more necessary than ever.
57. Cannabis Grand Cru
In 2014, stakeholders in cannabiz decided to fill a niche in the industry and hold a day of networking and sharing knowledge among growers, owners, customers, pro-legalization lawyers, activists, and others. This year, join them for sessions on fundraising for cannabusiness, federal law and the Trump administration, the importance of hemp for the economy and the planet, and more, plus a culinary demo and tips on environmentally friendly cultivation.
58. University District Streetfair
It's the 48th annual party on the Ave: a festival of food, shopping, crafts, and music up and down the main street of the University District. The music lineup hasn't been set in stone just yet, but last year, nearly 20 bands played over the weekend on the outside stage. Dine on local foods and check out Big Time Brewery's beer garden, and buy a few crafty souvenirs to take home.
59. Xperience! Music & Technology Festival
King County Library System will be hosting its first-ever music fest this spring, namely the Xperience! Music & Technology Festival, a free and all-ages weekend that promises to feature local stand-out artists like SassyBlack, Wild Powwers, Nordra, and many more. In addition to live music, the festival, in an honest effort to foster creativity across barriers, will host tutorials for sound recording software and digital instruments, musical instrument building, stop animation workshops, ukulele lessons, and speaker panels of notables from our local music and art industries.
60. Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection
This survey exhibit of landscape paintings from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection will span continents and centuries, highlighting work by an eclectic group of artists including Jan Brueghel, Canaletto, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, J.M.W. Turner, Gustav Klimt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, David Hockney, Gerhard Richter, and Ed Ruscha.
This exhibit closes today.
61. The Jesus and Mary Chain with The Warlocks
Almost anyone with good music taste has fallen in and/or out of love while drowning their ears in JAMC’s blistering dream noir, which has influenced countless bands. Whether you were hip to the druggy, thrilling amalgamation of Velvet Underground, Suicide, and Phil Spector girl groups while you were teasing your dyed-black hair in 1986 or discovered them via the Lost in Translation soundtrack you bought in college, there’s no denying that the songs of Psychocandy make one of the most perfect rock albums of the 20th century. Bring a date and let the Candy do the talking. TRAVIS RITTER
62. Jeffrey Tambor
Jeffrey Tambor (beloved star of stage and screen, best known for his roles in TV shows Arrested Development and Transparent) will share his first book, Are You Anybody?: A Memoir, a collection of essays about his life, career, and chutzpah.
63. Father John Misty with Entrance
Father John Misty is a sexy beast, no? The man's beard growth and physique have him looking like Jim Morrison wished he could've, plus the man's got jokes. People love his vaudevillian dance moves and his self deprecating humor, but I love him for the greatest trick of all: getting all these kids to listen to what is essentially country music. Pairing his folk-rebel lyrics with some of the filthiest honky tonk rhythms I've ever heard, Father John really has occupied cult leader status in his tabernacle of psychedelic folk. With the smart-assedness of John Prine and the wit of Rimbaud, dude weaves modern realism tales into serious ditties. SEAN JEWELL
64. T.I. with DJ Swervewon
T.I., the Atlanta hiphop standard-bearer and person to blame for Iggy Azalea, hits the stage on his Hustle Gang Tour with DJ Swervewon in tow.
65. Sasquatch! Music Festival
Lose yourself in Central Washington for three straight days of sweat, chili fries, and enough live music to last you the summer. The announced headliners include Frank Ocean, Twenty One Pilots, and Chance The Rapper, with support acts from Sleigh Bells, Benjamin Clementine, Kaytranada, The Head & The Heart, and more.
66. Northwest Folklife Festival
Folklife's goal is noble as heck: "We envision strong communities, united by arts and culture. Northwest Folklife stands for the belief that the arts invigorate and revitalize interpersonal connections and sense of community. When people share aspects of their culture, opportunities are created to dissolve misunderstandings, break down stereotypes, and increase respect for one another." What does this translate to? A gigantic, free hippie fest full of lovely people, dancing, performing world music from "yodeling to beatboxing" and everything in between, serving tasty street food, and leading workshops in arts and crafts. It's a great, if potentially overwhelming people-watching experience: up to 250,000 people have visited the festival in past years.
67. Digable Planets with DJ Cutz and Guests
Before he was Palaceer Lazaro, but after he was born Ishmael Butler, the man who now leads Shabazz Palaces was Butterfly, one third of Grammy-winning jazz-rap maestros Digable Planets. This was during the wildly fertile “conscious” craze of the early ’90s, a response to rap’s newfound nihilism. Don’t get it twisted, though, Digable never got as flower power as compatriots De La Soul; they were too chill to preach, too confident to get defensive. Though you may remember them best for “Rebirth of the Slick (Cool Like Dat),” their epically influential single from debut Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space), their true legacy lies in the darker, denser follow-up album Blowout Comb. KYLE FLECK
68. Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, the self-admitted First Couple of Country, hit the road on their Soul 2 Soul world tour.
69. Inye Wokoma: An Elegant Utility
Using everyday artifacts from his grandfather’s life—a catcher’s mask, family photographs, legal ledgers, and old magazines—artist and filmmaker Inye Wokoma has created a poignant sanctuary at the Northwest African American Museum for the enduring legacy of an African American family’s daily life in Seattle’s (now almost completely gentrified) Central District. Wokoma’s work explores the complex space where ancestry, identity, and displacement meet—his piece at the Frye Art Museum last fall, This Is Who We Are, imagined a ritual where his ancestors are introduced to ancestral Duwamish tribal members. Now, with An Elegant Utility, Wokoma becomes the artist-as-ethnographer, gracefully recontextualizing his personal and family history into the larger context of structural racism, redlining, and the story of African Americans in Seattle. AMBER CORTES
This exhibit closes today.
70. The 420 Games Seattle
Jog away your worries over 4.20 miles, then spend the next two hours drinking, watching standup comedy, learning about the cannabis industry, and hearing music.
MAY 30-JUNE 25THEATER & DANCE
Intiman will kick off its 2017 season (co-curated by multi-hyphenate performer Sara Porkalob) with a production of Robert O'Hara's dark comedy Barbecue, about two families, one white and one black, that each must cajole one of their members into a rehabilitation program.
72. Jean-Luc Ponty
Pioneering violinist Jean-Luc Ponty uses his instrument in expressions of jazz and rock mastery, with a unique spin on incorporating the violin into the vocabulary of modern music.
73. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation
Taylor, assistant professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, wanted to know why Black Lives Matter was becoming popular now, “when we’re living through the biggest concentration of black political power in American history,” she told Ansel Herz in an in an interview last year. She wrote her book, #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, to explore that question, and also to write about the possibility of the movement widening its scope. Can a nonhierarchical organization focused on police brutality and mass incarceration create social change on a larger scale? This talk is your chance to ask her. RICH SMITH
MAY 31-JUNE 4MUSIC
74. Bellevue Jazz & Blues Festival
The Bellevue Jazz & Blues Festival will feature free and ticketed events for all ages and tastes, featuring vocalist Catherine Russell, the Corey Harris Band, funk/soul group Radio Raheem, and the Rumba Band.