Dumb Type

(DANCE) Anyone with even one eye trained on popular culture can tell you that much of Japan's mainstream output is capable of making your head spin, so imagine what you're in for when it comes to something they've dubbed "radical." Dumb Type, a wildly acclaimed performance ensemble based in Kyoto, is coming to On the Boards with [OR], a mind-blowing exploration of the space that looms between life and death. We can all safely acknowledge that the French have their quirks, but when Le Monde orgasmically labels a production "impossible to describe," it does tend to make you sit up and take notice. The evening promises to be a vividly choreographed, startlingly imagined multimedia landscape with peerless sonic design and should not be missed. -- STEVE WIECKING

On the Boards, 100 West Roy Street, 217-9888, runs Thurs-Sun Nov 18-21, 8 pm, $18-20.


Arena of Brains

(GAME SHOW) As the only member of the Stranger staff with a semblance of precious anonymity, I will not be performing as a part of the Arena of Brains game show tonight. I will, however, be there laughing my ass off at my co-workers' (led by the sleek and fabulous Wm. Steven Humphrey) wacky antics and the reactions of the unsuspecting contestants: Jason Finn, Kim Warnick and Sir Mix-A-Lot. So if you don't want to see Nevada Bachelors and the Hulabees or a chance to win a trip to Puerta Vallarta, stay home. -- ERIN FRANZMAN

The Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave, 323-7101, 9 pm, $6.


B.B. King

(LIVE MUSIC) You can't overstate the impact of Riley B. King and his rotating cast of Gibson guitars named "Lucille." You could go to his show at the Paramount to feel his legacy, but you could also find it while walking down First Avenue in Seattle, Beale Street in Memphis, or the French Quarter in New Orleans. That's because every blues guitarist in the country plays at least one original B. B. King lick or bend in every blues solo. Go see for yourself: this is Lucille's world -- we're just living in it. -- NATHAN THORNBURGH

Paramount, 911 Pine St, 467-5510, 8 pm, $38.50/$30.50.

FRIDAY 11/19

Gore Vidal

(READING) I've said it before and I'll say it again: There is no living writer funnier, smarter, or meaner than Gore Vidal. Tonight the legendary essayist, novelist, playwright, and sometime-politician makes a rare live appearance at Seattle's Town Hall. Ostensibly this event (produced by University Book Store) is to promote the paperback release of Vidal's newest novel, The Smithsonian Institution, but this is one writer who can't be represented by a single work. Expect this "Evening with Gore Vidal" to span the artist's life and career(s). -- DAVID SCHMADER

Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave (corner of Eighth & Seneca), 7:30 pm, general admission is free. Call for special priority seating information, 634-3400.


Martha Colburn

(FILM) She's from Baltimore, she's prolific, she's energetic, and she's coming to town. You may not have noticed, but Martha Colburn's super 8 films have gotten a lot of play in Seattle over the last couple of months, and I couldn't be happier. Whether it's the pieces where she teams up with Jad Fair and other musicians, or the funny and surreal animated experiments, her stuff is just plain good. And did I mention she'll be in town? All you gotta do to meet her is find the theater. Opening will be Chicago poet Mickey O'Connor, with Seattle trio Tactile rounding out the evening. -- ANDY SPLETZER

Cinema 18, 1412 18th Ave at Union, 860-8590, 9 pm, $5 includes reception.


Get Naked!

(ART) Chinese artist Zhang Huan needs 100 hardy souls to shed their clothes for a performance art piece at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. The piece, Hard to Acclimatise, will involve people standing on scaffolding wrapped around three sides of SAAM's indoor Garden Court, while Huan performs some kind of ritual involving a wading pool and a lot of bread rolls. It's all part of the kickoff for Inside Out: New Chinese Art--a groundbreaking exhibition of contemporary art from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the international Chinese diaspora--which opens this week at the Henry Art Gallery and Tacoma Art Museum. Rubberneckers who want to watch are out of luck -- the few tickets are long gone -- so if you want to see the show, you're going to have to be the show. -- ERIC FREDERICKSEN

1 pm to 7 pm; to volunteer for the performance, call the SAM Art Council Office at 654-3119.

SUNDAY 11/21

Bryan Ferry

(LIVE MUSIC) Others can go weak-kneed for Tom Jones. I swoon for Bryan Ferry. Maybe it's the anglophile in me (or a predisposition to fall for men who were born to wear suits), but no one else even comes close to touching the potent combination of Ferry's velvety voice and elegant demeanor. From his early work with Roxy Music and on through his solo career -- especially on his new album, As Time Goes By, a collection of standards -- everything he comes in contact with is infused with a golden glow of glamour and romance. You'd be hard-pressed to name another current artist who's able to fuse style and substance so deftly or bring a classic to life so effortlessly. A Bryan Ferry tour is rare enough, but one that relies on such timeless gems as "I'm in the Mood for Love" and "The Way You Look Tonight" is an extra special event. Polish off those wingtips. -- BARBARA MITCHELL

Paramount, 911 Pine St, 467-5510, 8 pm, $46/$36.

MONDAY 11/22

A Picnic at the Earth's Molten Core

(THEATER) Since the estimable Steve Wells generally knows how to have a good time, we'll trust his decision in bringing to Re-bar A Picnic at the Earth's Molten Core, which debuted at the Speakeasy in July. It definitely has all the signs of a good choice. Actress/writer/filmmaker Tamara Paris and Burton Curtis, one of Seattle's most prized comic talents, have created the one-person show that has Paris running amok through multiple characters, in a small town girl's journey toward self-awareness that the pair tenderly claims is "nestled somewhere between Jane Eyre and Pretty Woman." -- STEVE WIECKING

Re-bar, 1114 Howell Street at Boren, 323-0388, runs every Monday night at 8 pm through Y2K, $10.

MONDAY 11/22

Celebrity Billiards Tournament

(POOL FOR CHARITY) Kick off the charity season by sharking local celebrities at the Sam Adams Celebrity Billiards Tournament. Chalking the cues will be such local luminaries as Seahawks Jon Kitna and Sean Dawkins, KJR's "The Groz," Miss Washington 1998 Mariana Loya, the Sea Gals, Evening Magazine's racy John Curley, and KUBE DJ Eric Powers. Here's your chance to rack 'em up with the celebs -- all proceeds benefit Junior Achievement workshops. -- BRIAN GOEDDE

Jerseys Sports Club, 700 Virginia, 6-10 pm, donations from $25-$500, depending on how close to the Sea Gals you want to get; for information call 206-296-2620.


The Rapture

(LITERARY PERFORMANCE) An end-of-the-century reading series, "The Rapture" is Eleventh Hour Productions' newest brainchild, and it promises dark, cathartic music and poetry. Tonight's featured performers are Kathleen Yearwood, a Canadian songwriter whose folky guitar is rich background to surprising lyrics ("My dreams come true; it worries me"), Sister Spit member Marci Blackman, whose novel Po Man's Child reads like fractured Toni Morrison, and Joe Ray Sandoval, blistering Sante Fe slammaster. If you're looking for a way to artfully experience that millennial angst, this is not to be missed. -- TRACI VOGEL

Re-bar, 114 Howell St, 441-4502, 8 pm, $8.


Screw I-695

(VIGILANTE-ISM) Are you still furious about the lunkheads who voted for I-695? ME, TOO! However, if you really want to stick it to all those new SUV drivers who want to save on car tabs at the expense of everyone else -- then give our latest cunning trick a try! First, buy yourself some blue and yellow chalk. Then, when you pass an expensive new gas guzzler parked in a one- or two-hour parking zone, simply chalk their rear driver's side tire! The meter maid will spot it, happily give them a hefty ticket, and (if we chalk enough tires) the state will make up their lost revenue in no time! VIVA LA REVOLUCION! VIVA LA CHALK! -- WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

Every day, 7 am-6 pm, except Sundays and holidays.


First Annual Sadie Hawkins Dance

(DANCE) My junior high gym teacher was named Dick Bub. And because anyone saddled with the name Dick Bub for 40-odd years is going to have some anger management problems, Dick Bub saw fit to use his position of authority over my class of hormone-and-Pepsi addled 'tweens by taking three weeks away from dodgeball to teach us ballroom dancing. Furthermore, probably because Dick Bub sported the universal perv symbol -- a pencil-thin John Waters moustache -- the girls in my class were graded on asking the boys to dance. I distinctly remember my stomach roiling as I propositioned a sweaty and red-faced Timothy Perlstein, who was, of course, a full 6 inches shorter than me. His chapped lips moved as he counted the steps and avoided eye contact (not hard -- he just never looked up). Amazing as it may sound, though, today the idea of asking a fella to dance seems really cute and fun. I'm sure that somewhere, somehow, Dick Bub is laughing. -- ERIN FRANZMAN

Showbox, 1426 First Ave, 628-0221, 8 pm, $8 (21 & over).


Usual Suspects, Loxy, MC Rage

(RAVE) Like most small towns, Seattle is no stranger to petty gossip. Just ask jungle posse 360 BPM, who celebrate their collective third birthday tonight. Seems folks don't take too kindly to 360's claims that they helped a once-hated music grow to be one of the most popular in this town. Whatever. Macho boy antics aside, 360 always have and will continue to put on some of the best jungle shows. Tonight, shit-talkers eat their words as they throw their lighters in the air alongside 360's many devotees. Why's that? Tonight marks the Seattle debut of U.K. Label Renegade Hardware's Usual Suspects. Prepare to be rocked. -- Courtney Reimer

Superhighway, 423 Second Ave, Second and Yesler, 989-0514, $10.