Technology in the Landscape
(LECTURE) MIT professor Leo Marx's book, The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America, looks at the tensions between the industrialization of America and the simultaneous rise of America's celebration of its wildernesses. He is thus the perfect guy to elucidate some of the themes of the Henry's current landscape survey, Shifting Ground, which he will do in tonight's lecture. ERIC FREDERICKSEN
Kane Hall 220, UW Campus, 543-2280, 7 pm, free.
(ART) Ceramist Doug Jeck has been one of William Traver Gallery's standouts over the past three years. His figurative sculptures, patched together from various models, are simultaneously deconstructive and classical -- one part Kouroi, one part Frankenstein. But he's held back on his mad scientist act for his current show, which finds him quite sincerely, realistically, and ambitiously attempting to realize a large-scale Crucifixion. Jeck's boldly pushing his historical, not to mention sculptural, art skills to their limits with this one. ERIC FREDERICKSEN
William Traver Gallery, 110 Union St, Second Floor, 587-6501. Opens tonight, 6-8 pm. Runs through April 30.
Garth Fagan Dance
(DANCE) Though the past few years have gained him wide recognition as the Tony Award-winning choreographer of The Lion King -- helping to turn Julie Taymor's triumphant re-imagining of the Disney show into a true cultural experience -- Garth Fagan has been an innovative leader of the American dance scene for the last three decades. He's created works for the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Kennedy Center, and the divine Judith Jamison, and his unique physical language has a permanent home within his own company. Garth Fagan Dance makes its way to Seattle this week, performing five of his pieces; it's a great chance to experience the singular voice of a distinguished artist. STEVE WIECKING
Meany Theater, UW Campus at 15th Ave NE between 40th and 41st streets, 543-4880, Thurs-Sat April 6-8 only, 8 pm, $28.
Joshua Redman Quartet
(LIVE MUSIC) It's official: Joshua Redman is the Hottie of Modern Jazz. Just look at him. But his success isn't just due to his luscious good looks -- that's for rock stars. Redman is talented, with a strong ear for tradition but an innovative sense of adventure -- see his 1998 release, Timeless Tales (For Changing Times), in which he braves the critics' waters by recording a bunch of jazz covers of pop music standards; a nightmare in theory, but resulting in a creative, surprisingly appealing collection of interpretations. Admit it: With those pillow lips and "C'mere, baby" eyes, you'd buy a ticket to watch him eat a grilled cheese sandwich. MIN LIAO
King Cat Theater, 2130 Sixth Ave (Blanchard), 269-7444, 8 pm, $24.50; tickets available from Ticketmaster, the King Cat box office, and Jazz Alley.
(READINGS) Los Angeles wouldn't be the same without John Rechy, whose 1963 novel City of Night exposed the young male homosexual subculture to the lurid glare of the public eye for the first time. Last year, Rechy published a sequel of sorts with The Coming of the Night -- a novel that teeters on the brink of the AIDS epidemic in L.A. in the early '80s, pulling inevitably toward an ending full of passion and violence. Rechy forsakes L.A. briefly for this first-ever appearance in Seattle, to read from and sign The Coming of the Night. Don't miss it. TRACI VOGEL
Kane Hall Walker Ames Room, UW Campus, 634-3400, 7:30 pm, free (tickets at University Book Store).
Who Likes Short Shorts?
(FILM) The critics agree: Most short films are too long. Not here, though, as 911 Media Arts once again brings back the Short Attention Span Film and Video Festival, a cavalcade of humorous and occasionally artistic pieces that are all two minutes in length or shorter. Gems include Buena Vista Fight Club (2000), where catalogue models are beat up and often decapitated by a couple of animated anarchists; and Crowley, where an Aleister Crowley look-alike adjusts his dinner plate to stop the noise. Other works are great, a few are bad, but they're all short. This is a popular event, so get there early if you want to get in. ANDY SPLETZER
911 Media Arts, 117 Yale Ave N, 682-6552, 8 pm, $6.
(ART) What luck. The Davidson Galleries has managed to assemble a large body of work by Käthe Kollwitz, one of the most influential and famous German printmakers of the 20th century. Throughout her career, Kollwitz devoted herself to producing powerful etchings, woodcuts, and lithographs that candidly describe the human condition. Her work resonates with compassion even while depicting the starkest, bleakest subjects. Each piece is a simple, graceful meditation, devoid of color, and freighted with an exquisite, silent gravity. Take 15 minutes to stroll through this stunning exhibit, and consider yourself lucky to be in the presence of genius. MEGAN HAAS
Davidson Galleries, 313 Occidental, 624-6700, Tues-Sat 11-5:30 pm, through April 29.
(FILM) Thank God! This poetic retelling of the 23rd and 37th chapters of the first book of the bible, Genesis, is not about the creation of man, or "La création du monde" in the Darius Milhaud sense. What I mean is, I am tired of Africa (my faraway Africa) always being portrayed as the place of man's origins, as "the motherland," the continent "where it all began." This movie is instead about the complexities of African life, people, and society. Because African films are rarely screened in this city, because you probably have never seen an African film in your life, this film -- part of the New African Cinema series that premieres at the Little Theatre -- should not be missed. CHARLES MUDEDE
Little Theatre, 608 19th Ave E, 675-2055, Thurs-Sun April 6-9, at 5:30, 7:30, 9:30 (no 7:30, 9:30 on Sat), $4.50 (matinee)/$7.
(TV) Just imagine this horrifying scenario: A mechanical error in our nation's defense system sends a plane to drop a nuclear bomb on the Rooskies in Moscow -- and the only person capable of stopping World War III is... GEORGE FAWKING CLOONEY?? That's right, George "I left E.R. to become a BIG STAR" Clooney heads the cast in this remake of the classic 1964 cold war film, Fail Safe. And if you think that's bad, Richard Dreyfuss plays the freaking President of the United States!! Forget being incinerated by nukes -- the idea of having Clooney and Dreyfuss in charge is enough to make any red-blooded American crap his pants! (And also makes the best case for why you shouldn't miss a minute of it!) WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
Oh, My Stars!
(ONLINE ASTROLOGY) Attention, fans of Dina Martina: No longer must you wait for the next stage appearance of Grady West's immaculate conception to get your dose of Dina. For those of you blessed with modern technology and access to the increasingly popular "Inter-Net," here's the website of your dreams: www.outpatient.com, featuring original horoscopes by none other than Ms. Martina herself. From soulful instructions ("Enlarge one pore in the middle of your forehead to the size of a dime, for easy access to thoughts") to helpful predictions ("Creative juices flow freely the week of the 6th; you then mop and fumigate the week of the 13th") to lucky numbers ("2, 16, Brown, 18"), Dina deciphers the stars just for you. It's like a wonderful, wonderful dream. DAVID SCHMADER
Oh, My Stars! horoscopes by Dina Martina, available 24 hours a day at www.outpatient.com.
Red Stars Theory
(LIVE MUSIC) The titles of their albums say it all: Life in a Bubble Can Be Beautiful and But Sleep Came Slowly. Red Stars Theory are soothing but distant. It's music better listened to in the privacy of your own home than in a crowded room full of strangers, better suited to pensive moments alone with your own thoughts than at smoky rock clubs. Could it be that RST remind us that we're not the only ones who've ever felt that way, that someone out there understands, and that there's a glimmer of hope after all? BARBARA MITCHELL
I-Spy, 1921 Fifth Ave, 374-9492, 9 pm, $7.
Death in Venice
(FILM/OPERA) Benjamin Britten planned to write an opera based on Thomas Mann's Death in Venice for years; by the time he finally got around to it, he was fully aware it would be his last. Once again, personal tragedy makes for artistic sublimity -- the opera is grandly cumulative, incorporating everything from Schoenbergian Sprechstimme to the gamelan Britten had loved since his Indonesian tour in the '50s. And the central role of Aschenbach, appropriately challenging and beautiful, was the final gift/tribute to tenor Peter Pears, the composer's lifelong companion. Watching films of stage productions (in this case, Glyndebourne's 1990 mounting, starring Robert Tear) is a neither-fish-nor-fowl way of seeing opera; but if you can think of a better way to catch one of the century's great operas, be my guest. BRUCE REID
The Little Theatre, 608 19th Ave E, 675-2055, 7:30 pm, $7.