On the Side
(DANCE) This is the second of what Rockhopper Dance hopes will be an annual series, providing a venue for local independent choreographers to showcase short or developing works. Among the selections this year are a solo and a duet from the much-adored Wade Madsen; a quartet examining male behavior from Rob Kitsos, whose collaboration with Ryan Corriston was one of the high points of the last Northwest New Works at On the Boards; a "large and spacious" duet from BetterBiscuitDance's Alex Martin; and a dance/theater piece from Scott Davis and Pablo Cornejo tackling post-industrial consumerism. A lineup this varied and promising bodes well for On the Side becoming a yearly staple of the local dance scene. BRET FETZER
At Freehold Theatre, 915 E Pike St, Second Floor, 325-6500. Thurs-Sat at 8; $10 advance, $12 at the door. Through Sept 23.
(PHOTOGRAPHY) Some of Seattle's best young photographers gather at the Seattle Art Museum's Rental/Sales Gallery for this show, which wants to explore the fact/fiction DMZ in photography. The photographers are Susan Robb, Christina Burgoyne, Rob Casey, Todd Kephart, Stephan Lyons, Polly Purvis, Eva Skold Westerlind, and Benjamin Wilkins. ERIC FREDERICKSEN
Seattle Art Museum Rental/Sales Gallery, 1334 First Ave, Suite 140, 654-3240. Opening reception 5-7 pm. Through Oct 14.
(DANCE) "Quirky" is an overused word when it comes to describing anything outside the mainstream, but Ronly Blau's choreography is genuinely quirky: funny without having anything like a punch line, innocent without being naive or sentimental. Often a surface benevolence reveals something oddly ominous lurking beneath. This evening of short, character-oriented solos includes one called Crooked Girl (approximate sex pot), another built around a toy apple, and a piece that Blau herself will perform, even though she's currently eight months pregnant. Other dancers include local favorites Sheri Cohen, Kristen Hapke, and Lisa Thompson. BRET FETZER
Chamber Theater, 915 E Pine, Fourth Floor, 567-4140. Thurs-Sat Sept 14-16, 8 pm, $10.
They Shoot Painters, Don't They?
(ART) The name's getting a little musty, but the event remains fresh. Some 17 of Seattle's best (mostly young) artists spend 24 hours in the confines of CoCA's Belltown space, producing work in what is now the ninth annual painting marathon. At the end of the event, the viewing public can bid on and take home souvenirs of the massive productive effort. This year's event features Whiting Tennis, Drake Deknatel, Shawn Ferris, Chris Ballew (we didn't realize he painted, too), Geoff Garza, David Kane, and Matthew Landkammer. ERIC FREDERICKSEN
CoCA, 65 Cedar St, 728-1980. Marathon starts at 2 pm Friday and runs through 2 pm Saturday, and is open to the public on Friday from 6 pm-1 am, and on Saturday from 9 am-1 pm; $7. Preview and silent auction begins Saturday at 7 pm and live auction (with celebrity auctioneer Dina Martina and master of ceremonies Christina Mastin) starts Saturday at 9 pm.
Transformations and Other Tales
(THEATER) Poetry based on fairy tales may sound like the worst literary crossbreeding experiment of all time, but in the hands of Anne Sexton--whose cutting intelligence created lacerating poetry, and whose depressive temperament led to her suicide in 1974--the result isn't remotely sappy or Disney-esque. She reached into the heart of the stories collected by the Brothers Grimm and found her own darkness reflected there. Turning poetry into theater has its own perils, but Theater Schmeater's artistic director Sheila Daniels is a pretty smart cookie herself, though considerably more cheerful. The combination bodes well. BRET FETZER
Theater Schmeater at Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, 324-5801. Pay-what-you-can-preview on Thurs Sept 14. Opens Fri Sept 15. Thurs-Sat at 8, Sun at 2; $12 ($15 opening night), anyone 18 or under is free. Through Oct 21 (no performances Thurs-Sun Oct 5-8).
Planet of the Apes
(FILM) Saturday's screening of Planet of the Apes will be the last screening EVER in the beloved Fremont Outdoor Cinema's parking lot. Do go, and bid a fond adieu to this hallowed institution. And, while we're at it, may The Stranger humbly suggest to the too-much-of-a-good-thing outdoor cinema imitators (AT&T, Redhook, Fremont Friday Nite--you know who you are): Can we please Stop the Madness? This summer, there were no less than five outdoor cinemas running, all playing the same crowd-pleasing schlock! I mean, how many opportunities does one really need to see Grease in God's Great Bounty? Leave it to the professionals at Glamorama Productions (who do the original Fremont Outdoor Cinema and the West Seattle Walk-In). Your imitation is unflattering. Really, it's cheap. JAMIE HOOK
Fremont Outdoor Cinema, in the U-Park lot at 670 N 34th St, behind the Red Door Ale House, gates at 7 pm, show starts at dusk, $5.
Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum
(MUSEUM) After the SPD's handling of the WTO protests, the Police Museum's mission to "educate the public by 'demystifying' the police" would seem to be a challenging task. The museum includes a wide variety of regrettable local police history from 1860 to the present, including Prohibition (featuring police struggles against the rumrunners of Ballard) and a 1967 grand jury investigation into police racketeering and corruption (involving the "shaking down" of gay taverns). There's even a reproduction of the city's first "Sidran ordinance," from 1886 ("All disorderly persons, or persons wandering about... and generally all vagrants, are required to leave the City of Seattle forthwith"). The display on the 1934 Longshoremen's Strike includes a "Gas Gun," used to launch tear-gas canisters. Strangely, the only WTO artifacts at the museum are the "Battle of Seattle" T-shirts sold by police. Where's the photo of that poor guy being kicked in the groin? MELODY MOSS
Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum, 317 Third Ave S, 748-9991, Tues-Sat, 11 am-4 pm, $3.
Last Year at Marienbad
(FILM) A sometimes frustrating but always lovely puzzle, Alain Resnais' Last Year at Marienbad remains the purest example of the director's unique method. Screenwriter Alain Robbe-Grillet--Resnais has always depended on strong collaborators--kept things as abstract as possible, not even bothering to name the characters beyond assigning them ciphers: X meets up with A at a luxury hotel, and claims they met the year before (maybe at Marienbad?), where A agreed to leave M (Her lover? Husband?). A is equally insistent she's never in her life met X before. It's all very vague, and quite deliberately confusing, but the elegant visuals more than make up for that. In fairness, much of my affection for the movie has a lot to do with first seeing it when I was 15, pretentious as all get-out, fond of long fluid tracking shots that stare at ornate ceilings, and inordinately prideful of figuring out how X keeps winning the matchstick game. Well, I still like looking up at ceilings, and this still strikes me as Resnais' best film. BRUCE REID
Grand Illusion, 1403 NE 50th St, 523-3935. Sat-Sun Sept 16-17 at noon.
Cockburn & St. Clair
(READING) When Alexander Cockburn draws a bead on political hypocrisy, journalistic hyperbole, and institutional ignorance, he spares absolutely no one--especially not that sloganeering gaggle of roundheaded cowards largely comprising this country's neo-Left. Cockburn's bimonthly "Beat the Devil" column for The Nation is always a joy, at once consistently vigilant and wildly entertaining; it offers a rare, precious example of the constructive rage that once lent the term "liberal" a meaning beyond mere brand recognition. Now, with co-writer Jeffrey St. Clair, Cockburn has published a timely--and no doubt scathing--political exposé of our Vice President-cum-Candidate, entitled Al Gore: A User's Manual (Verso); also due out soon is his book on the WTO debacle, Five Days That Shook the World: The Battle for Seattle and Beyond. This visit is sure to be engaging, enlightening, and full of old-fashioned political piss and vinegar. RICK LEVIN
Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S Main, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, advance free tickets available at store.
(LIVE MUSIC) San Diego's Tristeza are a rare treat--an indie rock instrumental combo who play dynamic and shimmeringly beautiful music, capable of transporting you to a much better place. Last year's Spine and Sensory was a quiet masterpiece of Ennio Morricone-inspired soundscapes; they're back with a new album, Dream Signals in Full Circles, expected to be released September 26. BARBARA MITCHELL
Paradox Theater, 5510 University Way NE, 524-7677, 8 pm, $7, all ages.
(READING) One of this year's most acclaimed word-of-mouth literary debuts was a novel penned by Myla Goldberg, a former Seattle writer currently living in Brooklyn. Bee Season is a mystical coming-of-age story, in which Eliza Naumann, a Jewish cantor's seemingly normal daughter, discovers a passion for spelling. The discovery dissolves the whole balance of her family life, a process rendered by Goldberg in increasingly complex narration, and in thrumming sympathy for Eliza. Goldberg's is a delicate, heartbreaking debut. TRACI VOGEL
Elliott Bay Bookstore, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free (advance tickets required).
NXNW 2000 Kick-off Soirée
(LIVE MUSIC) For better or for worse, North by Northwest Music & New Media Conference foists itself again upon the otherwise A&R representative-free landscape of Portland. Aside from the abundance of slick-headed label peons claiming to have "discovered" Sonic Youth, NXNW is fantastic for seeing diverse lineups--rarely do we get a bill combining, say, live ambient, metal, and lo-fi pop. Tonight's kick-off party exemplifies that eclecticism, with Catch 22, DJ P, DJ Z-Trip, and brash emo band At the Drive-In. Stick around for the whole weekend and you can see the likes of Jenny Toomey, Exene Cervenka's Original Sinners, the CUF, Experimental Aircraft, and about a trillion more, plus a newly added Digital Video Festival! JULIANNE SHEPHERD
Berbati's Pan, 231 SW Ankeny, Portland, 503-248-4579. For details, visit www.portlandmercury.com.