In Spite of Wishing and Wanting

(THEATER/DANCE) In previous appearances at On the Boards, Wim Vandekeybus and his troupe Ultima Vez have done things like climb into chairs hanging from the ceiling and swinging over the audience's heads while carrying enormous platters of raw eggs. But what makes their work so astonishing isn't just the acrobatic spectacles, it's the way these feats are structured into a fascinating, non-linear narrative. They don't so much tell a story as build an experience, evoking emotions from physical acts, and ideas from objects and attitudes. It's unlike anything else. As an added bonus, this new piece--In Spite of Wishing and Wanting--features music by David Byrne. This is a must-see. BRET FETZER

On the Boards, 100 W Roy St, 217-9888. Thurs-Sun at 8; $21-$23. Thurs-Sun Oct 19-22 only.

FRIDAY 10/20

Joe Goode Performance Group

(THEATER/DANCE) Joe Goode and his group are legendary for combining energetic movement with sung and spoken text--and for being funny. We're not talking sweet funny, this is squirm-in-your-seat scary-funny, how-does-he-know-that-about-me funny, stop-please-stop funny. The evening consists of two acts: "Gender Heroes" is about forming an identity, particularly a gender identity; "Undertaking Harry" pays tribute to a gender hero of Joe's own adolescence. Expect unconventional partnering, terrific props, poetic language, and laughs till you cry. BARLEY BLAIR

Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave, 443-1744. Fri-Sat Oct 20-21, 8 pm; $18.50-$25.50.

Carissa's Wierd, Aveo

(LIVE MUSIC) Don't let their last visit's lackluster performance deter you from this opportunity to see one of the Northwest's most captivating bands, Carissa's Wierd. They've promised to practice this time, and if they have practiced, expect a wistful meditation on melody and all else that makes pop music beautiful. Sad as we are that Carissa's Wierd have moved to Portland, we are very pleased to have another younger Seattle band making gorgeous music on the same bill. Trust that Aveo's graceful, driving, passionate songs are not merely a good reason to show up early, but some of the finest our city's music scene has to offer. Also on the bill is Orso (former members of Red Red Meat) and Welcome. It's a night for music fans in possession of a soul. JEFF DeROCHE and KATHLEEN WILSON

Graceland, 109 Eastlake Ave E, 381-3094, 9 pm, $7.


(DANCE) This wild project mixes three renowned choreographers (Daniel Ezralow from ISO Dance Theatre, David Parsons from the Parsons Dance Company, and Moses Pendleton from MOMIX) with 15 members of the Romanian Gymnastics Team, including several Olympic medal-winners. But what really intrigues me about this performance is that it was commissioned by the company Elastesse di Pantene, which was looking for a different way to launch a new hair product. According to the press release, "Pantene wanted a celebration and exploration dedicated to the expressiveness of 'hair language.'" I can't imagine two more frightening and captivating words to associate with dance than "hair language." I can't wait. BRET FETZER

Meany Hall, University of Washington, on 15th Ave NE, 543-4880. Fri-Sat Oct 20-21, 8 pm; $28.


All Freakin' Night

(FILM) I am a great fan of the Olympia Film Festival. It is the sweetest local festival by far--unpretentious, superbly programmed, and, unlike some festivals I know, still put on for FUN rather than PRESTIGE. The best example of this is their wonderful All Freakin' Night, an all-night B-movie fest that is absolutely mad! It starts at midnight Saturday with the 3-D Demi Moore gore fest Parasite, and continues through to dawn with Peter Jackson's (Heavenly Creatures) sublime debut Bad Taste, a Japanese body-snatcher film, a Spanish terror produced by Almodovar, and some other random nonsense. You'll emerge at dawn, pale, shaking, and thoroughly pleased. Pop some ephedrine and head on down. JAMIE HOOK

Capitol Theater, 206 E Fifth Ave, Olympia, 360-754-5378, midnight, $8.

The Wiretaps

(LIVE MUSIC) Composed second-wave mods the Wiretaps are stepping out as a trio for the first time, without former singer Caryn Palmier (who recently hightailed it to New York for some real city action). Thankfully, guitarist Dave Holmes (also of the Fall-Outs), drummer Steve Malmin, and bassist Lisa Rickenberg are geared up for a seamless transition with a spanking new set list and Rickenberg's silky voice--the sly and poetic Wiretaps of the past likely giving way to a more slick and catchy future. As an added bonus, energetic art damage rockers the A-Frames round out the show, with the talented Tim Hayes, owner of Fallout Records, scheduled to DJ. ALLIE HOLLY-GOTTLIEB

Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave NW, 784-4880, 9 pm, $5.

Voyager One, King Black Acid

(LIVE MUSIC) The kids like to call it space rock, but Voyager One and Portland's King Black Acid play engrossing, mesmerizing psychedelic rock, and that's just all there is to it. The publicist for Helios Sequence (who also play tonight) says that the band is "like My Bloody Valentine meets the Beatles, with a little electronica thrown in." I bet the kids wanna call Helios Sequence space rock, too. Call it what you will, just not around me or anyone over age 30 attending this show... unless you want an earful other than the one provided by the bands. We old farts are cranky. KATHLEEN WILSON

Sit & Spin, 2219 Fourth Ave, 441-9484, 9:30 pm, $7.

SUNDAY 10/22

Hedda Gabbler

(THEATER) Heidi Schreck knocked me out in Printer's Devil Theatre's production of Chekhov's The Seagull--so I'm willing to cut the troupe some slack for taking a curious turn from producing new and experimental plays to doing classics, since they've cast her in the title role of Ibsen's Hedda Gabbler. The Seagull was rigorous and sincere, but fundamentally a little too respectful to bring me into its Russian bourgeois world; I'm hoping their take on Hedda Gabbler will shake Ibsen up a little. The title character is a woman struggling with the constraints of her marriage and middle-class society; Schreck--an actress who projects an amazing combination of innocence and willfulness--will doubtless bring this conflict to vivid, immediate life. BRET FETZER

Printer's Devil Theatre at the former Sand Point Naval Base, Bldg 67, Rm 110, 7400 Sand Point Way NE, 328-2690. Thurs-Sun at 8; $10 Thurs/Sun, $15 Fri-Sat. Thurs Oct 26, Nov 2, and Nov 9 are pay-what-you-can. Through Nov 18.

MONDAY 10/23

Jim Harrison

(READING) With such collections as Legends of the Fall and The Woman Lit by Fireflies, Montana-based writer Jim Harrison has single-handedly reinvigorated and reshaped the form of the modern novella; not since Joseph Conrad injected the genre with heretofore unexpected possibilities over 100 years ago has a writer working within the parameters of the English long-short story moved with so much power and grace. Harrison's prose is rough-hewn, economical--yet passionately, almost mythologically poetic, and his grasp of fiction's structural potential is unrivaled by most contemporary American authors. Like the works of Paul Bowles and Cormac McCarthy, Harrison's fiction pits humanity's lonely, fallen angels against a natural landscape that is both heartbreaking in its beauty and unforgiving in its brutality. The Beast God Forgot to Invent is the latest collection of this brilliant stylist who the London Sunday Times referred to as "a writer with immortality in him." RICK LEVIN

Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S Main, 624-6600, 7:00 pm, advance free tickets available at store.


Billy Elliot

(FILM) I'm the last one to spare a good word for any British film. True, this antipathy has nothing to do with the quality of the films, but with the mere fact that I was colonized by the British. So when I watch British films, it is with the full intent of hating them and then later using my reviews to deliver mini-blows to my former colonizers. But 30 minutes into this film, I gave in; there was no way I could hate it. As the BBC put it, "You are heartless if you don't love every minute of this film"--and I'm not heartless. Granted, the story is unoriginal (a small-town boy beats the odds and becomes a ballet dancer), but its setting (a working-class family struggling through the worst of the Thatcher years) disrupts the sleep of the tired narrative, and unexpectedly, steadily, the movie comes to life. At this point, I must make a confession: I almost cried during this film--yes, it's that touching. CHARLES MUDEDE

See Movie Times for theaters and showtimes.


Evan Hecox

(ART) These works are little, which seems counterintuitive for a graphic designer who gravitates toward skateboard art (and has also done work for Carhartt and Nike). But these paintings and prints are more about observation than flash--deft, small, intimate looks at San Francisco, where Hecox lives. In the best of them, he focuses on the manifestations of language--graffiti on a bus, Chinese characters on a restaurant's outdoor menu, a smashed pack of cigarettes--and industrial shapes. Part Charles Sheeler, part Walker Evans, the work quietly recontextualizes familiar things. Also, they're unbelievably cheap, as far as art goes these days, so start your collection now. EMILY HALL

Houston, 907 E Pike St, 860-7820, Tues-Sat noon-7 pm. Through Oct 31.