Call your mothers, children! Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and with it comes the standard set of events. The Pike Place Market Flower Festival is back this Saturday and Sunday, and organizers say they’re bringing over 40 socially distanced tents with flower farmers from around the region.
If you’re looking for less crowded things to do (with or without your mother), we’ve got another round-up of our top recommendations for this week.
THURSDAY: RAJA FEATHER KELLY'S HYSTERIA
Solo performer Raja Feather Kelly presents what appears to be a barely containable and very pink exorcism of his "inner turmoil, confusion, and mania" in this "study of pop culture and its displacement of queer Black subjectivity." Rather than banish those facets to some other world, the Brooklyn-based artist will dance with them, entertain with them, and freak out with them. The piece originally debuted last winter "in the lobby vestibule of the Ford Foundation Live Gallery at New York Live Arts," and comes after 2018's well-received performance of UGLY, which premiered in Seattle premiere at the Washington Ensemble Theatre. RICH SMITH
HYSTERIA runs one-night-only and online via On the Boards on Thursday, May 6, at 6 pm.
PREMIERING THURSDAY: LEGENDARY
Between Pose’s recent premiere and Legendary’s upcoming premiere, ballroom is taking to TV's floor this spring.
This premiere isn’t an event that’s exclusively in Seattle—it’s everywhere; it’s on HBO Max—but we’ll slip in TV and streaming recommendations when a show really gives it to us. This week, it's the return of Legendary, the ballroom reality TV competition show featuring Megan Thee Stallion, Leiomy Maldonado, Law Roach, and Jameela Jamil as judges. (We’re talking about ballroom à la voguing, not Shall We Dance?) The series was one of the best reality TV premieres of 2020, and while you should catch up on season one, it’s not a prerequisite to watching season two.
The premiere comes during a challenging week for the ballroom community, as it's mourning the loss of ballroom legend and trans activist Jahaira DeAlto, of the House of Balenciaga. Boston authorities arrested a 34-year-old man on Sunday in connection to the stabbing and killing of two women, one of them DeAlto. This killing is one of many recent deaths in the greater ballroom community, including Legendary Boogie Revlon Makaveli, who was shot and killed last month. Rest in power, legendaries. CHASE BURNS
The second season of Legendary premieres Thursday, May 6, on HBO Max.
PREMIERING THURSDAY: TRANSLATIONS FILM FESTIVAL
Thursday kicks off Three Dollar Bill Cinema's Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival, which features movies made by, for, and about the trans community. Now in its 16th year, the fest will be entirely virtual and open to viewers across the country, and those watching outside the U.S. can still watch the shorts and live events. The lineup this year includes seven feature-length films and seven short film packages. Some highlights include the Swedish documentary Always Amber, a candid look into the life of Amber, a teen navigating friendship, transitioning, and becoming who they are. Also: Cássio Pereira dos Santos's Valentina, which stars Brazilian YouTuber Thiessa Woinbackk as Valentina, a trans girl who moves to the countryside with her mother for a fresh start—but needs her absent father to sign off on her school enrollment. All films are subtitled and captioned. JASMYNE KEIMIG
FRIDAY: HUGO HOUSE'S LIT SERIES
Conquests can be as big as empires or as small as afternoons, as bloody as battles or as bloodless as an orange. I'm not sure what sorts of conquests this fine lineup of known quantities plans to present for the Hugo House during this reading, but I do know they've all agreed to produce some new work based on that theme, and I'm confident they'll exceed expectations. For those who don't frequent bookstores, you might know sci-fi novelist Jeff VanderMeer's work if you've seen Natalie Portman and Gina Rodriguez shooting a bunch of weird creatures in Alex Garland's Annihilation, which he adapted from VanderMeer's novel. Back in 2018, Lacy M. Johnson gutted anyone who ever read The Reckonings, an essay collection about some of the most harrowing violence imaginable, some of which she personally endured. Reyes's recent story collection, Elements of a Bystander, tackles the subject of men responding—or not responding—to gendered violence. Between readings, Black Tones rocker Eva Walker will likely conquer the whole evening with her thundering vocals. Should be a hoot and a holler. RICH SMITH
The Hugo House 2021 Literary Series starts at 6 pm on Friday, May 7.
PREMIERING FRIDAY: THE PAPER TIGERS
Here are two things I love rolled into one: kung fu and Seattle. (And, yes, I really do love the former despite its dearth of good architecture.) The work that brings these two together is the movie The Paper Tigers. Directed and written by Tran Quoc Bao, the film, which is set in Seattle, and features aspects of the 206 in numerous shots, has at its core the key (if not defining) kung fu narrative logic expressed by a line that has been dubbed a million times: "You killed my master, so I'm going to kill you." In Bao's story, there is a master, and this master is killed by some great force of evil, and the students of the master must avenge the murder. But there is just one catch in The Paper Tigers: the students, three in all, are no longer young. They have to fight with forgotten skills and worn bodies. The Paper Tigers is also a comedy. CHARLES MUDEDE
You can watch The Paper Tigers starting Friday, May 7, at Northwest Film Forum and other locations around the region.
FRIDAY: A PHOTOWALK ALONG THE WEST SEATTLE WATERFRONT
Hey, psst, buddy, you want to fiddle around with some brand new photo gear? Glazer's Camera and Fujifilm are teaming up for a pleasant outdoorsy photowalk this Friday evening. You'll gather with other photography enthusiasts at Seacrest Park (a cute little blob of land in West Seattle with no connection whatsoever to the host of American Idol) just before sunset, and Fuji reps will hand out some equipment for folks to try. You'll also have a chance to get some lovely pics of the sun going down over the city, as well as swap tips and tricks for capturing that lovely late-afternoon amber quality that Seattle sunlight has from Aprilish to Augustish. And! During the walk, a Glazer's rep will compile an ebook guide to taking landscapes and cityscape shots. Yes, West Seattle may be a bit of a schlep for some folks, but consider the Water Taxi — it departs from Pier 50 and drops you off right smack dab in the middle of Seacrest Park. Perfect. MATT BAUME
This photowalk happens on Friday, May 7, from 7 to 9 pm at Seacrest Park. You'll need to register in advance.
OPENING SATURDAY: DANA ROBINSON'S SCENES FROM THE MIDDLE CLASS AT SPECIALIST GALLERY
Is my liberation tied to my ability to buy Cheerios? Am I less oppressed if I smear Maybelline blush on my cheeks? Exactly how toxic is conformity to the oppressed? In Dana Robinson's new show at Specialist, the Brooklyn-based multimedia artist "questions the idealized vision of American upward mobility " symbolized in consumer goods marketed to the middle class. Through collage and paint, Robinson recombines and dissects images of domestic goods cut from vintage Black magazines and presents them as specimens in plastic folders. The pieces, removed from their original context, are interesting reflections on how conformity—to whiteness, Americanness, and middle class ideals—has been marketed to upwardly mobile Black folks. But instead of focusing on the faces and models pushing these products, the products themselves are the star. Specialist, located right by Pioneer Square, will host an opening reception on May 8 from 12 pm to 4 pm. Make your reservation to see Robinson's work here. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Specialist Gallery presents Dana Robinson's Scenes from the Middle Class from this Saturday, May 8, until June 19. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or DM them on Instagram (@specialist_sea) to plan your visit! Regarding COVID-19 protocols: "To keep our community safe, we are limiting gallery occupancy to 3 visitors at a time during the open gallery hours between 12 - 3 pm. Masks are required (let us know if you need one!), and plenty of hand sanitizer will be available." More here.
EVERY SUNDAY: PICKLEBALL IN GEORGETOWN
I want everyone I know to play pickleball. The sport is like a combination of tennis and life-size ping pong. It's fast-paced, easy to pick up, and the perfect way to enjoy the sun as the days warm and stretch further into the evening hours. If you've always wanted to play the Bainbridge-founded paddle sport but have never mustered up the willpower to do so, or you just need another COVID-safe way to recreate outdoors, look no further.
The Seattle Metro Pickleball Association is hosting beginner pickleball lessons every Sunday starting in May until the end of June at the Georgetown tennis courts from 10:30 am until 12:30 pm The lessons taught by local pickleballers are part of Seattle Parks and Recreation's Rec' N The Streets program that brings recreation to areas with health disparities and limited access to outdoor activities. Once you learn, you can teach your friends and play morning pickleball at one of the courts across Seattle and then go find brunch afterward—the loser pays. Pickleball brunch is the only way I plan to get through the rest of the pandemic.
This could be us: