WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18, THRU THURSDAY, AUGUST 19: GRAND ILLUSION'S REOPENING
One of the first times I ever went to Grand Illusion was to see William Friedkin's fantastic To Live and Die in L.A. I loved watching the stylish neo-noir in the U District theater's squeaky red seats—film-stamp card in hand—with a bunch of other movie nerds. It felt like home. And after closing down the sacred movie-watching space for nearly a year-and-a-half because of the panini, Grand Illusion is finally reopening their theater for in-person screenings.
To kick off this new era, they will show locally-made kung fu film The Paper Tigers both Wednesday and Thursday, followed by screenings of Neill Blomkamp's (of District 9 fame) new horror film, Demonic, later in the week. But definitely expect some COVID precautions. Grand Illusion is only opening at 50% capacity and masks are required for all regardless of vaccination status. There will be no concessions, but you are allowed to bring a non-alcoholic bev of your choice. Can't wait to commune together with you all (masked) in the welcome darkness of the çïñėmā! JASMYNE KEIMIG
Grand Illusion will limit screenings to one per night, plus a matinee on weekends. Get your tickets and learn more about showtimes and COVID precautions here.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 19: POETRY READING AT VOLUNTEER PARK FT. SARAH GALVIN AND ROBERT LASHLEY
Now this is a fuckin' line-up. First of all, Sarah Galvin is the funniest living poet in the United States of America. Second of all, hearing Robert Lashley read poetry feels like one of those scenes in a movie where a character opens up a book and then a portal materializes above the pages and you can see a whole neighborhood of people walking through the streets and buying stuff from vendors and engaging in lots of side conversations, which is one of my favorite FX. In his latest book, Green River Valley, his vision of our little corner of the country has only grown sharper, and his jukes between modernist and blues modes come off flawlessly. I've never read anything by Corbin Louis or Thomas Ahneesan, but that's a thrill. According to press materials, Louis "seeks to expand dialogues of disability and anti-capitalism," and Ahneesan "explores Native American mixed-blood identity, the camaraderie that can be found in poverty, and intergenerational trauma with healing humor & tenderness." Sounds like a nice way to spend a partly sunny evening. RICH SMITH
MarginShift Live at Volunteer Park begins at 6:30 pm. They'll read east of the reservoir by the Burke statue, and stream it online.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 20: MICHETE AT BARBOZA
For the uninitiated, local popstar/menace Michete knows how to throw a fuckin' party. She got gaggles of woo girls to bump and grind to her dick-sucking anthem "Yum Yum Big Slurp" at Capitol Hill Block Party in 2019. Her unhinged face-reveal party CLAPPED at Fred's Wildlife (R.I.P) in February 2020 closed the curtain on pre-pandemic times in a major way. Just last week I went to SLAY MAMA!, a drag tribute to the Black Eyed Peas that she co-hosted with Seattle queen Jane Don't, and saw the crowd go beserk to her interpretation of Fergie's verse on "Boom Boom Pow." The stuff of stars.
This Friday at Barboza is your last chance to catch Michete perform before she takes a step back from live shows to focus on putting together her new album. And joining her onstage is an impeccable lineup of Seattle drag and DJ icons: Diamond Lil, Angel Baby Kill Kill Kill, Issa Man, Baby Toast, and a DJ set from hherb. Don't miss this opportunity to act like a slut and look like a bitch in public with Miss Shitty herself—it's not going to happen again until 2022! JASMYNE KEIMIG
Michete plays at Barboza on Friday, August 20. Doors at 7 pm with pre-sale tickets going for $10. Barboza requires proof of vaccination or negative COVID test from within the last 48 hours for entry.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 21: SEATTLE TRANS BEACHDAY 2021
You haven’t truly beach-partied until you’ve been to a trans beach party. Fortunately, now’s your chance, with the organizers behind last month’s Trans Picnic throwing another lovely get-together — this time at Madison Beach. Anyone who is trans, non-binary, gender-nonconforming, and two-spirit are welcome, and cis friends may come as long as they promise to behave themselves. (Cops are specifically not invited.) YES there will be pink/blue/white donuts, along with a handful of other treats for sale, including tamales, popsicles, and queer soaps. You’re free to wear what you wish — it’s legal for anyone, with any body, to be topless in Seattle, but it is also legal to feel chilly and snuggle up under a blanket. The last one of these get-togethers drew several hundred people to Volunteer Park, so you may want to get there early to pick a prime spot on the beach. Attendees are strongly asked to be fully vaccinated ahead of time. MATT BAUME
Seattle Trans Beachday 2021 is this Saturday from noon to 3 pm at Madison Park Beach.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 21: DOWNTOWN ANIMAL FUN
The turquoise killifish of Mozambique reaches full adult maturity just two weeks after hatching, but we humans take nearly twenty years to reach the same point, and in the meantime our offspring demand to be entertained. Should you find yourself in the custody of a human in its larval stage, this weekend offers a handful of clever diversions, from storytime at the aquarium to dancing lions. Begin your day at Pier 62, where the staff (hopefully that means otters) will read books and lead crafting activities. Slots are limited to 30 participants, so get there early; masks are required for anyone unvaccinated. (And a good idea for anyone who is vaccinated, too.) Spend some time talking to the aquarium’s octopus (who is an excellent listener), and then stroll on over to Westlake Park for a traditional lion dance from the Mak Fai Dragon & Lion Dance Association and the Mak Fai Kung Fu Club, part of the city’s “Welcome Back Weeks” campaign. Both events are free and likely to be enjoyed by humans of all ages, which is handy, because—unlike the jellyfish turritopsis dohrnii—you cannot revert back to your polyp form. MATT BAUME
Seattle Aquarium Storytime happens on August 21 and September 4 from 10 to 11 am. Lion Dances will happen at Westlake Park on August 21 and 28 from 2 to 3 pm, and at Occidental Square on August 19 and 26 from noon to 1 pm.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 21, AND SUNDAY, AUGUST 21: SEE A DANCE PERFORMANCE IN SEATTLE'S ICONIC FREEWAY PARK
This year's Seattle Design Festival includes a dance performance set in the brutalist wonderland called Freeway Park. Choreographed by Vladimir Kremenović, and dedicated to the park's nonagenarian designer, Bulgarian-born landscape artist Angela Danadjieva, "UTOPIA: space", the event's apt name, will feature nine dancers moving with the pine-imprinted slabs of raw concrete and through the sound of I-5's continuous traffic. I recommended this event because any reason to visit Freeway Park can always be counted as a good reason. CHARLES MUDEDE
"UTOPIA: space" happens on August 21 and 22, and on both occasions the magic begins at 5:30 pm. Seattle Design Festival will also host a pop-up conversation about the work at Lake Union Park on Saturday, August 21 from 3-4 pm.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 21, THRU SUNDAY, AUGUST 22: WASHINGTON MIDSUMMER RENAISSANCE FAIRE'S "WANDERING THRU TIME" WEEKENDAside from staying in and watching premium television until literally everyone either gets vaccinated or gets COVID-19, its hard to think of a better way to manifest post-plague realities than suiting up and strolling around the Towne Center at the Ren Faire in Bonney Lake. If you want to play along with the theme for the closing weekend, then dress up as your favorite sci-fi character and prepare to blow a bag of silver on turkey legs and chainmail coifs. A couple FYIs to consider: 1. SR 167 between Pacific and Sumner will be closed this weekend, so if you're coming from Seattle you'll need to use another route. 2. The necromancers on the Bonney Lake City Council passed a resolution to ban proof of vax requirements, so, uhhhhh, you might consider adding a mask to that Jedi fit, Obi-wan. RICH SMITH
The Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire at The Kelley Farm runs from 10 am to 7 pm. (Address: 19401 Sumner Buckley Hwy Bonney Lake, WA 98391.) Adult tickets cost $21, and you can find them here.
SEVEN DAYS A WEEK: WATCH RESERVATION DOGSThe best thing happening on TV right now is Reservation Dogs, a comedy about four Native American teens who live on an Oklahoma "rez" that has a few bars, a few greasy spoons, a few stores, and a whole lot of stories that border on the surreal. The teens are Bear (D’Pharoah Woon-A-Tai), Willie Jack (Paulina Alexis), Elora (Devery Jacobs), and Cheese (Lane Factor). Before the first episode, they were just hanging around and not doing much (save committing petty crimes). After the first episode, they became a gang. Their goal is not to dominate the reservation but to get out of it and move to California, apparently the land of opportunity. What makes the show work is its lightness. Nothing ever gets too heavy around here—not the crime, the gang war, or the ghosts from the past. What the creators of the show, Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi, had in mind wasn't a Boyz N the Hood of the reservation, but something much closer to, and in many ways funnier than, Atlanta. As one of the show's stars, Devery Jacobs, put it: "It's About Damn Time Indigenous People Were Represented on TV." It's also great to see a connection made between a Native American (Sterlin Harjo) and a Native New Zealander (Taika Waititi). The colonized of the world unite. CHARLES MUDEDE
The FX comedy is available on Hulu