Wednesday 3/22

Douglas Smith with Marcie Sillman

(BOOKS) Douglas Smith, a historian and translator who lives in Seattle, will discuss tonight his translation of the first three volumes of Konstantin Paustovsky's six-volume autobiography, The Story of a Life, which was published in Russian in 1943. According to Smith, the massive "work moves forward less by the dictates of chronology and more by the power of memory." What this means is it's a work of literature rather than a simple (or straightforward) document of a life that experienced the Russian revolution of 1905, the revolution of 1917, the First World War, multiple jobs, and the emergence of society that claimed one of the two key political legacies of the 19th century: the labor movement that began in England. Konstantin Paustovsky was nominated for a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1965. All of this is fascinating and worth checking out. (Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave, 7 pm, free) CHARLES MUDEDE

Thursday 3/23

WNDR Museum

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(VISUAL ART) The Seattle outpost of the WNDR Museum opened its doors this week, bringing to Seattle more than 20 interactive, technology-as-art installations. The almost 13,000-square-foot space on Alaskan Way has Yayoi Kusama's oversized and sparkly yellow and black Starry Pumpkin, an immersive light and sound exhibit by Leigh Sachwitz that uses light and sound to replicate a passing thunderstorm, and an interactive infinity room called Hyper Mirror. There's also a new piece from Seattle's own Andy Arkley. Titled "You Can Do Most Anything," the large installation is a vibrant display of colorful shapes—flowers, squiggly lines, eyes, a cat—all dotted with lightbulbs, which visitors can make flash and dance to music via a control panel. Will there likely be droves of tourists battling their way through the space to take millions of videos for social media? Yes. Is it worth checking out anyway? Absolutely. Take a deep breath. Take your time. You'll be fine. (WNDR Museum, 904 Alaskan Way, daily noon-9 pm, $22-$50, all ages)

Friday 3/24


(FILM) If you’ve ever wanted to see a goofy Jim Gaffigan act in his own version of Donnie Darko alongside the great Rhea Seehorn, then you’re in luck—that is what is in store in Linoleum. Placing us fully in the mind of Gaffigan’s Cameron, we discover how he has always wanted to do something more with his life. He tried to make a go of it as a children's science show host but has little to show for it. Following some strange occurrences, Cameron decides to build a rocket in his garage. As he throws himself headlong into this dream, this surprisingly reflective film becomes utterly unbound from any and all expectations to drift into something more expansive. It is one of those works that takes some mighty big swings and, when all is revealed, the visually striking conclusion taps into a wavelength that transcends time itself. (SIFF Cinema Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave N, various showtimes March 24-27, $14) CHASE HUTCHINSON

Saturday 3/25

Cherry Blossom Festival

(SPRING) In Thursday's Stranger Suggest, I told you about the WNDR Museum, the new space on Alaskan Way that's stocked with nearly 20 interactive and Instagrammable art installations. Well, here's another immersive experience from the OG artist herself, Mother Nature. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) For decades The University of Washington's cherry blossom trees have been Seattle's sweetest signal of spring. Go see them! Even if you have before! Something happens in the brain when you look up at the delicate, blush-colored petals. They kickstart your synapses and shake your sense awake from winter's harsh hibernation. Dozens of U District businesses are offering specials to celebrate the season, too, so when you're done basking in the beauty of the trees, wander down to the Ave and its surrounding blocks for pink custard croissant taiyaki at Oh Bear Cafe & Teahouse or a Cherry Milk Tea from Xi'an Noodles. The UW's tree experts predict the blossoms will reach their peak bloom in early April—you can keep an eye on their status via Instagram and even a campus livestream. (Various locations in the U District through April 2) MEGAN SELING

Sunday 3/26

King/Snohomish County Regional Spelling Bee 2023

(SPELLING) I love freaks. And some of the best freaks in the world are children who can spell not only regular words but very, very hard ones, words composed of letters that tell you next to nothing about how the word sounds. This gift recalls in my mind that spooky child who, in Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker, can move and bend a spoon on a dinner table just with the power of their child mind. Where did this incredible power to spell so bloody well come from? Certainly not from the classroom. It can only be supernatural. This spelling bee will involve the best wee sorcerers attending schools in King and Snohomish Counties. (Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, 1 pm, free) CHARLES MUDEDE

Algiers with Party Dozen

(MUSIC) Atlanta quartet Algiers fuse bombastic, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds-style rock with equally bombastic, gospel-adjacent vocals by Franklin James Fisher. Their intensity nearly always pushes the needle into the red, but the music can sometimes descend into ponderousness. However, on Algiers' best early tracks (“The Underside of Power,” “Animals”), they hit like a heavyweight Northern soul band with a degree in political science. On the new Shook LP, Algiers imbue their songs with more electronic embellishments and energy, making it their most exciting record yet. As agitational and critically acclaimed as Algiers are, they may get upstaged by Australian duo Party Dozen. Saxophonist Kirsty Tickle and percussionist/sampler-manipulator Jonathan Boulet chisel rock into jagged electronic sculptures that smack you upside the head with invigorating impact. Party Dozen's sonic DNA can partially be traced to arty Oz brutalists such as feedtime and Birthday Party, but with hardly any vocals, a stronger instinct for abstraction, and more powerful technology behind them, Tickle and Boulet have become their own gravitational force. Get to the club early. (Madame Lou's, 2505 First Ave, 7:30 pm, $18, 21+) DAVE SEGAL

Monday 3/27

The Apple

(FILM) When I watched The Apple for the first time, I went into the experience without prior knowledge of the plotline, aside from hearing this cult classic was wonderfully fucked up. Naturally, I was in. It’s like The Rocky Horror Picture Show was impregnated by Jesus Christ Superstar and gave birth to Xanadu. The disco-musical tickled my senses with flamboyant dance fantasies, '70s glam rock, and plenty of kaleidoscope effects. It initially began as a musical take on George Orwell’s 1984 (in Hebrew), but producer Menahem Golan transformed the script into an overwhelmingly excessive rock opera. Why? I don’t know! At its core, The Apple is a biblical analogy about good versus evil, but it hasn’t always been viewed that way. The musical has been likened to a Christian scare film and is actually pretty problematic in 2023 terms. Good thing it came out in 1980 so we can still laugh! It’s giving drama. It’s giving sci-fi. It’s giving me spicy thoughts about Catherine Mary Stewart! Love it or hate it, The Apple is a fever dream that never really goes away. (Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave, various showtimes March 24-29, $12) BRITTNE LUNNISS

Tuesday 3/28

Hear Me Talkin' to You: Womxn & Blues

(MUSIC) Hear Me Talkin’ To You is a five-part showcase that aims to amplify the stories, songs, and voices of womxn and non-binary artists through blues and blues-influenced music. Tuesday’s Royal Room show will feature powerhouses Julia Francis, Shaina Shepherd, and Maya Marie. If you’re familiar with any of these names, you already recognize the magic of this lineup. Francis’s music is deeply rooted in the blues legacies of women like Billie Holiday and Bonnie Raitt. She identifies as a healing practitioner, and this energy radiates through her music. Inspired by Nina Simone’s lyricism and activism, Shepherd belts heartfelt stories of love, loss, and personal power. Her hit “Harambee” (which means “put all together” in Swahili), is just one example of the intention Shepherd uses to shape her music. A Seattle blues icon, Maya Marie has an unforgettable ambiance whose soulful voice will kick a beat into your heart. Can the Royal Room possibly contain this much power? Find out Tuesday! (The Royal Room, 5000 Rainier Ave S, 7:30 pm, $20/$25, all ages) BRITTNE LUNNISS