Wednesday 5/3

How I Learned What I Learned

(THEATER) Twenty years ago, I entered Seattle Repertory Theatre and watched one of the greatest poets of the 20th century, August Wilson, walk onto a stage, hang his cap and coat on a hanger, sit on a comfortable armchair, and perform his one-man play How I Learned What I Learned. The audience was mesmerized by his presence and presentation, which in my mind was similar to how Mister Rogers welcomes viewers to the "beautiful day in [his] neighborhood." Wilson's neighborhood, however, was the Hill District, the part of Pittsburg that became Black in the 1920s. Here, we learned, is where, with the help of local artists and the library, Wilson discovered the poet in him. A few weeks ago, I entered Seattle Rep and watched Steven Anthony Jones perform How I Learned What I Learned. Though this version was less intimate than Wilson's, it convincingly emphasized the part of the play that concerned the young artist's repeated and soul-challenging encounters with American racism. Jones' moral outrage is much more forceful and objective than Wilson's. And this makes perfect sense when one considers our increasingly "anti-woke" (meaning, anti-Black) times. Even the richest man in the world doesn't try to hide his racism. We are not going forward but backward in time, back to the days when the last thing America wanted was woke Blacks like Wilson. Do not miss this play. (Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St, Wed-Sun through May 14, $20-$95) CHARLES MUDEDE

Thursday 5/4


(MUSIC) Deerhoof is one of those special, ever-evolving bands that still sound fresh, exciting, and surprising after nearly three decades in the indie-rock scene. Like a controlled demolition, the band is all at once rough, angry, joyful, janky, teetering on a wire for show and never falling. I particularly like the sweet, melancholic title track, with its whining slide guitar and telephone-toned keyboards. Deerhoof is currently touring its 19th album Miracle-Level—which came out at the end of March—which is the band's first record sung entirely in singer/bassist Satomi Matsuzaki’s native Japanese language. If you don’t speak Japanese, you won’t understand what she’s singing about, but you can sure feel it. (Neumos, 925 E Pike, 7 pm, $20-$22, all ages) VIVIAN MCCALL

Friday 5/5

The Seattle Project Presents Amanda Morgan's Chapters

(L-R) Amanda Morgan, Ashton Edwards, Akoiya Harris. The Seattle Project

(DANCE) Five Black femmes will animate resonant eras of their own lives using film and live dance in dancer-choreographer Amanda Morgan's first full-length production, Chapters. The multimedia performance will see its world premiere on the larger, double-decker stage at Northwest Film Forum. In the show, dancers Ashton Edwards (obligatory New York Times profile link drop), Akoiya Harris, Nia-Amina Minor, Morgan, and videographer Kenya Shakoor all swirl around the idea of home, a long-unsettled and unsettling concept, especially for people from diasporic communities. For Morgan, who grew up in Tacoma and went on to become Pacific Northwest Ballet's first Black woman soloist last year, home is anywhere near water. In a reflection on the way that home—like water—changes but stays the same, her contribution features a duet between herself dancing at Titlow Beach and a home movie of her and her father playing around years earlier in that same spot. She has a history of creating fascinating dance and dance films, so watching her and the rest of this supergroup explore their collective connections and divergences of their pasts, futures, and presents is bound to satisfy. (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, 7 pm, $25 suggested but pay what you can) RICH SMITH

Saturday 5/6

Roq La Rue's 25th Anniversary Group Show

"Spuit Elft," acrylic on panel. FEMKE HIEMSTRA

(VISUAL ART) Happy anniversary to Roq La Rue! Kirsten Anderson opened the art gallery in 1998 and it has survived several different iterations, from the scrappy dive space in Belltown to its current slick digs in Madison Valley. It even closed for a minute back in 2016, before Anderson opened Creatura House in 2017, but she brought Roq La Rue back in 2018 and it has managed to persevere through COVID and Seattle's not-always-welcoming-to-artists evolution ever since. Appropriately, Anderson is throwing two parties to celebrate the gallery's survival. The first is this weekend's 25th Anniversary Group Show, which opens Saturday night and features work from some of the best artists seen in Roq La Rue through the years, including Madeline Von Foerster, Peter Ferguson, Lori Earley, Alessandra Marie, Hannah Flowers, Travis Louie, and Femke Hiemstra (who is also this week's Stranger Artist of the Week). DJ Marvelette will be there and Anderson is printing up limited-edition merch designed by some of her artist pals. The celebration will continue this fall with another group show in October, but more on that later. Let's focus on the here and the now. Viva Roq La Rue! (Roq La Rue, 2806 E Madison, 6 pm, free) MEGAN SELING

Sunday 5/7

Cheer on the Kraken in the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Winning! Ethan Miller/Getty Sports

(SPORTS) The Seattle Kraken shocked the hockey world when they defeated the Colorado Avalanche, aka the reigning Stanley Cup champions, and advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. It's only gonna get more intense from here. The first game of the seven-game series against the Dallas Stars was a nail-biter. A butt clencher. A teeth grinder. The Kraken won 5-4 in overtime after giving up a two-goal lead in the third period, and ALL FOUR of those Dallas goals were scored by ONE MAN, Joe Pavelski. It was maddening! Exciting! Terrifying! Invigorating! You need to be watching these games! If you prefer to be surrounded by friends during stressful situations, I recommend Rough & Tumble, the relatively new woman-focused sports bar in Ballard. They give TV priority to women's sports—the OL Reign are currently second in the league and the Storm's preseason starts May 9, by the way—and they're showing all the Kraken games, too. You could also try the Angry Beaver, the small but mighty hockey bar in Greenwood. You have to get there early to secure a spot, but you can pass the time by filling up on Canadian delicacies including poutine with six (!) different kinds of gravy. Go Kraken! (Find even more sports bars listed on EverOut; Game 3 starts at Climate Pledge Arena at 6:30 pm) MEGAN SELING

Monday 5/8

79.5 with Lovetempo

(MUSIC) Have you noticed? The saxophone is making a comeback. For several years now it's been worming its way into indie, punk, and modern rock music, but this summer will be the season of the saxophone. Mark my words. You can get an early start on your inevitable lust for Adolphe Sax's greatest invention when New York's 79.5 bring their steamy, disco-kissed dance music to Madame Lou's. The band's self-titled album, out May 5 on Razor and Tape, has earned comparisons to Donna Summer, Grace Jones, and Patti Labelle, and right there in the center of it all is, you guessed it, the sultry, horny-for-honking saxophone (played by Izaak Mills, who also kicks in some impressive flute action). One-person dance party Lovetempo opens. (Madame Lou's, 2505 First Ave, 8:30 pm, $18, 21+) MEGAN SELING

Tuesday 5/9

Bill Charlap Trio

(MUSIC) Here are the three classes of jazz pianist that dominate my imagination: There are the impressionists (Bill Evans, Erroll Garner, early Herbie Hancock), the geniuses (Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Benny Green), and the perfectionists (Hank Jones, John Lewis, Bill Charlap). Let's take a quick look at Bill Charlap. He was born in New York City in 1966, studied classical music, and is currently one of the most refined players of jazz piano. What do I mean by refined? I can only put it this way (a way, furthermore, that Hank Jones would appreciate): Refinement is a state of mastery achieved by a profound sense of one's civilization—its traditions, its schools, its achievements. A great album to enter Charlap's growing body of work is Live at the Village Vanguard (2007, Blue Note). (Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave, May 9-10, 7:30 pm, $36.50) CHARLES MUDEDE