Our music critics have already chosen the 22 best concerts this week, but now it's our arts critics' turn. Here are their picks for the best events in every genre—from the massive Seattle Art Fair and the seventh annual celebration of underground rock that is Pizza Fest to the new show from the Seattle Opera, The Wicked Adventures of Count Ory, and, of course, voting in the primary election (don't forget!) See them all below, and find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.
Jump to: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday
READINGS & TALKS
Ren and Helen Davis
Ren and Helen Davis will read from Landscapes for the People: George Alexander Grant, First Chief Photographer of the National Park Service (University of Georgia Press). George Grant was the National Park Service's first chief photographer (a position later held by household name Ansel Adams) who documented the parks in the tumultuous 1930s.
FOOD & DRINK
Brothers Do Brews
This local beer dinner from Brothers Catering will offer pub-inspired food with expertly-paired brews from Lucky Envelope Brewing.
Vote in the Primary Election
Don't forget to vote in the August 2016 primary election. Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday, August 2, put in a drop box, or returned to your county elections department by 8 pm. Results will be posted by 8:15 pm. Before you vote, make sure to check out The Stranger's 2016 endorsements.
READINGS & TALKS
Salon of Shame
Writing that makes you cringe ("middle school diaries, high school poetry, unsent letters") is displayed with unapologetic hilarity at this Salon of Shame.
This world-premiere play is based on the true story of marketing firm Doyle Dane Bernbach's creation of the first negative political TV ad. The weirdly avant-garde commercial, which was made for Lyndon B. Johnson's campaign against Barry Goldwater in 1964, shows a little blonde girl picking petals off a daisy only seconds before she gets blown to smithereens by a nuclear bomb. The ad is so legendary that politicians still reference it today. Though playwright Sean Devine didn't mean for it to be when he started working on it years ago, Daisy serves as a piece of compelling, dramatic commentary on the 2016 Trump Versus Clinton Hate-Vote Election™, which means his play is relevant in a very obvious way that people like. RICH SMITH (Through Sunday)
SHRIEK is a film class focusing on the role of women in horror. This time, Evan J. Peterson and Heather Marie Bartells will screen and discuss Dario Argento's supernatural horror film Suspiria, set in a German ballet school.
READINGS & TALKS
CURED/NOTCURED: A Tale of Two Diagnoses
In 2007, Gary Steinkohl received a bone-marrow transplant that doctors hoped would cure him of HIV—and for a few months, they thought it had. But shortly after lead researcher Dr. Timothy Henrich gave an optimistic conference talk about the procedure, the virus reappeared, dashing hopes of having found a cure. As patient and scientist, Steinkohl and Henrich are now reflecting on the experience in a free community Q&A. They'll cover the science behind the procedure, the emotional impact of having found what they thought was a cure, and what researchers and patients today can learn from their experience. MATT BAUME
Krys Lee reads from How I Became a North Korean, that follows the story of a group of young North Korean defectors. It's Lee's first novel—Gary Shteyngart described it as "one of the best books I've read in a good long while."
Silent Reading Party
Invented by our own Christopher Frizzelle, the reading party is every first Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. That's when the Fireside Room at the Sorrento Hotel goes quiet and fills with people with books tucked under their arms. (And, occasionally, a Kindle or two.) By 7 p.m., you often can't get a seat.
Speakers from the Northwest African American Museum will introduce Black Dynamite and give a short overview of the Blaxploitation films that inspired this one. Charles Mudede describes the film thusly: "What is right with Black Dynamite also happens to be what is wrong with it. Meaning, all you can give this movie is praise—praise for the editing of its action sequences, for its competent acting, for the director's knowledge of the Blaxploitation tradition, and for its groovy score. The film begins with a quest for praise and ends by finding lots of it. But what one wants from a movie of this kind, a movie about a type or period of cinema, is for it to cross the border of being merely entertaining (order) to being a work of genius (disorder). This I think is the hidden or even silent failure of Black Dynamite—it is a comedy that never reaches the strange regions of the cosmic."
Art as a Voice: Gu Xiong
Hear from internationally recognized multimedia artist Gu Xiong (known for his large public art projects and work about cultural identities) about his new exhibit at the San Juan Island Museum of Art, A River of Migration.
Seattle Art Fair
Last summer, Paul Allen said, “Let there be Seattle Art Fair,” and it was good. This summer its second incarnation has more galleries—84—including New York titans David Zwirner and Pace, plus LA heavy hitter Roberts & Tilton, plus New York stalwart Marlborough, and many, many more coming from Asia, Europe, and the East Coast as well as a still-healthy continent from Seattle and Portland. Bring comfortable shoes. Check out our Seattle Art Fair calendar for special talks and performances presented at the Seattle Art Fair (including Kyle MacLachlan and Carrie Brownstein), plus both official and unofficial satellite events all over the city (like Juxtapoz x Superflat). JEN GRAVES (Through Sunday)
Out of Sight
While the Seattle Art Fair fills CenturyLink Field’s events center with more paintings, sculptures, photographs, and drawings than you thought possible, Out of Sight will occupy the nearby third floor of the historic King Street Station clocktower with more than 21,000 square feet of art by local artists. If you go to the fair, you must also go to Out of Sight. If you have to choose one, for heaven’s sake, go to Out of Sight and buy art magazines to see pictures of what was over at the Big Fair. JEN GRAVES (Through Saturday)
First Thursday Art Walk
On this August evening, come together with other Seattleites in Pioneer Square's historic, gallery-filled streets for the city's central and oldest art walk—and for the chance to stroll and drink copious amounts of wine. Booze and hobnobbing will steal the scene for some, but at its core, First Thursday is an impressive communal unveiling of new artwork.
Pizza Fest 2016
Leaning more toward the crusty and saucy than the cheesy, Pizza Fest enters its seventh year in rude health. For three nights, you can gorge on the sounds of underground rock’s rawest and rowdiest miscreants from Seattle and around this scary country. Best believe you’ll sweat out your anchovies. The final night includes a pizza-eating contest. No, it’s not glutton-free [sic]. DAVE SEGAL (Through Saturday)
14/48: Nordo Food Theater Thunderdome
Playwrights and chefs will work together to create five plays on a theme, and five courses from "randomly selected secret ingredients" for an unusual and immersive dinner theater experience. (Through Saturday)
The Seattle Shakespeare Company will present their take on Shakespeare's funny, terrifying, and often-performed Hamlet at Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island. (Through Sunday)
READINGS & TALKS
A live amateur storytelling competition in which audience members who put their names in a hat are randomly chosen to tell stories on a theme (this week, it's "heat"). Local comedians tend to show up, but lots of nonperformers get in on the action as well.
FOOD & DRINK
FareStart Guest Chef Night with Brian Scheehser
FareStart is a fantastic organization that empowers disadvantaged and homeless men and women by training them for work in the restaurant industry. Every Thursday, they host a Guest Chef Night, featuring a three-course dinner from a notable Seattle chef for just $29.95. This week FareStart welcomes Chef Brian Scheehser of Trellis at the Heathman Hotel.
Don't Think Twice
On the opening night of Don't Think Twice (a comedy-drama about a New York City improv troupe starring Mike Birbiglia, Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci, Tami Sagher and Chris Gethard) join star and filmmaker Mike Birbiglia for a screening and post-film Q&A moderated by Megan Griffiths.
The Fierce Awakens
Starting with a screening of Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same today, Three Dollar Bill Cinema will present a series of free outer-space-themed movies in Cal Anderson Park throughout the month of August. There will be a DJ starting at 7 pm, and concessions including popcorn and candy on sale, proceeds from which will benefit Three Dollar Bill Cinema's year-round efforts to provide voices for the LGBTQ community through film.
Emerging Artist Showcase: Meet Adrienne Kennedy
There's a LOT of fascinating performance art stuff going on at the Seattle Art Fair over the weekend, but reserve at least one of those days for The Emerging Artist Showcase, which is the second series of productions in Intiman Theatre Festival's 2016 season, highlighting American plays written by Black women. Actors will perform staged readings of two one-act surreal/avant-garde plays by Adrienne Kennedy (best known for Funnyhouse of a Negro) as well as a brand-new play called Black Super Hero Magic Mama, written by emerging artist Inda Craig-Galván. In BSHMM, following the death of her son, a mother avoids the news cameras by creating a fantasy world wherein she is a crime-fighting superhero. RICH SMITH (Through Sunday)
READINGS & TALKS
Hyphens: A Chapbook Release Show
Nic Masangkay and Erika Hatanaka present this chapbook release show for Hyphens, featuring performances by Nikkita Oliver, Shelby Handler and DJ Phenohype. A quote from their page: "In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate." - Toni Morrison
The Wicked Adventures of Count Ory
You like Gioachino Rossini. He’s the one whose music runs and rushes and spins, and that’s why it’s been theme-song-ed for Bugs Bunny and The Lone Ranger and who knows how much else. But the poor gentleman wrote 39 operas and most of us have heard only a minute of one of them. So check this out: The Wicked Adventures of Count Ory is an obscure comedy Seattle Opera’s doing in a Monty Python-esque style. Farce! Silliness! Mistaken identities in bed! This opera also kicks off the first season planned entirely by General Director Aidan Lang, so here’s some future to trip on. JEN GRAVES (Through Sunday)
FOOD & DRINK
Don't miss Marjorie Owner Donna Moodie and Executive Chef Isaac Hutchins' gigantic Jamaican Feast (with two seatings!) that promises dishes including curry goat, jerk chicken, and stew oxtail.
Sex and Cannabis 101 Workshop with Dockside
Behold, the open-minded Seattleite's third-date event of the century! If you've spent enough time around someone to realize that you like them enough to maybe touch butts but haven't yet touched butts, what better way to facilitate that than with a smart stoney sex talk from the smart weed/sex experts at Dockside?TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE