Our music critics have already chosen the 27 best concerts this week, but now it's our arts critics' turn to pick the best events in their areas of expertise. Here are their picks for the best events in every genre—from two Pacific Northwest Ballet performances (Pictures at an Exhibition, with a special Beer & Ballet evening, and the PNB Season Encore Performance) to the final week of the Seattle International Film Festival, and from the Queer Art Walk to Georgetown Carnival. See them all below, and find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.

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MONDAY

COMMUNITY

SPJ Western Washington Awards Party
Celebrate excellence in journalism at this awards party, hosted by our local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. This year's big winner is our own Sydney Brownstone, who is SPJ's Journalist of the Year. Your ticket to the ceremony includes three beers and a slice of pizza.

MONDAY-SUNDAY

FOOD & DRINK

Negroni Week 2017
Every week is a great week for Negronis, but Monday marks this year's official kickoff of every hipster bartender's favorite booze-fueled charity fundraiser, Negroni Week. The model by which charities get money is a little confusing—your increased Negroni consumption is not directly linked to the amount of money raised, with bars and restaurants instead making a flat donation when they sign up—but whatever. Anything that encourages weeknight drinking is good in my book, and technically you're encouraging businesses to participate in exchange for an increase in sales. The whole thing is a big Campari marketing ploy, but it raises a not insignificant amount of money for charity, and, again, provides you with a legitimate excuse for showing up to work with a gin hangover on a Tuesday. Trust me, you can only cite distress over the Trump presidency so many times before your boss gets fed up. TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE

FILM

Seattle International Film Festival 2017
The 43rd annual Seattle International Film Festival is the largest film festival in the US, with 400 films (spread over 25 days) watched by around 150,000 people. It's impressively grand, and is one of the most exciting and widely-attended arts events Seattle has to offer. See the full schedule for the final week of the festival, buy tickets, watch trailers, and read Stranger reviews on our complete SIFF 2017 guide.

TUESDAY

FOOD & DRINK

Nationaldagen: Sweden's National Day Dinner
Celebrate Nationaldagen (Sweden's National Day) with this popular event at the Swedish Club Cultural Center, which will include a traditional Swedish dinner as well as a lesson on how to make snaps (a popular alcoholic ritual in both Denmark and Sweden). You can also expect a report on "the State of Sweden," music by Jon Persson, and the announcement of the Swedish Club's Swede of the Year.

READINGS & TALKS

Dave Boling: The Lost History of Stars
Tacoma News Tribune sports columnist and novelist Dave Boling (author of historical fiction books Guernica and The Undesirables) will stop by Elliott Bay to share his latest work, The Lost History of Stars, which offers one family's perspective on South Africa's Boer War—also known as the Second Boer War—that pitted the Boers against the British. Garth Stein (A Sudden Light and The Art of Racing in the Rain) writes that Boling's "brilliant novel is a meditation on the resiliency of the soul and the spirit, and will long be remembered.”

David Shields with Claire Dederer
There's enough going on in Seattle's literary scene that not having heard of a specific writer isn't necessarily a flaw or fault. But if you don't know about David Shields, you've got your head in the sand. He's UW's Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence, and, more importantly, a prolific author who has had his hand in a massive number of high-profile projects. He just released a new book about language, reading, perception, and culture called Other People: Takes & Mistakes, a collection of essays divided into the categories "Men," "Women," "Athletes," "Performers," and "Alter Egos." Hear from Shields about this new work, which is certainly full of artistic, philosophical musings and illuminating stories. Shields will be joined by author Claire Dederer (Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning), and our own Christopher Frizzelle will interview him in a post-talk discussion at the Cloud Room.

Seattle Fiction Federation #9
This series combines appearances from established local authors with a competitive flash fiction element: Three well-known readers, Robert Lashley, Diana Xin, and David Downing, plus the winner of last week's Seattle Fiction Federation, Christian Downes, will read pieces. Eight randomly selected audience members will also read their five-minute-max works, and the rest of the audience will vote on which of these contestants will read at the next SFF. Write something short and try your luck!

#ShoutYourAbortion presents Dr. Willie Parker with Martha Plimpton and Lindy West
Join the #ShoutYourAbortion campaign to hear directly from an abortion provider, Willie Parker, who discusses his Christianity and commitment to abortion care in his new book Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice. He'll be introduced by the brilliant Lindy West, Amelia Bonow of SYA, and Surge Northwest. Afterwards, he'll converse with pro-choice activist/actor Martha Plimpton.

TUESDAY-SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

Dreamgirls
Village Theatre presents Tony- and Grammy Award-winning musical Dreamgirls (not officially about the Supremes' rise to fame, but containing many parallels) which was made extremely popular by the 2006 film starring Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, and the inimitable Queen B. Come for Motown tunes, commentary about celebrity, dramatic ultimatums, and flashy dance numbers.

Here Lies Love
David Byrne’s critically adored disco musical about the life and times of Imelda Marcos, disco-obsessed wife of Ferdinand Marcos. She danced by his side (and by Richard Nixon’s—look it up on YouTube) while his dictatorial ass terrorized the Philippines. Unlike other musicals, you don’t have to forgive this one for its melodramatic, sappy songs. The fast numbers are groovy disco bangers and the slow numbers are touching, tropically inflected twee rock/pop. Production-wise, this show will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen at the Rep. The installation of mobile dance floors will significantly change the theater’s seating situation, and the audience will be dancing (according to the demands of the dictator, of course) throughout the show. RICH SMITH

WEDNESDAY

FILM

Prince’s Purple Birthday Party with Purple Rain
Shortly after Prince died last year, Stranger arts and music editor Sean Nelson wrote, “Prince is in a very small category of artists with a legitimate claim to having defined the aesthetic and cultural (and therefore commercial, and therefore political) framework of a generation. One forgets what it felt like to have a true musical all-the-way genius who is also the greatest imaginable performer who is also a tunesmith of the highest order who also happens to be a transgressive avatar of race/gender/sexuality/class/genre who is also funny be at or near the top of the charts, in your radio, on your turntable, in your headphones, on your TV screens, and in every magazine all at the same time.” Celebrate Prince’s legacy at this birthday screening of Purple Rain.

QUEER

June Pride Skate
With Pride season now upon us, how is the eager queer to manage their schedule? It seems like every day in June is busting out all over with rainbows. And that is why you must allow Pride Skate to roll up to the top of your social calendar—this freewheeling extravaganza is an absolute hoot and like nothing else you'll experience in a month replete with prideful parties. Hosts Abbey Roads and Bobbi Jo Blessings will be singing, naturally, and so will you thanks to Baby Ketten Karaoke. Throw in some special guests from XL Bears and brand-new rink upgrades, and you'll never want to attend another Pride party again if it doesn't involve wheels. MATT BAUME

READINGS & TALKS

Contagious Exchanges: Chavisa Woods with Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
This monthly series curated and hosted by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore features stellar queer writers—this time, hear from poet and author Chavisa Woods, who will share her new short story collection Things to Do When You’re Goth in the Country.

Lisa Ko: The Leavers
Lisa Ko's anticipated debut novel, The Leavers, was called "required reading" by Ann Patchett and won the prestigious PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. Come to hear Ko share this story that centers around an undocumented mother in the Bronx who leaves home one morning and never returns.

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. And there's always free music from 6 to 8 p.m.

WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY

READINGS & TALKS

Barbara Johns
Art historian and curator Barbara Johns will share her new book, The Hope of Another Spring, a biography of Japanese-American artist Takuichi Fujii that highlights both his artistic contributions and the historical context of his life (including his incarceration in several American internment camps during World War II). The book features a previously unknown collection of art that Fujii created during his internment, including a detailed and illustrated diary. After her Wednesday appearance at Folio, Johns will be at Third Place Books Lake Forest Park on Thursday.

WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

Barbecue
Lambda Literary Award–winning playwright Robert O'Hara offers up two different families—one white, one black, both named O'Mallery—staging an interventions for their respective drug-addicted family members. Up-and-coming director Malika Oyetimein, who managed a wonderful production of O'Hara's Bootycandy two years ago, will likely squeeze every ounce of cringe-inducing comedy from this very strong cast. Also of note: This play kicks off Intiman's 2017 season, which was co-curated by the extremely multitalented Sara Porkalob. RICH SMITH

Lost Falls
Celebrate the return of Twin Peaks, after more than 25 years off the air, with this food- and performance-based homage to David Lynch, with all the small-town charm and creepy suspense you'll find in his work. They'll investigate the question: "Who killed Chef Nordo Lefesczki?" Enjoy a score by Annastasia Workman, script by Terry Podgorski, direction and menu design by Erin Brindley, and performances by Devin Bannon (on lead vocals—fun fact: he's a performer, director, and Stranger sales rep), Evan Mosher (trumpet, vocals, sound effects and more), Matt Manges (drums), Dave Pascal (bass), Ryan Higgins, Ayo Tushinde, Opal Peachey, Carol Thompson, Ronnie Hill, and Laura Dux.

Welcome to Braggsville
T. Geronimo Johnson's novel Welcome to Braggsville is an award-laden bestseller that Rich Benjamin at The New York Times described as a mixture between "a satirical The Indian Princess, James Nelson Barker's 1808 libretto about Pocahontas" and "a macabre E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial"—and this summer, it's being performed as a stage play presented by Book-It Repertory Theatre. Adapted by Josh Aaseng and Daemond Arrindell; directed by Josh Aaseng. Arrindell is mainly known as a poet, and according to former Stranger theater editor Brendan Kiley, Aaseng "found the skeleton key to Vonnegut's brilliantly tangled bowl of literary spaghetti" while directing Slaughterhouse-Five, and his production of Jesus' Son played "this sad parade of losers with glimmers of human decency."

THURSDAY

ART

Queer Art Walk
The third annual Queer Art Walk promises a jaunt around Capitol Hill's businesses and galleries by Seattle's artsy LGBTQ+ denizens. Look out for special events like Jessica Marie Mercy: In Our Space and Adrien Leavitt: Queer Feelings.

Leftovers Vol. 1: OFF MENU
This event is the first in a series that will explore leftover food—its wastefulness as well as its potential uses—through large visual installations. Today's theme is "Off Menu": "improvisational one-offs" that provide "a platform for cooperation and collaboration."

FILM

SIFF Gay-La: Susanne Bartsch: On Top
SIFF's big gay party this year will center on Susanne Bartsch: On Top, a fun documentary on the influence of cultural icon and fashion iconoclast Susanne Bartsch and her place in New York's queer nightlife in the '80s. You can just buy tickets for the film if you're okay with missing out on the big gay festivities with directors Anthony&Alex in the Baltic Room afterwards.

FOOD & DRINK

Ballard Bootie Crawl
No, you sicko—this isn't a "booty crawl," it's a "bootie crawl," as in pirate bootie! Follow Blackbeard's map of Ballard for a pirate-themed beer extravaganza benefiting World Oceans Day 2017. The event supports efforts to eradicate plastic pollution in Washington state, and takes place over multiple venues. They write, "Each participating venue has a drink special and/or activity promoting plastic pollution facts and is donating the proceeds to our cause. There will be live music at one venue, live painting at another, and REAL pirates bouncing around spreading the mood." We hear there will also be a "plastic bag monster," "data sculptures" from WWU and UW, and something called The Better Bag Challenge. Additionally, there will be a raffle with tons of different prizes.

Guest Chef Night
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, it's chef Ben Godwin of RN74.

PERFORMANCE

Beer & Ballet: Pictures at an Exhibition
Pictures at an Exhibition promises to be great, so why not pair it with some well-priced drinks from Fremont Brewing and Savor wines? Combine high culture with hedonist pleasure at Pacific Northwest Ballet. Tickets start at the reasonable price of $29.

THURSDAY-SATURDAY

FOOD & DRINK

A Drink for Vera 2017
Not that I ever need an excuse to go to the Redwood, especially since 2017 is the official, final, for-real-this-time last year of the Capitol Hill classic, but this is an exceptionally good one. This week, your regularly scheduled Friday night revelry will raise money for The Vera Project, Seattle's awesome all-ages music organization. In addition to the usual delights of nachos, stiff drinks, and the world's best bathroom graffiti, there will be new delights: a raffle, live music from Pleather, and a DJ set from Cameron McCreery. You might not feel physically wonderful the next day, but you can at least lay in bed all day with the blinds drawn knowing you did this to yourself so the kids can have music. Oh and, if this wasn't already awesome, Linda's and Saint John's are participating as well (on Thursday and Saturday, respectively). So much win. TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE

PERFORMANCE

Into the Deeps
Explore political and socioeconomic structures...at the bottom of the ocean, with an enthusiastic physical theatre ensemble set to impress you with their dancing, clowning, and design.

Lydia
Octavio Solis's critically acclaimed Lydia is billed as a ghostly, intense, Miller-esque domestic drama about a young maid who cares for and communes with a teenager who wound up in a coma under mysterious circumstances. Many critics seem haunted (in a good way!) by the play's magic, and by the way it refracts Miller's obsession with the American dream through the prisms of seven brilliantly rendered Latino characters. The dean of Yale School of Drama, James Bundy, called it "one of the most important plays of this decade." This is the kind of dark, language-driven material Strawshop always pulls off with aplomb, and may very well be the low-key hit of the spring season. RICH SMITH

THURSDAY-SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

Grand Concourse
Grand Concourse, written by Heidi Schreck and directed by Annie Lareau, is a play about the way the group dynamics in a Bronx soup kitchen change when a new hire arrives.

Pictures at an Exhibition
This Pacific Northwest Ballet program includes Balanchine's 1968 ballet La Source (with music by Leo Delibes, and originally created for renowned French ballerina Violette Verdy), NYCB ballet master and Broadway legend Jerome Robbins' 1979 ballet Opus 19/The Dreamer, and finally, what looks to be the highlight of the production: Alexei Ratmansky's 2014 ballet Pictures at an Exhibition. The music is by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky, inspired by his tour of a memorial exhibition for artist, architect, and designer Viktor Hartmann. Each musical number comments on an individual piece of art by Hartmann, and this production promises to pair the music and dance with geometric images by Russian painter Wassily Kandinksy. At the very least, it's an ambitious attempt to seamlessly merge dance, music, and visual art inside a new piece of choreography (whose history goes back centuries).

The Realistic Joneses
The Realistic Joneses is a precisely-titled realist play about two neighboring couples with the last name Jones, written by playwright Will Eno (whom Charles Isherwood at the New York Times called "a Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation"). The Realistic Joneses earned a number of accolades and some rave reviews on Broadway in 2014 for its humorous, character-driven take on illness, marital life, and intimacy. This production is presented by New Century Theatre Company and directed by Paul Budraitis.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
ArtsWest presents Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, a musical offering murder, cannibalism, and barbershops—plus songs that are creepy, catchy, quick, and witty.

FRIDAY

FOOD & DRINK

Beer Tasting Cruise with Fremont Brewing
Learn about beer (and also drink it!) on this dinner cruise, hosted by Waterways. The three-course meal will feature four Fremont Brewing beers paired with a plated dinner, and the 2.5-hour cruise will include private tables for each guest, a full bar available for additional drinks, a guided beer tasting, and narration by the captain himself.

PERFORMANCE

Chimerica
In local playwright Christopher Bailey's new play, a black soldier returns from Iraq and journeys to the house of his slain white comrade's racist father. The two get into an explosive argument while Nikki, the slain soldier's Cambodian sister-in-law, joins the fray. A production of the Seattle Playwrights Salon.

READINGS & TALKS

Alessandra Lynch and Pimone Triplett
This reading will feature a duo of poet professors: Alessandra Lynch (It Was a Terrible Cloud at Twilight and Sails the Wind Left Behind) and Pimone Triplett (Rumor, The Price of Light, and Ruining the Picture).

Discover Special Collections: The North American Indian, Vol. 9
At this Special Collections viewing, guests have the chance to explore one of the most ambitious and comprehensive ethnographic works of all time firsthand. Edward Curtis' The North American Indian puts to use a staggeringly large collection of data, photographs, and recordings from more than 80 Indigenous communities in North America, collected over a period of more than 20 years. Keep in mind that Curtis' photographs are (potentially exploitative) pieces of art, and, like many other anthropologists documenting "disappearing" cultures, he manipulated the subjects and scenes to fit his own narrative and aesthetic, removing details—like alarm clocks—that seemed too "American"; some suggested that he even staged elaborate rituals. But the tomes are worth seeing in person. At this viewing, you'll peek at Volume 9, which contains information about Chimakum, Quilliute and Willapa nations.

FRIDAY-SATURDAY

ART

Amanda McCavour: Room
Amanda McCavour makes embroidered sculptures and installations—often in 3D, often large, and sometimes suspended from the ceiling. Many pieces look nature-inspired, like flowers on vines, swimming jellyfish, and snowflakes. One of her installations is a stitched version of a living room, with each piece of furniture hanging inches off the ground.
This exhibit closes on Saturday.

PERFORMANCE

Whim W'Him presents Approaching Ecstasy
According to press materials, Approaching Ecstasy "incorporates 40 singers, five instrumentalists, and seven dancers and is inspired by the poems of Constantine Cavafy, who lived as a closeted gay man in Egypt at the end of the 19th century." When the show opened to critical acclaim back in 2012, City Arts' Rachel Gallaher described Whim W'Him artistic director Olivier Wevers's choreography as "passionately driven." Eric Banks and the Esoterics sing the poems in Greek along with music (a throwback to the lyre-accompanied poetry readings of yore) and then read them in English. If great choral music and dance don't do it for you, then go for the poems of Cavafy. In his erotic poetry, he's the loneliest of the lonely boys, and while reading him, you can feel how constrained he was by the homophobia of his time and place. Read "Half an Hour." Read "The Next Table." RICH SMITH

FRIDAY-SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

NW New Works Festival 2017
It's your 34th annual NW New Works Festival, Seattle! This year, 16 contemporary performing arts companies from around the region (Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia) will freakify the stages of On the Boards over the course of two weekends. I guarantee at least two of these ~20-minute pieces will grow into full-length shows that will take this town (and maybe the world) by storm in the coming years. Don't believe me—ask zoe | juniper, Sarah Rudinoff, and Tim Smith-Stewart/Jeffrey Azevedo, all of whom developed impressive pieces of work on OtB's summer stage. Lots to love at this iteration, but I'd recommend Vanessa Goodman, PETE (Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble), Petra Zanki: Pleasant Place, Earth and Ceremony's I Want to Hear the Sea, and Waxie Moon. RICH SMITH

Seattle International Dance Festival
For 16 days, dancers from around the world (and some local stars) will perform in indoor and outdoor venues. Some events will be free and all-ages. In general, the focus is on innovation and diversity; in a Stranger article from 2013, Melody Datz Hansen observed the festival's "local spotlight" show and commended its wide range of choreography and costume, from "classical moves" made "new and rad" to "upsetting" lurching by a dancer in a potato-penis suit. If your June is shaping up to lack a certain amount of excitement, this might be one way to remedy that.

SATURDAY

ART

Yadviga Dowmont Halsey
Juan Alonso-Rodriguez will exhibit work by Yadviga Dowmont, a woman who was born in 1928 and who has had an illustrious career not only as an artist but also as a scientist.

FESTIVALS

Georgetown Carnival
Watch circus performers, acrobats, musicians, and artists of all kinds come together at this multidisciplinary festival that also promises games, food, and strange carnival fun. Take advantage of Georgetown's many exciting dining spots while you're there. Plus, don't miss opening receptions for art exhibits like Angelica Maria Millán Lozano and Sofía Córdova: Thrown and Jason T. Miles: Lightning Snake, plus the second-to-last week of From Which We Rise.

Spring Harvest Festival
Join Beacon Food Forest and its Nutrition Team for a spring harvest, celebrating the bounty of the season. This family-friendly and free event will feature workshops on how to prepare foods, best practices for Permaculture gardening, and more. There will also be tours, music and activities, as well as food.

Volunteer Park Pride Festival
This year’s Pride Fest at Volunteer Park boasts a strong musical lineup, with live sets by Big Dipper, Double Duchess, SassyBlack, Sisters, Prom Queen, Mode Music Studios’ Nuclear Quartet, and DJ Toya B. Local LGBTQIA folks get all of this, plus a vintage and local crafts bazaar, artist booths, a beer garden, food trucks, and more. DAVE SEGAL

PERFORMANCE

Living Voices Performance: The New American
Through a combination of live theatrical performances and archival film, hear stories of immigration to the United States in the early 1900s, from the steamship journey to the work in Manhattan sweatshops.

SATURDAY-SUNDAY

QUEER

Capitol Hill Pride Festival
Capitol Hill's high-spirited outdoor festival will commemorate the Stonewall Riots of 1969 with a five-block party on Broadway full of music, a doggie drag costume contest, and more fun, but also a rally and march for social justice preceding the Equality March for Unity and Pride — Seattle that will happen on Sunday. There will also be a "Resistance Candlelight Gathering for Rainbow Chechnya.”

SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

PNB Season Encore Performance
Rich Smith wrote, "At the end of this season, Pacific Northwest Ballet is waving goodbye to two of its principal dancers: Carrie Imler, whose slo-mo promenade during Tricolore this fall seemed to me to be a triumph of skill and strength; and Batkhurel Bold, who my colleague Jen Graves called a 'noble powerhouse' in PNB's Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven." Give the two performers a proper send-off at this Season Encore performance.

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