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 in every genre—from the Tasveer South Asian Film Festival to the Seattle Fresh Hops Festival, and from las mariposas Y los muertos and No More Sad Things to First Thursday Art Walk. 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
Christopher Paul Jordan: Latent Home Zero Closing Day
As you walk through the Olympic Sculpture Park, pause to peer through a binocular telescope created by Christopher Paul Jordan (muralist, painter, sculptor, teaching artist, and winner of Cornish's 2017 Neddy Artist Award). In the telescope you'll find Latent Home Zero, about which Emily Pothast wrote, "Latent Home Zero subverts the usual function of binoculars, making them a site of introspection rather than observation. Equal parts historian and visionary, Jordan uses the overlapping histories of land use, urban planning, and displacement in Tacoma as a microcosm to address the whole history of black migration across the United States." Today is your final chance to see it.
One World Dinner—Bulgaria
Taste Bulgarian food and talk about the Balkan country's cultural traditions at this month's installment of One World Dinner.
Celeste Ng: Little Fires Everywhere
After winning tons of awards for her debut novel, Everything I Never Told You, Celeste Ng is back with a follow-up, Little Fires Everywhere. The new book has a lot in common with the old book—Ng appears to be fascinated with the particular way family dramas spark, alight, and smolder in Ohio towns, and she also loves when bad things happen to people who follow the rules—but instead of focusing on the hidden complexities of a Chinese American girl’s inner life, the new novel examines the slightly broader complexities of mother-daughter relationships. In general, her work is lauded by writers such as Alexander Chee for possessing the thrills of genre fiction without losing the linguistic integrity of literary fiction, and also for exploring the under-represented and multifaceted stories of Asian Americans. RICH SMITH
Seattle Mayoral Forum on Arts and the Environment
Mayoral candidates Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon will explain how they plan to encourage the arts in Seattle and make the city more livable, walkable, bikeable, and generally environmentally friendly. Crosscut's Florangela Davila and Grist's Brady Piñero Walkinshaw will moderate.
Stephen Greenblatt: The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve
The only thing more fascinating than the story of Adam and Eve is the story of the story of Adam and Eve, at least as Pulitzer Prize–winning, National Book Award–winning Harvard professor Stephen Greenblatt lays it out in his meticulously researched and wonderfully wrought book The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve. Over the course of thousands of years, different cultures have interpreted and emphasized different parts of this strange origin tale to suit their ends and deepen their existential mysteries, and Greenblatt rolls you through all of them. I’m only halfway through this book, but here are my favorite pieces of fact-candy so far. (1) Some cultures think that the snake wasn’t a snake but a fabulous camel. (2) The word “sin” doesn’t appear in Genesis until Cain kills Abel, which raises the question of how “original” the original sin was. I’m sure there will be plenty more to learn at this reading. RICH SMITH
French Cinema Now
This annual mini-festival celebrating new French movies, presented by SIFF, is one of Seattle’s best film festivals. This year, the opening film is Django, a slice of the great jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt’s life in Nazi-occupied Paris. Indeed, the festival is heavy on biopics this year: Other entries include Marie Curie, The Courage of Knowledge, Dalida (about the Egyptian-born Italian-French pop star), and Nelly (about the Quebecois writer Nelly Arcan). But if you see only one or two films at the festival, we recommend Bertrand Tavernier’s cinephilic collage My Journey Through French Cinema and the idiosyncratic master Agnès Varda’s Faces Places.
Why We Have a Body
A lot of theater companies appear to have selected their plays this season in anticipation of a Hillary Clinton victory. This thoughtful, hilarious, wonderfully unhinged Claire Chafee comedy from the 1990s about four women fighting the patriarchy from all angles seems to follow that trend. The bad news is that critiques of society’s unrealistic expectations for women never go out of style, but the good news is that Strawberry Theatre Workshop secured veteran director Rhonda J Soikowski for the show, as well as new-to-the-shop but well-seasoned actors Mahria Zook, Alyssa Keene, Katya Landau, all of whom fucking rule. RICH SMITH
There will be no show on Tuesday.
TUESDAYFOOD & DRINK
Feast at the Market
This 35th annual event, benefiting Neighborhood Health at Pike Market Clinic, includes a wine and appetizer reception plus access to more than twenty restaurants like Matt's in the Market, The Pink Door, Red Cedar & Sage, Radiator Whiskey, The Pike Brewing Company and more. See the event website for more information and for the full list of participating restaurants.
Harry Potter Trivia
Show you know the Harry Potter bestiary, topography, academic roster, and complex history better than everyone else. Grab a nerdy friend—the minimum team size is two people.
Pride And Prejudice
Kate Hamill (known for her adaptations of Sense and Sensibility and Vanity Fair) offers another modern take on Jane Austen through this production of Pride and Prejudice. This run at the Seattle Rep will be the play's West Coast premiere, with direction by Amanda Dehnert, who has directed shows at a number of regional theaters (including the esteemed Oregon Shakespeare Festival).
Lit Crawl Seattle: Kick-Off Party
Drink, enjoy live events, place your bids in a silent auction to support Lit Crawl, and get the scoop on the full lineup before other people.
The Films of Jean-Pierre Melville
Charles Mudede writes: "If you do not understand French cool, if it is a mystery to you, if you have any doubts about it, then you must see the the action and crime films of Jean-Pierre Melville. Enough said." As part of the first week in SAM's retrospective series, watch La Silence de la Mer.
TWIST Sneak Peek
Get excited for the wonderful TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival!, with previews, sneak peeks, short films, and more. You'll have to wait until October 12 for the festival to start in earnest, but this will whet your appetite.
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 pm, you often can't get a seat. And there's always free music from 6 to 8 pm.
Women You Need to Know: Janet Mock
The PR copy for Janet Mock's new memoir, Surpassing Certainty, about her life as a twentysomething sex worker is too unapologetically salacious not to partially reproduce here: "Under the neon lights of Club Nu," the copy reads, "Janet meets Troy, a yeoman stationed at Pearl Harbor Naval Base, who becomes her first." But this encounter with Troy was only the maiden voyage on Mock's long, rough, and ultimately affirming journey to becoming the person she is today. "I came from that world and I was built by that world," Mock told the Los Angeles Times about her time as a stripper and sex worker. "I will not forget my people. I have a firm stiletto planted in the streets and in those clubs with those girls." RICH SMITH
las mariposas Y los muertos and No More Sad Things
Hansol Jung's No More Sad Things is hilarious, tender, and all the more impressive given its unacceptable subject matter: It's about a 32-year-old white woman who finds out that a hunky Hawaiian boy she had sex with on a beach in Maui is 15 years old. [Actor] Kiki Abba's comedic sensibilities are extraordinary, and the language Jung gives her is charming, surprising, and occasionally quite beautiful—and also lightly obscene. RICH SMITH
Daniel Minter: Carvings
About his residency at the Washington Foundation, named after the beloved local painter and sculptor James W. Washington Jr. (1909-2000), Daniel Minter said, "Like Mr. Washington, I consider myself to be self-taught. We are African American men who grew up in the rural South at a time when there was not a formal way of discussing and learning the things that we were charged with looking for. The cultural and spiritual inspirations that made up our community, the beauty, the trials and passages of our mothers and the continuum of nature. Here in the house of Mr. Washington live echoes of conversations never held. I would listen to those echoes in hope of learning from Mr. Washington and seeing myself in the light in the stone." Minter's whole body of work deals with history, prioritizing cultural iconography whether depicting Blackness in the American South or portraying the African Diaspora across the world. At this exhibit, see Minter's painted woodcarvings and linoleum block prints, created originally for use in children's books. These are the memories and symbols he's passing on to a new generation.
Closing on Oct 8.
Viewpoints: Brian Jungen
Brian Jungen is a Canadian artist of Swiss and Dane-zaa Nation ancestry. He is best known for works that combine consumer aesthetics with pop-culture representations of indigenous people, like faux Native masks crafted from Nike Air Jordans or a whale skeleton constructed from plastic patio chairs. For this iteration of Viewpoints—a rotating series highlighting works from the Henry's collection—four related drawings by Jungen are on view. Dating from the late 1990s, shortly after the artist's graduation from Emily Carr University, these early drawings use the visual ambiguity of silhouettes to create unexpected composite images of identity in relation to global consumerism. EMILY POTHAST
Closing on Oct 8.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
To say Malika Oyetimein is “having a good year” is an understatement. Though she just graduated from the University of Washington school of drama this year, her direction of Robert O’Hara’s Barbecue showcased her comic chops and her ability to handle big ensembles, while her direction of Katori Hall’s Hoodoo Love proved she’s not afraid to get in your face with intense material. And now she’s co-adatping one of the most harrowing and yet triumphant memoirs written in the English language? Not to be missed. Neither is Dedra D. Woods, who plays the indomitable Mother Dear. Also—Book-It is kinda good this year? I’m still thinking about their incredible production of T. Geronimo Johnson’s Welcome to Braggsville. RICH SMITH
First Thursday Art Walk
Once a month, Seattleites flock to the streets in Pioneer Square for a chance to stroll, sip on booze, and attend as many art openings as possible at First Thursday. It's the city's central and oldest art walk, and takes place in a historic neighborhood known for its abundance of galleries. Wine and hobnobbing will steal the scene for some, but at its core, it's an impressive communal unveiling of new artwork. This month, don't miss the opening receptions for Francisco Goya: Los Proverbios, Shawn Huckins, Tomiyuki Sakuta: Good Looks, Ryan Molenkamp and Jed Dunkerley, Terry Turrell, What We Treasure: Stories of Yesler Terrace, and Witch-Ikon: An Exhibition of Contemporary Witchcraft Imagery.
Brew at the Zoo
Taste beers from 50 different breweries amidst your friends, the animals. The $70 VIP ticket may look expensive, but it's actually a pretty good deal: You get admission, 10 tasting tickets (as opposed to seven for general admission), and four zoo tickets to use for the future, plus free buffet. If you're a true zoo enthusiast, that might be the way to go.
Kurt Timmermeister with Nancy Leson
Kurt Timmermeister (owner of the excellent ice cream and cheese purveyor Kurt Farm Shop) will talk about his book Farm Food Volume One: Fall and Winter, which emphasizes the importance of local food and includes illustrations and recipes. Food writer Nancy Leson will join him.
Tacoma Film Festival
Tacoma's offering to the Northwest international film scene includes more than 100 movies, meets-and-greets with filmmakers, a VR studio, workshops, and parties.
The Latino Theatre Project presents a play by José Sanchís Sinisterra, in which a variety company accidentally finds itself behind fascist lines during the Spanish Civil War. Carmela and her husband, Paulino, must improvise a show for the nationalists, knowing that any expression of defiance could be their last act.
Nick Offerman—who you will probably recognize from his role as Ron on Parks and Recreation, his various movie appearances, or from making the New York Times best-seller list with Paddle Your Own Canoe—will entertain for an evening at the Moore. And heads-up: Offerman the comedian is not as aggressively masculine or stubbornly libertarian as the character he's best known for playing.
Caitlin Doughty: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death
Caitlin Doughty is an incredibly popular expert on death. She's a mortician, host of the YouTube series "Ask a Mortician," founder of the natural burial advocacy organization Order of the Good Death, and author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory. Brendan Kiley interviewed Doughty in 2014 and wrote that the book "loosely strings together fascinating anecdotes from an industry people don’t tend to discuss around the dinner table." Hopefully Doughty will be excited to return to Seattle—she said we're "probably the best place for alternative death care in America right now." She's visiting with a brand-new book, From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death, in which she offers a firsthand account of death rituals and practices around the globe.
Nicholas Kristof and Martha Choe
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, and political commentator Nicholas Kristof has been a staunch (but fair) supporter of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—lucky for us, because the Gateses are now bringing Kristof to Seattle. Kristof will speak about his 2010 book Half the Sky, which makes a passionate but economics-based argument for women's empowerment worldwide.
Orcas Island Film Festival
Head to Orcas Island for this film festival—with 30 feature-length and short films—featuring progressive plots and directors. From the festival: "Going into its fourth year, the Orcas Island Film Festival has presented extraordinary films from around the world that have garnered 25 Academy Award Nominations and 6 Oscar wins. The 2017 edition—October 6-9—has some of the best films fresh from their debut at Cannes, Telluride, Toronto, Venice and the New York Film Festival."
Seattle Latino Film Festival
This year's Seattle festival of hispanic and Latinx cinema will highlight the Dominican Republic and feature nine days of independent films, filmmaker panels, workshops, parties, and more.
Tasveer South Asian Film Festival
Plunge into the cinema scene of the South Asian subcontinent at locations from Bellevue to Seattle to Renton. Tasveer will show 45 films this year, with a special focus on Nepal.
This monodrama is inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest, starring Seattle's Demene E. Hall and directed by Mark Lutwak. The organizers write, "Betrayed by a mother, a lover, her son’s lover, society, and the vicious lies that Prospero has foisted on the world, Sycorax makes an excellent case to the gods for revenge."
This group show about instability will examine "sculptural forms that undertake peculiar affiliations between structure and ambiguity, transforming (dis)figured objects into questionable bodies of inquiry," highlighting work by artists including Amina Ross, Steffani Jemison, Diedrick Brackens, Martinez E-B, and Lisa Jarrett.
Depressed Cake Shop
NAMI Seattle is back for its fifth year hosting the Depressed Cake Shop, a one-day pop-up bakery that strives to encourage dialogue about mental health issues. The goal is simple—to sell gray-colored cakes, cookies, and other goods (all donated by local bakers) to raise awareness about mental health. The goodies, though dismal on the outside, are bright and colorful on the inside to symbolize hope. The event pops up in cities around the world, but proceeds from this event go to support the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Seattle. Last year, they sold out in just a few hours, so make sure to get there early!
Seattle Fresh Hops Festival
Being a beer lover in the Pacific Northwest can sometimes feel like death by a thousand IPAs. At some point, the bitter, hoppy onslaught is too much for my taste buds, and I revert to the gentler, more understated domain of pilsners and pale ales. But then fresh hop season rolls around and I remember that, contrary to what all the one-dimensional hop monsters out there might lead you to believe, hops are our friends. Fresh hop IPA is made with whole fresh hops, as opposed to compressed hop pellets. The difference might seem insignificant, given that it's all the same hops with the same terpenes at the end of the day, but an Amarillo flower pulled straight off the vine and tossed into the boil does something very different from an Amarillo pellet. Fresh hop IPAs are lush and vegetal, offering you the richest expression of the hop possible. There is no purer way to experience the hop and its terroir, and no more potent reminder of why we love IPAs so goddamn much. Fremont has a line of fresh hop IPAs celebrating individual hops, as well as a single farm brew. You should get them, and you should also keep your eye out for two of my other favorite fresh hop makers' releases—Schooner Exact and Two Beers. TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE
Art Haus 4.0: Ms. Jenna's Haute Mess!
This season of off-the-rail Arthaus drag continues with a "Haute Mess"-themed battle, featuring host Jenna St. Croix and performers Miss Texas 1988 and Bubba, plus special guest Princezz Monochokeme from Portland. Pro tip: This drag night is not all sequins and pop songs. The artists draw their inspirations from such diverse cultural artifacts as Teletubbies, horror movies, and, um, surgery. Full disclosure: House of Urchin, last year's winning House, stars our own social media manager Chase Burns.
Eli Sanders: While the City Slept
While the City Slept is not a 300-page version of "The Bravest Woman in Seattle," rather, it's the product of years and years of research about the three people whose lives intersected in that little red house on South Rose Street in South Park. In powerful and absorbing prose, Sanders tells the story of how Jennifer Hopper and Teresa Butz found each other and became partners. He tells the story of how Isaiah Kalebu repeatedly slipped through the cracks in the criminal justice and mental health care systems. He shows you how our failure to patch those cracks contributed to Kalebu's crimes against these two women. And he tells the story of how Hopper found the strength to forgive Kalebu. He does the thing that every writer is supposed to do—he looks and he looks and he doesn't turn away. RICH SMITH
Writers of all kinds will gather for this quarterly Hugo House/Write Our Democracy event focusing the power of the word to fight against cynicism and for liberty and justice. Specifically, this write-in promises readings, prompts, and time to write with fellow community members.
Earshot Jazz Festival Begins
If you have any love for jazz in the Pacific Northwest, clear your schedule right now for the Earshot Jazz Festival. The nonprofit Earshot began life in 1984 and has presented 2,500 concerts since then, and the festival marks the yearly culmination of their programming. This year, it will feature more than 50 events in venues across the city, including "the contemporary giants of the art" (Brad Mehldau, Brian Blade, and Wycliffe Gordon), according to Charles Mudede, not to mention the avant-garde star Satoko Fuji and Greg Tate's Burnt Sugar Arkestra, which is "all about Miles Davis fusion period." What keeps Earshot so vital, year after year? "Jazz is an expanding universe," said festival executive director John Gilbreath to The Stranger's Dave Segal in 2014. "All directions. All of the time. In Seattle, as around the world. And that's the juice for this festival, presenting that momentum within the frame of this place, at this time."
Masha Gessen: The Future Is History
Masha Gessen has spent her career reporting on the character and behavior of her native country and the man who has ruled it by hook or by crook for 18 years, Vladimir Putin. Her reportage is fearless, her writing is deeply compelling, and her command of the larger truths revealed by the seemingly infinite deceptions of Putin—and certain of his American cronies—are utterly essential to a meaningful understanding of how fucked we all are. She comes to town to discuss her latest book, The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia. SEAN NELSON