2018 could bring any number of unexpected things, but we know for sure that it will bring excellent concerts, theater productions, author readings, food festivals, and other cultural events to Seattle. Below, we've rounded up the 201 biggest events that are already scheduled for the new year, the majority of which already have tickets on sale, so whether you're looking for a gift that doesn't require a trip to the store, you're planning a trip to Seattle and don't want to miss the city's biggest offerings, or you want to fill up your new calendar, you can do that. If, somehow, events like the Seattle Wine and Food Experience, the six-month Seattle Celebrates Shakespeare festival, Emerald City Comic Con, the Seattle International Film Festival, or the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games don't strike your fancy, you can always check out our complete Things To Do calendar.
Jump to: Jan | Feb | March | April | May | June | July | Aug | Sept | Oct | Nov
1. The Book of Mormon
As human civilization rapidly approaches the end times, some of us need entertainment that skewers religion just to keep from going crazy. One deceptive, brilliant thing about The Book of Mormon is that the show unexpectedly ends up being okay with religion in the end—so long as you’re using your religious beliefs to make the world better. Plus, there are unbelievably funny tap numbers (“Turn It Off”), parodies of pop-culture juggernauts like Star Wars and The Lion King, and lines like “I can’t believe Jesus just called me a dick!” CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
JANUARY 5-11READINGS & TALKS
2. David Sedaris "Workshop" Readings
The witty, self-deprecating, hilariously judgmental David Sedaris will return to Seattle to workshop his new manuscript, Calypso. His work will probably be polished and beautifully performed, with perfect timing and absurdly funny material. Feel lucky that he chose our town for the second year in a row, and help him out by being a responsive, honest audience.
JANUARY 7READINGS & TALKS
3. Stephen Tobolowsky
You’ve seen Stephen Tobolowsky in films (Memento, Groundhog Day), and, if your radio dial has gotten anywhere near an NPR or PRI station in any North American city for more than 10 seconds in the past 10 years, you’re certain to recognize his deep, slow, hypnotic voice. Tobolowsky is justifiably celebrated for the strength of his discursive storytelling, which is fueled both by the narrator’s seeming bemusement with the events that befall him and by his unfailing capacity to deliver the kind of stunning, out-of-nowhere surprise details that make you wonder (A) how much is fiction, and (B) why things like this don’t happen to you. He will read from his latest book, My Adventures with God, which is about his quest for meaning and order in a haphazard life. SEAN NELSON
JANUARY 7-25FOOD & DRINK
4. Shellfish Showcase
Shellfish Showcase is the seafood counterpart to Restaurant Week, organized by Dine Around Seattle. The organization has rounded up a host of restaurants to devise exclusive menus with four items highlighting fresh local shellfish, at least two of them entrées. Some notable participants include underground Pike Place trattoria Il Bistro, cozy Belltown wood-fired kitchen Orfeo, Fremont sushi bar Chiso, Sodo Korean steak house Girin Ssam Bar, Wallingford Japanese yakitori joint Yoroshiku, and Frank’s Oyster House in Ravenna, just to name a few. It’s a great opportunity to slurp some briny bivalves and scope out some hidden gems you wouldn’t otherwise try.
5. Big Boi, the Cool Kids, Carter Wilson
Antwan Patton, aka Sir Lucious Left Foot, best known as Big Boi (BWAH) of the greatest muthafuckin’ rap group of all time, Outkast, straight outta East Point, the one and only ATLiens (as in the “ATL,” and if I catch you saying “at-liens” instead of “ey-tee-elly-ens,” I’ma laugh), has stayed consistent, snug in his lane while still willing to take risks, ever since he was forced to go for dolo (since his patna “went to do a little acting” almost 15 years ago now). Big Boi was part of something that relocated the creative heart of rap itself, and he remains, to a starched white tee, a professional rapper—this is his gat-damn job, and he takes it seriously. And while his raps only very occasionally veer into what could be called “workmanlike,” his totally unpretentious Dickies-suit-and-diamonds, your-pimp-uncle-wit-the-woodtips style makes him forever a People's Champ. LARRY MIZELL JR.
6. Solomon Georgio
Once a star on Seattle’s comedy circuit, Solomon Georgio moved to Los Angeles, as most aspiring comics must do to go supernova (it’s on page 3 of the manual), and the proud gay immigrant from Ethiopia has become a favorite of Conan O’Brien and other humor connoisseurs. Spinning countless threads of hilarity out of his unusual identity and circumstances, Georgio converts what could’ve been tiresome narcissism into reservoirs of deep laughter. For this show, he’ll be riding the irreverent high of his outstanding new album, Homonegro Superior. (Sample line: “Donald Trump looks like lactose intolerance turned into a person.”) DAVE SEGAL
7. Spoon, White Reaper
On their early recordings, like 1998's A Series of Sneaks, Austin's Spoon tamed the sharp angles of post-punk into something less chilly and more warm-blooded. Since 2005's recently reissued Gimme Fiction, they've moved in a more soulful direction, like the Rolling Stones reborn as an Americana act with a Prince fixation. On their ninth album, Hot Thoughts—their first without acoustic guitar—Spoon bust out synths, hand claps, and electronic beats for a sinuous party record. If their fiery set at Bumbershoot 2017 is any indication, this two-night stand should confirm their status as one of America's great rock bands. KATHY FENNESSY
JANUARY 11-MAY 15ART
8. Jessica Rycheal and Zorn B. Taylor: Everyday Black
Jessica Rycheal and Zorn B. Taylor's photographs lovingly reveal the faces and bodies of black community members in Seattle. While Rycheal focuses on themes of multigenerational activism and liberation, Taylor critically examines "conventional ideas around blackness and whiteness" and reveals an alternative model of "chosen family." C. Davida Ingram and Leilani Lewis have curated the Northwest African American Museum's new show.
JANUARY 12-FEBRUARY 11PERFORMANCE
9. Two Trains Running
Everyone should be well aware of Fences, August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece about black family life in the 1950s. But everyone—especially Seattleites concerned with issues of gentrification, activism, rising racial tensions, and economic inequality—would also do well to spend as much time thinking about Two Trains Running, the next in Wilson's 10-play cycle. Set in a Pittsburgh diner, Wilson reckons with the revolutionary decade of the 1960s, when expectations for the future of the civil rights movement were as high as they were uncertain. Everyone should also know that Wilson's a hometown hero, having spent the latter years of his life writing in the Victrola on 15th or the (old) Canterbury on 19th. Seeing his plays at the Rep, where his cycle of plays was produced in full, carries a special resonance. Juliette Carrillo will direct. RICH SMITH
10. Wolf Parade, Charly Bliss
The Montreal art-rock band that’s not Arcade Fire (but has some early ties to it), Wolf Parade had a well-regarded, Polaris-nominated debut in 2005’s Apologies to the Queen Mary (which introduced Spencer Krug’s wildly dramatic and idiosyncratic vocals in the roiling, synth-driven “I’ll Believe in Anything”), and then followed it with two more solid LPs before taking a hiatus in 2011. Wolf Parade returned in 2016 and dropped a fourth studio album last year, Cry Cry Cry, which has definite David Bowie appeal but is starker, darker, and more post-punk groove-oriented than past efforts. Openers Charly Bliss are a New York City outfit with power-pop tendencies and a frontwoman whose vocals are so sweet, they damn near hurt the teeth. LEILANI POLK
11. Così fan tutte
Seattle Opera will perform Mozart's Così fan tutte, an Italian-language opera about fiancée swapping—roughly translated, the opera's title is "Women are like that." This production about the nature of faith and trust in relationships has regaled audiences for over two centuries with its bawdy, quirky style of comedy.
JANUARY 13-APRIL 21SPORTS & RECREATION
12. Rat City Roller Derby 2018 Season
Shoreline's four roller derby home teams—the Derby Liberation Front, Grave Danger, the Sockit Wenches, and the Throttle Rockets—will compete in their 15th season.
13. 2018 MLK Seattle Celebration
This annual MLK Jr. celebration includes an opportunity fair, workshops, a rally and a march.
JANUARY 16READINGS & TALKS
14. Sherman Alexie Loves: Nikki Giovanni
One of the most distinctive voices in the Black Power movement, poet/activist Nikki Giovanni transferred her linguistic potency and charisma to several soul-/gospel-oriented recordings as well as to stages and demonstrations. A precursor to rap, the Knoxville-born writer’s galvanizing, self-mythologizing funk classic “Ego Tripping” appeared on Soul Jazz’s stunning Fly Girls! compilation. Giovanni’s Afrocentric perspectives on race, gender, social justice, and sexuality continue to resonate today, and her smooth, mesmerizing delivery makes her performances riveting. Her new book, A Good Cry, is described as an autobiography in verse, detailing how Giovanni persevered through her parents’ violent marriage and exploring the pros and cons of aging. DAVE SEGAL
JANUARY 17READINGS & TALKS
15. Jesmyn Ward
Jesmyn Ward won the National Book Award in 2011 for Salvage the Bones, and then she won it again this year for her latest work, Sing, Unburied, Sing. On top of that, this year the MacArthur Foundation called her a genius and gave her a bunch of money to keep writing more award-winning books. They describe her prose as "simultaneously luminous and achingly honest," capable of capturing "moments of beauty, tenderness, and resilience against a bleak landscape of crushing poverty, racism, addiction, and incarceration." RICH SMITH
16. St. Vincent
The music of St. Vincent (legal name: Annie Clark) has always felt to me chilly, precise, nearly academic: she and David Byrne made perfect sense as cerebral foils for each other on their good-not-great collaborative album, Love This Giant from 2012. However, with her 2014-released self-titled album, St. Vincent's turned a stylistic corner, both musically and lyrically. Her once-cryptic missives now read like diary entries about a particularly obtuse crush from your sculpture class; meanwhile, her wily guitar work and frazzled electronics build instrumental backdrops that sound alternately tempestuous and Zen-like. Live, her normally unimpeachable poise gives way to dizzying solos, as Clark allows her feather-light voice to rip itself open above the fray. KYLE FLECK
JANUARY 18-JUNE 6FESTIVALS
17. Seattle Celebrates Shakespeare
The disgruntled home of Amazon pays tribute to the beloved Bard of Avon in this season of theater, dance, and music. But you won't just see the master's plays: In addition to well-known popular works like Kiss Me, Kate, Shakespeare in Love, and an all-women Mac Beth, there will be stagings of modern interpretations, such as Jiehae Park's Peerless, about two Asian American twin girls going all Macbeth on a rival student; 12 Ophelias (a play with broken songs), a Hamlet set in Appalachia; and Duke Ellington's jazz opus Such Sweet Thunder Suite, his tribute to old Will.
18. Lewis Black
The old, white, alpha-male ranter is a familiar figure in comedy, stated Captain Obvious. But Lewis Black might be the paragon of this tradition, perhaps the last such über-curmudgeon we’ll ever need (although probably not, seeing as how the world’s going). Looking like a more brutish Al Franken, Black bellows in a baritone a litany of insults and outrages to his sensibilities. From the most minuscule mundanities to the horror show of politics to the most cosmic injustices, Black pinpoints their infuriating truths—laced with a powerful arsenal of profanity. Incredible catharsis ensues. DAVE SEGAL
19. Seattle Women's March 2.0 - 2018
Mark one year of the Trumpian regime with a feminist, pro-LGBTQ, pro-POC gathering.
JANUARY 21RESISTANCE & SOLIDARITY
20. Womxn Act on Seattle
Last year, the Womxn's March on Seattle united 175,000 protestors against the Trump regime. Instead of marching, the organizers will encourage civic action with a "citywide day of learning, supporting, sharing, and acting on behalf of nonprofit organizations, grassroots and social justice groups" in Seattle. You'll be able to visit nonprofits and activist groups around town, see performances and exhibitions, eat at and contribute to potlucks, donate to food and other drives, hear speakers, take action, and more.
21. Adam Sandler & Friends
Adam Sandler of Grown Ups notoriety (and star in many better movies, like The Meyerowitz Stories by Noah Baumbach) will perform live, no doubt with an arsenal of silly songs, plus surprise guests.
JANUARY 23-NOVEMBERREADINGS & TALKS
22. Salon of Shame
Writing that makes you cringe ("middle school diaries, high school poetry, unsent letters") is read aloud with unapologetic hilarity at the extremely popular Salon of Shame.
23. Queens of the Stone Age
Hard and heavy quasi-Seattleites Queens of the Stone Age will return to town on their Villains World Tour to do what they do best: loud, fast, and cocky rock and roll.
24. WYNK: Ijeoma Oluo
Why can't white people say the N-word? What do you mean by privilege? But don't all lives matter? What do you mean when you say "intersectionality"? If you're seriously struggling with the answers to those questions, then current editor-at-large of The Establishment and former Stranger contributor Ijeoma Oluo's So You Want To Talk About Race? is here for you. In the book, Oluo employs humor and plenty of anaphora to explain, chapter by chapter, some basic ideas about race that a lot of powerful people (and powerfully loud people) don't seem to quite understand. RICH SMITH
25. Timbrrr! Winter Music Festival
This event in Leavenworth—the infamous German-themed town/tourist attraction nestled in the Cascades—looks like the coziest mid-winter music festival, filled with beardo-magnet amenities like skiing and snowboarding, a hot-toddy garden, wine tastings, and festival-branded flannel shirts. The weekend’s musical offerings are varied, with numerous local and national acts ranging from indie rock to hiphop, including Ra Ra Riot, Cave Singers, The Black Tones, Hobosexual, Y La Bamba, Great Grandpa, Wall of Ears, Bread & Butter, Gifted Gab, Moorea Masa & The Mood, Burying Ground, Debbie Miller, and Jessica Dennison + Jones. BRITTNIE FULLER
JANUARY 26-APRIL 15ART
26. Tavares Strachan: Always, Sometimes, Never
Born and raised in the Bahamas and currently based in New York, Tavares Strachan is a conceptual artist whose work in a diverse range of media investigates the overlapping domains of science, technology, and history—in particular the hidden stories and agendas behind common cultural narratives. His signature media include neon sculpture and projected lights, often presented alongside reflecting pools that suggest the distortion of perception and reveal invisible implications. Strachan has exhibited widely, including at the 2013 Venice Biennale. The Frye's Always, Sometimes, Never is the first presentation of his work in Seattle. EMILY POTHAST
27. Ricky Gervais
Welcome the prickly British comedian, creator of The Office, Extras, and Derek, on his stand-up comeback tour, Humanity.
28. Ninth Annual Belgian Fest
Hooray for Belgian yeast, enabling top Washington breweries to produce exotic tripels, dubbels, saisons, wits, abbeys, and lambics! Yes indeed: at this beer fest featuring over 100 brews, all beer have been made with imported Belgian yeast. Sample deliciousness from local brewers.
29. Miranda Lambert, Jon Pardi, Turnpike Troubadours
Vocal powerhouse and multi-CMA winner Miranda Lambert will bring some country cool to Tacoma on her Livin' Like Hippies Tour with Jon Pardi and Turnpike Troubadours.
FEBRUARY 2READINGS & TALKS
30. A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment
Two of the PNW's most prolific, most accomplished, and most entertaining writers have somehow found the time to produce an incredibly entertaining podcast for literary lovers, not to mention an incredibly useful podcast for writers of all sorts. During this live taping, Alexie and Walters will chat with novelist Tommy Orange (whose praises Alexie has been singing for some time now), essayist Terese Mailhot (whose highly anticipated Heart Berries is due out soon), and Native rapper Supaman. RICH SMITH
31. Crosscut Festival
Leaders in politics, business, and social justice will be interviewed live on stage by local journalists at the Crosscut Festival. The star-studded lineup includes Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Obama speechwriter David Litt, George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum, and more.
32. Swan Lake
It doesn't get more ballet than Swan Lake, but that ain't a bad thing. You've got Tchaikovsky's signature score. You've got choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov's translation of the dramatic swoops and lines of the eponymous pond-dweller into a high-velocity revenge narrative. And, with PNB's production, you've got Kent Stowell's streamlined re-configuration of all that, repackaged and re-designed by the great Ming Cho Lee. It's going to be hard to top Carrie Imler's version of the black swan's space-time defying fouetté series, but if there's anyone who can at least meet Imler's power and control, it's Lesley Rausch and Noelani Pantastico, both of whom absolutely nailed the challenging principal role in Balanchine's "Diamonds" in the fall. RICH SMITH
33. Mamma Mia!
The 5th Avenue Theatre is staging a new version of the endlessly popular Abba musical about a bride-to-be and her desire to meet her unknown father.
FEBRUARY 2-MARCH 4PERFORMANCE
34. Ibsen in Chicago
This is the world premiere of a new play by David Grimm. Through his 2000 production Kit Marlowe, Grimm created a dramatized version of theatrical history that focused on the man surrounded by myth and rumor: Marlowe might have been a spy, or a heretic, or even the person who wrote Shakespeare's best-known works. This new play, Ibsen in Chicago, also deals with history and theatrics—this time, it's about Scandinavian immigrants putting on an Ibsen play in Chicago in 1882. Look forward to direction by Seattle Rep Artistic Director Braden Abraham.
35. Drive-By Truckers, Lilly Hiatt
Stereogum once called the Drive-By Truckers “possibly the greatest extant American rock and roll band.” High praise, to be sure, but difficult to contest. Primary songwriters and singers Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley write novelistic songs with distinct characters and tragicomic twists of fate—of course their breakout album was called Southern Rock Opera, and here Southern rock means as much R.E.M. as Lynyrd Skynyrd. Okay, smart guy, you might be saying, “So they’re poets, but do they kick out the jams?” But of course they do. Though it’s been accented less on recent albums, the Truckers pack a powerful Muscle Shoals–derived rhythm section anchored by their secret weapon, drummer Brad “EZ-B” Morgan. JOSEPH SCHAFER
36. Katy Perry
Pop princess Katy Perry carries on with her rather bizarre publicity spread of 2017, and on into 2018, with this stop on the promotional tour for her latest album, Witness.
FEBRUARY 5READINGS & TALKS
37. Robert Gates
As part of the "Unique Lives & Experiences" series, hear from former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who served under Presidents Bush and Obama.
FEBRUARY 6-MARCH 18PERFORMANCE
Lin-Manuel Miranda is responsible for Hamilton's book, music, and lyrics, and he has squashed a dizzying number of words and concepts into this stunning production. You don't like musicals? Fine. Try Hamilton—its hiphop, jazz, and rap numbers have made people all over the country rethink their rigid anti-musical stance, and offered them juicy, controversial history about one of their Founding Fathers. The wildly popular show will be here for more than four glorious weeks. Joseph Morales and Nik Walker will star as Hamilton and Burr.
FEBRUARY 7READINGS & TALKS
39. Gregory Orr
Much beloved and legendary poet who I once used as an example of bad poetry reading in an essay called "Stop Using Poet Voice." I just want to stress here that Orr's work is much bigger and better and more important than his reading voice, and that you really should check out The Caged Owl (published by Copper Canyon Press—they're local, guys!) if you're looking for a lesson on how to turn your trauma into poems without discrediting either. RICH SMITH
40. Lunar New Year in Chinatown
Ring in the Year of the Rooster at this massive Lunar New Year celebration that showcases the diversity, richness, and culture of the Asian community. See traditional dragon and lion dances, Japanese Taiko drumming, martial arts, and other cultural performances, plus arts and crafts and family activities.
41. Chocofest 2018
This annual festival is a chocoholic's dream come true, with offerings from local restaurants, chocolatiers, brewers, wineries, and distilleries. All proceeds benefit Puget Soundkeeper, which aims to conserve the waters of Puget Sound.
42. One Classy Night in Seattle
In an odd collection of affairs, Will Ferrell will gather his friends—including Brandi Carlile, Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, and personal doppelgänger Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers—for an evening of live music, comedic chit-chat, and fundraising for Cancer For College.
FEBRUARY 15READINGS & TALKS
43. Colson Whitehead
About novelist and MacArthur genius Colson Whitehead, Rich Smith wrote, "He won every major award in fiction this year for The Underground Railroad, which really was that good." In his review, Smith said the new novel was "even better than the hype." The Pulitzer Prize committee would agree with that assessment of the novel, which blends realistic historical atrocity and sci-fi premises to explore a woman's drive to escape slavery.
Learn about the cannabis industry and meet professionals in the trade at CannaCon, a three-day long conference that offers seminars (including "Grow Path," "Industry Path," and "Science Path") and networking opportunities for cannabis entrepreneurs.
FEBRUARY 15-MAY 13ART
45. Figuring History: Robert Colescott, Kerry James Marshall, Mickalene Thomas
The Seattle Art Museum's Figuring History will display large-scale history paintings by African American artists Robert Colescott (1925–2009), Kerry James Marshall (born 1955), and Mickalene Thomas (born 1971), each of whom offers alternatives to—and even undermines—tradition European American depictions of pivotal moments in our country's story. From Robert Colescott's cartoon-like image of a black Washington crossing the Delaware to Mickalene Thomas's feminist nudes, these artists question the chokehold of white culture on the imagination of the past.
46. Mark Morris Dance Group: Pepperland
The Mark Morris Dance Group may have moved on to bigger stages than Seattle has to offer, but don't worry—they come back every so often. For the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the group will frolic to new music by Ethan Iverson that elaborates on the classical and non-Western influences on the Beatles' songs.
47. Noir City 2018
Your yearly rendezvous with wicked women, doomed patsies, brutal criminals, and cynical detectives, all playing out in alluring chiaroscuro.
FEBRUARY 18READINGS & TALKS
48. Fran Lebowitz
Humorist Fran Lebowitz stands at a remove from popular culture, much of which she lambastes with sarcastic wit. She's also something of a grump. In a 1993 interview in the Paris Review, she groused, "I wouldn’t say that I dislike the young. I’m simply not a fan of naïveté. I mean, unless you have an erotic interest in them, what other interest could you have?" But she's also an incisive observer and a concentration of New York bluntness in human skin, and she'll be worth seeing.
FEBRUARY 22-24FOOD & DRINK
49. Seattle Wine and Food Experience
The Seattle Wine and Food Experience returns with three days of feasting. The newest addition, Comfort, kicks things off at Sodo Park with an evening of cheesy and meaty favorites from local gastropubs and taverns, plus craft beer and cider. On Friday, McCaw Hall hosts the refined POP! Bubbles & Seafood, where guests can choose from over 30 sparkling wines to go with a melange of oysters. The Grand Tasting wraps up the weekend with a showcase of wines from the Northwest and beyond, along with local and regional beer, cider, and spirits.
50. Miguel, SiR, Nonchalant Savant
Miguel is a truly smooth R&B thriller, with pop smarts and massive genre-crossover abilities. He'll be joined by SiR and Nonchalant Savant on his War & Leisure tour, named after his fourth studio album.
FEBRUARY 23-MARCH 18PERFORMANCE
51. Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin
Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin has been collecting accolades from up and down the West Coast, and now, it's finally Seattle's turn. Come for a heartfelt tribute to the musical icon by writer/performer Felder, practiced performances of a variety of songs from Berlin's repertoire, and a cheery depiction of American music as a whole. David C. Nichols at the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Indeed, the empathy, showmanship and craft on tap may just be the best match of historical figure and performing artist yet in this franchise, wholly attuned to a gratefully participating audience. Those who resist Felder or Berlin are advised to skip this one—it'll just leave more tickets for the rest of us."
52. Artist Trust 2018 Benefit Auction
Join Artist Trust for dinner, a silent auction, live performances, and a Curator Tour.
53. 16th Annual Hops and Props
Hops & Props celebrates craft brews from across the Northwest (and a few from other places). Enjoy three-ounce pours from over 100 breweries and cider houses, a spread of bites from McCormick & Schmick’s, and live music.
54. Carla Bruni
If you only know her as the First Lady of France, you'll be pleased to find out that in addition to that title, Carla Bruni is also a widely celebrated Italian-French singer-songwriter and model. Her trademark smoky coo is currently on display in her latest album French Touch.
tUnE-yArDs frontwoman Merrill Garbus is just as likely to combine incongruous ingredients, like Haitian drumming and Casio squiggles. Sometimes it works (“Water Fountain”), sometimes it doesn’t (that fucking punctuation), but she excels at keeping listeners off-balance, which may be why her album Nikki Nack hasn’t generated as much hype as w h o k i l l, which topped the Village Voice’s 2011 Pazz & Jop poll. And that’s too bad, because it’s a better record. KATHY FENNESSY
56. Herbie Hancock
A jazz-fusion keyboardist at McCaw Hall? What is this, 1973? Only a musician with the stature of Herbie Hancock could land such a gig. Their fantastically funky, rococo inventions with Miles Davis's electric bands still makes heads reel, and their stint leading Head Hunters elevated fusion to unprecedented heights of creativity and popularity. This deft septuagenarian will likely finesse less fiery pieces from their fingers, but you can expect serpentine streams of beautiful virtuosity all night. DAVE SEGAL
MARCH 1-4GEEK & GAMING
57. Emerald City Comic Con 2018
Do we need to tell you what Emerald City Comic Con is? Well, just in case, it's your chance to meet the artists, actors, and creators who enliven pop culture and comics. They've already announced a sizable lineup of guests, including Zach Ellison (Steven Universe), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Khary Payton (The Walking Dead), Sean Maher and Summer Glau (Firefly), actors Ricky Whittle and Yetide Badaki (American Gods), Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter), and Mark Sheppard (Supernatural). Literary guests include writers Brandon Sanderson, Kazu Kibuishi, and Jim Butcher, and comics artists Jen Vaughn (a local!), Ryan North and Erica Henderson (Squirrel Girl), Irene Koh (The Legend of Korra), and many others will hold down Artist Alley.
58. Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament
B-ball fans can watch every game of this year's Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament live (or on ESPN networks). See the talented Seattle Storm players kick some butt.
59. G-Eazy, Trippie Redd, Phora, Anthony Russo
Pop-hopper G-Eazy has ridden the coattails of the post-hyphy movement (and his experiences as a producer during his college years) into the mainstream, using his Bay Area background to beef up his stage presence by repeatedly enlisting a crew of talented openers. This time he'll be joined by Trippie Redd, Phora, and Anthony Russo.
MARCH 4READINGS & TALKS
60. Anderson Cooper
As part of the "Unique Lives & Experiences" series, CNN news host Anderson Cooper will share his perspectives.
61. Tyehimba Jess
He won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for poetry and boy, did he deserve it. Stranger Genius Nominees Wave Books (they're local, guys!) published his winning book, Olio, which explores, embodies, and thinks through the early origins of black music in America. If you have not checked out this book, you must. Jess is doing shit with the page that I have never seen before in my life—writing poems you have to rip out of the book and roll into a tube in order to read, writing mirroring ghazals that actually read forwards and backwards, just to name a few. RICH SMITH
62. Hot Chocolate Run
Walk or run a 5K or 15K at this annual race. Delicious gluten- and peanut-free chocolate will patiently await your arrival at the finish line.
63. Seattle Sounders 2018 Home Opener
Seattle's MLS team's 2018 season will begin with a match against Los Angeles FC. The full Sounders 2018 season schedule will be released in January.
MARCH 5READINGS & TALKS
64. Daniel H. Pink
In his new book, When, Daniel H. Pink explores the secrets of "good timing." He poses questions like: "Why should we avoid going to the hospital in the afternoon?" and "What is the ideal time to quit a job, switch careers, or get married?"
65. They Might Be Giants
Kooky and beloved alt rockers They Might Be Giants cater their music to listeners of all ages. Dance to their upbeat/drum machine-laden/oft-silly songs when they pass through Seattle on their US tour.
At age 16, Lorde broke onto the scene in 2013 when her single “Royals” hit the Billboard Hot 100. After an almost four-year break, the 20-year-old New Zealander released her sophomore album, Melodrama, in June. Her ultra-poppy singles “Green Light” and “Perfect Places” have been the soundtrack to millions of people’s summers, perfectly capturing the fleeting feeling of youth in three minutes. ANNA KAPLAN
67. Paula Poundstone
Paula Poundstone is a divisive comedian. She placed at 88 on Comedy Central’s 2004 list of top 100 stand-ups list while clocking in at number 6 for Maxim magazine’s 2007 list of “Worst Comedians of All-Time.” Well-known for her stints on NPR’s news quiz show Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me, she specializes in relatable, everyday anecdotes that come loaded with humorous twists, often glazed with self-deprecation and mild absurdity. There’s something Seinfeldian about her act, but she’s a bit goofier overall than Jerry. Poundstone’s a seasoned pro, albeit not with the spiciest ingredients. DAVE SEGAL
MARCH 9-MAY 20PERFORMANCE
68. Ride the Cyclone
In this macabre musical comedy, a teenage chamber choir is trapped in fairground purgatory after a roller coaster accident kills them all. Rachel Rockwell will direct this 5th Ave/ACT co-production, which the New York Times called "a delightfully weird and just plain delightful show."
69. Jeff Dunham: Passively Aggressive
Ventriloquist/comedian Jeff Dunham will bring his one-man cast of characters to Tacoma.
70. Dancing with the Stars Live
See a live version of the 25-year-old ballroom dance show, choreographed by Emmy winner Mandy Moore and starring Lindsay Arnold, Alan Bersten, Sharna Burgess, Witney Carson, Artem Chigvintsev, and others.
71. Steve Aoki, Desiigner
The son of Rocky Aoki, owner of the Benihana chain of restaurants, Steve Aoki has used his dad's financial might to fund the Dim Mak label and to throw extravagant parties in his LA home base. Aoki has remixed marquee names like Michael Jackson, Drake, Chris Cornell, Weezer, and the Killers, and those commercial instincts come to the fore in his DJ sets, where he plays a ceaseless stream of popular club tunes. Aoki always has two ears cocked toward whatever's blowing up on the circuit, so expect to hear a lot of brostep, electro house, and mainstream hiphop on this tour. DAVE SEGAL
72. Vir Das
Extremely popular Bollywood comedian and actor Vir Das (who has appeared in films including BadMaash Company, Delhi Belly, and Revolver Rani, and has performed stand-up comedy all over the world) will grace humble Bellevue.
MARCH 15-APRIL 9PERFORMANCE
73. Moisture Festival
Moisture Festival is devoted to the variety of performers Seattle has fostered over the years, from circus acts to comedians, burlesque dancers to musicians, and jugglers to tap dancers. It's been going for more than 13 years in Seattle, a testament to the popularity of cabaret-style entertainment in town.
74. Phillip Phillips
American Idol winner Phillip Phillips will hit the Neptune for a night of earthy guitar-fueled rock and all-ages singer-songwriter fun.
75. Directors' Choice
Artistic Director Peter Boal has chosen some brilliant pieces to showcase: Slingerland Duet, featuring a "bonded pair" of dancers; a reproduction of William Forsythe’s One Flat Thing, featuring performers playing off one another around 20 tables; and Red Angels, in which four dancers in red move in white and red light to the strains of an electric violin.
MARCH 17SPORTS & RECREATION
76. Saint Patrick's Day Dash
Run through the green ribbon-clad streets in the annual Saint Patrick's Day Dash, which started in 1985 as a training event for an Irish Olympian and grew into a community affair.
MARCH 18 & 24PERFORMANCE
77. Snow White
Bruce Wells's choreography and Oskar Nedbal's music retell the story of Snow White, her small-statured friends, the poison apple, and the reviving kiss in ballet.
78. Andy Grammer
Andy Grammer became the first male pop star in a decade to reach the Top 10 at Adult Pop Radio with his songs "Keep Your Head Up" and "Fine By Me," from his 2011 debut album. Hear his stuff on his Good Parts tour.
MARCH 22READINGS & TALKS
79. Words Matter 2018 Benefit Gala & Literary Auction
Dress your sparkliest and raise funds for Seattle Arts & Lectures on the waterfront as you eat a fancy meal, drink wine, bid on silent auction items, fete SAL's Prowda Literary Award winner, and generally honor the power of words.
80. Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
Lin Hwai Min, one of the most admired choreographers in Asia, is a two-time National Arts Award winner in Taiwan, and in the US can claim a John D. Rockefeller Award, Joyce Award, and an accolade from Time magazine naming him one of "Asia's Heroes." His company Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan will perform his latest work, Formosa , which will pay homage to his native island and feature abstract, fluid dances in front of backgrounds of script and landscapes.
MARCH 22-25FOOD & DRINK
81. Taste Washington
Taste Washington, which bills itself as "the nation's largest single-region wine and food" event, comprises four days of wine tastings, gourmet bites, food demonstrations from celebrity chefs, farm tours, and more.
82. Trevor Noah
South African TV personality, writer, and comedian Trevor Noah is known mainly for being the host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show (he attracted tons of media attention for his controversial interview with young Republican Tomi Lahren). He also published a book last year titled Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood.
83. Arcade Lights 2018
Enjoy sweet and savory bites along with craft cocktails, beer, cider and wine from over 70 vendors, including Bavarian Meats, Ellenos Yogurt, indi chocolate, Jonboy Caramels, and more. Proceeds benefit Pike Place Market's social services.
84. A$AP Ferg, Denzel Curry, IDK
A$AP Squad standout A$AP Ferg will hit Sodo a year after his Turnt & Burnt Tour with pop sensibilities, a trap mentality, and bill support from Denzel Curry and IDK.
MARCH 23-APRIL 22PERFORMANCE
85. The Great Leap
Here's another chance to get a sense of the work of Lauren Yee, the 20-year-old playwright who already has more than half a dozen works under her belt. This production—produced in association with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company—bounces back and forth between 1971 China (feeling the after-effects of the "Great Leap Forward," and in the midst of the Cultural Revolution) and 1989 San Francisco.
MARCH 24FOOD & DRINK
MARCH 25SPORTS & RECREATION
87. Big Climb
Do some squats in preparation for this annual climb, where thousands of participants hike up the Columbia Tower's 69 flights of stairs (1,311 steps). Proceeds benefit blood cancer research.
MARCH 26READINGS & TALKS
88. John Cleese: Why There Is No Hope
Join legendary comedic actor John Cleese (Monty Python’s Flying Circus, A Fish Called Wanda) as he shares funny insights into the world, politics, and his life.
89. Clean Bandit
Fresh four-piece Clean Bandit meld classical styles with heavy bass music for a new take on club trends.
MARCH 28-APRIL 1PERFORMANCE
90. Shen Yun 2018
Shen Yun, founded by Chinese Falun Dafa dancers in New York City, is an absolute celebration of an entire region's magic, splendor, and creative possibility. The production aims to bring China's ancient wonders to life on stage with dance and music.
91. Beth Ditto
Portland dance-punk queen Beth Ditto is back on the scene after disbanding the Gossip with her debut full-length solo album Fake Sugar.
MARCH 29-APRIL 1COMMUNITY
This science fiction and fantasy convention (with a literary emphasis) features an overwhelming number of events including panels, workshops on writing and filmmaking, the Philip K. Dick awards, gaming, concerts, dances, an art show, a masquerade, a film festival, a science fiction book awards ceremony, and, of course, lots of appearances by special guests representing the many aspects of science fiction and fantasy.
MARCH 29-SEPTEMBER 30SPORTS & RECREATION
93. Seattle Mariners 2018 Home Games
Seattle's MLB team's 2018 home season includes games against the Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics, Houston Astros, Los Angels Angels, Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox, Kansas City Royals, Colorado Rockies, Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants, Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees, and San Diego Padres. Special theme nights include Bark at the Park, Star Wars Night, and Fireworks Nights.
MARCH 30READINGS & TALKS
94. Laura Lippman and David Simon
Lippman is an award-winning author of detective novels and David Simon, her husband, created The Wire, which sustained the golden age of American television, and also Treme, which helped. RICH SMITH
MARCH 30-31FOOD & DRINK
95. Seattle Scotch and Beer Fest
The "region's biggest spring beer festival combining craft beer, Scotch, whiskey, and wine tasting," this two-day event showcases authentic Scotch and Irish whiskey tastings, seminars, and craft beers from West Coast brewers.
96. Brandi Carlile, Marlon Williams
Brandi Carlile, born in a tiny Washington town called Ravensdale, got a gig singing behind an Elvis impersonator, came to Seattle, turned herself into a band, got signed by Columbia Records, won over the critics, sold a song to General Electric, sold records, recorded with the Seattle Symphony, sold more records, came out, got married, had a kid, and released her latest, The Firewatcher’s Daughter, in 2015. Not necessarily in that order. She needs only a guitar and her voice for that signature country sound. The opposite of the fulfillment of gospel—that ache for things not obtained. ANDREW HAMLIN
MARCH 30-APRIL 1GEEK & GAMING
Cosplayers will gather again for the Northwest's "oldest and most well-attended" anime convention presented by the Asia Northwest Cultural Education Association. The three-day affair features anime screenings, gaming, cosplay, cultural panels, dances, concerts, art contests, and more.
Just a few hours away in Bellingham, Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight teamed up to form Odesza just before graduating from Western Washington University. The duo’s dreamy indie electronica led to quick success after the release of their debut album, and they’ve been continuing to make airy dance music since. Odesza have teased a couple of tracks from their upcoming record, and they’re catchier than ever. ANNA KAPLAN
99. Pastor Kaleb's Sunday Service
Pastor Kaleb's flock may not be your stereotypical churchgoing crowd—former Stranger writer Brendan Kiley reported many sightings of " burlesque dancers and comedians, writers, and nightlife impresarios [...] drinking down the dregs of their Bloody Marys"—among their number. But Kaleb has a televangelist's charisma, even when he's preaching on something nonsensical, and this Easter ceremony will highlight the joy of spring.
100. Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
For the 35th consecutive year, flower enthusiasts will flock to Skagit Valley to see sprawling fields covered with hundreds of colorful tulips in bloom. The festival is designed as a driving tour, as there's no one spot to enter.
101. Blame it on Bianca Del Rio
Bianca Del Rio, whom Matt Baume called "the most vicious RuPaul's Drag Race winner of all time," will wield her mean and hilarious sense of humor across the world on her latest tour. Catch her deluge of foul-mouthed devilry in Seattle.
APRIL 7SPORTS & RECREATION
102. Brunch Run
Run, walk, or leisurely stroll your way to the finish line at Seattle Magazine's annual 5K Brunch Run. The spread that awaits at the end includes bites from 15 local restaurants.
APRIL 13-15READINGS & TALKS
103. Orcas Island Lit Festival 2018
This festival sounds like a boon to anyone who loves both literature and gorgeous island landscapes. Attend a lit crawl with bestselling and Pulitzer-winning authors, generate some masterpieces of your own at workshops, and chime in on panel discussions, as well as meeting regional authors, poets, and publishers.
In Emergence, created by the Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite, a "swarming, scurrying group of dancers" acts out the impulse towards social hierarchy. In Alejandro Cerrudo’s Little mortal jump, genres collide and transform. Yuri Possokhov has his Pacific Northwest Ballet debut in RAkU. See these three modern works, all in one night.
105. Bill Maher
Bill Maher shares his steadfast opinions on politics and life on his HBO show, Real Time. Hear what he has to say in his live stand-up routine.
106. Dashboard Confessional, Beach Slang
Alt-emo artifact Dashboard Confessional will return to town high off the fumes of their latest album We Fight on a tour of the same name. They'll be joined by Beach Slang.
APRIL 14-SEPTEMBER 9ART
107. The Brink: Demian DinéYazhi´
Demian DinéYazhi´, an Indigenous Diné transdisciplinary artist, is the recipient of the 2017 Brink Award, a prize awarded to emerging artists, ages 35 and under, who live in the Cascadia region. DinéYazhi´ uses image and text to "speak truth to power," challenging Western archetypes and notions of authenticity. See his work at the Henry's spring show.
108. Judas Priest
Sure, they’re old enough to be card-carrying AARP members by now. But on the other hand, Judas Priest practically invented heavy metal, and they can still play it like motherfuckers. They’ve spent four decades making riff-powered music for turbo-charged driving and sex—often both at once—and causing a total of roughly twelve billion heads to bang. Classics like “Breaking the Law,” “Hell Bent for Leather,” and “Painkiller” are likely to make appearances, and last time I saw them, Rob Halford did in fact ride out onto the stage on his motorcycle, just like he’s supposed to do. KATIE ALLISON
APRIL 15-AUGUST 5ART
109. José Guadalupe Posada and the Mexican Penny Press
José Guadalupe Posada was one of Mexico’s most influential printmakers and illustrators. While he made everything from illustrations for children’s games to sensationalistic news stories that appeared in "penny press" publications, Posada is best known for his satirical representations of calaveras (skeletons). This Bellevue Arts Museum exhibition features those, along with other prints and media by the artist.
APRIL 19READINGS & TALKS
110. Eat Read Hugo: Benefit Dinner & Auction
This annual benefit dinner and auction supports Hugo House in hosting nationally recognized authors, awarding scholarships and fellowships to emerging writers, and providing a space for local readers and writers. This year, hear from guest speaker Daniel James Brown, author of The Boys in the Boat, eat delicious food from Herban Feast, and bid on "whimsical" literary and gastronomic experiences in an auction.
111. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
The Hubbard Street Dance Chicago company has been racking up enraptured reviews for 40 years, performing and commissioning works by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Margo Sappington, Daniel Ezralow, Nacho Duato, Jirí Kylián, and Twyla Tharp. For this brief run in Seattle, they'll bring you choreography by Tharp, William Forsythe, Crystal Pite, and Nacho Duato.
112. Henry Gala & Dance Party
Celebrate the Henry's exhibitions and programs with cocktails, dinner, and a short program. After that, dance the night away (until the clock strikes 12).
APRIL 21-AUGUST 5ART
113. Jono Vaughan
Jono Vaughan’s ongoing series, Project 42, which began in 2012 and will be presented at SAM, is named for the short life expectancy of transgender individuals in the United States. For each work in the series, the artist designs a garment that begins with an image of a murder location, which is then edited digitally to create an abstract textile print. The garment is then worn by a collaborator in performance, as a form of memorialization and celebration of the victim.
APRIL 22FOOD & DRINK
Billing itself as "the most talked about culinary tour in the country," Cochon555 is a "nose-to-tail" pork-centric competition built around the intention of creating awareness of heritage breed pigs for buyers and supporting family farmers, featuring 1500 pounds of heritage pig and 5 chefs cooking 5 whole hogs.
APRIL 26-MAY 6FESTIVALS
115. Apple Blossom Festival
This annual festival, which started in 1919, showcases the beautiful blooms of Wenatchee Valley. It includes a carnival, a golf tournament, a food fair, multiple parades, and more.
116. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
See contemporary works from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater that touch on timely topics and "beloved classic Revelations."
APRIL 27-MAY 30PERFORMANCE
Wedding drama abounds in Tony-nominated Danai Gurira's Familiar: surprise guests, revealed secrets, and the tension that arises when a young woman wants to observe traditional Zimbabwean custom for her Minnesotan wedding. Charles Isherwood of the New York Times writes, "Ms. Gurira weaves issues of cultural identity and displacement, generational frictions and other meaty matters into dialogue that flows utterly naturally." This production will be led by acclaimed Egyptian American director Taibi Magar, and produced in association with the Guthrie Theater.
APRIL 28FOOD & DRINK
118. Bacon and Beer Classic
Munch on salty, crunchy pork from over 30 local chefs and sip over 100 crisp brews and ciders from regional breweries. Plus, participate in a blind beer taste test, a bacon eating contest, and activities like giant Jenga and pretzel-necklace-making.
119. Cheese and Meat Festival
This festival showcasing meat and cheese artisans greets you with a charcuterie board and a tasting glass and lets you wander trying bites from vendors like Beecher's Cheese and Twin Sisters Creamery, paired with wine, cider, beer, and spirits.
OPENING IN APRILGEEK & GAMING
120. Marvel: Universe of Superheroes
MoPOP's latest geek culture blockbuster will exhibit art, props, costumes, and props from the Marvel comics and film universe, including hallmarks like Captain America, The Avengers, Jessica Jones, and more. Investigate immersive exhibits, learn the history of the company, and meet all your favorite heroes in their various generational versions.
Rapidly rising through the ranks, Khalid and his debut album, American Teen, have received critical acclaim across the board, with raves for his new-school take on R&B, soul, and pop.
122. Shania Twain
When I was a kid making up choreographed dances to "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" I didn't quite grasp what a feminist masterpiece Shania Twain's 1997 album Come On Over really was. Re-listening as an adult to what was one of the first CDs I owned (and the bestselling country album of all fucking time), I was shocked and delighted by the Canadian country singer's sexual politics, especially compared to the "get-in-the-truck, babe" themes that pervade pop-country radio. Twain is full of lady-power anthems, from calling out overgrown dudebro egos in the delightfully bratty "That Don't Impress Me Much" to subverting gender roles in "Honey, I'm Home" to even explaining consent in "If You Wanna Touch Her, Ask!" Part of her farewell tour, this show is one of the last chances to see pop country's own riot grrrl and queen of the world play the hits. She's still the one. ROBIN EDWARDS
123. Alan Cumming
Alan Cumming has hosted the Tony Awards, designed a perfume, made films with Stanley Kubrick, and voiced a Smurf, among countless other accomplishments. See him live in his beloved variety show.
124. Crypticon 2018
Crypticon will fill the DoubleTree with hundreds of gorehounds, bloodsluts, zombbros, and creepazoids. This year will feature Richard Brake of Game of Thrones, Kimmy Robertson and Harry Goaz of Twin Peaks, and others yet to be announced. Dress up and enter the cosplay contest, compete in the writing and horror makeup competitions, browse haunted Cthulhu/zombie/vampire/etc. goods, and party on the 13th floor.
125. Metropolitan Fashion Week Seattle Closing Gala
This international fashion show features exclusive designs by both fashion and costume artists. They suggest you wear a gown or a tuxedo.
126. Rob Lowe: Stories I Only Tell My Friends LIVE!
Rob Lowe will divulge his deepest, darkest, slumber party-worthy secrets at a live reading of his autobiography, Stories I Only Tell My Friends.
127. Opening Day
Join Admiral Randy Holbrook, Admiral Jennifer Christenson, and Vice Admiral Bob Brown for the Seattle Yacht Club's opening day parade.
128. New Nordic Grand Opening
The Nordic Heritage Museum has moved out of its quaint Old Ballard digs, a 1907 schoolhouse, and into a modern 57,000-square foot building on Market Street to continue and expand its mission of education on Nordic and Nordic American art, community, and history. On this May weekend, they'll finally open their doors with much fanfare expected.
Verdi's Aida is a hugely ambitious tale that ties in pharaohs and slaves, priests and priestesses, lust and love, betrayal and redemption, and a bunch of other major themes that will be tended to by Seattle Opera in what will surely be the production of the year.
MAY 7READINGS & TALKS
130. Laura Ling: Life Inside a Korean Prison
While working on a story about sex trafficking in North Korea, American journalist Laura Ling and her colleague Eun Lee were captured by soldiers along the China/North Korea border. Sentenced to 12 years of labor in prison, Ling survived months of captivity before returning home in 2009. Hear her discuss her story and insights.
131. Viet Thanh Nguyen
He wrote The Sympathizer, which won last year's Pulitzer Prize in fiction. Nguyen strongly believes we need to hear the story of the American invasion of Vietnam from more Vietnamese peoples' perspectives, and his work is certainly making headway in that direction. His latest is a book of short stories about the lives of immigrants after that war, The Refugees. RICH SMITH
MAY 12-AUGUST 8ART
132. Towards Impressionism: Landscape Painting from Corot to Monet
This Frye exhibition traces the development of French landscape painting from the schools of Barbizon and Honfleur through Impressionism, featuring over 40 works from the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Reims.
Powerful vocalist and pop superstar P!NK is back on the road with her Beautiful Trauma World Tour, named after her latest super popular album.
134. Mother's Day Half Marathon
Choose between a half-marathon and a 5K run/walk to celebrate your mom and other people's moms. At the finish line, enjoy all the wine and mimosas you deserve.
MAY 15READINGS & TALKS
135. Ariel Levy
New Yorker staff writer Ariel Levy has covered subjects such as South African runner Caster Semenya, artist Catherine Opie, swimmer Diana Nyad, and Edith Windsor, the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that brought down the Defense of Marriage Act. Hear her discuss her recently released memoir, The Rules Do Not Apply.
136. Complexions Contemporary Ballet
Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardsen (So You Think You Can Dance) choreograph ballet- and hiphop-melding pieces for this ensemble, which includes former dancers from the prestigious Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. Expect high-energy, high-calibre dance drama and a soundtrack that draws on everything "from Bach to Bowie."
MAY 17-JUNE 10FILM
137. Seattle International Film Festival 2018
The 44th 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.
MAY 19SPORTS & RECREATION
138. Stars on Ice
U.S. National Champion Nathan Chen was the first figure skater to land five different quadruple jumps in a single competition program, and he's fixing to grab the Gold in the 2018 Winter Olympics. He'll be the centerpiece of this showcase, joined by other gliding beauties.
MAY 20SPORTS & RECREATION
139. Beat the Bridge
Walk or run in Nordstrom's 36th annual Beat the Bridge to Beat Diabetes. Choose between an 8K run, a 3K walk, or a 1K fun run.
MAY 21READINGS & TALKS
140. Aimee Nezhukumatathil
About Aimee Nezhukumatathil, who will headline SAL's Poetry Series and share her latest collection, OCEANIC, which is coming out with Copper Canyon Press in 2018, Rich Smith wrote, "Very good lyric / narrative poet. Check out 2007's At the Drive-in Volcano."
141. Taylor Swift
Highly divisive pop star Taylor Swift will take over an entire stadium for a night of her Reputation national tour, promoting her latest album of the same name.
142. Sasquatch! Music Festival
Sasquatch!, the three-day music and party extravaganza that takes place at the Gorge every year is back for its 17th iteration with an as yet to be announced lineup sure to be filled with billboard notables and rising stars.
Every year, local communities bring their unique cultural traditions to this festival. Years past have featured Contra and Cajun dancing, poetry, films, fiddles, sea chanties, spoon playing, and Scandinavian storytelling.
144. "Weird Al" Yankovic
Since the day I first heard “Another One Rides the Bus,” I have had a deep love and respect for “Weird Al” Yankovic. And as time and pop music moves, um, forward, his parodies and the aural puns-ishment he produces have become a nice throwback to when AM radio and Top 40 charts welcomed novelty songs. I’d guess even into the 1980s, novelty, parody, and answer songs were still radio-friendly genres, but that was wiped away in the ’90s by contemporary pop radio’s homogenization and evident need to be taken seriously. Except maybe for Tenacious D, “Weird Al” is the last, and only, parody/novelty performer allowed on the radio. Anyway, I bet Al’s blistering accordion solos tonight will be most choice and the gargled solo in “Smells Like Nirvana” will be divine. MIKE NIPPER
145. Maroon 5, Julia Michaels
Perennial billboard-charters Maroon 5, currently riding the waves of their latest big hit "What Lovers Do," will crest in Tacoma on their Red Pill Blues Tour with support from Julia Michaels.
146. The Kooks
Brighton rockers the Kooks have entered their 13th year of playing together and will showcase tracks from The Best of... So Far at this tour stop.
147. Upstream Music Fest + Summit
Upstream is a three-day music festival and summit set to take place in 25 venues around Pioneer Square. It's Paul Allen’s attempt to mold a PNW-focused South by Southwest type large-scale festival, with programming involving many local emerging talents, more than 300 music artists, and acclaimed keynote speakers. Curated by longtime hiphop booker and former talent-buyer at the Crocodile Meli Darby, the vast majority of bands are Seattle-and-NW centric.
148. Love & Ballet
Dance's many forms dramatize love's many forms in four works by prominent choreographers: Christopher Wheeldon (After the Rain pas de deux© and Tide Harmonic), Justin Peck (Year of the Rabbit), and Benjamin Millepied (yes, the Black Swan guy—his piece is Appassionata).
149. Puddles Pity Party
The extremely popular "sad clown with the golden voice" presents his downcast live production featuring a mopey clown, absurdism, and some laughs.
150. Hunchback of Notre Dame
Says my source: "This musical, while it has all of the goods from the Disney movie, is not an adaptation of the Disney film. It stays more true to the book and is darker than the Disney film. This will be directed by Glenn Casale, who directed Little Mermaid for us." God, The Little Mermaid at the 5th was so good. No word yet on casting, but I'm told it's possible the 5th might be able to get John McGinty, a deaf actor who played the role recently in Sacramento—which was "the first time a deaf actor has played the role," according to the Sacramento Bee. Quasimodo is deaf. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
JUNE 1-AUGUST 2FESTIVALS
Every year, this iconic summer festival that started in 1950 puts on dozens of events throughout Seattle, starting with a kickoff ceremony featuring hydroplanes and a knighting ceremony, and continuing for 10 weeks with events including multiple parades, cultural celebrations, and Fourth of July fireworks. Other highlights include Fleet Week, during which naval ships are docked in Elliott Bay for tours; Seafair Pow Wow Days, which showcase traditional Native American cultures; the Seafair Pirates' Landing, in which "pirates" come ashore to snarl in a friendly fashion at the kids; Seafair Derby Day, when 100 milk carton boats of all shapes, colors, and sizes race around Green Lake; the nighttime Seafair Torchlight Parade; and the culminating Seafair Weekend, featuring a Boeing air show, a hydroplane race, wakeboarding, and live entertainment.
152. Celtic Woman
Celtic Woman, a heavily lauded group of Emerald Isle faerie queens, will perform folksy classics and traditional Irish music on their Homecoming tour.
153. Les Miserables
By the time this production makes it to Seattle, the 2012 film of Les Miserables will have been out for more than five years, and the musical will have taken an (almost) two-year Broadway break. Just enough time to feel the freshness in the songs, forget what happens to Javert, and drum up a bunch of feelings during "On My Own."
JUNE 8-JULY 8PERFORMANCE
154. Until the Flood
The latest work by playwright, performer, and Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith focuses on the social unrest following the fatal police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The one-act drama highlights eight composite characters from the St. Louis region, who examine issues of race and social unrest from a variety of perspectives.
155. Barenaked Ladies, Better Than Ezra, KT Tunstall
Canada’s Barenaked Ladies are, in the words of our esteemed music critic Dave Segal, "the aural equivalent of khaki trousers." They are also extremely successful rock musicians who have managed to swing themselves onto the nostalgia circuit for sold-out tour stops for the last few summers. They'll be joined today by Better Than Ezra and KT Tunstall.
JUNE 9-10SPORTS & RECREATION
156. Rock and Roll Half Marathon
Support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital by running a 5K or half marathon, complete with live bands, DJs, drum lines, and other musical entertainment/distraction along the way.
JUNE 10SPORTS & RECREATION
157. Rugged Maniac 5K
Men's Health sponsors this 5K run and obstacle course. It includes a lot of mud, a stein-hoisting competition, and other such activities.
JUNE 14-SEPTEMBER 9ART
158. Double Exposure: Edward S. Curtis, Marianne Nicolson, Tracy Rector, Will Wilson
This SAM exhibition will showcase more than 180 Native American portraits by the ethnologist Edward R. Curtis, who devoted much of his career to recording American indigenous peoples' songs, language, and of course, images of dress and faces. His total body of work relating to Native Americans included 40,000 photographs. This art show will combine his documentation with original work by Native artists Marianne Nicolson, Tracy Rector, and Will Wilson.
159. Paradiso Festival
Paradiso is the PNW's premier festival of WUB-WUB-WUB, colloquially known as brostep, also called EDM, which is short for "electronic dance music" (you're welcome, grandpa). Big name headliners to grace the stage haven't been announced yet, but trust that glow sticks will be wielded, hearts broken, and vape pens smoked.
160. Fremont Solstice Fair
Let that free spirit fill you with whatever Fremont people are into at the annual Fremont Solstice Fair, a massive outdoor urban festival filled fit to bust with hippies, families, foodies, and artists. It's primarily for the parade featuring elaborately painted (and sometimes just wild 'n' free) nude bicyclists—but also offering tons of food, crafts, activities, performances, great people-watching, and a beer garden.
JUNE 18READINGS & TALKS
161. Viola Davis
The supremely talented Viola Davis is the most Academy Award-nominated black actress in history. In 2017, she won an Oscar for her supporting role in Denzel Washington's Fences. Hear her discuss her past and current work at this live lecture.
162. Andrea Bocelli
Acclaimed Italian operatic singer-songwriter Andrea Bocelli will come to KeyArena on his world tour, in support of his 15th studio album, 2015's Cinema. No big deal, but his backing band will be the Seattle Symphony.
163. Seattle Pride Parade
The streets of downtown will fill with rainbow flags once again as thousands of LGBTQ+ Seattleites and allies gather for the annual Pride parade.
164. Seven Things I've Learned: An Afternoon with Ira Glass
If you've never turned on NPR, ask any middle-class liberal about This American Life, a weekly show 22 years in the running about life in this crazy country. Its host, Ira Glass, will put on a live multimedia presentation about his work and life.
JULY 1-6SPORTS & RECREATION
165. 2018 Special Olympics USA Games
The Special Olympics USA Games, which take place in a different city every four years, showcase the abilities of athletes with intellectual disabilities and "promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport." The Games will feature 14 sports including basketball, tennis, swimming, gymnastics, soccer, and golf, performed by more than 4,000 athletes.
JULY 6FOOD & DRINK
166. Seattle International Beerfest
This three-day specialty beer festival boasts everything from classic beers to "a gaudy selection of top rated double IPA's, farmhouse/saisons, sours, barleywines, imperial stouts, barrel-aged strong ales, and anything else delicious yet shunned by the masses" and a lush grass area on which to spread picnic blankets, in addition to indoor and outdoor seating.
167. Steve Martin & Martin Short
The two celebrated, beloved comics—both of whom have performed on Saturday Night Live and were in Father of the Bride—talk about their lives and careers in this show that will combine "banter, singing, and banjo playing."
168. Harry Styles, Kacey Musgraves
If you have a passing acquaintance with the sober end of the 1970s commercial soft-rock canon, Harry Styles's solo stuff will sound deeply familiar, and possibly even pleasing. It seems unlikely that the people who are most eagerly awaiting this album will have those associations to bring to it, so it will be interesting to see what it winds up meaning to them, if "meaning" isn't too grampsy a word to apply to this subject. The idea of contemporary teenagers having their important moments scored by songs meant to evoke the songs that scored similar experiences for their parents, and even grandparents, seems implausible but weirdly appealing. SEAN NELSON
169. Kenny Chesney
Country music golden boy Kenny Chesney will hit Seattle with a full lineup of star-studded supporters like Thomas Rhett, Old Dominion, and Brandon Lay on his Trip Around The Sun tour.
170. Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, the self-admitted First Couple of Country, hit the road on their Soul 2 Soul world tour, with a stop in humble Seattle.
JULY 13-15FOOD & DRINK
171. Ballard SeafoodFest
A Ballard tradition since 1974, this free community event celebrates summer with seafood, music, and craft brews.
172. Kirkland Uncorked
This summer wine festival, which benefits no-kill shelter Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center, encompasses a 21+ tasting garden with wine tasting, a "burger brawl," and music, as well as a street fair with a boat show, a food truck feast, and other activities.
173. Sylvan Esso
Every new generation of college kids needs at least one party album to rally behind. For my freshman year, it was M.I.A.’s Kala and Kanye West’s Graduation—for this year’s crop, it will be Sylvan Esso’s What Now. Their electrified, multilayered pop is clever, bright, and fully hitched to dance as a primary activity in a way that feels much like two-dimensional worship. Preaching a lifestyle adjacent to “the power of dance heals all” is a little #LoveWins for my taste, but Sylvan Esso manage to carry their music through these lyrical tropes with a strength of conviction that is truly impressive (and occasionally beguiling). And hey—who am I to shit on such an active joy? KIM SELLING
This annual festival celebrates a variety of Asian cultures with two days of performances, food, and activities. See dragon and lion dances, traditional Korean drumming, martial arts demonstrations, and performances from the Chinese Girls Drill Team, and taste bites from 40 different restaurants on the annual Food Walk.
JULY 20-22FOOD & DRINK
175. Groupon Bite of Seattle
Seattle's "Original Food & Beverage Showcase" rounds up food from over 60 restaurants and pop-up vendors along with craft beer and cider tastings and live music. There's also a movie night on Friday and the Alley, a restaurant showcase benefiting Food Lifeline.
176. Capitol Hill Block Party 2018
Get ready! Capitol Hill Block Party is upon us. Fear not, brave one—we’ll help you find your way through five stages of music, nearly 100 bands, multiple beer gardens, and hundreds of sweaty bros all squeezed into the Pike-Pine Corridor. Yes, it’s hot (and it might be raining). And yes, it’s crowded. But after the last 22 years of explosive growth, Capitol Hill Block Party has managed to strike a well-honed balance between big festival acts with wide appeal and local treasures that are waiting to be discovered—and it all takes place right here in our own backyard. AMBER CORTES
JULY 28-29FOOD & DRINK
177. CoffeeCon Seattle 2018
The world's first consumer coffee festival, with a tasting floor, seminars, coffee experts, and labs in every brewing method, will return to Seattle for the second year.
178. Doe Bay Fest 11
Doe Bay Fest's weekend of camping, local music, food, and dancing in a little Orcas Island cove will return for its 11th year.
179. Niall Horan, Maren Morris
X-Factor and One Direction veteran Niall Horan has officially struck out on his lonesome, promoting his first solo album Flicker at this world tour stop with Maren Morris.
180. Seattle Art Fair
About the 2017 Seattle Art Fair, Emily Pothast wrote, "The first Seattle Art Fair was aspirational, with the lofty goal of establishing Seattle as an art destination. The second tested its staying power: Would the dealers find reasons to keep returning after the novelty had worn off? Fortunately, the answer appears to be yes. 'When an art fair has made it into its third year, it's officially established,' says Marcella Zimmermann [of Cultural Counsel, the New York–based firm handling PR for the Seattle Art Fair]. 'Third time's a charm!' The third edition of the Seattle Art Fair is more international and robust than ever, with a total of 100 exhibitors, representing 10 countries, including 60 galleries from the Pacific Rim." Stay tuned for more details about the fourth annual event in 2018.
181. Weezer, Pixies, The Wombats
Relive your favorite most divisive moments in '90s and '00s rock history with this joint tour with Weezer, Pixies, and the Wombats as they criss-cross North America.
182. The Phantom of the Opera
Look forward to impressive operatic singing, a creepy theater-dweller in a mask, and new special effects (including a probably dramatic/startling chandelier scene) in this new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's the Phantom of the Opera. This is a season option, part of the Broadway at the Paramount series.
This massive annual cannabis convocation boasts five stages of speakers and live music, plus crafts, food, and informational vendors.
184. Ed Sheeran
After a controversial Game of Thrones appearance and a hugely successful album release, dark horse British pop star Ed Sheeran will return to Seattle for a night of his patented red-haired Top40 charm.
AUGUST 31-SEPTEMBER 2MUSIC
185. Bumbershoot 2018
Bumbershoot, Seattle's biggest music, comedy, and arts festival, will take over Seattle Center for Labor Day Weekend 2018 for the 48th year. This year's lineup will most likely be bursting with local and national music stars, in addition to a stacked comedy circuit and related art events.
AUGUST 31-SEPTEMBER 23FESTIVALS
186. Washington State Fair
Kicking off on Labor Day weekend, this 20-day fair will grace Puyallup once again with food, rides, and entertainment.
187. Foo Fighters
Big-tent, mainstream rock that's respectable and critically lauded? That's still a thing, and Foo Fighters are pretty great at it. They'll play Safeco Field on their Concrete and Gold tour.
SEPTEMBER 1-FEBRUARY 10MUSEUM
188. WW1 America
2018 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, signed on November 11, 1918. MOHAI will host a body of artifacts, recordings, multimedia presentations, and more, created by the Minnesota History Center, to reveal a picture of America between 1914-1919—its contradictions, hopes, terrors, and dizzying transformations.
189. Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience with Ramin Djawadi
Fulfill your most intense fantasy needs (chill out, not that) with a live interactive Game of Thrones concert experience. Series composer Ramin Djawadi will lead choirs and a full orchestra in explorations of dramatic musical moments from the show with visuals intended to bring all Seven Kingdoms to life.
Skylight, which won the 2015 Tony for Best Revival of a Play, explores power, politics, and a love affair.
SEPTEMBER 8FOOD & DRINK
191. Chinatown I.D. Night Market
Enjoy street food, handmade local goods, fresh cut flowers, and other items for sale after sundown at this evening market with live bands, breakdancing crews, and an all-ages dance party.
192. Sam Smith
King of Tears Sam Smith will take over KeyArena for an evening of heartbreaking soul-inflected pop music thanks to his The Thrill Of It All tour.
SEPTEMBER 15-16SPORTS & RECREATION
193. Beat the Blerch
This run is inspired by Matthew Inman, the creator of the Oatmeal comic, who wrote about his running experiences with "the blerch." In addition to the scenic, flat course through the woods (runners can choose between a 10K, a half marathon, or a full marathon), there will be cake at every station, couches along the course, an appearance from Inman himself, and costumed blerches who will chase you.
SEPTEMBER 21-23FOOD & DRINK
194. Fremont Oktoberfest
Raise a (gigantic, oversized) stein to Seattle's biggest fall beer festival, which has been running for 21 years and features over 80 craft beers.
SEPTEMBER 22-23SPORTS & RECREATION
195. Tough Mudder
Experience steep-sided gravel pits, deep-wood runs, a century-old coal heap, and black coal mud at this annual run and obstacle course.
OCTOBER 5-6FOOD & DRINK
196. 14th Annual Great Pumpkin Beer Festival
Every year, Elysian celebrates the somewhat controversial fall-flavored beverage at this festival, which, in 2017, featured more than 80 pumpkin beers (including about 20 from Elysian). There's also food, music, lots of pumpkin-y decorations, and other fall-themed festivities, and they partner with Fred Hutch to raise money for cancer research.
OCTOBER 5-7FOOD & DRINK
197. Oktoberfest Northwest
This family-friendly Oktoberfest celebration has the requisite German bier and brats in addition to activities like wiener dog races, a stein dash 5k, polka music, and hammerschlagen (a bar game where players compete to drive a nail into a cross section of wood faster than their opponents).
OCTOBER 12-NOVEMBER 11PERFORMANCE
Tony-winning play Oslo tells the true story of Norwegian diplomat Mona Juul and her husband, Terje Rød-Larsen, who together coordinated top-secret peace negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat in the early 1990s.
199. Short Run Comix and Arts Festival
Celebrate the makers of indie comix and self-published, small press, and handmade books of all kinds at this annual festival, which showcases emerging and established artists from near and far.
NOVEMBER 9-APRIL 14ART
200. BAM Biennial 2018: Glasstastic
Artists from Oregon and Washington will contribute their most innovative pieces in glass to this year's BAM Biennial.
NOVEMBER 25SPORTS & RECREATION
201. Seattle Marathon
The Seattle Marathon has grown into the largest combination marathon/half marathon in the Northwest. Now in its 48th year, the event expects upwards of 15,000 participants.