No joke—there are lots of awesome arts, music, food, and cultural events happening in Seattle this April. We’ve compiled the 150 biggest ones you need to know about below, including events happening for 4/20, Earth Day, and National Poetry Month. You’ll also find everything from Independent Bookstore Day to Record Store Day, from the Cheese and Meat Festival to the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival, from the opening of the Marvel: Universe of Superheroes exhibition to the closing of Teatro ZinZanni's Love, Chaos, and Dinner, and from the March for Science to the Tax Rally. If all of that isn't enough, you can also look ahead to the rest of this year's big events, or check out our complete Things To Do calendar.
Whether or not you actually celebrate the religious aspects of the holiday, there are a variety of secular ways to celebrate Easter in Seattle. Find them all on our Easter calendar, including Pastor Kaleb's Sunday Service, an Easter Bonnet Contest, and plenty of brunches.
2. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Live
If the prospect of a musical comedy sitcom made by a YouTube star about an unstable woman engaged in stalkerish behavior made you sigh and bemoan the decline of modern entertainment, oh no, love, you’re not alone. And yet, over the course of three seasons, Rachel Bloom’s show has become a powerfully funny, sharply observed, startlingly complex exploration of mental health, love, obsession, ambition, race, class, media, gender, and identity in the suburban wasteland (ever lived in West Covina? I have) of an American empire that stubbornly refuses to die. More to the point, and I never thought I’d be the one to say this, but: The songs are fucking excellent. Writing with a group of fine collaborators, Bloom manages to locate the intersection of musical theater and about 37 subgenres of pop to create pastiches that both comment on and transcend their components. The lyrics are funny, smart, and more, and the melodies stick in your head like an ice pick. The live show will feature Bloom along with co-stars Vincent Rodriguez III, Scott Michael Foster, and Pete Gardner as well as composers Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne, hello!) and Jack Dolgen, and show co-creator/executive producer Aline Brosh McKenna. SEAN NELSON
THROUGH APRIL 1FESTIVALS
3. Fisherman's Village Music Festival 2018
Celebrate the efforts of the Everett Music Initiative with this weekend festival spread over several beloved local venues, with live sets from cosmic hiphop kings Shabazz Palaces, Kevin Morby, Mount Eerie, Oberhofer, the Seshen, Taylar Elizza Beth, Sisters, Spirit Award, the Black Tones, and many more.
Begins March 30
For one weekend, see life through an anime lens as cosplayers gather again for the Northwest's "oldest and most well-attended" convention devoted to the art, presented by the Asia Northwest Cultural Education Association. It's a member-only festival, but once you're a member, everything else is free—contests, panels, "cosplay chess," gaming, and the Kawaii vs. Kowai Dance Party. Meet artists and browse their works, watch models strut outlandish looks on the runway at two fashion shows, and hear special Shinjuku musical guests Okamoto. Unfortunately, online tickets are sold out, but there will be tickets at the door if you can get there early enough. Just know you're in for crowds: 23,000 cosplay nerds attended last year.
Begins March 30
5. Ruben Studdard
Ruben Studdard, winner of the second season of American Idol who received a 2003 Grammy nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, will visit Seattle.
Begins March 29
6. 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.
Begins March 28
7. National Poetry Month
The Academy of American Poets dubbed April National Poetry Month in 1996 as a way of increasing people's awareness and appreciation of poetry in the U.S. See Seattle events for National Poetry Month here, including a reading from Neil Hilborn (April 1), a Charles Simic reading (April 12), Word Works: Ada Limón (April 14), and the Youth Speaks Seattle 2018 Grand Slam on April 21.
8. 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.
9. Silent Movie Mondays
On a recent podcast, Janice Min, the woman credited with transforming Us Weekly from a C-minus People magazine clone into a culture-defining celebrity news faucet in 2002, observed that the Paris Hilton/Lindsay Lohan era, which Min helped inscribe, now feels like a very long time ago, all but forgotten. It’s a strange parallel to the lingering devotion a small number of viewers keep for the first generation of film actors, who, like nearly all humans, even the most famous, are largely forgotten by the world. I know that going to a silent movie, much less a month’s worth of them, sound like medicine to most people, but this series is a true joy. The majesty of the Paramount Theatre is on full display, as is the glory of the Wurlitzer organ accompaniment. And seeing the films really does feel like time travel. The grammar, pace, and style are simultaneously fascinating and obscure, but the faces are a straight, vivid line from a century ago to right now. This year’s series focuses on the great female stars of early cinema: Marion Davies—unfairly maligned by Citizen Kane—in The Patsy (April 2), Pola Negri in A Woman of the World (April 9), Gloria Swanson in Stage Struck (April 16), Mary Pickford in Little Annie Rooney (April 23), and Colleen Moore in Ella Cinders (April 30). SEAN NELSON
APRIL 2-19FOOD & DRINK
10. Seattle Restaurant Week
Frugal gourmands everywhere rejoice over this twice-yearly event, which lets diners tuck into prix-fixe menus at more than 165 different restaurants hoping to lure new customers with singularly slashed prices: Three courses cost a mere $33, and many restaurants also offer two-course lunches for $22. It’s an excellent opportunity to feast like a high roller at an accessible price point and cross off some otherwise spendy establishments on your food bucket list, including critically acclaimed restaurants like Tilth, Agrodolce, and Lark. JULIANNE BELL
11. Showgirls with David Schmader
Is Paul Verhoeven’s dreadfully acted 1995 take on the American dream, or at least the casino strip revue version of it, a stealth masterpiece? Hilarious Stranger alum David Schmader will make the case that this tale of boobs, butts, unsubtle lesbian homoeroticism, weird dance-moans, and Kyle MacLachlan’s terrible hair has more than meets your bugged-out eyeballs. THRUST IT!
12. The Darkness, Diarrhea Planet
Best known for their early '00s chart-topping hit "I Believe in A Thing Called Love," glam rock group the Darkness will share their infectious energy on their Tour De Prance with guest Diarrhea Planet.
13. Omara Portuondo
Eighty-seven-year-old Omara Portuondo is one of the five surviving members—and the only original vocalist—of the world-famous Cuban ensemble Buena Vista Social Club. As a mellifluous singer and dancer of melded Spanish genres such as son cubano and bolero music, Portuondo rose to prominence with the troupe in the late 1990s after their self-titled debut and then sunsetted the legendary act with the other original members in 2015 on their final tour. Now the window to see any of the original members is slowly closing—this is an opportunity you’re not going to want to sleep on. ZACH FRIMMEL
HAIM is the trio of Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim, or the coolest set of sisters in music right now. Fresh off of the release of their second record, Something to Tell You, HAIM are masters of rhythm and seamlessly intertwining many genres. What other band gets personal advice from Stevie Nicks, has an A$AP Ferg feature on one of their tracks, and opens for Taylor Swift? ANNA KAPLAN
At the Showbox, the hook-laden British dance-pop duo Jungle will bless their dedicated fan base with more exotic-hypnotic soul than this city is used to. The smooth and lean athleticism of their enjoyable 2014 eponymous debut combines Massive Attack’s warped perceptions, D’Angelo’s seduction, and Hot Chip’s dance-floor charm to keep your heart full and legs limber to jogger-friendly tempos. The common thread is a retro-UK-groove that keeps the songs moving to motivational, ecstatic heights, while inlayed textures and stylistic treatments keep them interesting and moving forward. Catch the fever. TRAVIS RITTER
16. BlackLivesMatter March on Seattle
March in protest of the Trump administration's tax bill, racially charged police brutality, and inequality with BlackLivesMatter Seattle.
17. Todrick Hall: American
The dreamy young choreographer, singer, dancer, actor, and RuPaul’s Drag Race guest judge Todrick Hall is swinging back through town with an all-new production of singing and dancing. As you know if you’ve seen the documentary about his life, Behind the Curtain, Hall grew up in Texas and had the good fortune to have a mother who drove him an hour and a half each way to dance classes. As an adult, he got to star in Kinky Boots on Broadway. And did I mention he’s pals with RuPaul? CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
18. The Trailer Park Boys
A F#cked Up Evening With the Trailer Park Boys, rescheduled from Christmastime because of the passing of John Dunsworth, will at last arrive in Seattle. Check out their bombastic comedy in person.
19. Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii 21st Annual Seattle Luncheon
Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie will be the special musical guest for Planned Parenthood's annual fundraising luncheon. There are a limited number of Young Professional tickets for those 25 and under at $50.
20. Kate Nash, Miya Folick
If I got a chance to talk to Kate at her show, I would tell her about the time the song “Foundations” wedged itself in my subconscious for weeks and I became unbearable to be around. “You said I must eat so many le-mons, cause I am so bit-tah!” I sang to myself in a weird cockney accent on the bus and in the shower, and I’m pretty sure the song played a minor role in a dream subplot. Kate doesn’t just write catchy songs about failing relationships, though. “I use mouthwash/sometimes I floss/I have a family/And I drink cups of tea,” she sings on a song entitled “Mouthwash.” I forgive her. I have no idea what Kate will sound like in concert, but if she sounds even half as good as she does on her CD, it’ll be worth it to you to check her out. STEVEN BLUM
APRIL 5-8GEEK & GAMING
21. Magic the Gathering Grand Prix Seattle
Magic the Gathering players will gather to compete for impressive prizes at this event celebrating the 25th birthday of the popular trading card game. The Grand Prix will mostly appeal to MTG players, for whom the main events will be standard and legacy tournaments, in addition to dozens of side events, ranging from Modern to Commander to Sealed Two-Headed Giant. But it's open to anyone, and will also feature exhibitions featuring MTG card art and vendors selling merch.
22. Michael Spafford: Epic Prints
Three Seattle galleries—Davidson, Woodside/Braseth, and Greg Kucera—are displaying works by the legendary Michael Spafford, whose flat yet dynamic figurative works clash together with all the brutality of classical myth. The print Europa and the Bull #2 reduces the bodies of the bull and his victim into curved lines and blocks of black and white. Chimera and Bellerophon uses a diptych structure with a cut-out attachment to render the goat-lion-snake beast of legend, ingeniously mimicking its hybrid nature with disparate colors and materials. Perhaps the most impressive paintings are Coatlicue #1 and #2, the Aztec mother of the gods, depicted as four or six severed hands ensnared in a whorl of intestine-like snakes. Alongside the exhibition, University of Washington Press (Spafford is a professor emeritus at UW) will be selling a monograph on this important Northwest artist, and you can attend its release on April 6 at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery. JOULE ZELMAN
23. A Quiet Place Opening
Who knew affable John Krasinski had it in him to direct a shocker? The Office star and Emily Blunt play a couple with young children who must live in absolute silence for fear of hidden monsters that hunt by sound.
24. Devin the Dude, King Leez, DJ Indica Jones
There’s a strain of melancholy, Southern rap that bangs bluesily, utilizing chicken-scratch guitars, deep-fried organs, and sumptuous horns to tell bleary-eyed street tales and revel in sun-baked nostalgia. Think UGK’s first few albums, or the work of production team Organized Noize. It’s a lush, humid sound, and Houston’s Devin the Dude has pretty much perfected it over a decades-long career in the game. His sleepy drawl and penchant for hilariously kush-addled observations have afforded him a cult fan base many up-and-coming rappers would kill for, and his remarkable streak of good-to-great releases (from 2002’s Just Tryin’ Ta Live to his latest, One for the Road) suggest a quality control that may surprise you, given his nonchalance and chilled demeanor on record. I’d be remiss if I didn’t single out for special mention his track “Doobie Ashtray,” the most heartbreaking ballad about friends stealing your weed ever released. KYLE FLECK
APRIL 6 & 8PERFORMANCE
25. 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.
26. Kiss Me, Kate
The 5th is producing the Cole Porter classic as part of the city-wide Seattle Celebrates Shakespeare festival, with opulent sets and costumes from the critically acclaimed production by the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
APRIL 7FOOD & DRINK
27. Fourth Annual Masonry Farmhouse Beer Festival
The Fremont wood-oven pizzeria is throwing a "celebration of all things mixed fermentation," with food, drink, and tasting glass included. Proceeds benefit KEXP.
29. Keith Sweat
Anyone who had sex in the '90s owes their good fortune to the slick R&B of easy listening (and platinum-selling) legend Keith Sweat.
30. Jinkx Monsoon & Major Scales: 'The Ginger Snapped'
If you haven’t heard Jinkx Monsoon’s new album—which she produced with funds raised from fans online—get out your phone, open up Spotify, and listen to The Ginger Snapped. It features vocal performances by Amanda Palmer, Fred Schneider (of the B-52's), and Lady Rizo. “Cartoons and Vodka” is the first single off the album, but I have a soft spot for “Just Me (The Gender Binary Blues).” It deals directly with the artist recently coming out as trans. Oh yeah, and don’t skip “Friends.” I’ve had that chorus stuck in my head for six weeks straight. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
31. Sarah Vowell and Michael Giacchino: The Old and the Dead
The best-selling author and NPR star Sarah Vowell is anachronistic. She’s much happier with her nose in a dusty volume of history than she is doing almost anything else, and she turns all that reading of old books into funny new books. “That's the service I provide,” she said dryly at her last Seattle reading. But she’s also one of the voices in The Incredibles, and the owner of a television, and a big fan of Star Wars. At this event, “a unique conversation about pop culture and history,” she will be joined by the composer Michael Giacchino, who wrote the score to The Incredibles and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
32. 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.
33. Daffodil Festival
Pierce County is fertile ground for the yellow perennial flowers, who have had their own festival in the area since 1934. The highlight of the event is its grand parade, where the festival's royal court (made up of 23 "princesses" from Pierce County high schools) sail down the street on daffodil-covered floats.
34. Randy Rainbow
YouTube phenom Randy Rainbow is the master of the catty sick burn—which comes off especially blistering when his wit's aimed at the flaming hypocrites in the Trump administration. Rainbow's MO is to simulate interviews with major political figures, cleverly twisting their sincere responses into fodder for his own nasty retorts, while weaving in pertinent footage from news outlets and breaking into hilarious, parodistic song. Rainbow is punching up—way up—and his deserving targets are left looking even lousier than they already are, which is a major feat. Watch him convert “Danke Schoen” into “DACA Shame” for quality rueful chuckles. In addition to his solo show on April 28, he'll also headline the Not in Our Town concerts on April 7 & 8. DAVE SEGAL
35. Bilal, Bells Atlas, DJ SolidSound
Singer, songwriter, producer, and musician Bilal is known for his work with Kendrick Lamar (“These Walls” off To Pimp a Butterfly won them a Grammy for best rap/sung collaboration), Erykah Badu, Robert Glasper, the Roots (“It Ain’t Fair” from the Detroit film soundtrack, most recently), and Common. But Bilal’s solo catalog is deserving of its own accolades, and he most recently united with Adrian Younge on the perfectly wrought 2015 LP In Another Life, the multi-instrumental producer bringing psychedelic soul and Morricone-esque drama to Bilal’s fine mix of R&B, jazz, funk, hiphop, and regular ol’ soul. Bilal’s vocals are a creamy caress that hit falsetto notes and evoke the greats—Prince, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield—all while maintaining his own singular sensuality. LEILANI POLK
36. An Evening with Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley
Amanda Palmer, the cabaret punk star who is also known for writing bad poetry about the Boston Marathon bombings, will perform a night of new music, with support from Jason Webley.
37. An Evening with Anne Lamott
Anne Lamott's friendly, nonjudgmental, and vague brand of Christianity (as encountered in her latest book Hallelujah Anyway; Rediscovering Mercy) irritates many critics even as they praise her linguistic facility and approachability. But she wrote Bird by Bird, an indisputably great book, and she is funny as hell on stage. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
38. Emerald City Ride
Whether you choose the three-mile or 12-mile course around the Viaduct, you'll take in some pretty stellar views on this bicycle race. It's also your last chance to bike the SR 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct (car-free) before it's demolished.
THROUGH APRIL 8FOOD & DRINK
39. Plate of Nations
Every year, Plate of Nations presents a two-week-long opportunity to avail ourselves of the rich and varied cuisines of Rainier Valley, with shareable plates priced at $20 and $30. This year, 14 restaurants are participating, with Mexican, Chinese, Peruvian, Mediterranean, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Vietnamese, and more represented in the mix. Highlights include Szechuan food from the newly opened Little Chengdu, smoky Peruvian charcoal-roasted rotisserie chicken from Big Chickie, inimitable tacos from Tacos Chukis, and authentic Ethiopian food from Cafe Ibex. Angela Garbes once wrote about this event: "If you’ve never been to Cafe Ibex... you’re missing out on some of the best food in town. South Seattle is where it’s at. Catch up." JULIANNE BELL
40. The Maltese Falcon
Book-It Repertory Theatre and Cafe Nordo will collaborate on a stage version of the lush and gritty noir classic The Maltese Falcon, adapted by Jane Jones and Kevin McKeon. As private dick Sam Spade seeks the priceless jewel-encrusted falcon for some sketchy clients, you'll tuck into Nordo's special themed menu.
41. 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 15 years in Seattle, a testament to the popularity of cabaret-style entertainment in town. Variété is the main, recurring event, with a rotating lineup, and there are also matinée and rather racier late night versions. The bawdy Libertease Cabaret is for adults only and features burlesque and scantily-clothed aerial acts. There are also workshops, talks, and special opening and closing nights. If you love circus acrobatics, clowning, comedy, and/or sexy dance, you owe it to yourself to go.
APRIL 8-10READINGS & TALKS
42. National Geographic Live — Standing at the Water's Edge
Cristina Mittermeier's photographic work testifies to "the power of water" in its nourishing and cataclysmic forms. According to press materials, she's dwelled with the Kayapó people in the Amazon as they've faced down a dam that could ruin their way of life, covered First Nations' water struggles in Canada, and met Hawaiian indigenous communities reviving their peoples' traditional relationship to the ocean. This National Geographic Live show will combine her images with an anti-greed, anti-waste message.
43. The Residents
If you're into weird music that eludes easy categorization and reveals labyrinths of audiovisual surrealism, you need to see the Residents at least once in your life. (Those are the rules; I don't make ’em, I just report ’em.) They don't wear eyeball masks and top hats onstage anymore, but the Residents still mutate popular and avant-garde musical forms into bizarrely beautiful and emotionally resonant set pieces that lift you out of your mundane worries. While it would be cool to hear a whole set of Third Reich 'n Roll–style desecrations of the pop-rock canon, it’s likely the Residents have something more complicated planned for this concert. Nearly 50 years into their career, they remain as unpredictable as ever. DAVE SEGAL
44. Cecile Richards: Make Trouble
Cecile Richards presided over Planned Parenthood through years of attacks by right-wing nuts in and out of Congress. The former executive director of the beleaguered reproductive health organization will present her newest book on standing up to misogyny and hate, Make Trouble.
45. Camila Cabello
Burgeoning pop star Camila Cabello has fully divorced herself from Fifth Harmony and struck out on her own with a widely acclaimed new solo album, which she will shill on this tour stop.
46. KYGO, Alan Walker
EDM artist KYGO, or Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll, is a bedroom producer who made good, hitting 1 billion streams on Spotify faster than any other artist in late 2015. He'll be joined by Alan Walker on his Kids in Love tour.
47. Leslie Jamison with Claire Dederer: The Recovering
A young, talented nonfiction writer best known for her book The Empathy Exams, Leslie Jamison has just published a new book called The Recovering, which “turns our understanding of the traditional addiction narrative on its head, demonstrating that the story of recovery can be every bit as electrifying as the train wreck itself,” according to publicity materials. She will be in conversation with Love and Trouble author Claire Dederer, who also has a knack for turning traditional narratives on their head. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
48. Branford Marsalis Quartet
The great saxophonist Branford Marsalis, who is a member of jazz's royal family (the Marsalises—Ellis, Wynton, Delfeayo), is famous for participating in Sting's only decent solo album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles, leading the band on Jay Leno's show in the mid-'90s, and working with DJ Premier on jazz/hiphop collaboration Buckshot LeFonque. He is less well known for the ribbons upon ribbons of beauty extracted from Igor Stravinsky's "Pastorale"—a piece on the album Romance for Saxophone. Branford Marsalis is also known for upsetting his more famous brother Wynton. Branford loves popular culture; Wynton hates it. CHARLES MUDEDE
49. Jaden Smith
It can't be easy to follow in the footsteps of the Fresh Prince, but Jaden Smith seems to be doing all right for himself. See the actor/model/musician grace the stage, joined by additional guests.
50. Samantha Irby with Lindy West: Meaty
Of Samantha Irby, who blogs under the title bitches gotta eat, Stranger alum and current New York Times columnist Lindy West has written: "Samantha Irby is my favorite living writer... Actually, I’ll throw in the dead ones too. Screw you, Herman Melville." West will lead a discussion with Irby on the occasion of Irby's second book, Meaty, a treasure of musings about "chin hairs, depression, bad sex, failed relationships, masturbation, taco feasts, inflammatory bowel disease and more."
51. Sean Penn: Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff
I guess the question is: Do you want it to be the case that Sean Penn’s first novel is good, or at least interesting, or do you want it to be folly? Either way, his literary debut, entitled Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff (Atria)—“a scorching, darkly funny novel about Bob Honey, a modern American man, entrepreneur, and part-time assassin”—is now available. Penn is tricky. On the one hand, he is indisputably one of the finest screen actors of this or any other lifetime. On the other, he’s the kind of conspicuous liberal activist celebrity who makes even devout liberals flinch. Plus the awful things we believe we know about his personal life and behavior. And, of course, the whole thing about actors writing fiction. But then again, one would like to believe that the truly breathtaking mastery of one art form could conceivably translate to some kind of noteworthy dalliance with another. SEAN NELSON
52. Hannibal Buress
As famous for his acting credits for Broad City, The Eric Andre Show, Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, Daddy's Home, and other funny films and television shows as he is for accusing fellow comedian/actor Bill Cosby of rape, Buress is a masterly storyteller whose anecdotes keep accruing layers of hilarity as they go. His topics typically revolve around life in urban environments and dating, and he has refreshingly blunt and cranky takes on human foibles. Buress also tackles existential issues like trying to “figure out how many strangers I have to have empty sex with before I propose to my ex-girlfriend. And the numbers are mounting irresponsibly.” DAVE SEGAL
APRIL 12READINGS & TALKS
53. Laverne Cox
Since shining so brightly as Sophia Burset in Orange Is the New Black, (and since scooping up an Emmy for producing The T Word, and since doing such a good job on CBS's legal drama, Doubt) Laverne Cox has been using her humor, her warmth, and her intelligence to pave and widen the path for other trans artists to follow. She's also been using all those talents to advocate for trans rights. Her lecture, "Ain't I a Woman," which borrows its title from Sojourner Truth's classic speech, very much serves that end. You can catch a clip of her performance on YouTube: "It is my belief that one of the biggest obstacles facing the transgender community are...points of view that suggest no matter what I'll do I'll never be a woman," she says, as she takes a moment to flip her hair. "And yet...ain't I a woman?" This is going to be good. RICH SMITH
54. ByDesign Film Festival
One of the richest institutional collaborations in this city is that between the ByDesign Festival and Northwest Film Forum. Here, two arts that are very similar, film and architecture (both are capital intensive), meet in the theater. This year, the festival’s key and must-see documentary is Dream Empire. It concerns a company that employs actors to transform “remote Chinese ghost towns into temporary international booming cities.” Why? To trick “visitors into buying overpriced property.” This is the sad story of our world, which is sloshing with surplus capital that has nowhere to go. CHARLES MUDEDE
55. Kenny G
Although fate was obviously kinder to one of us, Kenny G and I had the same saxophone teacher. John P. Jessen, aka Johnny Jessen, taught sax out of the Sixth and Pine building downtown for ages. Kenny G used to play two saxophones at once, back at Franklin High School. And his early records were funk. Maybe not great funk, but funk. And we used to say, “Hey, local kid makes good.” I am not at all sure about his bossa-nova album. I am not at all sure about anything of Kenny G’s after 1989. But I sure do miss Johnny Jessen. ANDREW HAMLIN
56. Patti & The Kid
Described in the promotional materials as a dystopian "Western with Nerf guns," Frank Boyd and Libby King's Patti & The Kid follows two outlaws as they hide out from the Feds of the future in a vast desert. Along with Brooklyn-based theater company TEAM, King "has helped create and internationally tour four award-winning published plays: RoosevElvis, Mission Drift, Architecting, and Particularly in the Heartland." Boyd was the best part of WET's production of Young Jean Lee's Straight White Men, and his last show at On the Boards, The Holler Sessions, was favorably previewed by The Stranger and praised in the Seattle Times. This one should be good, too. RICH SMITH
57. Lean on Pete Opening
At first glance, this film by Weekend and 45 Years director Andrew Haigh looks like it might simply be a story of inexpressive white males brooding meaningfully in the rural Pacific NW. In reality, however, it’s one of the most surprising and affecting stories about the isolation, agony, and resiliency of youth since The 400 Blows. Based on a novel by Portland musician/writer Willy Vlautin, the story is about the travails of a kid named Ray who lives on the edge of poverty with his unreliable dad. Circumstances lead him to a job with a low-rent racehorse owner (Steve Buscemi) and an unlikely friendship with the animal who gives the film its title. Together they see America in a way that threatens to swallow them whole. Please don’t miss this fantastically unlikely movie. SEAN NELSON
58. The Breeders
Welcome to today’s Breeders Chat. Did you know that Pod was originally conceived of as dance music? Can you rave till dawn on “Doe”? I know I can. Is the Last Splash–era lineup still on board now that the 20-year brouhaha has died down and new music approaches? Why did nobody get me LSXX for my birthday? Did you hear “Wait in the Car”? (Did it make you, like me, think of Juelz Santana saying, “Sit in the car”?) Doesn’t it sound like vintage, hard-charging Breeds, Kim jolting us awake with a “Good morning” that’s more wood-chipper than chipper? Aren’t they just your favorite 1990s survivors? Why are you walking away from me? LARRY MIZELL JR.
59. Lidia Bastianich
Chef, TV host, and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich will share the story of her childhood on the Adriatic Sea, her perilous immigration from Yugoslavia to New Jersey, and her career in My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food.
60. The Fourth Annual Seattle Boylesque Festival
Boylesque is burlesque that has a lot more "boy" in it. Think Chippendales, if Chippendales were queer and the men put sparkly tassels on their butts and occasionally looked hyper-femme. (So, really, it's nothing like Chippendales. Thank God.) Strappy lingerie, gender-bending, sequined crotch pieces, kicks, wieners, flips, and twerking all appear to be promised. The thing features more than 30 performers from across the country, and it tends to sell out, so nab your tickets ASAP if you're looking for extra-creative ways to pull slutty socks off your body parts. CHASE BURNS
In this 24-hour outdoor adventure race, teams of two to six earn points by submitting challenges (which range from watching a sunrise to mailing a postcard to a senator to catching a fish) to the Questival app. When it's over, prizes will be awarded to the top teams.
APRIL 13-15READINGS & TALKS
62. 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.
APRIL 13-AUG 19ART
64. 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 exhibition features those, along with other prints and media by the artist.
65. 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.
66. 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.
67. Robin Thicke
Everybody's Divorced Dad™ Robin Thicke will share an evening of his mid '00s neo-R&B and "urban contemporary" pop hits.
68. March for Science
Advocate for science and evidence-based policy and demand change in our government at this second annual march.
69. Tax Rally 2018: Invest In All Of Us
Fight back against Trump's tax plan (wherein "working families pay up to 17 percent of their income in state and local taxes while the wealthy pay less than three percent") by rallying for reform.
70. Seattle Jewish Film Festival
This annual film festival explores and celebrates global Jewish and Israeli life, history, complexity, culture, and filmmaking. It showcases international, independent, and award-winning Jewish-themed and Israeli cinema, and the audience votes on their favorites. The 2018 theme is "isREEL Life" in celebration of Israel's 70th anniversary. Most of the films are shown in March; in April, the fest migrates to the Eastside, where will be an opening night party featuring the documentary Shalom Bollywood about Jewish Indian performers.
APRIL 14-29SPORTS & RECREATION
71. Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
The Clipper Race gives 11 non-professional sailing teams the opportunity to circumnavigate the globe by way of its seven seas, stopping in various ports along the way. Since Seattle is part of the globe, you can witness some of the fleet's milestones from the shore on the West Coast leg of their tour.
72. Kathleen Battle
Back in 1992, Kathleen Battle, the soprano with a voice that’s unbelievably beautiful, released an album with the jazz giant Wynton Marsalis titled Baroque Duet. At this moment, both musicians were at their peak. Kathleen Battle was a black diva dominating the white world of opera, and Marsalis a black trumpeter leading both black African classical music, jazz, and European classical music, simply called classical. Tonight, Battle performs with another jazz musician, Joel A. Martin, who brings both forms of music together (he calls the combination "jazzical"). The event will feature spirituals and the heroes of the underground railroad. CHARLES MUDEDE
73. Lindy West: The Witches Are Coming
The author, Stranger alum, and New York Times columnist Lindy West is giving a humorous slideshow called “The Witches Are Coming.” I hope it has something to do with her October 2017 column “Yes, This Is a Witch Hunt. I’m a Witch and I’m Hunting You.” Representative passage: “Setting aside the gendered power differential inherent in real historical witch hunts (pretty sure it wasn’t all the rape victims in Salem getting together to burn the mayor), and the pathetic gall of men feeling hunted after millenniums of treating women like prey, I will let you guys have this one. Sure, if you insist, it’s a witch hunt." CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
THROUGH APRIL 15PERFORMANCE
This play, spanning two decades, dramatizes the working-class struggle for safety through the story of a Polish immigrant woman. The playwright, Polish-born, New Jersey-raised Martyna Majok, seeks to provide an alternative to caricatures of poor people in pop culture. Ironbound won the Charles McArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play or Musical in 2015.
75. The Merchant of Venice
This is the year where Stranger Genius Award-winning actor Amy Thone plays all the challenging lead male roles in town, and we should all rejoice. Her performance of Nixon in Strawshop's Frost/Nixon made it impossible for anyone in the audience to dismiss the president's crimes as an unfortunate side effect of male ambition. I have a hunch that her performance of Shylock in Seattle Shakespeare's production of Merchant of Venice, the classic/infamous comedy about a merciless Jewish merchant who demands her pound of flesh, will resonate with the conversations swirling around the #MeToo movement. Desdemona Chiang will direct. RICH SMITH
APRIL 16READINGS & TALKS
76. Dr. John Cooper Clarke
If you’re a devotee of the accent that emerges from the Northern English city of Manchester (familiar to fans of Mike Leigh films—especially Naked—or the songs and interviews of the Fall, the Smiths, or the brothers Gallagher, among others), you’re probably aware that the dialect exists in its purest and most glorious form in the mouth of Clarke, whose hilarious and cutting poetry was part of the original UK punk and post-punk landscape that forged all your favorite bands. Unlike many of those bands, whose value may be more historical and iconographic than artistic, Clarke’s work is as thrilling, funny, smart, and airtight as it ever was. His best works—“Beasley Street,” “Evidently Chickentown,” “Twat,” “I Married a Monster from Outer Space,” etc.—communicate as much anger, outrage, disdain, and social comment as any Sex Pistols or Clash song without leaning on noise. The violence lies in his adherence to form, and the sardonic sneer of his ingenious delivery. The 69-year-old honorary doctor doesn’t make it to America very often, and who knows whether there will even be a future, so if you make room for just one event in this whole calendar, make it this one. SEAN NELSON
APRIL 17RESISTANCE & SOLIDARITY
77. We The People: An Evening with the ACLU's Anthony Romero
Longtime executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union Anthony Romero will host this talk on fighting the Trump administration to protect individuals' freedom and equality. There will also be opportunities for you to find out how to support ACLU causes.
78. Earth, Tiny Vipers
The methodical evolution of Earth (the band, not the planet) has been richly rewarding. After inventing ambient metal with 1993's Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version, Earth leader Dylan Carlson veered off the doom-dirge path into more conventional hard-rocking territory—including a Hendrix cover—before a nine-year hiatus resulted in a radical shift to a more spacious, desert-bluesy sound. (The addition of Stranger Genius Lori Goldston's cello filled out and classed up the low end.) Albums like Hex, The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull, and the two editions of Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light still moved at Earth's trademark glacial pace, but the guitar attack became much more aerated, the chords hanging in the dusty air and decaying with fraught poignancy; think Ry Cooder's Paris, Texas soundtrack, but with graver, more forlorn atmospheres. Get ready to ponder, y'all! DAVE SEGAL
79. Jean-Michel Jarré
Jean-Michel Jarré isn't simply a producer. For years, he has honed a massive LED and laser-based stage show called the Electronica World Tour, which he will now bring to Seattle for an evening of complete over-stimulation.
80. Mad Clown & San E, Hostboi, Yung Futon
Expanding past South Korea, Mad Clown and San E, two of K-Pop's biggest stars, will show off their bombastic styles on their We Want You Tour of 2018, with additional guests Hostboi and Yung Futon.
81. The Lalas
The Lalas of LA, seen in Justin Timberlake videos and at the Emmys, promise a sexy, interactive, comedic show.
82. 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.
83. Debussy's La Mer
Hearing Claude Debussy's "La Mer (The Sea)" in concert is like watching the original Star Wars trilogy at Cinerama with a giant tub of popcorn: It's a thrilling experience you need to have in order to feel the full force of the art. The piece is massive and fantastic in the Tolkienian sense of the word: It sounds like you're on a galleon sailing into the mountains to face the One Demon for control over your own mind. Russian phenom Daniil Trifonov will guide you through this intense dreamscape on the piano. Though he's young (24!), you'll be in good hands. RICH SMITH
No performance on April 20
World Lit Zine editor Jekeva Phillips created this storytelling extravaganza, along with Theater Schmeater, in an attempt to breathe some life into boring old book fests. Instead of just having people read their carefully arranged fantasies in close proximity to wine and cheese, she's pairing improv actors with regional writers to bring literary works to life. There will be games! Prizes! Special guests! Improvised plays inspired by poems! Dramatic interpretations of real-life stories told by audience members! Other things to get exclamatory about include your excellent headliners, poet Quenton Baker and Hugo House prose writer in residence Sonora Jha, as well as the Bibliophilia Pub Crawl in Belltown, which starts the week before on April 12th. Participating bars have mixed up new cocktails inspired by literature, and the proceeds will be used to pay the performers. RICH SMITH
85. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
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.
86. Spring Fair
Welcome springtime by riding rollercoasters, playing carnival games, watching piglet races, taking in free music and comedy shows, seeing monster trucks in Motorsport Mayhem races, checking out garden displays, and more. There's also a "Fun on the Farm" area where kids can pet baby animals and learn about agriculture.
87. Langston Hughes African American Film Festival
I have yet to attend a Langston Hughes African American Film Festival that doesn’t have an important black-directed or black-themed film that’s somehow been missed by the wider film community or is unavailable in any format—web, disk, cable, theater. In fact, without this festival, I would not have seen one of the most important documentaries of this decade, The Stuart Hall Project by John Akomfrah. I have only seen it once, and that was during the Langston Hughes Film Festival of 2014. There is also the three-hour biopic of the Haitian revolutionary Toussiant Louverture, Toussiant Louverture. I have only seen it once, in 2015, and yet, it’s always on my mind. This festival has got it like that. CHARLES MUDEDE
88. Specialty Coffee Expo
This four-day expo will feature coffee skills training, workshops, lectures, and exhibits on all things java for those in the coffee industry and amateur coffee enthusiasts alike.
APRIL 19-MAY 6PERFORMANCE
89. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Book-It will stage a version of Junot Diaz's famed Pulitzer-winning novel about a "ghettonerd" Dominican boy growing up in gritty Paterson, New Jersey. Elvis Nolasco (American Crime) will star and Elise Thoron will direct.
APRIL 19-MAY 13PERFORMANCE
90. An Octoroon
This theater will continue its sharp reflections on race relations and history this season with An Octoroon, Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins's play set in the latter days of American slavery, in which a young man inherits a plantation and falls in love with the titular "octoroon"—a woman with one-eighth black heritage. Will their relationship survive the machinations of a cruel overseer?
91. You Were Never Really Here Opening
Joaquin Phoenix's dazed masculinity is put to the service of Lynne Ramsay's adaptation of a novel by Jonathan Ames, about a veteran detective who tracks missing girls and begins enmeshed in a conspiracy. Ramsay directed We Need to Talk About Kevin, and by all accounts, her collaboration with Phoenix is just as harrowing a portrait of the peculiarly American appetite for violence.
92. Taylor Mac: A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (Abridged)
The thought of having to spend more than an hour and a half in a theater gives the average American restless leg syndrome (I think that's a fact). But if there's anyone who can make a person overcome theaterphobia, it's Taylor Mac. The playwright, performer, (MacArthur grant-winning) genius, and luminary of early-21st-century American theater brings a sliver (read: only a couple hours) of their TWENTY-FOUR HOUR "A 24-Decade History of Popular Music" to Seattle, with an evening that's focused on the years 1956 to 1986. You should go because there's nothing like it and opportunities to see pieces of this historic production are very rare. CHASE BURNS
Drummer of the deathless Roots, Questlove, will introduce his newest book, Creative Quest, his first since the James Beard Award-winning somethingtofoodabout, at this Seattle Arts & Lectures reading.
94. Sloane Crosley: Look Alive Out There
Sloane Crosley, author of the very popular and funny self-revealing essay collections I Was Told There'd Be Cake (a Thurber Award finalist) and How Did You Get This Number, has written another shrewd book about quotidian yet bizarre encounters in her home of Manhattan, with characters like "a feral teenage neighbor" and "the British grifter who is holding her digital identity hostage."
Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the stoner holiday in Seattle—including Wiz Khalifa, Kylie Minogue's Acid Playhouse, Puget Soundtrack: A Scanner Darkly, Jay and Silent Bob Get Old, An Evening with Kevin Smith, and the Up in Smoke 40th Anniversary.
APRIL 20-22GEEK & GAMING
96. Call of Duty World League
Seattle will host this year's Call of Duty World League, where championship gaming teams will duke it out for $200,000 and 25,000 CWL Pro Points.
APRIL 20-MAY 13PERFORMANCE
97. The Wolves
Ben Brantley at the New York Times says Sarah DeLappe's debut play, The Wolves, is like a Robert Altman movie about a suburban girls' indoor soccer team except in play form, and that's all I really need to hear to buy a ticket. In case you need more: Freehold Theater Lab's Christine Marie Brown will play the role of a soccer mom charged with wrangling up the likes of nine excellent up-and-coming actors. Those include Meme García, an excellent character actor and theater artist who's recently returned to the PNW after polishing up her classical chops at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and Rachel Guyer-Mafune, whose pluck and charm brightened Book-It's production of Howl's Moving Castle and WET's Teh Internet Is Serious Business. Sheila Daniels directs. RICH SMITH
APRIL 20-SEPT 30ART
98. National Geographic Photo Ark
While you're visiting real live zoo animals, take a look at National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore's animal portraits for NatGeo's Photo Ark, which seeks to document every animal species in captivity.
99. Henry Gala & Dance Party
Celebrate the Henry's exhibitions with cocktails, dinner, and a short program. After that, dance the night away (until the clock strikes 12).
100. Marvel: Universe of Superheroes Opening
According to comics sales tracker Comichron, Marvel—now a property of Disney—accounts for nearly 40 percent of the market. This cultural behemoth will be MoPOP's latest geek culture blockbuster, with art, props, and costumes from the Marvel comics and film universe, including hallmarks like Captain America, The Avengers, and Jessica Jones, plus recent juggernauts like Black Panther. Your favorite superheroes have morphed over the years, and one of the most interesting aspects of the exhibition is the chance to discover their generational permutations. The organizers also promise a look into how these mass-culture objects of obsession relate to "real-world issues like gender, race, and mental illness." But there will be simpler pleasures on offer too, like "immersive set pieces" depicting classic comicscapes and ambient musical scores by Lorne Balfe and Hans Zimmer. JOULE ZELMAN
101. Drone Cinema Film Festival
Ambient music producer and past David Lynch collaborator Kim Cascone runs this festival combining experimental, non-narrative film, video, and animation with drone music. This year, it will be produced in the Netherlands and Seattle, with live music by Khem One. The theme is "LUNAR/SILVER," so expect some trippy moon-gazing.
102. Hama Hama Oyster Rama
If you've ever tried a Hama Hama oyster, you know they're unlike any other oyster out there. At this event, you can visit their farm and learn all about how their oysters are raised, with tours with intertidal ecologists and oyster growers, U-pick oysters and clams, a "Shuckathlon" competition, activities for kids, a beer and wine garden, live music, and lots of food.
103. Kelsea Ballerini, Walker Hayes
Singer-songwriter Kelsea Ballerini was crowned "Country's Next Queen" by Billboard. She'll be joined by Walker Hayes on her Unapologetically Tour.
104. Pink Martini
I will always love Pink Martini for its exceptionally beautiful cover of the “Song of the Black Lizard,” the lead track for the campy late-'60s Japanese film Black Lizard. If you have not heard of the band, which was founded in Portland, Oregon, by the pianist Thomas Lauderdale in the mid-'90s, I recommend you enter its world by this door—this sensuous tune. Pink Martini’s world is trashy, elegant, erotic, and filled with those feelings that can only be suggested by things like the traces of lipstick on a wine glass, the final smoke rising from a extinguished cigarette, a rain-distorted face of someone in the back of a cab that’s passing you at night. CHARLES MUDEDE
105. Record Store Day 2018
Record Store Day is a scourge to most small indie labels. For several months, major labels clog the vinyl pressing plants with their massive orders for records that commonly can be found used for under $10, thus delaying schedules for less powerful companies doing smaller runs. Mix in crass music-biz opportunism and consumers who care nothing about the releases except for their resale value, and you have a shitshow that seems to worsen every year. You know the drill. However! A small percentage of RSD releases are actually worth hearing, as best as we can gauge (we'll get to those soon) and the frenzied, extravagant shopping obviously boosts the financial health of brick-and-mortar stores. That is no small thing. RSD may be a "one step forward, two steps backward" affair, but it doesn't look like it's going to hit the run-off groove in the foreseeable future. Let's try to make the best of the situation, shall we? DAVE SEGAL
106. Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra: Ellington's Such Sweet Thunder
Celebrated jazz icon Duke Ellington made it no secret his affinity for the Bard, composing and dedicating his "Such Sweet Thunder Suite" to Shakespeare as a tribute. This special collection of works, along with sonnets that inspired Ellington, will be brought to life again by Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra and a team of local thespians.
107. Snoop Dogg, Migos, Wiz Khalifa
Billed as the country’s largest 4/20 cannabis celebration, the “Wellness Retreat Tour” was put together by the longtime smoke-hazed king of ganja love himself, Snoop Dogg, who made headlines last year (and an enemy of Prez Trump) with his parody video for hit single “Lavender.” The stealthy collab with Badbadnotgood comments on police brutality and features Snoop shooting a Trumped-up clown with a gag gun. He’s joined by other hiphop artists of the green-friendly persuasion, among them Georgia trio Migos and Wiz Khalifa. LEILANI POLK
108. Wyclef Jean, Culture Crew, Moira Mack, Hannah Eggen
Ex-Fugees member, ex-Lauryn Hill boyfriend, and ex-Haitian presidential hopeful Wyclef Jean will showcase his primary talent (creating excellent hiphop) with guests Culture Crew, Moira Mack, and Hannah Eggen.
APRIL 21-AUG 5ART
109. Jono Vaughan
The winner of the 2017 Betty Bowen award is Jono Vaughan, an artist who works in printmaking, textiles, painting, drawing, and performance. Vaughan's Project 42 raises awareness about the extreme violence that transgender people face in the United States. Each work in the series begins with an image of a murder location, translated into a textile print which is used to create a garment. The garment is then worn by a collaborator in a performance, as a way to forge memories, create connections, and transmute violence into conversation and healing. EMILY POTHAST
APRIL 22EARTH DAY
110. Earth Day
This global observance is an opportunity for Earth-dwellers to engage in political and civic action for the protection of our planet by marching, signing petitions, meeting with elected officials, planting trees, and cleaning up streets. Find Seattle Earth Day events here, including National Park Week (April 21–29), the Wild & Scenic Film Festival (April 18), the Magnuson Park Earth Day Run (April 21), and A Spring Foraged Dinner with Langdon Cook (April 22).
Billing itself as "the most talked-about culinary tour in the country," Cochon555 is a swine-centric competition built around creating awareness of heritage breed pigs and supporting family farmers. A week before the event, five local chefs will be paired up with their very own heritage-breed hogs, each of which is sustainably sourced from family farms and weigh in at more than 200 pounds, to create six or fewer dishes to be judged. This year’s contenders include Mitch Mayers of Lark, Andrew Whiteside of the Georgian, Jeremy Arnold of Hitchcock, Bobby Moore of Barking Frog, and Derek Simcik of Scout PNW. The winner will be christened the reigning “Prince or Princess of Pork” and advance to the Grand Cochon competition in Chicago. Meanwhile, five barkeeps will participate in a battle royale of their own as they vie to craft the best punch bowl. JULIANNE BELL
112. James Comey: A Higher Loyalty
Not surprisingly, as soon as tickets were announced, they were snapped up. Everyone wants to hear from the man whose infamous letter may have scuppered Hillary Clinton's chances in the 2016 election, and who was fired in 2017 by Trump because, by the president's own admission, the administration hoped the Russia investigation would thereby let up.
113. Laurie Anderson
Avant-garde musician, filmmaker, and poet wizard Laurie Anderson will perform a reading with music and multimedia from her latest book, Things I Lost in the Flood, a book about words, existence, reality, projects, and other books. Like her other works—which include albums, films, VR installations, CD-ROMs, drawings, and more—this piece seems poignant and meditative, full of mysterious connections.
114. Dina Martina: Cream of the Drawer
Here's how Stranger critics have described Dina Martina in the past: "Seattle's most gifted malapropist"; a "psycho-drag superstar"; a "walrus prostitute"; "a cut-rate Elizabeth Taylor impersonator who went skydiving but her parachute failed and she crash-landed into a Shoney's buffet"; and "a singer who cannot sing, a dancer who cannot dance, and a storyteller who seems to have situational brain damage." We've also given her creator, Grady West, a Genius Award. It's no insult to our colleagues to say that none of these descriptions quite encapsulate the Platonic essence of Dina. You'll have to see her for yourself—buy tickets quickly.
115. Bettye LaVette
Like Mavis Staples and the late Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley, Bettye LaVette proves that advanced age—she’s been in the music biz for 55 years—is no barrier to maintaining quality control in the vocal-performance department. Her Tina Turner-esque rasp serves as a vibrant conduit for soul and slow-burning passion. She has a penchant for covering classic-rock artists (Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, the Who), ingeniously rearranging these familiar tunes and imbuing them with a hard-won soulfulness. What LaVette does isn’t exactly jazz, but it is very classy and enjoyable, and her burnished voice should sound amazing at Benaroya Hall. DAVE SEGAL
116. Twin Shadow, Yuno
Dark pop and soul singer Twin Shadow will finally return to Seattle in support of his latest album Caer, the sister record to his 2010 debut album, Forget. He'll be joined by recent Sub Pop-signee Yuno.
117. Alexander Chee: How To Write an Autobiographical Novel
After two gorgeous, groundbreaking, award-winning novels—Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night—the novelist Alexander Chee has just published his first book of nonfiction, a collection of his gorgeous, groundbreaking essays. It is not, in fact, a how-to manual on writing autobiographical novels. “In these essays,” according to the publisher, “he grows from student to teacher, reader to writer, and reckons with his identities as a son, a gay man, a Korean American, an artist, an activist, a lover, and a friend." CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
APRIL 24FOOD & DRINK
118. An Evening with Nigella Lawson
British food writer and TV personality Nigella Lawson is world-renowned for making cooking seem delightfully glamorous, sensual, and effortless all at once in an aspirational sort of way, and the way she revels deeply in food will inspire you to do the same. Her new cookbook, At My Table, is a paean to the pleasures of home cooking, with an emphasis on warm, comforting dishes like chicken fricassee and sticky toffee pudding. At this event, she'll join Tom Douglas and his Seattle Kitchen radio show cohost Katie Okumura for a conversation about her new book. Plus, you’ll get to try wine and appetizers from the book and have your copy signed by the domestic goddess herself. JULIANNE BELL
119. Madeleine Albright
Former Secretary of State and UN ambassador Madeleine Albright, who fled the Nazi occupation of Prague as a child, will reveal insights from her timely book entitled Fascism: A Warning.
120. Daymé Arocena
Emerging Cuban star Daymé Arocena is a quintuple threat as a singer, composer, arranger, choir director, and band leader. She'll show off her charismatic presence with an evening of Afro-Cuban jazz and neo-soul.
APRIL 25READINGS & TALKS
121. Robert Gates
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates served under Presidents Bush and Obama and also directed the CIA. Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He belongs to another era. Hear him converse with associate UPS professor Benjamin Tromly.
APRIL 26FOOD & DRINK
122. Dining Out For Life 2018
For the 25th year, restaurants in Seattle will donate between 30 and 50 percent of their proceeds to Lifelong's programs that support people facing serious illness and poverty. Eat at Poppy, Mamnoon, Serafina, or any of the other participating restaurants today and help them feed even more than the 1,900 people they were able to provide groceries and meals to in 2017.
123. Seattle Black Panther Party 50th Anniversary
The Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party will mark its 50th anniversary with special speakers, forums, movies, and performances. Special guests will include Danny Glover; José (Cha-Cha) Jimenez, founder of the Puerto Rican Revolutionaries United with the Black Panther Party; former political prisoners Alfred Woodfox, Robert King, Sekou Dinga, and Mark Cook; local activist Jesse Hagopian, a teacher at Garfield High School; Kent Ford, organizer of the Portland Chapter; and many others.
124. Stravinsky's Persephone
Seattle symphony music director Ludovic Morlot leads "star soloists, dancers, puppeteers, three choirs, four grand pianos and the Seattle Symphony" in this celebration of Stravinsky's woefully undersung minor pieces. Dancer Anna Marra's interpretation of Perséphone, Stravinsky's haunting melodrama about the Greek goddess of nature who was dragged to the Underworld against her will, should be particularly magical. The recent production at the Oregon Symphony featured life-sized puppets, bunches of oversized flowers, a man-deer, and one big freaky moon. RICH SMITH
No performance on April 27
125. Eliane Elias
Pianist, singer, and songwriter Eliane Elias has won Grammy Awards for her distinctive style that creates a fusion of her Brazilian roots with her instrumental jazz, classical, and compositional skills.
126. Black Bois
Choreographer and dancer Dani Tirrell's piece will interpret "how black men/bois grieve, show rage, express joy, and cry." Join this company and remember Kalief Browder, Tamir Rice, and other young black men and teenagers who died in prison or at the hands of police.
127. MoPOP Pop Conference 2018
Generally, if you care about something, maybe it’s good to talk about it. And with something so creatively magnanimous as music, maybe it’s good to talk about it all the time, so that every facet can be fully represented. The MoPOP Pop Con is a solid example of intellectualizing art without squashing the abilities of layperson creation. Analysis of art does not diminish its power, and, as it stands, art remains one of the few things that gains ground as we discuss it. The theme of this year’s Pop Con is “What Difference Does It Make? Gender & Music,” so naturally all conference components will focus on the dovetailing of music and gender in creative, personal, and public realms. Panelists, pop-culture experts, and music critics have yet to be announced, but they generally attend to art-activated variables, like environmental impact or historical legacy, with discussions touching on everything from identity politics to boundary-breaking music in the modern era. KIM SELLING
APRIL 26-MAY 6FESTIVALS
128. 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.
APRIL 26-JULY 1PERFORMANCE
Ray Tagavilla will star in an Eastwood-esque tribute to the Western, in which an ace shooter arrives in the town of Sauget to defend a farmer accused of "eco-terrorism." Paul Budraitis will direct a production that's paired with Chef Erin Brindley's four-course meal.
130. Disobedience Opening
Sebastián Lelio, the Chilean director of A Fantastic Woman, has cast Rachel Weisz as Ronit, a daughter of an Orthodox Jewish rabbi who was shunned from her community for her sexuality. When she returns home, she finds that her male cousin has married her own former lover (played by Rachel McAdams). Based on the novel by Naomi Alderman.
131. The Endless Opening
Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead made Spring, a well-received horror/romance set in Italy. They bring their penchant for spooky atmospherics to this story about a pair of brothers returning to the site of the UFO death cult that they escaped years earlier to discover a frightening unknown presence.
132. Of an Impossible Country: An Evening with Rachel McKibbens, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, and Javier Zamora
SAL teams up with Copper Canyon Press to present three poets "whose work challenges and illuminates the notion of border-crossing," press materials say. McKibbens has a new book out called Blud, Sáenz's novels and poetry are all about life on the US's southwestern border, and Zamora is a young American poet born in El Salvador. His first book, Unaccompanied, "draws from his own story of migrating from El Salvador at the age of nine." RICH SMITH
133. Seattle Erotic Art Festival
For the past 16 years, the Foundation for Sex-Positive Culture has gathered enthusiasts of erotic art in all its forms. See the galleries of visual and interactive art, draw sensually posed models, hear readings, learn about trans and queer erotica, discover porny history, attend contests (for "vamp shoes," e.g.), join the Twirling Tassel Flash Mob with homemade pasties, and party.
134. Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko, Just Juice, Joey Cool, King Iso, Mackenzie Nicole
Hiphop legend Tech N9ne will bring his many evolutions back to Seattle for two nights with guests Krizz Kaliko, Just Juice, Joey Cool, King Iso, and Mackenzie Nicole on this tour stop.
No show on April 28.
135. 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 14PERFORMANCE
136. The Nether
What if there were a virtual world where men could live out their most fucked up, rapacious fantasies? Would such a world pacify violent behavior? Or would it only serve as a refinery for that violence? Those are some of the questions playwright Jennifer Haley asks in The Nether. Haley's known for incorporating into her writing the tricks of Hollywood genre flicks, and this one's billed as a thriller. We'll see if the characters and dialogue suffer as a result of that choice, as former Stranger writer Brendan Kiley said they did when WET produced Haley's Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom back in 2009. RICH SMITH
APRIL 27-MAY 27PERFORMANCE
Wedding drama abounds in Tony-nominated Danai Gurira's Familiar (you also saw her in Black Panther): surprise guests, revealed secrets, and the tension that arises when a young woman wants to observe traditional Zimbabwean customs 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 27-SEPT 23ART
138. Richard Barlow: Manifest
For the first time ever, established New York State artist, musician, and professor Richard Barlow will be exhibited in the PNW. For the first phase, you can peruse 30 photography-inspired silver-leaf-on-vellum landscapes under the title Covers. For the second phase, Barlow will create a temporary, in situ exhibition using chalk on an 800-square-foot blackboard surface, beginning in June and finishing in July.
APRIL 28FOOD & DRINK
139. 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.
140. Cheese and Meat Festival
This festival showcasing meat and cheese artisans will greet you with a charcuterie board and a tasting glass and let you wander trying bites from vendors like Beecher's Cheese and Twin Sisters Creamery, paired with wine, cider, beer, and spirits.
141. Hama Hama Farm Days
Join Hama Hama at their farm and seize a rare chance to spend a day harvesting oysters and clams yourself.
142. Independent Bookstore Day
The only way Seattle can possibly keep enjoying a wide variety of excellent, engaged, helpful, independent bookstores is to support them, love them, and buy as many books as we possibly can from them—not Jeff Bezos, even if his company offers convenient delivery. Independent Bookstore Day gives you a perfect excuse to visit your favorite shops, stock up on new releases and old classics, and maybe even meet some local authors/complete challenges.
143. Timothy Snyder: The Road to Unfreedom
Yale professor Timothy Snyder (author of On Tyranny) has already chronicled the rise of authoritarianism last century, and sounded the alarm on rising oligarchy in our times. His newest book, The Road to Unfreedom, follows these frightening trends in Russia, Europe, and the US, covering cyberattacks on American democracy, the Ukraine-Russian war in Crimea, and more.
144. Post Malone, 21 Savage, SOB X RBE
Post Malone remarked last year that he doesn't want to be known as a rapper, so we'll call him a guy who makes music that sounds suspiciously like pop masquerading as hiphop. He'll take his multi-platinum show on the road with guests 21 Savage and SOB X RBE.
145. Pete Souza: Obama
Pete Souza is the guy who took the picture of Barack Obama leaning over to let the little kid touch his hair, to see if it really was just like his. This is the guy who took the picture of Barack and Michelle Obama hugging on reelection night 2012 that became one of the most retweeted photos ever. This is the guy who took the photo of Obama’s cabinet watching Osama bin Laden’s lead-filled demise—the one with Hillary Clinton’s hand clamped over her mouth. How can you miss this? CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
THROUGH APRIL 29ART
146. Year of Remembrance: Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner
Former Stranger visual art critic Jen Graves wrote that Roger Shimomura’s 2009 exhibition Yellow Terror contained “art that he hopes will lose its power.” Unfortunately, his work (paintings crowded with snarling Japanese stereotypes, prints about American concentration camps, and collections of racist objects) has become intensely relevant. Shimomura’s pop-art social critiques are highlighted alongside Lawrence Matsuda’s poetry in Year of Remembrance, a show that fits an impossible amount of history, writing, video, and visual art (centered on Shimomura's and Matsuda’s own experiences of internment) in what is essentially two short hallways. There are maps, photographs, pamphlets, shooting targets of “Jap” caricatures, a piece of fence from a Seattle detainment center, and a collage of 1942 articles with titles like “Jap Evacuation Blow to B.C. Lawns, Flowers” and “Use of Grounds to House Japs Won’t Halt Fair at Puyallup.” There’s also a binder stuffed with current news clippings. In this moment, at the Wing Luke, stare straight at an ugly American truth. Remember that Roosevelt is not a perfect liberal hero and that a busy schedule is not an excuse for apathy. Feel the fear it takes to know that we can do better—we must do better—than the World War II–era citizens concerned with flowers and the Puyallup Fair. JULIA RABAN
147. Love, Chaos, and Dinner
Beloved circus/cabaret/comedy institution Teatro ZinZanni lost their home in Seattle Center, but they've found a new space for a dinner theater production of Love, Chaos, and Dinner. They promise "the same stunning, velvet-laden, and iconic Belgian spiegeltent Seattleites will remember from Teatro ZinZanni’s former location on lower Queen Anne." The cast is led by first-time "Madame ZinZanni" Ariana Savalas, and features a duo on aerial trapeze, a magician, a "contortionist-puppet," a yodeling dominatrix, a hoop aerialist, and a Parisian acrobat.
148. Romeo & Juliet
This cozy speakeasy, tucked under Pike Place Market, specializes in charismatic, cheese-cakey, nearly-nude entertainment (plus more covered-up brunch shows for the young and the prudish). Expect something a little sexier than your typical Shakespeare adaptation at this modernized cabaret show version of the tragic tale, paired with an original soundtrack. Make it a dinner date and order food and cocktails.
149. Sons of Apollo, Felix Martin
Progressive metal band Sons of Apollo are a super-group comprised of members of Guns 'N' Roses, The Winery Dogs, Mr. Big, David Lee Roth's backing band, Journey, and Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force. They'll be joined by Felix Martin.
150. National Geographic + Pop-Up Magazine
This "live magazine" will present journalism—photos, stories, audio elements, film, and more—on the stage, with a live score by Magik*Magik Orchestra.