The Seattle Rep's Familiar, written by Danai Gurira from Black Panther, closes this weekend—don't miss it. Navid Baraty
Our music critics have already chosen the 31 best music shows this week, but now it's our arts critics' turn. Here are their picks for the best events in every genre—from the Converge Dance Festival to the closing of Clyde Petersen and Ellen Forney: Exhale, and from the first full week of SIFF to the Northwest Folklife Festival. See them all below, and find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.

Stay in the know! Get all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app (available for iOS and Android), or delivered to your inbox. Plus, take our survey and win prizes!


Jump to: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday

MONDAY

FOOD & DRINK

Focus Menu: Beefsteak
At this ultra-carnal, all-you-can-eat event, Eric Rivera's addo pop-up will riff on the early 1900s concept of the "beefsteak" dinner, "a blue collar dinner meant to have people in large groups eat with reckless abandon." They advise, "Come hungry for the meats. Keeping with tradition we will be eating with our hands, socializing, and engaging in the meat sweats."

German Style vs. German FINALE!
At the closing night of the Bier vs Beer Olympics, representatives from all participating breweries will face off in challenges including masskrugstemmen, hammerschlagen, beer pong and corn hole. Traditional dress is encouraged.

PERFORMANCE

12 Minutes Max
On the Boards’ longest running program is back! Three years ago, they replaced the show, which features 12 (surprisingly quick or unfortunately long) minutes of brand-new work from Pacific Northwest performers, with another program called Open Studio. But artists were clamoring for a return of the format, and OtB clearly heard their cries, so they brought it back in December. This month's edition is curated by Tyisha Need and Florangela Davila. RICH SMITH

READINGS & TALKS

Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Aimee Nezhukumatathil will headline SAL's Poetry Series and share her latest collection, OCEANIC, which is coming out from Copper Canyon Press in 2018. Nezhukumatathil's succulent narrative verses can bring warmth to a chilly Seattle day.

Looking Back at Forward Thrust: A Community Conversation Hosted by Shaun Scott
A little history lesson: Activist Jim Ellis pushed for civic change with a number of ballot initiatives called Forward Thrust from 1968 to 1970, and that's partly why we have so many lovely parks, pools, and playgrounds. Historian Shaun Scott invites you to revisit Forward Thrust in the light of the city's new needs, especially in terms of mass transit.

MONDAY-SATURDAY

ART

Berndnaut Smilde
Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde photographs massive installations made of materials like inkjet-printed plywood, aerogel, prisms, and clouds. Yes, clouds. His sense of mischief has inspired work like Bored Light—a print of a painting leaning "bored" against the wall of a gallery—or a façade of a Wisconsin barn erected in Ireland to fool a Google Photocar. At this gallery, he'll play once again with his "nimbus" theme.
Closing Saturday

MONDAY-SUNDAY

COMMUNITY
FESTIVALS

Seattle International Film Festival 2018
The 44th annual Seattle International Film Festival is the largest film festival in the United States, with more than 400 films (spread over 25 days) watched by around 150,000 people. It's impressively grand and one of the most exciting and widely attended arts events Seattle has to offer. Find our list of the best SIFF movies to watch this week here.

PERFORMANCE

5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche
In this comedy by Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood, performed by the Fantastic.Z company, the widow members of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein have to hide out in a bomb shelter when the Russians attack in 1956.
No performance on Wednesday

TUESDAY

FOOD & DRINK

Sustainable Scoops: An Evening with Molly Moon’s
I scream, you scream, we all scream for...science? Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream owner Molly Moon Neitzel and head chef and manager of culinary operations Heather Hodge will discuss what the local ice cream chain is doing to stay sustainable, like sourcing ingredients from local farms like organic farm incubator Viva Farms. Hodge will demonstrate how to make a salted caramel ice cream base by dissolving sugar and melting butter, how to make whipped cream and how it works on a molecular level, and how to make lemon curd and how the sugar, acids, and proteins interact. Guests will also get to taste samples of salted caramel ice cream—learning has never been so delicious.

READINGS & TALKS

Learning From Red Vienna
Mike Eliason will encourage us to look to the "Vienna model" of tackling housing crises and poverty with a vast subsidized housing supply as opposed to private sector real estate.

Michael Pollan: The Science of Psychedelics
In his new book, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, food writer Michael Pollan turns his attention from the sustenance we put into our bodies to survive to the drugs we ingest to get high. Specifically, Pollan looks at LSD and magic mushrooms, which are increasingly being used to treat everything from anxiety to addiction. A masterful storyteller, Pollan will reflect on his own experiences with altered states of consciousness, as well as the science behind these mysterious molecules. This is one event not to miss—whether you are altered or not. KATIE HERZOG

A Path More Wild: An Evening with Storyteller Jéhan Òsanyìn
In addition to being a coppersmith, a poet, and a storyteller, among other things, Jéhan Òsanyìn is the founder of Earthseed Seattle, where she facilitates theatrical wilderness experiences meant to "decolonize [wild] spaces and the bodies that pass through them." Tonight, she'll share selections from her autobiographical solo show Yankee Pickney, along with some of her poems.

TUESDAY-THURSDAY

PERFORMANCE

Broken Bone Bathtub: Seattle Premiere
Siobhan O'Loughlin's experimental show will take place in actual bathtubs in actual homes as she acts out the story of an injured cyclist dealing with trauma and learning to ask for help. Presented by prolific Seattle clown artist Christine Longé.

TUESDAY-SATURDAY

ART

Michael Spafford
As part of a tandem exhibition, Woodside/Braseth and Greg Kucera have been displaying the works of University School of the Northwest legend Michael Spafford, whose paintings, prints, and mixed media depict mythological subjects. This is the last week to see them.
Closing Saturday

TUESDAY-SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

Goldie, Max and Milk
A single lesbian mother living on a shoestring budget resorts to the services of an Orthodox Jewish lactation expert in Karen Hartman's sharp comedy.
No performance on Wednesday.

Mac Beth
An adaptation of the Shakespeare play that dare not speak its name inside a theater, Erica Schmidt’s reimagining grows out of high-school students discovering the text after school and gradually coming to inhabit the characters, language, and grisly thematic deathscape. Macbeth is all about the toxicity of ambition, a moral framework that is always valuable to revisit. It’s also rare among Shakespeare's plays in that the female lead is actually the best part in the whole show by a mile. It’s intriguing to think of what an all-female cast will make of both the work itself and the act of claiming it. SEAN NELSON
No performance on Thursday

WEDNESDAY

FOOD & DRINK

Savage Wine!
Bar Ferd'nand will put a spotlight on wild, yeasty, funky wines grown naturally with minimal intervention: the "juice fermented by the wild yeasts in the air" and its "agriculturally obsessed farmers and growers" to "express its authentic and true form."

READINGS & TALKS

Captain Scott Kelly: The Sky Is Not the Limit
As part of the Unique Lives & Experiences series, former astronaut and engineer Captain Scott Kelly will talk about his four space flights. The words "American hero" are thrown around a lot, but Kelly is pretty damn impressive: He spent a total of 520 days in space and commanded the International Space Station.

Jessica Johnson: Biblical Porn
The saga of Mars Hill Church and its founder/pastor/charlatan Mark Driscoll—who carved a deep rift in Seattle by infecting an essentially secular social culture with a hypermasculine strain of evangelical nonsense, as well as colonizing and poisoning the city’s music scene, before resigning in disgrace amid accusations of bullying, racketeering, and worse—is treated to a thoughtful, scholarly dissection in this essential book by UW lecturer Jessica Johnson. It’s almost impossible to discuss Driscoll’s ignominious legacy without letting one’s language be infected by ideological zeal (guilty). That’s why Johnson’s ethnographic approach—which focuses on the shrewd process by which Mars Hill recruited, flattered, and manipulated its herd, with special attention paid to issues of class, race, gender, and socialization—is so effective. And if this inquiry strikes you as de trop, consider that Driscoll and his Arizona ministry, the Trinity Church, are still going strong. SEAN NELSON

The Moth Mainstage
This is the live storytelling competition that many people like because many people (like myself) are horrible gossips who only want to hear people confess their most embarrassing and heartfelt true stories so long as they're on topic. RICH SMITH

WEDNESDAY-SATURDAY

ART

Do You See Me?
This series from 2017 Betty Bowen award winner Jono Vaughan and Robin Arnitz makes use of vibrant colors, juxtaposed patterns, and visual narrative to reflect how social media attempts to "define us in singular dimensions."
Closing Saturday

WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

Familiar
Wedding drama abounds in Tony-nominated playwright 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 Minnesota 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. JOULE ZELMAN

THURSDAY

FILM

'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Opening
With the massive success of Black Panther, I will not be surprised if the studio execs at Disney have entirely lost interest in the Han Solo and turned their attention to his less hairy sidekick Lando Calrissian. He is black. He is played by the rising star, Donald Glover. Lando must come from a black planet. We can have a film with just black people from this Afro-planet. We will make everyone there speak in an African accent and dress Africanish. The formula has clearly worked with Black Panther; surely it can work again and again and again. Han Solo is just another story about a white guy in space. CHARLES MUDEDE

FOOD & DRINK

Fisherman's Feast at Dahlia Lounge
The Dahlia Lounge has gathered some of their favorite super-local suppliers of "shellfish farmed in south Puget sound and fin-fish of single boat-origin," including Hama Hama Oysters, Blue North Seafood, and Kelly's Fresh Fish, to source a unique seafood supper comprised of dishes like Blue Pool oysters with rhubarb and charred spring onions and cod en papillote with foraged mushrooms and Douglas fir, plus beverage pairings.

READINGS & TALKS

Community and Legal Strategies to Stop Police Violence
Rich Smith wrote earlier this month: "Right now, elected officials and activists are having a serious, heated public discussion about ending youth incarceration in King County. But professors Alex Vitale and David Correia are here to make the argument for ending policing all together. How are they going to do it? For starters, they're going to explore alternatives such as restorative justice, legalization, and not beating up the people you serve. They also believe that changing the language officers use to describe routine policing procedures will help cops and civilians realize how messed up those routine procedures actually are. Come ready with questions and check out their books—The End of Policing (Vitale) and Police: A Field Guide (Correia)—for more. And if you know any cops, bring ’em along!" Correia and Vitale will join a community panel to commemorate the police shooting death of Charleena Lyles. The other speakers will include a poet and relative of Lyles, Nakeya Isabell; Lyles's family member Katrina Johnson; Michele Storms of the ACLU; activist Jorge Torres; teacher/activist Jesse Hagopian; former police chief Norm Stamper; and Professor Clarence Spigner of UW's Public Health program.

Literary Horror Reading
Horror writers Ian Coleman, Jaq Evans, John DeWeese, Yu-Hong Wang, Carol Caley, and (full disclosure) The Stranger's own Joule Zelman will read short and scary works written under the tutelage of Hugo House's Jarret Middleton (Darkansas).

Transit Talk
Curious how the future U-District light rail station—slated to be operational by 2021—could impact the neighborhood's businesses? Join councilmember Rob Johnson, Downtown Tacoma on the Go! director Kristina Walker, Sound Transit representatives, and others for a community forum.

THURSDAY-FRIDAY

COMEDY

8 to 6
In what will probably be a cathartic improv show, three women in the workplace take revenge on their awful chauvinist boss according to your suggestions.

THURSDAY-SATURDAY

ART

Simpatico
Julia Marchand (who takes inspiration from natural landscapes), Deirdre Sullivan-Beeman (who uses old-school "oil and egg tempera techniques"), and Liz Tran (a GAP recipient who paints the point "where optical misfires combine with a vacuum pull moving at the speed of light") have painted the works in this exhibit together, sharing themes of "hope, renewal, and positivity." Curated by Alix Sloan and Lori Johns.
Closing Saturday

PERFORMANCE

Misfit Cabaret: Cinephilia
This variety show will pay homage to A Clockwork Orange, Edward Scissorhands, Pulp Fiction, Hedwig and The Angry Inch, The Shining, and other cult classics.

Welcome to Arroyo's
Intiman emerging artist Jay O'Leary makes her directorial debut with Kristoffer Diaz's hiphop-inflected comedy about a Puerto Rican family in New York dealing with the grief of losing a mother. The action is set in a Lower East Side lounge, where two DJs mix and remix the story in front of the audience. One of my favorite new-to-Seattle (but straight from the Bronx) performers, Naa Akua, plays a major role in the show, so keep your eye on her. Otherwise, the director wants you to know that the play is about "the vital need to truly understand those who are parched for visibility and love." RICH SMITH

THURSDAY-SUNDAY

COMEDY

Samuel J. Comroe with JC Currais
Tourette’s Syndrome is a laughing matter in LA comic Samuel J. Comroe’s deft mind. While society’s taught not to mock people with such afflictions, Comroe, of course, mimes his condition—an array of facial tics, uncontrollable spasms, and verbal outbursts—for the socially verboten humor inherent in it. In the process, he’s turned a negative into a hilarious positive. You can get a solid idea of Comroe’s amiable, energetic approach in his Normal Behavior comedy special, where his material expands beyond Tourette’s into subjects such as relationships, sex, homophobia, dogs, and the benefits of owning a shitty vehicle. DAVE SEGAL

PERFORMANCE

Smoked!
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.

Sycorax
Caliban, the morally complex "mooncalf" from The Tempest, is one of Shakespeare's most fascinating minor characters. His mother, Sycorax the witch, clearly has the greatest name in all of Shakespeare, but she also stands as one of the playwright's most intriguing and yet totally unexplored characters. After all, she was banished from Algiers, forced to start a new life on an unfamiliar island, and then driven away from that life and land by Prospero, an overbearing white father figure who is clearly a stand-in for Shakespeare's own ego. Under Mark Lutwak's direction, Seattle veteran actor Demene E. Hall will fill out Sycorax's details, telling her side of the story from the point of view of the exiled and the colonized. RICH SMITH

FRIDAY

COMEDY

Comedy O'Clock June Release Show: Beep Beep Here Comes Summer!
Rejoice that consecutive days of rain and wind are behind us for the time being by enjoying funny performances by Tacoma's Ubiquitous They, Too Hoth for Summer Jam, MARS, and Summer Jamz. Rest assured, a "LaughGuard" will be surveying the premises to ensure everyone is having a fun time.

FILM

Puget Soundtrack: Bill Horist presents Akira Kurosawa's Dreams
Akira Kurosawa's eight mythic vignettes were inspired by the director’s own "nighttime visions," along with stories from Japanese folklore. In place of the film's original soundtrack, Bill Horist will provide his own dreamy score.

FOOD & DRINK

Beer Tasting Dinner Cruise with Pelican Brewing Company
Booze while you cruise with a tasting of four beers from Pelican Brewing Company alongside a three-course dinner.

PERFORMANCE

Hot Takes with Hot Dykes, Smat!
Real-life couple Clara Pluton and Val Nigro will perform a live sketch version of their lez-focused podcast. They say: "you’ll get LAUGHS, you’ll get ELLEN PAGE REFERENCES, you’ll get CAT HAIR IN YOUR MOUTH." Stay on for more sketch fun with SMAT!

Lustré: A Queer Discotheque to Benefit Gay City
artStar Charlatan and J3ANNE-MARI3 will throw a fancy discothèque party to raise money for the queer health and culture center Gay City. Guest DJs Sappho, Gag Reflex, and Julie Herrera will throw down some danceable tunes, and Mona Real, Lady Drew Blood, Kara Phoebe, and Atasha Manila will bring the drag/performance. They say, "Dressing up isn't suggested, but DEMANDED!" Matte is anathema, shiny is good.

READINGS & TALKS

Derrick Weston Brown, Bennie Herron, and More
This reading features an all-star lineup of poets both local and visiting, including Derrick Weston Brown, Bennie Heron, Bettina Judd, Quenton Baker, and Anastacia-Reneé.

FRIDAY-SATURDAY

ART

Clyde Petersen and Ellen Forney: Exhale
Liz Patterson and Trevor Doak have curated a selection of works by two wonderful, Stranger Genius Award–recognized local artists: Ellen Forney, whose graphic novel memoir of mental illness Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice from My Bipolar Life is full of great advice, and Clyde Petersen, who, in collaboration with Chris Looney, made the unique DIY cut-out animation film Torrey Pines, a story of growing up trans with a schizophrenic mother. Images from Forney's Rock Steady and Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me will be paired with 400 paper puppets from Torrey Pines' impressive concert scene. This means that you can immerse yourself in the ingredients of two beautiful, therapeutic works of a deceptively simple and cartoonish style. JOULE ZELMAN
Closing Saturday

PERFORMANCE

Converge Dance Festival 2018
The fifth annual Converge Dance Festival will stage works by eight choreographers who are just coming into their own or hitting mid-career. As always, the festival will focus on strengthening ties to the local community and providing a showcase for Seattle's performers and dance artists. The featured artists will be Abigail Zimmerman, Angelica DeLashmette, Emily Curtiss, Hope Goldman, Jordan Macintosh-Hougham, Jordan Rohrs, Stephanie Golden, and Warren Woo.

ReShape
This eight-hour exhibit of performance and art installations will explore how mental health is portrayed in American culture. In addition to work from six resident artists, see "living art pieces" by Jéhan Òsanyìn, Angel Alviar-Langley (aka 'Moonyeka), Butch Alice, Kellie Martin, Casey Middaugh, Matt Aguayo, Aviona Rodriguez-Brown, and others.

FRIDAY-SUNDAY

ART

Conversations With Gee's Bend
Artists respond to the awe-inspiring quilts made by African American women in Gee's Bend, Alabama.
Opening Friday

FESTIVALS

Northwest Folklife Festival
The goal of Folklife is noble as heck: “We envision strong communities, united by arts and culture… When people share aspects of their culture, opportunities are created to dissolve misunderstandings, break down stereotypes, and increase respect for one another.” What does this translate to? A gigantic Memorial Day weekend hippie fest full of lovely people dancing, performing world music from “yodeling to beatboxing” and everything in between, serving tasty street food, and leading workshops in arts and crafts. If you want the numbers: This year will mark the 47th event, will include more than 5,000 performers, will draw from more than 100 cultural communities, expects up to 250,000 attendees, and asks for a $10 donation per person. It’s a great, if potentially overwhelming, people-watching experience, plus a great way to see local music, including Tomo Nakayama, Naomi Wachira, and Astro King Phoenix.

PERFORMANCE

My Fair Lady
Douchey professor Henry Higgins will once again turn Cockney flower seller Eliza Doolittle into a lady—but find her more than he can handle—in this staging of the Lerner and Loewe musical.

SATURDAY

ART

Ben Horak: Daydreamin' Dave Release Party
Comic artist Ben Horak will sign copies of his new book, Daydreamin' Dave, about a funny, introspective, and anthropomorphic day dreamer who goes missing and must be replaced. While you're there, enjoy barbecue and complimentary refreshments.

COMEDY

ASSBUTTS (Amazing Super Spectacular Bold Unscripted Terrific Theater Show)
Some of the city's finest performers will collaborate on instantaneous comedy scenes, with a different lineup every Saturday, in Mandy Price's ASSBUTTS. Don't be surprised if it gets a little vulgar. Or extremely vulgar.

FOOD & DRINK

Cubes Baking Co.'s 1 Year Fiesta
"300 custom Cubes, 8000 cupCubes, 2500 conchas, and nearly 4000 slices of tres leches cake" later, the bakery specializing in boxy creations is turning a year old. Celebrate with loteria every hour (with a Cube as a prize), handmade crafts by MariGlvn and Amano Seattle for sale, birthday cake conchas, raffle giveaways for goodie bags filled with "handmade Lantix-created products from around the country," music, and of course, lots of pan dulce.

Midnight Mecca: South on S E V E N
For the May edition of the sought-after Midnight Mecca pop-up, chef Tarik Abdullah and Damon Bomar of Brown Liquor Cocktail Co. have created a six-course dinner with cocktail pairings inspired by "the cultures one would find along the number 7 bus line from the International District to Rainier Beach." Each course and pairing will correspond to a different bus stop or neighborhood, with ingredients sourced from the international markets and stores located in each area.

READINGS & TALKS

Kai Carlson-Wee, Emily Van Kley, Diana Khoi Nguyen, Kathryn Smith
Kai Carlson-Wee is a fine poet from the north country who writes sturdy poems about trains, bad men, whiskey, and how you're going nowhere even though you always seem to be moving on. In his debut collection, Rail (BOA Editions), you have a lot of fun chugging along to the carefully patterned sound in his poems and then getting whipped around or halted full stop by a deft narrative move you didn't see coming. Carlson-Wee reads along with three other completely different poets: Emily Van Kley (The Cold and the Rust), Kathryn Smith (Book of Exodus), and Diana Khoi Nguyen (Ghost Of). RICH SMITH

SATURDAY-SUNDAY

ART

2018 University of Washington MFA + MDes Thesis Exhibition
Every year, the UW's MFA program deposits a cohort of emerging artists into the local scene. This year's crop includes Nate Clark, who uses woven materials as a stand-in for networks and structures, and Caitlin Wilson, whose large-scale paintings are evocative of Cy Twombly, Mark Tobey, and Emily Gherard. Alex Kang uses technology to explore the heartbreak of losing information in translation, while Katie Schroeder uses it to focus on identity, belonging, and the curation of our surroundings. Other artists include Lacy Bockhoff, David Burr, Ian Cooper, Daniel Hewat, Erin Meyer, and Christian Alborz Oldham. Catch their work before they finish school and can no longer afford to live here. EMILY POTHAST
Opening Saturday

SUNDAY

COMEDY

Musical: Stephen Sondheim Improvised
Using audience suggestions, the cast will improvise a brand-new musical based on the work of Stephen Sondheim, the genius responsible for Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, Company, Sunday in the Park with George, and more. It's an almost insanely ambitious concept to try to match Sondheim off-the-cuff, so check out UP performers using every ounce of their wits and skills.

FILM

SHRIEK! The Blob (1988)
SHRIEK is a great film education series about women and minorities in horror. They've discussed genre classics like Nightmare on Elm Street and new hits like Get Out, but once in awhile, they like to kick back and make fun of stupid movies. Join them to heckle The Blob—not the 1950s creature feature starring Steve McQueen as the world's oldest teenager, but the dreadfully acted 1988 remake. "Terror...has no shape." Discuss and drink!

FOOD & DRINK

Copper River Salmon Dinner
Greet Copper River salmon season with a special dinner by chef Michael Gifford highlighting salmon in a myriad of preparations, including salt roasted beet salad with gravlax, gougeres stuffed with smoked salmon and cream cheese, agnolotti filled with goat cheese and cedar-planked salmon, and poached salmon with dill yogurt sauce.

READINGS & TALKS

Red May Resist! Poetics in the Service of Revolution
During this "month-long vacation from Capitalism," be sure to set some time Sunday to hear local poets declaim. Readers will include David Lau, Rae Armantrout, and many others, and the last evening is a "mass reading" with a great number of poets and writers, including the Stranger's Charles Mudede.

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