Artists including Neon Saltwater will create vibrant, immersive experiences for Summer Dreams, a not-to-be-missed extravaganza of an art show opening at Winston Wächter this week. Neon Saltwater
Our music critics have already chosen the 29 best music shows this week, but now it's our arts critics' turn to pick the best events in their areas of expertise. Here are their picks in every genre—from Grillfest Northwest to a reading with Bill Clinton, and from the opening of the Can Can's Femme Fatale to David Cross's stand-up show. See them all below, and find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.

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

MONDAY

FILM

Collide-O-Scope Pride Edition
Michael Anderson and Shane Wahlund's video collage madness series will sport its best rainbow colors. Chomp on free Red Vines, hope for randomly drawn prizes, and soak up the montage weirdness and good gay vibes.

MONDAY-THURSDAY

ART

Coley Mixan: F.I.B.E.R. Earth-Bound Training Center
Coley Mixan is a writer, musician, and visual artist whose psychedelic, saturated Vimeo channel is described as "attempting to impose a credible order upon ordinary reality." This exhibition serves as both an indoctrination site and training program for something Mixan calls F.I.B.E.R. (Feminists Improving Boundless, Eternal Rock ’n' Roll). F.I.B.E.R. aims to fight patriarchal conspiracies and constipation in the form of "toroidal pastries" (doughnuts?) traveling through the G.U.T. (Grand Unified Theory of space-time). The strategy of trying to dislodge the patriarchy with F.I.B.E.R. so that it can be shit out is so fanciful, it just might work. EMILY POTHAST
Closing Thursday

MONDAY-SATURDAY

ART

Graphic Medicine: Ill Conceived And Well-Drawn!
A whole new genre has arisen in comics and graphic novels over the years—the personal narrative of illness. This traveling exhibition focuses on some of these illustrated stories. Ellen Forney, whose book Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice From My Bipolar Life has racked up critical praise for its honest and useful counsel, serves as guest curator.
Closing Saturday

Masters of Disguise IV: Group Mask Exhibition
This iteration of Masters of Disguise once again examines masks and their specific cultural, social, and economic place in Pacific Northwest and Alaska, featuring modern and traditional works by a variety of artists in media including glass, wood, stone, hide, fiber, metal, and ceramics.
Closing Saturday

PERFORMANCE

​How I Learned to Drive
Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning memory play might feel a little overly familiar for Playwriting 101 students, but the time is certainly right—especially for Seattleites—to revisit Li'l Bit's story. Her uncle Peck teaches her how to drive, which gives her a kind of freedom, but he also manipulates and molests her throughout her childhood and adolescence. As she floats between the past and the present, she describes the work it took to leave him in the dust. It's an incredible story of resilience and trauma, and Strawshop has treated it well. Frank Boyd, who can switch from genuinely sweet to sickly sour at the drop of a hat, is a good choice to play Uncle Peck, a monstrous man with a nice-guy exterior. And Amy Danneker is also an inspired choice for Li'l Bit. (Though for some reason, she keeps getting cast in roles where her family members molest her. See: A View from the Bridge.) If you haven't seen the play before, now is the time. RICH SMITH

MONDAY & SUNDAY

FOOD & DRINK

WOW (addo:Incubator)
Zagat 30 under 30 contender Chef Matt and Seattle native Chef Kelsi will collaborate on an a la carte "dim sum style" Mexican pop-up where all the courses range between three and 10 bucks.

TUESDAY

READINGS & TALKS

Clarion West Presents: Ken Macleod
Welcome this Prometheus Award-winning, Clarke- and Hugo-nominated Scottish sci-fi author for a talk on craft and a reading.

A Typographic Ramble Around London (With Booze!)
Using material from his book London Kerning, "one of the last typesetters," Glenn Fleishman, will give a heavily illustrated presentation of the typographic and printing treasures of London.

TUESDAY-SATURDAY

ART

Artvocacy: Refugee Art Exhibit
Founded in 1988 in a decommissioned Trailways bus terminal in Westlake, Art/Not Terminal spent 25 years in a space owned by Capitol Hill Housing before establishing its current home at Seattle Center in July 2016. Completely volunteer-staffed and sustained, the gallery's mission is to facilitate accessibility for both artists and patrons through non-juried exhibitions in which anyone—regardless of artistic training or sales history—is invited to hang artwork in a professional context. Each month, A/NT partners with a different nonprofit organization to create a context aimed at the cultivation of physical, mental, and emotional well-being through self-expression. In June, the gallery will be devoted to art that reflects the refugee experience. EMILY POTHAST
Closing Saturday

Joan Miró: Etchings & Lithographs
The Catalan painter and sculptor Joan Miró, like Salvador Dalí and others in the surrealist movement, was galvanized by the theories of André Breton. Intrigued by the idea of plunging into the unconscious, Miró ditched his early investigations of realism, cubism, and naive art to play with geometric, organic, vividly colored forms in striking compositions. Miró hasn't had the same pop-culture impact as Dalí, but his body of work is less encumbered by his contemporary's dogmatism and attention-hogging. Here, you can see his lithographs, posters, and etchings. JOULE ZELMAN
Closing Saturday

Jun Kaneko: Visual Language
A veteran of the Contemporary Ceramics movement, Omaha-based Jun Kaneko has pieces in museums all over the world, including the Smithsonian, and his enormous outdoor sculptures of ceramic heads in Omaha are considered a groundbreaking use of the medium. His style ranges from figurative to geometric to decorative.
Closing Saturday

Summer Dreams: Works by Electric Coffin, Peter Gronquist, Neon Saltwater, and Jennifer Zwick
Visitors to last year's Out of Sight are sure to remember the work of Neon Saltwater, a Seattle artist whose luminescent, color-saturated interior spaces recall vintage motels, retro-futuristic mall food courts, and the architectural strangeness of dreams. For this summer extravaganza, curated by artist and writer Amanda Manitach, Neon Saltwater will be doing her thing alongside high-concept Portland design team Electric Coffin, Portland sculptor/painter/taxidermist Peter Gronquist, and Seattle photographer and installation artist Jennifer Zwick. Each of these four artists/groups will transform a separate corner of the gallery into a vibrant, immersive experience that must be seen in person to be appreciated. EMILY POTHAST
Opening Tuesday

Zac Culler, Lisa Golightly
Zac Culler is one-third of the mischievous, Stranger Genius Award-winning artistic trio SuttonBeresCuller, known for their prankish stunts and installations. Among his other visual art, Culler makes mandalas out of motifs like hummingbirds, insects, and figures from Tarantino movies. Lisa Golightly, who paints figurative and abstract works, makes excellent use of dapples of light.
Closing Saturday

TUESDAY-SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

Until the Flood
To create this one-act solo show about the shooting of Michael Brown, theater-maker Dael Orlandersmith conducted hours of interviews with 60 to 80 citizens of Ferguson, Missouri. "I let them talk, I let them talk," Orlandersmith said in an interview. What emerged from those conversations is this collection of powerful recollections, one that ultimately demands the end of the slaughter of black men in the streets of Saint Louis and everywhere else, and one that offers some practical solutions for how we might best accomplish that goal. If you've never seen Orlandersmith perform, you should know she wields a no-nonsense delivery that pins you to your chair and forces you to listen. Get ready. RICH SMITH

WEDNESDAY

FOOD & DRINK

Burgers & Brews at Maslow's
On the last Wednesday of each month, FareStart's restaurant Maslow's features two new burger specials not on their regular menu accompanied by two beers from their brewery partner of the month. Wash down a burger with a cold brew and support FareStart's mission to provide "a community that transforms lives by empowering homeless and disadvantaged men, women, and families to achieve self-sufficiency through life skills, job training and employment in the food service industry.” This month, they'll feature a summer Kölsch from Maritime Pacific Brewing Co. and a Nacho Burger, complete with "house-ground chuck, black bean spread, pepperjack cheese, crispy jalapeño & tortilla chips on a toasted Hoagie roll."

READINGS & TALKS

Ben Rhodes: The World as It Is
I know what you're thinking: "Oh, hellllll yes. Barack Obama's deputy national security adviser for strategic communications has FINALLY written his memoirs." But seriously, there's some interesting stuff in here! Ben Rhodes criticizes Obama's failures to acknowledge the Armenian genocide, follow up after the Arab Spring, and call out the extent of Russian meddling in the elections. He also argues that Trump's administration spends its time reversing Obama's policies simply because they are Obama's policies. Rhodes was instrumental in the Iran negotiations, so ask him anything! RICH SMITH

Michael Isikoff and David Corn: Russian Roulette
Michael Isikoff and David Corn's timely account of Russia's influence on the 2016 Presidential election "weaves together tales of international intrigue, cyber espionage, and superpower rivalry" that goes back decades.

Terrance Hayes: American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
There have been many attempts to reckon with the rolling shocks of Donald Trump's election and presidency, but nobody has done it better than Terrance Hayes in this collection of 70 sonnets written during the first 200 days of Trump's reign. Following in the grand tradition of the American sonneteer (see: Wanda Coleman, Gerald Stern, Jean Toomer, Rita Dove), Hayes employs the form to wrestle with America's particular paradoxes and contradictions. His sense of humor and powerful musical phrasing serve as sturdy handrails as he guides us through the fucked-up time warp we're living in. In the line I can't get out of my head, Hayes addresses his past and future assassin, roping in the Trumps before Trump and all the Trumps to come: "It is not enough / To love you. It is not enough to want you destroyed." RICH SMITH

WEDNESDAY-SATURDAY

ART

Le Carnival des Animaux
This group show features work by diverse artists inspired by the animal world, including pieces by accomplished surrealists and hyperrealists like Peter Ferguson, Travis Louie, Josie Morway, Scott Musgrove, Kari-Lise Alexander, Lola, Jim Blanchard, Jessica McCourt, and others.
Closing Saturday

WEDNESDAY & SUNDAY

FOOD & DRINK

Lechoncito
Pork enthusiasts can enter a state of bliss at this weekly five-course, Puerto Rican family-style dinner. The menu changes every time.

WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

The Color Purple
Alice Walker is taking over Seattle this year, and I'm fine with that. She'll be opening up the poetry series for Seattle Arts & Lectures in October, but this summer, the Paramount will run Tony-winning director John Doyle's version of this Tony-winning musical, which is based on Walker's Pulitzer Prize–winning novel of the same name. If you haven't read the book, or if your mom didn't sit you down and make you watch the 1985 film adaptation starring Oprah, you should know that Walker sets the story in Jim Crow Georgia. Celie grows up the victim of unspeakable violence at the hands of men. This trend follows her into adulthood, but she comes into her own with the help of strong female role models. RICH SMITH

The Picture of Dorian Gray
Director Victor Pappas has done a masterful job of balancing the design team, the actors, the humor, the pathos, and the shocking turns in Wilde's classic fairy tale. For the uninitiated: It's a story of youth and art and malice and a painting that comes to life. It's a painting of a boy named Dorian Gray, a painting that captures Dorian Gray's essence to such a frightening degree that the painting ages (revealing further shades of Dorian's essence) as real-life Dorian stays the same age. As Dorian's narcissistic soul darkens, the painting develops an evil look, and eventually begins to sweat blood. This production is galvanizing. It's the kind of night of theater that makes you thankful you left the house. "Thank god we came to this!" was the attitude on everyone's faces as I walked out of the theater. How often does that happen? CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

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.
No performance on Friday

THURSDAY

ART

Masterworks from the Henry Art Gallery's Print Collection
Shin Yu Pai of Atlas Obscura will take you to meet Benjamin Levy, a former curator at the Henry as well as a print expert. He'll in turn show you the print highlights of the museum's collection, tracking the art form's history from the Renaissance on. Some of these prints have never been exhibited.

FILM

Three Identical Strangers
What starts off looking like a standard issue Netflix doc about a zany family—replete with insulting reenactments and that creeping sense that you’ve just signed on for two hours with people who only think their story is worth telling—rapidly becomes one of the most complex, even shocking adoption stories you’ll ever hear. Short version: Within the space of a couple of days in 1980, three 19-year-old triplets who have never even heard of one another’s existence, meet and become brothers, friends, and NYC media darlings. But the story of why they had never met—why, in fact, their existence was intentionally kept a secret—involves a conspiracy worthy of a psychological thriller. The ramifications of that conspiracy proved devastating, and continue to reverberate. As the story unravels (with perhaps one notch more manipulation than is required, but that’s a nit not everyone would pick), you become astonished by the layers of complexity and injustice these three guys have experienced. And it doesn’t take long before your initial impressions are totally forgotten: These guys aren’t just lovable doofballs telling well-rehearsed chestnuts about their kooky life. They’re people who have suffered unimaginable hardship and now bravely submit it to further public scrutiny in the hopes of solving the mystery at the center of their lives. SEAN NELSON
This will be a free screening in advance of the official release on July 7.

READINGS & TALKS

Joseph O'Neill: Good Trouble
Joseph O'Neill regularly publishes beautifully structured, hysterically funny stories in the New Yorker. If you don't believe me, read "Pardon Edward Snowden," which is one of the 11 stories included in this collection. In the story, O'Neill uses a conversation between two poets to lambaste the language we use to discuss art's "utility," as well as the language that drives the various political conversations dominating the culture of writing at the moment. Ultimately he wonders if writers would do better to shut up about the #resistance and actually start resisting. Press materials suggest that the political lives of poets isn't the only bougie preoccupation that O'Neill takes aim at in this collection. Other stories involve a lonely wedding guest talking to a goose, a cowardly husband letting his wife fend off a possible home intruder, and a co-op renter in NYC struggling to find someone who can give him a character reference. RICH SMITH

Robin DiAngelo: White Fragility
People of color tend to speak regularly and freely about the pernicious nature of racism because they deal with its stresses on a daily basis. Recent headlines remind us that black people in particular can't nap in common areas, drive around in cars, or barbecue in the park without someone calling the cops on them. But white people, as UW professor Robin DiAngelo argues in White Fragility, "live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress." This environment has softened them to such a degree that whenever they experience the slightest hint of discrimination—or whenever they have to talk about race at all—they freak out and elect Donald Trump to the presidency. DiAngelo describes this phenomenon with admirable academic rigor, and she proposes good, common-sense suggestions for dealing with it. RICH SMITH

THURSDAY-SATURDAY

ART

Anastacia-Reneé: Poetry in a Time of Chaos
Seattle's Civic Poet seemingly has boundless reserves of energy: After publishing three books in one year, she's been performing at readings almost constantly. Now, she'll mark the end of her tenure with an installation, including her own work and a "blow-up interactive poem-environment" constructed in collaboration with Seattle Design Nerds. In addition, the gallery will host writing workshops, and the event will close with a party on June 30th for the second printings of Anastacia-Renee's (v.) and Sarah Galvin's Ugly Time (both published by Gramma Poetry, which shares the space).
Closing Saturday

Evan Cohen: VISIONS
“We are not lost” are some of only a handful of words in New York–based animator and illustrator Evan Cohen’s book Visions. The story features a central male figure who multiplies and contracts throughout the pages, wordlessly telling a tale of togetherness and belonging. The simple blue and pink palette with occasional shots of yellow make for a serene telling of “a brief glimpse into a world guided by trust,” as the artist told me. The show features risograph prints (risograph is a Japanese high-quality digital photocopy and printing machine) of the book released by Cold Cube Press and a monitor showing Cohen’s animations. Cohen’s work is complemented by prints from Portland-based illustrator and ceramic artist Lindsay Watson’s Year of the Nightmare. The sentence, "She is quarrelsome critical violent" accompanies an image of the central nude female figure holding a replica of her own head in her hands. “She” is the nightmare itself and appears to be exploring the hellscape that is America in 2018. KATIE KURTZ
Closing Saturday

Matthew Ryan Herget: I See Better With My Eyes Closed
Herget's paintings depict astronauts on a journey through the void, contrasting cool and fiery colors in dramatic, gestural strokes.
Closing Saturday

Megumi Shauna Arai: Midst
Arai's photographs capture rich and beautiful shades—in sandy landscapes, in steam and smoke, and even in models' clothing.
Opening Thursday

Nadia Gohar: Foundation Deposits
In ancient Egypt, temples and tombs were often built on top of foundation deposits: ritual objects buried at specific points in the architecture. When these buildings are excavated, the foundation deposits are revealed like clues to an unattainable past. Nadia Gohar grew up in Cairo, but her family relocated to Toronto after the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. In Gohar's first solo exhibition—curated by local luminary Minh Nguyen—foundation deposits serve as a proxy for the place that is left behind in a migration, as well as the intangible aspects of culture and memory waiting to be unearthed. EMILY POTHAST
Closing Saturday

Rufino Tamayo: Selected Etchings
Mexican painter and printmaker Rufino del Carmen Arellanes Tamayo, whose work spanned the 20th century, drew on abstract trends, indigenous art, figurative traditions, and European surrealism. His stint as head of the Department of Ethnographic Drawing at the Museo Nacional de Arqueología deepened his interest in pre-Columbian visual traditions. An anti-revolutionary, unlike other Mexican artists of his generation, Tamayo was discouraged both by the disregard of his more political contemporaries and by racist attitudes toward indigenous-descended artists, and as a young man left his home for New York and then Paris. Eventually, though, he won worldwide recognition and acclaim from intellectuals like Octavio Paz, and there is now a contemporary art museum named after him in Mexico City. This is a vital opportunity to discover the work of a major 20th-century artist. JOULE ZELMAN
Closing Saturday

COMEDY

Damon Wayans Jr.
Being the son of Damon Wayans and nephew to three uncles and an aunt who entertain folks for a living, Damon Wayans Jr. really can’t betray his DNA and familial pressure—or there would be merciless, hilarious ribbing to endure. Thankfully, the 35-year-old Wayans has succeeded as a TV and film actor, writer, and stand-up comedian. He admits that his humor is more obscure than his father’s and less enamored of discussing current events. Those into raunchy routines, though, will eat up Junior’s act. He does a bit about a pigeon and its bobbing head that will stay with you for a long time. DAVE SEGAL

A Midsummer Night's Reverie
Sinner Saint Burlesque will present a kinky, queer-positive interpretation of Shakespeare's silly and lovestruck comedy that promises to be like an "erotic lucid dream." It stars lovely and prolific drag and burlesque artists like Waxie Moon, Evilyn Sin Claire, and Tootsie Spangles. [Insert "Bottom" joke here.]

THURSDAY-SUNDAY

COMEDY

Jose Bolanos
Tacoma funnyman Jose Bolanos' old-school approach to comedy is rife with stunts, impressions, and characters. The KQMV Seattle regular will perform live in his hometown.

PERFORMANCE

Femme Fatale
A Prom Queen and Can Can collab!? Yes, please! The Can Can culinary cabaret, which serves up some of the best butts and beignets in town, is partnering with rising music star Prom Queen for their summer show, and it's a safe bet that it will be a hit. That said, the team could have chosen a better subject than Mata Hari, who catapulted to fame using an outsider's vision of Indonesia. Hopefully their adaptation will avoid Hari's pitfalls by doing more than just simply reproducing the Dutch dancer's problematic early-20th-century Orientalist style. Otherwise, this will be a spectacular shitshow. CHASE BURNS

The Last Starfighter
The idea that video games could be used as a recruitment tool by an alien race on the lookout for human teenage boys to help them fight off predators was ahead of its time, as was this cult 1984 sci-fi action comedy film, which featured the earliest examples of CGI known to cinema. How they’re going to make it work as a stage play is a pretty rich mystery, but if your affection for the movie runs as deep as it usually does (if you’ve heard of it, odds are it’s pretty special to you, as it was not a big hit at the time), it’s probably worth a trip to the Eastside to find out. SEAN NELSON

Practical Questions of Wholeness
It is impossible to forget the moment local singer and actor Felicia Loud entered the soul of mid-century jazz singer Billie Holiday in 2005 at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. It was amazing and deeply haunting. She resurrected a Holiday who is at the end of her life and performing in a small club, Emerson's Bar and Grill in South Philadelphia. Her liver is done with her. Her voice is broken. But Loud convincingly captured and expressed the aristocratic essence of the fallen American queen. This grace-in-the-gutter was, of course, the whole meaning of Lanie Robertson’s play Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, now one half of the double bill Practical Questions of Wholeness (the other half is Hedwig and the Angry Inch). Loud, who reprised the role in 2009 at the Erickson Theatre Off Broadway, got it perfectly right. In the latest adaptation, Loud is directed by the talented Valerie Curtis-Newton. CHARLES MUDEDE

FRIDAY

COMEDY

Comedy O'Clock July Release Show
Welcome the fourth comedy improv zine issue and party with hilarious people who stay up late. Acts will include Matt Hatfield and Zach & Kayla playing on a tiny three-by-three foot stage.

David Cross: Oh Come On
Renowned for his appearances on the cult sketch comedy series Mr. Show and the sitcom Arrested Development (as hapless schmuck Tobias Fünke), David Cross has turned befuddlement and exasperation into an art form. In his stand-up act, Cross excels at skewering political hypocrisy, especially that from conservatives (e.g., Christians’ unyielding repudiation of universal health care, the absurdity of the war on terror). Hearing Cross delineate the follies and hypocrisies of religion in his folksy manner is endlessly entertaining—unless you’re a humorless fundamentalist (is that redundant?). “I do love the Bible. It’s a treasure trove of chuckles… literally the world’s oldest game of Telephone.” DAVE SEGAL

The Seattle Process with Brett Hamil
Described as "Seattle's only intentionally funny talk show" and "a mudpie lobbed into the halls of power," The Seattle Process with Brett Hamil offers politics, exasperation, information, and comedy. Past esteemed guests have included Stranger Genius Lindy West, Kshama Sawant, former Stranger associate editor David Schmader, and Pramila Jayapal.

READINGS & TALKS

Amber Tamblyn: Any Man
Amber Tamblyn (the author of the poetry collection Dark Sparkler and a nominee for Emmy, Golden Globe, and Independent Spirit awards) will share her debut novel about a serial female rapist, Maude, who preys on men, "a horrible woman who becomes the phantom on which society projects its greatest fears, fascinations and even misogyny."

Cat Valente: Space Opera
Science fiction writer Catherynne M. Valente, the author of the well-received series The Glass Town, has won Locus and Andre Norton Awards for her work. Join her for a reading of her latest book, Space Opera, whose epic plot revolves around the Metagalactic Grand Prix, where species compete to remain in existence. This time, the main contestant is humankind.

Rita Bullwinkel with Kim Selling and Elissa Washuta
Rita Bullwinkel's stories are populated by strange, intriguing characters like "teenage girls who believe they are actually plants, gulag prisoners who outsmart a terrible warden, and carnivorous churches." Esteemed memoir writer Elissa Washuta and The Stranger's music calendar editor/Gramma Press editor Kim Selling will join Bullwinkel for a talk.

FRIDAY-SATURDAY

ART

Carmi Weingrod: Visceral
This artist creates impressively large mixed-media works, which in the past have included paper-covered arches, a 14-foot graphite rubbing of a bridge, and a storefront installation.
Closing Saturday

PERFORMANCE

Malden Works Present: BLEED! with Queen Shmooquan
Alisa Popova and Patrick Clark will join forces with "psychedelic vaudevillian" dancer and Hangy Down Priestess Queen Shmooquan for a night of "Cutting-edge, Iron-rich, Crimson Performance from Seattle's Atrium." We don't know what will happen at Shmooquan's show, but we do know that Trent Moorman witnessed her feed Twinkies to rubber chickens in 2015.

SATURDAY

ART

Mike Wagner: From Fool to World
Bridge Productions has a history of experimenting with new ways to create outreach and dialogue around art. Their latest venture is a curatorial residency featuring Negarra A. Kudumu, a critical scholar with a sharp eye and international outlook whose recent projects include coauthoring a book about the visual legacy of the Black Panther Party. For this residency, Kudumu will curate an exhibition of works by prolific multimedia artist Mike Wagner, whose work explores the forgotten, disfigured, beautiful, and unobtainable. Throughout the residency, essays by the effervescently brilliant Kudumu—whom Charles Mudede once called "a marvelous cloud of thinking and practices"—will appear on Bridge Productions' website. EMILY POTHAST
Closing Saturday

Tabita Rezaire: Deep Down Tidal
Tabita Rezaire's Deep Down Tidal is an aesthetically imaginative, immersive installation of layered video and sound that explores "electronic colonialism"—defined as "the domination and control of digital technologies by the West to maintain and expand their hegemony and power over the rest of the world." Through dazzling and at times humorous net art collage techniques, the French-Guyanese/Danish artist—who now lives in Johannesburg—deftly demonstrates the extent of this control, from Facebook banning users for speaking out about racism to the undersea optic cables retracing the paths of colonialism and the international slave trade. It's a brilliant, beautiful show that should not be missed. EMILY POTHAST
Closing Saturday

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

Grillfest Northwest
At this carnivorous competition sanctioned by the Steak Cookoff Association, watch expert pitmasters engage in a barbecue battle royale. You can also watch cooking demos and “BBQ busking,” enjoy food trucks and a beer garden, and witness throw-downs between local chefs throughout the day. Categories will include steak, wild Alaskan king salmon, and produce, with the steak champion going on to compete at the WFC Steak Championship and SCA World Championship. If you’ve ever dreamed of being a Food Network judge, you can even sign up to receive a judging tutorial from an industry pro and help with the enviable task of digging into chefs’ creations to evaluate them for one of the throw-down competitions. JULIANNE BELL

PERFORMANCE

The Flop House
Dan McCoy, Stuart Wellington, and Elliott Kalan's long-running podcast skewers recent terrible movies. All of them have great credentials: McCoy and Kalan wrote for The Daily Show and won Emmys, and Wellington—well, he's cool, too.

READINGS & TALKS

Bill Clinton
Love him or loathe him, Bill Clinton comes to Seattle with his new political thriller, The President is Missing, a collaboration with blockbuster crime novelist James Patterson. It’s an intriguing combo: Patterson is a master storyteller and Clinton has more inside knowledge of D.C. politics and national security than almost anyone on the planet (especially compared to the current occupant of the Oval Office). While the novel is entertaining enough, this is also your chance to see a U.S. president who actually won the White House and knew how to run it. KATIE HERZOG

SATURDAY-SUNDAY

ART

In the Spirit: Contemporary Native Arts
For the 13th year, native artists will showcase their work at the In the Spirit contemporary Native arts exhibition, which will offer prizes in categories including Best of Show, Honoring the Northwest, and People's Choice. There will also be an accompanying festival in August, co-hosted by the History Museum and Tacoma Art Museum, featuring dancing, drumming, a fashion show, vendors, and more.
Opening Saturday

SUNDAY

FILM

SHRIEK! The Birds
Watch and analyze Alfred Hitchcock's classic horror film The Birds, of which the director said: "It could be the most terrifying motion picture I have ever made!" Based on the series' focus on women's studies, this dissection will surely prioritize Tippi Hedren's experience as the lead over Hitchcock's craft.

READINGS & TALKS

Yoon Ha Lee
Epic sci-fi author (of, notably, Machineries of Empire), short-story writer, poet, and interactive game maker Lee will speak with E. Lily Wu about his work.