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In the late 1970s, Jean-Michel Basquiat began his career as a street artist, tagging the Lower East Side of Manhattan as part of the enigmatic duo SAMO. A decade later, he was exhibiting internationally, as wealthy collectors clamored after the urban authenticity they perceived in his work. His tragically short life—Basquiat died of a heroin overdose in 1988 at the age of 27—only heightened this appeal, and in May 2017, an untitled 1982 painting of a skull set a new auction record for any American artist when it sold for $110.5 million. This painting is currently hanging at the Seattle Art Museum. As Charles Mudede has pointed out, its proximity to Seattle's currently inflated housing market is apt. Basquiat was a brilliant painter, but his brilliance is utterly captive to a system that buys and sells the products of human creativity as assets. Thirty years after the artist's death, this skull is still screaming. EMILY POTHAST
OKO Pop-Up at Kamonegi
Chef Josh Nebe has engineered poutine-like chowder fries for White Swan Public House and crafted sausages at Radiator Whiskey, and he is the man responsible for the madcap carnival-themed menu of corn dogs and “narwhal balls” at Unicorn. Now he’s bringing his genius for imaginative comfort food to OKO, his pop-up inspired by the soul food of Osaka and Hiroshima, serving okonomiyaki (a savory Japanese pancake containing a mishmash of ingredients) and teppanyaki (a style of Japanese food cooked on an iron griddle). At acclaimed Wallingford restaurant Kamonegi, he’ll serve a five-course tasting menu with items like shrimp toast with tomato dashi, and okonomiyaki made with corn, dried squid, pork belly, and miso. JULIANNE BELL
Lead Pencil Studio: The Line Store
A storefront project of local clothing brand Maiden Noir, Da Da Da Gallery invites artists to experiment with the retail store/gallery concept. Lead Pencil Studio, Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo’s art/architecture collaborative, goes deep on the mark they have examined for years through their outdoor sculptural installations: the line. They aren’t kidding—for sale are short multi lines, flat lines, fat lines, thin lines, and Bach Suite notation lines (depicted in both straight lines and dots). One Pencil Drawing is an interpretation of the American flag in grayscale. Tacked next to it and also for sale is the sharpened nub of the Ticonderoga pencil used to draw it. KATIE KURTZ
She Kills Monsters
The Seattle Rep’s production of Qui Nguyen’s Vietcong ruled, and the Schmee’s production of this earlier work by Nguyen—a nerdy, funny, dramatic comedy about a teen girl using Dungeons & Dragons to cope with her sister’s death—will probably rule also. Shortly after rehearsing for “the final lip sync sword fight,” Butch Alice described the play on Facebook as the “wildest drag show/theater crossover” she’s ever directed, so come prepared. RICH SMITH
No performance on Tuesday
In this drama by up-and-comer Madhuri Shekar about the agonies of science and academia, two Ph.D. candidates researching beehive declines are about to publish a major paper when one of them discovers an error in their work, putting them to an ethical test. Shekar has won multiple awards for her plays, including a Jeff Award for this one.
No performance on Tuesday or Wednesday
TUESDAYFOOD & DRINK
Trivia Tuesday with Washington Wild
Test your capacity for arcane knowledge about Washington State, and its land, water, wildlife, and history at this trivia night with nonprofit Washington Wild, which "protects wild lands and rivers in Washington State through advocacy, education and civic engagement," for a shot at prizes. Plus, get cozy with a wilderness-inspired menu from Hot Cakes, including s'mores molten cake, s'mores hot cocoa, and more.
Salmon and the Salish Sea: Stories and Sovereignty
Native storytellers and academics will address historical and natural issues of the Salish Sea, namely the "cultural significance of salmon, food sovereignty and issues in salmon recovery." Learn more about the urgent cultural and environmental stakes of salmon from UW's American Indian Studies Associate Professor Charlotte Cote (Tseshaht/Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation), Valerie Segrest (Muckleshoot), Susan Balbas (Cherokee and Yaqui Nations), and Roger Fernandes (Lower Elwha Band S’Klallam).
This Is My Dinner: The Perform-ART Dramedy Musical
Two bratty performance artists are forced to deal with life beyond art school in this original satirical musical, which has clawed its way out of the Fringe Festival pit. They say: "There's as much truth in this show as there is metal trashcan: 32 gallons."
Katie Miller: The Presence of Absence
Katie Miller conjures architectural impressions out of light and shadow, including through a "labyrinth of cut paper," in this installation that reflects on urban environments.
The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera is fog-machine technology’s greatest achievement. It has been running on Broadway for 30 years and shows no signs of stopping. This national touring production boasts “newly reinvented staging and stunning scenic design,” according to advance word. Christine will be played by Eva Tavares, a performer from Vancouver, BC, who has studied opera seriously. The phantom will be played by Quentin Oliver Lee, who was in the national tour of Porgy and Bess. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
WEDNESDAYREADINGS & TALKS
Paulette Perhach: Welcome to the Writer’s Life Book Launch
Former Made at Hugo House resident and Stranger contributor Paulette Perhach offers a book that's "like freshman orientation for writers," published at Seattle's own wonderful Sasquatch Books. Learn all about the business of writing from an author with a funny, relatable voice.
The Intimate Diebenkorn: Works on Paper, 1949-1992
See 52 ethereal, abstract drawings and paintings on paper by Richard Diebenkorn, which he created while living and teaching in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Sausalito, Berkeley, Ocean Park, and Healdsburg, California.
José Guadalupe Posada and the Mexican Penny Press
José Guadalupe Posada was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico, during the politically tumultuous 19th century. As a teenager, he studied lithography, etching, and relief printing, and also worked as a political cartoonist for a local newspaper. Posada is best known for his broadsides—single sheets of paper, printed on one side, which would be sold on the streets for one penny—filled with biting satire and images of skeletons engaged in a variety of fanciful tasks. Today he is remembered as one of the most important graphic artists of the early 20th century and one of Mexico's most beloved folk artists. EMILY POTHAST
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
Porgy and Bess
The setting: Charleston, South Carolina. The time: long ago. The story: Porgy is a beggar ("I Got Plenty o' Nuttin"); Bess is a loose woman ("Bess, O Where's My Bess?"). The two are part of a love triangle completed by Crown, a rough and manly longshoreman. Early in the opera, a craps game happens. But the pleasures of gambling do not last long. A fight erupts. Crown kills another man, Robbins. Crown flees before the police arrive. Bess, who is hated by the other women of the ghetto, moves in with the only man, Porgy, who will offer her protection from the law. Porgy falls in love with her; Bess fails to fall totally in love with him. The opera has a sad ending. But the George Gershwin opera provided jazz with two giant standards: "Summertime" and "I Loves You, Porgy." It's also considered by many as the United States' only legitimate contribution to the opera canon. CHARLES MUDEDE
No performance on Thursday
Comic Life 4: Thick As Thieves Opening
The gallery will highlight the chaotic, cartoony, avant-garde art of contributors to the Thick as Thieves local comics quarterly.
Carole Lombard: Queen of Comedy
The cool, brainy star of 1930s cinema acted in great movies like To Be or Not To Be (the final screening tonight), My Man Godfrey, and Hitchcock’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Watch the films that made her famous at this weekly SAM series—tonight's selection is To Be or Not to Be.
Magnuson Park Night Market
Scope out handmade goods and vintage items from sellers and nosh on food truck fare.
Imana Gunawan of the diverse dance group Au Collective presents this cabaret on the theme of the moon—"What does the moon wish for? Whom does it love? What if it can feel all the transformations it triggers? And what if it is moved to stop all its revolutions?" She'll close out Nights at the Neptune.
THURSDAY & SATURDAYART
Summer at SAM
These Thursday and Saturday events offer a range of family-friendly arts programming throughout the park, including yoga and Zumba on Saturdays, tours, shows, workshops, food trucks, and more. Don't miss a performance from Terror/Cactus and Pampa for the last week.
14/48 Projects + Cafe Nordo: Food Theater Thunderdome
Four playwrights and chefs with a randomly chosen cast and director create a paired play and four-course dinner with a randomly chosen secret ingredient in this collaboration with the 14/48 Projects. They only have five days to come up with the whole thing.
The Disney fairy-tale princesses are here to slay your preconceptions and tell their own versions of the stories you know in this comedic musical.
The Great Inconvenience
Playwright Holly Arsenault won a lot of praise and acclaim for her last premiere at Annex, Undo, which was about a conscious uncoupling. My former colleague Brendan Kiley called it "such a beautifully written play." She's hoping to reproduce that success with her latest effort, The Great Inconvenience. Arsenault sets the play in the not-too-distant future, during a time when the American government has abandoned any pretense of helping the poor and underserved. In this hellscape, a group of friends keeps fed by whitewashing "some of the worst atrocities in American history for audiences of wealthy schoolchildren." Then a stranger comes to town and forces them to finally reckon with the history they've been avoiding. RICH SMITH
THURSDAY-SUNDAYFOOD & DRINK
Li'l Woody's Dessert Month
Seattle is host to a wealth of bakers and ice cream makers. For the month of August, local burger joint Li'l Woody's is teaming up with some of the city's favorite up-and-coming sweets suppliers. Each week, a new special will arrive on Thursday and be available through the weekend, or until they sell out. This week, don't miss out on snickerdoodles stuffed with raspberry filling and white chocolate chips from Emily Allport of the cookie pop-up Lowrider Baking.
The Who's Tommy
If you can see only one rock opera, you should probably make it The Who’s Tommy. Seriously, who can’t relate to a deaf and blind pinball wizard? Overcoming physical and mental hardships to succeed at an adolescent game requiring extraordinary hand-eye coordination is… a recipe for euphoria. Actually, Who mastermind Pete Townshend used this absurd premise to explore spiritual enlightenment; it was 1969, after all. Helping significantly to achieve that state is the music, which represents some of Townshend’s most melodically and lyrically ambitious work—expansive, psychedelic rock with hooks to die and cry for. Director Phil Lacey and music director Brandon Peck promise to upgrade Tommy for 21st-century sensibilities. DAVE SEGAL
Neal Brennan is a writer and correspondent for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, but he's done a whole lot more than that. He's got three Emmys under his belt, he's produced a Chris Rock comedy special, and he's got a show on Netflix called 3 Mics in which he alternates three different comedy styles in one go. Get a taste of his versatility this August.
Cuoco's Rosé on the Patio
Lounge on the patio, sip a selection of Italian rosé, and nibble on summery picnic snacks while a DJ provides background music.
At this ceremonial tapping of Rhubarbarella—a "punchy and pleasantly bitter" 5.8% ABV brett pale with rhubarb and "pale, biscuit and wheat malts, as well as palisade hops" and the latest release in Elysian's Capitol Hill series—Capitol Hill Lead Brewer Hiawatha Rhyans will lead a toast, KEXP's DJ Morgan will spin, and the psych-pop trio Spirit Award will perform.
Ever the epicenter of Seattle’s food scene, Pike Place Market celebrates its 111th birthday in 2018. At this annual event, dozens of local restaurants, wineries, breweries, and distilleries commune on the market's cobblestones during a balmy August evening, as the sun sinks low in the sky and casts a soft glow, and guests soak up food, drink, and live music. As with last year, the festivities will spill out onto the new MarketFront expansion. In attendance this year: craft-cocktail speakeasy Knee High Stocking Co.; Pike Place fixture Matt’s in the Market; the simple, elegant Lecosho; charmingly old-timey ice cream parlor Shug’s Soda Fountain; plus countless others and a litany of local beer, wine, and spirits producers. Proceeds go to the Pike Place Market Foundation, which aims to support the market’s community by providing housing, childcare, healthy food, and other services. JULIANNE BELL
Elizabeth Rush: Rising
Contemplate the future of the American coastline with Elizabeth Rush's panorama of communities affected by climate change and its resultant disasters. An excerpt published in the Guardian: "I do not believe in a vengeful God – if God exists at all – so I do not think of the flood as punishment for human sin. What interests me most is what happens to the story when I remove it from its religious framework: Noah’s flood is one of the most fully developed accounts of environmental change in ancient history. It tries to make sense of a cataclysmic earthbound event that happened long ago, before written language, before the domestication of horses, before the first Egyptian mummies and the rise of civilization in Crete. An event for which the teller clearly held humans responsible." The writing is clear and intelligent; the science is terrifying.
FRIDAY-SATURDAYFOOD & DRINK
SILVA - The Story of Washington
At this pop-up named after the Latin word meaning "forest," chef Eric Rivera will tell the story of Washington with an evolving 12-15 course tasting menu that will teach guests about the "people, ingredients, and preparations from across Washington."
Henry IV, Part 1
You can keep your Hamlets, your Macbeths, your Kings Lear—the drama of Prince Hal’s apprenticeship to Sir John Falstaff, and of Falstaff’s delusional mentoring of the future king is Shakespeare’s most emotionally resonant dramatic achievement. It’s about the way people love and betray themselves and each other. It’s a story of family, transformation, and loyalty, of fathers and sons both logical and biological. It’s about how people reconcile themselves to the rewards and requirements of honor. (It’s also the source of the old adage about discretion and valor, PS.) There’s a LOT of Shakespeare available to Seattle audiences this summer, and by all means, see as much as you can. But start with the first of the three essential Henry plays, because, as Hotspur reminds us, “the time of life is short; to spend that shortness basely were too long." SEAN NELSON
The ever-growing stoner-friendly waterfront festival, which bills itself as the "premier flagship event of the global cannabis culture," will return for the 27th year. Noting its appeal to the "tie-dyed Phish-shirt division" of pot enthusiasts, former Stranger contributor David Schmader has lauded the massive cannabis convocation for its role in helping legalize weed in Washington State. As it's done in years past, the festival will boast three days of weed-themed music, speeches from local industry leaders, congresspeople, and celebrities, and hundreds of vendors selling food, arts and crafts, and pot paraphernalia.
Seattle Tattoo Expo
Hidden Hand Tattoo hosts this three-day expo of permanently decorated flesh. See displays, attend seminars, and find the right artist to punch that sweet RBG tat into your skin. Featured tattoo artists include Jeff Cornell (of Hidden Hand), Shawn Barber (of LA's Memoir Tattoo), VyVyn Lazonga (of Seattle's Madame Lazonga's Tattoo), Big Gus (of California's Tattoo Nightmares), and independent New Yorker inker Takashi Matsuba, among others. There are also contests that you can enter, side shows, music acts, and more. Bring the kids!
Sound and Vision Film Fest
For the first time, Cinerama will focus on the harmony of sight and sound, with excellently soundtracked movies like Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049, Mad Max: Fury Road (Black & Chrome), Mulholland Drive, Total Recall, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Stop Making Sense.
Intiman 2018 Emerging Artist Showcase
For the fourth year, a diverse group of up-and-coming local artists from Intiman's Emerging Artist Program (whose director is local playwright Sara Porkalob) will showcase their recent work. The 2018 cohort includes Amber Tanaka, Alexei Cifrese, Cassandra Leon, Jasmine Lomax, Jennifer Kim, Laurie Lynch, Adrian Kljucec, and others.
Lusio Lights Georgetown with TRUST
Wandering around Volunteer Park last year through Lusio's effervescent light installations was a summer highlight. While Georgetown may be less lush, the confines of Bar Ciudad offer other pleasures: food, drink, and a proper sound system, since nothing pairs better with eye candy for the artistically inclined than a stellar soundtrack. GREG SCRUGGS
Screenprinting Work Party to Increase Mid-Term Voter Turnout
Bring your own t-shirt to Claire Jauregui and Marja Huhta's screenprinting workshop for pro-voting messages. Take home your own designs to spread around.
This free "local food and sustainable living" festival will feature live cooking demos, a farmers market, educational classes about sustainability and the environment, a market of upcycled goods from local makers, and music from Matisyahu, Caspar Babypants, Recess Monkey, Unkitawa, and the True Loves. Plus, the garden party housed within the verdant grounds of Marymoor Park’s Clise Mansion will feature small plates from Lark’s James Beard Award–winning chef, John Sundstrom—a magician of swoon-worthy seasonal cuisine sure to feel right at home amid all the greenery—alongside beer, wine, and cider. A portion of the proceeds from the party will benefit Viva Farms, a nonprofit small farm business incubator dedicated to launching a new generation of farmers. JULIANNE BELL
Food Porn Pop-Up
Sate your hunger and spice up your Instagram with such photogenic comestibles as NOSH Fish and Chips, 9th & Hennepin Doughnuts, SÜSU Hand-Rolled Ice Cream, Puffle Up, and more.
Rosé All Day: Birthday Soiree with Veuve
Toast to the 200th birthday of famed luxury champagne house Veuve Clicquot's sparkling rosé with specials on Veuve Yellow Label and rosé, as well as "berries and bubbles" cocktails and frosé. To commemorate the first year blended rosé was developed, all bottles will be $18.18.
Seattle Hot Sauce Fest
If you, like Beyoncé, keep a bottle of hot sauce stashed in your bag at all times, this festival—which promises samples of caliente condiments from local purveyors like Secret Aardvark, FireFlower Sauce, and Pepper Preppers—was made for you. Quell the burn with beer from Diamond Knot Brewing, libations like brown sugar bourbon churro cocktails and smoked Bloody Marys, and root-beer floats made with Full Tilt ice cream. Food trucks like Where Ya At Matt, Bread and Circuses, and Nacho Mama’s will provide nourishment. JULIANNE BELL
Seattle Taco Takeover
At this festival, guests are tasked with the daunting responsibility of acting as judges, tasting tacos and Latin American–inspired dishes from local chefs, as well as tequila-spiked tipples from local bartenders for the Jose Cuervo cocktail competition. There’s live music and games to keep you entertained in between stuffing your face and imbibing. High-rolling VIPs get access to a garnish-your-own-paloma bar, a churro station, and a mythical-sounding fountain of queso. JULIANNE BELL
The Future Is 0
I’m often told of a magical TV show that aired during the even more magical era that was Seattle in the 1980s and ’90s, a time when everyone lived in a punk house and everyone sucked gay cock. That TV show was Almost Live!, and it was basically like Seattle’s SNL, and everyone loved it. While I never watched Almost Live! live, I've spent a good deal of time watching it on (gasp) the internet, and I’d like to posit that The Future Is 0—a live game show—carries on the tradition of Almost Live!’s nerdy, affable, charismatic humor. But, of course, they are not the same thing, and Seattle has sucked since Almost Live! ended and the Kingdome exploded. CHASE BURNS
Thriftease: Summer Is Dead
The premise of Thriftease is complicated—it’s an auction, fashion show, striptease, drag night, craft sale, and DJ set—but its execution is delightfully fun. The event, produced and curated by local drag queen Mona Real and DJ MMMelt, features queer go-go queens and dive-bar divas modeling vintage finds while the audience bids on the items—everything beginning at an affordable $1. This sixth installment of Thriftease is themed “Summer Is Dead,” so there will be plenty of black, leather, lace, and studs. Follow Real’s vintage shop, Real Bazaar, on Instagram @realbazaar for an idea of what type of garments you can expect to see. CHASE BURNS
Wars Outdoors: A New Hope in the Park
Inclusive casting and very primitive special effects are two of the charms of this outdoor theater series. They've been putting on Outdoor [Star] Trek for some time, but this time they're switching to the universe of George Lucas.
SHRIEK! Under the Shadow
Evan J. Peterson and Heather Bartels curate this film and community education series that examines the role of women and minorities in horror films. They'll show the fascinating Iranian supernatural thriller about an isolated woman in repressive Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, and the terrifying creature that wants to steal her daughter.
Brunch with Musang: August Vibes
Bar del Corso chef Melissa Miranda will share a summertime version of her "fresh and seasonal take on Filipino favorites" at this recurring pop-up.
Lobster Hiphop Night
You've heard of a rock lobster, but how about a hiphop lobster? This dinner from Ethan Stowell's Marine Hardware pairs whole lobsters with drawn butter and lemon and Old Bay-seasoned fries with throwback hiphop tunes.