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MONDAY & THURSDAY-SUNDAYPERFORMANCE
Local theater powerhouse Sara Porkalob will direct the world premiere of Susan Lieu’s autobiographical solo show 140 LBS. When Lieu was young, her mom died two hours into a tummy tuck operation. The surgeon was charged with medical negligence, and her family struggled to move on from the loss. Decades later, Lieu decided to confront her mother's killer, as well her mother's and her own relationship with the "impossible ideal of Vietnamese feminine beauty." Porkalob is known for her ability to faithfully render a handful of wildly different characters in her solo shows, so look for her to draw out a similar talent in Lieu. RICH SMITH
This show looks like a fun mess. At the beginning of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins's Pulitzer-shortlisted revival of a 15th-century morality play, none of the actors know which role they're going to play. Actors playing the characters God and Death randomly select the roles for the other actors, and the show gets underway. Ben Brantley at the New York Times called the first run "self-consciously whimsical and repetitive," but he didn't seem to say it in a mean way. Strawberry Theatre Workshop's production features some actors who are good on their feet—Justin Huertas, Lamar Legend, MJ Sieber—and so I have every confidence that they'll be able to turn this "work in progress," to use Brantley's terms, into an exuberant romp about the inevitability of death. RICH SMITH
Alfredo Arreguín: Life Patterns
This Mexican-born Seattle artist, according to his representatives at Linda Hodges Gallery "recognized as one of the originators of the Pattern and Decoration movement in painting," imitates mosaic, tile, and floral decorations in oils. A salmon fisher and nature lover, he often depicts life in the Salish Sea. (As a side note, he was also pals with the writer Raymond Carver.) This exhibition will mount more than 30 of his works, particularly his more recent achievements.
Outstanding: Queer Comic Competition
Queerspace Magazine and Gutter Twink Productions will produce this live-taped evening of comedy from the PQUILTBAG set. Bobby Higley will host a lineup of winners of the last round: hilarious folks Claire Webber, Corina Lucas, D Martin Austin, Evelyn Jensen, Mitch Slap, and Riley McCarthy.
The Atomic Bombshells in J'ADORE!: A Burlesque Valentine
The boisterous Atomic Bombshells troupe has been instrumental in Seattle's burlesque revival, so for lovers of feathery, busty, glitzy fun, there's no better spectacle to attend for V-Day. Special guests Cherdonna Shinatra and local dance collective Purple Lemonade will help founder Kitten LaRue and company celebrate the showgirls' 11th anniversary.
Anthony White: Smoke and Mirrors
White is 24 years old and his work is maximalist to the highest degree. It has been causing waves in the Seattle art scene, and for good reason—it's really fucking cool, and it seemingly came out of nowhere. He makes his giant, vibrant paintings on handmade wooden panels, although calling them paintings is almost a disservice to them. They occupy a unique middle ground between painting and sculpture. His work is very much of this century: blisteringly bright and loud, distinctly American, inspired by (and commenting on) technology. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Joe Rudko: Same as it ever was
Seattle-based artist Joe Rudko cuts up found photographs to create and reinterpret the way we encounter and think about images—sometimes to trippy result. Whether rearranging the shredded photos into a complex labyrinth or seemingly weaving together two different pictures into a lattice, Rudko makes you think about the physicality of the photo itself. His exhibition at Greg Kucera Gallery is sure to subvert the traditional way we view photography. JASMYNE KEIMIG
WEDNESDAYREADINGS & TALKS
Samuel Sinyangwe: Using Data to Advance Racial Justice
Social justice-focused data scientist Sinyangwe founded the activist website We the Protestors, which helps to track police violence and advance solutions to systemic racist repression through Campaign Zero. His influence has been recognized on Forbes's 30 Under 30 list and on the Root 100. UW Public Lectures brings him to speak to Seattleites.
'To Sleep With Anger' with Charles Mudede
Per Charles Mudede: "“Here are two things that cannot be contested: The greatest film made by a black American is Charles Burnett’s To Sleep with Anger, and the greatest film made by a black African is Djibril Diop Mambéty’s Hyenas. [...] [To Sleep With Anger] is unknown, and was completely ignored by the Oscars, because it's an intelligent film about black people, and yet has almost nothing to say or to do with white racism." After the Friday screening of this masterpiece, stay on for a talk by Mudede (who's celebrating his birthday!).
As it turns out, Klaus Nomi wasn't just the singer in a viral video you may have seen in college! He was a new-wave vaudevillian with a soprano that could melt the heart of even the heaviest of heavy metal rockers in the 1980s. (If you were out of the loop, look up the song "Lightning Strikes" on YouTube.) He was a fixture in New York's underground music scene, and his German expressionist wardrobes, incredible facility with makeup, and operatic synths had a big influence on David Bowie and the Talking Heads. In Alien/Angel, Devin Bannon will bring this larger-than-life character back to the stage, with help from Annastasia Workman on piano and Kathy Moore on guitar. Boylesque dancer Waxie Moon is running the choreography for Bannon's two backup dancers, and Keira MacDonald will direct. Enjoy this tale of a queer icon alongside a menu of pastry and pies, a nod to Nomi's talent for baking. RICH SMITH
In his book American Junkie, Seattle memoirist Tom Hansen presented his no-bullshit, matter-of-fact account of heroin addiction, self-destruction, and eventual recovery in the 1990s. According to press materials, Jane Jones and Kevin McKeon's adaptation of his story for the stage will be "a ride through Seattle’s music scene during the grunge era." No doubt Hansen's story will also resonate with people living through the current ravages of the opioid crisis. RICH SMITH
The slinky dancers of Pike Place's kitschy cabaret return with another tasty show. Ever wanted to ogle athletic dancers twirling from chandeliers inches from your face? Go. There's also a family-friendly brunch version that you can guiltlessly take your out-of-town relatives to.
Hollywood & Vine
Enjoy a vintage and magic-filled tribute to Tinseltown with the 20-year-old circus troupe Teatro ZinZanni as they perform in their new Woodinville space.
I Do! I Do!
Get ready to weep nostalgic tears at the Village Theatre's production of a multiple Tony Award-winning musical by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, which portrays 50 years of a loving marriage.
For the last eight years, the Seagull Project has been working with ACTLab to stage all four of Anton Chekhov's major canonical works. The production of Uncle Vanya is the fourth and final installment, marking the end of a long and theatrically fruitful partnership. This is a big deal, and a real turning point for the group, and nobody is sure what they'll do next, but I'm real excited about their take on this hyper-melancholic doozy from the great Russian realist about unrequited love, adultery, boredom, and despair. (If you've been tuning in for the last several years, you'll know those are all common themes.) This show has three of my favorite actors in town—Alexandra Tavares, Peter Crook, and Kevin Lin—so there's no way it's not going to be good. RICH SMITH
Bawdy Storytelling's 'Best of Bawdy'
Storytellers, porn stars, sex educators, and others will gush over their sexual escapades live. Think The Moth but dirtier. If you're stumped as to where to take your date on Valentine's Day, this event promises to be "mega-date material."
Comedy of Love: A Valentine's Day Improv
Make your Valentine's Day spontaneous and silly at this show inspired by your loves, lusts, and romantic mishaps.
You've seen Jen Kirkman on Chelsea Lately, @Midnight, Conan, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and her Netflix specials I'm Gonna Die Alone and Just Keep Livin'?, but did you know she's also a writer on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? She's also penned the bestselling books I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From a Happy Life Without Kids and I Know What I'm Doing — And Other Lies I Tell Myself.
Your Funny Valentine
Take some of the pressure off the holiday by hearing funny sets from stand-up comics. Cycle Dogs will be on site selling their vegan noshes.
The Magic Lantern of Ingmar Bergman
Swedish visionary film director Ingmar Bergman would have been 100 this year. His deeply introspective, unabashedly emotional, despairing yet strangely life-affirming oeuvre will once again be onscreen at Seattle Art Museum (in association with the Nordic Museum). Oh, hey, and they’re showing one of the most traumatizing movies about relationships ever made, Cries and Whispers, on Valentine’s Day. Happy coincidence? JOULE ZELMAN
Pr0n 4 Freakz
ScumTrust Productions and Northwest Film Forum are partnering to bring you queer and trans smut every two months. Arrive early to hang out with freaky new friends and shop the “sexy witch market.” Stay on after the dirty movie for a Q&A on sex, pleasure, queerness, and gender.
Valentine's Day Dinner
If you plan on taking your valentine out to dinner on Valentine's Day, your options range from classic (like a "love-inducing" menu at Tarsan i Jane and the French-inspired Valentine's Day Romantic Dinner at Maximilien) to decidedly unconventional (like the 20-course concept-less tasting menu at addo, W Seattle's Rosé over Roses, Darrell's Tavern's Valentine's Day Insect Feast, and a beer-forward feast at Serious Pie). Other promising prixe-fixe menus can be found Adana, RN74, Super Six, Sushi Kappo Tamura, and Terra Plata.
Gold Dust Women: Drag Does Fleetwood Mac
For the past five years, Kremwerk has been welcoming the weirdest and most original drag artists in the city, and the nightclub's fifth anniversary happily coincides with the most romantic day of the year. This evening will be devoted to the theatrical, harmonic pop of Fleetwood Mac, which will provide the score to dance/performance art/general bizarrerie by Americano, Betty Wetter, Monday Mourning, and One. The notorious Cookie Couture will host.
Capitol Hill Art Walk
Every second Thursday, rain or shine, the streets of Capitol Hill are filled with tipsy art lovers checking out galleries and special events. In February, don't miss Love Is a Four-Letter Word.
Run out of Wes Anderson movies to watch? Scratch that quirky itch with a brand-new "film" acted out by improv performers.
Settings from the "jazz club to the apocalypse" provide the backdrop for Jerboa Dance Company's movement exploration of "power and gender." After each evening performance, stay on for a swing dance and after-party.
Nicola Gunn: Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster
Fans of bone-dry British humor, moral conundrums, and experimental theater take heed. Nicola Gunn is coming to town with one of those intellectual monologue + modern dance numbers, during which she will explore a very particular situation. While walking along a canal in Belgium, a woman spots a man throwing rocks at a sitting duck. What should she do? Should she walk by? Should she confront him? Should she sneak up behind him and push him into the water? Does she even owe it to the ducks to defend them in the first place? And what if she, herself, is a duck? You'll have to go to find out. If the glowing reviews are any indication, then I think you should. RICH SMITH
Stripped Screw Burlesque presents: Hard Love: Valentine's Day
Mod Carousel and Stripped Screw's "dangerous dames" will celebrate the debaucherous side of Valentine's Day with these vaudevillian shows.
Didier Hamey: Les Bonshommes
There’s something about Didier Hamey’s figures—or perhaps it’s better to call them entities—that’s a bit mystic but also very beautiful. These beings seem to inhabit several different planes all at once, taking forms that blend leaves, animals, and human heads to create something almost outside recognition. Inspired by the tradition of carnival across the world, in Les Bonshommes, the French artist works in his favored medium of drypoint etching to create a new cast of carnival characters. The results are a little haunting and also dreamlike, a true testament to Hamey’s expansive imagination. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Reasonably famous for his roles on Undateable and Whitney, Chris D’Elia is a handsome T-shirt-and-jeans-wearing schlub whose comedic material is common as hell, but his animated, on-point gestures, vocal inflections, and impressions amplify his humor into some genuine ROFL bits. He has a PhD in analyzing dude-bro behavior, and some high points of his stand-up include a brutal takedown of Drake, a breakdown of the best and worst laughers, and why Russians are always angry. His staunch stance on birthday parties: “Birthday parties are like penises—I like mine and that’s it.” D’Elia’s 2015 comedy special, Incorrigible, aptly summarizes his onstage persona—yet he’s totally endearing with it. DAVE SEGAL
La Chambre de Valtesse XXX
For those with a yen for high-end kink, the performers of Valtesse will revel in opulent "couture burlesque, aerial, whips, chains, dance, and doms." Look out for special guests like Entwined, Moth and the Masque, Porcelain (performing on V-Day weekend), 2018 Miss Exotic World Inga, and others who'll make the evening extra titillating. Wear black, red, and/or fetish gear to fit in, and stay on after the show for a party by the fireplace.
The 2019 edition of this excellent annual festival features classic films, many of them newly restored. It closes with the underappreciated race noir Odds Against Tomorrow, which has one of the creepiest racist scenes in all of cinema. It happens like this: White ex-con Earle (Robert Ryan) is walking down a city street. Birds are in the air and children are playing on the sidewalk. One of them, a black girl, accidentally bumps into Earle. He picks her up and says to her small and confused face: “Hey, you little pickaninny, you are going to kill yourself flying like that.” The girl smiles weakly; he smiles wickedly, puts her back down, and walks into the seedy Hotel Juno. What makes the scene so creepy is not so much that he calls the girl a pickaninny, but that he talks to her in the way one usually does to a dog or a cat. Earle can’t see the human in the black girl, but only a lower, dim animal. This unsettling scene sets us up for the bad news Earle is about to receive from the planner of a bank heist: He has to work with a black man, Johnny (Harry Belafonte). Earle hates black people. He wants nothing to do with them. But he needs the money, and the heist will not work without the decoy of a black man. The ending of this film is a full-blown race apocalypse. CHARLES MUDEDE
Twisted Cabaret Presents: My Twisted Valentine
Welcome Frank Oliver and his "retinue" of European circus stars—what? It's just him? That's right: Oliver plays every single juggler, acrobat, magician, musician, mime, and everyone else onstage.
25th Anniversary Party! Playfulness as Resistance
Put a spring in your rebellious step at this art party, featuring attractions by some of the most playful artists around: Colleen Louise Barry (curator of Mount Analogue) with her ball pit, Timothy Rysdyke (curator of the Factory) making drinks, and artist Claire Cowie with her temporary tattoos. Plus music by SassyBlack and Felisha Ledesma.
Gretchen Frances Bennett: Air, the free or unconfined space above the surface of the earth
Gretchen Frances Bennett’s drawings shimmer like an oil slick in the sun, seemingly capturing the full spectrum and color of light—like an image that you see just through your eyelids, an impression of something bright that unfurled before you. The Seattle artist’s use of popular media, like videos on YouTube and personal photographs, give her drawings a granular-like quality, as if they were transmitted to your eyes through radio waves. But there’s also a raw emotional charge to them. Bennett will be showing key works from the last 10 years, as well as debuting five new drawings and a collaborative slideshow. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Chain Lynx Fence
Stranger arts calendar editor Joule Zelman will host another night of all-queer, femme, and nonbinary comedians, adepts of improv, stand-up, and sketch. The idea is to concentrate the immense amount of talent in the queer scene with a focus on people who are often marginalized in comedy—still!
Carla Hall at JuneBaby
For Black History Month, JuneBaby chef Edouardo Jordan is enlisting some major talent, including the ebullient Nashville-born chef and TV personality Carla Hall, one-time cohost of ABC's cooking-themed talk show The Chew and former contestant and fan favorite on Bravo's Top Chef and Top Chef All-Stars. Hall—who spent years working as a runway model in Paris, Milan, and London in the 1990s, and ate her way through Europe—cooks Southern food inspired by her memories of her grandmother's Sunday suppers and espouses a philosophy of "cooking with love," insisting that care will come through in the finished product. (It seems to check out: The inimitable Jacques Pépin once said he could “die happy” after tasting her fresh peas.) At this event, she'll bring her soul-food stylings to JuneBaby’s menu. JULIANNE BELL
Chef Collaborative Dinner at Marian Built Loft
Cook a multi-course meal from Julien Perry's Seattle Cooks: Signature Recipes from the City's Best Chefs & Bartenders, with acclaimed chefs Zoi Antonitsas (of Little Fish), Aaron Tekulve (of New American pop-up Surrell), and Perry himself.
Magnuson Winter Night Market
Careful observation tells us that If there’s one thing Seattleites love more than weed and coffee, it’s pop-up markets (have you seen this place around the holidays?). The popular Magnuson Winter Night Market brings over 100 local “makers, finders, and foodies” selling their goods in one spot. Whether you’re hunting for a late Valentine’s Day gift or you’re in the mood to find some cool stuff for yourself, you’re bound to come across something that catches your eye (or your nose). You can also bundle up for outdoor lawn games and keep warm by dancing to live DJs and drinking beer in a heated garden. Go get your thrills.
It's chilly outside. Warm up with melty cheese draped over baguettes, veggies, and charcuterie at this raclette party. Your meal will be paired with wine from Seven Hills, Double Canyon, and Archery Summit.
WineSeattle: Washington Wine Blog Critics Choice
Gaze upon the city's skyline while you taste a stellar lineup of vintage Washington wines.
Kremwerk has been Seattle’s mecca for queer parties for five years, and it’s celebrating this anniversary by bringing back one of its most loved events, Cathedral, for one night only. Cathedral debuted in 2014, creating a rowdy scene that featured Seattle’s best queer freaks, genre-bending drag artists, and fun DJs in an unpretentious space. This return of Cathedral will feature Amoania, Cucci Binaca, and Butylene O'Kipple as drag performers; Gag Reflex, LivWuTang, and Saturn.9 as DJs; plus some mystic visuals from Nasty.head. Dress for a photo booth and go feel your fantasy. CHASE BURNS
Live Wire Radio
Luke Burbank's Live Wire is an NPR-type variety program based in Portland, Oregon, featuring artists, writers, filmmakers, and musicians in conversation. See it live!
In a third day of celebrating Kremwerk's five years of drag shows, Baby Guuurl & Angela Visalia will host an evening of performances of tracks from RuPaul and her queens.
Marlon James: Black Leopard, Red Wolf
Jamaican author Marlon James scooped up the Man Booker Prize in 2015 for A Brief History of Seven Killings, his polyvocal, linguistically dense novel about the attempted assassination of Bob Marley. The literary world rightfully went nuts over it—and they're likely to do the same for his new book, Black Leopard, Red Wolf, which the New Yorker's Jia Tolentino described as "an African Game of Thrones." The book is the first in a new fantasy trilogy that relies heavily on African myth. The story follows a hunter named Tracker, who is on a quest to find a lost boy. RICH SMITH
Chop Shop: Bodies of Work
This contemporary dance festival has presented performances from troupes and artists around the world, with the goal of reaching diverse audiences and connecting people of all abilities with dance instruction. The artists this year will be Lauren Horn//Subira vs. Movement Dance Company from Windsor, CT; Javier Padilla & the Movement Playground, Julia Antinozzi, and Margot Gelber & Dancers from New York; the Stone Dance Collective from Seattle and the Eastside; Lydia Relle from Phoenix and Seattle; natalya shoaf from San Francisco; and Julie Crothers from Oakland.
Match Game: Something This Way Furry Comes
Contestants will try to guess local celebrities' answers to silly questions during this beloved, long-running, ribald series run by Richard Rugburn and Miss Moist Towelette. The theme this time is "Something This Way Furry Comes."
Maz Jobrani: The Still Touring Tour
After George W. Bush declared North Korea, Iran, and Iraq to be the "Axis of Evil," Tehran-born Maz Jobrani and other entertainers riposted with their Axis of Evil tour. And, as the title proclaims, Jobrani is still indeed around, drawing on the ever-streaming font of material that is Western prejudice against and misunderstanding of Middle Easterners. Now, Jobrani stars in Superior Donuts with Jermaine Fowler. He's performed at the White House, on Showtime, and in many films, such as Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero and Friday After Next, and is a Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! panelist.
Cine Mexicano: ‘70s Art House
See very different Mexican art house films from the 1970s, including tonight's Tívoli, Alberto Isaac's attack on conservative political virtue-signaling set in a burlesque theater. Co-presented with Consulado de México en Seattle.
Alki Oyster Fest 2019
At the second annual Oyster Fest on Alki Beach, slurp fresh Hama Hama oysters alongside a glass of wine or craft beer from nearby Ampersand Cafe and West Seattle Brewing Company while listening to live music. Net proceeds benefit the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, whose mission is to “restore marine habitat, water quality, and native species in Puget Sound through tangible, on-the-ground projects." JULIANNE BELL
Awaiting Oblivion Book Launch
Anisa Jackson and Tim Smith-Stewart will curate a book and zine fair to celebrate the launch of Tim Smith-Stewart and Jeffery Azevedo's new book, Awaiting Oblivion, which the authors describe as "a constellation of texts that exist in dialogue with awaiting oblivion in some way." Look forward to readings and performances by poet Manuel Arturo Abreu, Alexandre Noble, Cristien Storm, and others.
Jean Godden: Citizen Jean
In her book Citizen Jean, Seattle writer and city councilmember Jean Godden shares her perspectives on the World's Fair, the citizen-led battle against freeways, the fight to keep Pike Place Market Seattle-owned, and other significant Seattle events. She'll be joined in conversation by Cathy Allen.