Our music critics have already chosen the 35 best music shows this week, but now it's our arts critics' turn to recommend the best events in their areas of expertise. Here are their picks in every genre—from Seattle Cocktail Week to a screening of Torrey Pines with Kimya Dawson and Clyde Petersen, and from Christopher Chen's play Caught to the (rescheduled) debut of Christopher Frizzelle's reading series Give Up the Ghost. See them all below, and find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.
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Silent Movie Mondays: Asphalt
The underappreciated German director Joe May's sexy 1929 silent film stars Elsa Heller as a hot crook who ensnares a cop. Donna Parker will play a soundtrack on the Wurlitzer organ.
Li'l Woody's Burger Month
As part of their yearly Burger Month collaboration, Li'l Woody's has assembled a crack lineup of four local chefs to each create their weekly burger specials through March. The final day features the "SARAP Sandwich" with roasted pulled pork adobo, chicharrónes, radishes, fried garlic, patis salsa verde, and a Hawaiian bun from chef Melissa Miranda of Bar del Corso and the pop-up Musang.
Oysters & Inferno Dogs
Manolin will team up with Hama Hama Oyster Co. and Dante's Inferno Dogs to sling bivalves beside beef franks. Wash them down with Big Gin cocktails, wine, and beer.
Colleen RJC Bratton: Empirical Sun
Multi-disciplinary Seattle artist Colleen RJC Bratton's site-specific solo exhibition "transports glimpses of a bright future into the present gray with texture, temperature, color, and light."
MONDAY-SUNDAYFOOD & DRINK
Seattle Cocktail Week
This week-long event elevates the movers and (cocktail) shakers of the Seattle bar scene with special libations available at over 60 participating venues, plus a Brazilian Carnival celebration at Capitol Hill rum den Rumba, master classes and seminars for industry pros, pop-up cocktail bars, bar takeovers, competitions, tastings, a booze-soaked bartender’s brunch, and more. Saturday’s Cocktail District event at Bell Harbor Conference Center will feature presentations and demonstrations, a retail store, eight tasting areas, and a food truck pier with Uzbek street food from Tabassum, New Orleans soul food from Where Ya At Matt, cheesy toasted sandwiches from the Grilled Cheese Experience, Peruvian sandwiches from Don Lucho’s, Native American fry bread and tacos from Off the Rez, and Asian fusion eats from Crave by Suite J. JULIANNE BELL
TUESDAYREADINGS & TALKS
Richard Chiem: King of Joy
Local fiction phenom Richard Chiem is launching his long-awaited novel, King of Joy, from Soft Skull Press. Chiem is one of my favorite writers AND readers in Seattle. His low-key and yet somehow extremely intense performances cast a spell on audiences. His meditative sentences pull you close, and then, right when he has you where he wants you, he shows you the strangest and most heartbreaking and quietly funny things you've ever seen. Women drunk on champagne and lighting a tree on fire. An airplane entering and then exiting the reflective mirror of a puddle. A glowing black chandelier. These are some of the striking scenes and images you'll find as you follow the story of Corvus, a young woman who uses her imagination to cope with the pains of loss—until one day she suffers a loss so great she can't escape. RICH SMITH
Seattle Arts & Lectures: Dean Baquet and Marty Baron
What a time to be in journalism. Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet will be speaking with Washington Post editor Marty Baron, who was part of the Boston Globe team that broke the story of the Catholic Church’s child molestation scandal. What are the biggest dangers facing journalism today? Media consolidation, the death of advertising, or President Pig Butt currently shitting all over the free press and the Oval Office? Perhaps we will find out during their conversation in Seattle. KATIE HERZOG
Kenneth Moore: Conversations in Black Surreality
Kenneth Moore, who was born in 1949, is a black LA-based surrealist artist who has never before had a solo exhibition in Seattle. He's also the founder of the jazz club Howling Monk, and jazz sensibilities permeate his visual style. Frederick Holmes and Company is exhibiting more than 25 paintings from 1973 to 2018.
Romeo + Juliet
Shakespeare's most misread play gets a new treatment from ACT artistic director John Langs. For this production, he's casting deaf actor Joshua Castille as Romeo and incorporating ASL into the performance. Gabriella O’Fallon will play Juliet. Castille did a fine job starring as Quasimodo in 5th Avenue's recent production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and O’Fallon killed it in WET's The Nether, so this show will probably rule. Plus, Stranger Genius Amy Thone is playing the Nurse! It'll be interesting to see this excellent dramatic actor tackle a traditionally comic role. Press materials say the show will be accessible "for Deaf and hearing audiences alike." RICH SMITH
The Art of Tarot III Group Exhibition
Seventy artists from the world round interpret the tarot deck in the little Ghost Gallery's latest tribute to esoterica.
Jazz Mom curates an exhibition meant to inspire good vibes. The considerable roster includes some of the most fun, offbeat, and unusual artists, such as Brittany Kusa, Travis Ritter, Ernesto Ybarra, Courtney Branam, Andrew Lamb Shultz, Brandon Vosika, Mary Anne Carter, and many others.
An Introduction to Audio Drama Storytelling
Learn the basics of indie podcast fiction from Ayla Taylor of the very cool xenobiological sci-fi podcast Tides. You'll discover some awesome new stories to listen to and get ideas for your own.
Be Bold Seattle
International Women's Day has been celebrated for 108 years—which, considering women have been around since the dawn of humankind, is not very long—and the fight for gender justice and parity still has a long way to go. In fact, the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Report estimates we have two more centuries to go until all genders are treated equally. At this annual event, hear from influential speakers as they talk about how to accelerate that process. Panelists include athlete and adventurer Melissa Arnot Reid, MoxiWorks Accountant Mavis Chi, Head of Seattle Girls School Brenda Leak, Genneve CEO Jill Angelo, King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht, and activist Lisa Shannon.
Johann Hari: Lost Connections
Johann Hari, recently featured on the Savage Lovecast, will present his new book on innovations in the science of depression, rooted a little bit in biology and mostly "in the way we are living today." Get some insight into the "epidemic" (the Swiss English journalist's term) distorting the lives of millions of people in the world.
Leigh Calvez: The Breath of a Whale
Leigh Calvez writes well-researched, thoroughly beautiful books that illuminate the lives of animals without stripping them of their essential mystery. In her last book, The Hidden Lives of Owls, she headed into the forests in the middle of the night to track the complex lives of owls. With The Breath of a Whale, she's going back to her roots as an aquatic ecotour guide, which explains why the book reads like the literary accompaniment to a very excellent whale-watching excursion. Learn about the secretive lives of blue whales, migratory humpbacks, and, of course, our own endangered southern resident orcas. RICH SMITH
Markus Gabriel: Objectivity and the Humanities – Prospects for a New Realism
Come to this UW Public Lecture for a defense of the humanities and an argument for a new "paradigm concerning objectivity," asserting the value of humanities fields in tandem with the natural sciences. For Gabriel, the solution lies in the philosophy of New Realism: "We simply cannot eliminate the standpoint from which humans gather information about human and non-human reality alike from our account of reality itself."
Washington author Seanan McGuire, who has appeared on the Hugo Award ballot five times in one year and has also won Campbell and Nebula awards, will dish on her career in fantasy, sci-fi, and comics.
The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs
Contemporary opera probably isn't the most intuitive delivery system for the life story of the CEO of the world's largest tech company, but in some ways it kinda makes sense. Jobs was a major mythical figure for geeks, a reportedly tyrannical boss who basically wore a costume all the time, and a literary enthusiast! Regardless, the opera, which was written by Mason Bates and librettist Mark Campbell, has been getting great reviews since its premiere in Santa Fe last year, thanks largely to its state-of-the-art, "visually stunning" projection sequences. RICH SMITH
No performance on Thursday
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.
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.
International Women's Day at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
At this International Women's Day event hosted by Washington Global Health Alliance and Every Woman Treaty, learn how violence against women and girls poses a threat to improving health equity around the world. In addition to hearing from speakers like Bindiya Patel (Senior Director at PATH), Dr. Pamela Collins (Professor and Director of Global Mental Health at the University of Washington), and Dr. Eleanor Ann Nwadinobi (President-Elect of the Medical Women International Association), you'll get to explore interactive exhibits that highlight inspiring health- and science-focused women's rights movements and activists.
March Forum: Impactful Women of King County
In honor of Women's History Month, join the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County for a panel discussion with elected officials, activists, and professional women who are creating and influencing policy in traditionally male-dominated fields. Guests include Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, American Muslim Empowerment Network Executive Director Aneelah Afzali, King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci, The Evergrey Executive Director Monica Guzman, and Crosscut's Melissa Santos.
Kimya Dawson and Clyde Petersen: Performance, Film Screening, and Discussion
Former Stranger critic Jen Graves wrote, “When I watched Torrey Pines for the first time all by myself on a private Vimeo link, I actually felt loved. Clyde Petersen's debut feature film, clocking in at a rich hour, is about being a trans kid with a schizophrenic mom, but it's also about being able to survive by making connections.“ We agree; it’s an irresistible DIY-animation classic that doesn’t need words to beguile. Kimya Dawson and Petersen will kick off the evening with a musical performance.
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). The series will continue this week with the mother-daughter drama Autumn Sonata, starring Ingrid Bergman and Liv Ullman. JOULE ZELMAN
Oysters & Stout
Gulp Shigoku, Virginica and Pacific oysters on the half shell beside Brimmer & Heeltap's toasty fire pit and wash them down with stout beers, oyster-friendly wines by the glass and bottle, and signature cocktails.
Patty Gone is a queer academic genius whose last major video essay project, Painted Dreams, presented lots of interesting ideas about the centrality of soap operas in American culture. Gone's aesthetic is a mesmerizing mix of Danielle Steel covers and cartoon action figures, and I can only imagine that their new chapbook, Love Life, will give us more of the same. This event kicks off their monthlong tenure as the curator-in-residence at Mount Analogue, and it will feature new video work and a reading from the artist. The funniest person alive/best poet in the world Sarah Galvin will be on hand to read, and drag queen Mona Real will serve up some stunning vintage looks. RICH SMITH
Robert Tsai: Practical Equality
In his new book, Practical Equality: Forging Justice In A Divided Nation, the UW law professor offers concrete steps for citizens, lawyers, officials, and others who care about equality for advancing just causes. He draws on past and current civil rights abuses like post-Civil War oppression of black people, internment of Japanese Americans, and the "Muslim ban." Hear him speak with Megan Ming Francis, a UW political scientist.
Pioneer Square Art Walk
Once a month, Seattleites flock to the streets in Pioneer Square for a chance to stroll, sip on booze, and attend as many art openings as possible at First Thursday. It's the city's central and oldest art walk, and takes place in a historic neighborhood known for its abundance of galleries. Wine and hobnobbing steal the scene for some, but at its core, it's an impressive communal unveiling of new artwork. In March, our critics recommend Ryna Frankel: Hold Me, Touch Me, Chelsea Ryoko Wong: Maximalist in Motion, Dion Zwirner: The Edge of Seeing, Motherland: 2019 CoCA Members Show, landscape works by Mya Kerner, Peggy Murphy: Uprising, Shigeki Tomura: Retrospective, and Bette Burgoyne: Drawings.
Susan Bennerstrom: Compass
Bennerstrom paints eerie, empty scenes that emphasize artificial environments without their human makers.
Opening reception Thursday
Agents of Change: 20 Remarkable Jewish Women of Washington State
Once you start looking, you'll realize that Jewish women have had a huge and positive influence on the cultural and civic life of Washington State. You might recognize the names of some of the women honored at this exhibition: librarian Nancy Pearl, philanthropist Becky Benaroya, and Sleater-Kinney rocker and writer Carrie Brownstein. But there are many more, and they've helped shape every field from sports to politics. Find out how at this pop-up museum show. The Free First Thursday opening is a good time to stop by.
I'd count Christopher Chen's Caught as one of the four smartest/powerfulest/provocativest straight plays I saw in 2016. The play is meta-theatrical, but in a meaningful way—less of a self-flagellating/self-congratulatory annoying ouroboros kind of thing and more of a flower blooming out of another flower kind of thing. It's about Western responses to Chinese dissident art. Sort of. It's also about relative pain. It's also about how the truth is a collaborative fiction, and about how nobody can really know anyone else. Importantly, it's about an hour and a half long, tops. This remount is presented by Intiman and directed by Desdemona Chiang. Go see it. RICH SMITH
sweet, rotten, sweet
The press video for dancer/artist Peggy Piacenza's sweet, rotten, sweet features a bearded Wade Madsen in clown makeup slowly eating cotton candy while apocalyptic doom music blares in the background. So I guess I buy it when Piacenza calls the piece an exploration of "the human struggle to find meaning within an absurd world." This wild video installation will serve as the backdrop for a suite of performances by some of the area's most compelling contemporary dancers, including Madsen, Ezra Dickinson, Kim Lusk, and Amelia Reeber. RICH SMITH
The Gateway Show
It’s an experiment in stand-up: four comics do their sets. Then, these four comics get super, duper stoned. Then, they perform again while occupying this much hazier headspace. Or attempt to perform again. Will the bake bring out another dimension of their comedy, or will they bomb, one by one, in forgetful spells of heaping laughter (or awkward pauses)? This sounds like an entertaining experiment, and they do it once a month. LEILANI POLK
'Yes Anderson' Bonus Show
Since inclement weather forced the cancellation of a couple of shows, you have one more chance to see this hit improv show based on quirky Wes Anderson movies.
Whose Live Anyway
The cast members of the Emmy-winning show Whose Line is it Anyway?—including Greg Proops, Joel Murray, Jeff B. Davis, and Bellingham-born Ryan Stiles—will play their hilarious improv games onstage.
Brave Girl Rising
This co-production by the nonprofits Girl Rising and International Rescue Committee testifies to the power of one girl. Despite her difficult life in the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya, Nasro is determined to get an education. The film is written by poet laureate Warsan Shire and voiced by Tessa Thompson and David Oyelowo. Stay on afterward for a panel talk with the CEO of Girl Rising and the director of the International Rescue Committee.
G. Willow Wilson: The Bird King
G. Willow Wilson, whose comic book series Ms. Marvel won the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story, will read from her latest novel, The Bird King, about a concubine in the royal court of Granada and her friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker.
Lit Jam: A Night of Words & Music
Most fusions of music and poetry are, um, bad. Especially when they involve a jazz flute. But this ensemble of writerly musicians is an exception, mostly because it includes the poet Gary Copeland Lilley. Lilley plays a fine blues guitar and writes incredibly vivid narrative poetry so rhythmic, you can tap your foot to it. Kim Addonizio, a conversational poet who writes a lot of good poems about sex and the body, leads the band on vox, blues harmonica, and jazz flute. Crack Seattle journalist and novelist Kristen Millares Young will add her considerable vocal talents, along with Spokane novelist Sam Ligon on guitar and Kate Lebo on cowbell. RICH SMITH
Luis Albert Urrea: The House of Broken Angels
Luis Alberto Urrea's The House of Broken Angels, which takes inspiration from his own life, relates the tale of a dying patriarch, his journey as a young man from La Paz to San Diego, the grudges and loves of his extended family, and his 100-year-old mother's funeral. Urrea has been a finalist for the Pulitzer, and his personal yet wide-ranging style seems perfectly suited to this sprawling family epic.
Saya Moriyasu: Quiet
"The wrongness feels right to me," writes Moriyasu, recalling her mixed Japanese and American heritage and her consequent predilections for styles recalling European chinoiserie. Her works are often monumental ceramics, adapting folk art, myth, and visual humor.
Animation Show of Shows 2019
Celebrate the art of animation at the 20th Annual Animation Show of Shows, a six-day-long event that will feature 15 international shorts.
In a better world than this, female characters in films would talk about whatever the fuck they please—say, horses, cramps, or ongoing global disasters at the hands of a small-fingered megalomaniac. But all too often in this world, female characters, when they talk to each other at all, discuss one thing and one thing only: men. There’s even a term for it—the Bechdel Test, named for the cartoonist Alison Bechdel, who, in a 1985 comic strip, featured a character explaining that she goes to a movie only if it has at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. Inspired by the Bechdel Test, Jet City Improv re-creates films that fail the test, but with a Bechdel-approved twist. You name the movie; they make it pass. KATIE HERZOG
Funny and spontaneous performers are paired with actors following a script to reshape scenes from real movies and series that the improvisers aren't familiar with in this series directed by John Carroll. In March, they'll recreate your favorite streamable shows like Mad Men and The Crown with beloved local performers like Elena Martinez, Graham Downing, Anthony Householder, Ethan Smith, Mykaela Hopps, and others.
Women's History Wiki Edit-a-Thon
Like all marginalized groups, women's history has been misrepresented and, in many cases, altogether erased from mainstream historical resources. This Women's History Month tradition invites you to help set things straight by editing everyone's favorite online fact-finder: Wikipedia. First-hand reference materials will be on hand, as well as seasoned "Wikipedians." Tickets include museum and snack access.
Scarecrow Academy 1959: The Greatest Year in Film History
The video rental library Scarecrow's new series contends that 1959 was the best year in film history ever. It saw "a high point of Hollywood studio filmmaking, the rise of new independent cinema, the great flowering of international movies, and the beginning of the French New Wave." Film critic Robert Horton will delve into the highlights of this landmark year, including this week's film, Some Like It Hot.
Batsheva Dance Company: Venezuela
The world-renowned dance company, based in Tel Aviv, presents director Ohad Naharin's Venezuela, a meditation in two parts on "the dialogue and conflict between movement and the content it represents." See why the troupe is considered one of the most cutting-edge on the planet.
Fierce as F*ck: Womxn Are Tired of Your Sh*t
The badass womxn, femmes, nonbinary folks, and people of color in this variety show will perform music, poetry, spoken word, burlesque, dance, and other art forms that reject the same things: the patriarchy, cis-white feminism, and silencing politics.
Mixed Bag: A Comedy and Music Show
The variety show Mixed Bag, hosted by the husband-and-wife team of poet and humorist Jeanine Walker and musician Steve Mauer, will return for more skits and songs with actors Amelia Peacock and Chris Walker and writers Kristen Millares Young, Dujie Tahat, and Mandy Canales.
Monty Python’s Spamalot
Monty Python genius Eric Idle's adaptation of the endlessly-quoted film Monty Python and the Holy Grail boasts all the surreal one-liners and ridiculous songs of the original, and then some. If you're a true fan of the movie, you can probably recite most of the dialogue already, but Spamalot delivers a whole new experience.
Don Mee Choi and Stefania Heim
Stranger critic Rich Smith has called poet and translator Don Mee Choi "particularly skillful at mixing registers and tones to create brilliant and multilayered critiques." Here, her talents have been employed translating Korean poet Kim Hyesoon's Autobiography of Death—the sixth book Choi has translated by this author. Bellingham translator and poet Stefania Heim will also read from her prizewinning poetry collection Hour Book.
Give Up the Ghost
There comes a time of night when the mind turns to ghosts. It’s approximately 10 p.m., the hour when you let in the unknown, and shades reveal themselves, and possibilities open. Give Up the Ghost is a new late-night storytelling event at Queen City that I’m curating (every second Saturday of the month) where a nonfiction writer, fiction writer, poet, journalist, or artist tells a ghost story. March’s guest is Charles Mudede, the filmmaker, philosopher, and writer for The Stranger for more than 20 years. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
Saturday University: Winter Lecture Series
This year, the Gardner Center lectures on art and culture will focus on plants of Asia, concluding with Joe Earle's talk on the beginnings of bamboo basketry as an art form in sencha tea-drinking.
Markel Uriu: An Object Lesson
Seattle-based artist Markel Uriu’s latest exhibition will investigate the narrative around “invasive species” of plants and animals. Uriu uses organic materials—like moss, branches, and leaves—to investigate ideas of impermanence, maintenance, and decay. In An Object Lesson, she’ll be looking specifically at the starling, a European bird that’s considered an invasive species here in North America, introduced to the continent in 1890 on the basis of a mention in Shakespeare’s Henry IV. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Discover work by the latest featured creator at the store's Artist Series, Berlin-based "multimedia artist and visual philosopher" Nancy Jones, whose pieces deal in memes, symbols, surrealism, and figuration.
Patrick Moriarty: Deep Artwork
In his youth, Minnesotan punk rocker Moriarty designed posters from such groups as Curtiss A, the Mekons, Soul Asylum, the Replacements, and many others. After moving to Seattle, he became an art director for Fantagraphics and then filled the same role at Comics Journal. He's been a GAP Award recipient, been featured on the Sundance channel, and snagged a Golden Toonie.
SUNDAYFOOD & DRINK
If you’ve watched the four-part docu-series Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat on Netflix (and if you haven't, what are you waiting for?), you’re already familiar with the charms of delightful chef and food writer Samin Nosrat, who eats her way through Italy, Japan, Mexico, and California with effusive joie de vivre. Her breakthrough James Beard Award-winning cookbook of the same name schools readers in how to master all four elements of good cooking, and is riddled with adorable hand-drawn illustrations throughout. At this talk in conversation with the Seattle Times’ Bethany Jean Clement (a one-time food writer for The Stranger), she’ll explain her food philosophy and revelations gleaned from her time working at the legendary Chez Panisse. JULIANNE BELL
Thomas Kohnstamm: Lake City
I love Thomas Kohnstamm for writing a whole book set in Lake City. Someone had to. Someone had to make something of the in-between area known for its car dealerships, its strip club, its sub sandwich shop, and its couple of bars. A place that doesn't even know if it's a lake or a city or a city of lakes. In Kohnstamm's debut novel, a semi-shitty guy name Lane Beuche has fallen on hard times. He's lost his wife, he's living in his mom's house, and he thinks he deserves the life of privilege from which he's been unceremoniously banished. Watch him climb out of the hole he dug for himself, and enjoy the elegy for old Seattle along the way. RICH SMITH