The Burke Museum is back! Celebrate its grand re-opening this weekend with multicultural music and dance performance, food trucks, and more. Burke Museum
Our music critics have already chosen the 50 best music shows this week, but now it's our arts and culture critics' turn to recommend the best events in their areas of expertise. Here are their picks for the best events in every genre—from the Orcas Island Film Festival to "Flavour Lord" Matty Matheson, and from a Lit Crawl Kick-Off Party to Autumn Knight's new interactive theater work Autumn Knight: M_ _ _ ER. See them all below, and find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.

Heading to Portland or Tacoma? Check out EverOut to find things to do there and in Seattle, all in one place.


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MONDAY

FILM

Silent Movie Mondays: 'The Scar of Shame' (1927)
A young woman escapes her abusive father and falls in love with an aspiring composer with a classist mom in Frank Perugini's 1927 silent film The Scar of Shame.

FOOD & DRINK

Rough Draft
Enjoy "fine dining and entertainment" from nine chefs, three bands, and two bars all in the same place.

PERFORMANCE

The Simon & Garfunkel Story
Relive the history of artsy folk-rockers Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel in this musical show.

Curious about tea? Learn all about different types of tea at Tea Discovery!
Learn the history, myth and lore of tea while tasting different samples in a fun, interactive class!
Get Your Tickets For The First Ever Confinement Online Film Festival!
A fun night of solitary entertainment featuring films exploring social distancing and quarantine!
The 15th Annual HUMP Film Festival is now online, hosted by Dan Savage!
16 sexy films, showcasing a huge range of sexualities, shapes and sizes, streaming from your home!
READINGS & TALKS

Fatima Bhutto: New Kings of the World
The United States has long been considered the world's chief exporter of popular culture. But India, China, and other East Asian countries, as well as Middle Eastern countries, are increasingly competing for massive audiences around the world. We see this every week in Seattle, most recently when K-pop sensation Pentagon packed the Moore with 1,500 people. Fatima Bhutto, author and scion of the Pakistani political family, will read from her new book, New Kings of the World, which tracks the impact of the globalization of Bollywood, dizi, and K-pop. Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib (who is a Rhodes Scholar with a lit degree from Columbia) will lead a discussion with Bhutto. RICH SMITH

'Howl' with Hugo House Poets
Gather your beatnik revivalist friends and transport yourselves to San Francisco's City Lights Books, where Allen Ginsberg first ready his seminal poem Howl 55 years ago. There will be era-appropriate jazz and spirits, a live reading of the poem by Hugo House poets, and a chance to share your own Ginsberg-inspired poems. 

Katja Petrowskaja: A Family Story Between Memory & Forgetting
Ukrainian writer Katja Petrowskaja—whose family history book Maybe Esther won the German Ingeborg Bachmann Prize and was shortlisted for the UK's Pushkin House Prize this year—will join UW Jewish Studies professor Sasha Senderovich for a conversation on writing about the past.

MONDAY-THURSDAY

FILM

Tacoma Film Festival
Tacoma's offering to the Northwest international film scene, named one of the "Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee" by MovieMaker, includes more than 200 movies, talks by visitors from around the world, a VR studio, workshops, and parties. This week's films include the climate change doc The Hottest August (Tues), a collection of horror, fantasy, and comedy short films (Tues), and Rustin Thompson's My Mother Was Here (Thurs).

MONDAY-SATURDAY

FILM

Seattle Latino Film Festival
This year's Seattle festival of Chicanx and Latinx cinema will feature 10 days of independent movies, filmmaker panels, workshops, and more. The organizers say that this year's festival will feature "110 titles from 22 countries: films, short films, documentaries, and animation." There will be a special focus on young Latinx filmmakers in the US.

Social Justice Film Festival
This film festival highlights fierce and powerful progressive movements around the world. As social justice provides the only throughline, many of the movies have little in common. But the selection skews toward limber, on-the-ground filmmaking in the midst of protests and conflicts. This edition's theme is "Courage." See documentaries about, among other topics, the gospel singer and activist Patrinell, Argentinian teenagers recovering from sexual assault, Native and Indigenous opposition to industrial projects that destroy the environment, fighters against vote suppression, and the Chinese dissident artist Hu Jie.

MONDAY & SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

Bon Appétit! The Julia Child Operetta
Strolling through the Smithsonian Museum one afternoon, I stumbled upon a full replica of Julia Child's kitchen. I walked in because I had recently finished watching some classic episodes of The French Chef, including her infamous lobster show. "You have to cut him right here," Child says as she sticks her knife into the lobster's neck, "where all of his brains and hearts and feelings are." Genius. Anyway, in the Smithsonian exhibit, I saw a picture of Child bent over a counter in a small French kitchen. On the placard next to the photo was a quote from the famously tall chef: "When I get my own kitchen, I'm going to build the counters up to my waist. I'm through with this French pygmy bullshit!" If you haven't figured it out yet, Child is one of the greatest and funniest people ever to wield an eight-inch knife. In this light opera, a shade of the chef will crack you up while also making a giant chocolate cake, which I am told will be made with Theo Chocolate. A serving of cake is included in the ticket price. RICH SMITH

ALL WEEK

FOOD & DRINK

Nightmare on Wall Street
Continuing a spooky-season tradition started last year, Belltown’s award-winning tiki bar Navy Strength will temporarily transform into a “fully immersive haunting experience,” with libations inspired by horror films like Friday the 13th, The Babadook, Midsommar, The Ring, Pet Sematary, and more. They’ll switch out their usual kitschy drinkware for vessels like pumpkins and Jason Voorhees–masked tiki mugs, and employ ingredients like “candy corn orgeat.” Frightening horror-film soundtracks will contribute to the spine-chilling milieu. JULIANNE BELL

READINGS & TALKS

Booktoberfest
Celebrate books and drinking at Booktoberfest, where readers are invited to enjoy bookish happy hours, librarian-hosted trivia nights, spooky stories, karaoke, literary fortune-telling, and a whole lot more with the Seattle Public Library.

TUESDAY

READINGS & TALKS

Christof Spieler: An Opinionated Atlas of US Transit
After Christof Spieler helped improve Houston's bus system, he traveled from city to city across the country to ride the rails and bus routes. In his book Trains, Buses, People: An Opinionated Atlas of US Transit, Spieler analyzes 50 cities with meaningful transit systems, providing "a loving description of the city’s network, its demand pattern, its recent history, and its issues," according to a review on Human Transit. (He thinks Seattle has a great bus system.) He'll be a good person to ask about fare-enforcement policies, whether or not streetcars are shopping trolleys or real modes of transit, and, of course, the importance of bike lanes. RICH SMITH

TUESDAY-SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

Austen’s Pride: A New Musical of 'Pride and Prejudice'
The 5th Avenue Theatre's season begins with Austen's Pride, a quasi-adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that is also about Jane Austen's writing of the novel. Written by Lindsay Warren Baker and Amanda Jacobs, Austen's Pride has been in development for years. It started without Austen in it—but over time, it's become about the author herself. One of the reasons producing artistic director Bill Berry picked it is because "it's about a female character at the center, a woman who is powerful, has agency, is literally forming her own narrative." CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

WEDNESDAY

READINGS & TALKS

Lit Crawl Kick Off Party!
Before you take on the role of an audience member for the duration of Lit Crawl, this kickoff event is your chance to get on stage and share your own brief poem or prose piece. After that, hear from all-star writers Richard Chiem, Ari Rosenschein, and Ching-In Chen. There will be lots of booze.  

WEDNESDAY-SATURDAY

VISUAL ART

Photo Finish: A Group Exhibit of Photography
This exhibition promises a range of photos by artists from the 20th and 21st centuries, including Paul Berger, Marion Post Wolcott, Michael Kenna, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Walker Evans, and many others. This will be G. Gibson's final show as a traditional gallery.
Closing Saturday

WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

Indecent
When Sholem Asch's searing critique of Orthodox Judaism, God of Vengeance, debuted on Broadway in 1923, the entire cast was arrested and tried for obscenity. They were tried not only because of the play's lesbian kiss—which for some reason didn't disturb the delicate sensibilities of Europeans, who praised the piece for years before it was translated into English—but also because of the rising anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant sentiment in America. Though it was the "roaring twenties," it was also a time when conspiracy theories about Jews controlling the world through theater and banking were peaking. Paula Vogel's Tony Award–winning play dramatizes the history of this show. In a recent interview, the playwright called it "a love letter to theater, a love letter to Yiddish culture, and a plea to every audience member who sees it: Please, please partake in the arts. The arts will see us through to our last days on earth." RICH SMITH

Zombie Cheerleaders from Hell
The Heavenly Spies are back with their annual Halloween show featuring scary hot dancers—plus "terrifying masks and pretty pasties, black cats and twerking booties, sweet transvestites and dancing cuties."

THURSDAY

COMEDY

Ten Percent Luck
Laugh machine improv hosts Yeah Okay will do their comedic thang with instruction and suggestions by a featured stand-up comic.

FOOD & DRINK

Omnivorous
Seattle bars and restaurants will come together to bring you an evening of delectable sips and bites in support of Capitol Hill Housing. 

PERFORMANCE

HYPE
Camp up your look to the highest degree for this drag-filled fashion party with Rocket Powerpuff, who will choose performers from the audience (could be you!) for an open runway show. 

VISUAL ART

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. Check out our critics' picks for this month here.

THURSDAY-FRIDAY

COMEDY

Stabbin' Cabin
A cast of energetic improvisers will play teen screamers straight out of '80s summer-camp slasher movies in this send-up of the genre.

THURSDAY-SATURDAY

VISUAL ART

C. Davida Ingram: The Deeps & Unknown Senders
C. Davida Ingram, a 2014 Stranger Genius Award winner, will be displaying new work at her Wa Na Wari exhibition. Both the performance installation The Deeps (with composer Hanna Benn) and Unknown Senders are described as a “multi-sensory journey about healing.” Unknown Senders specifically focuses on how survivors heal. In this exploration, Ingram will be diving headfirst into her own autobiography, Black feminism, politics, and “how freedom dreams meet myth, poetry, and radical imagination.” JASMYNE KEIMIG
Closing Saturday

THURSDAY-SUNDAY

FILM

Orcas Island Film Festival 2019
The Orcas Island Film Festival has done it again—put together a fantastic lineup of films, that is. Now in its sixth year, the fest’s organizers have curated 39 feature films (five more than last year) that consist of internationally lauded titles and encompass more than 60 screenings overall. Attendees will have the chance to see some films twice or catch a film they might’ve missed the first time, as OIFF is expanding onto three screens this year. In particular, keep an eye out for Mati Diop’s Senegal-set sci-fi romance Atlantics (winner of the jury prize at Cannes); Pedro Almodóvar’s somewhat autobiographical drama starring Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory (Spain’s Oscar submission for best international film); and newcomer Levan Akin’s And Then We Danced, a Georgian film about a dancer’s sexual awakening in a homophobic country (Akin won OIFF’s Vanguard Award and will be present at the festival to accept the prize). JASMYNE KEIMIG

Seattle Queer Film Festival
Local shorts, indie features, and national or international releases will stoke and satisfy your appetite for gay, lesbian, bi, trans, enby, and otherwise queer-focused films, from historical romances to incisive documentaries to perverse suspense flicks. This year, catch the opening film, the Judy Garland doc Sid & Judy (Thurs) and the centerpiece documentary For They Know Not What They Do (Sun), Daniel Karslake's look at conservative Christian churches' fight against LGBTQ+ rights.

PERFORMANCE

Autumn Knight: M_ _ _ ER
Depending on which letters you place in the blank spaces, M_ _ _ ER could spell mother, matter, or murder. All of those things are possible in this new work from Autumn Knight, an interdisciplinary artist who likes to play around with improv, visual art, and fucking with the audience. If the show is anything like Sanity TV, and it sounds a little like Sanity TV, Knight will play a variously cheeky and antagonistic talk-show host who makes certain audience members feel uncomfortable a lot, which can be fun, especially if you're not the one in the hot seat. RICH SMITH

Beware the Terror of Gaylord Manor
The world-famous Seattle-based drag queen BenDeLaCreme has written and performed three acclaimed solo shows, but Beware the Terror of Gaylord Manor, premiered in 2017, was the artist's first foray into writing, directing, and starring in an original play of her own. It's a spooky, campy twist on the horror flick genre, featuring ghosts, dancers, music, and special effects. The chemistry between BenDeLaCreme and Scott Shoemaker alone is worth the price of admission. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

Chamber Dance Company: Falling
Chamber Dance Company's 29th season explores "the despair, thrill, and humor intrinsic in the act of falling," with choreography by José Limón, Brian Brooks, Talley Beatty, and Mark Morris.

The Christians
Pony World Productions will present Lucas Hnath's Obie-winning play about the leader of a highly successful, growing church who suddenly announces that he no longer believes in hell, disconcerting his congregation and straining his marriage. Leah Adcock-Starr (of Wooden O) will direct.

Overcoming
Welcome an exciting new womxn-focused playwriting festival with new plays by Keiko Green (who wrote the well-regarded Bunnies and Nadeshiko), Emily Conbere, Anuhea Brown, and others. Go for free on opening night!

Sunset Baby
A young woman and her estranged father, a veteran of the Black liberation movement, clash over the hurts of their past in this drama by Steinberg and Obie Award-winning Detroit playwright Dominique Morisseau.

FRIDAY

READINGS & TALKS

Felicia Day
You may know Day from the web series The Guild, her YouTube channel Geek & Sundry, and all corners of the internet. She'll share her new book about the power of self-expression, Embrace Your Weird.

Lawrence Weschler: And How Are You Dr Sacks?
In the '80s, Weschler began to profile the influential neurologist and science writer Oliver Sacks, a project that stretched out over four years. Though Sacks eventually asked Weschler not to publish the profile, the two men remained friends. Sacks died in 2015; during his decline, he told Weschler to take up the project again. Now, you can read this long-abandoned portrait of one of the great scientists and science writers of our era.

Rachel Maddow: Blowout
You could stay home and watch Rachel Maddow pontificate on cable news every weeknight, or you could do it person. Maddow is out with a new book about some very bad shit international oil and gas companies have gotten away with, and their role in global politics. It’s also a continuation of Maddow’s theme since November 2016: How, and why, Russia hacked the 2016 election. Maddow has, at times, drifted into Red Scare territory since Trump was elected—nearly screaming THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! on air—but who can blame her? Donald Trump is actually the President. There’s got to be some kind of nefarious explanation, right? Right?? Perhaps Maddow will explain it in person. KATIE HERZOG

FRIDAY-SUNDAY

FESTIVALS

Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival
Port Angeles's nationally recognized crab extravaganza, whose claim to fame is apparently having been featured in a question on Jeopardy!, offers copious crustaceans, as well as a chowder cook-off, a "grab-a-crab" derby, local beer and wine, craft vendors, live music, art, chances to learn about Native American heritage in the Pacific Northwest, and more.

Olympic Peninsula Apple & Cider Festival
At this third annual festival, take some time to appreciate the Olympic Peninsula's apple orchards for a "tree-to-glass" weekend of cider tasting autumnal feasting.

Taste of Iceland
Seattle and Reykjav aren't just close pals, they're sister cities. In fact, Seattle is home to more Icelandic people than anywhere else in the United States. To celebrate the culture of the magical Nordic land, Seattle invites Icelandic chefs, musicians, writers, artists, and filmmakers to town every year for the 10-day Taste of Iceland festival.

PERFORMANCE

The Great Moment
Playwright Anna Ziegler earned a lot of attention in 2015 for Photograph 51, a well-received bio-drama about Rosalind Franklin, the woman who discovered DNA. Nicole Kidman played the starring role, everybody loved it, and Ziegler was praised for her "fair-minded and philosophical" (New York Times) approach to character building. Ziegler will likely bring that same talent for creating multidimensional characters to The Great Moment, which will have its world premiere at the Seattle Rep. According to press materials, the story follows a woman named Sarah, who is watching her grandfather slowly die while she raises her son. Alexandra Tavares plays the lead in this, and I've loved everything I've ever seen her in. RICH SMITH

SATURDAY

COMEDY

Minority Retort
In an interview I conducted with Central Comedy Show co-host Isaac Novak, he observed that most comedy bills in Seattle still consist of about 80-percent white males. One imagines that is also the case in Portland—or perhaps it’s even greater, seeing as the Rose City’s population has a higher Caucasian percentage than the Emerald City’s. With this statistic in mind, Portland-based stand-up comedy event Minority Retort offers a platform to redress this imbalance by championing comics of color. DAVE SEGAL

FESTIVALS

Diwali Ball
It's a fundraising celebration of the Hindu festival of light at SAM. The festive evening includes an Indian dinner, dance performances and Bollywood dance, henna, and art tours.

FILM

SPLIFF Olympia
A new vibe of stoner entertainment is emerging—witness the rise of Broad City, High Maintenance, and basically every TV show created on Viceland. And, most importantly, The Stranger presents SPLIFF, your new favorite film festival created by the stoned for the stoned. We received films (four minutes and twenty seconds or less!) from all around the world. Our lineup is hilarious, weird, sexy, trippy, and unlike any stoner films you've seen before. There are spaceships, Rihanna-inspired blunt tutorials, dancing boobs, Australians, puppets, ASMR candy sandwiches... CHASE BURNS

FOOD & DRINK

Depressed Cake Shop
In 2013, United Kingdom–based creative director and PR specialist Emma Thomas dreamed up a bake sale to promote mental-health awareness and raise money for local mental-health charities. The concept was simple: The cakes sold were a gloomy gray, but they contained a cheerful pop of color within to symbolize hope in the face of depression. It caught on, and cities everywhere, from Glasgow to Houston to Kuala Lumpur, began organizing their own versions. As they do each October, NAMI Seattle will host the Seattle fundraiser at Optimism Brewing, with somber-looking confections contributed by Le Fournil, Fran’s Chocolates, Top Pot Doughnuts, Chocolati, Borracchini’s, and others. JULIANNE BELL

Seattle Fresh Hop Beer Festival 2019
The Stranger’s Lester Black has written that during hops harvest season, which runs mid-August to late September, Seattle is “the world’s greatest place to drink hoppy beer.” That’s because Seattle’s proximity to Yakima Valley, which supplies 75 percent of our nation’s hop crop, means our region has an unparalleled selection of fresh hop beers (beers made with hops that have been picked no more than 24 hours before brewing). This tasting event exclusively dedicated to fresh hop offerings from more than 20 different local breweries—including Fremont (which produces more fresh hop beer than any brewery in the nation), Hellbent, Pfriem, Jellyfish, Fort George, and more—is a great chance to try as many as you can during their all-too-fleeting season. JULIANNE BELL

Supernatural Harvest Fest
Revel in the funky aftertastes of natural wines chosen just for the harvest season. 

PERFORMANCE

Amanda Gemmill-Strauss: The 9 Lives of Choupette / Graham Downing
This Solo Performance Month slot will present a delightful double feature: Amanda Gemmill-Strauss as Karl Lagerfeld's cat, "fashion superstar and celebrated feline" Choupette, and Graham Downing no doubt doing some effortless, silly improv.

Mandy Canales / Natasha Ransom / Graham Downing
Solo Performance Month will provide the opportunity to see three funny performers playing around on their own: Natasha Ransom (often seen in Jet City Improv shows), superb improviser-about-town Graham Downing, and sketch performer Mandy Canales. 

READINGS & TALKS

Augusten Burroughs: Toil & Trouble
It’s a good time to be a witch. Modern witches (less the crook-nosed cartoon and more the millennial with a crystal collection) often profess to have exceedingly heightened powers of intuition, and this includes Augusten Burroughs, the memoirist made famous for his portrayal of his very unconventional family in Running with Scissors. He might not be a millennial, but he is a self-professed witch, and his new book details how, from an early age, he had certain… abilities others seemed not to possess. He confessed this to his mother, who wasn’t surprised. And why would she be? She, too, was a witch, if not exactly the world’s best mother, as anyone familiar with his previous work will recall. Toil & Trouble is about coming to terms with what he could—and, perhaps more importantly, could not—control in his life and others'. KATIE HERZOG

Neal Kosaly-Meyer: Finnegans Wake
Seattle composer and musician Neal Kosaly-Meyer will continue his amazing feat of reciting James Joyce's Finnegans Wake from memory, chapter by chapter—as if reading the modernist monster wasn't hard enough. In praise of Kosaly-Meyer's feat, Charles Mudede wrote, "Maybe this is the only way the novel could be saved. It’s not all that amazing to memorize something that everyone understands; it’s very impressive to memorize something understood by only one person, who has been in the grave for many years." Kosaly-Meyer will perform Chapter 5 at this session.

Washington State Book Awards 2019
You'll be on the edge of your seat to find out the winners of this year's Washington State Book Awards, which are judged by librarians, bookstore owners, and booksellers. But the fun's not over after the announcements—there will also be signings, book sales, and mingling. You can hobnob with such terrific writers as Kim Fu, Katrina Carrasco, Nicola Griffith, Charles Johnson, Robin Oliveira, Angela Garbes, Michele Bombardier, and many others.

SATURDAY-SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

Black Beauty
As a kid, my two favorite pastimes were reading and horseback riding. Which means that I was a voracious consumer of all things related to horses, including the poignant classic, Black Beauty. It’s told from the eponymous horse’s point of view and is about his life—from his early years as a colt on an English farm, to his life of servitude pulling cabs in London, to his retirement in the country—and recounts all the highs and lows he endures, cruelty and loving care included. Themes of animal welfare, and treating people and animals with kindness, sympathy, and respect are threaded throughout, so it seems appropriate that the stage adaptation by James Still is being staged by Seattle Children’s Theater, which is renowned for its high-production-value presentations. My guess is this one—which will feature large-scale puppetry, live music, and a multi-generational cast—will be no different. LEILANI POLK

VISUAL ART

Donald Byrd: The America That Is To Be
Local Tony-nominated, Bessie-winning choreographer Donald Byrd's dance pieces confront the horrors of contemporary society: gay-bashing, war, racial terrorism, misogyny. This installation, Byrd's first solo museum show, uses archival footage and artifacts to advance the artist's idea of a future America, "multi-racial in every aspect."
Opening Saturday

New Burke Grand Opening
Fête the opening of the University of Washington's improved and greatly expanded Burke Museum of culture, anthropology, and natural history. Don't miss their T. rex skull—the Burke is the only place in the state where you can see real dinosaur fossils on display.

SUNDAY

COMEDY

Stephen King Unexpected
Expect to see (we're guessin') gruff Northeasterners battling clowns, vampires, sentient cars, and/or the undead in this improv tribute to the horror maestro Stephen King, a perfect show for Halloween.

FOOD & DRINK

Matty Matheson
The jovial, tattooed, foul-mouthed Canadian chef and self-proclaimed “Flavour Lord” Matty Matheson has earned legions of fans for his boisterous persona and his Viceland shows Dead Set on Life and It’s Suppertime. (If you’re a devotee of Bon Appetit’s YouTube channel, you may have caught the recent video of him going “noodling” for catfish in an Oklahoma river with Brad Leone of It’s Alive, with hilarious results.) In 2018, he released a New York Times best-selling cookbook, Matty Matheson: A Cookbook, interspersing recipes for gumbo and pigtail tacos with a memoir of his life. Experience his larger-than-life presence at Washington Hall, where he’ll appear for an evening of “stand-up comedy/speaking/storytelling/slideshow.” JULIANNE BELL

Sweet Tooth Pop-Up
Sate your bottomless need for sweets at this South Lake Union pop-up, which will provide a selection of confections, including cookies, ice cream, macarons, doughnuts, pastries, and other sucrose-laden treats, from a range of artisan vendors.

PERFORMANCE

Sandbox Radio: Witch Hunt
Sandbox Radio is an old-school-radio-style podcast that periodically stages fresh, fun, live shows. For their special Halloween episode, they'll produce work by Scot Augustson, Brendan Healy, Elizabeth Heffron, Anita Montgomery, and Lisa Halpern.