Cloudburst Brewing will celebrate their fourth anniversary on Friday with rare barrel-aged beer and fresh hoppy treats. Jaclyn Warren
Our music critics have already chosen the 23 best music shows this week, but now it's our arts & culture critics' turn to recommend the best events in their areas of expertise. Here are their picks in every genre—from EJ Koh in conversation with The Stranger's Rich Smith to a Cloudburst Brewing anniversary party, and from 14/48: The World's Quickest Theater Festival to Patton Oswalt. See them all below, and find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.
Jump to: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday

MONDAY

FOOD & DRINK

Melissa Hartwig Urban - The Whole30 Friends & Family
Melissa Hartwig Urban is the cocreator and CEO of the Whole30, which started in 2009 as a 30-day “dietary experiment” Urban conducted on her blog, to transform her health, habits, and emotional relationship with food. Essentially, it’s a month-by-month method of practicing extreme food abstinence and habit-forming eating (eliminating real and artificial sugar from your diet, plus no alcohol, grains, legumes, peanut butter, soy, or dairy, and no baked goods, junk food, or treats even with “approved” ingredients, because that doesn’t help you change your habits), while avoiding the scale or taking any body measurements. Its success for her and the people who’ve followed her has led to a full-fledged program, and several best-selling cookbooks (It Starts with Food, The Whole30, Food Freedom Forever, and The Whole30 Slow Cooker). The Whole30 Friends & Family offers tips on honoring your health commitments amid enjoying time with family and friends at birthday parties, barbecues, office potlucks, and more. Urban will sign all copies of the cookbook purchased at the event. LEILANI POLK

PERFORMANCE

Bon Appétit: The Julia Child Show
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 chocolate cake. A serving of cake is included in the ticket price. RICH SMITH


Looking for more things to do? Check out our comprehensive calendar to see listings for every event in Seattle.
READINGS & TALKS

Don Brooks: Spirited Stone
Don Brooks, longtime head gardener of Seattle Parks & Recreation’s Kubota Garden, will present the anthology Spirited Stone: Lessons from Kubota's Garden, which is dedicated to the work of landscape designer and gardener Fukitaro Kubota. As you might guess, Seattle owes its beautiful Kubota Garden to this man, who even practiced his art while imprisoned in the Minidoka concentration camp for Japanese Americans.

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY

VISUAL ART

Krampus Kristmas
Probably like most of America, I only learned about the existence of Krampus (Central European folklore’s goatly demon who punishes naughty children during the Christmas season) from a horror film (2015’s campy-fun Krampus). And I only learned about the existence of Fantagraphics’ Krampus Kristmas art show—now in its 13th year—a few weeks ago, and it looks like a fun one. Eleven artists (SHAG, Augie Pagan, Isiah X Bradley, Coin-Op, Marc Palm, Hella Handa, Alex Graham, Art Garcia, Darren Chase, John Ohannesian, Michael Scudieri) will present modern Krampus-inspired works alongside a display of vintage Krampus mementos provided by Chicago art director/graphic designer Monte Beauchamp (also behind several books, cards collections, and stickers on the subject). LEILANI POLK
Closing Wednesday

Tickets are on sale now for The Stranger’s 1st Annual SLAY Film Festival!
Ghosts, zombies, slashers, witches, Eldritch beasts, gore-- SLAY has something for every horror fan!
Whim W’Him Releasing New Dance Films for Choreographic Shindig VI
Streaming on IN-with-WHIM starting Sept. 24, 2020. Visit whimwhim.org to learn more and buy tickets.

MONDAY-SATURDAY

VISUAL ART

Brighter Future: To be heard. To be seen. To be free.
Continuing in the tradition of yehaw by accepting every submission, this massive group show done in collaboration with the Ethnic Heritage Art Gallery at King Street Station features more than 100 objects by more than 50 local artists of color. Riffing on the idea of “freedom” and what it means to be free, artists present their thoughts on the current political climate in the city via a wide variety of mediums: painting, sculpture, video, etc. Of particular note is the intimate and contemplative Dani, Mexico City by local photographer Marilyn Montufar, used on the flyer for the show. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Closing Saturday

TUESDAY

READINGS & TALKS

EJ Koh: The Magical Language of Others
When EJ Koh was 15 years old, she and her brother were left in the United States when Koh's father took a  job in South Korea and her mom went with him. The parents moved Koh and her 19-year old brother into a small house in Davis, California, where they more or less raised each other. Though her parents were physically absent, her mother asserted her presence in the form of two-page letters, which she sent to Koh every week. The letters are the heartbeat of Koh's memoir The Magical Language of Others, pulsing between chapters that reveal other details of Koh's life. Like any good poet, Koh uses up everything—every image returns, and every idea chimes with another, so that the book's short 200 pages contain the emotional and philosophical heft of a doorstop. RICH SMITH

WEDNESDAY

READINGS & TALKS

Silent Reading Party
The Silent Reading Party is one of the weirdest, most wonderful parties you’ll ever go to, because no one talks to you and you can get some reading done. You curl up on a couch or in a wingback chair with a book or magazine or whatever you feel like reading, while Paul Moore plays piano and waiters bring you things. Whenever Paul starts playing Erik Satie, I find myself staring into the fireplace or closing my eyes and melting into the couch. The reading party, which is now 10 years old, is so popular that there is often a line out the door just to get a seat. The people who know what they’re doing get there an hour before it starts. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

SubContinental Drift: Dilruba Ahmed, Shadab Zeest Hashmi, and Prageeta Sharma
Three good poets with roots on the subcontinent explore the diaspora in their highly anticipated new work. In Grief Sequence, which was published in September by Seattle/NYC outfit Wave Books, Prageeta Sharma carves out some new space between the long poem and the lyric memoir as she examines her grief over her dead husband, who was taken by an aggressive cancer. "I lust for a company I can't ask for," she writes. "I turn into my own madman. Can I do this? Did he enter my own body? His energy? Can I be him lusting for himself?" Ahmed also practices the art of losing in Bring Now the Angels, which will be published this spring by University of Pittsburgh Press. She connects the losses of father, Bangladesh, and our dying democracy across meditative lyrics poems that wrestle with death's offspring. Shadab Zeest Hashmi is a master of the ghazal, a form whose couplets and repetitions offer, for her, a vessel that could contain the many paradoxes of cosmopolitan life. RICH SMITH

WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY

VISUAL ART

Emerge/Evolve 2018: Rising Talents in Kiln-Glass
The winners and some finalists of Bullseye Glass Company's competition, which has been going on for the past 18 years, have kiln-glass on display. Some take geometric vase-like forms, like Andy Plummer's ovoid I Moved on Her Like a Bitch; others are weirder, like Evelyn Gottschall Baker's eerily realistic Bones-Group. 
Closing Sunday

THURSDAY

FILM

Literary Nerd Hour: Z-Sides Screening and Quiz Show
Obsessed with local literature? Turn to this televised program run by Jekeva Phillips, a wildly talented and active figure in Seattle's theater and literature scenes. Watch a screening of the bibliophilic Z-Sides, featuring readings and conversations with PNW writers, and then compete in a quiz game (with prizes!). 

FOOD & DRINK

Tiny Treats with Weihenstephan
German fare isn't just Wienerschnitzel and bier. At this one-night event, delight in the decadent pairing of Weihenstephan Korbinian Doppelbock beer, a chocolate cake shot, and mini chocolate cakes from Kaffeeklatsch. 

PERFORMANCE

Devotion: 'Flesh & Blood' Pop-Up Performance
Much-praised Italian-born, Seattle-based dancers Alice Gosti and Lavinia Vago will take to the galleries to respond through movement to the important traveling exhibition Flesh and Blood: Italian Masterpieces from the Capodimonte Museum.

READINGS & TALKS

Critical Issues Lecture Series: Dora Budor
Croatian artist Dora Budor’s site-specific works compose "nondeterministic systems" out of sound, dust, and light. Hear her talk about her complex film-influenced pieces at this Critical Issues lecture. 

Jennifer Ott: Olmsted in Seattle
Environmental historian Jennifer Ott, the Assistant Director of HistoryLink, will fill you in on the origins of Seattle parks designed by the legendary Olmstead brothers, including Seward Park, Mt. Baker Park, Woodland Park, and Volunteer Park.

Samuel Woolley: How Technology Will Break the Truth
Artificial intelligence and shady data collections powered a massive, targeted propaganda campaign on social media that worked in Donald Trump's favor during the 2016 elections. The extent to which those campaigns moved the needle is up for debate. (Perhaps unsurprisingly, that debate is quite heated on social media.) But Sam Woolley, a journalist and member of the European Research Council's Computational Propaganda investigation team, offers a more thorough, sobering, and enlightening view of the issue in his new book on the subject, How Technology Will Break the Truth. Bring your bots, and your questions about how fucked we'll be once those deepfakes starting hitting mainstream airways. RICH SMITH

Shawn Wong and Tara Fickle: Aiiieeeee!
Forty-five years ago, Aiiieeeee! screamed its way into the literary scene with an ambitious goal. The anthology's editors—Frank Chin, Jeffery Paul Chan, Lawson Fusao Inada, and Shawn Wong—wanted to establish the Asian American literary canon. This canon would amplify the silenced voices of Asian American writers (initially defined only as Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino Americans born in the United States) and reclaim cultural space taken up by yellowface Charlie Chan–type shit as well as assimilationist works from more popular Asian American writers. However, the editors' extremely narrow definition of "Asian American" drew criticism, as did the introduction's general machismo, the gender imbalance of the included authors, and its sharp attacks on successful women writers. University of Oregon professor Tara Fickle wrestles with this complicated legacy in the new foreword for the third edition of the anthology, published earlier this year by University of Washington Press. Over the phone, Fickle said it "feels weird" to work on this material "as a woman, and as a mixed-race Asian American scholar whose name doesn't signify," but she thinks its important for Asian Americanists to "deal with what it sees as an embarrassing uncle in the room." RICH SMITH

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.

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 (or, due to the holiday last week, second 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. Check out our list of suggested art openings here.

THURSDAY-SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

Peacock
An ambitious young man in 1920s Paris works his way up in a ritzy nightclub in Can Can's latest kitschy-glam, flesh-baring, plot-driven revue.

Reparations
Sound Theatre Company kicks off its 2020 season with the world premiere of Darren Canady's Reparations, a speculative drama about healing inherited traumas using a device that transforms your blood into a time machine. The cast features Allyson Lee Brown, whose turn as Serena Williams in Citizen: An American Lyric drew effusive praise from Stranger editor Christopher Frizzelle: "[Brown is] such a captivating presence onstage, it's hard to look away from her." Jay O'Leary, who did such a great job pulling the good acting out of the players in Washington Ensemble Theatre's B, will direct. This production is stacked with so much talent—it is certainly one of the most highly anticipated shows of the season. RICH SMITH

FRIDAY

FOOD & DRINK

Cloudburst Brewing Four Year Anniversary
In January of 2016, Steve Luke raised the turquoise garage doors of his Cloudburst Brewing and gave Seattle a new definition of hoppy beer. If you hear “hoppy” and think of one-dimensional, oppressively bitter IPAs, then you should pay a visit to Cloudburst, where “hoppy” means pale ale that tastes like strawberries, IPA that is juicier and softer than it is bitter, and lager that is as clean and grassy as your dad’s fresh-cut lawn. Celebrate their fourth trip around the sun with a birthday party that kicks off at noon with rare barrel-aged beer and fresh hoppy treats. Cloudburst’s small Pike Place Market taproom regularly hits capacity, so show up early and expect a line to get in. LESTER BLACK

READINGS & TALKS

Kate Colby and Mónica de la Torre
Hear work by widely published Providence-based poet Kate Colby, whose work often reflects on the experiences of historical women like Isadora Duncan, Anna Anderson, Catherine de Medici, and Sarah Winchester. She'll appear with Mónica de la Torre, the Mexico City-raised dark humorist author of the collections Public Domain and Talk Show. 

VISUAL ART

INK: Zine & Arts Fest
Your dollars will nab you delightful art and benefit Real Rent Duwamish, an organization that encourages Seattleites to pay "rent" to the original inhabitants of unceded Duwamish territory, at Sarah Maloney and Valerie Niemeyer's zine and art fest featuring live music, performances, and drinks. The vendors will include intriguing, accomplished locals like Robin Elan, David Lasky, Sarah Elsa Pinon, Kelly Dean Verity, Push/Pull, Jon Garaizar, Rhodora Jacob, and others.

FRIDAY-SATURDAY

COMEDY

Kortney Shane Williams
This Seattle comic—who’s opened for stars such as Dave Chappelle and Hannibal Buress—has gotten a lot of hilarious mileage out of being self-deprecating. Kortney Shane Williams’s bit about not being a “real man” is classic takedown of machismo and societal expectations. He excels in the humor of everyday mundanity, like shopping at Trader Joe’s and the problem of white guys with dreadlocks. “Every black guy is scared of a white guy with dreadlocks,” Williams observes. “It takes a lot of commitment… He’s probably trying to re-create Breaking Bad.” DAVE SEGAL

PERFORMANCE

14/48: The World's Quickest Theater Festival
True to its name, the 14/48 festival turns around 14 brand-new, theme-based, 10-minute plays in two days. The high-pressure nature of the event produces an evening of surprising theater for the audience, who arrive in their seats charged with expectation and anxiety for the performers. Though there are always a few experiments that don't quite come together, it's endlessly fascinating to see the way one theme filters through the minds of several very different theater artists. Expect shit to get weird. RICH SMITH

Why All This Music?
Karin Stevens Dance will present four new improvisational dance works exploring the relationship between the human body and the natural world. Small local ensembles will accompany the dancers (including Robert Moore, Maeve Haselton, Ben Swenson-Klatt, Hazel Morris, and Micaela Gonzales) with "live spontaneous sound creation."

SATURDAY

COMEDY

Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything
If there’s one sure bet in stand-up, it’s Patton Oswalt. He’s flexed his comedic skills in movies, TV, video games, books, and recordings—but onstage alone with a mic is where the real gold dwells. Whether tackling subjects mundane or profound, Oswalt constructs riveting, hilarious stories out of them with a keen eye for details, a good ear for vocal inflections, and unparalleled use of metaphors and similes. Rare for a comedian, his bits can withstand multiple hearings without losing their punch. Remember this one? “Food and beverage companies test out their new products in the Midwest… for side effects, let’s be honest. If the new venison-flavored Twizzlers are gonna make you grow a vagina behind your knee, it’s better to find out on an onion farmer than on Liv Tyler, isn’t it?” DAVE SEGAL

Shot Prov
Well, this sounds a little dangerous: Improvisers violate secret rules (secret from them, that is) as they play and must take a shot every time they do so. Poor things! After they reach their limit, they're booted off the stage, presumably for their own safety.

FOOD & DRINK

Chuck's Hop Shop Sixth Anniversary Party
Portland's Wayfinder Beer has brewed and canned their Mad Chuck IPA in honor of the well-known and well-loved Chuck's Hop Shop's sixth birthday. Stop by for some hoppy revelry. 

La Galette Des Rois 2020 Avec AFSeattle & UFE Seattle
Tuck into galettes provided by La Parisienne French Bakery at this celebration of the Epiphany (the Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ) co-hosted by the Alliance Française de Seattle and the Union des Français à l’Etranger. Per tradition, a charm will be hidden in each galette, and the lucky one to find it will be crowned king or queen for the day.

Samish Bay Night Tide Soiree
I like to start each year by randomly doing something I would normally avoid. When I saw the event listing for Taylor Shellfish’s Night Tide Soiree at their Samish Bay farm, my first thought was, “I would never do that.” Which is exactly why I decided I should. Whether or not you find the notion of harvesting oysters in Puget Sound at night appealing, adventurous, or eerie, you have to admit it is an exceedingly Pacific Northwest thing to do. For this event, a bus will pick you up from either Seattle or Bellingham and take you out to Samish Bay Farm, which is just outside of Bellingham. Wine and beer are provided (another draw), as is a shucking knife, and when you’re done, you get to slurp the fruits of your harvest right there on the beach, in front of a roaring bonfire. Headlamp, boots, and all-weather gear are suggested. DAVID LEWIS

Urban Homestead Brunch Feast
If you’ve been seeing chickens in people’s yards for years but have still never tasted an urban egg, now is your chance. City homesteaders are holding a brunch to raise money for Planned Parenthood, and for the price of admission ($15) plus a $75 donation to PP in Mike Pence’s name, you can enjoy a seven-course brunch of backyard foods ranging from whole roasted cauliflower with lemon tahini sauce to toffee apples to braised pasture eggs with leeks and za’atar. After the meal, you are invited to feed grubs and cracked corn to the resident hens and geese. DAVID LEWIS

PERFORMANCE

Dreaming in American
The Jewish immigrant communities that fled pogroms and settled in Manhattan's Lower East Side, and the subsequent generations who grappled with assimilation and tradition, are the focus of Tales of the Alchemysts Theatre's performance piece based on works by Anzia Yezierska, Bernard Malamud, and Sholem Asch.

Perpetual Vessels: Malacarne in Residence at the W.T. Preston
This screening of the site-specific dance film created in residence at the W.T. Preston (a hundred-year-old steamboat in Anacortes, Washington) will be bolstered by live performances from featured choreographers June Zandona, Alice Gosti, and the Malacarne Dance Company, as well as a Q&A.

QiQi Cabaret
Get ready for a night of multi-genre performance art, fashion, and heavy house beats at this QTPoC showcase. The theme this time is "THE FUTURE IS FELINE," so dress accordingly and marvel at the sure-to-be-amazing looks of featured performers Hot Pink Shade, Tinashéa Monet, LüCHi, Momma Nikki, and host CarLarans, plus DJ Joy Ma.

READINGS & TALKS

Original Music Inspired by Tara Westover's 'Educated'
The Bushwick Book Club will perform original music inspired by Tara Westover's bestselling memoir Educated

Saturday University: Silk and Fashion in Tang China
BuYun Chen, a history professor at Swarthmore College, will join the Seattle Art Museum for this month's Saturday University Lecture on China's Tang dynasty, commonly known as the "golden age of Chinese history."

Viet Thanh and Ellison Nguyen: Chicken of the Sea
Pulitzer Prize-winning Vietnamese writer Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer) and his little son Ellison have collaborated on this adorable-sounding book about brave sailor chickens who battle seasickness and the fearsome Dog Knights.

VISUAL ART

Georgetown Art Attack
Once a month, the art scene of the tiny airport hamlet of Georgetown ATTACKS all passersby. In more literal terms, it's the day of art openings and street wonderment. If the westerly locations are too far, there's a free Art Ride! Check out our critics' picks for this month here.

SATURDAY-SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

Eugene Onegin
This Seattle Opera production brings together the genius of two great Russians: Alexander Pushkin, who wrote the novel in verse, and Pyotr Tchaikovsky (The Nutcracker), who penned the score. It's a simple but moving and melancholy story of a young woman who falls in love with a cold-hearted nobleman, an encounter that tragically changes the course of their lives.

SUNDAY

COMEDY

Bruce McCulloch: Tales of Bravery and Stupidity
Now 58, McCulloch has risen to serious heights in television and film through a razor-sharp instinct for the hilarious and the ridiculous. The Kids in the Hall put him on the cultural map in the late 1980s, and he's remained there ever since with stints writing for Saturday Night Live, roles in the movies Brain Candy and Super Troopers 2, two music LPs (Shame-Based Man and Drunk Baby Project), and a memoir, 2014's Let's Start a Riot: How a Young Drunk Punk Became a Hollywood Dad. Now McCulloch is on the road with a new one-man show called Tales of Bravery and Stupidity. It will be part stand-up, part storytelling, some music, and what he calls "funnier observational stuff." McCulloch says that a key aspect of Tales of Bravery and Stupidity is humanism. "It's always been a part of my work, but people didn't see it when I was younger. Now as I'm getting older, I'm allowing it out more. It is my love for how frustrating and beautiful and stupid we all are. I'm obsessed with people's stories. I'm odd, but I think I'm a closet humanist." DAVE SEGAL

READINGS & TALKS

National Geographic Live: Pursuit of the Black Panther
If we put aside all the politics and the bullshit for once, I think we would all agree that, technically, the black panther is the coolest animal on the planet. It's athletic and ferocious and wise, like a teenage god. It's also incredibly elusive and rare, which makes National Geographic cinematographer Shannon Wild's new documentary on the big black cat all the more impressive. In a stunning multimedia presentation, the aptly named Wild tells the story of the perilous, years-long journey she took through the Indian subcontinent just to get a peek at the world's coolest animal. RICH SMITH