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The Guilty Feminist with Deborah Frances-White
Join Deborah Frances-White if you've "ever felt like you should be better at feminism" for a live and lively recording of her hit podcast, which Phoebe Waller-Bridge (of Fleabag) has hailed as "genius."
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
Daudi Abe: Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Principal’s Office?
For this talk, professor and historian Daudi Abe will go into the "school-to-prison pipeline" and the inequality in student discipline, as well as racial disparities between teachers and students and other urgent issues affecting Black pupils and kids of color.
MONDAY, WEDNESDAY & SATURDAY-SUNDAYFOOD & DRINK
Chinese New Year Celebration
Cofounders Raymond Kwan and Barry Chan named their Ballard craft brewery Lucky Envelope for the colorful red envelopes traditionally stuffed with money and given out on Chinese New Year to bring good fortune. So it only makes sense that it's the perfect place to usher in the Year of the Rat. On Saturday and Sunday, they'll debut multiple limited releases, like the Mijiaya Historic Chinese Beer (brewed from an ancient recipe) and Metal Rat Hazy IPA (a collaboration made with the Chinese American–owned Highland Brewing in Asheville), and Panda Dim Sum will serve up Chinese bites from a refurbished school bus. Naturally, 88 lucky red envelopes filled with special surprises will be given out each day. JULIANNE BELL
MONDAY & THURSDAY-SUNDAYPERFORMANCE
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
ALL WEEKVISUAL ART
Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation
The long and varied history of Indian Americans stretches back to the 19th century, and this exhibition explores their contributions to American life from the age of railroads to the Civil Rights movement.
TUESDAYFOOD & DRINK
Jennifer Tyler Lee: Half the Sugar, All the Love
From cereal to snacks, I check the label on everything; there is so much added sugar where you don’t expect it—and plenty of extra where you do. Enter Jennifer Tyler Lee, who introduced a game-style strategy that prompted her kids to eat fresh foods while involving them in the making of their meals with her debut cookbook, The 52 New Foods Challenge. For her second outing, she’s teamed up with Dr. Anisha I. Patel to come up with 100 recipes for breakfast, snacks, desserts, beverages, and even condiments that contain at least 50 percent less sugar—or no sugar at all—without sacrificing the flavor. Half the Sugar, All the Love: 100 Easy, Low-Sugar Recipes for Every Meal of the Day also includes techniques on how to sweeten naturally, with fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, plus a bit of education (like how to really read a nutritional label, the myths of sugar, and recommended daily sugar targets). With a growing 2.5-year-old who has recently discovered the joy of candy and cupcakes, this is the sort of cookbook I need in my arsenal. Lee will be giving a talk and signing copies of her cookbook at the Book Larder event. LEILANI POLK
Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding: Switched on Pop
We all know, intellectually, that there’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure. Pleasure is pleasure! But, emotionally, we still harbor some form of guilt when we indulge in the irrepressible desire to bust a move every time we hear the latest cheesy pop song. On their podcast Switched on Pop, musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding have been absolving us of all that guilt by popping the hood on popular songs and explaining how they work, adding intellectual and philosophical heft to our cotton-candy corporate trash music. Now they’re out with a book that offers close reads of 16 “modern classics,” including Beyoncé’s “Love on Top,” Britney Spears’s “Oops!… I Did It Again,” and Toby Keith’s “Made in America.” Like all good pieces of analysis, their accessible and well-written readings of songs make the world a much more interesting place and strengthen our connections to one another. RICH SMITH
William Gibson: Agency
The master of cyberpunk will read from Agency, the sequel to his novel The Peripheral. The new book follows engineer Verity Jane as she's hired to beta-test a human-like AI with capacities beyond what its makers suspect. It weaves this narrative with one that takes place a century later in a post-apocalyptic future, when a tech worker named Wilf looks back into the alternative past to try to help Verity Jane and the AI to avert their own catastrophe.
James Martin: The Book of Sunshine
Circus denizens, anthropomorphic animals, and mythical beings populate James Martin's art. Martin was born in 1928 in Everett and has been creating these whimsical scenes for decades. This exhibition will include selections from his lengthy career, including pieces that haven't been seen in public since their completion.
This "macabre and mystical" cabaret-style musical from Mark Siano and Opal Peachey, set in 1890s Prague, features the music of Dvořák and Chopin and art nouveau by Alphonse Mucha—plus "beautiful green fairies, aerial numbers, dance, burlesque, classical piano battles, comedy, and original songs." This will be the last edition of Bohemia before the whole crew heads over to Berlin.
America’s favorite masc4masc playwright Sam Shepard is dead. He passed away in 2017, but the swaggering cowboy, called the “greatest American playwright of his generation” by New York magazine, is continuing to get a retrospective on stages across the country. Now the celebration comes to the Seattle Rep, with the theater putting on True West, a gritty and funny play about two brothers and some identity theft. Expect brawls and belly laughs. CHASE BURNS
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."
An Evening with Jonny Sun
Join Jonny Sun, author and illustrator of everyone is an aliebn when ur an aliebn and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Gmorning, Gnight! and a writer for BoJack Horseman, for an evening in Seattle.
Distant Shores: Oxalis
For their new Distant Shores dinner series, the self-described "weird beer" bar No Anchor will collaborate with "friends from shores near and far." In the inaugural edition, they'll team up with chef Nico Russell and beverage director Piper Kristensen from the Brooklyn neighborhood bistro Oxalis (which was named one of New York's best new restaurants and awarded a Michelin star just 10 months after opening) for an eight-course meal with special beverage pairings.
Davidson's acute analysis can be heard on the Planet Money podcast, which he co-created, and read in the New Yorker. Among other laurels, he's won a Peabody award for his coverage of the financial crisis, whose devastating effect on the housing market he addressed in the radio documentary The Giant Pool of Money. Seattle Arts & Lectures will bring him to share his economic insights.
Asma T. Uddin: When Islam is Not a Religion
Religious liberty lawyer Asma Uddin examines the narrative around Islam in current U.S. politics in her new, Eboo Patel-approved book, When Islam is Not a Religion. Join her live in Seattle.
Assembly Open Mic for Literary Works in Progress
Bring your poetry, prose, and works-in-progress and be open to feedback at this open mic.
Claire Rudy Foster: Shine of the Ever
This fictional "literary mixtape of queer voices out of 1990s Portland" comes to us from Claire Rudy Foster, who's been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and McSweeney’s.
Gather for intersectionally focused sexual health with black queer feminist Ericka Hart, a speaker who's been featured in international media as the face of racial reproductive health justice.
Indigenous Reparation and Recognition in Seattle
It's no surprise that Seattle's growth has come at the unfair cost of diminishing Indigenous communities who were here first. In this talk, local writer Marcus Harrison Green will address how Coast Salish people in Seattle are pushing for greater representation, and how non-Native Seattleites and policymakers can improve the relationship with Indigenous residents.
WEDNESDAY & FRIDAY-SATURDAYPERFORMANCE
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.
Fay Jones: Las Golondrinas
Seattle-based artist Fay Jones—whose work you may recognize from the Westlake Station—speaks in symbols and signs. The characters and figures of her paintings seem to come out of a lovely but strange dream: bunnies floating in the sky, sentient clouds, giant shadows of palettes hovering just above the horizon. In her latest exhibition, Las Golondrinas, Jones is presenting new large-scale works on paper that depict landscapes based on things she observed looking out her bedroom window. Dedicated to the memory of her late husband, artist Robert C. Jones, who passed away in January 2019, Jones explores grief, hope, loss, and joy. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Peter Ferguson: Skip Forward When Held
Peter Ferguson, a Roq la Rue regular, paints rich, imaginative, warmly hued pop surrealist works that evoke Northern Renaissance strangeness, Boschian creatures, and fin-de-siècle magic. JOULE ZELMAN
She Loves Me
Joe Masteroff, Jerry Bock, and Sheldon Harnick, progenitors of the deathless Fiddler on the Roof, also wrote this sweet musical about two perfume store clerks who butt heads constantly—not realizing that they're also in a romantic letter-writing relationship thanks to a classified. Yes, it's the plot of You've Got Mail.
UW Dance Presents
The University of Washington Department of Dance presents new works "that question hierarchies in art and life" by nationally and internationally recognized artists: AVID (A Vehicle for Improvised Dance), Alethea Alexander, Rachael Lincoln, Adele Nickel, Dani Tirrell, and "Majinn" Mike O'Neal Jr. Ivory Smith and Dr. Kaley Lane Eaton provide original scores.
Flesh and Blood: Italian Masterpieces from the Capodimonte Museum
Flesh and Blood consists of 40 works by Spanish, Italian, and French Renaissance and Baroque master artists. These works are from the collection of Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte, in the hills of Naples, Italy, and this is the first time many of them have traveled together. Perhaps the most exciting thing is the inclusion of Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi's Judith and Holofernes (1612–1613). It depicts the Old Testament story of Judith, a beautiful Jewish heroine, assassinating the Assyrian general Holofernes. Judith used her looks and Holofernes's desire to get into his tent, where he passed out after drinking too much. Judith used this opportunity to behead the general with a giant sword, absconding with his decapitated head and saving her city and the people in it. Gentileschi's Judith is clothed, and she shows absolutely no qualms about the task. The surety and determination on her face is matched by the way she grabs Holofernes's hair, holding him so that she can position the sword accurately. She's a butcher of tyrannical men. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Have a Slice: Hosted by IMNDC
One lucky audience member will not only get a free slice of pizza, but also see their life transformed into improv comedy onstage. It's a "slice of life," get it? Very bright long-form improvisers IMDNC, made up of Graham Downing, John Carroll, Coonoor Behal, and Stephen Carter, will make sure you're in great comedic hands. Plus, Graham Downing and Stranger calendar editor Joule Zelman will open, and it'll be Downing's last IMNDC show before he leaves town.
Socially Inept: Tech Roast Show
If you're a tech bro and you're not prepared to get roasted, be warned: This night of comedy will poke fun at coders, programmers, and the megacorps they work for, courtesy of four local comics and some brave audience volunteers. As Dave Segal has written: "Roasting tech culture may be considered low-hanging fruit in the Seattle comedy world, but that just makes the challenge of conceiving funny observations about it all the more compelling."
10 Year Firestone Walker Anniversary Vertical
Firestone Walker Brewing’s Anniversary Ale is a remarkable beer by itself—it’s a master blend aged in bourbon, rum, and gin oak barrels—but Brouwer’s Cafe has found a way to make this striking beer even more interesting. The venerable Fremont beer bar is serving a 10-year vertical of Firestone’s Anniversary Ales: Firestone Walker XIV–XXIII. In the pantheon of beer geekery, a vertical—a tasting event where you sample the same brewery’s beer aged to different years—sits somewhere near the top of Mount Olympus. The longer the vertical, the better, and Brouwer’s Cafe’s 10-year Firestone vertical will give you the chance to see how a beer changes across an entire decade. LESTER BLACK
Taylor Shellfish Oysters & Bubbles Night
Your Thursdays just got classier thanks to fresh Shigoku oysters from Taylor Shellfish Farms and bubbly drink specials.
Fight for Our Lives
Raise money for worthy queer causes by buying art, watching great acts, and hearing new written work. Join respected performers from the queer community, like spoken-word artist Naa Akua, singer, drag artist, and community fixture Adé A Cônneré, writer and musician Amber Flame, and writers Juan Miguel Jocom, Callum Angus, Calvin Gimpelevich, Ray Stoeve, and Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore.
Heather Evans: Interdependent Success
In this talk, subtitled Cultivating a Community of Diverse Bodies and Minds, Evans presents her research on people who've become disabled in an exploration of stigma, exclusion, and the false narratives of "independence."
Peggy Orenstein: Boys, Sex, and the New Masculinity
Orenstein follows up Girls & Sex with a new book focused on the impact of toxic masculinity, media stereotypes, and gender-role-binary thinking on boys and young men. She addresses sexuality, emotion, empathy, consent, and violence in light of "locker-room talk," porn, sex education (or lack thereof), and other troubling influences.
Ronald Rael: Notes from the Borderlands
In July 2019, architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello installed pink seesaws in the slots of the border wall between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, allowing people on either side to play with each other despite the international boundary that kept them apart. “The wall became a literal fulcrum for US-Mexico relations,” Rael wrote. “Children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side.” He’ll be speaking in Seattle about this project, his greater work with the border wall, and his latest book, Borderwall as Architecture. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Our Country's Good
Timberlake Wertenbaker's play, staged here by Strawberry Theatre Workshop, depicts a group of convicts in 18th-century New South Wales who are encouraged by British Navy officers to put on George Farquhar's restoration comedy The Recruiting Officer. In the words of the Workshop, the play is especially relevant to the current day, because "The United States incarcerates more people than any country in the world; the US constitutes 4% of the world population, but keeps 22% of the world's prisoners behind bars. Many prison inmates haven't been convicted of anything—they are jailed awaiting trial or a hearing on their immigration status."
Chris Buening: Empty Heads
Face jugs have a long history in the United States, especially in the South where enslaved folk artists crafted ceramic jugs depicting human heads. These face jugs were said to have spiritual value, or perhaps served as a form of visual representation of a people who were denied any sort of reflection on their appearance or selfhood. These jugs immediately came to my mind when seeing the work of Seattle-based artist Chris Buening in his new show, Empty Heads. Pulling from his past, Buening is presenting new ceramic pieces—jugs, vases, jars, etc.—influenced by these face jugs, 1970s-era creamers and vases, memory pots, and other folk pottery. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Wearing nothing but a leopard-print half-tee, a matching G-string, and a curly coif that would make Patrick Swayze blush in his grave (RIP), comic stripper Woody Shticks takes the stage in this "scalding sex comedy" directed by The Libertinis. While trapped on a porn set for reasons Shticks will no doubt reveal at some point during the show, our hero skewers wielders of power and privilege. Expect a lot of stripping, a high kick or two, and some biting satire. RICH SMITH
Nancy Norton was 2019's winner of the Seattle International Comedy Competition—but that's not all. The former nurse also triumphed at the Boston Comedy Festival in 2018. Those are two major cities that have decided she's pretty damn funny. She's additionally been featured on Nickelodeon, Amazon Prime, and A&E.
Washington Ensemble Theatre's press materials promise "intense feminine energy" from Dance Nation, a Pulitzer Prize–nominated play by Clare Barron about a preteen dance troupe gunning for nationals under the guidance of their frazzled coach. In an interview, Barron, a Yale grad who hails from Wenatchee (!), says the show was inspired by the complex portrait of ambition presented in Lifetime's reality television series Dance Moms, which means there's no way this isn't going to be good. Extra insurance for this prediction comes from the fact that Bobbin Ramsey, who has a gift for organizing chaos onstage, is codirecting the performance with Alyza DelPan-Monley. RICH SMITH
Jaha Koo: Cuckoo
A few years ago, a rice cooker awakened Jaha Koo from a deep depression. At the bottom of his own black pit, an unlikely voice called out to him and lifted him up. "Cuckoo has finished cooking rice, please stir," the voice said. In that moment, Koo began imagining the rice cooker as a theatrical object. To him, the preprogrammed voice trapped in a mass-market workhorse metaphorically resonated with the life of the average Korean millennial. This spark of associations drove Koo to create Cuckoo, a piece of documentary theater connecting the fallout of the 1997 Asian financial crisis to a larger conversation about capitalism and mental health. The performance features Koo discussing recent Korean history with three talkative rice cookers that were hacked and reprogrammed to speak, sing, and fight with each other. Electronic music scores a kinetic video collage that mixes scenes from the financial disaster with relevant scenes from Koo's own life. RICH SMITH
Prolific director Kelly Kitchens will stage Lauren Gunderson's comedy about four strong women in perilous revolutionary France: the feminist playwright Olympe de Gouges, the assassin Charlotte Corday, the prisoner Marie Antoinette, and the Haitian freedom fighter Marianne Angelle.
FRIDAYPARTIES & NIGHTLIFE
Burke NiteLife: EARTH
The Burke Museum, aka the best place to get up-close to ancient fossils and dinosaur skeletons, will host an after-hours party for drinking-age paleontology enthusiasts. Wander through the exhibits to witness live performances, get your photo taken with local drag queens, make a memento with a local artist, drink Westland Distillery cocktails and other locally crafted booze, and dance to live DJs. Dress up in jewel tones for the chance to win a prize.
Black Imagination: Natasha Marin Book Launch
In Black Imagination, a new anthology of sorts published by McSweeney's, Marin collects some of the spoken testimony she and three other artists—Amber Flame, Rachael Ferguson, and Imani Sims—gathered from a diverse set of black voices for an installation by the same name that ran at CORE Gallery in 2018. As part of that show, the artists recorded participants responding to three prompts: (1) What is your origin story? (2) How do you heal yourself? (3) Describe/imagine a world where you are loved, safe, and valued. In the book, Marin arranges the responses in reverse order, and she breaks up the testimonials with a series of her own poems called Interludes: Rituals. In all, Black Imagination reads like a survival guide with a sense of humor as deep as its sense of history, a literary oasis for black people fed up with the white gaze. The pieces by Quenton Baker, Robert Lashley, Reagan Jackson, and Marin are standouts, but the book also turned me on to great writers I'd never heard of before, such as Kenyatta JP Garcia, Kiana Davis, and Aricka Foreman. RICH SMITH
Carmen Maria Machado
She's done it again. Judging by the rave reviews of In the Dream House, Carmen Maria Machado has written another must-read. But rather than a collection of Borgesian short stories, this one is a harrowing memoir about her abusive relationship with her first girlfriend. Entertainment Weekly called it "the best memoir of the year." NPR says she's invented "a new kind of memoir." Seattle's own Kristen Millares Young said her review of the book in the Washington Post would have been easier to write if Machado wasn't "so good." Brace yourself for this one. RICH SMITH
FRIDAY-SATURDAYFOOD & DRINK
Port Townsend's annual beer festival offers pours from over 30 breweries, from classics to Northwest-inspired oddballs.
Whim W'Him's first production of 2020 is composed of three world premieres by three award-winning choreographers: Sidra Bell, founder of an eponymous dance company in New York; Ihsan Rustem, a Swiss choreographer who's collaborated with Whim W'him dancers in the past; and Whim W'Him's own Olivier Wevers.
Bill Maher has the rare ability to anger both conservatives and lefties with equal alacrity through his sociopolitical commentary, whether on his TV shows (Politically Incorrect and Real Time with Bill Maher) or in his documentary Religulous. Maybe that’s the key to his success—outrage everybody and you’ll gain substantial mindshare in the attention economy. Whether you agree or disagree with Maher, you have to admit he’s great at skewering hypocrisy—our grossest national product—and is never dull. And if you enjoy hearing comics flay the traitor squatting in the White House, you’ll likely guffaw to Maher’s withering put-downs (“He doesn’t want to alienate his base by reading”). That may be low-hanging fruit, but it’s exceptionally juicy. DAVE SEGAL
Midwest comic Kathleen Madigan, who skewers such subjects as the Southern school system, retirement villages, the news, and her parents, will bring her wonderfully deep, sardonic voice to the Seattle stage.
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.
10th Annual Belgian Fest
Brewing beers with Belgian yeast yields a range of ales with a distinctive fruity flavor. This festival featuring more than 100 Belgian-style beers crafted by Washington breweries is the perfect opportunity to taste them all, including funky lambics, tangy saisons, dubbels, tripels, abbeys, and wits.
The Feeling Eye: A Somatic Exercise and Conversation
Francesca Lohmann and Rob Rhee (the artists of Subspontaneous) and Rebecca Brewer (Natural Horror) will link up for a conversation and "hybridized workshop-tour" on "materiality, process-based art-making, and bodily modes of perception," led by movement analyst Hannah Acton.
Madeleine Cichy: A Body as Big as This Room
There’s really nothing like a beaded curtain. Retro and typically hung in doorways, the curtains announce the arrival (or departure) of a family member, a friend, a pet, often still clanging together long after they have passed through. In Seattle-based artist Madeleine Cichy’s solo show, she will be exhibiting watercolor and acrylic works on paper of beaded curtains, finding a “new way of approaching responsive environments and bodily presence.” JASMYNE KEIMIG
The Danish Immigration Museum presents the stories of 13 people who were deported from Denmark about 100 years ago. Find out what happened to these unfortunate people who fell afoul of immigration laws in this sad but interesting snapshot of history.
SUNDAYFOOD & DRINK
All Star Truffle Dinner
Truffle expert and Issaquah-based Cascadia Truffles owner Sunny Diaz spends her days hunting truffles professionally with the aid of her intrepid and adorable helper, Stella the truffle dog. (Stella is a Lagotto Romagnolo, an Italian breed often trained to find the coveted fungus.) At this dinner, you'll have the unique opportunity to tuck into a six-course meal showcasing native Pacific Northwest truffles foraged by the chefs themselves, and the lineup is stacked: All four chefs, including Mutsuko Soma of Kamonegi and Hannyatou (Seattle), Misti Norris of Petra and the Beast (Dallas, Texas), Nite Yun of Nyum Bai (Oakland, California), and Caroline Glover of Annette (Aurora, Colorado), were featured in Food and Wine's best new chefs for 2019. JULIANNE BELL
Robert Burns Tribute and Scottish Night
Rival your mid-winter slump with a boisterous evening of bagpipe music, poetry, haggis, whiskey, and other delights honoring the great Scottish Bard Robert Burns.
Yangsze Choo: The Night Tiger
In Yangsze Choo's second novel (following The Ghost Bride), an 11-year-old boy searches for his dead master's finger, which sets him on a path to encounter a Malaysian dancehall girl and aspiring physician whose one-night partner left her a pretty gross memento.
Rich Stevens, Kate Wiebe, and Skylar Fleming—who collectively inhabit alter egos called the Rock Candy Mountain Siblings—use sculpture and painting to elaborate a mythology about the children of a mad soda scientist, who've hidden in a secret cave eating rock candy for 25 years before emerging in the outside world. As usual for Jeremy Buben's gallery, expect work that's both witty and appetizing (and inedible, but the opening reception will have snacks and drinks).