This week, our arts critics have recommended the best events in every genre—from The Marriage of Figaro at Seattle Opera to Inside RadioLab, and from a Planned Parenthood talk featuring Amelia Bonow to Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. See them all below, and find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.
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Martin Luther King, Jr. Rally & March: We Have the Power to Make Change
Take advantage of MLK Day as a day on to discuss pressing issues and work towards change in your community. This event will begin at Garfield High School, and then transition to a rally and march that will continue on to the Federal Building downtown.
Art & Social Justice Tour with Chiyo Ishikawa
SAM Deputy Director Chiyo Ishikawa (and terrific resource, gem of a human) leads this socially engaged tour around the museum in honor of MLK Day.
Michelle de la Vega: SUCCESSION
"There are two Pioneer Squares: One is art galleries, the other is people living on the streets right outside the galleries. Michelle de la Vega brings them into contact—people from both camps actually touching each other's bodies—in a video that's at the heart of her exhibition of sculptures and installations called SUCCESSION: The Exchange Project." -Jen Graves (Through Fri)
The Motherfucker with the Hat
"The play, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Adly Guirgis and directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton, involves a love triangle between a woman struggling with addiction, a man recently released from prison, and a dried-up friend of theirs. The discovery of some motherfucker's hat sets off the action, and a tale of moral relativism (and lots of cussing) unfolds." -Rich Smith (Also Thurs-Sun this week)
READINGS & TALKS
Nick Licata: Take Power, Become a “Citizen Activist”
Local figure and longtime City Council member Nick Licata will speak about his book, Becoming a Citizen Activist: Stories, Strategies, and Advice for Changing Our World, and talk candidly about achieving social activism goals.
Design In Depth: Design That Moves You ⎮ Urban Transit
Transportation leaders gather to discuss the pressing, local (and global) issue of effective, sustainable, and community-driven transportation. Speakers include Andrew Glass Hastings (Seattle Mayor’s Office), Alan Hart (VIA Architecture), Elizabeth Kiker (Cascade Bicycle Club), Karen Kitsis (Sound Transit), and Paul Roybal (King County Metro).
Wage Slaves: The 78 Cents Edition
Women read about their (mostly underpaid) experiences with work at this edition of Wage Slaves: Tales from the Grind, emceed by Michelle Goodman and Sierra Golden. Featuring Tele Aadsen, Jean Burnet (pictured), Sonya Lea, Nikkita Oliver, Michelle Peñaloza, and free donuts. Let loose and bite the hand that feeds you.
"Oakland’s SWMRS look and sound like your friend’s bratty but brilliant little brother: insouciant, a little irritating, but too tuneful to resist." -Kyle Fleck
Kenneth Branagh Theatre Live: The Winter's Tale
Shakespeare’s timeless tragicomedy is reimagined in Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford's new production, featuring Judi Dench as Paulina and Branagh as Leontes, broadcast live from London.
Trimpin: Hear We Are Opening Reception
Trimpin, famous local sound artist and sculptor, presents works at Winston Wachter Fine Art. He'll be at the opening reception tonight.
READINGS & TALKS
"Anita Sarkeesian created FeministFrequency.com, a platform she uses to analyze sexism in the culture in general, with special attention paid to the rampant misogyny of video games and video-game culture. For her hard work on this issue, she endured rape threats, death threats, and doxing during 2014's Gamergate, a controversy led by anonymous men's rights activists and trolls who considered her critiques unfair. Despite near constant harassment, she still travels and gives lectures. This one is called 'I'll Make a Man Out of You: Redefining Strong Female Characters.' -Rich Smith
The Peopling of Seattle: Race, Migration, and Immigration
As part of UW's 2016 History Lecture Series, former history professor Quintard Taylor will "examine how the city's vibrant and sometimes contentious population was built up, one person at a time, from the first Native American inhabitants to the frenetic growth of the 21st century."
Ghost Tokens Presents: Inumbrating Pinnacle
This week of literary performances, performed in the evening under the space needle, is "designed to provide a space for creativity in response to the development of Seattle." Afterwards, trek to a bar with audience and performers alike to drink and hash it out. (Through Sat)
The Marriage of Figaro
"General directors don't usually act as creative artists, and [Seattle Opera general director Aidan] Lang 'doesn't intend to repeat this feat,' but this presentation of Figaro, Mozart's best-loved and most commonly produced opera, is Lang's own production. He created it in 2010 in New Zealand, partly at the same place—Weta Workshop—where Peter Jackson made his Lord of the Rings trilogy, and it sailed across the seas to get here." -Jen Graves (Best prices today, but shows also on Saturday and Sunday)
Brothers of the Sonic Cloth
"This will be a doom-fest; a minor-chord marathon that will strike terror into the unassuming, and delight into the blackened hearts of any metalhead within its substantial blast radius." -Todd Hamm
Dolly Parton's Birthday
"This edition of "Hero Worship" will heap adoration all over the Queen of Country, the one and only (and very much alive!) Dolly Parton. Expect lots of laughter, fake twangy accents, blond wigs, and good ole fashioned feel-good country music." -Kelly O
Piano Starts Here: Errol Garner and George Shearing
"Jazz pianist and composer Errol Garner’s tune 'Misty,' along with Duke Ellington’s 'In a Sentimental Mood,' is one of those pre-bop jazz standards that’s so light it seems to float, lighter than air, lighter than helium, unknowable and angel-light....Tonight, Garner, along with his kind-of-contemporary George Shearing, will get their due courtesy of top-shelf local talents." -Kyle Fleck
Shoot the Piano Player
"It is not controversial to say that the greatest films by the second most influential figure of the French New Wave, François Truffaut, are his first three: The 400 Blows (1959), Shoot the Piano Player (1960), and Jules and Jim (1962). The middle film is based on a novel by David Goodis, a towering king of mid-century crime fiction. Shoot the Piano Player is an intense love letter to American pulp. Only the French know how to worship, how to praise, how to build temples for the gods of B movies." -Charles Mudede
READINGS & TALKS
Katrina Dodson With Translations of Clarice Lispector
Elliott Bay Book Company says, "One of the great U.S. publishing stories of 2015 was the beautiful translation (and book) of 20th Century Brazilian master Clarice Lispector's The Complete Stories (New Directions)." It was translated from Portuguese by first-time translator Katrina Dodson, who will speak at the bookstore tonight.
Strawberry Theatre Workshop pits man (and woman) against avian to present Conor McPherson's 2009 stage adaptation of The Birds, based on Hitchock's classic 1963 horror/thriller flick and Daphne du Maurier's 1952 short story. (Through Sat)
The Edmonds Driftwood Players present Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award- winning play Proof by David Auburn, about the daughter of a late University of Chicago professor and mathematical genius. (Through Sun)
King Kirby, written by Crystal Skillman and Fred Van Lente, takes on the story of comic book creator Jack Kirby, from his childhood in New York, to his army service in World War II, and finally, to his moment standing accused on the Senate floor. (Through Sat)
FOOD & DRINK
Seattle’s "Best Damn Happy Hour"
On the third Thursday of the month, the “Best Damn Happy Hour” (their title) has live DJs, mini golf, board games, giant Jenga (TIMBERRRRR!), and deals on cocktails and food at the many places inside the Armory. 21+ only.
Outdoor Movie Night: Cool Runnings
At Peddler Brewing Company's covered (but outdoor) beer garden, you can listen to the rain coming down with a pint to warm you up, and watch the cult comedy Cool Runnings.
Blood Drugs, Donzis, Braindrain
"Blood Drugs will surely DESTROY whatever is left of the night with their noisy, post-hardcore punk rock, kinda like what was coming out of DC around 1990. God damn, what a solid bill for a weeknight." -Mike Nipper
Nightspace, DoNormaal, Briana Marela, Jiu Jitsu, guests
"This is probably going to be the best electronic-oriented show you see in January 2016. BetweenNightspace’s dreamy goth-wave, Briana Marela’s synthetic icicle-scapes, and Jiu Jitsu’s grimy and hilarious suicide pop, you’d already have a rock-solid case for the preceding sentence. And that’s without mentioning Notable Seattle Sensation of 2015 DoNormaal, whose albumJump or Die counted our own Larry Mizell Jr., CityArts’ Jonathan Zwickel, the Weekly’s Kelton Sears, and a shit-ton of other local rap fans among its biggest boosters." -Kyle Fleck
Ty Segall, guests
"The unstoppable Ty Segall had a banner year in 2015, as he released an EP (Mr. Face), a full-length (Fuzz’s II), a collection of T-Rex covers (Ty-Rex), and formed two bands: GØGGS and Broken Bat (with the Melvins' Dale Crover and Redd Kross' Steven McDonald). And that’s not counting production work and label activities (he oversees Drag City subsidiary God?). It’s a small portion of a larger body of work than some artists will amass in a lifetime." -Kathy Fennessy
CICAP: Steffani Jemison
Steffani Jemison, the multimedia artist whose show will be on display at Jacob Lawrence Gallery Jan 19-Feb 27, speaks as a part of The University of Washington's CICAP (Critical Issues in Contemporary Art Practice) lecture series.
READINGS & TALKS
Inside RadioLab with Robert Krulwich
"Only about half of Americans have ever heard of podcasts, according to the Pew Research Center, and only 17 percent have ever listened to one, which is a shame, because it's where some of the best storytelling in the world is happening right now. And Radiolab is among the best. ... [Co-host Robert] Krulwich will be bringing a live show called Inside Radiolab that promises insight into 'what makes their work examining big questions in science, philosophy, and the human experience so compelling.'" -Matt Baume
It's OUR Right: 43 Years of Legal Abortion
Presented by Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, this event celebrates 43 years of legal abortion and looks towards the future to ensure the continued legality of a woman's right to choose. Destigmatize the issue and #shoutyourabortion with Amelia Bonow.
PWR BTTM, Lisa Prank
"New York queer punk-pop duo PWR BTTM’s 2015 album Ugly Cherries was an intravenous blast of catchy garage rock delivered to your nervous system with neither warning nor apology. ... It’s a breath of honest air in a pre-fab world. We’ve been gassed on lo-fi, low-key genius Lisa Prank for a hot minute here at the Stranger, and she makes the perfect opener on this all-ages bill." -Kyle Fleck
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
"With one album, several late-night television-show appearances, and the chops to back it up, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats are on the verge of outgrowing their midsize-room status." -Kathleen Tarrant
"Those Pony Time licks are all beach-towel fun and games. That bouncy heaviness, exhibited equally well by Stacy Peck’s hard-hitting twos and fours, tells listeners that if they’re going to dance, they should do it really hard." -Todd Hamm
"Playwright Nick Payne's rom-com dramatizes courtship in the era of quantum physics. Within this framework of reality, one where lives and loves play out in many dimensions and universes, Roland tries to seduce theoretical physicist Marianne. The actors' body movements indicate changes in time-space, which, understandably, throws a wrench in many pair-bonding strategies. The short play (under an hour) did well at the Royal Court Theatre in London, and should find a happy home on our tech-y shores." -Rich Smith (Through Sun)
"This multidisciplinary arts fest is an ambitious endeavor packed with 10 hours of intense intellectual and physical stimulation. Inventive musicians like minimalist-drone composer Sarah Davachi, unsettling tone sculptor Decimus, post-Coil ambient-music sorcerer Rene Hell, conjurer of alien electronic chimeras Raica, techno-brut producer Black Hat, and avant-garde choral group the Esoterics should offer a pleasantly disorienting soundtrack." -Dave Segal
Page to Screen: “Freaks”
Both cinema and literature geeks alike will delight at this free event at the Central Library. Audiences will take in both a short story and a movie that it inspired, in addition to discussion about the nature of adaptation. This week, it's Tod Browning's 1932 film Freaks, which was based on Tod Robbins' 1923 story "Spurs."
The Sprocket Society presents Saturday Secret Matinees
Watch the entirety of the highly regarded serial Spy Smasher over the course of twelve weekly installments. Each screening will feature one episode, plus a secret feature film that follows a monthly theme: classic comedies in January, serial heroes & heroines in February, and fantasy & adventure movies in March.
Before You Were Born and After You Are Gone
The Art Encounter in the Park series debut from SAM features artists Mandy Greer and Alice Gosti, with an interactive and multidisciplinary evening of art.
"The Canadian pop band's epic ballads are about death and love and secret thoughts, theatrical but radically sincere and full of genuine dramatic feeling expressed over sparse electronic productions." -Robin Edwards
"Silas Blak had a banner year in 2015, with releases like Editorials: (wartunes) and #BlakFriday just confirming what in-the-know heads had long held to be self-evident: The man’s ferocious on mic and in mind, with a penchant for gritty beats and filler-free editing style." -Kyle Fleck
Mimosas with Mama
"It's opening night! Well, opening afternoon. The curtain finally goes up on Mama's new show, '30 Minute-ish Hairspray,' featuring all your favorite songs from the Broadway show plus some elaborate quick-change drag-queen magic. They've mushed together the best of the original film and the Travolta travesty for a whirlwind of big-boned euphoria." -Matt Baume
“'Tha Crossroads' is one of the sacred texts of rap, a Grammy-winning, heart-bursting, radio-dominating slice of maudlin thug life, perfectly suited to the post-Eazy, post-Pac, post-B.I.G. hiphop scene of the latter ’90s. ... Tonight, at the Neptune, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony pay respect to the 20th anniversary of their Stonehenge, their Sphynx: A plangent sigh of a song, a simple lament to growing up and breaking down and miraculously making it through." -Kyle Fleck
"It’s a cassette release show for local punk-party pop-band Topless, featuring members of the Shakes, Sweet Pups, and Cute Lepers. They've kept a relatively low profile so far, but let’s hope they play out more post-release. Also on the bill are a new indie-rock/shoegaze three-piece called Backchat, featuring Glitter Bang front-babe Nikki Danger on percussion, guitarist Misha Alexeeff, and bassist Brian Sharp." -Bree McKenna
"This tour send-off show, therefore promises to be raucous—concussive, even.Theories play constantly, but rarely get a headlining set, so this will make a good opportunity to hear some deeper cuts off their 2015 debut, Regression." -Joseph Schafer
Rick Araluce Artist Talk: The Great Northern
Local artist and current Guggenheim fellow Rick Araluce stops by MadArt for an unmissable talk about his exhibition The Great Northern: a half scale replica of The Great Northern train tunnel and facade that highlights the magic in the architecture of our city.
READINGS & TALKS
National Geographic Live - Spinosaurus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous
Hear the story of the young paleontologist who made sure that Spinosaurus, a dinosaur bigger than the T-Rex, didn't disappear in the records of history.