Pop-Up Magazine, Psycho Speed Dating, Other Russias, And More Picks For March 6-12
by Stranger Things To Do Staff
Here are our arts and culture critics' picks in every genre—from Pop-Up Magazine to Morgan Parker: There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, from Dine Around Seattle to Roller Skates + Rainbows, and from Psycho Speed Dating to Dance Theatre of Harlem.
READINGS & TALKS
Author and University of Puget Sound professor Tanya Erzen has written extensively about police brutality, organized religion, and American conservative ideology (including in her 2006 book Straight to Jesus: Sexual and Christian Conversions in the Ex-Gay Movement). At this event, she'll share her latest work, God in Captivity: The Rise of Faith Based Prison Ministries in the Age of Mass Incarceration, a book that navigates a number of tricky topics: the fuzzy separation between church and state in these faith-based prison ministries, the complicated identity navigations of an organization that prioritizes personal transformation while largely ignoring structural injustice, and the positive impact that opportunities for education and hope have on incarcerated people.
Town Hall with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal
This town hall-style event is the first in a series of meetings in Washington's 7th district (which includes most of Seattle and many surrounding areas) and will feature newly elected Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who has been leading the fight to make the democrats an "opposition party," not a minority party. She will speak about her work in congress and answer audience questions.
Thelma Schoonmaker Presents
At this series of screenings, film editor Thelma Schoonmaker (known for editing all of Scorsese's films since Raging Bull) will be in attendance. Her late husband, Michael Powell, directed The Red Shoes (which will play on Monday), a film about which Andrew Wright once wrote in The Stranger: "A favorite of Scorsese, this may just be the greatest film from the Powell-Pressburger team, which is saying quite a bit. Almost indecently lovely, with Technicolors that pulse off of the screen. You've gotta see this in a theater." The King of Comedy (which will play on Tuesday) is a 1982 film starring Robert De Niro as a stand-up comedian who hosts an imaginary talk show in his mom's basement. You can also meet Schoonmaker at her appearance and signing at Scarecrow Video on Tuesday.
FOOD & DRINK
Dine Around Seattle
During Dine Around Seattle (not to be confused with Seattle Restaurant Week), restaurants throughout the area are serving three-course dinner menus for just $33 or $44, with some also offering a three-course lunch for $18. Even better: When you make reservations online through dinearoundseattle.org, a donation is made to the Rainier Valley Food Bank, which serves roughly 12,000 people every month from its tiny 1,200-square-foot facility on Rainier Avenue. ANGELA GARBES
FOOD & DRINK
This multi-course, interactive dinner from Executive Chef of Thompson Seattle Derek Simcik is designed to "lead guests on a culinary journey through the life of a tattoo artist." For an added fee, you can also get a tattoo along with your meal.
Live Oyster Shucking: Ethan Stowell + Joel Ritchie
Watch chefs Ethan Stowell and Joe Ritchie shuck as many bivalves as they can while you chat with them and ask them questions (or just sip on your happy hour drinks). The oysters will be available for $2 each or $18 per dozen.
Taste of Place
A collection of panelists (specializing in topics including geology, food, wine, and cannabis) will speak about artisanal products in Washington state and signature regional flavors. Of course, that discussion would be incomplete without samples—so they'll also lead a tasting of local cheese, honey, and wine.
READINGS & TALKS
Gish Jen with Eric Liu: Girl at the Baggage Claim
Over the course of her many award-winning novels (especially Typical American, Mona in the Promised Land, and World and Town) Gish Jen writes about the complexities of assimilation, interracial relationships, and conflict between first generation immigrants and second/third generation immigrants. According to press materials, her latest, The Girl at the Baggage Claim, is a book of nonfiction that incorporates "cutting-edge research in cultural psychology" with anecdotes from her own life in order to reveal how Eastern and Western cultural differences "shape what we perceive and remember, what we say and do and make." I trust Jen will write about the specific differences between the traditionally individualistic mindset of Westerners and the traditionally communal mindset of Easterners in a funny, thoughtful, cringe-inducing-but-maybe-in-a-good-way way. RICH SMITH
Nina Raine's Tribes is about a Jewish family that loves to banter and quibble. Their routine consists of lamenting, shouting, complaining, and exclaiming, at and around each other, all day long. Each of the family members has settled into this pattern—even Billy, although the family's style of communication often leaves him isolated. Billy is deaf and reads lips; he doesn't know sign language. That changes when he meets a girl who's losing her hearing...and the family dynamic changes too. The play raises a lot of interesting questions about disability and belonging, while offering seemingly effortless humor and playful intellectualism.
Fist and Shout
Local comedic geniuses El Sanchez and Marita DeLeon sail onto new territories with their latest project, Fist and Shout, a QTPOC-centered comedy and variety show.
READINGS & TALKS
Coll Thrush: The Transformative Native Presence in Seattle and London
Academic and author Coll Thrush will speak about Indigenous London: Native Travelers at the Heart of Empire, his new book about five centuries of London's history from the perspective of indigenous travelers. This event will also celebrate the 10th anniversary of the publication of Thrush's Native Seattle. Jen Graves (in a list of "Books About Seattle That Everyone Should Read") wrote that Native Seattle is "a vivid retelling of Native history in Seattle, and it is an incredible history...We have tremendous roots, we just don't know it. So read this."
Morgan Parker: There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé
Morgan Parker’s profile has risen dramatically over the last couple of years, and we’re all better for it. Her recent essay in the New York Times, “How to Stay Sane While Black,” lays out a pretty good case for providing free therapy for black Americans, shows off the depth of her insight, the keeness of her eye, the darkness of her humor (“commercials for Ancestry.com feel like a personal attack”), and the strength she finds in vulnerability. All those skills shine in her new book of poems, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé. This book has lines, no matter which kind you’re looking for. Like your poetry slightly surreal and image-forward? “This book is spit, cum, cloud cover,” she writes, transforming water into vapor via seed. Prefer lyrical gemstones? Then please say this line aloud: “For him you would pumice shined to pearl. / He makes you wanna write your name.” Or maybe you like casually chatty, pop-culture-laden lines that swerve into meditative profundity and then back again? Cool. Then read the whole book. It’s all there, and it’s all good. In addition to her writing, she’s also doing a bang-up job touring the world, helming Little A (Amazon’s literary publishing arm), and co-curating a NYC readings series called Poets with Attitude. You don’t leave a Morgan Parker reading uninspired by her talents or your own. So go. Oh! And! Rebecca Schiff will be there, reading from her new collection of short stories, The Bed Moved. RICH SMITH
If you follow New York Daily News journalist and Black Lives Matter advocate Shaun King on social media, you know him for his steadfast and thorough coverage of police brutality, his support for the water protectors at Standing Rock and elsewhere, and his strident critiques of the Democratic Party. His prose is direct, his solutions are action-oriented, and his aim is true.
Psycho Speed Dating
Performance art/interactive experimental theater meets speed dating at this unique event, where you'll go on dates with other participants—however, there's a psycho killer (a.k.a. an actor) in your midst, and you must figure out who it is before the night is through. Does dating improve when there's an even better chance than usual that the person sitting across from you is a psychopath? Let's find out!
WEDNESDAY & FRIDAY
Traditional Buenos Aires tango orchestra Sexteto Milonguero has performed across Latin America, Europe, Canada, Singapore, and China, and now is on its first US tour. At the Kirkland stop on Wednesday, two pairs of dancers (Eva Lucero and Patricio Touceda, and Kristina Ivanova and Pablo Tapia) will perform live, accompanied by the orchestra's violins, contrabass, piano, vocalist, and bandoneón. At their Seattle stop on Friday, they'll open up the dance floor so you can participate in the milonga and dance to the orchestra's 1920s and '30s era music.
In this opera of romantic tragedy full of original music inspired by Slavic folk songs, celebrated Czech composer Leoš Janáček weaves a story of isolation, provincial oppression, true love, and familial dysfunction. It is relatively rare to come across a full production of Janáček's opera, which NPR described as having one of the most subtle of all villains: "In his dark drama Katya Kabanova, Leos Janácek gives us one of the most unusual and contemptible villains in any opera, and one of the most disturbing, as well: the sort of person who can live among us, quietly and without anyone objecting. She's a little old lady, a respected citizen and the mother of a grown son. She also thinks that her own way of judging what's moral, and what's not, is the only way—and that anyone who disagrees, even those closest to her, must pay a terrible price. And the people around her? They look the other way. They can't condemn her intolerance without re-examining their own." Just thinking about her gives me chills. This is a rare treat, and a dive into respectability politics (oh, so relevant). It's an all-new production by Australian director Patrick Nolan. JEN GRAVES
There will be no performance on Friday.
Bring Down the House
Bring Down the House is a two-part adaptation of William Shakespeare's Henry the VI trilogy, aka the history plays about the War of the Roses, wherein a backstabby personal beef between the House of Lancaster and the House of York grows increasingly backstabby while the country rots around them. (Sound familiar?) Seattle Shakespeare Company has never produced the Henry VI plays before. They've also never collaborated with Rosa Joshi and Kate Wisniewski of upstart crow collective before, a group that produces plays with all-female casts. And I don't think I've ever seen a director employ hyper-dramatic (and hyper-loud) Taiko drums in a Shakespeare play before. All of that seems like reason enough to go. Plus, any time Keiko Green is in something, it's probably worth a look. RICH SMITH
French Kiss is a sexy production that features dancers performing original choreography by Fae Pink, elaborate sets and projections, and themed food and cocktails.
A Moveable Feast
Café Nordo and Book-It will team up to bring you A Moveable Feast, a show based on Ernest Hemingway's memoir about living as a struggling writer in 1920s Paris—paired with a four-course meal and signature cocktail. Conceived by Jane Jones and Judd Parkin, adapted by Judd Parkin, and directed by Jane Jones.
Capitol Hill Art Walk
Every second Thursday, the streets of Capitol Hill are filled with tipsy art lovers checking out galleries and special events. In March, highlights include Drink & Draw at Capitol Cider, The DRAWNK Presents: 99 Bottles, and Past Selves: A Capitol Hill Art Walk Performance Event.
Critical Issues in Contemporary Art Practice: Lise Soskolne
This iteration of the "Critical Issues in Contemporary Art Practice" series will feature Lise Soskolne, a visual artist who has also been heavily involved in nonprofit arts presenting and development. One of her most interesting (and controversial) projects was the transformation of Industry City.
They write: "In 2007, she was hired to use artists to increase the property value of Industry City, a 6.5 million sq ft industrial complex on the South Brooklyn waterfront. There she founded and managed the arts component in its broader regeneration with the intention of establishing a new paradigm for industrial redevelopment that would not displace workers, artists, local residents or industry, but would instead build a sustainable community of working artists in a context that integrated cultural and industrial production."
Viva Italia! Italian Film from Neorealism to Fellini
Revisit the greatest works of mid-century Italian cinema with works by Monicelli, Rossellini, Fellini, and other masters of postwar Neorealism and the more stylized movements that followed. This week, watch City of Women, Fellini's surrealist 1980 film about a man who ends up at a hotel full of women gathered for a feminist conference.
FOOD & DRINK
Guest Chef Night
FareStart is a fantastic organization that empowers disadvantaged and homeless men and women by training them for work in the restaurant industry. Every Thursday, they host a Guest Chef Night, featuring a three-course dinner from a notable Seattle chef for just $29.95. This week, Chef Gerold Castro of Juno at the Arctic Club will cook a menu including kale salad with pork belly, braised short ribs, and mango-peach bread pudding.
READINGS & TALKS
The premise for this show is that it's a "live magazine," with stories told onstage through photography, film, radio, and music. But unlike a magazine, it only happens for one night, and there's no recording—so come experience in Seattle it on its winter 2017 tour. After the performance, cast and crew will join with audience members for drinks and conversation.
El Sanchez Comedy Album Recording
Local favorite comedian and writer El Sanchez, whom Lindy West has called a "grumpy nugget of delight" and whom Kimya Dawson considers her "favorite underground Northwest comedian," has been performing all over the country since 2010. El is "a queer, pansexual, mixed-race, gender non-binary Seattle-based comedian and comic book reader" whose "conversationally cynical, yet upbeat comedic style weaves together a unique mix of embarrassing personal stories, nerdy obsessions, social politics and possible overshares." Tonight, they will record their very first comedy album at this performance also featuring Caitlin Weierhauser and Nick Sahoyah.
Ms. Pak-Man: On My Last Heart
Ms. Pak-Man is a bright yellow disaster portrayed by local comedy hero Scott Shoemaker (Ian Bell's Brown Derby Series and Homo for the Holidays). Her pill-popping, slurring, gigantic pink bow-wearing antics by are on full display in her new public service announcement about the dangers of drugs. "Popping pills can cause a lot of problems—like you're having fun with your friends, and then they want you to share your pills. And you're like, 'Fat chance, Whitney. Do you know what I had to go through to get these?' And then suddenly you're the bad guy!"
Samuel J Comroe with Dash Kwiatkowski
Samuel J. Comroe makes heartfelt comedy out of his Tourette's syndrome, and he apparently does so extremely well: He won the 38th Annual San Francisco Comedy Competition and has opened for Tom Green, Joey Medina, and many others.
Bright Half Life
This play by celebrated playwright Tanya Barfield (known for her play Blue Door, as well as her acclaimed work on the TV show The Americans) depicts Vicky and Erica's relationship from first love to marriage to fights to the end of life. This New Century Theatre Company production is directed by HATLO, who helmed Thatswhatshesaid.
Made in Seattle: KT Niehoff
This new production from Velocity is titled Before We Flew Like Birds, We Flew Like Clouds, and features the results of longtime choreographer KT Niehoff asking extraordinary people, "What does it feel like to be in your body?" Get a glimpse of the physical and emotional experience of an astronaut, a professional speed skater, a survivor of a near-death experience, and a paraplegic rower, communicated through dance, music (both prerecorded and live), and virtual reality video.
SPORTS & RECREATION
This is basically the zenith of fun in a dreary Seattle winter. You get wasted, you play bizarro-world mini golf (including a hole featuring a golf ball cannon), and you generally are reminded how fun works. Last time I went, they even had the Infernal Noise Brigade marching around the venue, sowing chaos. TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
While waiting for the long-anticipated release of the new Twin Peaks series (25 years after the first one ended), watch David Lynch's 1992 French-American horror film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. Sheryl Lee and Gary Hershberger (who starred in both the film and the acclaimed TV show) will be in attendance to answer questions.
FOOD & DRINK
Capitol Hill Series Release: Said in Zest
Celebrate the release of the newest beer in Elysian's Capitol Hill Series, a collection of new and old beers from the brewery's original Capitol Hill brewhouse, and the second to be released this year: Said in Zest, featuring "five pounds of freshly grated grapefruit zest, top secret saison yeast, and Chinook Cascade, and experimental 5256 hops all combine for an aroma of citrus and pine with banana, clove, and bubble gum flavor." There will be a ceremonial tapping of the beer and a toast from Capitol Hill Lead Brewer Hiawatha Rhyans, plus a performance from Boyfriends, about whom Robin Edwards once wrote, "Ripped straight from the pages of Tiger Beat, Seattle's dreamiest all-boy band Boyfriends sing bop-along pop songs that will make you swoon with their groovy bass lines, feminist subject matter ("Future Is Female" is a total hit), and on-point fashion choices." All proceeds from Said in Zest sales will go to nonprofit thrift store Out of the Closet.
International Dumpling Crawl
Discover Chinatown-ID history through local dumplings on a one-mile tour combined with tasty lil' starch pillows. As the Wing Luke Museum explains, dumplings tend to crop up around Lunar New Year in great quantities, as they "represent wealth, looking similar to ancient gold ingots in some Asian Pacific cultures."
Grunge Redux—A Walk That Will Rock
This walking tour of iconic '90s music venues is so Seattle—partially because of the grunge obsession, but mostly because it's a boozy (21+) and nostalgic 2.5-mile trek through the center of the city that will happen rain or shine. They'll hit locations including the Moore Theatre, multiple incarnations of Sub Pop Records, and KEXP's studios. Pretend you're a character in Singles and learn about local history from Seattle Obscura (the local chapter of Atlas Obscura, devoted to exposing hidden wonders close to home).
Roller Skates + Rainbows
It’s time to strap on some roller skates (and not a dildo, for once in your life) and head south: The queers are taking over the roller rink. Bring your finest gold and rainbow attire. No need to arrive on wheels, as skate rental is included with your ticket, along with a 16 ounce Rainier beer, popcorn, and a raffle ticket for a surprise drawing. You will want to pack some cash, though—CHEER Seattle will be accepting donations for their various charitable endeavors. Sorry, kiddos—this one’s 21+. Wouldn’t want any impressionable youth to see a bunch of drunk homosexuals dressed like clowns careening into the popcorn dispenser. MATT BAUME
READINGS & TALKS
Abeer Y. Hoque and Friends
Abeer Y. Hoque (author of short story collection The Lovers and the Leavers and monograph The Long Way Home) will visit Elliott Bay to share her latest work, a memoir titled Olive Witch. Poems and weather conditions punctuate the narrative, which focuses on Hoque's experiences as a young Bangladeshi girl living first in Nigeria and then in Pittsburgh. It's a meditation on culture and identity—with detailed and intimate depictions of depression, including institutionalization—that Kirkus Reviews called "quietly moving." Hoque will be joined by poet and prose writer Carol Guess, comics artist Amanda Davidson and poet, critic and book artist Deborah Poe.
David Bosworth, former director of the University of Washington creative writing program and author of several books of cultural criticism, is old enough to remember Fukuyama declaring modern history over, effective 1989. All the major intercontinental wars were won or otherwise settled, democracy won, capitalism won, everything was going to be great forever, amen. Then 2001 happened. Then came the War on Terror, the Great Recession, and the ascension of a bankrupt-real-estate-magnate-turned-reality-television-star to the Oval Office. In his latest book, Conscientious Thinking: Making Sense in an Age of Idiot Savants, Bosworth argues our 20th-century solutions aren't working and that we need to adopt postmodern solutions to solve our postmodern problems. I went to graduate school at UW and physically saw Bosworth only one time. If he's coming out of his writing den to give us some answers, they're worth paying attention to. RICH SMITH
Kevin Craft: Vagrants & Accidentals
Celebrate the release of Vagrants & Accidentals, the second full-length collection by Kevin Craft, who was the editor of Poetry Northwest for six years, and now serves as their executive editor of publishing house Poetry Northwest Editions. About the collection, David Baker (Scavenger Loop: Poems) wrote that "dislocation and disruption become like guideposts in his poems, not to be ignored but heard, heeded, and embraced in the natural disorder of things."
Macbett is one of French avant-garde playwright Eugene Ionesco's more overlooked plays—get acquainted with it via this Ghost Light Theatricals production. It's a parody spin-off of Shakespeare's Macbeth, loosely inspired by the power-grabs, rebellion, guilt, and murder in the original.
Georgetown Art Attack
Once a month, the art that resides in the tiny airport hamlet of Georgetown ATTACKS all passersby. In more literal terms, it's the day of art openings and street wonderment.
READINGS & TALKS
Lena Khalaf Tuffaha: Arab in Newsland
Before the release of local poet Lena Khalaf Tuffaha's debut book, Water & Salt (a poetry collection that will offer an emotional and varied take on people whose lives have been marred by violence), celebrate the launch of her new chapbook, Arab in Newsland, which won the 2016 Two Sylvias Poetry Prize.
Chris Maynard: Featherfolio
Chris Maynard has been dubbed “Olympia’s feather artist”—almost implying that every town has one—when in fact, the intricate, lattice-like patterns that he hand-cuts into each feather are one-of-a-kind. Every year, when birds shed their feathers, he collects and delicately carves them using a scalpel, mounting them in shadowboxes to create pieces where the beauty of artistic form meets the function of nature. Maynard has been working with feathers since he was twelve – and while it’s true, he does only one thing – he does it well. Featherfolio at the Bainbridge Museum of Art will be his first solo art museum show, which will include framed work as well as site-specific installations. AMBER CORTES
This exhibit opens on Saturday.
Other Russias: Victoria Lomasko's Graphic Journalism
If recent events involving Trump’s cabinet are any indication, its clear that high ranking officials in Russia and the United States have a lot to say to one another. Great. Hopefully Trump’s cabinet gets so cozy with Russia that they choose to self-deport. In the meantime, it’d be nice if we non-high-ranking US and Russian officials got together to share stories about combating our respective authoritarian dictators. Enter dissident artist Victoria Lomasko’s book of graphic journalism about leftist resistance to the Kremlin, Other Russias, which was just published in English. In the book, you’ll learn about the lesbian separatist art communities of Russia and see drawings of the Forbidden Art trials. You can compare your memories of Trump rallies and the Womxn’s March with Lomasko’s depiction of the 2012 Nationalistic Bloc March and the Pussy Riot Solidarity Bloc March in Moscow. Her work will also be on display in this exhibit of contemporary Russian comix curated by Jose Alaniz, a UW professor in the department of Slavic Languages & Literatures. At the opening reception on Saturday, Lomasko (and her translator) will be on hand to discuss other connections and disparities between the two efforts. Naslazhdat’sya. RICH SMITH
FOOD & DRINK
Bacon Eggs & Kegs
The name of the event is self-explanatory, but the details sound pretty tempting: a 30-foot Bloody Mary bar for drinks made with Heritage Distilling Co. vodka, Irish coffee (for Paddy's day!) or alcohol-laced hot chocky, and brunch food for purchase (including $5 deals). Plus: cornhole, dueling pianos, butchery demos, egg games, and more.
READINGS & TALKS
Timothy Egan (former Seattle Times correspondent, current lefty columnist for The New York Times, winner of a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, and winner of a National Book Award for Nonfiction for his book The Worst Hard Time) will share two new biographies: a colorful portrayal of Thomas Francis Meagher titled The Immortal Irishman, and Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, which tells the story of famous photographer and ethnologist Edward Curtis (who has strong connections to Seattle, and is known mainly for his pre- and early 20th century portraits of Native Americans).
Dance Theatre of Harlem
Shortly after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., renowned dancer and choreographer Arthur Mitchell founded the first African American classical ballet company: the Dance Theatre of Harlem. They've highlighted works by choreographers from George Balanchine to Jerome Robbins, and are known first and foremost for their thoroughly impressive performances and innovative commissioned works. Do not miss their two-day Seattle stop.
The great protest art of the Donald Trump era is already happening, with the Mimosas crew choosing a daring show to stage as their latest 30ish-minute musical. They're doing the show Cabaret, a song-and-dance extravaganza set in the days of Hitler's rise to power. The allegories to today are chillingly perfect, from nationalist Nazis singing "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" to the gut-wrenching appearance of the Star of David. For 50 years, Cabaret has been a reflection on the past, but now it's a scream of alarm about the future. You won't just cry at this show, you will sob. MATT BAUME
Showtunes: The Unsinkable Molly Brown in Concert
Billie Wildrick will direct this unique production featuring eight different professional actors each interpreting the role of the Unsinkable Molly Brown throughout her life, in a celebration of the spirit of an American woman surviving the sinking of the Titanic and thriving against all odds in her life as a New York philanthropist.
SHRIEK: The Wicker Man + Happy Hour Heckling
At the March 12 edition of SHRIEK, a community series that aims to provide a non-academic setting in which to learn about horror film and women's studies, Evan J. Peterson and Heather Marie Bartels will screen and discuss The Wicker Man. They describe the film thusly: "Utterly misunderstood by the studio execs, gutted in the editing room, and literally buried for decades, the original Wicker Man is a triumph of filmmaking, inventing a complete culture of modern Druids in the Scottish isles." Come back on March 26 for a Heckle Night screening of the remake of Wicker Man, which they say "could've been amazing" except for #NicholasCage. In it, "the setting is moved to the Pacific Northwest, and the Druid island changed into a matriarchal dystopia complete with Ellen Burstyn as the queen of this bee-themed cult," and it's also full of "random screaming" and an "epic kick fight."
READINGS & TALKS
Short Stories Live: Stories from McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern
This edition of "Short Stories Live" will focus on tales from Dave Eggers's bold literary journal, Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, showcasing stories from authors including Jess Walter, Zadie Smith, and Nyuol Lueth Tong.