Well, George Saunders, First Thursday Art Walk, And More Picks For Feb 27-March 5
by Stranger Things To Do Staff
Here are our arts critics' picks in every genre—from Spectrum Dance Theatre's Rambunctious #3: The Immigrants to Genre Bender, and from Emerald City Comicon to a pop-up dinner benefiting immigrant and refugee cooks.
READINGS & TALKS
Native American writer and memoirist Ernestine Hayes (Blonde Indian) will speak about her new book The Tao of the Raven: An Alaska Native Memoir, which incorporates the story of Raven and the Box of Daylight with Hayes's perspective on her own life and broader issues, including the question, "once the exile returns, then what?"
Gaslighting in Government
When the Trump administration directly contradicts or spins obvious facts, what exactly is it trying to accomplish? Many have been using the word "gaslighting"—a term coined from a 1938 play in which a husband deliberately undermines his wife's sanity. University of Washington professors of communications David Domke and and political science Christopher Sebastian Parker, joined by R. Keith Myers of Wellspring Family Services, will give the audience tools for understanding what's coming out of the White House.
FOOD & DRINK
#SeattleBurgerMonth: Will You Survive?
Lil Woody's regular menu is extravagant enough: you can always order a Painted Hills beef burger slathered in bleu cheese and pickled figs or topped with two fried eggs and bacon. In February, the cheap burger joint has been adding chef specials from local stars, and today is your last day to tackle a meaty masterpiece from Jason Stratton (of Artusi, mamnoon, and mbar): the "Big Freedia," featuring fried cauliflower, pistachio, Calabrian chile relish, feta cheese, tahini mayo, mint, cilantro, and Baharat-spiced beef.
READINGS & TALKS
National Geographic Live: The Risky Science of Exploration
Follow along with environmental anthropologist Kenny Broad, National Geographic’s 2011 Explorer of the Year, as he takes the audience and the Seattle Symphony on a story evolution of his global journeying.
FOOD & DRINK
Mardi Gras Tasting Menu
For Mardi Gras, Maria Hines's local-focused restaurant Tilth will serve a special eight-course, New Orleans-style menu featuring boudin (blood sausage) croquettes with creole mustard and remoulade, shrimp and grits with andouille, red beet risotto, and blackened venison with broccolini, and Theo chocolate ganache. Try them with other dishes for a cheaper-than-usual $80 ($100 with wine pairings). Of course, there will also be Cajun music, beads, and masks.
Kamaria Hallums-Harris's Waning is a coming-of-age story about Luna, a black teenager who falls in love with a woman and then later falls in love with a man. Before she's sorted out her sexuality and her feelings for the woman, she becomes pregnant. Meanwhile, a spiritual familiar, Leuanna, guides her through the history of people brutalizing and lynching black women. On Tuesday night shows, the crew will lead audiences through a self-care breathing ritual involving lavender packets, and on Wednesdays there's an open mic following the performance. White audience members are encouraged to bring a friend of color. Directed by Sadiqua Iman and co-produced with Earth Pearl Collective. RICH SMITH
Three Americans: Voices of Hope
Director Anita Montgomery brings you performances by three monologuists in an effort to inspire hope and passion for diverse American voices. Every Friday night, there will be a post-program discussion. The plays and actors are The Birds Flew In (by Yussef el Guindi and performed by Annette Toutonghi), Déjà Vu (by Regina Taylor and performed by Cynthia Jones), and a selection from Draw the Circle (by Mashuq Mushtaq Deen and performed by Megan Ahiers).
There will be no shows on Tuesday or Wednesday.
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.
There will be no shows on Tuesday or Wednesday.
READINGS & TALKS
It seems bizarre that Lincoln in the Bardo is George Saunders's debut novel, but really, who cares? People novel when they're ready to novel. And if Saunders was busy noveling all the time, maybe we wouldn't have his excellent collection of essays, The Braindead Megaphone, or his maximumly wonderful story collections, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline and Pastoralia. Anyhow! In his review of Bardo, Willie Fitzgerald assures us the novel is a good and timely effort: "It is unfair to freight a single book with a bunch of political and existential baggage," he writes. "But Lincoln is about facing grief (something of a daily exercise for many of us), and is set during a moment of national schism. For those and for many other reasons, it is the first essential novel of the Donald Trump era." Tickets include a copy of the book. RICH SMITH
Loud Mouth Lit
This series of "fresh, local, and organic" author readings, which thrives on face-to-face interaction, is curated by playwright and fiction Paul Mullin. At the February edition, Mullin will read "The Demise of the Lost Flyer Art Show," about a woman who kidnaps a conceptual artist who creates illustrations out of lost person and pet posters, and guest author Tina Rowley will read "Green," in which a woman "trades the loneliness of semi-solo travel for ambivalence about her dicey new boyfriend and never stops longing for home."
Manners: A Book Release Party
Celebrate the release of Ted Powers' new collection, MANNERS: Poems & Collages, at this event featuring readings by "Your Daughter is One," Chelsea Jean Werner-Jatzke, Willie Fitzgerald, and, of course, Ted Powers. They also promise a variety of beautiful things, including hand-painted leather glove broadsides, "poem-commericals" on loop, Ted Powers' original collages, Mount Analogue goodies, and fresh flowers—plus, for those looking to up their political engagement, they'll have postcards and contact info for local congress members and senators.
Finnish novelist, artist, and filmmaker Rosa Liksom will give a reading of Compartment No. 6, her new work about a Finnish girl's train journey from Moscow to Ulan Bator, Mongolia. She'll be accompanied by Lola Rogers, who translated the novel.
FOOD & DRINK
Oyster Shucking Class with Tequila and Mezcal Pairing
The only problem with salty, jiggly, reportedly aphrodisiac oysters is that the little jerks don't want to open so you can slurp them out. This class at Westward will instruct you in wielding an oyster knife while drinking tequila and mezcal. As Tobias Coughlin-Bogue says, "Knowing how to shuck an oyster is like knowing how to drive stick: you're not a person if you don't. This also applies to knowing how to drink tequila."
Jacob Lawrence: The Legend of John Brown + Other Works
To celebrate the 100-year anniversary of renowned artist (and UW professor) Jacob Lawrence's birth, venues all over the city are hosting special exhibits of his work, including The Migration Series at SAM and Eight Studies for the Book of Genesis at The Henry. So it's only appropriate that the gallery named after Jacob Lawrence should highlight his artwork as well. This exhibit will feature Lawrence's serigraphs, lithographs, and etchings, including Artist in Studio, Man on Scaffold, selections from The Builder's Suite, and the 22-part series The Legend of John Brown (about the abolitionist who supported a violent uprising against slavery). See it before it closes on Saturday, and, while you're at the gallery, check out A Student Response Part II: The Jake Legacy Residency.
Proposed Land Use
Incorporating the printed announcement that has become omnipresent in Seattle, "Proposed Land Use by Aubrey Birdwell (and collaborators Darya Husak and New Mystics) addresses "development and displacement using the garbage of the sign industry." This is the last week of this exhibit.
The Pajama Game
The Pajama Game, the 1950s musical with music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, is a love story, a labor dispute set in the golden age of American manufacturing, and an excuse for a bunch of big dance numbers. In the production at the 5th Avenue Theatre, Billie Wildrick plays Babe, the head of the factory's grievance committee, who butts heads with Sid, the new superintendent of the factory. From the moment Sid stumbles out during "I'm Not at All in Love," the song Babe sings to convince her coworkers she's not romantically interested in him, their chemistry is palpable. She sings with bright, winning clarity and he has a deep, buttery baritone. But their love story is upstaged by an impressive array of supporting performances. The show drags in places because of Bob Richard's choreography, which strikes me as beneath this cast's abilities—lots of jumping around and gesturing and little else. But director Bill Berry builds enough visual delight into the staging that it's still a pleasure to watch the story unfold. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
READINGS & TALKS
Ben Fountain is one of those writers that makes you feel okay for not having published your groundbreaking novel before 40 years of age. He published his first book at 48—a heavily researched selection of short stories called Brief Encounters with Che Guevara—and published 2012's best-selling Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk at 53. Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire screenwriter dude) plans to adapt that book, which is about the stark disconnect between the American and Iraqi experience of the second Iraq War, into a movie. His humor recalls Twain and Vonnegut, and he's a charming and thoughtful public speaker, sort of like Jimmy Carter after a couple cups of coffee. RICH SMITH
This monthly reading series curated and hosted by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore features queer writers—this time, hear from two poets with seemingly disparate styles. Dowling is an assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies at University of Washington-Bothell who works with a lot of academic, conceptual writing. Sims is an educator and poet who comes up from the spoken word scene, and who has recently published a terrific book, (A)live Heart. Look for intriguing formal and intellectual connections between these two. RICH SMITH
David Williams: Seattle Walks
Author and science writer David B. Williams collected essays and maps to examine nature in the city in his 2005 book The Street-Smart Naturalist, and he wrote about Seattle's redrawn, rebuilt hills and waterways in his 2015 book Too High and Too Steep. Now, he'll share his latest work, Seattle Walks, which will help newcomers and residents alike notice and embrace the strange beauty of our city.
Silent Reading Party
Invented by our own Christopher Frizzelle, the reading party is every first Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. That's when the Fireside Room at the Sorrento Hotel goes quiet and fills with people with books tucked under their arms. (And, occasionally, a Kindle or two.) By 7 p.m., you often can't get a seat. And there's always free music from 6 to 8 p.m. Lately the resident musician is pianist Paul Matthew Moore. He's amazing.
FOOD & DRINK
Defense Against the Dark
In a similar vein to fighting fire with fire, defend your soul from darkness by drinking stygian beer. Chuck's will serve brews like Big Bad Baptist with Dark Horse Coffee (Epic), Black Cauldron Stout (Grand Teton), Abyss (Deschutes), and many others.
Living Out Your Gifts
Drop in on Peter Jabin and Dennis McCarthy's meet-up to discuss what gifts you "bring to the world as gay men." More specifically, the discussion focuses on how gay men improve society and possess special aptitudes benefitting humanity, like "an open, 'gay' spirit, which unleashes love and invites human connections." No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Art is play, and Push Play offers interactive, artistic takes on single- and multi-player games, curated by Melissa E. Feldman and featuring work by Cory Arcangel, Patrick Bernier and Olive Martin, Ruth Catlow, Mary Flanagan, Futurefarmers, Ryan Gander, Allan McCollum and Matt Mullican, Paul Noble, Yoko Ono, Pedro Reyes, Jason Rohrer, David Shrigley, Erik Svedäng, Cable Griffith, and Brent Watanabe. See the exhibit before it closes on Saturday.
Sue Danielson: Permeability of Hardness
Sue Danielson (one of the founders of the informal summer artist residency on the Duwamish River) makes layered paintings and mixed media featuring warped grids and delicate, endlessly tangled line work. This exhibit, featuring work on paper and panel, continues "her exploration of maplike forms and treatise on memory and mark-making." See it before it closes this weekend.
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 shows on Thursday or 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.
There’s a lot going on in Tony Award-winning Lisa Kron’s Well, a darkly comic, socially engaged, meta-theatrical “solo show with people in it," as Kron describes it. Sarah Rudinoff plays the playwright, Lisa, who can't understand how her mother found the energy to save her neighborhood from being gentrified but who now struggles to get off the easy chair. They both suffer from the same invisible "hereditary" illness, but Kron managed to kick it by moving to New York, coming out as a lesbian, and eating good food. Using dark humor to handle emotionally intense biographical material is in Kron’s wheelhouse. She adapted Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home into a smash-hit musical on Broadway, and she also created another "solo" show called 2.5 Minute Ride, which dramatizes a trip Kron and her father—a Holocaust survivor—took to Auschwitz. “It’s actually very funny,” Rudinoff told me. Well will be, too. RICH SMITH
Victoria Haven: Blue Sun
This dramatically large wall drawing—inspired by artist Victoria Haven's video project about the transformation of South Lake Union, in which she saw the sun appear as a blue dot reflected through the lens—will close this week.
READINGS & TALKS
Alison Flowers: Exoneree Diaries
Journalist Alison Flowers' interest in criminal and social justice led her to the subject of Exoneree Diaries: The Fight for Innocence, Independence, and Identity, which explores life after imprisonment—specifically, how people who are found to be innocent rejoin the world (or struggle to). Learn about the trauma of wrongful conviction, the navigations of identity after release, and patterns of mass incarceration through Flowers' portraits of four exonerated prisoners.
Immigration 101 With Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project—a legal social services organization that helps immigrants learn about their rights and prepare for the worst (including raids), and provides them legal representation for court appearances—will host this free training for allies and service providers who want to offer their support. They'll speak about the details of due process rights, as well as recent developments like Trump's travel ban, and aim to give participants information that they can pass on to immigrants and refugees in their community.
Joel Berg and Matt Taibbi
Author, commentator, and Hunger Free America CEO Joel Berg's America, We Need to Talk: A Self-Help Book for the Nation is about how citizens can make a difference in the country's problems. About the book, Toni Morrison wrote, "It is both important and entertaining. We need both—I've never seen the political world so sad, so foolish. So dangerous. This book will certainly help.“
John Judis will speak about The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics, which made a New York Times list called "Six Books to Help Understand Trump's Win."
In this series, local stars and community members will share stories of "immigration, migration, displacement, and community" and speak about their perspective on Jacob Lawrence's 60-panel masterpiece The Migration Series. This month's event will be led by artist Satpreet Kahlon.
A live amateur storytelling competition in which audience members who put their names in a hat are randomly chosen to tell stories on a theme. Local comedians tend to show up, but lots of nonperformers get in on the action as well. This month's theme is "Wonders," so expect stories about "life's knee-buckling moments" and "tales of ventures into uncharted territory....and how your life was changed forever by what you found there."
First Thursday Art Walk
During the city's oldest art walk, look forward to gallery openings, free booze, and the opportunity to mingle with other artsy folks in Pioneer Square. In March, don't miss the opening receptions for Future Isms at Glassbox Gallery, Marita Dingus' The Gathering at Traver Gallery, and Carolyn Gracz's Land Marks at Shift.
FOOD & DRINK
Cookies & Cocktails Gmala
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts selling cookies, this party celebrating female entrepreneurs will have music, an outdoor s'mores pit, a cookie photo booth, and—of course—sweet and savory bites crafted with Girl Scout Cookies made by local women chefs. Plus, there will be cookie-inspired cocktails (and mocktails) and beer and wine pairings curated by female distillers, brewers, and winemakers.
Farmer and Chef Seasonal Dinner
Full Circle farmers (Andrew Stout and Wendy Munroe) and Lark will present chef John Sundstrom's farm-to-table four-course dinner, served family-style and accompanied by local wine. As you digest, learn about farming and cooking using seasonal ingredients.
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, Adam Straatman of the Pink Door will cook a menu including bruschetta, oven-roasted lemon-rosemary chicken, and Nutella panna cotta with espresso crème anglaise.
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 Padre Padrone, the winner of the Grand Prix and International Critics' Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
Scary Mary and the Nightmares Nine
Scary Mary and the Nightmares Nine sounds a bit like Dante's Inferno—but with a fairy-tale spin and plenty of puppets. Mary must endure nine horrible nightmares to save her soul. Written by Amy Escobar and directed by Eddie DeHais.
Rambunctious #3: The Immigrants
This is the third installment of Spectrum's Rambunctious series, this time focusing on classical composers who are also American immigrants (especially immigrants from contested/"controversial" countries—we doubt you'll find a French expat in the mix). The music will be performed live by guest artists as dancers tell stories (and "Make the Invisible Visible") with their bodies.
GEEK & GAMING
Emerald City Comicon
Meet the artists, actors, and creators who enliven pop culture and comics. This year's guests include Jeremy Renner, Evangeline Lilly, Maurice Lamarche (of Pinky and the Brain), Millie Bobby Brown, Robert Englund (of Nightmare on Elm Street)), Terry Brooks, and Robert Liefeld (creator of X-Force and Deadpool). But, you know, this is Comicon, so there are dozens and dozens more to meet.
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
READINGS & TALKS
Chiyo Ishikawa: First Friday Lecture
Learn more about Seeing Nature, a survey exhibit of landscape paintings, from SAM Deputy Director and Curator (and terrific resource, gem of a human) Chiyo Ishikawa.
Live Wire with Luke Burbank
The homegrown radio/podcast comedy phenomenon known as Too Beautiful to Live—and its gregarious, hilarious, occasionally precarious host Luke Burbank (alas, he’s a Taurus)—are still alive and well, but THIS is Burbank’s other show, Live Wire, an NPR-friendly variety program based in Portland, Oregon. SEAN NELSON
Guest Artist Series: Danielle Agami / Ate9
Dancer Danielle Agami used to be a part of the world-renowned Batsheva Dance Company (founded in 1964 by Martha Graham and Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild) and then founded Los Angeles-based dance company Ate9. This is the world premiere of her frantic, mesmerizing, unsettling, unquestionably creative new work, Calling Glenn, which is set to the music of Wilco's drummer Glenn Kotche—and at this performance, Kotche himself will be providing a live score.
Spin the Bottle
This is Seattle's longest-running cabaret and has seen just about everything—dance, theater, comedy, paper airplanes, tears, stunts, music, romance—from just about everyone.
Qomix: Queer Comicon Mixer
It's time to decompress from a long day of flipping through funny pages at Emerald City Comicon, and Raygun Lounge is here to help. Join Northwest Press (publishers of award-winning queer comic books) and Jetspace Magazine (the queer news and culture resource) for a lubricated mix-and-mingle. No ECCC badge necessary! Come fiddle with the arcade machines, scrutinize the board games, and avail yourself of Raygun's brand-new coffee offerings. They also have mead, so there's a good chance I might sing before the night is over. MATT BAUME
FOOD & DRINK
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."
Television jack-of-all-trades Tom Green—best known for "performing jaw-dropping acts of bad taste" on MTV's The Tom Green Show—will perform for two nights in Bellevue. Keep in mind that Green was a contestant on Donald Trump's The Celebrity Apprentice, and said he was ready to rip into his "old boss" on this stand-up tour.
Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II
For many of us, Richard Wagner’s music entered our consciousness when, in Bugs Bunny’s “What's Opera, Doc?” we heard Elmer Fudd sing “Kill the wabbit, Kill the wabbit” to Ride of the Valkyries. And when Bugs Bunny hears Fudd calling for the death of his kind, he pokes his long-eared head out of a hole, looks at the the camera, and says, with the kind of sadness that is funny because it’s almost real: “Kill the rabbit?” They do not make cartoons like that anymore. Cartoons that bring the highest parts of Western culture right down to the big belly of low culture laughter. CHARLES MUDEDE
Looking for a little question mark in your weekend? A dash of surprise? Consider Genre Bender, curated by Stranger Genius Award-winning designer Jennifer Zeyl, which involves "kicking artists out of their comfort zones," pairing them up, and seeing what happens. The first Genre Bender was part of the City Arts festival in 2011. This year, see Thunderpussy's frontwoman Molly Sides with street artist No Touching Ground, rapper Yirim Seck with Genius Award-winning filmmaker/artist DK Pan, artist Mary Anne Carter with choreographer Dani Tirrell, musician Ben Hunter with (ANOTHER Genius Awardee) filmmaker Tracy Rector, and Genius-nominated dramatist HATLO with musician Shontina Vernon. BRENDAN KILEY
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.
READINGS & TALKS
Japanese American Internment, Farming, and Pike Place Market
Franklin Roosevelt's internment of Japanese American farmers wasn't only an example of injustice; it was also a blow to the food supply and agricultural community around Seattle and elsewhere. Slow Food Seattle will assemble a panel to talk about the impact of Executive Order 9066. Speakers will include journalist/author Dave Neiwert (Strawberry Days: How Internment Destroyed a Japanese American Community), descendant of Bellevue internees Ed Suguro, New Roots Coordinator with the International Rescue Committee Tyler George-Minetti, and a representative of Pike Place Market, "where nearly 80% of its vendors were Japanese Americans at the time of the internment." The conversation will be moderated by Mei Yook Woo, founder of the Foodways Project and manager of the Danny Woo Community Garden.
Sulha Peace Project: An Israeli-Palestinian Peace Project
The Sulha Peace Project is an organization that brings together Palestinians and Israelis in prayer, song, discussion, and debate, embracing a spirit of collaboration, hope, and unity. Hear about their projects—from "Tribal Fires" to youth conferences—from co-executive director Yoav Peck and Sulha leader Fulla Jubeh.
Women's Prisons, Art & Queerness
Three speakers with experience in or with prison systems and/or legal services will speak about women, queer identity, and incarceration. The panel is composed of Sebastian Raine, the producer and protagonist of the film Boys on the Inside; Shontina Vernon, a "Creative Justice" artist/mentor at 4Culture; and Merf Ehman, a lawyer with Columbia Legal Services.
Arthaus 3.0: Nineteen Ninety-Fierce
Version 3.0 of Kremwerk's drag-queen battle royale/dance party is upon us. Teams of hilarious and artsy queens will compete for bragging rights, shade throwing rights, and the right to play puppet master at the following year's Arthaus series. As I predicted, Betty Wetter, Cookie Couture, Miss Americano, and Khloe5X of Halfway Haus won the series last year, and they'll be hosting and picking the themes this year. For this '90s throwback party, Chixie Dicks and Cat Haus will compete, with Halfway Haus hosting and performances by Cookie Couture, Betty Wetter, Americano, Old Witch, and Apostrophe. French Inhale will DJ. Drinks will be had. RICH SMITH
The Blue Show
Improvisers have been saving up their dirtiest material for The Blue Show, an emphatically adults-only improv comedy night that happens just once a month—and that has attracted celebrity guests Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher.
Brazilian Carnaval 2017: Mardi Gras!
Eduardo and Ana Paula Mendonça present this Seattle-based celebration of Brazilian Carnaval (an annual festival with parades, dancing, singing, and celebration that happens before Lent begins) that will take into account issues of power, racial exclusion, and social inequality. Attendees will get to experience a wide variety of region- and culture-specific Brazilian music and dance.
FOOD & DRINK
Andrew Will Pop-Up Store
Vashon's Andrew Will winery is trying to offload their excess inventory from last year, and they're doing it from a convenient Capitol Hill location. Besides being able to pick up $50 bottles for $15, you'll get a crack at magnums, library wines, and other rarities. This is an amazing chance to kickstart your wine cellar, and—pro tip—keeping a few semi-fancy wines in a rack in your kitchen and not drinking them goes a long way towards making people think you're not a complete drunk. Plus, there's pizza. Sounds like a perfect Saturday afternoon. TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE
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
READINGS & TALKS
The Smartest Book in the World
Greg Proops is best known for the improvisational humor he regularly dropped as a panel member on the TV hit Whose Line Is it Anyway?, as well as his stand-up comedy and his podcast The Smartest Man in the World. Come for observational jokes about cultural norms, some riffing about baseball, and plugs for his 2015 book The Smartest Book in the World: A Lexicon of Literacy, A Rancorous Reportage, A Concise Curriculum of Cool. Here's a good Greg Proops quote: "You leave white people alone in constant isolation for 2,000 years, and you know what their musical contribution will be? Riverdance!"
Ben Gibbard with Sherman Alexie and Naomi Wachira
By the time you read this, the entire Standing Rock issue may well find itself consigned to cold history. The Mighty One (orange) made Obama’s fixes part of his supper. Well, go to this benefit for Standing Rock and the Water Protector Legal Collective anyway. Sherman Alexie is only one of the most amazing writers the Pacific Northwest ever produced, and you don’t have to take my word for it. Ben Gibbard hails of course from Death Cab for Cutie, ’nuff said, a rare solo show. Naomi Wachira’s website describes her as Afro-folk—although I say sweet soul. And maybe the issue is out of the news by the time you read this—but the splat from the orange pulp will need cleaning up. ANDREW HAMLIN
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
Perhaps I'm starting to sound like a broken record recommending pop-up dinners that double as fundraisers, but I don't care. May we never tire of eating delicious food for noble causes. This cause is, in my opinion, especially noble. I'm a fan of charity organizations, certainly, but I'm a bigger fan of charity that has a direct impact. This pop-up at Ciudad features two refugee/immigrant chefs, and the proceeds go entirely to those chefs, helping inch them closer to their goal of owning their own restaurants. The first is Inna Stentsenko, who was forced to abandon her successful restaurant in Donetsk, Ukraine, after the breakout of civil war of 2012. The second is Mai Nguyen, who immigrated from Vietnam 30 years ago (can you guess what violent conflict she was fleeing?) and served up Vietnamese delights to West Seattle for many years. Eventually, she was pulled away from the restaurant business, but she is looking to get back into it. All you have to do to help her and Inna get going is RSVP, shell out a measly $35, and chow down on their delicious food. You'd spend just as much at whatever hot new brunch your significant other is dragging you to anyway, so you might as well do some good with it. TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE