Stranger Than Usual

90 Stranger (Than Usual) Things To Do in Seattle This Week: June 11-16, 2019

Seattle Pug Gala, Washington State Summer Con, and More Unusual Events
June 11, 2019
Hear and share stories about squishy-faced angels at the Seattle Pug Rescue's Seattle Pug Gala this weekend, which will include a Survivor-themed costume contest (see photo for inspiration) to suit the warm weather. (Shutterstock)

Our arts critics have already recommended 49 great things to do this week and our music critics have picked the 36 best music shows, but there are still hundreds more events happening. To prevent some of the quirkier and more extraordinary ones from slipping through the cracks, we've compiled them here—from Tom Douglas's Rub with Love! Party Like It's 1999! to a Bloomsday celebration, and from Booklover's Burlesque to the Washington State Summer Con. For even more options this week, check out our complete Things To Do calendar.

Found something you like and don't want to forget about it later? Click "Save Event" on any of the linked events below to add it to your own private list.

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  1. Exploring the Biology of Burn Morels
    Learn about burn morels—a North American native species of mushroom that fruits in the year following a forest fire—with the Puget Sound Mycological Society, and show up early to get the 411 on any mysterious mushrooms you have lying around. 
  2. FILM

  3. RiffTrax Live
    The hosts of RiffTrax will offer their comedic roasts of B-movie classics, which tonight will be Star Raiders.
  4. Standing on my Sisters' Shoulders
    See a screening of Standing on my Sisters' Shoulders, a documentary about the women who played instrumental roles in the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi, including Unita Blackwell (Mississippi's first black woman mayor) and Mae Bertha Carter (a mother whose children became the first to integrate the Drew County schools).

  6. Julie O'Donald: Butterflies and Garden Habitat
    Get up close and personal with 18 species of butterflies found in the Puget Sound Lowlands. Plus, take away useful info like the best native flowering shrubs and wildflowers for attracting butterflies.
  7. Michael Benanav: Himalaya Bound
    Michael Benanav recounts his journey with a tribe of forest-dwelling nomads in India in his new book Himalaya Bound. Hear the author read.
  8. Science in the City: Coffee, Kangaroos, and Community
    How are tree kangaroos, coffee, and healthcare related? Representatives from the Woodland Park Zoo’s Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program will tell you about the "One Health" approach to conservation (that "human, animal, and environmental health are all interconnected").


  10. Northwest Fine Arts Competition
    Forty-six artworks by 27 artists were chosen for this juried competition. Check out the winners, including Jurors' Choice awardee Kelly Johnston.
    Closing Friday


  12. Vikings in the Media: Myths & Legends in a Modern Context
    According to local historian Sean Prather, not all Vikings are dead and gone. He'll talk about the Nordic peoples' modern-day incarnations and pick apart how Vikings are represented in the media.
  13. FOOD & DRINK

  14. And Justice For Ale + Drag Queen Bingo
    Play bingo with local drag queens and sip Chuck's new Pride-themed And Justice For Ale beer to support PFLAG Seattle.
  15. MUSIC

  16. Led at Leeds
    Get your classic rock fix at this Who and Led Zeppelin tribute night.

  18. John Doe: More Fun in the New World
    John Doe of the band X is following up his 2016 book Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk with a follow-up More Fun in the New World: The Unmaking and Legacy of L.A. Punk, co-written with Tom DeSavia and with contributions by Shepard Fairey, Allison Anders, Tim Robbins, and Tony Hawk.
  19. Tara Conklin: The Last Romantics
    The progenitor of the bestselling The House Girl will read from a new novel about four loyal siblings facing a family crisis and, decades later, facing the decisions they made. Laurie Frankel will host a Q&A.


  21. Rebecca Albiani: J.M.W. Turner
    Art historian Rebecca Albiani will finish this season's art history lectures with a talk on J.M.W. Turner, an English Romantic painter of the 18th to 19th century whose expressive use of color was taken as evidence of madness by some critics.


  23. Hart Island
    The last in Village Theatre's series of new musicals, Michelle Elliott and Danny Haengil Larsen's creation is about an immigrant woman and a compassionate inmate struggling at the edge of New York City.


  25. Jamal Harrington
    New Yorker-turned-Seattleite Jamal Harrington (KZOK, The Sour Kool-Aid Show) currently produces the JAMCO comedy series in Renton. He'll appear to deal jokes of his own with Thomas Nichols, Vanessa Dawn, Eric Lundquist, and host John Gardner.
  26. Vultures?! Presents an Improvised Film Festival
    You won't know exactly what you're seeing at this "film festival," and neither will the actors. This improvised affair will be complete with film premieres, Q&As with the cast and crew, short films, and the main feature.

  28. Crosscut News & Brews - 2020 Visions: Presidential Election Predictions and Projections
    As the 2020 presidential debates steadily approach, get prepared by dissecting the key issues that the candidates will likely address.
  29. First Hill Fidos
    First-rate pupperoos of Seattle will compete in this neighborhood dog show for prizes and endless pats.
  30. FOOD & DRINK

  31. Cupcakes & Beer! Thank You Thursday at Reuben's Brews
    Try a flight of three petite Cupcake Royale cupcakes paired with three Reuben's Brews' beers and learn about harvesting urban orchards from a representative from City Fruit. Proceeds will support City Fruit.
  32. MUSIC

  33. Music for Shadow & Light
    Experimental Australian cellist Judith Hamann will return to Seattle in support of her new album made in collaboration with Lori Goldston.

  35. 'Woodland' Launch: Words by Knox Gardner, Music by Aaron Otheim
    Gardner's anger and anguish over climate change are aflame in this poetry collection, undertaken during the 2017 fire season in British Columbia and finished at the same time as the inferno that destroyed Paradise, California. The book includes a score by Aaron Otheim—a manipulated version of Edward MacDowell's romantic Woodland Sketches.
  36. Kevin Ticen: When It Mattered Most
    In 1917, the Seattle Metropolitans became the first American team to win the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup. Hear Kevin Ticen read from When It Mattered Most, which tells the story of the local championship team's impressive feat.
  37. Modern Americana
    Bret Fetzer will perform original fairy tales that favor Appalachian and Dust Bowl iconography (coal mines, farmers, cabins, etc.) over castle-dwelling princes and princesses. Bluegrass band the Half Brothers will pluck their banjos and mandolins all the while.

  39. Apogee
    Students from the School of Apparel Design & Development will showcase their recent designs in a fashion show.


  41. Boy
    Anna Ziegler's play, based on actual events, explores what happens when two parents are convinced to raise their son as a girl after a serious accident. But gender and sexual identity aren't so easily altered, and the son struggles all his life with the consequences of his parents' decision. Staged by Fantastic.Z Theatre.


  43. Free Radicals
    This exhibition is a response to the Victorian Radicals show, presenting portraits of —"pop stars, celebrities," and, less expectedly, "unknown Etruscan citizens." See work by John Armstrong, Larry Calkins, Troy Gua, Curt Labitzke, Ruthie V., and Laura Van Horne.
    Opening Thursday
  44. FRIDAY


  45. Tiki Trailer Bash
    DJ Vodka Twist and LUSHY will provide danceable tunes while you take a gander at vintage trailers and cabins (many of which are available to rent) and drink booze.
  46. FILM

  47. Movies at MoPOP: The Goonies
    Treat yourself to a viewing of the '80s perma-classic The Goonies with your best friends and stroll through the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame exhibit.
  48. FOOD & DRINK

  49. Burgers & Beats
    Hard Rock Cafe will celebrate their birthday and an all-new menu with a DJ dance party complete with red carpet photoshoots, a contest for best disco outfit, and tasty burgers.
  50. Rub with Love! Party Like It's 1999!
    Head to the Love Shack—Tom Douglas's "Rub with Love" Shack in Pike Place Market, that is—to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the local celebrity chef's signature spice blend for grilling, with birthday cake and samples of the shack's "world-famous" wild Alaskan salmon burger. Plus, stock up on Rub with Love products temporarily discounted to the company's original 1999 price of $3.99 each.
  51. MUSIC

  52. Bootie Seattle: Lady Gaga & Queen vs. Everyone
    With A Star Is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody still fresh in our minds, here's your chance to dance to mashups of Lady Gaga and Queen songs at this Pride-themed dance party.
  53. Purple Mane, The George Michaels
    Steep your mind, body, and soul in Prince hits—including the entirety of Purple Rain—for two whole hours with tribute band Purple Main. Show up on time for George Michael songs from the George Michaels.
  54. The Relevant Unknowns Photoshoot Launch Party
    Emerging local artists have had their photos, social media handles, and work samples featured in The Relevant Unknown's five-volume yearbook, which serves as a King County artist directory. Flip through a copy and ask people for their signatures at this launch party, which will also have tattoo artists, performances by local bands, belly dancing, vendors, and more.

  56. Super Smash Babes: The Ultimate Drag Show
    Special guest Michete will join host Kylie Mooncakes and other queer performers to pay tribute to the beloved Nintendo game.

  58. Bloomsday at Folio: Joyce Rocks
    Two days before Bloomsday—the day James Joyce's Ulysses takes place—Seattle's Wild Geese Players will perform a staged reading of selected vignettes from the "Wandering Rocks" chapter. Show up early to get an introduction from Joyce scholar Roger Berger. If you've got an Edwardian-era costume, by all means, wear it. Burgundy and gorgonzola will be served.
  59. Intuitive Writing Workshop
    August Tarantino will teach you to write using all your senses in this workshop geared toward people struggling with writer's block. Dark chocolate will be served to provide even more inspiration (and antioxidants!).
  60. Smoke: The New Normal?
    As Washington approaches another wildfire season, get a preview of local artist Ted Youngs's installation trilogy The Smoke Season, which features a blackened Douglas Fir in the Pacific Science Center courtyard, and sit in on a panel discussion moderated by KUOW.

  62. Best of Gage
    Congratulate Gage graduating artists on their final works and look into purchasing some of their art.
  63. Germany Street Fronts
    This exhibition examines the architectural heritage of over 40 German cities. Confuse your friends and family by taking a photo in front of the panoramic façades.
    Opening Friday


  65. This Is Not the Little Prince
    As the title suggests, this dance by Olivier Wevers of Whim W'Him takes inspiration from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's children's classic The Little Prince, but mixes in Magritte-style surrealism and other new approaches.


  67. We Out Here
    Seattle's African American community—its artists, elders, organizers, and others—will be celebrated at this resource-sharing festival dedicated to raising visibility, making connections, and offering help.

  69. Bat-Hamlet
    Pop culture vigilantism meets Shakespearean existentialism in Fern Shakespeare's tale of Bat-Hamlet, the evil King Jester, and vengeance.
  70. Mamma Mia!
    The ABBA musical will return to sate the seemingly infinite appetite of Seattle-area audiences for its bubbly hits.


  72. Fat Cats
    Fat Cats describe themselves as "two fat feminist women who own fat feminist cats, but are not wealthy political donors."

  74. The Finnish Sauna
    The Nordic Museum now has its own authentic Finnish sauna, and in light of that, Collections Manager Fred Poyner IV and 2018 Finlandia Foundation National lecturer Frank Eld will tell you why these wooden hot boxes are so special. 
  75. Seattle Pug Gala
    Bask in your love of one of the cutest dog breeds in the world (deal with it), pugs, by sharing your adopted pug's story, entering raffles, shopping for pug-themed wares, and more at this fundraiser for Seattle Pug Rescue.
  76. FOOD & DRINK

  77. Free Grilled Cheese
    Five words: toasted sourdough and melted cheese. Get yourself a free hot sandwich from Franz Bakery while you can.
  78. West Seattle 0.5k
    If you prefer cold beers to strenuous activity (who doesn't?), this half-mile course punctuated by boozy "hydration stations" at West Seattle watering holes has your name on it. 

  80. Free RPG Day
    Enter other worlds through Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, and other RPG games and win cool prizes.
  81. MUSIC

  82. Day Party! Soca X Afro-Soca
    Soak up some sun and sip drink specials while you groove to Soca and Afro beats.
  83. Emo Dance Party with the Emo G's, DJ Baby Van Beezly, and Emotional Distress
    This isn't a phase, Mom—it's a whole party! The Emo Gs are back at it for another night of emo classics by the likes of My Chemical Romance, the Used, Dashboard Confessional, Fall Out Boy, and more. My hair might be too short now to iron into flattened, fried perfection for a scene-queen-worthy MySpace profile pic (pc4pc, anyone?), but I’m looking forward to the sea of jet-black manicures at this shindig. For less than a tub of your favorite Manic Panic hair dye, come and dance (or cry, if you want to) the night away with all the other kids that your mom warned you about. SOPHIA STEPHENS
  84. Fellowship of the Wing
    Dark Star Orchestra founder John Kadlecik will play originals and Grateful Dead covers with his new band the Fellowship of the Wing.
  85. Modular on the Spot
    Take advantage of the sunny weather by enjoying live outdoor electronic sets from Auxia, Dark Side of the Tune, Demetrius Patin, Green Lion Codex, Harsh Realm, Horse with One Leg, Jako Greyshire, Lousy Falcon, Tom Evans, and Wabisabi.
  86. Opulent Temple Seattle Presents Sacred Dance — White Costume Party
    Wear your cutest all-white outfit and get classy with SYD GRIS, DJ Icon, the Love Virus, and other party people. When you're not dancing, you can check out shibari, ritual performance, live painting, and laser art.
  87. Original Music Inspired by G. Willow Wilson's Ms. Marvel
    The literary musicians of Bushwick Book Club will perform original music inspired by Willow Wilson's Ms. Marvel.
  88. Rusholme Ruffians, The Drowning Man, Love Vigilantes, She's Lost Control
    Feeling moody and British? Get everything you need at this tribute night dedicated to the Smiths, Johnny Marr, Joy Division, and the like.
  89. School of Rock Seattle Performs: Best of the '70s
    Watch the tiny musical treasures of the future play pieces by the decade-specific musical legends of the past, with School of Rock Seattle's tribute to the titans of '70s music.
  90. Secret Meaning of Things Live with Vox Sinistra
    Hollow Earth radio's Vox Sinistra will be spinning '80s New Wave, post-punk, and synth-pop.
  91. Silent Party Seattle: East Coast vs. West Coast — 2Pac & Biggie Era
    If you love East Coast rap but your friends are loyal to Seattle's side of the Mississippi, you can still party together at this two-DJ silent disco.
  92. Torch Songs: Songs About Love
    Be seduced by this concert of torch songs, a genre known for its ability to whip up the heart and the loins with its sensual jazz swing.

  94. Adult Swim [the drag show]
    WEIRD drag will pay homage to a weird TV programming block, with (we presume) queer interpretations of Bob's Burgers, Adventure Time, and Lazor Wulf. 
  95. Afrodisiac Erotic Poetry Show Presents: The Best of Afrodisiac Anniversary Show
    Enjoy an evening of "sensual and erotic" poetry, dancing, singing, and visual art, featuring Afrodisiac's favorites from the past nine years. Stay on for the open mic.
  96. Booklover's Burlesque
    Book readings from any genre will alternate with body-positive burlesque at this steamy, high-concept spectacle with Waxie Moon, Lily Le Fauve, Al Lykya, and other sexy friends.
  97. Chinese Traditional Music and Dance
    Xihua Performing Artists Group will show off qipao fashions, traditional music, and dances. 
  98. Freakshow with Baby Guuurl
    Baby Guuurl's new drag show celebrates all the "misfits, weirdos, freaks, and people society doesn't care about." Sip a "Freak Out" cocktail and enjoy the company of your fellow spirits.
  99. Seattle University Playwrights
    Seattle University student playwrights will share their original pieces in this end-of-year tradition.
  100. Transmutorium: A Suspended Animation & Electric Sheep Experience
    Seattle-based experiential artist collectives and Burning Man mainstays Suspended Animation and Electric Sheep will join forces to bring you a trippy circus show. You're invited to dress to the theme of "transformation."

  102. Drew Harvell: Confronting the Threat of Ocean Outbreaks
    Sewage dumping, poorly managed aquaculture, climate change, and plastic pollution have all elevated the risk of marine epidemics, i.e. massive die-offs. Hear her read from and discuss her book Ocean Outbreak: Confronting the Rising Tide of Marine Disease, which is based on 20 years of research.
  103. Jon Strongbow: Visionary Surrealism at the Pike Place Market
    Local Native author Jon Strongbow, who wrote the rock and roll song cycle Alien City in the 1980s, will read from his new book Visionary Surrealism at the Pike Place Market, which sheds light on the dozens of artists who have sold their work at Seattle's most famous open-air market and seafood haven.

  105. Chase the Light Pop-up Exhibition
    One image from every person who participated in the weekend-long photo shoot contest Chase the Light last weekend (for which anyone in Washington could submit photos) will be exhibited at a pop-up gallery. In exchange for a donation, take home an image by a local image-snapper. 
  106. Sketch Picnic at the Quad With Goodspeed Architecture
    Learn the art of sketching using the shadows and light in the UW quad as inspiration. 


  108. Audubon + Canon: Birds in Focus
    Try out Canon cameras, lenses, and binoculars on a guided bird walk to snap photos of some Puget Sound raptors.

  110. Slimetopia 2
    If you've ever watched Nickelodeon and wondered what that lime-green slime feels and smells like, look no further than Slimetopia toy immerse yourself in two days of slime vendors, slime raffles, slime trading stations, Q&As (with slime experts, we assume), and more.
  111. GEEK & GAMING

  112. The Seattle Retro Gaming Expo
    This annual convention harks back to the essence of gaming. Whether you're looking to trade retro collectibles, compete in multiplayer tournaments where your opponents are in the same room, or meet people who want to gush over the classics, you'll find something fun to do.
  113. Washington State Summer Con
    Here you can show off your cosplay and meet a lineup of comic book creators, shop from vendors, visit interactive exhibits, and play all sorts of video games (not to mention LEGOs). This year brings a stacked lineup of special guests, including Carl Weathers (you know him from Rocky), Jason Mewes (aka Jay of Jay and Silent Bob), and illustrator Amanda Conner.

  115. The Phantom Tollbooth
    Delight to Arnold Black and Tony winner Sheldon Harnick's musical adaptation of Norton Juster's quirky classic.  It's about a boy who's transported to the Kingdom of Wisdom, which has been in decline since the king of letters, Azaz, and the Mathemagician had a falling-out. Starring a clock-dog named Tock!
  116. Stars of Tomorrow
    Be introduced to the talents of the students of the International Ballet Academy, the official academy of the International Ballet Theatre.
  117. SUNDAY


  118. Broken Bar Day
    Sometimes Theo Chocolate bars get smashed to smithereens, but you can pick up the pieces at this event, where shattered shards will be on sale for $10 a pound. The first 10 purchases will also receive three-piece pack of Theo's Big Daddy marshmallow bars.
  119. Father's Day Brunch Party
    If taking your dad on a tropical vacation is out of the question, settle for a Caribbean-themed Father's Day party with live DJs, frozen cocktail specials, and a buffet.
  120. MUSIC

  121. Dan Kramlich's Grunge Jazz Trio
    Dan Kramlich will continue his tradition of interpreting and re-harmonizing songs by '90s grunge bands for jazz piano.
  122. Forest For The Trees 2
    House music will see the sun at this outdoor dance party with Black Velveteen, Brian Lyons, Eugene, Fauntleroy, and other mostly local DJs. The organizers urge you to remember sunscreen and snacks.
  123. Karaoke Waffle Brunch
    At this second annual brunch event, you can eat Belgian waffles from Admiral Bird, sing karaoke, sway to modular synth music, and support One Million Tampons all at the same time.
  124. KEXP Father's Day Kids Dance Party
    Dads who love to boogie can dance with their loved ones to tunes spun by KEXP DJs Larry Rose and Darek Mazzone. Plus, Pagliacci will be on site to show everyone how to toss pizza dough.
  125. The Rock and Roll Playhouse: The Music of the Grateful Dead for Kids
    Give your little ones an introduction to seminal rockers the Grateful Dead.
  126. School Of Rock Bellevue: The Big 4 of Thrash Metal (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax)
    Witness the evolving student talent of the School of Rock Bellevue as they play thrash metal tracks by legendary bands like Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax.

  128. The Boozy Brunch and Variety Show
    If you like your Sunday afternoons extra boozy and sleazy, get yourself to a lively burlesque-flavored benedict bar brunch with Delinda d'Rabbit, Jill Marissa, Moscato Extatique, Violet Ten Dencies, and La Petite Mort. Johnny7 and the Black Crabs will provide live music.

  130. Anna Fifield: The Great Successor
    Get an insight into the bizarre regime of North Korea's Kim Jong Un, from his allegedly murderous habits to his allegedly ridiculous habits to his definitely weird attractive pull on Dennis Rodman.
  131. Speakeasy: This is a Raided Premises with Gender Tender
    Hear a free panel talk about queer history and its influences on contemporary dance in conjunction with Fox Whitney's dance piece Melted Riot. Whitney will be joined by Dani Tirrell and Julian Barr, plus moderator Vanessa De Wolf (alias Gertrude Buffaloh Mehitabel).

  133. SheJumps Cycle to Woodinville
    Women-identifying cyclers can ride the Burke Gilman trail with SheJumps, an organization that aims to increase women's and girls' participation in outdoor sports. The group will stop for lunch at Fish Brewing.

  135. Amy's Amiable Art Afternoon
    Take your various craft projects here to make things in the company of fellow artsy people. There will be a special cocktail (called "Oh for Art's Sake!") for the occasion.