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Isabella Rossellini: Link Link Circus
The iconic film star and activist runs a farm on Long Island, is working on a master’s in animal behavior and conservation, and conceived, co-directs, and performs in Link Link Circus, a loosely structured, vaguely circus-themed theater piece about animals—their thoughts, how they communicate, and the difference between their learned and innate behaviors. Rosselini apparently uses puppets, projections, and animated videos to help explain her points, plus a co-star of sorts: a darling rescue doggie. According to the New York Times, the show rises above mere cuteness due to Rossellini’s penchant for choosing “surreal humor over cloying sentimentality.” LEILANI POLK
Gillian G. Gaar: World Domination: The Sub Pop Records Story
Seattle journalist Gillian G. Gaar has used her decades-long career covering the local music scene to write a book about one of the Emerald City's most prolific and influential labels, Sub Pop Records. World Domination: The Sub Pop Record Story begins with a history of Sup Pop's founding in the late 80s, followed by a trajectory of the major acts they've signed over the years, from Nirvana to Shabazz Palaces to Sleater-Kinney. Join the author for a live presentation.
MONDAY-TUESDAYREADINGS & TALKS
National Geographic Live: When Women Ruled the World
With a record number of women entering Congress this January (plus a majority of women entering the Washington State House), it makes sense to review the legacy of female rule. Do women govern differently than men? If so, how? Or is the question too loaded with sophistry and essentialism to take seriously? But even if it is, what's the answer!? Professor and Egyptologist Kara Cooney says she has one. In a spectacular NatGeo Live event, Cooney takes us back to ancient Egypt, where women like Cleopatra, Nefertiti, and Nerusobek led one of the most advanced civilizations of antiquity. "When there was a political crisis, the ancient Egyptians chose a woman time and again to fill the power vacuum—precisely because she was the least risky option," she writes in National Geographic. "For the ancient Egyptians, placing women in power was often the best protection for the patriarchy in times of uncertainty." Find out how these women navigated those uncertain times, and learn what they have to teach us about surviving our present political moment. RICH SMITH
MONDAY-THURSDAYFOOD & DRINK
Shellfish Showcase is the seafood counterpart to Restaurant Week, organized by Dine Around Seattle. The organization has rounded up a host of restaurants to devise exclusive menus with four items highlighting fresh local shellfish, at least two of them entrées. It’s a great opportunity to slurp some briny bivalves and scope out some hidden gems you wouldn’t otherwise try.
Colleen RJC Bratton: Empirical Sun
Multi-disciplinary Seattle artist Colleen RJC Bratton's site-specific solo exhibition "transports glimpses of a bright future into the present gray with texture, temperature, color, and light."
MONDAY-SUNDAYREADINGS & TALKS
Tasveer South Asian Litfest
Earlier this year, the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods gave a $60,000 matching grant to Tasveer, a local org focused on celebrating and disseminating South Asian art around Seattle—and now we have all these great writers coming to town for a whole bunch of readings and workshops! Amitava Kumar, author of a terrific collection of essays called Lunch with a Bigot, but more recently a lovelorn and witty novel called Immigrant, Montana, will be visiting from New York. Harvard University Press editor Sharmila Sen will read from Not Quite Not White, about the relationship between race and American-ness that press materials describe as "part memoir, part manifesto." Some local favorites will be featured as well. Sonora Jha, former prose writer-in-residence at the Hugo House, will read from her upcoming novel. And Shankar Narayan will have the room laughing and thinking hard about "proximity, intimacy, identity, violence, and diaspora." RICH SMITH
Our critics also recommend a closing-night reading with A.K. Asif, Shobha Rao, and Chaitali Sen and a Creative Writing Workshop with Indu Sundaresan. See even more events on our complete Tasveer Litfest calendar.
Stuff You Should Know
Stuff You Should Know hosts Josh Clark and Charles “Chuck” Bryant are taking their popular and informative podcast on the road. The live shows are much like the podcast: Josh and Chuck research the shit out of a subject (ayahuasca, the Satanic Panic, pizza) and tell you what you need to know, as well as what you didn’t really need to know but might find pretty interesting anyway. And it works: Everyone might have a podcast right now, but not everyone does it well. Josh and Chuck, who’ve been hosting this thing for more than 10 years, get the formula right. KATIE HERZOG
Nathan Vass: The Lines That Make Us
Nathan Vass, a Seattle metro bus driver (you may have met him on the 7/49 line) and filmmaker/photographer, has posted vignettes about the people he encounters in his blog The View from Nathan's Bus. These in turn have been collected in the photoessay book The Lines That Make Us. The Stranger's Charles Mudede writes: "The key words in this excellent collection of vignettes are 'hivelike microcosm of humanity.' They describe precisely the atmosphere of the most famous, feared, loved, diverse bus route in the city: South Seattle's no. 7. Nathan Vass, a Metro driver on this route, details the cultural experiments that occur daily in this social laboratory on wheels. He describes the riders– often poor, often not white, often going to bad news, often just being in the world– with a prose at once elegant, rhythmical, and clear."
The wildly popular New Yorker satirist and founder of the cheeky, National Press Club Award-winning Borowitz Report will help us make sense of "what the @#$ is going on" with a night of comedy.
Judge John Hodgman
If you only know John Hodgman for his "PC" man in the Apple ad campaigns or for his contributions to Jon Stewart's Daily Show, you should discover his decade-long career of dispensing "knowledge" in books like The Areas of My Expertise and More Knowledge Than You Require. This evening will bring you a live version of his podcast Judge John Hodgman, wherein he rules on important matters like "Is it OK to rifle through the trash for prize coupons in a Canadian pizza parlor?"
21st Century Art
How will future generations produce, look at, and value art as technology continues to advance? MIT Enterprise Forum Northwest will tackle the subject with a panel discussion, featuring Seattle artist Ginny Ruffner, Google employee and ALTSpace founder Michael Tyka, and orchestral/choral composer Allan Loucks.
Catherine the Great: Gendering Sovereignty in 18th-Century Russia
UW's annual history lecture series continues with a discussion by Elena Campbell of the Tsarina Catherine the Great and how she used her gender in self-representations to her people.
John Marzluff: Welcome to Subirdia
University of Washington Professor of Wildlife Science John Marzluff is an expert in Ornithology, the study of birds. In his latest book, Welcome to Subirdia: Sharing our Neighborhoods with Wrens, Robins, Woodpeckers, and Other Wildlife, he reveals the many species of feathered creatures flying above our heads and offers tips on how to respect their environment.
Seattle Arts and Lectures' resident Writers in the Schools will read works in progress. Gain insight and inspiration from these authors.
WordsWest Literary Series: E. J. Koh and Juan Carlos Reyes
Just in time for the new year, local writers E. J. Koh and Juan Carlos Reyes will wrestle with the issue of "Past and Future Selves," and where our feelings about the future—positive or negative—come from.
Local horror queen Isabella Price will host this series of classic slashers and supernatural chillers with a burlesque performance before every screening. Start your viewings of the bizarre mortuary zombie flick Phantasm.
Betty Wetter's Trivia Night
Betty Wetter will ask questions only true buffs of various subjects (e.g., John Hughes movies, Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next" video) will know, with some video and audio rounds thrown in. Have some pizza and try your luck.
We Are Here: Intiman Emerging Artists
Discover fresh work by new theater-makers from Intiman's Emerging Artist program, including Alexandra Kronz and Cassandra Leon in "Fat Chance! & Regresando," Steven Tran and Aaron Jin in "asian|american," Sara Geiger and Laurie Lynch in "Do You, A Journey Home," Chris Quilici and Alfonso "Ponch" Campos in "Never Did It," and Kenju Waweru and Greg Kleciak in "The Color of Our Hearts." They promise contemporary themes as well as such diverse images and elements as "beards, stand-up comedy, Grandmas, child dance competitions, Duolingo, queer motherhood, pastors, La Croix, race as a construct, classical piano, first date blues, AND SO MUCH MORE."
Jonathan Weisman: (((Semitism)))
The mass shooting that took the lives of 11 people at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh proves that anti-Semitism is alive and well in America, despite our wishes otherwise. There is no better time for a book like (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump, in which Jonathan Weisman examines how we can fight intolerance in an era fraught with neo-Nazis, anti-immigration sentiment, conspiracy theorists taken as truth-tellers, paranoia, scapegoating, sinister politics, and an administration that adds fuel to the fire rather than trying to quell it. LEILANI POLK
Lucinda Herring: Reimagining Death
Death may be inevitable, but that doesn’t make it simple—or easy. After years of working in the after-death industry, Lucinda Herring, a home funeral consultant and funeral director in Washington State, has a new book out on dying—and dealing with death—in a more human-centered, holistic fashion. She helps families plan for death before it happens, including creating after-death directives. And while the options for what to do with our dead are still limited (that Viking funeral in Elliott Bay is not going to fly), Herring offers guidance on home funerals and vigils, green burials, and what she calls “conscious dying.” Death will come for all of us, but Herring makes it a little easier to live with. KATIE HERZOG
Michelle Liu: The End of Atticus Finch
The version of To Kill a Mockingbird we know and love portrays Atticus Finch as a heroic lawyer who defends a wrongfully accused black man in court. But a long-lost installment of Harper Lee's manuscript paints Finch in a much different light: that of a white supremacist sympathizer. University of Washington English Professor Michelle Liu will lead a discussion on how fiction can inform our world view.
Run out of Wes Anderson movies to watch? Scratch that quirky itch with a brand-new "film" acted out by improv performers.
And Then I Got Fired: On Being Trans, Unemployed & Surviving
A study from 2013 found that transgender workers say they're unemployed at twice the rate of the general population (14 percent versus 7 percent at the time of the survey). J. Mase III, who previously collaborated with Dani Tirrell in Black Bois, will help give breath and body to those numbers in this variety show about trans people trying to find work. Mase displayed so much dynamism, talent, and poetic power in Black Bois that I was able to forgive the cliché slam-poet style undergirding their performance. I have no doubt this will be one hell of a show. RICH SMITH
The letter "B" stands for "bomb" in this 90-minute thriller by Chilean playwright Guillermo Calderón. Two young, nonviolent female anarchists consort with a veteran anarchist named Jose about the best way to disrupt a capitalist system that has led to rampant economic inequality, giving us a look into the personal motivations that drive violent political action. Jay O'Leary (who previously staged Welcome to Arroyo's) directs this production from Washington Ensemble Theatre. RICH SMITH
This "macabre and mystical" cabaret-style musical from Mark Siano and Opal Peachey, set in 1890s Prague, features the music of Dvořák and Chopin and art nouveau by Alphonse Mucha—plus "beautiful green fairies, aerial numbers, dance, burlesque, classical piano battles, comedy, and original songs." If that's not enough, there will also be "absinthe service" (complete with spoons, sugar, and ice fountains) at intermission in the front-row VIP sections.
The slinky dancers of Pike Place's kitschy cabaret return with another tasty show. Ever wanted to ogle athletic dancers twirling from chandeliers inches from your face? Go. There's also a family-friendly brunch version that you can guiltlessly take your out-of-town relatives to.
This show looks like a fun mess. At the beginning of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins's Pulitzer-shortlisted revival of a 15th-century morality play, none of the actors know which role they're going to play. Actors playing the characters God and Death randomly select the roles for the other actors, and the show gets under way. Ben Brantley at the New York Times called the first run "self-consciously whimsical and repetitive," but he didn't seem to say it in a mean way. Strawberry Theatre Workshop's production features some actors who are good on their feet—Justin Huertas, Lamar Legend, MJ Sieber—and so I have every confidence that they'll be able to turn this "work in progress," to use Brantley's terms, into an exuberant romp about the inevitability of death. RICH SMITH
I Do! I Do!
Get ready to weep nostalgic tears at the Village Theatre's production of a multiple Tony Award-winning musical by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, which portrays 50 years of a loving marriage.
22nd Annual Juried Exhibition
Every year, the PCNW presents a juried exhibition with work chosen from submissions from around the world. This year's jurors will be Lara Behnert, who leads Starbucks's global art program, and Conor Risch, senior editor of Photo District News. The artists come from as close as your Seattle neighborhood to as far as Anchorage, Zabierzów, Poland, and Beijing. Two frequent contributors to The Stranger, Nate Gowdy and Kelly O, are also featured.
FRIDAYFOOD & DRINK
85°C Bakery Café Grand Opening
To celebrate the grand opening of their International District location, Taiwanese bakery chain 85°C Bakery Café will be offering giveaways like iced sea salt coffees for 10 cents each and free mugs and tote bags with purchase.
PNW Crab Feast
This class at the Pike Place Market Atrium Kitchen provides a primer on the notoriously sweet and succulent Dungeness crab. At this class, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the celebrated crustacean, from choosing it to breaking it down to cleaning it, and how to prepare a luxurious meal with it. You’ll get to tuck into a crab feast with nonalcoholic beverages for lunch, too. JULIANNE BELL
Seattle International Dance Festival: Winter Mini-Fest
Shura Baryshnikov (RI), Gabriel Forestieri (NYC), and Danny Tan (Singapore) will join Seattle's Khambatta Dance Company for two weekends of "internationally inspired" dance performances.
Welcome to Night Vale
Something is just not quite right in the town of Night Vale. For one, there’s the mysterious lights circling above every night, and of course there are the hooded figures at the dog park. If you’re part of the "cult" that religiously follows the podcast Welcome to Night Vale, you’ll know that’s just the tip of the iceberg in this seemingly “friendly desert community.” But even if you aren’t, go to the show, set up like an old-timey live radio play, and experience host Cecil Palmer’s voice, which will simultaneously soothe your nerves and give you the shivers. AMBER CORTES
Young Poets Group Reading
Four-time Pushcart Prize nominee Shankar Narayan will present three other young poets, Ananya Garg, Vik Bahl, and Azura Tyabji.
Watch Eddie Griffin’s Freedom of Speech show from 2008 on YouTube and witness a stand-up comic who drops more n-bombs and “muthafuckas" in one minute than Richard Pryor did in a month’s worth of sets. These words come out like mini drum solos and pack an immense amount of comedic punch per usage. Griffin applies his rat-a-tat, profane delivery to crack jokes about race, politics, relationships, religion, dicks, pussies, and sperm like the greatest, filthiest raconteur you’ve ever felt guilty about while busting a gut over. His act isn’t “woke” in the slightest, but Griffin is undeniably hilarious. DAVE SEGAL
Kortney Shane Williams
This Seattle comic—who’s opened for stars such as Dave Chappelle and Hannibal Buress—has gotten a lot of hilarious mileage out of being self-deprecating. Kortney Shane Williams’s bit about not being a “real man” is a classic takedown of machismo and societal expectations. He excels in the humor of everyday mundanity, like shopping at Trader Joe’s and the problem of white guys with dreadlocks. “Every black guy is scared of a white guy with dreadlocks,” Williams observes. “It takes a lot of commitment… He’s probably trying to re-create Breaking Bad.” DAVE SEGAL
Bathe your senses in an evening of old-fashioned, decadent strumpetry with the sensual-chic dancers, contortionists, and aerialists of Valtesse. Dress in black, red, gold, and/or silver to match the Palais de Versailles visuals.
Whim W’Him: 3 x 3
Choreographer Zoe Scofield was the co-recipient of the 2013 Stranger Genius Award in performance for her inventive, angular, rebellious style. (She also won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2015.) She'll join the dance company Whim W’Him as choreographer for this triptych, alongside Yin Yue, founder of New York's YY Dance Company, and WW director Olivier Wevers.
FRIDAY-SUNDAYFOOD & DRINK
Little Fish Takeover
Little Fish, the highly anticipated forthcoming Pike Place restaurant and seafood craft microcannery from chef Zoi Antonitsas and Bryan Jarr, will take over Vashon Island restaurant Gravy each weekend this January while owners Dre Neeley and Pepa Brower vacation in Italy. Diners will get the chance to preview brunch and dinner dishes from the Little Fish menu, including oysters with grapefruit mignonette, Dinah's Cheese from Kurt Timmermeister's Vashon-based Kurtwood Farms with grilled persimmon and chicories, Neah Bay sea urchin risotto, salt cod brandade croquettes, and tinned seafood, which will be available for purchase from Little Fish's microcannery when it opens.
Iliza "Elder Millennial" Schlesinger, comedian and author of Girl Logic, will visit Seattle.
Roe on the Rocks
This month marks the 46th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that granted US women access to safe abortions. This milestone seems worthier of celebration than ever before, with an administration that has besieged reproductive rights and health-care access at every turn. Fittingly, the badasses behind Shout Your Abortion have joined forces with Planned Parenthood to fete the occasion, with libations provided by Fremont Brewing and forthcoming feminist-themed watering hole Ladybar, and noshes from the Sunny Up food truck, which specializes in punny breakfast sandwiches that pay tribute to famous women (sample menu items: the “Ruth Bacon Ginsburg,” the “Mia Ham,” and the “Patstrami Cline”). KEXP DJs will provide the soundtrack. JULIANNE BELL
Music made by drag queens is hot garbage. This is a fact—a proverb, even. Nearly all of it is astonishingly awful, which is why the tracks recently released by Aja, a RuPaul’s Drag Race queen (season 9 + All Stars season 3), are so remarkable. They’re pretty good! They're one of the few exceptions to the rule! “Finish Her!” and “Brujeria” are bops, and this gig in Kremwerk's intimate dingy basement will be a cute mix of local bar queens and Drag Race stans. A warning: Tickets will probably sell out. CHASE BURNS
The DanceCrush awards honor and showcase local dancers and choreographers, who this year include Dani Tirrell, Kim Lusk, Cheryl Delostrinos and Fausto Rivera of AU Collective, Kimberly Holloway, Oleaje Flamenco, and Amy J Lambert. There will also be works by Noelle Price and Britt Karhoff. Dress fun and fancy!
An Evening with Dan Rather
At a time when an ill-tempered reality TV star occupies the White House, and the most followed “pundits” in media are teenaged YouTube stars and blonde sorority girls toting AR-15s for clicks, you could be forgiven for wanting to go back to an era when there were three networks on TV and Dan Rather brought us the news each night with solemn good will. Rather might be off the evening broadcast, but he’s hardly disappeared, and his sane, sensible voice has never been more needed than in the Trump era. He’ll be talking about the terrible president, and more, when he appears in Tacoma. KATIE HERZOG
Winter Write-In with Write Our Democracy: State of the Union
Ten days before Trump delivers the 2019 State of the Union address (brace yourself for that one), Washington State writers Donna Miscolta, Laura Wachs, Robert Lashley, and Deepa Bhandaru will gather to write and deliver their own addresses for this special edition of Write Our Democracy. Don't miss it.
Carrying on the four-year-old tradition of exhibiting art by people of all training and ability levels, the Alice is neglecting the walls in favor of the floor this time. Here's how much they trust the local arts community to do marvelous things: They didn't even know what the pieces would look like before the creators brought them to their door! (To encourage face-to-face contact, the Alice didn't accept mailed submissions.) Turn your eyes earthward and shop carpentry, two-dimensional art, crafts, audio recordings, and whatever else the gallerists can fit in the space. Your dollars will be split 50/50 between the gallery and the creator. It's a great practice that allows you to support the local creative scene and the spread of democracy in art. JOULE ZELMAN
Lusio Lights the VPC
If you've never seen the rare tropical plants of the Volunteer Park Conservatory illuminated by light artists, now's your chance. Drink, dance, and bathe your eyeballs in light work by Marcell Marias, Brock Wilmer, Elise Koncsek, MOKEDO, Jeff Tomlinson, and others.
SATURDAY-SUNDAYFOOD & DRINK
Seattle Croissant Taiyaki Pop-Up
You already know the cronut, the cruffin, and other such portmanteau pastries. Now meet the latest hybrid baked good: the croissant taiyaki, a mash-up of the flaky French pastry and taiyaki, a fish-shaped cake that’s a popular street-food in Japan. This winning combo will then be stuffed with sweet or savory fillings like red bean, matcha custard, Nutella, and ham and cheese. Don’t miss your chance to try this unique franken-creation. JULIANNE BELL
Women's March Seattle 2019
Unfortunately, Donald Trump is still our president, and the rights and safety of womxn, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, and anyone else who is not a wealthy white man are at still at risk. On the second anniversary of Trump's inauguration and the first Seattle Women's March, the Seattle Womxn Marching Forward group is planning a weekend of events to not only protest the regime's inhumane policies, but also to unite people from diverse, intersectional communities to help improve the lives of those affected by the current administration all year long. The theme of this year's events is "building power," and each day will focus on "action, advocacy, and activism," with a special emphasis on recognizing Martin Luther King Jr. Day that same weekend. Specifically, participants are called to rally in Cal Anderson Park and march to Seattle Center to participate in an activism 101 workshop (Sat), participate in a day of action at venues around the city (Sun), and attend workshops, an opportunity fair, and a rally and march at the Seattle MLK, Jr. Day March and Celebration (Mon).
Rebecca and Jack Benaroya Wing Expansion and Inaugural Exhibition
A half-century's worth of glass treasures from the Pilchuck Glass School (founded in 1971) is contained in the Benaroya collection, and the bequeathal of this trove to the Tacoma Art Museum is a huge deal for Washington's art scene. Masterpieces by Lino Tagliapietra, Mary Van Cline, Debora Moore, Dale Chihuly, and Martin Blank find their home in Tacoma. On opening day (January 19), join them for free for artmaking, events, performances, and a talk on Northwest glass art by the curator, historian, and editor William Warmus.
Jon Glaser has played a lot of weird, fascinating characters on Conan (notably, he was the shofar-pun-obsessed Ehud Henkleman and the Delaware-obsessed Awareness Del), Trainwreck, Girls, Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter, Inside Amy Schumer, Delocated, and more. He's one of those ubiquitous yet instantly recognizable actors who should be extra funny with the spotlight focused on him.
Match Game: The Last Lil Whorehouse
Contestants will try to guess local celebrities' answers to silly questions during this beloved, long-running, ribald series run by Richard Rugburn and Miss Moist Towelette.
With her wife Cameron Esposito, Rhea Butcher is co-host of the podcast Put Your Hands Together and the co-creator of the refreshingly queer Take My Wife. She's also appeared on 2 Dope Queens, The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, @Midnight, and Conan. See her tell jokes in the flesh.
Cine Mexicano: ‘70s Art House
See very different Mexican art house films from the 1970s, including Raúl Araiza's The Rattlesnake, about a documentary filmmaker who slowly realizes that the lives of his indigenous subjects are very different from the propaganda he's been meant to produce.
Hot Pot + Rice Bowl Cooking Class
Rachel Yang—the James Beard Award–nominated chef at Joule, Revel, and Trove, and the author of cookbook My Rice Bowl—knows a thing or two about Korean fusion comfort food. Who better, then, to show you how to assemble hearty, heaping rice bowls and steaming hot pots than Yang and her culinary team? In this class, you’ll learn the same techniques she and her chefs use on the line in her restaurants, and you'll walk away equipped with the knowledge of how to re-create their dishes in your own kitchen. JULIANNE BELL
Themed Sunday Brunch: Vegas Buffet
If what happens at this Vegas-style brunch stays at this Vegas-style brunch, we guess you'll have to refrain from telling your friends how much you enjoyed Chef Eric Rivera's late-morning buffet spread.
Re:definition: Latinx Diaspora
Seattle Arts Commissioner Juan-Alonso Rodriguez has curated the newest incarnation of Re:definition, a series transformation the theater's lobby bar into an exhibition space. Artist Monica Arche (born in Puerto Rico to Cuban parents), writer Felicia Gonzalez (born in Cuba), and painter/printmaker Fulgencio Lazo (born in Oaxaca, Mexico), all currently based in Seattle, display works that manifest their contributions to the city's artistic and cultural scene. (Gonzalez sits on the board of 4Culture; Lazo, according to press materials, has boosted traditions like the Day of Dead in Seattle for the past 30 years or so.) At the opening reception, Tres Leches will bring foot-tapping tunes.