The 59 Best Things To Do This Week: February 1-7, 2016

A Whiskey and Chowder Festival, Eli Sanders at Town Hall, The Seattle Improvised Music Festival, And More Picks For February 1-7
January 27, 2016

This week, our arts critics have recommended the best events in every genre to help you start off your February on a high note—from cannabis-friendly yoga to a whiskey and chowder festival, and from the PNB's Roméo et Juliette to the Seattle Improvised Music Festival. See them all below, and find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.

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The Birds
Strawberry Theatre Workshop pits man (and woman) against avian to present Conor McPherson's 2009 stage adaptation of The Birds, based on Hitchock's classic 1963 horror/thriller flick and Daphne du Maurier's 1952 short story. (Also Thurs-Sat)

The Motherfucker with the Hat
"The discovery of some motherfucker's hat sets off the action, and a tale of moral relativism (and lots of cussing) unfolds. Washington Ensemble Theatre tends to pick strangely affecting dramas shot through with a lot of comedy. This one seems to fit the bill." -Rich Smith (Also Wed-Fri)

"AC/DC are not only electric blues taken to its minimalist and populist extreme, but also theprecise crossroads of punk, rock, heavy metal, and pop music. Also, “Hello’s Bells” is still one of the finest introductions to a record ever put to tape." -Joseph Schafer

Aurelio Martinez
"His latest album, the critically lauded Landini, represents a stripped-down, purely Garifuna-oriented sound, a form of folk music as celebratory as it is mournful." -Kyle Fleck

Comedy Nest Open Mic
Comedy Womb has become Comedy Nest in the name of inclusivity, and unsurprisingly, they write that "although the name has changed the mission is still the same." The rules of this pro-lady stand-up night are refreshing in their simplicity: no misogyny, racism, homophobia, hatred, or heckling.

Young Professionals with Pride
Puget Sound's LGBTQ/allied young professionals are throwing a mixer for networking, socializing, and getting your snack and/or drink on.

Eli Sanders and Jennifer Hopper with Marcie Sillman: While the City Slept
"In 2012, The Stranger’s Eli Sanders won a Pulitzer Prize for “The Bravest Woman in Seattle,” a story about a horrific crime and the courage of the survivor. Now Sanders expands on that crime, its roots, and its lessons in his first book, While the City Slept. Sanders and Jennifer Hopper—the “bravest woman”—will be at Town Hall to discuss the book, in a conversation moderated by KUOW’s Marcie Sillman." -Kathleen Richards

Nick Licata
Longtime city council member (recently retired) and veteran local activist Nick Licata comes to speak at the Seattle Public Library about "becoming a citizen activist."

Silent Reading Party
Invented by Stranger editor-in-chief 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.)

Cannabis Friendly Yoga and Sound Bath
"My previous experience with yoga only confirmed what I already knew: A lifetime of skateboarding was a poor choice. My ankles sound like a bowl of Rice Krispies right after you pour milk on them and my hip flexors don't really flex, among other woes. Being stoned, rather than making me a paranoid wreck, made all those hurty things hurt less and allowed me to have the relaxing, melt-into-the-floor kind of experience that all my yoga-loving friends rave about. It only took 10 years and some strong weed, but I finally get it." -Tobias Coughlin-Bogue

Julia Holter and Circuit Des Yeux
"Nobody has a voice like Circuit des Yeux’s Haley Fohr. It’s her most distinctive characteristic, because few women sing in a lower register. Though there’s nothing sinister about her style, it can prove unsettling to first-time listeners. As her baritone mingles with guitar, synths, and strings, however, it all comes together." -Kathy Fennessy

The Soft Moon
"There’s enough menace in his dance beats to give the PVC pants crowd something to vibe on, and enough texture to give everyone else something to get lost in. Word on the street is that his light show’s pretty stellar, as well." -Joseph Schafer

Playwright Nick Payne's rom-com dramatizes courtship in the era of quantum physics. Within this framework of reality, one where lives and loves play out in many dimensions and universes, Roland tries to seduce theoretical physicist Marianne. The actors' body movements indicate changes in time-space, which, understandably, throws a wrench in many pair-bonding strategies. (Through Sun)

David Cross: Making America Great Again!
The Mr. Show co-creator and Arrested Development co-star, most recently seen in the Netflix series With Bob and David, returns to the stand-up stage—twice in one night.

The Gay Uncle Time
"It's an avuncular variety show starring Santa-esque comedian Jeffrey Robert and a rotating cavalcade of local stars, drag queens, storytellers, and weirdos. Get a healthy dose of history, comedy, and song from the gay uncle you always wished you had and his friends you always suspected were up to no good." -Matt Baume

Anne Wilson: Drawings and Objects
"This is Chicago-based Anne Wilson's first exhibition at James Harris Gallery, but she's been working and teaching for years, and in 2015 was a recipient of the USA Fellowship. Her exhibition here includes vitrines of small glass pieces referencing spools and threads, created at her time in residence at Pilchuck Glass School, and a collection of framed swatches of her grandmother's white damask tablecloth fabric hanging on the walls." -Jen Graves

Emblems of Encounter: Europe and Africa Over 500 Years
This exhibit features ten works of European and African art from SAM's collection, including a fascinating artistic and cultural object: 10-year-old Charlotte Turner's needlepoint sampler, which Jen Graves investigated in a series of articles. At the time Jen Graves wrote about Turner's sampler, SAM had no plans to display the work, but Emblems of Encounter changes that.

The Man Who Fell to Earth
Northwest Film Forum screens this "visionary classic of the sci-fi genre," starring Bowie as an alien in search of water, in celebration of Bowie's life. Our own Sean Nelson will introduce the film.

Darryl Pinckney
Darryl Pinckney, author of Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy, comes by Elliott Bay to discuss his new book, Black Deutschland. Pinckney is a leading figure in both the fields of literature and political commentary, and has provided a nuanced and engaged take on the contemporary representation, identity, and reception of black people in the United States.

Seattle StorySLAM
A live amateur storytelling competition, hosted by Lindy West, 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.

The Seattle Whiskey and Chowder Festival
Summer festivals promise a celebration of seasonal food and drink, with watermelon and hot dogs and ice cold beer galore. However, winter foods don't get nearly enough communal love. Come socialize and enjoy whiskey and chowder, hearty winter warmers, and break out of your February rut.

Seattle Improvised Music Festival
"Spontaneous sonic creation by several elite musicians will be the (dis)order of the day at the 31st annual Seattle Improvised Music Festival, which is organized by Wayward Music Series. ... Given Wayward’s longstanding curatorial excellence, you can expect exciting surprises galore. Go in with an open mind and prepare for it to be blown." -Dave Segal (Through Sat)

"Brooklyn producer Patricia (in actuality a man named Max Ravitz) returns to MOTOR, Seattle’s headiest experimental dance-music event, to wreak more havoc. His distortion-laden tracks cast a brilliantly morbid shadow on the dance floor, emitting vaporous, dank atmospheres over beats that hit hard and sometimes rupture techno’s time-honored 4/4 grid." -Dave Segal

Kafana Balkan
"San Francisco’s Inspector Gadje Balkan Brass aren’t ashamed to be non-Romas performing the traditional ethnic music they perform (“Gadje” is Roma for outsider), but turn in an incisive and respectful take on the genre. Seattle’s own Orkestar Zirkonium are well known to get asses moving with their raucous big-band interpretations of Balkan folk songs and dance numbers." -Kyle Fleck

Jay Lumen
"It’s tough for an electronic club to go head to head against the rugged experimentalists of MOTOR, but Q definitely deserves credit for booking Hungarian techno DJ/producer Jay Lumen (aka Csaba Lumnitzer). We don’t hear much club music from that Eastern European country, but anyone with releases on Drumcode, 100% Pure, and Relief is worth exploring." -Dave Segal

Bronfman Plays Beethoven
Yefim Bronfman performs Beethoven's second concerto. In addition, Roomful of Teeth will perform Berio's "Sinfonia." (Through Sat)

"That'swhatshesaid features Pike performing playwright Courtney Meaker's dramatic collage of the women's parts of dialogues drawn from the most-produced plays in the United States. The fact that Pike spends a lot of her time putting on and removing clothing during this performance says a lot about the roles available to women in the theater." -Rich Smith (Through Sun)

Curated by Mark Haim, Babette Pendleton, and Ali Mohamed el-Gasseir, reSET is a sort of arts-share dance series put on by the Washington Ensemble Theatre. Choreographers perform new pieces using the set for whatever play the company happens to be producing at that time.

The Last Five Years
This haunting Jason Robert Brown musical comes to Second Story Rep. A one-man, one-woman show told both beginning-to-end and end-to-beginning...with one song where the characters meet in the middle. (Sounds confusing? Just watch it.) (Through Sat)

First Thursday Art Walk
Exhibit openings, people watching, and (generally) free wine at the city's central and oldest art walk.

Dylan Neuwirth: Not a Hologram
Dylan Neuwirth, famous for his work in neon (but adept in text, sculpture, digital media and public art) presents a solo show at Glass Box. Tonight is the opening reception.

Ryan Molenkamp & Kentree Speirs
The opening reception for this show featuring new paintings by Ryan Molenkamp and Kentree Speirs, both known for their depictions of mountains and volcanoes.

Jewelry Store Night
Boogie, disco, electro, sophistafunk, and more are promised.

The Mating Game Cocktail Hour
Learn about how the birds and the bees get down and dirty at this Burke Museum happy hour. Take in facts about "animal anatomy and mating rituals," and compare your own behavior to that of wild creatures.

Medicine Ball: Playwrights v. Poets 2016
"Whether you're a hardcore Seahawks fan or a football hater, you probably want to pretend as if the Super Bowl isn't happening this year. That's okay. The theater world and the poetry world are here to help. Enter Medicine Ball, an occasional competitive event organized around a theme that pits pairs of playwrights against pairs of poets in a literary competition." -Rich Smith (Through Sun)

Anastacia Tolbert & Friends
Anastacia Tolbert joins other members of the African American poetry group Cave Canem for this reading.

Sex and Cannabis
"At Babeland's latest stony/sexy event, Chelsea Cebara-sex activist and a budtender for Dockside, one of Seattle's largest pot retailers-breaks down the ins and outs of "libido-enhancing strains, lubes, massage oils, bath products, and edibles, just in time for Valentine's Day!" If that wasn't incentive enough, there's free bubbly. You'd be a fool to miss it." -Tobias Coughlin-Bogue

The Dead Man on the Drugstore Floor (And How He Got There)
A burlesque dramatization of the origins of Seattle's cabaret/burlesque industry, set at the turn of the century in Pioneer Square.

Roméo et Juliette
The ballet’s contemporary design and Jean-Christophe Maillot's choreography is a great companion to PNB Orchestra's performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s powerfully haunting score.

Act of Defiance
"[Act of Defiance]'s 2015 release Birth and the Burial is a blistering breath of fresh air, featuring a more aggressive style of metal that showcases their chops as more than just mega-talented ex-Megadudes." -Kevin Diers

Research: Joey Anderson
"The Research crew’s name isn’t a misnomer: They do the legwork to assure that you’ll do the footwork at their events. Their high-quality bookings continue with New Jersey’s Joey Anderson, who creates some of the modern era’s most interesting and strange house music." -Dave Segal

Chansons D'Amour
Soprano Clara Rottsolk and pianist Byron Schenkman will perform songs by Gabriel Fauré, Mozart, and Poulenc.

"Seattle Symphony's late-night concerts in the lobby of Benaroya Hall are wrapped in windows, so the sparkling night city is their backdrop. This time, the music relates to the urban avant-garde of New York in the middle of the 20th century, when Christian Wolff, the composer, was hanging out with Merce Cunningham, John Cage, and the artist Robert Rauschenberg." -Jen Graves

Spin the Bottle
"For nearly 20 years, Spin the Bottle's been keeping it weird at Annex Theater with performances ranging from theater to music to dance to poetry to film and "miscellaneous." The wild ride continues this month with our favorite wild-creature drag queen, Arson Nicki, who always manages to drop jaws as she's dropping her drawers. Joining her onstage for a strange variety show are the Totally Solid Gold Dancers, a troupe of amateurs who've been learning how to dance "on the job," as well as some "original smut" by Cole Hornaday, and a smattering of local poets and musicians. The evening's hosted by The Libertinis, "Seattle's sexiest inter-arts gang," which is definitely the best kind of gang to run into on a dark and stormy night." -Matt Baume

Dress {Up}: The 2016 Henry Gala
This gala features cocktails and dinner by Lark's Jonathan Sundstrom, a raucous dance party, and lots of fancy attire. (Black tie! In Seattle!) With admission and table prices spanning a range of thousands of dollars, there are many options for level of donation/participation in this annual celebration. "Let it go to your head."

Free First Saturday: Lunar New Year
In honor of the Lunar New Year, SAAM will have live martial arts performances, music, costumes, and "family friendly sketching tours" throughout the galleries.

Trisha Brown: In Plain Site
In conjunction with the Trisha Brown Dance Company performance at Meany Hall, Trisha Brown: In Plain Site draws pieces from Brown's choreography over the years to create a unique site-specific installation that "allows Brown’s dances to be freed from the constrictions of the conventional stage and to be once again performed in unexpected locations."

Lush Us: Gay City Arts Showcase
Support the Queer Arts program at this showcase, featuring performances from artists in Gay City Arts Season 3: Queer Revolution and special guest Mary Lambert.

Fetish Night: My Bloody Valentine
This one's a doozy! Ms. Leather 2015 of Washington State, Liliya, hosts a night of pay-for-play robe bondage, jello shots, a photo booth with a gimp, and drink specials/special treatment for those "showing off their kinky side" in fetish gear.

"On his 2013 self-titled album, Seattle's Charlatan made a boldly abrasive style of shoegaze rock that used drum machines, guitar feedback, and boisterously sullen vocals like a certain Scottish group whose name contains two biblical figures." -Dave Segal

Black Sabbath
"Some bands will never stop being cool. Even though well-dressed and idealess imitators keep eroding the institution of massive ’70s rock bands, Black Sabbath are still awesome." -Joseph Schafer

Tribute to Allen Toussaint
"There are few folks with the cultural stature of Mr. Allen Toussaint. For over 50 years, he wrote, produced, and arranged while continuing as a working musician with, for, and to, well, everybody who was anybody in the music biz." -Mike Nipper

"There’s an inspiring and strangely old-school arc to the life story of Maryland-born and raised MC Logic (known to his mother as Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, and/or Young Sinatra, thank you very much): coming from a broken home wracked by crack cocaine, the rapper dropped out of high school and devoted his life to the craft, pumping out mix tapes and amassing a not-insignificant East Coast fan base in the process." -Kyle Fleck

Raclette Sunday!
"Raclette is a rich, nutty, semi-hard cheese that originated in the Valais region of Alpine Switzerland. It tastes especially good melted, which, according to legend, is what shepherds did with it when they’d gather together on cold nights in the fields. ... The communal spirit of raclette lives on at Capitol Hill’s Culture Club Cheese Bar, where they’ll be melting a giant wheel of raclette and serving it up with potatoes and cornichons (and probably some very nice wine)." -Angela Garbes

Backstreet Bazaar
On the first Sunday of every month, Hillman City Collaboratory throws a little street festival, featuring live music, food, and local artists. HCC is an energetic new place worth visiting.

Weird and Awesome with Emmett Montgomery
On the first Sunday of each month, comedy, variety, and "a parade of wonder and awkward sharing" are hosted by the self-proclaimed "mustache wizard" Emmett Montgomery.

Page to Screen: High Noon
Both cinema and literature geeks alike will delight at this free event at the Central Library. Audiences will take in both a short story and a movie that it inspired, in addition to discussion about the nature of adaptation. This week, SPL is highlighting the 1952 film High Noon, which was based on John W. Cunningham's 1947 story "The Tin Star."

The Sprocket Society presents Saturday Secret Matinees
Watch the entirety of the highly regarded serial Spy Smasher over the course of twelve weekly installments. Each screening will feature one episode, plus a secret feature film that follows a monthly theme—this month, serial heroes and heroines.

Ultra Violent Rays
"Black shades, low-light music videos, Bukowski quotes on their Twitter page—what Los Angeles duo Ultra Violent Rays lack in musical output, they make up for in image." -Todd Hamm

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