Our music critics have already chosen the 42 best music shows, but now it's our arts critics' turn to recommend the best events in their areas of expertise. Here are their picks in every genre—from the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival to Seattle Restaurant Week, and from the opening of MoPOP's new special exhibit Prince from Minneapolis to a poetry reading with Morgan Parker. See them all below, and find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.
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MONDAYREADINGS & TALKS
Ilya Kaminsky is a Russian Jewish poet and translator who's as good a writer as he is a steward of the genre. In addition to editing tons of anthologies and guest-editing tons of journals, his two previous books—Musica Humana and Dancing in Odessa—were widely praised. Deaf Republic, his new book of linked lyrics about an occupied population trying to resist the government after soldiers kill a deaf boy at a protest, is getting similar treatment. Kaminsky performs the poems from the perspectives of the different characters in the narrative. In one mode, he speaks in a pretty standard Russian-accented English. And in another, he wails and sings like my Russian Jewish grandpa. This style is arresting and makes for a powerful performance. RICH SMITH
Represent! Multicultural Playwrights' Festival
Pratidhwani, Hansberry Project, eSe Teatro, and SIS Productions will mount this festival devoted to diverse theater, featuring Julieta Vitullo's Two Big Black Bags (Monday), the Asian American performing playwrights showcase We, Too! (Tuesday), and Andrew Lee Creech's Riverwood (Wednesday). It's cheap, and it'll be a super opportunity to discover the range of local talent.
Bette Burgoyne: Drawings
Bette Burgoyne’s drawings are delightfully fungal—they look like the underside of a mushroom, the living organisms you encounter on dewy hikes through the forest, what grows on chicken pad thai that you’ve accidentally left in the fridge for two months. But there’s also something a bit brain-like about them, like you’re looking at the folds of your own cerebrum. Perhaps that’s what makes her soft-hued creations so compelling—it’s the basest, most biological self recognizing self. Give your brain what it deserves: a reflection. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
After the long, hard, and—this year—snow-filled-winter, the best way to shock you out of seasonal depression is to stick your face in a ton of fresh flowers. You’re in luck, because Skagit Valley’s annual Tulip Festival is really something to behold as, quite literally, millions of pink, yellow, purple, orange, and red tulips shoot up from the ground and announce that winter is finally over. (Or at least, it’s over in the rest of the world. It’ll be chilly here through June.) While you could fly to Holland to get your fill of tulips, the trip up I-5 is quicker, cheaper, and, with one mountain range to the east and another to your west, even more Instagrammable than Amsterdam. KATIE HERZOG
Plate of Nations
Every year, Plate of Nations presents a two-week-long opportunity to avail ourselves of the rich and varied cuisines of Rainier Valley, with shareable plates priced at $20 and $30. This year, 14 restaurants are participating, with Mexican, Chinese, Vietnamese, Peruvian, Mexican, Mediterranean, and more represented in the mix. Among the highlights are Szechuan fare from Little Chengdu, smoky Peruvian charcoal-roasted rotisserie chicken from Big Chickie, inimitable tacos from Tacos Chukis, and Ethiopian food from Cafe Ibex. “If you’ve never been to Cafe Ibex... you’re missing out on some of the best food in town,” former Stranger food editor Angela Garbes once wrote about the event. “South Seattle is where it’s at. Catch up." JULIANNE BELL
TUESDAYREADINGS & TALKS
Art Hansen Presents 'Nisei Naysayer' and 'Barbed Voices: Oral History, Resistance, and the World War II Japanese American Social Disaster'
Learn about the history of Japanese American incarceration at this celebration of two new books. The first, Nisei Naysayer, is a memoir by the civil rights crusader and journalist James "Jimmie" Matsumoto Omura, who grew up on Bainbridge Island. He spent his early career criticizing the Japanese American Citizens' League, which he saw as overly compliant with bigoted anti-Japanese policies. The other book, Barbed Voices, is an anthology of writing by imprisoned Japanese Americans, edited by historian Arthur Hansen.
Graywolf at 45: A Conversation with Fiona McCrae of Graywolf Press
Discover how this 45-year-old Port Townsend press has risen to prominence and published authors like Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties) and Mai Der Vang (Afterland) who've won the highest literary honors in the country—and beyond! Graywolf Press director Fiona McCrae will chat with Tree Swenson, director of Hugo House and co-founder of Copper Canyon Press.
Laila Lalami: The Other Americans
After a Moroccan immigrant is murdered in California, his composer daughter and homesick widow come together with an undocumented witness, an Iraq War vet, and a detective in this novel by Pulitzer Prize finalist Lalami (The Moor's Account). This complex story of lies and disillusion in an American town is told through nine different narrators. It's earned praise from such towering authors as Viet Thanh Nguyen and J.M. Coetzee.
Laura Eve Engel and Bill Carty
This evening looks promising: Laura Eve Engel wrote Things That Go, inspired by the biblical story of Lot's wife (turned to a pillar of salt by God for daring to look over her shoulder at Sodom and Gomorrah). According to the book description, the poems "strain against the notion of looking as passive." The other reader, Bill Carty, is a Seattleite who edits Poetry Northwest and is the author of Huge Cloudy.
Richard Chiem: King of Joy
Local fiction phenom Richard Chiem is launching his long-awaited novel, King of Joy, from Soft Skull Press. Chiem is one of my favorite writers AND readers in Seattle. His low-key and yet somehow extremely intense performances cast a spell on audiences. His meditative sentences pull you close, and then, right when he has you where he wants you, he shows you the strangest and most heartbreaking and quietly funny things you've ever seen. Women drunk on champagne and lighting a tree on fire. An airplane entering and then exiting the reflective mirror of a puddle. A glowing black chandelier. These are some of the striking scenes and images you'll find as you follow the story of Corvus, a young woman who uses her imagination to cope with the pains of loss—until one day she suffers a loss so great she can't escape. RICH SMITH
UW Science Engage!
Co-hosted by Town Hall, this series will allow UW researchers to practice science communication skills and the audience to learn about cutting-edge research. Topics on April 2 include the link between obesity, diabetes, and tuberculosis (Rachel Kubiak) and the rate of change of glaciers in Greenland (Taryn Black); in subsequent weeks, hear about genetic susceptibility to disease, coastal measurements, landing on Europa, and more.
From the Archives of ZAPP (Zine Archive & Publishing Project)
The Zine Archive Publishing Project was a volunteer-driven Seattle zine library and workshop space that housed over 30,000 zines, comics, chapbooks, and other small-press periodicals from the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The founders have since donated all their titles to Hugo House, who donated the collection to the Seattle Public Library in 2017. Check out a small but diverse fraction from the archives.
Regeneración | Rebirth
Over the course of three shows, and in partnership with the yəhaw̓ Pacific Northwest Native artistic movement, the gallery hosts indigenous Latinx artists adapting the themes of "regeneration, rebirth, and renewal."
Marie, Dancing Still: A New Musical
This new musical from Stephen Flaherty, Lynn Ahrens, and five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman shines a light on the life of Marie van Goethem, a young "opera rat," as they called ballerina students at the Paris Opera in the 19th century, who inspired Degas's Little Dancer Aged 14. The sculpture was the only one the impressionist master ever displayed in public. Though critics of the era praised the piece, they also "protested almost unanimously that she was ugly," according to the National Gallery of Art, mostly because they were fucking losers. Flaherty and Ahrens's story takes you behind the curtain of a cutthroat world of ballet, where a bunch of young, working-class girls have to beg, borrow, steal, and land a perfect grand jeté to get ahead. New York City Ballet principal dancer Tiler Peck will play the title role. RICH SMITH
By all accounts Shen Yun is a stunningly gorgeous dance explosion driven by classical Chinese movement and set before a giant screen that transports you to Imperial Chinese palaces, heavenly heights, and glorious color fields. But it is also the product of the Falun Gong movement, a religious group persecuted by the Chinese government. Members of the religion seek to reignite passion for traditional Chinese culture as a way to draw a comparison to current authoritarian leadership. Audiences are in for songs promoting Falun Gong's conservative values, which include--according to SF Gate and people who have seen the show--creationism, homophobia, sobriety, and no spreadin til the weddin. I recommend this performance to you only so you can watch the look on peoples' faces as they slowly discover they're being indoctrinated. But if it's too expensive, or if their ideology threatens your very existence, then obviously you should do literally anything else. RICH SMITH
Veronica Mortellaro: New and Recent Work
Indifference and beauty can be a terrifying combination. I think, as a society, beautiful things are allowed to exist in two ways: with arrogance or with complete innocence. Beauty any other way falls into the uncanny valley—recognizable, but a bit off. Veronica Mortellaro’s stony, beautiful figures are frightening in that their beauty is something accepted and not to be dwelled any further on. The medium they are portrayed in, watercolor, makes them feel so fragile, so permeable, that you halfway hope they’ll manage to soak into you. JASMYNE KEIMIG
WEDNESDAYREADINGS & TALKS
Silent Reading Party
The Silent Reading Party is one of the weirdest, most wonderful parties you’ll ever go to, because no one talks to you and you can get some reading done. You curl up on a couch or in a wingback chair with a book or magazine or whatever you feel like reading, while Paul Moore plays piano and waiters bring you things. Whenever Paul starts playing Erik Satie, I find myself staring into the fireplace or closing my eyes and melting into the couch. The reading party, which turns 10 years old in 2019, is so popular that there is often a line out the door just to get a seat. The people who know what they’re doing get there an hour before it starts. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
Don't undervalue insects! There are 91,000 species in the US alone, says artist Amber Chiozza, and their diversity benefits nature. Many species, like wasps and ants, achieve awe-inspiring feats of architecture. Chiozza's prints, books, and drawings elaborate on these stunning structures and their makers.
Andreas Kocks: Solid Ether
Monumental cut paper installations are German artist Kocks's speciality. From afar, they resemble crazy splatters or kinetic swirls, but they're actually painstakingly constructed. He works at the intersection of 2-D and 3-D, to quite impressive results.
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.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a play-within-a-play adapted from the novel by Mark Haddon. Precocious, non-neuro-typical teenager Christopher sets out to solve the murder of his neighbor's dog, a crime of which he's been unjustly accused. But his investigation, which is shaped by unusual fears and abilities, leads him to his own family's secrets and lies.
A Doll's House, Part 2
Nora, in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll's House, is arguably one of the most famous female roles in 19th-century theater. Every leading ingenue has had her turn playing the "little lark"—even Seattle’s Cherdonna Shinatra recently took on the role. But the ending of the play is famously up for interpretation, and Tony Award nominee Lucas Hnath’s cheekily titled A Doll's House, Part 2 takes on the challenge of picking up where Ibsen left off. It’s funny, smart, and maybe the best old play to come out of the 2010s. CHASE BURNS
Moisture Festival is devoted to the variety of performers Seattle has fostered over the years, from circus acts to comedians, burlesque dancers to musicians, and jugglers to tap dancers. Variété is the main, recurring event, with a rotating lineup, and there are also matinée and rather racier late-night versions. The bawdy Libertease Cabaret is for adults only and features burlesque dancers and scantily clothed aerial performers. There are also workshops, talks, and special opening and closing nights. New guest artists this year include French clowning duo Viktor Levillon and Alexis De Bouvere, comedian Mike Wood, and juggler Anne Küpper. If you love circus acrobatics, clowning, comedy, and/or sexy dance, you owe it to yourself to go.
Lola Gil: Thirsty
The "anthropocene"-focused art gallery invites Lola Gil to show beautiful figurative surrealism, featuring sad midcentury women in Dorothea Tanning-like interiors, impossible still lives, and riffs on Dalí and other famous dead artists.
Monyee Chau: Home Away from Home
This month, Seattle-based artist Monyee Chau’s Home Away from Home will be up at Vestibule in Ballard. She’ll create an immersive experience with sewing and sculpture that asks the question: “How have stories of home shaped you?” Chau, who is Taiwanese/Cantonese American, will use the exhibit to embark on a “journey of healing through decolonization by reconnecting with her roots and ancestors in a variety of mediums.” Visitors who stop by during the open studio—which happens during the first two weeks of the month—will have the opportunity to contribute stories about their own ancestry and home to the final piece. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Women.Weed.WiFi Present: Sanctuary of the Modern Divine Feminine
The stoner WOC collective Women.Weed.WiFi will design a “Sanctuary of the Modern Divine Feminine,” a bedroom full of art and artifacts of their work concerning "cannabis, music, publishing, holistic healing, and social justice."
British Comedy Classics
The finest British comedies of the 1940s and ’50s—including tonight's 1949 comedy Passport to Pimlico, about an unearthed royal charter unbound by British law—have aged marvelously well, thanks to understated, funny scripts and endlessly watchable professionals.
Ben Thompson: Guts & Glory
This evening will give a name to some of those badass Vikings whom you can picture in all their hairy, axe-swinging glory but probably don't know much about as individuals. Unless you are obsessed with Vikings, in which case we're sorry—you sound a little scary and we do not want to cheese you off. Learn about Viking exploits and explore the Nordic Museum's permanent exhibitions and The Vikings Begin.
Cadence Video Poetry Festival
Video poetry has been around since the late 1970s, but it's been enjoying a slight revival in a world where three-minute videos on the internet serve as our primary mode of media consumption. Local fiction writer Chelsea Werner-Jatzke is curating the second iteration of this festival, which will include video poems from Shaun Kardinal, Catherine Bresner, and Sierra Nelson. Bresner and professor-poet Amaranth Borsuk will lead workshops throughout the month for those who want to learn to create their own cinepoems. RICH SMITH
Don't miss Familiar Cadence on the first night of the festival.
Morgan Parker: Magical Negro
"Magical Negro" is a term popularized by director Spike Lee in 2001 to describe a Black stock character whose function is to help the white protagonist in a film realize or achieve something with their quasi- mystical powers of Blackness. Think Will Smith in The Legend of Bagger Vance. Michael Clarke Duncan in The Green Mile. Jennifer Hudson in Sex and the City. Los Angeles–based poet Morgan Parker titling her new potent book of poetry Magical Negro is hilarious, because this book doesn't cater to white selfhood or knowledge at all. Instead what we get is a portrait of 21st-century Black womanhood: our complexities, our sadness, our everydayness, our shared ancestral trauma and the violence done against us, our splendor, our humor. My body is an argument I did not start. That's the pitch of Parker's language. It's hard not to feel completely undressed by every poem. If the world suddenly became a reflection-less place, this book of poetry is what I'd look into to see myself. The poet's vision of Blackness is resplendent, multivalent, complicated, heavy, ever-changing. And beautiful. True, too. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Nathan Englander: Kaddish.com
A Pulitzer Prize finalist (for What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank), Englander once again tackles the complexities of contemporary Jewish life. When an atheist's Orthodox father dies, he is called upon by his mother and sisters to perform the Kaddish (the prayer for the dead) every day for 11 months. Extremely reluctant, he decides to hire someone through the title website to recite the Kaddish for him. The publisher calls this a "novel about atonement; family and duty; about spiritual redemption; and about the soul-sickening temptations of the internet, which, like God, is everywhere."
Jono Vaughan: Project 42
The winner of the 2017 Betty Bowen award was Jono Vaughan, an artist who works in printmaking, textiles, painting, drawing, and performance. Vaughan's Project 42 raises awareness about the extreme violence that transgender people face in the United States. Each work in the series begins with an image of a murder location, translated into a textile print which is used to create a garment. The garment is then worn by a collaborator in a performance, as a way to forge memories, create connections, and transmute violence into conversation and healing. EMILY POTHAST
Pioneer Square Art Walk
Once a month, Seattleites flock to the streets in Pioneer Square for a chance to stroll, sip on booze, and attend as many art openings as possible at First Thursday. It's the city's central and oldest art walk, and takes place in a historic neighborhood known for its abundance of galleries. Wine and hobnobbing steal the scene for some, but at its core, it's an impressive communal unveiling of new artwork. Check out our list of suggested art openings this month here.
Directors Kayla Teel and Michael Draper and a cast of improvisers will re-create the seedy/addictive TV show The Bachelor with contestants eliminated one by one from a competition for true love. Teel and Draper are both magnetic local wits themselves, so we're anticipating a rose-worthy run of this new spontaneous play.
Ballet Preljocaj: La Fresque
This world-renowned, 30-plus-years-old French dance company will bring La Fresque, a ballet meant to depict a "painting come to life," to Seattle. The story, based on a Chinese tale, follows a man who steps into a painting to be with the woman he loves. Full of impressive synchronicities and appealing geometries, this performance looks irresistible.
Michelle Ellsworth: Post-Verbal Social Network
Language is a problem, especially if you're trying to communicate emotional information to someone else. Words aren't enough, and yet they mean too much. And some words even mean the opposite of what they mean—I'm looking at you, "weathered," "cleave," "literally," and all other contronyms. Wouldn't it be nice to just dispense with all this word nonsense all together? Michelle Ellsworth seems to think so. In this installation/performance piece, she's constructed "21 prototypes (aka possible solutions to language)" and placed them throughout On the Boards, including in the bathrooms and stairwells. "The work is particularly site responsive to the plumbing at OTB," press materials read, somewhat cryptically. (Urinal art?) She's also doing a live demonstration of another prototype in the studio space. She's setting all this up to create "non-language-based, non-mediated, human-to-human encounters" in the theater. RICH SMITH
Michelle Ellsworth: The Rehearsal Artist
Ellsworth invites a few audience members at a time to gaze at a dancer who is doing two things at once: watching reenactments of 2001: A Space Odyssey and "participating in a mash-up of some of the most canonical social science experiments of the last 50 years." Tickets to this performance include access to Post Verbal Social Network.
Dawn Cerny and Damien Hoar de Galvan: The Perfume Counter
Stranger Genius Award finalist Dawn Cerny, whose playful collaborations and solo pieces have been shown at the Henry Art Gallery and elsewhere, builds an installation with Boston's Damien Hoar de Galvan, who often makes pleasingly fitted and painted sculptures out of scrap wood.
Feathers and Teeth
Washington Ensemble Theatre is setting out to show that April really is the cruelest month with this horror-comedy about a teenager's grief. After her mother's death, a 13-year-old named Chris has to deal with the sting of her dad's new fiancée. When the dysfunctional family finds a weird animal with "feathers and teeth" in the backyard, shit starts to get weird. And bloody. And disgusting. Bloodsgusting. Director Bobbin Ramsey takes on this strange bird from playwright Charise Castro Smith. Rachel Guyer-Mafune and Samie Spring Detzer are playing the lead roles, so this should be very funny and good. RICH SMITH
A young couple trying to reknit after a cheating incident is haunted by ghosts at their bed and breakfast getaway—and the owner of the house has memories of her own. Annie Baker's play was listed as one of the 10 Best Shows of 2015 by Time and received critical praise all around.
Beer & Puppet Theatre
Be forewarned: Someone who has attended one of these shows in the past tells me it was “extremely obscene” and possibly inappropriate for children. That may actually be the point: a press release describes the early show as “funny, surreal and violent fun for all ages.” The late show—which will apparently include “explicit puppet-on-puppet sex, and unspeakable acts with a sexy mule”—is (thankfully) adults only. Featured performers include a hairy clown, a family band, and a number of talented local puppeteers sure to both entertain and appall. KATIE HERZOG
Heather Mayer: Beyond The Rebel Girl
Heather Mayer peers behind the popular (predominantly male) image of the Industrial Workers of the World—or "Wobblies," an international labor union that was founded in 1905 in Chicago—to uncover the role that single and married women played in the movement in Seattle, Portland, Spokane, and smaller Northwest towns. This sounds like a refreshing corrective.
Lindsey Freeman: This Atom Bomb in Me
Lindsey Freeman's childhood must have been weirder than most. She grew up in and near Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a secret uranium-enriching town during the Manhattan Project. According to the book description, Oak Ridge's facilities "add[ed] something to each and every bomb in the United States arsenal." Hear Freeman read her reminiscences of a kid's-eye view of this strange time.
Nickole Brown and Jessica Jacobs
If you think of poetry as something over-precious and pretentious, read Nickole Brown's "The Scat of It" (2018), which is about exactly what you think it is: "The shit of it, the slick of it, the beetle’s tumbling joy / the bear’s berry slush of it, the coyote’s ghost white dry of it—undigested fur, nothing more / hot-pressed into a turd—that nothing-wasted prayer." How's that for rich nature imagery? Brown is the author of the collections Sister and Fanny Says as well as the recent chapbook To Those Who Were Our First Gods. She'll read here with her wife Jessica Jacobs (Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going), past winner of the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. JOULE ZELMAN
Rachel Cusk: The Outline Trilogy
In this trilogy, beginning with the "lethally intelligent" (Heidi Julavits, NYT) Outline, a British writer whose very presence induces people to confess their secrets copes with her own traumas and transitions. Outline and its sequels, Transit and Kudos, have together racked up about a dozen mentions and awards, including Vogue, NPR, the New Yorker, and the Guardian's Best Book of the Year.
Erin Elyse Burns: To Take the Shape of the Container
Multimedia artist and Cornish assistant professor Erin Elyse Burns’s new exhibition takes me back to eighth-grade science class, where we learned that liquid assumes the shape of its container. Burns plays with that idea, too. In one channel of a two-channel video projection, a naked body lies in a metal tub slowly filling with blue liquid, all of it set against a black background. It’s an arresting image. The show consists of videos with images that stick, minute details that might be passed over given intense focus. Brushing one’s hair. Sweeping. Walking. Motionless bodies covered in black silk. These moments are heightened with sounds of gulping, breathing, wind. Visit To Take the Shape of a Container and be immersed. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Mark Haim: Parts to a Sum
In a world being driven apart for political gain, choreographer Mark Haim wanted to make something joyous and humorous that brings people together. He asked 432 people from more than 20 countries for a video of them doing 5 to 10 seconds of movement. He chose dancers, students, friends, and relatives, some of whom he hadn't spoken to in years. The idea was to learn all their "dances" and perform them from oldest to youngest, becoming a single vessel for hundreds of different people. In the end, 371 people sent in videos. The dance has taken more than two years to learn. The show premieres on April 5. After his dance, the bar will open up and a postshow party will begin. Haim will play the sequence of video submissions on a big screen so the audience can see the hundreds of parts that made up his joyful sum. RICH SMITH
Queer, Mama. Crossroads
Seattle civic poet Anastacia-Reneé continues her foray into the dramatic arts with this new show about black queer parenthood "imagined in the spirit realm." For this production, she will step out of the spotlight and take a seat in the director's chair, writing and directing roles for five actors, including the poets Naa Akua, Kamari Bright and Ebo Barton. With Queer, Mama. Crossroads, Anastacia-Reneé seems to be single-handedly building herself a poet's theater in Seattle, featuring some of the region's most powerful performers. RICH SMITH
For those with a yen for high-end kink, the performers of Valtesse will revel in opulent "couture burlesque, aerial, whips, chains, dance, and doms." Wear black, red, and/or fetish gear to fit in, and stay on after the show for a party by the fireplace.
Mary Coss: Groundswell
Mary Coss spent two years working with Roger Fuller, a spatial ecologist at Western Washington University, examining the dangerously increased salinity levels encroaching on local estuaries. Estuaries are where river, land, and ocean meet and mix—for instance, in the Skagit Valley, one of our fresh-water resources. On the left side of the gallery is an installation called Silent Salinity, a ghost meadow (as the artist calls it) made of 300 pieces of hand-tied wire sedge, a grass-like plant, dipped in abaca pulp, a type of fiber. The ghost meadow in the gallery consists of crusted layers of salt, out of which stick salt-casted things like kelp, barnacles, and other organic matter. The other day in the gallery, Coss was in the middle of installing a giant wave of tulle overhead. It's meant to represent Mother Nature fighting back. "Ultimately, the water will be here," Coss said, referring to her wave specifically and the future of this imperiled planet more generally. "We have a window where we have the opportunity to turn things around or not. And if we don't, we probably won't be here, but the water will." JASMYNE KEIMIG
The Master and Margarita: A Remix of Bulgakov
Last time this Theatre Simple production by Rachel Katz Carey came to town, in 1997, Stranger writer Bret Fetzer noted that it "deftly weaves together multiple story lines and metaphysical romance with vigorous hands-on theatrics." Now it's back, with the same director and a new score by Brent Arnold. If you haven't read Bulgakov's 1930s masterpiece, it's the story of the Devil and his entourage (including a scene-stealing talking, smoking cat) testing the residents of Stalinist Moscow to see if Communism has really changed their nature. But it's also about Pontius Pilate, love, and the immortality of art.
Orcas Island Lit Fest
This festival is a boon to anyone who loves both literature and gorgeous island landscapes. You can attend a lit crawl with major authors, generate some masterpieces of your own at workshops and drop-in write-a-thons, hear book-themed music, and chime in on panel discussions, as well as meeting regional authors, poets, and publishers. Featured artists will include poet Rick Barot, novelist Nicola Griffith, author and graphic novelist Mat Johnson, singer/songwriter Laura Veirs, screenwriter Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith, and many others, and the panels will sport many local favorites like Donna Miscolta, Anastacia-Reneé, Elizabeth Austen, Katrina Carrasco, Joe Ray, and more.
Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon: Spring 2019
Whether we like it or not, Wikipedia provides definitions and biographies that are seen by the general public as perfectly objective and comprehensive. This event offers feminists the chance to add their voice by editing Wiki articles about queer and women artists of color. No experience necessary.
In a better world than this, female characters in films would talk about whatever the fuck they please—say, horses, cramps, or ongoing global disasters at the hands of a small-fingered megalomaniac. But all too often in this world, female characters, when they talk to each other at all, discuss one thing and one thing only: men. There’s even a term for it—the Bechdel Test, named for the cartoonist Alison Bechdel, who, in a 1985 comic strip, featured a character explaining that she goes to a movie only if it has at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. Inspired by the Bechdel Test, Jet City Improv re-creates films that fail the test, but with a Bechdel-approved twist. You name the movie; they make it pass. KATIE HERZOG
Two improv groups (laugh machine hosts Yeah Okay plus the enby and female group BITCHES) will do their comedic thang with instruction and suggestions by a featured stand-up comic (Ellen Acuario).FESTIVALS
Culture Fest Vol. 4
Over 30 Seattle artists, performers, vendors, and influencers will gather under one roof for a display of the city's diverse cultures.
Beecher's Cheese for All
Cold winters call for comfort food, and Kurt Beecher Dammeier’s household-name handmade cheese company will rise to the occasion. At this tour, local chefs will prepare mac and cheese and cheeseburgers made with the company’s various cheeses and Mishima Reserve Wagyu beef. JULIANNE BELL
Edible Book Festival
View (and then devour) tasty tomes on display at this festival devoted to punny "books" made out of food and inspired by famous literary titles—past winners have included Donkey Oaties and A Pringle In Time.
Fifth Annual Masonry Farmhouse Festival
The Fremont wood-oven pizzeria is throwing a "celebration of all things mixed fermentation," with food, drink (featuring tons of local breweries, cideries, and wineries), and tasting glass included.
Friends with Benefits: A Dinner Series | The Four Elements
Are you that person in your friend group who constantly pores over astrology memes and asks everyone you meet for their birth time? Then look no further than the inaugural dinner of this new dinner series, brought to you by chef Monica Dimas of Little Neon Taco, which won Eater Seattle’s 2018 Restaurant of the Year. Astrologer and wellness consultant Stephanie Gailing will explore the four elements—fire, earth, air, and water—underscored by a seasonally focused five-course tasting menu by Dimas that embodies these elements, with optional wine pairings and cocktails. Not only that, but each guest will receive a personalized elemental profile based on their astrology chart and learn about which elements they’re most aligned with, times of year they emerge the most, and rituals to pay tribute to them. JULIANNE BELL
Steven Rowley: The Editor
Steven Rowley (Lily and the Octopus) harks back to New York in the 1990s, when Jackie Kennedy Onassis was working as a book editor. In this fictionalized story, a young novelist sells an autobiographical novel to Onassis, but balks when he realizes that the publication will disrupt his family.
Seattle Jewish Film Festival
This annual film festival explores and celebrates global Jewish and Israeli life, history, complexity, culture, and filmmaking. It showcases international, independent, and award-winning Jewish-themed and Israeli cinema, and the audience votes on their favorites. In April, the fest migrates to the Eastside. This year's VIP guest is Jamie Bernstein, author and daughter of the famous composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein (West Side Story, Candide).
I don’t have children, so I can’t say if babies will like Balloonacy, one of the cutest pieces of theater made for young children in recent years. But I once saw Balloonacy at Minneapolis’s Children’s Theatre Company stoned out of my mind, and WOW, is it one of the most magical things to ever be created for the stage. It’s a wordless, situational comedy about an old man who lives alone and is trying to celebrate his birthday when suddenly red balloons bust into his apartment to tease and tickle him. It’s basically an allegory for socialism, but for kids. CHASE BURNS
Urinetown: The Musical
The themes of scarcity, greed, populism, and capitalism running amok make the triple Tony-winning post-apocalyptic musical Urinetown, with music by Mark Hollmann, lyrics by Hollmann and Greg Kotis, and book by Kotis, a perfect satire for our times. This is a co-production with the 5th Avenue Theater.
Prince from Minneapolis
Prince’s “If I Was Your Girlfriend” did to my erotic imagination what the flower revolution did to the earth millions of years ago—transformed a monochromatic vision of sexuality into one blooming with color. Listening to the song for the first time in 1986, I realized that sex was more (if not all) about play, rather than function, mission, or purpose. Many years later in college, I learned that this form of play was not specific to humans, but was the state of things in nature—most developed animals are not blind and efficient fuckers, but conscious wasters and abusers of sex. Fucking is mostly waste, wonderful waste. And lovers are only fully such when they are playful, when the borders between them are destabilized, when the sex is purely the energy of sex—a glowing substance that’s there to be exploited and explored. Prince will never die, especially with exhibits like the one that’s opening at MoPOP that uses nearly 50 artifacts (instruments, photographs, artworks, clothes) to delve into what made the late soul-pop artist a superstar. CHARLES MUDEDE
You Are on Indigenous Land: Places/Displaces
Traditional and contemporary art of Native peoples reflects matters of land, ancestry, and kinship through modern forms and handicrafts like basketry and weaving. Go for the artists' mastery of their media, but also for a reminder of the deep roots of pre-Western cultures and the urgency of sovereignty and environmental issues.
SUNDAYFOOD & DRINK
Seattle Restaurant Week
Frugal gourmands everywhere rejoice over this twice-yearly event, which lets diners tuck into prix-fixe menus at more than 165 different restaurants hoping to lure new customers with singularly slashed prices. Three courses cost a mere $35, and many restaurants also offer two-course lunches for $20. It’s an excellent opportunity to feast like a high roller at an accessible price point and cross some otherwise spendy establishments off your food bucket list, including critically acclaimed restaurants like Tilth, Sushi Kappo Tamura, and Adana. JULIANNE BELL
Never Again is Now: The Art and Activism of Millennial Nikkei
Millennial Japanese Americans will honor their persecuted ancestors, imprisoned for their ethnicity during World War II, through poetry, dance, and art. Hear spoken-word by Troy Osaki and Kurt Yokoyama Ikeda; see movement by Gabrielle Kazuko Nomura Gainor in an excerpt of a piece called Farewell Shikata ga nai with live music by Seattle Kokon Taiko; gaze at photos from The Suitcase Project by Kayla Isomura; and join a discussion moderated by Nina Nobuko Wallace. This event is co-organized by the Japanese American Citizens League and Densho.
The Rape of Lucretia
Benjamin Britten's chamber opera The Rape of Lucretia is considered iconic within the genre. This tale of an ancient Roman noblewoman, whose rape by an Etruscan prince spurred a rebellion that overthrew the Roman monarchy, was first performed in 1946 and will be reimagined here with the cultural context of everything that has happened regarding these themes of hubris and suffering over the last 73 years.
Anne Lamott's friendly, nonjudgmental, and vague brand of Christianity (as encountered in her latest book Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy) irritates many critics even as they praise her linguistic facility and approachability. But she wrote Bird by Bird, an indisputably great book, and she is funny as hell onstage. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE