The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Seattle This Weekend: Mar 17-19, 2023

St. Patrick's Day Parties, Sissy Butch, and More Cheap & Easy Events
March 17, 2023
Irish pub Conor Byrne is throwing a marathon St. Patrick's Day party. (Conor Byrne Pub via Facebook)
Lucky for you, there are plenty of cheap and easy events this St. Patrick's Day weekend that won't cost you a pot o'gold. Check them all out below, from Conor Byrne St. Patrick’s Day to Slim's Last Chance St. Patrick's Day Party and from A Study in Light: An Afternoon With Washington Poet Laureate Rena Priest to Sissy Butch: A Transmasculine Showcase - 1 Year Anniversary! For more ideas, check out our top picks for the week.

Venues may have health guidelines in place—we advise directly checking the specific protocols for an event before heading out.

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The Reader Add to a List
You might get "read" in more ways than one at this night of improv with a mystical twist. The mysterious Reader will pull tarot cards for you, then a team of improvisers will interpret their meanings. Hang on to your crystals.
(The Give Inn, Ballard, $15)


Pickpocket Add to a List
The 20th-century French director Robert Bresson might be the most spiritual filmmaker in the history of cinema. And with the Diary of a Country Priest, a film he completed in 1951,we find his superb spirituality in a state of crisis. Eight years later, Bresson would make a film, Pickpocket, that described spirituality in a state of perfection. The dour priest in Diary wants to be like the heavenly thieves in Pickpocket—so certain, so committed, so absorbed in the motions of their craft. If the country priest had even an ounce of this kind of dedication, he would save lives. But he can't. All he can do is offer a fascinating subject for a genius that has few matches, Bresson. STRANGER SENIOR STAFF WRITER CHARLES MUDEDE
(The Beacon, Columbia City, $12.50)


Beautiful Freaks, Schmear, Room 403, The Lemonwood Band, Grace Hopperstad, and Parker Schweicket Add to a List
Gear up for an evening of hard-hitting experimental tunes headlined by Seattle queercore trio Beautiful Freaks, who mix equal parts metal, jazz, and punk for an energizing brew of hardcore glam-pop goodness. Arrive in time to catch opening sets from like-minded artists Schmear, Room 403, the Lemonwood Band, and Grace Hopperstad & Parker Schweicket.
(Vera Project, Uptown, $10-$15)


BOOTS!: Western A Go-Go Add to a List
The '60s-themed DJ night Boots is back with a rootin' tootin' dance party featuring go-go dancers, western decor, and cosmic country tunes straight from the Wild West. DJs Sarah Savannah and Maxwell Edison will take the reigns with mid-century country and western bangers.
(Sunset Tavern, Ballard, $15)

Rupaul's Drag Race Viewing Party with Londyn Bradshaw and KungPowMeow Add to a List
"She already done had herses!" Catch the latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 15 for free each Friday as local legends Londyn Bradshaw and KungPowMeow kiki and spill the tea. Stick around after each episode for Lashes, the longest-running drag show in Washington State history and the "anchor of Capitol Hill queer nightlife," per former Stranger staff writer Matt Baume.
(The Comeback, SoDo, free)

Sissy Butch: A Transmasculine Showcase - 1 Year Anniversary! Add to a List
Hosted by "emotionally unstable" diva Killer Bunny, this transmasculine showcase is a beloved addition to Seattle's growing number of trans-led drag performances. This fierce edition celebrates Sissy Butch's one-year anniversary with performances by D'Mon, Huxley Raw, Eros, and Mr. Gay Washington 2022 Leo Mane.
(Kremwerk, Downtown, $12-$15)


Conor Byrne St. Patrick’s Day 2023 Add to a List
Celebrate St. Paddy's Day with nearly twelve straight hours of live music and dancing. Featured performers include the step-dancing troupe Evergreen Irish Dancers, singer-songwriter Conor Dunworley, U2 cover band Sam Russell and the Harborrats, Celtic rockers Belfast Bandits, folk duo Crumac, and bagpipe players Cascadia Pipe Band.
(Conor Byrne, Ballard, $15)

O’Ctopus Add to a List
The Octopus Bar bids you to come "jig the night away" on their dance floor, with DJs Swervevon and Mixxtress providing the tunes. Enjoy an al fresco beer garden and drink specials made with Jameson, Rainier, Guinness, and Red Bull. Plus, you'll get a chance to win prizes like drink tickets, merch, and more from a "pot of gold."
(The Octopus Bar, Wallingford, $10)

Slim's Last Chance St. Patrick's Day Party Add to a List
This St. Patrick's Day, local bands including Waltzing Matildas, the Swaggerlies, and Hopeless Jack will pay tribute to Celtic punk legends the Pogues with an evening of covers from across their career. Stick around for more holiday-appropriate tunes from DJ Strawberry along with a live set from the Scoffs, who will play the classic punk jams of Belfast-born outfit Stiff Little Fingers. 
(Slim's Last Chance Chili Shack and Watering Hole, Georgetown, $15)

St Patrick's Day with Pent Up!, Middle Finger Drive, and Late Night Shiner Add to a List
Pots of gold are overrated. Follow the end of the rainbow to Lucky Liquor for a St. Patrick's Day celebration featuring local punk bands Pent Up!, Middle Finger Drive, and Late Night Shiner.
(Lucky Liquor, Tukwila, $10)

St. Patrick's Day Celebration at Anderson School Add to a List
McMenamins promises "rainbows," "merriment," and "plenty of hijinks" at this all-ages St. Patrick's Day soiree. Expect food and drink specials, a roaming bagpiper, a steady flow of McMenamins' proprietary Irish Stout, live music, and more.
(McMenamins Anderson School, Bothell)


Interstitial Volume Add to a List
Seattle-based multidisciplinary artist Henry Jackson-Spieker thinks carefully about positive and negative space in Interstitial Volume, using "strategically positioned light, reflective materials, and monofilament" to create a continually shifting visual experience for the visitor. Distortions and blind spots prompt questions: How do we navigate our everyday surroundings on autopilot, and how do we respond to our environment when it suddenly changes?
(MadArt, South Lake Union, free)



Open House Add to a List
At this open house event, editor Ashley Archibald will lead a talk on the ongoing coverage provided by Real Change, the weekly local newspaper bringing attention to issues faced by low-income and homeless people in Seattle. Visitors can take part in a free tour of the award-winning organization's headquarters led by development manager Samira Khadar, and hear from vendor Bryant Carlin, who will discuss how selling newspapers led to "increased visibility of his photography."
(Real Change, Pioneer Square, free)


Hamburger Dad 20th Anniversary Screening Add to a List
Kevin Clarke and Wil Long's searing semi-cult comedy Hamburger Dad celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Shot on a Hi8 Sony camcorder nicknamed "Crapotron," the flick explores family, identity, and burgers through a bizarrely charming, Kafkaesque plotline. Scott Miller of Strange Tapes Zine, who rereleased the film on VHS in 2020, will be in attendance to introduce the show; following the screening, don't miss the Q&A session with the directors and Hamburger Dad star Christopher Miller. Longtime Scarecrow Video employee Joel Fisher reports that his mom "loves this movie," which is enough of an endorsement for us.
(Grand Illusion, University District, $11)

Saturday Secret Matinees 2023 Add to a List
If you're a sucker for old-school cinema with an element of surprise, this recurring series is for you. Grand Illusion will continue its longstanding tradition of screening matinee classics alongside a "weekly cliffhanger episode of a movie serial" every Saturday, all in dreamy 16mm. This weekend’s theme is “Space Epics in Cinemascope”—expect widescreen depictions of hostile planets and hidden secrets.
(Grand Illusion, University District, $5-$11)

Scarecrow Academy Presents Women in Trouble: Great Melodrama in Film Add to a List
Take a closer look at so-called "women's pictures" for Women's History Month with National Society of Film Critics member and Scarecrow Video "historian-programmer in residence" Robert Horton. He'll lead the series of free Zoom sessions, exploring how directors have "put women at the center of their hothouse creative universes." (Never fear, the series doesn't center the male gaze—while Women in Trouble: Great Melodrama in Film does analyze Hitchcock and Lynch films, participants can also expect deep dives into Barbara Loden's Wanda, Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dielman, and Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman.)
(Scarecrow Video, University District, free)

Women on The Verge of A Nervous Breakdown Add to a List
Pedro AlmodĂłvar cemented his status as king of irreverent, melodramatic cinema with this '88 black comedy. The Spanish director's breakout hit follows the aftermath of a confusing breakup, wherein the recently abandoned Pepa goes on a quest to discover why her lover has left her. Along the way, she laces gazpacho with Valium, encounters Antonio Banderas, and butts heads with a Shiite terrorist cell.
(The Beacon, Columbia City, $12.50)


DJ EJ (of Deep Sea Diver) with YUUKI Add to a List
Seattle-based musician Elliot Jackson, of the doo-wop-infused indie rock project Deep Sea Diver, will take a seat behind the decks for a free DJ set alongside Yuuki Matthews (his resume includes playing with the Shins, Richard Swift, and Sufjan Stevens). Kick back during this relaxed evening of classic and rare tracks with tunes from Bowie, Badalamenti, Beefheart, Bacharach, and plenty of others.
(Here-After at the Crocodile, Belltown, free)

Witch Ripper Add to a List
It's a special moment when artists fully embrace that there are absolutely no rules to any of this and go all in with experimentation. It's even better when the result is as good as The Flight After The Fall, the new five-song full-length album by Seattle band Witch Ripper. It's obvious these dudes used their pandemic time away from live shows to the fullest as they concocted this proggy, riff-centric beast of a heavy metal album that’s overflowing with soaring choruses. For this official album release show, they have stacked the lineup with three other crushing local bands: melodic death metal headbangers Void Dancer, underrated post-hardcore band Into the Storm, and one of the heaviest bands in the Pacific Northwest altogether, Heiress. Enjoy yourself a nice frosty glass of the limited Witch Ripper IPA by Future Primitive brewing (available at the show) as you bang your head to four of this city’s finest. KEVIN DIERS
(Substation, Fremont, $15)


Aria Bare Add to a List
Portland-based DJ/producer Aria Bare, who released her latest album I Can Get Out Of This in 2021, will bring her mood-driven, textural, and rhythmic techno mixes up north for a high-energy dance party with a "powerful emotional undercurrent."
(Kremwerk, Downtown, $11.33)


Tilth Alliance's March Edible Plant Sale Add to a List
Got a green thumb? You'll find plenty of locally grown spring plant starts that will yield your very own fresh, delicious produce at this sale hosted by Tilth Alliance. Garden educators have curated varieties that grow well in our local climate and that are ideal for backyard or balcony gardens.
(Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands, Dunlap, free)



Applaud Me, Daddy! Add to a List
Laugh-loving lug nuts Applaud me, Daddy! will bring their off-the-cuff shenanigans to the stage in celebration of their one-year anniversary. The improv troupe's 11 members will rotate through 10 different ad-libbed games, so you're bound to crack up at something or other.
(Rendezvous, Belltown, free)

Good Comedy Add to a List
It's all in the name, folks: Bo Johnson and Chris Mejia will return with their recurring showcase of reliable local crack-ups and touring comedians.
(Here-After at the Crocodile, Belltown, $15)


Cafe y Espanol: Casual Conversations in Spanish & Coffee Add to a List
Brush up on your español at these hour-long coffee-fueled sessions with native speakers and novice learners alike.
(Assembly Seattle, Ballard, free)


Deep Listening: The Story Of Pauline Oliveros Add to a List
If you're not familiar with the pioneering work of post-war composer, philosopher, and electronic musician Pauline Oliveros, now's the time to learn about it. When Oliveros died in 2016, her "sonic meditations," created during the politically tumultuous late '60s, still felt prescient, even futuristic. Hundreds flocked to social media to share excerpts of her work. (“Take a walk at night. Walk so silently that the bottoms of your feet become ears.”) Oliveros was an innovator in every sense, creating everything from musical tools and software to the "deep listening" aesthetic for which she would become best known. Dip your toes into her experimental world with Deep Listening: The Story Of Pauline Oliveros and pregame with this TEDx talk, recorded only a year before her death.
(Grand Illusion, University District, $5-$11)


Wax Witch Add to a List
Would you like some beats with your pancakes? Seattle-based DJ Wax Witch will take over Easy Street's Sunday brunch with a lively vinyl set that will keep you fed.
(Easy Street Records, Junction, Free)


A Study in Light: An Afternoon With Washington Poet Laureate Rena Priest Add to a List
The spring equinox is the ideal time to bask in the beauty of Rena Priest's poetry, which often references natural cycles and seasonal shifts. Merging traditional poetic forms and modern sensibilities, the current Washington State Poet Laureate is a boundary blaster in the genre, fearlessly approaching Indigenous rights and environmentalism in her work and employing poetry as a vehicle for social transformation. (If Priest's poetry were an actual vehicle, we think it would be an elegant sports car, accelerating from 0 to 60 in mere seconds...or maybe something more environmentally friendly, like a finely tuned bicycle. We digress.) For this talk, Priest will discuss her two goals during her term as Poet Laureate, "celebrating poetry in Washington’s tribal communities, and using poetry to increase appreciation of the natural world and the threats facing it."
(Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum, Pike Place Market, free)


Fremont Bridge Winter Market Add to a List
Spring has almost arrived, but you can still duck under the Fremont Bridge for the second-to-last winter market, where you'll find over 100 booths of handcrafted goods, plus street bites, DJs, and patio heaters to help you stay toasty while you mingle.
(Fremont Sunday Market, Fremont, free)



Seattle Secrets Add to a List
Drawing from radically honest projects like PostSecret, Mortified, and Found Magazine, this mysterious—and hilarious—show compiles anonymously submitted secrets from Seattleites and uses the city's dirty laundry to create improvised scenes. Expect a mix of lighthearted laughs, tea-sipping, and catharsis.
(Unexpected Productions' Market Theater, Pike Place Market, $15, Friday-Saturday)


Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Add to a List
Equal parts bizarre and badass, Jim Jarmusch's 1999 cult classic Ghost Dog: Way of The Samurai combines ice-cold crime thrills with samurai mythology and...homing pigeons. Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA provides a killer score for the quirky classic, which follows Forest Whitaker as a Zen contract killer for the mafia who adheres to the strict ideals of the Japanese warrior code. 
(Central Cinema, Central District, $12, Friday-Sunday)

Return to Seoul Add to a List
You may think that you’ve experienced a story like the one being told in Return to Seoul based on a description of its plot, but that is only the beginning of the journey it has in store. It is a film that immerses you in the life of the charismatic yet chaotic 25-year-old Frédérique "Freddie" Benoît who has returned to South Korea. She is there supposedly by chance but decides to seek out her birth parents who she has never met. With a mesmerizing debut performance by Park Ji-Min, it is a work that sees her character radically change over the years as she searches for some sort of tranquility. No matter how many immense leaps through time the film takes, it paints an intimate portrait that ensures even the quietest moments are bursting with emotion. CHASE HUTCHINSON
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown, $13-$14, Friday-Sunday)


Norman Lundin: The Space Between Things Add to a List
Concerned with "light, space, perspective, and impression," Norman Lundin's hushed oil paintings center everyday subject matter like grocery bags and paper cups alongside stark Manitoba landscapes. The artist conjures a sense of emptiness that feels meditative, but never bleak.
(Greg Kucera Gallery, Pioneer Square, free, Friday-Saturday)

Plantasia: Forming. Growing. Expanding. Add to a List
If you haven't heard Canadian electronic music pioneer Mort Garson's brilliant '76 album Mother Earth's Plantasia, cue that up, then come back here. Are you listening? Are you experiencing a full-body sense of twinkly-yet-placid calm? Okay, good. You can keep the good vibes flowing at Plantasia: Forming. Growing. Expanding., a group show of large-scale installations, photography, paintings, and sculptures curated by Artma Pop-Up, a curatorial team representing artist, mother, and caregiver voices.
(Slip Gallery, Belltown, free, Friday-Saturday)

Re: Seeing Add to a List
Featuring a talented range of Seattle-based artists like Bonnie Hopper, Greg Amanti, and Angshuman Sarkar, this group exhibition is a "subtle outcry" against implicit bias and quick assumptions. The multimedia artists showcased in Re: Seeing give voice to their complex identities through self-portraiture, social commentary, landscape paintings, and more.
(Gallery 110, Pioneer Square, free, Friday-Saturday)

With, In: Stella Bronson and Ruth Tomlinson Add to a List
Process-loving artist Ruth Marie Tomlinson and Cornish College of the Arts BFA grad Stella Bronson come together in this two-person exhibition, which features a wide range of sculptures created with reused and found materials. With, In includes a curious blend of organic and synthetic constructions (think beeswax and welded steel) that reflect on "collection, cataloging, restructuring, and repetition."
(The Vestibule, Ballard, free, Friday-Saturday; opening)

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