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The Best Things To Do from Home in Seattle This Week: May 10-16, 2021

A Seattle Theatre Group Fundraiser, Sound Off, and More
May 10, 2021
MoPOP's annual live music showcase Sound Off! will return this weekend with virtual sets from Everett-based hip-hop project Aurelio Valdez (pictured) and other local under-21 acts. (Courtesy MoPOP)

We're just as pleased about this week's mild spring forecast as anyone, but it's gonna be a gorgeous week on the internet too. Read our latest picks for local virtual happenings below, from Seattle Theatre Group's Reopening Doors to the Arts fundraiser (featuring live performances from the likes of Brandi Carlile) to MoPOP's annual Sound Off! showcase, and from a poetry reading with Jane Wong, Dorothy Chan, and W. Todd Kaneko to a concert and conversation with British folk-rock legend Richard Thompson. For more options, explore our guide to COVID-safe in-person things to do in Seattle.

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Anas Atassi: Sumac
Cookbook author Anas Atassi will chat about his new release Sumac, which imparts recipes for modern and traditional Syrian cooking from his upbringing and travels, with Wassef and Racha Haroun of Mamnoon.

Patrick Radden Keefe
New Yorker staffer and investigative writer Patrick Radden Keefe is the author of three books, including Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, which traces the events surrounding a notorious killing in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and its repercussions. He talks about his latest work in this pre-taped Seattle Arts & Lectures event, which features a Q&A with prolific author Timothy Egan.

Suzanne Simard: Finding the Mother Tree
Esteemed forest ecologist Suzanne Simard will log on from British Columbia to discuss her long-awaited book Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest, in which she explores the interconnectedness of trees and plants, as well as her own relationship to nature. Reflecting on a conversation he'd had with the author a few years back, The Stranger's Charles Mudede writes, "I reached the conclusion that Simard spoke like someone who had been raised by trees, in the way Tarzan was raised by gorillas."


Pacific Northwest Ballet Presents: Rep 5
George Balanchine's joyful, proto-sci-fi ballet Coppélia—about a young girl who, to great avail, pretends to be a doll to get her crush to fall in love—is the centerpiece of Pacific Northwest Ballet's fifth rep of the season.


The Virtual Best of the Northwest Spring Market
Shop online from over 90 artists hawking original photography, paintings, jewelry, furniture, and more.



Norman Baker's Vaccination Eve Livestream
Folk-country crooner Norman Baker will spend the night before his vaxx appointment sharing some "lockdown-induced" creations. 

Richard Thompson with J Mascis: A Short Musical Performance and Conversation Capturing the Life of a Remarkable Artist
British folk-rock legend Richard Thompson—who sauntered into the pantheon during the '60s and '70s with psych-folk deities Fairport Convention and via his many recordings with wife Linda Thompson—will hark back to the early years of his career in this Town Hall concert. After the tunes, Thompson will talk about his new memoir, Beeswing: Losing My Way and Finding My Voice 1967-1975, alongside Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis. 


Daniel James Brown with Tom Ikeda
Daniel James Brown, the author of the wildly popular historical fiction novel The Boys in the Boat, is out with a new book that follows four Japanese American men who volunteered for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and were deployed to France, Germany, and Italy during WWII, where they fought against both Nazi persecution in Europe and the encampment of their fellow Japanese Americans in the United States. Hear Brown in conversation with Densho's Tom Ikeda. 



Anna Sale with Angela Garbes
The host of WNYC's Death, Sex & Money podcast will talk about the art of difficult conversations using insight from her new book, Let’s Talk About Hard Things. She'll be joined in conversation by former Stranger writer Angela Garbes (Like a Mother).

Jewell Parker Rhodes
Jewell Parker Rhodes will join Elliott Bay with a new edition of her 1997 novel Magic City, which takes its title from the nickname of the once-thriving Black neighborhood of Greenwood, Oklahoma, the site of a racist massacre 100 years ago. 

Lyanda Lynn Haupt with David George Haskell
Without straying too far from the subject matter of her previous books on the overlooked beauty of ordinary birds, Lyanda Lynn Haupt's meditative Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature, and Spirit argues for the interconnectedness of natural beings. Join her for a talk presented by Elliott Bay with like-minded author and scientist David George Haskell, who recently published an essay titled "Eleven ways of smelling a tree."



Bach & Schubert
No one does the Baroque period justice like Nicholas McGegan, who returns to the Benaroya stage to conduct the Seattle Symphony in a performance of Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 1 and Schubert's Fifth Symphony. 


Callum Angus with Hazel Jane Plante & Corinne Manning
Portland author Callum Angus sheds light on the constant evolution of trans lives in his new collection of short stories, A Natural History of Transition. The author will read excerpts and engage in a discussion with Hazel Jane Plante (whose novel Little Blue Encyclopedia won the Lambda Literary Award for trans fiction) and Corinne Manning (We Had No Rules). "Like the landscape studied over eons, change does not have an expiration date for these trans characters, who grow as tall as buildings, turn into mountains, unravel hometown mysteries, and give birth to cocoons," writes Elliott Bay.

Graham Zimmerman | Global Adventures of an Imperfect Advocate
Professional adventurer and climate activist Graham Zimmerman will join the Mountaineers to share stories from his expeditions to the remote corners of Alaska and Pakistan.

Shary Flenniken with Sarah Glidden
Loyal readers of the now-defunct humor magazine National Lampoon might already be familiar with Sarah Glidden's delightful comic strip Trots and Bonnie, which followed the life and times of the guileless Seattle teen Bonnie and her wisecracking dog, Trots. Get a sneak peak at this collection, handpicked by Flenniken and featuring an introduction by New Yorker cartoonist Emily Flake, at this Elliott Bay talk with the author and former Seattle cartoonist Sarah Glidden (who now lives in Brooklyn). 



An Evening in Paris
Spread some stinky cheese on a baguette and wind down your week with a romantic evening of French chamber music (including Claude Debussy’s Violin Sonata, Germaine Tailleferre’s Piano Trio, Gabriel Fauré’s Après un rêve, and César Franck dramatic Piano Quintet), courtesy of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra.


Claudia Castro Luna, Honorée Fannone Jeffers, Sasha LaPointe
Edited by recent U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith and poet/editor John Freeman, the new anthology There’s A Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis is a response to the 2020 protests against racial injustice and police brutality that generated from the virally captured murder of George Floyd. Contributors Seattle poet Claudia Castro Luna, Tacoma poet/prose writer Sasha LaPointe, and Oklahoma-based poet/prose writer/scholar Honorée Fanonne Jeffers will recite their pieces at this Elliott Bay reading. 

Russell Banks: Memory, Abandonment, and Betrayal
Who wants to bet Russell Banks's new novel will follow the trajectory of his previous tomes, The Sweet Hereafter and Affliction, by getting a movie adaptation? Hear him read from Forgone, "about a registered sex offender who meets a morbidly obese sociologist," and discuss how characters in the novel are defined through memories, confabulations, fictions, and dreams. Banks will be joined by fellow author Jennifer Haigh.


Seattle Art Book Fair: Makeready
Over 35 artists, designers, printers, and publishers will treat fairgoers to two weeks packed with online chats, studio visits, and workshops that will explore the process of making an art book from cover to cover.



Northwest Green Home Tour
Interested in building, remodeling, or buying an environmentally sustainable home that is not necessarily a tiny house? Get inspired by green homes on this self-guided virtual tour.

Reopening Doors to the Arts
Seattle Theatre Group's annual fundraiser will encourage donations to their associated theaters as they present live appearances by the cast of Ain't Too Proud, performances from Brandi Carlile, Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Degenerate Art Ensemble, and more.

Spirit of Africa
Founded and produced by a local Senegalese griot musician, the Spirit of Africa festival showcases the talents of African musicians, dancers, and artists in the region and from around the country. This year it'll be streamed on YouTube and Facebook, featuring Senegal's Orchestra Baobab, the folk-dance troupe Bakalama Danse, Francophone rapper Didier Awadi, and others.


Lunafest Film Festival
Lunafest (named after the women-aimed nutrition company LUNA Bar) is a traveling short film festival composed of films by and about women. This year's program will go virtual for the first time, and organizers are partnering with Kelnero to offer charcuterie and cocktails to viewers who live between Lynnwood and Kent or between West Seattle and Issaquah. All proceeds benefit children's literacy via the Junior League of Seattle.


Sound Off! 2021
Now in its 20th year, MoPOP's Sound Off! will give local, under-21 bands a chance to take the floor at Sky Church in a live broadcast hosted by KEXP's Troy Nelson, which will feature two-song performances and brief artist interviews. This year's lineup includes J-pop-influenced Aurora Avenue, composer and guitarist Trevor Eulau, sparkly synth-pop outfit CANNXN, and others.

Thomas Marriott Quartet: Trumpet Sensation Leads An All-Star Group
Seattle trumpet virtuoso Thomas Marriott and his quartet (Marc Seales on piano, Chuck Deardorf on bass, and Stefan Schatz on drums) return to the Town Hall stage for a night of jazzy tunes. 



Jane Wong, Dorothy Chan, & W. Todd Kaneko
Excellent Seattle poets Jane Wong (whose first collection "pushes forward the ancient poetic conversation about the pastoral" and "contributes to a related conversation about 'haunting' in Asian American poetics," as The Stranger's Rich Smith has written) and Dorothy Chan (Revenge of the Asian Woman) will share the virtual stage with Michigan's W. Todd Kaneko (This Is How the Bone Sings) for a talk on the impact of Asian American verses in our current cultural climate. 



HUMP! Greatest Hits - Volume 3
The HUMP! team is bringing back some fan-favorite amateur porn shorts from 2015-2018 in the third volume of the festival's streamable compilations. 

2021 Sundance Institute Indigenous Short Film Tour
Directed by Indigenous filmmakers, these seven short films span the fiction, documentary, animated, and experimental genres and were plucked from the most recent Sundance Film Festival. We're particularly excited to watch Canadian filmmaker Alisi Telengut's "The Fourfold," which explores Indigenous worldviews from Mongolia and Siberia through hand-crafted dreamscapes that resemble moving oil paintings.  


The History of Theatre: About, By, For and Near
This collage of stories explains the history of Black American theatre around the country, touching on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, which brought the federally funded Negro Repertory Company to Seattle. This adaptation was written by ACT core company member Reginald André Jackson, directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton, and will be presented online in partnership with the Hansbury Project.