Major August events are coming in hot this week with Scarecrow Video's Carpool Cinema, the Dick's Drive-In Summer Series, the Seattle Deconstructed Air Fair, the return of the in-person Silent Reading Party, and more. Read on for our picks for things to do through Sunday, or look ahead to the rest of this month's biggest happenings.
Don't forget to mask up indoors per CDC guidelines.
Comedy Crater Heckle Mic
Want to regale people with stories of funny things that have happened to you at the grocery store without being heckled? Open-mic performers will have the privilege of delivering two minutes of jokes without a single peep from the audience. For the final 180 seconds of each set, however, those in the crowd can boo and hiss to their heart's content. Fragile egos, beware.
Blue Moon Tavern (University District)
READINGS & TALKS
Molly Wizenberg with Matthew Amster-Burton
Seattle food celebs Molly Wizenberg with Matthew Amster-Burton will appear in conversation with Elliott Bay. While the pair co-host the funny local podcast Spilled Milk, don't expect a live episode. Instead, look forward to hearing Wizenberg discuss her second memoir, The Fixed Stars, upon its paperback release.
Elliott Bay Book Company (Capitol Hill)
The old saw about laughter being infectious took on sinister connotations in 2020. With COVID-19 marauding around the world stage like Sam Kinison with a bee in his beret, the guffaw of a person next to you could possibly land you in the ICU... or on your deathbed. Grim news for comedy clubs worldwide—among other cultural spaces. As part of Seattle's thriving entertainment industrial complex, the Joketellers Union weekly suffered those all-too-familiar pandemic-induced setbacks, going quiet for nearly 18 months. But it's returning to Beacon Hill's Clock-Out Lounge, with Andy Iwancio, Bernice Jing Ye, Burl Dirkman, and JU founders Brett Hamil and Emmett Montgomery poised to dissipate your coronavirus blues—which, as I type, is returning for an unwelcome encore. DAVE SEGAL
Clock-Out Lounge (Beacon Hill)
Ivan and Alyosha
Originally from Seattle, folk-pop band Ivan & Alyosha have achieved national acclaim thanks to outlets like NPR. They'll return to their home base for a night of jangly guitar licks and those Northwest-y indie-rock harmonies you know and love.
Woodland Park Zoo (Phinney)
READINGS & TALKS
Silent Reading Party: In-Person
The concept of Christopher Frizzelle's Silent Reading Party is as simple as it gets (pick out a book and head to Hotel Sorrento's well-appointed lobby to read in a comfy chair while a live pianist plays in the background), but it's a Seattle tradition of the highest order. If your disdain for waiting in line has prevented you from attending in the past, great news: in celebration of its return to its historic digs, attendees can now reserve a spot in advance. Keep in mind that there's a $20 food and drink minimum.
Hotel Sorrento (First Hill)
Scarecrow Video will once again partner with the Phinney Neighborhood Association, UHeights, and Companis for an outdoor movie series every Thursday and Saturday in August. Snag tickets for adult and family-friendly flicks alike, like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Moonlight.
Movies at Peddler
Kids, adults, and dogs alike are invited to the Ballard brewery every Thursday night for outdoor screenings of classic movies like The Goonies and 10 Things I Hate About You.
Peddler Brewing Company (Ballard)
FOOD & DRINK
Whiskey & Wildbites
Wander through the zoo as you enjoy "a mix of global and local expressions" in the way of gourmet offerings from four different chefs and sip whiskey provided by four different distilleries.
Woodland Park Zoo (Phinney)
Jack Endino's Beyond Captain Orca! w/ Lori Goldston, J. R. Rhodes
Legendary grunge producer Jack Endino, a proud son of Sub Pop Records, leads his psych-improv trio Beyond Captain Orca, which turns out "lengthy spontaneous transportative suites of rhythmelodic mayhem." They'll head up a night out in Greenwood alongside master cellist and Stranger Genius Lori Goldston, with additional support from singer-songwriter J. R. Rhodes.
Tim's Tavern (Greenwood)
SAM Performs: Pop-Up at The Park
The Seattle Art Museum will add an element of surprise to your Thursday evenings by hosting free pop-up music performances in the park.
Olympic Sculpture Park (Belltown)
From Hiroshima to Hope
This ceremony will honor war victims on the anniversary of the 1945 U.S. nuclear attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by floating candle-lit lanterns down the lake "to guide the spirits of ancestors back to the other world."
Green Lake Park
FOOD & DRINK
Boozy Bodega Pop-Up with Chef Shota Nakajima
To build anticipation for the return of Seattle Cocktail Week in 2022, this takeout pop-up at a surprise location (which is somewhere within Seattle city limits and set to be revealed to email subscribers 24 hours before the event) will serve up the much-coveted fried chicken from Top Chef fan favorite Shota Nakajima's restaurant Taku, as well as bottled craft cocktails from star bartender Abigail Gullo. Guests can snag an unassuming-looking brown paper sack filled with "wonder, imagination, and deliciousness on the inside" (a spicy sesame chicken sandwich, mac salad, chocolate bars, cocktails, Ballyhoo hot sauce, Where Ya At Matt Creole spices, and a variety of "bodega-inspired treats"). Plus, 25 lucky winners will also receive a "golden ticket" with fast-pass access to Seattle Cocktail Week's Cocktail District event. Proceeds will benefit Healthy Behind the Bar, a nonprofit offering microgrants for emergency health, mental health, or dental health care to hospitality industry workers.
Dick's Drive-In Summer Series
When you buy a ticket to Dick's Drive-In and Everett Music Initiative's Friday music series, you'll get access to the local burger chain's food truck, which (if you're 21+) comes complete with Elysian beer, Tito's cocktails, and local wine from Pasek Cellars. As for the music, the lineup kills it with Everett's own Moondoggies.
Whetmore Theatre Plaza (Everett)
Jim O'Halloran Trio
Whether you considered this Afro-Caribbean jazz trio's casual concerts a weekday tradition in pre-pandemic times or you've never seen them before, get yourself to Rainier Valley for tasty Ethiopian food and live tunes.
Kezira Cafe (Rainier Valley)
Just a Phase: A QT/POC Comedy Show
For this edition of the local stand-up showcase that features local up-and-comers who are traditionally underrepresented in comedy, enjoy sets from Monisa Brown, Andy Iwancio, Lucy Tollefson, J. Jones, Stephanie Nam, and host Aaron Mack.
Big Time Brewery & Alehouse (University District)
Duwamish River Festival
Learn about the Duwamish River and how to protect it at this Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition-sponsored event. There will also be interactive booths, boat tours, live music, entertainment, and free food.
South Park Plaza
Black Summer Camp
Join Sankofa Film Society every Saturday for outdoor screenings of movies centering the Black American experience, including Jackie Brown and The Last Black Man in San Francisco. “Some of these films are campy, some of these films are silly, some of these films pack a punch, but all of these films are about the Black experience,” writes Sankofa co-founder Karen Toering. “We just picked the films we love. The films we know that afterwards—or even during—folks will want to talk about.” They have a popcorn machine, but viewers are welcome to bring takeout from nearby restaurants.
El Centro de la Raza (Beacon Hill)
Live Jazz Brunch with Leif Totusek & Phil Sparks
Seattle mainstays Leif Totusek and Phil Sparks will soundtrack your eggs Benedict experience with lively jazz.
Murphy's Pub (Wallingford)
No Chill - Hip-Hop Throwback Party
DJ Paco will juice the sweetly ripened fruit of nostalgia with a night of '90s and hip-hop classics from the '90s and early aughts.
Lo-Fi Performance Gallery (Eastlake)
Back in the Saddle
Local drag queen Beau Degas is back on the scene, but first she needs to be rescued from the healing crystal pyramid scheme she was sucked into over quarantine. Watch in wonder as she claws her way back to reality through the power of dance, drama, and drag, with the help of Hot Pink Shade, Dion Dior Black, Killer Bunny, Bitch Hazel, and Strawberry Shartcake.
SEX & DATING
Seattle Dyke March presents: Summer Lovin' Speed Dating
Tinder not doing it for you? Take your cute self to Seattle's most famous lesbian bar for an IRL speed-dating event hosted by Seattle Dyke March.
Wildrose (Capitol Hill)
In the Spirit Arts Market & Northwest Native Festival
For thousands of years, the Pacific Northwest has been home to dozens of indigenous tribes and nations whose distinctive cultural traditions have persisted despite centuries of suppression. This year, the Tacoma Art Museum will produce this free, family-friendly community festival featuring singing, dancing, storytelling, food, a Native arts market, carving and drum-making demonstrations, and a Native designer fashion show. It's a great opportunity to directly support indigenous artists and come face-to-face with people carrying forward the ancient creative and spiritual traditions of the land we live on.
Tacoma Art Museum
Iranian American comedian Max Amini, who appears regularly in Comedy Central’s Mind of Mencia, will make you laugh with his impressions and storytelling on this Seattle tour stop.
Kirkland Performance Center
Naked Giants encapsulate a lot about your early 20s—that goopy, postadolescent period where the tension between taking things seriously, but not too seriously, is at an all-time high. The trio balances these extremes with great ease. From naming their debut album SLUFF (a made-up filler word that sounds punk and has taken on a variety of meanings) to dealing with dreams of wanting to be a star on "TV," their music is raucous, good-natured fun that's particularly moshable. I just want to run into other people's sweaty bodies while banging to the anthemic "Slow Dance II." JASMYNE KEIMIG
Woodland Park Zoo (Phinney)
LEO Party 2021
Leo season can only mean one thing: gratuitous selfies a big sparkly party with drag queens, drag kings, and go-go boys galore! DJs Luis and Flow will spin in between performances from hosts Aleksa and Atasha Manila, plus other local stars like Amora Dior Black, Siren St. James, and Roxy Doll. Proceeds will benefit Entre Hermanos and C895 public radio.
Neighbours (Capitol Hill)
Listen, we love Chicago, but it's too long. The drag hostesses of this booze-filled revue (Isabella Extynn, Ruby Bouché, and Louvel) think so too, which is why they've pared down the Broadway musical to a cool 25 minutes.
Unicorn (Capitol Hill)
Basement Bazaar: A We Are Witchy Event
Moving from its original locale at Dino's, this market will welcome witchy artists, artisans, and DJs to Fremont's appropriately dim Bar House for your shopping, dancing, and mingling pleasure.
Bar House (Fremont)
cINeDIGENOUS Summer Film & Drive-In Series
Together with U.S.-based Indigenous rights nonprofit Nia Tero, SIFF presents two weekends of free drive-in screenings centering Indigenous-made films from around the world.
Various locations (Friday-Saturday)
Movies at the Mural
Stretch out on the lawn and enjoy new and old film favorites like The Farewell (Fri Aug 6), Strictly Ballroom (Sat Aug 7), and more.
Mural Amphitheatre, Seattle Center (Friday-Saturday)
The Comedy of Errors
Local theater company Wooden O revives one of Shakespeare's oldest comedies for the outdoor stage(s).
Various locations (Wednesday & Friday-Sunday)
GreenStage's Shakespeare in the Park
Laying out a spread of one's favorite snacks and swatting away gnats as players belt familiar verses of iambic pentameter across a park lawn never gets old. GreenStage's free Shakespeare in the Park series returns this year with productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, and The Tempest.
Various locations (Friday-Sunday)
The Seattle Boylesque Festival
Male and genderqueer burlesque dancers from across the country will blast gender norms apart with the aid of titillating moves and generously bared skin. Don't miss local favorites like Ernie Von Schmaltz and Waxie Moon, and guests from afar like Montreal's Mimi Minx and Sudbury's MC Unicorn.
Triple Door, Downtown (Friday-Saturday)
Theatre22 Presents: Alice in Wonderland
Starting in present-day Seattle, Julie Beckman's adaptation of Alice in Wonderland follows its curious heroine as she hops down the proverbial rabbit hole into a blur of space and time. "Expanding on the iconic characters, the script combines a powerhouse cast, imaginative visuals, and a handful of puppets with a bit of edgy blues, 60's rock, and a splash of Mardi Gras," writes Theatre 22. "Add a twist of TikTok and a drag queen facing off with a narcissistic dictator and you'll find a perfect summer cocktail."
Volunteer Park, Capitol Hill (Thursday-Saturday)
Urban Craft Uprising: Tacoma Summer Fest
Urban Craft Uprising's annual Spring Fest has been rescheduled for summer, bringing handmade goods from over 75 local vendors—plus games and food trucks—to the Point Ruston waterfront.
Point Ruston, Tacoma (Saturday-Sunday)
Erica Rosenfeld and Jessica Jane Julius Between the Edge of Reflection
Rosenfeld and Julius's Immersive installations transform the gallery space into a microcosm of otherworldliness using tiny clusters of laced glass orbs, crystals, cut paper, paintings, and foraged relics.
Traver Gallery, Downtown (Tuesday-Sunday)
Seattle Deconstructed Air Fair
Over 40 galleries are coming together for the second iteration of the Seattle Deconstructed Art Fair, which will take place across the city all month long. You can filter your experience by venue, or you can check out SDAA-hosted events, like an opening reception for Mance Engine's Gifts of Distraction at Bonfire Gallery (Wed Aug 4), a Summer Exhibition Celebration at CoCA (Thurs Aug 5), and a Make Your Own Icarus workshop at AMcE Creative Arts (Sat Aug 7).
Various locations (Thursday-Sunday)
THE YEAR OF SMALL THINGS | new works by Rachel Campbell
New Zealand-born artist Rachel Campbell flexes her yen for color in this series of oil paintings centering the "small, unexpected, and unique fragments of time that bring us inspiration and joy," framing this past year of isolation through a lens of optimism.
ZINC Contemporary, Pioneer Square (Thursday-Sunday; opening)