Arts

The Biggest Fall 2022 Arts Events in Seattle

Performances, Readings, Visual Art, Music, Film, and More Things You Should Know About
September 20, 2022
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Jagged Little Pill, based on the fearless heartache of Alanis Morissette's music, will come to Seattle on its Broadway tour in November.
(Jagged Little Pill via Facebook)
Cooler weather calls for ducking inside, whether it's to catch a film at the cinema, see your favorite artist light up the stage in a dark venue, take in a lecture, or peruse an art show. To keep you supplied with a steady dose of culture, we’ve rounded up the most noteworthy arts events this season, from Refract: The Seattle Glass Experience to the Short Run Comix and Arts Festival, from Freakout Festival to the Seattle Queer Film Festival, and from Patti Smith to An Evening with Issa Rae.

 

🍁 Plus, check out the rest of our fall arts guide to read even more about all the great events coming up this season, like: 


Jump to: Performance | Comedy | MusicFilm | Readings & Talks | Visual Art


PERFORMANCE

Trixie and Katya Live! Add to a List
Ding dong!!! Drag's most dynamic duo is back, and they're paying homage to classic girls' road trip buddy comedies like To Wong FooCrossroads, and Barb and Star. Get a load of the latest hijinks from the powerhouse drag cuties and BFFs (they've co-hosted several shows and web series together, and co-written a book.) Don't worry, they're still down to earth—after all, Trixie did grow up using an outhouse.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Fri Oct 7)

To Kill a Mockingbird Add to a List
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and required reading at schools everywhere, was translated into a record-shattering play by Academy Award-winner Aaron Sorkin in 2018 (it's the highest-grossing American play in Broadway history, according to Deadline). See what the fuss is about at this performance of the complex coming-of-age tale.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Oct 11–16)

Tristan and Isolde Add to a List
This interpretation of one of opera's most passionate and seductive works was composed by Richard Wagner based on a medieval Celtic romance. Poisons and love potions complicate matters in the short-lived royal tale led by Argentinian stage director Marcelo Lombardero.
McCaw Hall, Uptown (Oct 15–29)

The Seasons' Canon Add to a List
In honor of their 50th anniversary, Pacific Northwest Ballet will present a fresh array of ballet for this performance, including a premiere of Crystal Pite’s artful work The Seasons’ Canon alongside a world premiere by Dwight Rhoden, artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and George Balanchine’s Duo Concertant, a two-dancer performance with on-stage musical accompaniment.
Pacific Northwest Ballet, Uptown (Nov 4–13)

Jagged Little Pill Add to a List
Written by punchy Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno), Jagged Little Pill is based on the fearless heartache of Alanis Morissette's music. The jukebox musical follows an imperfect American family and "sustains the best hopes of Broadway," according to The New York Times, with lyrics written by Morissette herself. (And yes, you'll hear both "Ironic" and "You Oughta Know.")
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Nov 8–13)

The Wiz Add to a List
This glittery interpretation of The Wizard of Oz brings extra pizzazz with a slightly different tale set to a soul, R&B, and gospel score. The Wiz was a Broadway hit upon its 1975 release, winning seven Tony Awards and epitomizing the civil rights progress of the era. This version was directed and choreographed by Twin Cities theater mainstay Kelli Foster Warder.
The 5th Avenue Theatre, Downtown (Nov 19–Dec 23)

A John Waters Christmas Add to a List
John Waters, who shall henceforth be known as the "anti-Santa," will land his perverse sleigh in Seattle for Christmas twistedness and holiday jeers. He might stomp on your perfectly wrapped presents, but this evening with the cult filmmaker seems promising for those on the holiday-averse end of the spectrum.
Neptune Theatre, University District (Wed Nov 30)

Moulin Rouge! The Musical Add to a List
Baz Luhrmann's sparkly world hits the theatrical stage in this musical directed by Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers. You probably already know the plot of the romantic drama set in turn-of-the-century Paris, so just sit back and thrill your eyeballs with the glamour of the show—Moulin Rouge! brings new meaning to the word "extra."
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Dec 14–Jan 1)

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COMEDY

Kevin Smith, Clerks III: The Convenience Tour Add to a List
Ready to take another trip to the View Askewniverse that Kevin Smith first created way back in 1994? Well, here's another Clerks, if that's still your thing! The Convenience Tour will feature a screening of the upcoming flick Clerks III and a Q&A with the indie auteur himself; true mallrats can score VIP tickets with extra perks like a signed screenplay and photo op with Smith.
Neptune Theatre, University District (Sept 25–26) 

Jimmy O. Yang Add to a List
You might know Jimmy O. Yang from his role in Crazy Rich Asians and on the Emmy-nommed HBO series Silicon Valley, but he's also the author of How to American: An Immigrant’s Guide to Disappointing Your Parents and a stellar stand-up comic in his own right. He'll share more stories of growing up in an immigrant family (and hopefully more of his dad's roasts) for this performance.
Moore Theatre, Belltown (Fri Sept 30)

An Evening with Issa Rae Add to a List
Insecure creator and star Issa Rae will head to Seattle fresh on the heels of newly released HBO Max comedy Rap Sh!t, which follows two Miami rappers trying to make it big. Rae's also a stand-up comedian in her own right, so prepare to laugh along with the comedy queen, who was included in this year's Time 100 list of the world's most influential people.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Tues Oct 4)

Chris Rock Add to a List
Stand-up comedy mainstay, Emmy Award-winning actor, and recently slapped individual Chris Rock will head to Seattle (we can't decide if we're hoping for more tea on that situation, or if we'd rather never hear it mentioned again). Either way, this is bound to be a less eventful performance than his Academy Awards hosting fiasco, but just as hilarious.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Tues Oct 18)

Lewis Black Add to a List
What's under Lewis Black's skin this time? Every dad's favorite ranter will point fingers and name names in Seattle this October, bringing more of the satirical skewering and brutal brilliance for which he's known and loved.
McCaw Hall, Uptown (Sat Oct 22)

Jonathan Van Ness: Imaginary Living Room Olympian Add to a List
Can you believe? Beloved hair stylist, noted Michelle Kwan stan, and Queer Eye's resident Aries Jonathan Van Ness will head to Portland, probably to make us laugh, spin some uplifting yarns, and show off their perfectly coiffed locks.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Fri Dec 9)

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LIVE MUSIC

Grace Jones Add to a List
Hot off the heels of her feature on Beyonce's Renaissance, the illustrious singer, model, actress, and all-around icon Grace Jones will grace us with her presence, performing her definitive dancefloor anthems. Prior to the show, we recommend watching Sophie Fiennes' acclaimed documentary Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami for an even deeper appreciation.
Moore Theatre, Belltown (Wed Sept 21)

Kremfest 2022 Add to a List
The treasured Kremwerk complex, which former Stranger contributor Gregory Scruggs called the “undisputed monarch of Seattle nightlife,” is bringing back its forward-thinking electronic music and multimedia festival. Move and groove across four days (and four dancefloors) with DJ sets from Detroit in Effect, Doctor Jeep, Jensen Interceptor, Jordana, KIA, OR:LA, OSSX, Robbie Akbal, and plenty more.
Kremwerk, Downtown (Sept 22–25)

Florence + The Machine with Wet Leg Add to a List
On their latest album, Dance Fever, ethereal pop heavies Florence + the Machine pull inspiration from eclectic sources such as 1973's The Wicker Man, the pre-Raphaelite sisterhood, choreomania, and alt-folk artists like Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams. They will be joined by British indie-rock duo Wet Leg, supporting their self-titled debut album. Climate Pledge Arena, Uptown (Thurs Oct 6)

Earshot Jazz Festival 2022 Add to a List
This year's hybrid Earshot Jazz Festival will provide swingin' in-person and virtual experiences from a lengthy lineup that covers live music, film screenings, social justice forums, artist panels, and more. The festival will open with a tribute to PNW jazz icon Overton Berry and continue with highlights including vintage-pop vocalist Kat Edmonson, West African singer-songwriter Habib Koité, and prolific saxophonist Charles Lloyd with his Ocean Trio.
Various locations (Oct 8–Nov 6)

Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band Add to a List
Here's your chance to see a real-life Beatle live! Legendary drummer Ringo Starr will treat Seattleites to a well-rounded set of Beatles songs, original solo tunes, and other crowd pleasing covers. He will welcome endless amounts of peace and love, but please don't give him any fan mail.
Benaroya Hall, Downtown (Tues Oct 11)

Elton John: Farewell Yellow Brick Road The Final Tour Add to a List
The bitch is back (again)! Elton John will rocket through town for the second time on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour (he swears it's actually the final tour this time) with a two-night run in Tacoma, giving Pacific Northwesters one last chance to see him perform songs such as “Tiny Dancer,” “Rocket Man,” "Bennie And The Jets," and “Your Song" live.
Tacoma Dome (Sun Oct 16)

King Princess: The Hold On Baby Tour with Dora Jar Add to a List
Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist King Princess will bring her silky vocals and pop beats to town just after the release of her highly anticipated sophomore album, Hold On Baby, which features song titles like "I Hate Myself, I Want To Party" and "Sex Shop." Bedroom pop artist Dora Jar will start the night with tracks off of her new EP, Comfortably In Pain.
Showbox SoDo (Thurs Oct 20)

Jean-Yves Thibaudet Add to a List
Classical pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, whose music can be heard on soundtracks for films including Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, will return to Seattle for a solo performance of Debussy’s impressionistic Préludes.
Benaroya Hall, Downtown (Wed Oct 26)

Death Cab For Cutie with Chong the Nomad Add to a List
Ben Gibbard's Northwest indie-rock troupe Death Cab for Cutie will take the stage shortly after the release of their new album, Asphalt Meadows, which the band composed by passing around recordings remotely through the pandemic. Sing along (or cry along) to their reflective tunes after dancing to an opening set from Seattle-based producer Chong the Nomad, who contributed to Marvel’s Shang-Chi soundtrack last year.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Oct 26–27)

Duke Ellington's "Reminiscing in Tempo" Add to a List
Witness the massive legacy of Duke Ellington with a tribute performance by the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra. They will tackle Ellington's ambitious masterwork Reminiscing in Tempo, which he wrote in 1935 as a loving response to his mother's death, along with other jazz classics from Ellington and his peers. Award-winning vocalist Jacqueline Tabor will also join, performing hits from this golden era of jazz. 
Benaroya Hall, Downtown (Sat Nov 5)

Lizzo: The Special Tour Add to a List
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past three years, we're sure that you already love national treasure/pop superstar Lizzo. Known for her self-love anthems, genuine reliability, and jaw-dropping flute playing skills, her latest album, Special, embraces disco beats and '80s synths for smooth-as-hell R&B-pop loaded with lyrics about being a bad bitch and loving yourself. She will support the album alongside rising rapper Latto, best known for her infectious radio hit "Big Energy." 
Climate Pledge Arena, Uptown (Wed Nov 9)

Tan Dun: Buddha Passion Add to a List
Celebrated composer Tan Dun will conduct the Seattle Symphony in a performance of Buddha Passion, a mighty score that transmits the Buddha's teachings of love, forgiveness, sacrifice, and salvation through powerful chants, thought-provoking stories, and stunning vocal performances. 
Benaroya Hall, Downtown (Nov 10–12)

Freakout Festival Add to a List
Now on its tenth year, Freakout Festival will take over Ballard with over 70 performers spanning six venues and four days, with an emphasis on Latin and femme-fronted acts. You won't want to miss performances from revolutionary Tropicália group Os Mutantes, singer-songwriter Isobel Campbell (formerly of Belle & Sebastian), noise rock duo No Age, punk icon Kid Congo Powers with his band The Pink Monkeybirds, LA-based indie-pop artist Colleen Green, and so many more. 
Various locations (Nov 10–13)

Disney in Concert: Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas Add to a List
The Seattle Symphony will perform Danny Elfman's iconic film score from Tim Burton's spooktacular holiday film The Nightmare Before Christmas, bringing Jack Skellington, Sally, and the whole crew to life on the big screen.
Benaroya Hall, Downtown (Thurs Dec 1)

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FILM

Local Sightings Film Festival Add to a List
Back in 2015, Charles Mudede wrote, "What is this city becoming? What have we lost in the rush and thrust of all these new developments? To whom does this growing city belong? The brilliant Local Sightings film festival will show films that reveal the answers to these questions, through features, shorts, and animation that are born here or hereabouts. There's much to see and much to talk about." The festival returns for its 25th anniversary this year with more experimental films, workshops, and gatherings.
Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill (Sept 16–25) 

Orcas Island Film Festival Add to a List
Over 30 buzzy flicks will screen as part of Orcas Island's annual film festival, which Stranger senior staff writer Charles Mudede describes as "the crème de la crème of the first-tier festival circuit."
Orcas Island (Oct 6–10)

Seattle Queer Film Festival Add to a List
A vital voice in the Seattle film scene since '96, the Seattle Queer Film Festival is now presented in a hybrid format, showcasing a wide range of stories from diverse queer communities. Expect in-person and virtual screening options, plus buzzy parties, meetups, filmmaker panels, workshops, and great conversation. (Itching for a sneak peek at this year's queer-centered cinema? Check out SQFF's preview party Add to a List this Sunday).
Various locations (Oct 13–23)

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READINGS & TALKS

Celeste Ng Add to a List
Celeste Ng, bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere (which became a Hulu limited series in 2020), will stop by Seattle to discuss her latest book, Our Missing Hearts. The dystopic novel thinks critically about injustices that are ignored by supposedly civilized communities; Booklist described the book as "lyrical [and] chilling."
Town Hall Seattle, First Hill (Mon Oct 17)

Short Run Comix and Arts Festival Add to a List
In 2018, Stranger lit critic Rich Smith wrote of Short Run: "You’re going. You’re bringing at LEAST $50 cash. You’re picking up new art books, zines, buttons, and little strips of beautiful screen-printed ephemera from internationally/nationally/locally-renowned comics creators." Challenge accepted! The 10th anniversary of the now-legendary DIY fest includes special guests Claudia Chinyere Akole, Lale Westvind, Anna Haifisch, and others, plus cool creative exhibitors from 20 different states and six countries.
Fisher Pavilion, Uptown (Sat Nov 5)

An Evening with Nigella Lawson Add to a List
TV chef, celebrated food writer, and quintessential foodie Nigella Lawson will head to Seattle in celebration of her latest book, Cook, Eat, Repeat: Ingredients, Recipes, and Stories. The tome intertwines fresh recipes with essays exploring Lawson's personal relationship with food—readers can dig into everything from beef cheeks to peanut butter cake while learning more about her kitchen rhythms and rituals.
Benaroya Hall, Downtown (Sun Nov 13)

An Evening with David Sedaris Add to a List
David Sedaris, quintessential humorist and beloved icon of NPR fans everywhere, presents his latest book, Happy-Go-Lucky, at this talk. The book compiles Sedaris's notes on his pre- and mid-pandemic life—when once he learned to shoot guns and hung out in Serbian flea markets, he's now shifted to solitary walks and reflections on a battle-scarred country marked by empty storefronts and political graffiti. 
Benaroya Hall, Downtown (Sun Nov 20)

An Evening with Pete Souza Add to a List
As the White House photographer during the Obama administration, Pete Souza saw his fair share of the Oval Office—he created nearly two million photographs over the course of Obama's eight-year term. In The West Wing and Beyond: What I Saw Inside the Presidency, Souza shares a unique insider's perspective on democracy, depicting everyone from national security staffers to the White House groundskeeper. He'll present his rare photos, share stories from the book, and answer audience questions at this talk. 
Town Hall Seattle, First Hill (Tues Nov 29)

Patti Smith Add to a List
Renaissance woman Patti Smith has lent an unparalleled punk rock edge to her writing, visual art, and performances for decades. Next up: selfies. In 2018, Smith posted her first Instagram photo, and the practice spiraled from there with years of personal photos that served as vignettes of a deeply creative life. Smith’s new book, A Book of Days, takes a similar approach, compiling vintage photographs and travel writings to archive her journey as a poet and artist.
Town Hall Seattle, First Hill (Fri Dec 2)

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VISUAL ART

Nina Chanel Abney: Fishing Was His Life Add to a List
Nina Chanel Abney describes her work as “colorfully seductive” and “deceptively simple,” and she's not wrong—influenced by modern media, Abney's works may seem subtly familiar, but they contain a depth of embedded critique on politics, race, sexuality, and celebrity. Recently, Abney has drawn from pastoral painting traditions, centering Black subjects to celebrate their resilience and draw attention to histories of exploitative labor; for Fishing Was His Life, she focuses on Black fishing culture and labor through painting and collage. As part of this exhibition, Abney will also apply her bold aesthetic language to the Henry's exterior banner.
Henry Art Gallery, University District (Oct 1–Feb 5)

Refract: The Seattle Glass Experience Add to a List
In case you haven't noticed, Seattle is a major epicenter for glass art, boasting both the Chihuly Garden and Glass and the nearby Pilchuck Glass School. Refract: The Seattle Glass Experience celebrates the best glass work the city has to offer with a four-day festival—attendees can scope out exhibitions, party with glass lovers, and take part in tours and demos with local talents and legendary glass artists. We're stoked for Native Voices, an Indigenous glass art exhibition and demo by Blown Away season 3 contestant Dan Friday on October 14.
Various locations (Oct 13–16)

American Art: The Stories We Carry Add to a List
SAM's fresh revamp of their American art galleries (funded by a million-dollar Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant) was a collaborative effort—SAM curators and staff, artists, and local art advisors all lent a hand in the selection of new works. With a renewed focus on inclusivity and "community knowledge," the galleries will feature both artworks from SAM's collection and curation by contemporary artists.
Seattle Art Museum (opening Oct 20)

Door to the Atmosphere Add to a List
This spirit-conjuring group exhibition evokes apocalyptic dreams, rituals, and strange visitations for deep reflection—no Ouija board required. Artists Sedrick Chisom, Harry Gould Harvey IV, Cindy Ji Hye Kim, Mimi Lauter, Jill Mulleady, Naudline Pierre, Eden Seifu, and TARWUK come together in Door to the Atmosphere, drawing from sci-fi, anime, folk tales, and myths to reflect on thresholds and portals to other worlds. The results contain subtle social critiques, merging memories of unsettled pasts and anxieties about uncertain futures.
Frye Art Museum, First Hill (Oct 29–Jan 22)

Dawoud Bey and Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue Add to a List
Works by acclaimed American photographers Dawoud Bey and Carrie Mae Weems are displayed in conversation for this touring exhibition, emphasizing the artists' overlapping perspectives on gender, class, and power struggles that Black people experience in the United States. Both artists were born in the same year—1953—and their works feel thematically and tonally linked, yet still distinct.
Seattle Art Museum, Downtown (Nov 17–Jan 22)

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