Best Things To Do

The Top 33 Events in Seattle This Week: May 22–28, 2023

Kali Uchis, Les Misérables, and More Top Picks
May 22, 2023
Kali Uchis' Red Moon in Venus gives divine feminine energy. (Kali Uchis via Facebook)
Tuck into another fresh batch of our top event selections of the week, from Kali Uchis' Red Moon In Venus Tour to Illenium and from Pike's Women in Beer to Les Misérables.

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Pike's Women in Beer 2023 Past Event List
Though the landscape of craft beer as we know it is by and large a bro-fest, women have been active in brewing since ancient times. In fact, brewing was an overwhelmingly female-dominated craft all over the world, right up until the advent of industrialization in the 1800s, when women were banned from participating in alcohol production and sidelined to subsidiary roles like barmaids. Now women in craft beer are reclaiming the trade. This event will uplift female brewers with an "interactive, multi-level tasting experience" filled with food, drinks, and more. Funds from the event and Pike Brewing's Respect IPA will go towards the the inaugural Rose Ann Finkel Diversity in Brewing Scholarship, which benefits the upcoming Brewery Certificate Program at Washington State University's Viticulture and Enology program.
(Pike Brewing Company, Pike Place Market)



Life is a Feast: The Cinema of Federico Fellini
Past Event List Fellini's sensuous spirit, wry realism, and carnivalesque hallucinations all add up to a luscious cinematic universe you'll want to spend weeks basking in, which is why this spring screening series just makes sense. SIFF Cinema Uptown theater will continue waving in the season by showcasing the director's best films restored by the Fellini Foundation, Martin Scorsese, and Gucci. On May 23, they'll screen 8 1/2, an unparalleled flick worshiped by Scorsese and Lynch—bring a date you want to impress. LC
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown)

A Pocketful of Posey
Past Event List Parker Posey stans, assemble!! Grand Illusion's "A Pocketful of Posey" film series, which pays homage to the indie queen, continues this week with screenings of SubUrbia in glorious 35mm. Linklater's '96 flick follows a gaggle of malaise-sufferin' suburban teens (Giovanni Ribisi, Steve Zahn, and others) as they hang out around the dumpster of a Massachusetts convenience store. Posey plays Erica, a rock band publicist who, in her own weird way, motivates the gang to suss out what they want to do with their lives. The postmodern, Gen X glory continues. LC
(Grand Illusion, University District)


In Person Author Demo: Andrea Nguyen, Ever-Green Vietnamese Past Event List
James Beard Cookbook Award-winning author and cooking teacher Andrea Nguyen has established herself as a respected authority on Vietnamese cuisine with numerous cookbooks as well as her blog Viet World Cooking. Her recipes feel as though a trusted guide is holding your hand through the process and often include ingenious hacks. Her latest release, Ever-Green Vietnamese: Super-Fresh Recipes, Starring Plants from Land and Sea, turns her attention to primarily plant-based cooking, with irresistible dishes like smoky tofu-nori wontons and oven-fried crispy shiitake imperial rolls. JB
(Book Larder, Fremont)



Andrea Nguyen Book Signing & Four-Course Dinner Past Event List
James Beard Cookbook Award-winning author and cooking teacher Andrea Nguyen has established herself as a respected authority on Vietnamese cuisine with numerous cookbooks as well as her blog Viet World Cooking. Her recipes feel as though a trusted guide is holding your hand through the process and often include ingenious hacks. Her latest release, Ever-Green Vietnamese: Super-Fresh Recipes, Starring Plants from Land and Sea, turns her attention to primarily plant-based cooking, with irresistible dishes like smoky tofu-nori wontons and oven-fried crispy shiitake imperial rolls. At this event, Ba Bar Green owner Eric Banh and chef Chris Michel will uplift vegetables with a four-course dinner with dishes like grilled Asian eggplant, Malaysian laksa soup, kimchi fried rice, and coconut pot de crème. You'll get to meet Nguyen and go home with a copy of her cookbook. JB
(Ba Bar Green, South Lake Union)


First Aid Kit: Palomino Tour
Past Event List On their latest album, Palomino, sister-led folk band First Aid Kit pays homage to classic rock greats like Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush, and Tom Petty with stories of heartbreak, happiness, life, and love, woven into "a patchwork of natural instrumentation." And like an old patchwork quilt, the album intricately stitches together contemporary pop, acoustic folk, classic country, and ‘80s synth into one united blanket of coziness. Arrive in time to catch an opening set from beloved Americana artist Hurray for the Riff Raff. AV
(Paramount Theatre, Downtown)

Kali Uchis: Red Moon In Venus Tour
Past Event List You know she’s just a flight away, so Latin pop gem Kali Uchis will take a private plane to Seattle in support of her critically acclaimed third album, Red Moon in Venus. Describing the album in press materials as a “burning expression of desire, heartbreak, faith, and honesty” while reflecting the “divine femininity of the moon and Venus,” Uchis employs botanical imagery, glittering electronics, and dreamy featherlight vocals that truly feel like floating in the heavens. She will be joined by British pop artist RAYE, who you might know from her recent viral hit “Escapism.AV
(WaMu Theater, SoDo)


Raja Shehadeh: A Portrait of a Palestinian Father and Son
Past Event List Leading Palestinian writer Raja Shehadeh is also a lawyer and founder of the Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq. Activism runs in the family: his father, Aziz Shehadeh, who was murdered in 1985, was also a lawyer and one of the first Palestinians to propose a Palestinian state. In Raja Shehadeh's latest book, We Could Have Been Friends, My Father and I, he details the complex relationship he had with his father; the tome's subtle psychological themes also tell the story of Palestine’s continual fight against multiple foreign powers. Head to this talk to learn more about the book—the New York Times praises Shehadeh's "self-questioning and insistence on focusing on the experience of the individual within the storms of nationalist myth and hubris." LC
(Town Hall Seattle, First Hill)

Seattle Arts & Lectures Presents: Local Voices
Past Event List There's no better time than a Wednesday night to fill your creative well, so here's something that should do the trick. Seattle Arts and Lectures Writers in the Schools residents will offer up an earful of exciting new writing at Hugo House's hybrid recurring reading series, where their works-in-progress serve as an example of the stellar craft and performance skills they teach in the classroom. This edition of the event will showcase work from Hapa writer and educator Amy Hirayama, Afro-Salvi poet Clara Olivo, longtime Stranger contributor Greg Stump, poet, playwright, and prose writer Ann Teplick, and trans poet acca warren. LC
(Hugo House, Capitol Hill)



Andy Iwancio, Derek Sheen, and Phil Burton Past Event List
Trans comedian and Dave Chappelle repellent Andy Iwancio will bring her "witty, sardonic, and slightly profane style" (aka our style) to the stage, slinging jokes about marriage, living with a disability, and boobs. This performance comes on the heels of Iwancio's debut EP release, Hard Trans, which peaked at #2 on the iTunes comedy chart; we agree with Iwancio on most things, so we're stoked to hear more of her relatable wisecracks at this performance. She'll share the stage with "cuddly mess of insecurities" Derek Sheen and Phil Burton, who takes on race and representation topics in his comedy. LC
(Here-After at the Crocodile, Belltown)


Kassi Valazza with Julianna Riolino Past Event List
I love it when artists reference their own names (see: Caroline Polachek's "Caroline Shut Up," Cardi B's "Bartier Cardi" or Harry Styles’ latest album,  Harry's House). So, when I saw that Kassi Valazza's new album was called Kassi Valazza Knows Nothing, I was immediately intrigued. The album doesn’t disappoint, with British folk-inspired tunes that explode into spellbinding psychedelic jams. However, it's Valazza's timeless vocals, which bring to mind folk greats like Joan Baez, Buffy Saint Marie, and Iris Dement, that make the album an instant classic. She will play songs from the album after an opening set from indie-Americana singer-songwriter Julianna Riolino. AV
(Sunset Tavern, Ballard)

$NOT Past Event List
On his third album, Ethereal, NYC-based trap rapper $NOT experiments with styles from hyperpop to Frank Ocean-esque R&B alongside big-name features like A$AP Rocky, Juicy J, and Joey Bada$$. He will support the album after opening sets from Canadian rapper Night Lovell, emo rap artist DC The Don, and DJ Micro. And, in case you're wondering, $NOT is not Mr. Mucus' new venture into rap music. AV
(Neptune Theatre, University District)


Matt Baume: Honey, I'm Homo! Sitcoms, Specials, and the Queering of American Culture Past Event List
Cultural critic, pop culture YouTuber, and former Stranger staff writer Matt Baume will head to Elliott Bay in celebration of the release of his new book, Honey, I'm Homo! Sitcoms, Specials, and the Queering of American Culture, a deep dive into the "subversive" queer comedy storylines that transformed the American sitcom and continue to shape cultural attitudes toward LGBTQ+ folks today. LC
(Elliott Bay Book Company, Capitol Hill)

Nonfiction for No Reason with Ally Ang, Rebecca Clarren, Grace Dunbar-Miller, and Jane Wong
Past Event List We can think of plenty of good reasons for nonfiction writing to exist, and memoirist Katie Lee Ellison's Nonfiction for No Reason proves why: the newly created reading series, which invites writers to use the stage as a "testing ground for raw material and brand new books," unveils some of the strongest new nonfiction work out there. This edition of the event will include a reading by local poet Jane Wong from her new memoir Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City, which Stranger editor Rich Smith describes as embodying "her humor, her power with images, her love of her mom, her stunning emotional pivots, and her nearly maniacal embrace of the grotesque, dripping, greasy corners of the world." She'll be joined by writers Ally Ang, Rebecca Clarren, and Grace Dunbar-Miller for an evening of truth-telling. LC
(Third Place Books, Seward Park)

University Book Store presents After Black Lives Matter
Past Event List George Floyd's murder by police officer Derek Chauvin threw patterns of deeply racist police brutality into sharp relief. The responsive uprising was only a few years ago, so why didn't the historic protests achieve more substantial reform? In After Black Lives Matter: Policing and Anti-Capitalist Struggle, Cedrick G. Johnson, professor of Black studies and political science at the University of Illinois, posits that the movement "failed to locate the central racial injustice that underpins the crisis of policing: socioeconomic inequality." Hear Johnson share his thoughts on anticapitalist, downwardly redistributive politics at this talk. LC
(University Book Store, Northeast Seattle)



Madaraka Festival
Past Event List The Madaraka festival is your one-stop shop for feasting your eyes on African fashion, your ears on music from global artists, and literally feasting on African cuisine. Don't miss performance highlights like Kenyan Afropop band Sauti Sol, Grammy-nominated Ugandan singer Eddy Kenzo, Kenyan rapper King Kaka, and Zimbabwean American hip-hop artist Draze. Plus, proceeds from the festival will benefit  One Vibe Africa, MAMA HOPE, and Refugee Artisan Initiative. AV
(Benaroya Hall, Downtown)



Under The Sea Disco Past Event List
Just in time for Disney's highly anticipated live-action adaptation of TheLittle Mermaid, Supernova is hosting an aquatic dance party featuring live DJs, drag queens, magicians, and nu-disco favorites from the in-house band Universal Peoples. This is your chance to be where the people are, see them dancing, and walk around on those—what do you call them?—oh, feet! AV
(Supernova Seattle, SoDo)


Hangar 30 Flea Past Event List
Vintage mavens, don thy fanny packs! Seattle's largest indoor vintage and antique show, housed within the cavernous Magnuson Park Hangar 30, will return for Memorial Day weekend. The event boasts over 100 booths hawking clothes, housewares, and collectibles, plus a beer garden, vibey sets from DeeJay Hershe and RPEEEEZY, and 10 on-site food trucks. For those who are already salivating for old-school Levis and tchotchkes, an early bird ticket will land you access to the first two hours of the show; $10 general admission starts at 2 pm. LC
(Magnuson Park Hangar 30, Sand Point)


2023 University of Washington MFA + MDes Thesis Exhibition
Past Event List Check out what UW's ultra-talented Master of Fine Arts and Master of Design candidates have been up to in this joint exhibition at the Henry. (It seems circumstances have improved since I was in art school, installing sculptures in the bathroom for kicks.) The show will feature works by large-scale painter Dana Blume, multimedia artist Kayla Cochran, field lover Ruby Henrickson, and many others; we suggest popping by the public opening on June 2 for snacks and contextual remarks from the students. LC
(Henry Art Gallery, University District; opening)



Northwest Folklife 2023 Past Event List
For those who aren’t hep to Folklife, it’s a huge open-air music/art festival at Seattle Center, and there are buskers and actual concerts and impromptu jam seshes, plus tons of stalls selling gorgeous food from around the world, along with ethnic arts and cultures being showcased. Oh, and there are a bunch of cool workshops and lectures, too. It’s all real crunchy and wholesome. If you haven’t been, you should totally go. STRANGER CONTRIBUTOR MEG VAN HUYGEN
(Seattle Center, Uptown, Friday-Sunday)


Sakamoto Tribute – Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda
Past Event List Ryuichi Sakamoto, Oscar-winning composer, unparalleled style icon, and one of the three melodic geniuses behind the Tokyo electronic outfit Yellow Magic Orchestra, passed away in April after a battle with cancer. (Chances are good that you've heard YMO's arty electro-pop tunes, but if not, throw this on before continuing.) Directed by Stephen Nomura Schible (whose taste is solid—he co-produced Lost in Translation), Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda traces Sakamoto's prolific career, but digs deeper into his social activism in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster. As he navigates his cancer diagnosis, Sakamoto's understanding of the precarity of life leads to an "ambient-as-restorative" solo album. LC
(Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill, Thursday-Saturday)

Seattle International Film Festival 2023
Past Event List SIFF returns for its 49th year with the best in international and independent cinema à la mode from across the globe. The hybrid festival, which boasts an impressive 200 films on the docket this year, will present screenings virtually and at SIFF venues citywide. Stranger staffers watched and reviewed 35 of this year’s flicks, so peep their opinions while you craft your viewing plan. (We’re intrigued by Art for Everybody, a surprisingly thoughtful documentary on—insert groan here—Thomas Kinkade. In the words of Stranger senior staff writer Charles Mudede: "What he did for art, Trump did for politics. Do not miss Art for Everybody.")
(Various locations, Monday-Sunday)

Showing Up
Past Event List Kelly Reichardt, deft creator of Oregon misfit characters and "master of the non-event," returns withShowing Up, which was partially shot at the tragically shuttered Oregon College of Art and Craft. The unabashedly arty flick, which serves as a quiet ode to Portland's creative community, features work by brilliant sculptor Cynthia Lahti and stars heavy hitters Michelle Williams, Hong Chau, and Andre 3000. LC
(Grand Illusion, University District, Monday/Wednesday-Sunday)


Hood Canal Fjordfest 2023 Past Event List
As Meg van Huygen wrote last year, "There’s a narrow annual window when sweet, delicate spot shrimp is in season, six to eight weeks max, and good news: Memorial Day weekend falls within it. Sure, you can get them at the upscale supermarkets in Seattle, but it’s so much better to find them at the source. The seaside hamlet of Brinnon, on the west coast of Hood Canal between Hama Hama and Quilcene, has a little food fest to celebrate the spot shrimp’s arrival each year–there are also bands and 'other seafood,' and you can harvest clams and oysters with a license from the Department of Fish & Wildlife." This year, the festival has changed its name from the Brinnon ShrimpFest to the more expansive Hood Canal Fjord Fest, reflecting the fact that they also offer rides, crafts, and a beer and wine garden.
(Hood Canal, Saturday-Sunday)


Illenium Past Event List
Ever since the Sasquatch! Music Festival called it quits in 2018, Billboard-charting EDM producer Illenium has carried on the torch, ensuring that music flows through the gorge every Memorial Day weekend. He will headline the first night with a set of entirely new material, followed by a set of throwback hits on night two. He will be joined by fellow electronic heavies like Tiësto, Eptic, Dabin, Acraze, William Black, Moore Kismet, Nurko, and plenty more throughout the weekend. AV
(Gorge Amphitheatre, Saturday-Sunday)

Northwest Terror Fest 2023
Past Event List No matter your micro-genre preference, if you have a taste for any sort of gnarly or extreme style of music, it’s a safe bet there will be a few bands you won’t want to miss come Memorial Day weekend. From the nasty, filth-soaked goregrind of Bay Area’s Impaled to the beautiful, punishing doom of Oregon natives YOB, the entire spectrum of all that’s heavy and hard is represented. STRANGER CONTRIBUTOR KEVIN DIERS
(Neumos, Capitol Hill, Thursday-Saturday)


Les Misérables Past Event List
This fresh staging of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony-winning testament to love and survival was described as “a reborn dream of a production” by The Daily Telegraph. Former theater kids shouldn't miss the musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's 1862 novel Les Misérables, which is set against the tumultuous backdrop of 19th-century France.
(The 5th Avenue Theatre, Downtown, Wednesday-Sunday)

Lydia and the Troll Past Event List
Playwright Justin Huertas blends fantasy and folklore elements with real Seattle landmarks to create pure Pacific Northwest magic in Lydia and the Troll. ("Never turn your back on a Justin Huertas song," says The Seattle Times.) The production follows a singer-songwriter whose writer's block—and life circumstances—have her feeling stuck, but a chance encounter with a strange figure may lead to untold sacrifices. LC
(Seattle Repertory Theatre, Uptown, Wednesday-Sunday)

ZACH Past Event List
Directed by one of our favorite local artists, Sara Porkalob, this world premiere play by Christian St. Croix is a "satirical comedy that lovingly skewers the popular tropes of the 90s teen sitcom." Two actors play many parts in the ensemble cast of this production, which tells the story of a Black girl and a Latino boy at a majority-white California high school who have to deal with the repercussions of becoming friends with the titular Zach, the "white, charismatic, prank-happy new kid at school." Comedy and social commentary ensue.
(ArtsWest, Junction, Thursday-Sunday)


National Geographic Live: Cosmic Adventures Past Event List
Aerospace engineer Tracy Drain develops and operates "complex machines" that investigate planetary mysteries at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (And you thought your job was cool.) At Cosmic Adventures, presented as part of the National Geographic Live series, the super-achiever will spill the deets on engineering challenges and scientific discoveries from the Juno mission to Jupiter (Drain was deputy chief engineer for that mission—no big deal), as well as the Kepler mission, which surveys our lil' pocket of the Milky Way for other terrestrial planets. LC
(Benaroya Hall, Downtown, Monday-Tuesday)


Dana Claxton: Monsen Photography Lecture Exhibition
Past Event List Hunkpapa Lakota photographer, filmmaker, and performance artist Dana Claxton, who will deliver the Henry's annual Monsen Photography Lecture, will also present a series of powerful works spanning her 35-year career. Reckoning with Native representation and the colonial histories of the United States and Canada, Claxton's varied art practice aims to amplify Indigenous perspectives, responding to harmful Native stereotypes with humor and contrast. (We're fans of Headdress, a series featuring figures swathed in beadwork to "extol Indigenous cultural abundance.") LC
(Henry Art Gallery, University District, Saturday-Sunday; opening)

Joey Veltkamp
Past Event List Queer folk artist Joey Veltkamp gravitates to fiber arts—in recent Bellevue Arts Museum solo exhibition SPIRIT!, he combined images and text from his Bremerton home in cheeky works that referenced everything from roadside signs to retired ferries. This new selection of "soft paintings" maintains his narrative-based, humorous style with imagery of ice cream cones, flowers, and clowns. LC
(Greg Kucera Gallery, Pioneer Square, Tuesday-Saturday)

Ikat: A World of Compelling Cloth Past Event List
The ikat resist dye process is no easy feat—it's an intensive ritual of pattern calculation and thread-tying that takes time, patience, and dedication. Yet the resulting cloth pattern can be delightfully off-kilter and inexact; Wikipedia calls ikat “blurry." This impressive exhibition features over 100 ikat textiles from Africa, Asia, Indonesia, and elsewhere, and offers visitors the opportunity to "walk into an ikat" devised by indigo dye experts Rowland and Chinami Ricketts. LC
(Seattle Art Museum, Downtown, Wednesday-Sunday)

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