Best Things To Do

The Top 36 Events in Seattle This Week: Mar 18–24, 2024

Trevor Noah, Neko Case, and More Top Picks
March 18, 2024
Head to Edmonds this Sunday for an intimate show from Neko Case. (Neko Case via Facebook)
There's a lot to do and see this week and no time to waste—we've done the heavy lifting by compiling the very best things to do, with events from Trevor Noah: Off The Record to Neko Case and from Women in Beer to Moisture Festival.

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Washington State Parks Free Days Remind List
The angel number 111 represents opportunity, good luck, and achievement. Well, today is certainly an achievement for Washington State Parks, which is commemorating over a century of stewardship during its 111th birthday. To celebrate, state parks will waive entrance fees for the day—although we don't advise bringing 111 candles...Smokey would not be down for that. On a typical day, access to one of these natural gems will set you back $10 for a one-day pass or $30 for an annual pass, so fee-free days like this help make the outdoors accessible to all. The closest parks to Seattle proper are Bridle Trails in Kirkland and Saint Edward State Park on the northern shores of Lake Washington; both are about a 30-minute drive. JW
(Various locations)



Viva Italia! The Passion of Italian Cinema Remind List
If you consider life to be both an endless pursuit of beauty and philosophical challenges, I humbly suggest that you watch more '60s- and '70s-era Italian films. Viva Italia! makes it easy—the selection of straordinari film italiani boasts rare 35mm prints and 4K restorations, will start with a three-flick tribute to Marcello Mastroianni, and includes a screening of the unmatched Pasolini drama Mamma Roma. Chef's kiss. LC
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown)


Pizza Friends Pop-Up Past Event List
The pop-up-turned-cult-favorite-bakery Ben’s Bread Co. is kicking off a new collaborative pizza pop-up series on Wednesdays this month, featuring some of their pals in the industry. The series continues this week with chef Cam Hanin of Lupo and Guerilla Pizza Kitchen. Expect plenty of pizza, side dishes, dessert, and drinks each night, available for takeout or patio dining—menus will be released closer to each date. JB
(Ben's Bread, Phinney Ridge)


Lael Neale with Oh, Rose Past Event List
In her bio, singer-songwriter Lael Neale writes that she loves "not listening to music"—and it shows (in the best way). Employing drum machines, power chords, and a Suzuki Omnichord, Neale creates a singular sound that’s all her own. It's equal parts dream pop, classic country, and gospel. Her new album, Star Eaters Delight, sounds like an '80s private press record that would eventually land a coveted Light In The Attic reissue (IYKYK). Neale will support the album after a solo set from Washington's own Oh, Rose. AV
(Tractor Tavern, Ballard)


Morgan Parker and Jane Wong Discuss "You Get What You Pay For" Past Event List
Renowned poet Morgan Parker's National Book Critics Circle-winning poetry book Magical Negro pulled its title from the Spike Lee-coined term for Black characters with quasi-magical powers. It's an incredible testament to 21st-century Black femininity, and I read it in one sitting. Pick it up if you haven't, then head to this talk with Parker and local poet Jane Wong in celebration of Parker's memoir-in-essays, You Get What You Pay For. Wong's recent memoir, Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City, traces her upbringing in a Chinese takeout restaurant on the Jersey shore. LC
(Central Library, Downtown)



Women in Beer 2024 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 tasting experience" filled with food, drinks, and more. Vendors include Pike Brewing, BroVo Spirits, Chuckanut Brewery, Fast Penny Spirits, Reuben's Brews, Stoup Brewing, and Yonder Cider. Funds from the event and from beer sales throughout March will go towards the Rose Ann Finkel Diversity in Brewing Scholarship, which benefits the upcoming Brewery Certificate Program at Washington State University's Viticulture and Enology program (set to launch this year). JB
(The Pike Pub at Pike Brewing Company, Pike Place Market)


CMAT Past Event List
CMAT (aka Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson) is the pop cowgirl that we deserve. Hailing from Dublin, she spins her Irish heritage, self-deprecating thoughts, and interest in pop culture into soulful country bops. Plus, her vocal chops are a whole other flex—she kind of sounds like Adele, if Adele went country. She will support her sophomore album, Crazymad, For Me, after an opening set from kindred pop vocalist Morgana. AV
(Sunset Tavern, Ballard)

Hear Me Talkin’ to You: Womxn & Blues - Music of Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thornton, and Etta James Past Event List
Hear Me Talkin’ To You is an annual showcase that amplifies the stories, songs, and voices of women and non-binary artists through blues and blues-influenced music. This week, the series will kick off with a tribute to blues belles Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thornton, and Etta James. AV
(The Royal Room, Columbia City)


Ignite Seattle #45 Past Event List
Ignite Seattle's fast-paced approach to public speaking and unification through storytelling will return. Here's the gist: Ten presenters will be allotted five minutes and 20 PowerPoint slides (each 15 seconds long) to share their perspectives on fault zones, foster parenting, artichokes, eulogies, rugby, and a gynecologist-turned-sperm donor. Expect educational whiplash, but in a good way. LC
(Town Hall Seattle, First Hill)



KEXP and Clock-Out Lounge Present: Mary Timony with Rosali Past Event List
Best described by Carrie Brownstein as “Mary Shelley with a guitar," indie rock innovator Mary Timony has made an undeniable mark on rock music as a member of bands like Helium, Ex Hex, Autoclave, and Wild Flag. Now, Timony is back with her first solo album in 19 years, Untame the Tiger. The album is a perfect encapsulation of her 30+ year career with melodic guitar riffs, melancholic lyrics, and signature deadpan vocals. It simultaneously sounds like it was recorded in 1998 while finding pockets of fresh experimentation—a true feat if you ask me! Don't miss an opening set from Philadelphia-based folk rock artist Rosali. AV
(Clock-Out Lounge, Beacon Hill)


Anida Yoeu Ali: The Buddhist Bug Past Event List
In my recent interview with Tacoma-based performance artist-activist Anida Yoeu Ali, the artist described her performance installation The Buddhist Bug as "an entity that is trying to figure out why and how their body fits into the space...The bug makes a realistic image surreal—another paradox I’m setting up. What is going on in this picture? What is it that the bug is trying to mediate at this moment? What am I looking at, and why?" As part of her debut solo exhibition at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, Hybrid Skin, Mythical Presence, Ali will bring the bug to life in two performances at 11:30 am and 1 pm. The event will open with Khmer Language Arts & Culture Academy dancers alongside Wat Changtarangsey pagoda monks, who will perform a sacred Cambodian blessing ceremony. Visitors can participate in a drop-in art-making activity with teaching artist Nina Vichayapai, and browse fam-friendly reads from the Asian American bookstore mam's books. LC
(Seattle Asian Art Museum, Capitol Hill)

Harold and the Purple Crayon Past Event List
Harold and the Purple Crayon's hour-long runtime is the perfect introduction to the ballet for a small newcomer–or, if you're anything like me, a length of time that doesn't make you nervous you'll get bored. Choreographed by Robyn Mineko Williams and Terence Marling, the production pulls from Crockett Johnson's 1955 children's classic and will be performed by PNB School students. Andrew Bird's music will provide a sweet backdrop to the creativity. LC
(McCaw Hall, Uptown)



Neko Case Past Event List
If you don't follow Tacoma-hailing treasure Neko Case on Instagram, then do yourself a favor and click that "follow" button. She documents her life in rural Vermont with a sincerity and rawness that few prominent people display—on there, you can expect to find a casual snap of her dinner, a blurry photo of her hair, and a trove of pet photos. Because of this delightfully accessible presence, I was not surprised to see that she was skipping major cities on this tour. In true Neko fashion, she will play an intimate show in Edmonds to support no particular album at all. I love to see it! AV
(Edmonds Center for the Arts, Edmonds)



Trevor Noah: Off The Record Past Event List
Having grown up in apartheid-era South Africa, Noah’s worldly perspective shines alongside common-sense feminism in his specials like African American, Afraid of the Dark. Noah continues to prove that political correctness is not a threat to comedy. His is the kind of stand-up you can learn a thing or two from; Noah’s cultural commentary is the entire reason I now pronounce “zebra” correctly. PORTLAND MERCURY CONTRIBUTOR JENNI MOORE
(Paramount Theatre, Downtown, Wednesday–Sunday)


DREAM TEMPLE (for Octavia) Remind List
Artists Mia Imani and Mayola Tikaka call upon the extraordinary visions of Octavia Butler for this installation, which features a low-lit resting space, an altar, and imagery of Black rest. Head to King Street Station to contemplate Butler's visionary worlds, which counteract intergenerational trauma and stress often experienced by Black people with a "portal of healing and imagining." By the way, Butler prophesized an eerily accurate, destabilized world in 2024, so Imani and Tikaka's rest space has arrived just in time. Throughout the exhibition, visitors can engage with rest rituals, hear interviews, and watch performances by the artists. LC
(King Street Station, SoDo, Wednesday–Saturday)


U District Cherry Blossom Festival Past Event List
It's spring, which can only mean one thing: It's time once again to admire gently wafting pink cherry blossoms in full bloom at the University of Washington Quad. To celebrate, over 80 U District businesses have come together to offer cherry blossom-themed food and drink specials and discounts on retail items. Before or after your petal-gazing excursion, stop by and enjoy treats like cherry blossom lattes from Cafe Canuc, cherry glazed ring doughnuts from Donut Factory, sakura ice cream from Sweet Alchemy, and pink custard croissant taiyaki at Oh Bear Cafe & Teahouse. JB
(University District, Monday-Sunday)


Dune: Part Two Remind List
A sweeping sci-fi film with origins right here in the Pacific NorthwestDune: Part Two is a sequel that surpasses the first by leaps and bounds as it transports us back to the world first created by the late local author Frank Herbert. Picking up where its predecessor left off, it follows the young Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) as he aligns himself with Chani (Zendaya) and the rest of the Fremen who have found a way to survive in the harsh desert climate of Arrakis. As they battle against the forces of the galaxy looking to mine the valuable resources that the planet holds, there is soon a growing sense that the greatest dangers are only just beginning. The film also digs into fears Herbert explored about the hazards of giving power to leaders who talk a big game even as they may be the villains of their own stories. Readers of said books know how this ends, but the film offers just as much to those who are going in blissfully unaware, and its stunning visuals deserve to be seen on the big screen. In all of 2024, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a film as immense and well-crafted as Dune: Part TwoSTRANGER CONTRIBUTOR CHASE HUTCHINSON
(SIFF Cinema Downtown, Belltown, Monday-Sunday)

Love Lies Bleeding Past Event List
In sophomore director Rose Glass’s queer melodrama Love Lies Bleeding, Kristen Stewart plays Lou, a chain-smoking dirtbag dyke and gym manager who splits her time between unclogging toilets, fending off the unwanted advances of her overzealous admirer Daisy (Anna Baryshnikov), worrying about her sister Beth (Jena Malone), reheating frozen dinners in a drab apartment, and masturbating on a faded couch in full view of her cat. When she meets ambitious muscle mommy Jackie (Katy O’Brian), who’s passing through town on her way to a bodybuilding competition in Las Vegas, the star-crossed sapphic lovers immediately fall into a spiral of toxic U-haul infatuation. Glass, who directed the 2019 psychological horror flick Saint Maud, brings a startlingly singular and stylish vision to life. She’s cited David Cronenberg’s Crash and Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls as influences for Love Lies Bleeding, and the carnal obsession of those films shines through in her work. The result is a seedy, sexy, high-octane ride that holds its own amongst the erotic thriller canon. JB
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown, Monday-Thursday)

Make Believe Seattle Film Festival Past Event List
The second annual Make Believe Seattle Film Festival aims to "shine a dark light on the energy that courses through the PNW’s veins"—in other words, they bring horror, sci-fi, and animated movie magic to our fantastical region. The genre film festival, which includes queer, Black, and Native film programming, will offer up a diverse range of flicks for newbies and film buffs alike. I'm stoked for the playful '80s zombie film homage All You Need Is Blood and the "millennial coming-of-rage" flick American Meltdown. LC
(Various locations, Thursday-Sunday)

March Monster Madness Past Event List
SIFF Cinema Egyptian's latest film series channels a very valid fear: that something gigantic and creepy and slimy will come along and gobble you up whole. (Hey, stranger things have happened.) March Monster Madness spotlights some of cinema history's scariest, most iconic, and most obscure creatures, from Godzilla and King Kong (duh) to Jeff Goldblum's hideous fly and that elegant, squid-like alien in Nope. LC
(SIFF Cinema Egyptian, Capitol Hill, Monday-Sunday)

Nine-Tenths of The Law: Squatters’ Cinema Past Event List
Squatters are not a group of folks that I'd previously associated with cinema, but I'm not afraid to admit that I was wrong. "In 2019, a radical group calling itself the Cinéma La Clef Revival Collective forced their way into the derelict building which housed La Clef (The Key), a '70s-era cinema," The Beacon explains. The French collective revitalized the space, which had shuttered in 2015 because the owners wanted to sell the property for redevelopment. Booo! La Clef Revival has fostered a community-programmed space for "squatter's cinema" ever since, shouting a gargantuan "fuck you" at exclusionary rental practices and vampiric landlords and developers. Show up to this screening series throughout March for a selection of squat-centric flicks like Occupied Cinema, Winstanley, and many others. One of my personal faves, Robinson's Garden, will screen later in the month—it's a clear-cut punk statement offering up a rare glimpse of a multicultural Tokyo sans city pop and financial prosperity. Not to gush too much, but the film draws from underground No Wave aesthetics (think Jim Jarmusch) to tell an anticapitalist story of a bohemian drug dealer who discovers an abandoned building lush with vegetation. Promise you'll dig it. LC
(The Beacon, Columbia City, Monday-Sunday)


Taste Washington 2024 Past Event List
Immerse yourself in 10 days of pure oenophilia with this behemoth event billing itself as “the nation’s largest single-region wine and food event.” The grand tasting unites more than 200 Washington wineries, 75 local restaurants, and a number of acclaimed local and national chefs, while other signature events include a swanky wine night, a dinner series, Sunday brunch, a seafood party, a casual wine night, seminars, and more. JB
(Various locations, Monday-Sunday)


Annie Saunders & Becca Wolff: Our Country Past Event List
Artist Annie Saunders's autobiographical performance work is inspired by Sophocles's Athenian tragedy AntigoneOur Country pulls from Saunders's recorded conversations with her "outlaw" brother to illustrate the complexities of sibling relationships—expect a mix of Ancient Greek melodrama and American frontier wildness. Saunders, the founder and artistic director of the site-specific performance company Wilderness, has previously created award-winning installations and performances for major art institutions. For this work, she tag-teamed with Becca Wolff, a California-based theater and film director. LC
(On the Boards, Uptown, Thursday-Saturday)

The Master and Margarita Past Event List
Mikhail Bulgakov's masterpiece, The Master and Margarita, was first published (in a censored form) in 1967, and it's beautifully weird. It's about the devil and his entourage; there's a scene-stealing chain-smoking cat; it's full of pranks and hypocrisy, metaphysical elements, beheaded bureaucrats, haunted theaters, Communism, and Stalinism. It's gothy and fantastical and anti-totalitarian. I mean, what's not to love? Director Mike Lion has adapted the tome for this production, which attempts to preserve its Russian sensibilities but also includes musical numbers, puppetry, physicality, and clowning. LC
(12th Avenue Arts, Capitol Hill, Friday-Sunday)

Moisture Festival 2024 Past Event List
A true testament to the popularity of underground cabaret entertainment in Seattle, the longstanding Moisture Festival has fostered circus performers, comics, burlesque dancers, and musicians for years, and now claims to be "the world’s largest comedy/variety show festival." The 24-day fest offers eye-popping events from the (relatively) mild-mannered to the racy and scantily clad end of the spectrum. LC
(Broadway Performance Hall, Capitol Hill, Thursday-Sunday)

The Moors Past Event List
In what sounds like a fun, fond, but nonetheless dark and violent parody of 19th-century feminist classics like Jane Eyre, Jen Silverman's comedy (directed by Annie Lareau) follows two sisters, a dog, a new governess, and a hen on the gloomy English moors, enlivened by "anachronisms sprinkled throughout" and even a power ballad.
(Seattle Public Theater, Green Lake, Friday-Sunday)

Sanctuary City Past Event List
The newest production by Polish-born playwright Martyna Majok, whose play Cost of Living received the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, was a New York Times Critic's Pick. Sanctuary City is staged in post-9/11 Newark, where two pre-DACA "Dreamers" meet up on a fire escape to share their worries and hopes as undocumented teens. They plan to marry, but time shifts their relationship and brings up questions about sacrifice, love, and belonging. LC
(Leo K. Theater, Uptown, Thursday-Sunday)

Something's Afoot Past Event List
Agatha Christie rules, and as one of the literary canon's most twisted storytellers, her style is a perfect fit for a musical spoof on the whodunit genre. Enter Something's Afoot, in which 10 stranded strangers on a sprawling estate are plucked off one by one. You know the drill, so just show up and enjoy the mystery! Fifth Avenue Theatre also compares the production to the farcical antics of Arrested DevelopmentThe Office, and Schitt’s Creek, so even if you're not "into" murder, you'll find something to laugh about. LC
(The 5th Avenue Theatre, Downtown, Wednesday–Sunday)

SUPERCELL by slowdanger Past Event List
Fans of "corporeal mime techniques," listen up!! Slowdanger's evening-length quintet performance fuses improvised dance, spoken text, electronic music, and tech-heavy set design to construct a "potent and tangible world on stage." SUPERCELL's strength lies in its devised responsiveness—performers will interact with the environment in real time, navigating a world of toxic environmental crises with amplified breaths. The queer, Pittsburgh-based "multidisciplinary performance organism" will think deeply about how to cultivate hope in uncertain times. LC
(Velocity Dance Center, Eastlake, Thursday-Sunday)


Seattle Cherry Blossom Run Past Event List
Every year, thousands of visitors flock to the UW campus to see the cherry blossom trees in bloom. But Seattleites can also celebrate the coming of spring by running through the picturesque trees during two weekends of races that include a 10K and full marathon (which counts as a Boston Marathon qualifier, for all you overachievers out there). Stick around for vendors and live entertainment in Red Square after your run, and don't forget to explore the U District during its Cherry Blossom Festival featuring sakura-themed food and drinks. SL
(University of Washington, Northeast Seattle, Saturday-Sunday)


Anida Yoeu Ali: Hybrid Skin, Mythical Presence Remind List
Tacoma-based artist Anida Yoeu Ali's solo debut at the Seattle Art Museum blends elements of performance, religious aesthetics, and mythical heroines to disrupt notions of otherness, "transcend the ordinary," and reflect on her upbringing as a Cham-Muslim refugee who migrated from Cambodia. In Hybrid Skin, Mythical Presence, two site-specific performances by Ali—The Buddhist Bug and The Red Chador—are explored through transformative "artifacts," including garments worn by the artist and others during the performances, plus videos, photographs, and installation art. Visitors can return later in spring to see the artifacts come to life: Ali will perform The Buddhist Bug on March 23 and The Red Chador on June 1. LC
(Seattle Asian Art Museum, Capitol Hill, Thursday–Sunday)

Generous Portions: Collaborative Platters by Joe Max Emminger, Elizabeth Sandvig and Dick Weiss Past Event List
If you haven't been enraptured by a ceramic platter lately, first of all: Same. But consider my previously platter-less perspective irrevocably changed by Generous Portions, the result of local artists Joe Max Emminger, Elizabeth Sandvig, and Dick Weiss's collaborative painting sessions. The trio gathers on Sandvig's sunny porch each week to gossip and paint ceramic plates with colorful enamels. (Hi guys, are you looking for a fourth friend?) The resulting pieces are layered, diary-like, and contain an element of spontaneity that only a hangout with a bestie can provide. LC
(Traver Gallery, Downtown, Tuesday-Saturday)

Jaune Quick-To-See Smith: Memory Map Remind List
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, a citizen of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation, is one of the 20th century's most innovative artists—she blends references to pop art and abstraction with Native perspectives on Americana and mass media in brilliant, layered compositions. This solo exhibition curates from across five decades of the artist's paintings, drawings, and sculptures; I'm especially drawn to the Bush administration critique of War is Heck and Indian Map, Smith's "first recognizable map of the country in which brushstrokes and drips blur states’ borders and collaged texts and photographs tell stories of the land’s vast Indigenous presence." LC
(Seattle Art Museum, Downtown, Wednesday–Sunday)

Nordic Utopia? African Americans in the 20th Century Remind List
Shirking trendier art locales like Paris, African American visual and performing artists (Doug Crutchfield, Herb Gentry, Dexter Gordon, William Henry Johnson, Howard Smith, and others) sought new opportunities in Nordic countries, but their work—and stories—have often been overlooked. ("Life in the Nordic countries could appear idyllic, but upon examining [the artists'] stories more begin to see hints of elements of the African American past, like cotton fields and a shanty," National Nordic Museum explains.) Curated by Dr. Ethelene Whitmire and Leslie Anne Anderson, Nordic Utopia? African Americans in the 20th Century examines the complicated experiences these artists had in Nordic countries. LC
(National Nordic Museum, Ballard, Friday-Sunday; opening)

Spring, Time Past Event List
Spring is a great season and all, but it's also kind of weird. Newly hatched nestlings emerge with pinkish, bald heads, and crocuses expand from the grass next to the muddied slush that's still plopped in the gutters. As we emerge from the darkness of winter, it takes a moment for the season to feel real. Spring, Time conjures some of the surreality I'm describing—the artists involved, including Anneka Wilder, Sharon Servilio, Yeon Jin Kim, and others, are thinking about mechanically grown grass, plastic flowers, and misbehaving creatures. I'm intrigued by Colton Sampson's barbed-wire flora. LC
(The Vestibule, Ballard, Thursday-Saturday)

Sleepless Nights Past Event List
Curator Hannah Newman's Sleepless Nights explores the horrors that would've kept Edgar Allan Poe twisting and turning at night, had he been born in the last 50 years or so: Doomscrolling, mental health struggles, grind culture, inflation, all that very scary stuff. Describing busyness as a survival tactic ("The moment we slow down, our worries catch up," the promotional materials explain), Sleepless Nights posits that artists distract themselves by creating beauty. The exhibition, which features works by Marcelo Fontana, Pamela Hadley, Nicholas Moler-Gallardo, Jessie Rose Vala, Morgan Rosskopf, Katherine Spinella, and Newman, will unfold in a "dark room via blacklights, nightlights, phone screens, and projectors...infused with a continuous stream of audio, a background score of current events, news updates, podcasts, and other data." Nothing we're not accustomed to, right? LC
(SOIL, Pioneer Square, Friday-Sunday)

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