Best Things To Do

The Top 40 Events in Seattle This Week: Nov 20–26, 2023

Depeche Mode, Winterfest, and More Top Picks
November 20, 2023
All I ever wanted...all I ever to see Depeche Mode in concert.
This week brings a bountiful cornucopia of events to be thankful for, from Depeche Mode: Memento Mori Tour to Nathaniel Rateliff and from the Christmas Ship Festival to Seattle Center's Winterfest.

Holiday hours may vary—please check venue websites directly for the most up-to-date information.

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Nathaniel Rateliff Past Event List
Denver-based singer-songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff will swing through town with an intimate solo set of whisky-soaked rock, soul, and roots music. He will likely play tracks from his most recent album, The Future, which Rateliff wrote "from a place of hope" amid the pandemic. Indie-folk troubadour Kevin Morby will start the show with tracks off of his latest album, This Is a Photograph. AV
(Paramount Theatre, Downtown)


Yvie Oddly presents Strange Love Past Event List
She's odd, but like, in a good way—avant-garde drag diva, legendary cackler, RuPaul's Drag Race season 11 winner, and "authentic weirdo" Yvie Oddly will slay in Seattle in this one-woman show of songs and tea-spilling. Bring your curious crushes along for the ride and prepare to fall in strange love with the alien-glam powerhouse. (You should probably pregame with Yvie's debut rap album, Drag Trap, before the show.) LC
(The Crocodile, Belltown)


Alva Noë: Art is All Around Us Past Event List
Alva Noë's 2011 book Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brainand Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness concerned the liberation of the brain from the prison of what I call Cartesian internalism. He described the brain as not only a part of the body but also a part of the outside world, in a very real, rather than metaphorical, sense. The two, internal and external, cannot, according to this view, be separated. The mind is not a static container of impressions but a constant engagement with what is outside. The mind is you, your body, and the world around your body. Noë's new book, The Entanglement: How Art and Philosophy Make Us What We Are, makes a new argument: Art is what makes us human. Not labor, as trad Marxists would have it, but the creation of art in its key forms: writing, movement, visual representation. To understand who we are, we must, according to this important philosopher, first appreciate the strangeness and even mysteriousness of art. STRANGER SENIOR WRITER CHARLES MUDEDE
(Town Hall Seattle, First Hill)

E. J. Koh with Arlene Kim: The Liberators Past Event List
Back in 2020, Stranger editor Rich Smith wrote, "When E. J. Koh was 15 years old, she and her brother were left in the United States when Koh's father took a job in South Korea and her mom went with him. The parents moved Koh and her 19-year-old brother into a small house in Davis, California, where they more or less raised each other. Though her parents were physically absent, her mother asserted her presence in the form of two-page letters, which she sent to Koh every week. The letters are the heartbeat of Koh's memoir The Magical Language of Others, pulsing between chapters that reveal other details of Koh's life. Like any good poet, Koh uses up everything—every image returns, and every idea chimes with another, so that the book's short 200 pages contain the emotional and philosophical heft of a doorstop." Fans of Koh's "pulsing" memoir shouldn't miss the local author's debut novel, The Liberators, an "elegantly wrought family saga of memory, trauma, and empathy." She'll chat about it with poet Arlene Kim. LC
(Third Place Books, Ravenna)



Women Make Movies present: Queer Indigenous Shorts Past Event List
As the world's leading distributor of independent films by and about women, Women Make Movies supports women producers and directors who are "planting the seeds for a diverse and inclusive filmmaking landscape." Cool! This screening of three short films by queer Indigenous women creatives is a great introduction to what the organization does (and will likely introduce you to some filmmakers you weren't familiar with before). I'm intrigued by Mona Smith's Her Giveaway: A Spiritual Journey with AIDS, which "confronts the “official” invisibility of women, Native Americans, and lesbians with AIDS," and Shelley Niro's Honey Moccasin, a key entry in a "wave of films that examined Native identity in the '90s." LC
(Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill)


Sunn O))) Shoshin duo Past Event List
Back in 2019, Stranger writer Dave Segal wrote: "Sunn O)))’s records are nice, but you really need to experience the doom-drone duolive to fully appreciate the oppressive majesty of their music. When I saw them at Neumos in 2005, their sonic warfare electrified my ear hairs and rippled my pants nonstop." The pair will return to town on their Shoshin (初心) Duo tour; press materials promise "profound valve amplification, spectral harmonics, distortion, and volume." If you're a Sunn O))) fan, then you probably understand what those words mean! AV
(Moore Theatre, Belltown)



Turkey Day Trot Past Event List
If waking up early on a holiday and moving your body appeals to you, Magnuson Park is the place to be. This year's Turkey Trot offers a kids’ dash at 9:15 am, followed by a 5K, 10K, and 15K all kicking off at 9:30 am. You can walk or run, we don't judge! This year's featured charity is FareStart, and any non-perishable food item donations will go to the University Food Bank. Make it extra fun by dressing like a turkey, or maybe a hangry dinner guest chasing down those tasty birds. SL (Magnuson Park, Northeast Seattle)



Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Past Event List
Mannheim Steamroller founder Chip Davis will jingle himself all the way back to Seattle for his annual Christmas concert. The Yuletide spectacular will include contemporary rock-infused takes on holiday classics like “Deck the Halls” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" with plenty of lights, lasers, fog machines, and thematic stage decor. AV
(Paramount Theatre, Downtown)

Seattle's Tribute to The Last Waltz Past Event List
Local rockers like Ryan Devlin and Kim West (Smokey Brights), Eva Walker (the Black Tones), Cameron Lavi-Jones (King Youngblood), and many others will pay tribute to Canadian roots rock group The Band's 1978 farewell concert, The Last Waltz, at this annual fundraiser forNorthwest Harvest. Relive the magical night that famously featured special guests like Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and Van Morrison and was adapted into a famed concert film directed by Martin Scorsese. AV
(Neptune Theatre, University District)

Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve Past Event List
I know I'm not alone when I say that Trans-Siberian Orchestra makes the most stressful Christmas songs. However, maybe it's not the fault of the ensemble. Maybe it's the fact that their music is always playing during stressful situations. Last year, "Christmas Eve / Sarajevo" played while I got a cavity filled at the dentist. The year before, "Wizards in Winter" blared through the Target speakers during their Black Friday sale. Their holiday tunes are epic, cinematic, and are scientifically proven to speed up your heart rate (okay, I made that up, but it's probably true). Experience the rock opera group in an appropriate setting—a giant arena—with lasers and pyrotechnics abound. AV
(Climate Pledge Arena, Uptown)


Jive Turkey Thanksgiving Disco! Past Event List
Shake off your post-Thanksgiving stomachache as Supernova's resident DJs sling platters of a different kind. This disco dance party will have you shaking your tail feathers to a blend of classic and nu-disco favorites alike. AV
(Supernova Seattle, SoDo)


28th Annual Magic in the Market Past Event List
Pike Place Market loves to kick off the Christmas season right after Thanksgiving with their annual Magic at the Market event. You can take a free photo with Santa under the iconic clock and neon sign, print your own handmade stocking, watch glass artist Gina Karaba create handblown ornaments, and enjoy live holiday music from buskers and the STRUM Choral group. Make sure you're around during the five o'clock hour for the lighting ceremony led by Mr. Claus himself and featuring a performance from the Can Can Culinary Cabaret dancers. You can even pick out a fresh-cut tree (if you've got the space) or a holiday wreath (if your home is more economy-sized). SL
(Pike Place Market, Pike Place Market)



Depeche Mode: Memento Mori Tour Past Event List
Goth pop princes Depeche Mode will bring their Memento Mori tour to Seattle in support of their 15th studio album of the same name. Both the album and tour are Dave Gahan and Martin Gore's first as a duo since the tragic passing of Andy Fletcher last spring. The album features co-writing credits from the Psychedelic Furs' Richard Butler, which gives the album an irresistible pop sweetness, reminiscent of their earlier hits like "Just Can't Get Enough" and "Enjoy The Silence." AV
(Climate Pledge Arena, Uptown)



Seattle International Comedy Competition Past Event List
America's biggest touring comedy festival will head back to Seattle with 32 regional and far-flung comedians battling it out for over $15,000 in prizes. The Seattle International Comedy Competition is organized around rapid-fire sets, challenging audiences to evaluate the comedic talent alongside bigwig execs from CBS, NBC, and more. In other words, don't hold back your giggles—laugh levels help the judges determine their picks. The good times will keep rollin' this week at Laughs Comedy Club, Vashon Theatre, Kirkland Performance Center, and other venues. LC
(Various locations, Wednesday-Sunday)


Honored to Tell Remind List
The first cohort to graduate from the Seattle Black Spatial Histories Institute will share their oral history and "Black memory work" in this culminating exhibition, which was inspired by interviews with Black longshore workers, barbers, dancers, educators, and beauticians. I'm stoked to see Ricky Reyes, Eboni Wyatt, and Sierra Parsons's Making.Wavs zine and immersive reading room, Ariel Paine's barbershop installation, and Brenetta Ward's quilted scrolls. LC
(Wa Na Wari, Central District, Tuesday-Sunday)

Pulling Together: A Brief History of Rowing in Seattle Remind List
George Clooney-directed flick The Boys in the Boat will premiere on December 25, sharing the story of the University of Washington rowing team, who were thrust into the spotlight while competing at the 1936 Olympics. (Spoiler: the "Miracle 9” won the gold medal in the eight-oared competition.) Get pumped for the film at this exhibition on the historic team, which spotlights "the University of Washington men’s and women’s rowing programs and the history of rowing in Seattle overall" and showcases the Husky Challenger shell. LC
(MOHAI, South Lake Union, Friday-Sunday; opening)

Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge. Shared Science. Remind List
Blending traditional knowledge and modern science, Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge. Shared Science. gathers stories from Indigenous communities to share perspectives on eco-restoration, traditional foods, and crafts. Visitors will come away with a better grasp on the issues Indigenous communities face and how they're working to solve them through sustainable—and sometimes ancient—practices. Designed with input from Tulalip, Cherokee, and Umatilla groups, the exhibition digs into the Cherokee use of native river cane for basket weaving, Tulalip gardening, Native Hawaiian aquaculture, and uses for the Columbia River's native lamprey. LC
(MOHAI, South Lake Union, Monday-Sunday [closed Thanksgiving Day])


50 Years of SIFF Past Event List
SIFF Cinema Egyptian's latest series offers a rare opportunity to catch 21 Seattle International Film Festival faves and Audience Award winners. Over the last five decades, the festival has screened over 10,000 films from all over the world, so seeing them all would be pretty much impossible. These screenings will help fill the gaps on your Letterboxd lists, though. The series continues with Eighth Grade and Boyhood this week. I'm jazzed that they'll screen the eerie Australian flick Picnic at Hanging Rock, a favorite of SIFF festivalgoers in 1979, later this month. LC
(SIFF Cinema Egyptian, Capitol Hill, Monday/Thursday-Sunday)

South Sound Experimental Film Festival Past Event List
Returning for its third year with more exploratory short films from artists based in the South Puget Sound area, the South Sound Experimental Film Festival spotlights creatives whose work may have otherwise gone overlooked due to "identity, insufficient resources, or qualifications of practice or technique." Fans of hybrid and experimental film won't want to miss it. I was jazzed to hear that the fest will open with Deep Listening: The Story of Pauline Oliveros; if you're not familiar with the pioneering work of the post-war composer, philosopher, and electronic musician, now's the time to learn about it. When Oliveros died in 2016, her "sonic meditations," created during the late '60s, still felt prescient, even futuristic. Hundreds flocked to social media to share excerpts of her work. (“Take a walk at night. Walk so silently that the bottoms of your feet become ears.”) Oliveros was an innovator in every sense, creating everything from musical tools and software to the "deep listening" aesthetic for which she would become best known. Dip your toes into her forward-thinking world with the documentary,and pregame with this TEDx talk, recorded only a year before her death. LC
(Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill, Saturday-Sunday)


Li'l Woody's Fast Food Month Remind List
For the month of November, local burger joint Li'l Woody's is cleverly recreating fast food favorites for its weekly specials. Try the fry-sauce-laden McDonald's dupe Li'l Big Mac (November 14-20). The Taco Bell tribute Li'l Crunch Wrap (November 21-27) comes after that, followed by the In-N-Out-inspired Woody's Style (November 28-December 4).
(Li'l Woody's, Capitol Hill, Monday-Sunday)

Miracle on 2nd Remind List
In 2014, New York bar owner Greg Boehm temporarily transformed his space into a kitschy Christmas wonderland replete with gewgaws and tchotchkes galore. Now the pop-up has expanded to more than 100 locations all over the world and will be returning to Belltown’s Rob Roy this year. Beverages are housed in tacky-tastic vessels (a drinking mug resembling Santa’s mug, for example), bedecked with fanciful garnishes like peppers and dried pineapple, and christened with irreverent, pop-culture-referencing names like the “Bad Santa,” the “Yippie Ki Yay Mother F**r,” and the “You’ll Shoot Your Rye Out.” JB
(Rob Roy, Belltown, Monday-Sunday)


Built to Spill Past Event List
Former Stranger writer Jas Keimig wrote: "Built to Spill was the band that all my dude friends in junior high said they listened to before they started a band of their own. In that way, maybe Built to Spill is the West Coast's answer to the Velvet Underground. Okay, I'm mostly kidding about that one, but now that I'm thinking about it, 1999's Keep It Like a Secret seems to be the progenitor of so much of modern indie rock's sound, that it's almost like I've seen the band live before. But I haven't. Go and luxuriate in the sounds of flannel, beanies, and earnest angst." Doug Martsch's indie rock troupe will take over the Showbox for a two-night stint with support from longtime Seattle rock band the Purdins and post-punk quartet Prism Bitch. AV
(The Showbox, Downtown, Friday-Saturday)

Cloudbreak 2023 Past Event List
Cloudbreak is our city's latest effort to support local music venues as they continue to heal from hardships faced during the pandemic. The festival, which has taken place over four weeks and more than two dozen venues, will come to a close this week with local pop-punk gem Haley Graves, experimental violinist Alex Guy, and Tacoma-born indie rock band Enumclaw. Plus, if you're planning a visit to Seattle or just craving a staycation, treat yourself to a night at one of the 71 participating hotels to gain free admission to the festival. Peep Cloudbreak's website for the full lineup of participating hotels and venues. AV
(Various locations, Monday-Wednesday)

The Paperboys: 16th Annual Thanksgiving Weekend Meltdown Past Event List
Canadian folk-rockers the Paperboys will celebrate Thanksgiving weekend with a three-night superset. For the 16th year running, the ensemble will bring their freewheeling blend of Celtic and bluegrass to the Triple Door in honor of Turkey Day (or as I, a vegetarian, prefer to call it: Pumpkin Pie Day). AV
(Triple Door, Downtown, Friday-Sunday)

Subtronics: Cyclops Dome Past Event List
When it comes to these giant EDM concerts, I struggle to find better words than "Come on, dance to some bouncy robot music at an arena"—but that's probably because I don't typically attend these types of events (I go to bed by 10 pm every night). For those of you who do enjoy dancing, socializing, being out late, and music with bass so loud you can feel your brain rattle in your skull, Subtronics' two-night Cyclops Dome fest seems like a lot of fun. The Philly-based dubstep wizard will amp up your weekend with Marauda, MUST DIE!, Lil Texas, UBUR, PROSECUTE, and Skellytn on night one and Of The Trees, Ternion Sound, Black Carl!, Austeria, and Distinct Motive on night two.
(Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, Friday-Saturday)


A Christmas Carol Remind List
If the impending holiday season elicits your well-deserved "Bah, humbug," I recommend taking this dependable Yuletide delight for a spin. ACT's A Christmas Carol, returning for its 48th year(!!!), will offer up a little Dickensian magic with a bunch of intrusive ghosts and a notably grumpy old dude. What could be more Christmassy than that? LC
(ACT - A Contemporary Theatre, Downtown, Friday-Sunday)

A Very Die Hard Christmas Remind List
"Come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs." Or you could head to this Die Hard musical parody, which blends the action classic with pure comedy (plus smooth jams and '80s style) for a snarky twist on the Christmas spirit. Yippee ki-yay, am I right!? Sketch writers from The Habit have teamed up with Seattle Public Theater for the production, confirming that no holiday season is complete without a few pesky German terrorists. LC
(Seattle Public Theater, Green Lake, Wednesday-Sunday)

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker Remind List
It's The Nutcracker—you already know the premise, but it never really gets old, does it? Tchaikovsky’s magical score will spring to life again in this sugar plum-packed rendition of the longstanding holiday tradition, complete with mice, tin soldiers, and a timeless trip to the Land of Sweets. Let's say you're all Nutcrackered out, though. Here are some little-known facts that might entice you: The production's eight Polichinelle costumes are decked out with 640 black pom-poms, and there are 154 costumes in the show, not counting duplicates. The scenery is made up of 3,000 square yards of fabric, and 98 yards of faux fur were used to create the mice. (Personally, there's nothing like 98 yards of faux fur to get me into the holiday spirit.) LC
(McCaw Hall, Uptown, Friday-Sunday)

Little Women Remind List
It's not easy to improve upon greatness, and to me, "greatness" is personified by the 1994 film Little Women starring the trifecta of perfection that is Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, and Kirsten Dunst. (No, not the Greta Gerwig one. I said what I said!!) But hey, this theatrical interpretation might change my mind. Based on Louisa May Alcott's courageous 1869 novel, which dared to envision an "unladylike" woman author who writes penny dreadfuls and rejects her rich hottie neighbor, this production of Little Women was adapted by playwright Kate Hamill. I am hoping to see Amy put a clothespin on her nose. LC
(Seattle Repertory Theatre, Uptown, Tuesday-Sunday; no show on Thanksgiving Day)


Arctic Highways: 12 Indigenous Artists of the Circumpolar North Past Event List
Arctic "highways"—a modernized way of describing the flowing exchange of art and culture—were alive and well before the creation of artificial borders and nation-states in northern regions. Artist-curators Tomas Colbengtson, Gunvor Guttorm, Dan Jåma, and Britta Marakatt-Labba explore this history of cultural exchange in Arctic Highways: 12 Indigenous Artists of the Circumpolar North, which spotlights contemporary art and handicraft by Indigenous artists from Canada, Alaska, and Sápmi (the traditional Indigenous territory now called Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Kola Peninsula in Russia). I'm popping on my mittens and ear-warmers to catch works by Matti Aikio, a Sámi artist with a background in reindeer herding, and Finnish urban Sámi photographer Marja Helander, whose snowy snapshots tell vivid stories. LC
(National Nordic Museum, Ballard, Tuesday-Sunday; closing)

Eirik Johnson: The Light That Gets Lost Remind List
Seattle-based artist Eirik Johnson's The Light That Gets Lost pairs tranquil, hushed diptychs with a sound installation, inviting the viewer to respond to the subtle differences in imagery within a larger thematic framework of natural transformation and climate change. The images depict hunting cabins "built by the Iñupiat inhabitants of Utqiaġvik (formerly known as Barrow), Alaska as seen through the extremes of the Arctic summer and winter." There's something deeply satisfying about observing the shifting appearance of the cabins as the seasons change—in summer, they have a bare, weathered, and makeshift appearance, but blanketed in snow, they become pristine, almost magical. LC
(Koplin Del Rio Gallery, Georgetown, Wednesday–Saturday)

Emily Counts: So Familiar Remind List
Emily Counts' ceramic style is always a little (okay, more than a little) mystical, reflecting on nature and the fragility of life through surreal sculptural busts and curious wall pieces that are sometimes lit from within. In her new exhibition So Familiar, Counts's coven of life-sized ceramic figures "stand in ceremony," each paired with a folkloric animal familiar. The exhibition expands upon her previous exhibition, Sea of Vapors, at the now-shuttered Museum of Museums, so expect more themes of growth, decomposition, aging, and transformation, plus sensory oddities and nostalgic features. LC
(studio e, Georgetown, Thursday–Saturday)

Mary Josephson: Plenty Past Event List
Just look at Mary Josephson's beaded tapestries. They are incredible. Don't you want to see them in person?! Seriously, this blurb almost writes itself. The lush foliage and color-drenched compositions of Josephson's visual world as supplemented by her generous material usage, and each piece seems to scream and shout in celebration of life, animals, and texture. Although her multicolored works are forces to be reckoned with, I'm equally intrigued by Jacobson's quieter etched glass pieces, which fill the frame with confident gestures. LC
(Traver Gallery, Downtown, Tuesday-Saturday)

Renegade Edo and Paris: Japanese Prints Past Event List
Edo-period (1603–1868) Edo (present-day Tokyo) and fin-de-siècle Paris faced surprisingly similar challenges. A burgeoning middle class in Edo pursued hedonism in revolt of state-sanctioned marginalization, and their new hobbies created subject matter for ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world); when these images arrived in France, they amplified an anti-establishment joie de vivre and inspired artists like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec to grow more expressive. Renegade Edo and Paris: Japanese Prints, an exhibition of 90 ukiyo-e and Toulouse-Lautrec works, illustrates the shared "subversive" hedonism of both styles. Pleasure-seekers should go take a look. LC
(Seattle Asian Art Museum, Capitol Hill, Wednesday–Sunday)

Well Well Projects: Companions Remind List
This cross-city pollination invites eight artists from the Portland collective Well Well Projects to showcase work in Seattle, while Vestibule artists will install an exhibition in Portland. Guest curated by prolific creator Alyson Provax, Well Well's exhibition, Companions, displays works by more than half of the member-run gallery collective's members. The show "operates as a forest," meaning that the multimedia work presented helps "create an environment of unique species that have come together in ways both interdependent and at odds." Expect a wide range of mediums, including paper-cutting, collage, ceramics, and more. LC
(The Vestibule, Ballard, Thursday–Saturday)


Christmas Ship Festival Remind List
Because nothing says Christmas like a giant ship covered in lights, the waters around Seattle will get a little more sparkly as Argosy Cruises' Christmas Ship docks in waterfront communities along the Puget Sound. Those who pay to hop aboard can enjoy holiday-themed food and drink, a community choir performance, and a reading of "‘Twas the Night Before Christmas" during the three-hour cruise. The 8th Annual Parade of Boats, where everyone is invited to deck their boats out in lights and join in on the fun, will take place on Friday, December 8, with a number of excellent shoreside viewpoints for us plebes who don't own boats. SL
(Various locations, Puget Sound, Friday-Sunday)

WildLanterns 2023 Remind List
Grab some hot cocoa and get cozy with your friends, family, or Hinge date at this wintertime immersive experience full of giant glowing animal and nature scape lanterns, each representing flora and fauna from around the globe. Kids and those of us who are kids at heart will enjoy a magical snowy world in a polar regions exhibit, and marvel at brilliantly lit parrots and toucans in the Fine Feathered Friends zone. Arachnophobes might want to skip the Bugs and Blooms display, where vibrant flowers and giant spiders line your path (though we bet they won't bite). Let your imagination run wild in the Fantastical Folklore Realm as you search for mythical beasts from the white dragon to a pegasus. SL
(Woodland Park Zoo, Phinney Ridge, Tuesday-Sunday [closed Thanksgiving Day])

Winterfest Remind List
Every holiday season, the Seattle Center transforms into Winterfest, where visitors will find seasonal decor, live performances on the weekends, and of course, the beloved miniature winter train and village. For the first time this year, we're getting a European-inspired outdoor Christmas market offering gifts from local and international vendors as well as tasty treats like glühwein and bratwurst. Winterfest opens on Friday, November 24, with kick-off celebrations including ice sculpture carving, roving carolers, s'mores, fire pits, and more. SL
(Seattle Center, Uptown, Friday-Sunday)

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