A truly spectacular combo of in-person and virtual events is on the books this month, leading up to Washington State's projected reopening on June 30. Whether you're ready to rejoin the world in your newly vaxxed state or you want to take things slow before dipping into the post-pandemic summer, our roundup of this month's biggest happenings has something for everyone. See them all below, from the celebrity-packed Seattle Virtual Pride to Built to Spill at the Showbox, from the Race & Climate Change Festival to the Seattle International Dance Festival, and from MoPOP's Heroes and Villains: The Art of the Disney Costume to Cooking with Friends with Northwest culinary gem and Top Chef contestant Shota Nakajima. For even more options, check out our complete streaming events calendar and our guide to in-person things to do.
Events are online unless otherwise noted.
Capitol Hill Pride March & Rally
Starting with a march and proceeding with the locally famed Doggie Drag Contest, a mayoral candidate debate, and live music and entertainment (including a set from Seattle's Marshall Law Band), Capitol Hill Pride's annual affair will return in a socially distanced fashion, sans parade.
Cal Anderson Park, Capitol Hill (June 26-27)
Queer Prom Seattle 2021
Reunite with Seattle drag and burlesque stars like Ms. Briq House, Faggedy Randy, Android Allure, Frankie Fingerling, Miss Texas 1988, and Scarlett Folds at this 18-and-over online Pride extravaganza. Be sure to stick around until the end of the night for a performance from 2019-2020's Queer Monarch, D'Monica Leone.
(Sat June 12)
Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement
Rolling in at the tail-end of Pride month, this new ongoing exhibit explores the cultural transformation that propelled the underground LGBTQIA+ rights movement "into an intrinsic element of who we are as a nation." Developed by Newseum, an affiliate of the Freedom Forum that "fosters First Amendment freedoms for all," the show will be composed of an as-yet-unannounced collection of historic documents and artifacts.
Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle Center (June 26-ongoing)
Rock For Pride 2020 - This Is Me
Tune in on YouTube as LGBTQIA+ performers like Aleksa Manila, Jack Mozie, Latinrose, Garlic Man, Fast Nasties, Londyn Bradshaw, and Kince De Vera rock their talents for Pride, free of charge.
(Sat June 12)
Seattle Virtual Pride 2021: Resilience
In lieu of an IRL parade, Seattleites can sport their assless chaps and rainbow unitards at home for Seattle Pride's free (!) celebrity-packed online festival, headlined by the Queen of Bounce, Big Freedia, and bolstered by the likes of Mary Lambert, Perfume Genius, YouTube sensation mxmtoon, burlesque performer Miss Violet DeVille, glamorous trivia hostess Betty Wetter, and drag sensation Cookie Couture. Plus, look forward to lots of family-friendly entertainment and a breakdown of trans identities in horror films with Isabella Von Ghoul.
Taking Pride in Capitol Hill
Volunteers will get breakfast and lunch in return for making Capitol Hill spick and span for Pride month. (The rainbow crosswalks deserve to sparkle even if there won't be a parade!) Space is limited, so be sure to register in advance.
Cal Anderson Park, Capitol Hill (Sat June 6)
See also: our complete Pride calendar.
Iranian composer Anahita Abbasi will give a world-premiere performance of "game piece," a continuation of her 2017 work that pays tribute to the English women who cracked the German code using telex machines during WWII.
(Sun June 6)
David Bowie may have left us, but his music lives on in this epic live show that delivers song after song from every stage of the musician's career. Hear "Rebel Rebel," "All the Young Dudes," "Suffragette City," "Life on Mars?," "Space Oddity," "The Man Who Sold the World," and more. The show features world-class vocals, deft musicianship, and Bowie-inspired costumes.
Triple Door, Downtown (June 25-26)
Built to Spill
Built to Spill's first IRL Seattle tour stop in a long-hot minute will give new life to that PNW indie-rock nostalgia you ripped into early on in quarantine. Melanie Radford and Teresa Esguerra fill out the band's new lineup.
The Showbox, Downtown (June 18-19)
CarLarans' X_x Serious EP Release Show
While the virtual stage won't allow him to show off his superb bar-spitting abilities, you'll still be glad you tuned into this EP release with neo-electro-soul and hip-hop artist CarLarans.
(Fri June 11)
The Drunken Tenor
A boorish man with a beautiful voice shows up to perform his heroic role, but can he hold it together for the length of the performance? Will he even remember his music? Billed as"Jack Black meets Pavarotti," Metropolitan Opera singer Robert McPherson will combine opera (the popular art of another era) with low comedy.
Opera Center, Queen Anne (June 11 & 13)
LeRoy Bell & His Only Friends
Local singer-songwriter LeRoy Bell has risen through the ranks of the Seattle music scene with his smoky voice and command of rock, blues, and soul. He'll be playing with his backing band His Only Friends.
Triple Door, Downtown (June 18-19)
Mezzo-soprano Margaret Gawrysiak will celebrate being out on the town by singing songs about going out on the town by well-known composers like Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein. She'll throw in some witchy arias for good measure.
Opera Center, Queen Anne (Sun June 13)
THEATRE & PERFORMANCE
Adapted by Shermona Mitchell from the previously unpublished science-fiction story "Childfinder," written by Octavia Butler at the 1970 Clarion Writer's Workshop and released after her death, this audio-drama introduction to Book-It Repertory Theatre's digital season will hark toward a future of racial equality through the story of a Black woman named Barbara who identifies pre-telepath children who have the potential to be fully active telepaths.
(Through June 30)
The Effluent Engine
Jéhan Òsanyín adapts and directs N.K. Jemisin's steampunk spy caper for the Book-It digital stage.
(Through June 30)
BIPOC women playwrights like Sandra Holloway, Valerie Curtis-Newton, and Jasmine J. Mahmoud will hold court at this online festival presented by the Seattle Public Theater, the Hansberry Project, and Brown Soul Productions.
Pacific Northwest Ballet Presents: Rep 6
Pacific Northwest Ballet will wrap up their digital season (get ready for IRL performances in the fall!) with two world-premiere works choreographed, rehearsed, and filmed for the digital stage by the Tony-award winning Christopher Wheeldon and Ballet Met artistic director Edwaard Liang. The on-demand program also includes a piece by Alejandro Cerrudo, featuring the music of Dean Martin and Joe Scalissi.
Pacific Northwest Ballet and PNB School present: NEXT STEP
Enjoy a cornucopia of choreography created by Pacific Northwest Ballet company members (including world premieres by Christopher D'Ariano, Joshua Grant, Miles Pertl, Lucien Postlewaite, and Leah Terada) on PNB's YouTube and Facebook pages.
The Race & Climate Change Festival
Choreographer Donald Byrd and his troupe challenge audiences to confront urgent issues of our time, tackling racial justice issues of the changing earth with a month of virtual performances. According to press materials, the festival is based on the London design firm Squint/Opera's The Flooded London series, which visualizes a semi-submerged London in the year 2090. Expect intersections of science, race, Afro-futurism, and philosophy.
Seattle International Dance Festival 2021
Local dance troupes (including Spectrum Dance Theatre, Exitspace, Yaw Theater, and Velocity Dance Center) will grace the virtual and IRL stage for a less-packed-than-usual week of performances at this annual festival organized by Khambatta Dance Company and Cornish College of the Arts.
Broadway Performance Hall, Capitol Hill (and online, June 12-19)
READINGS & TALKS
Alice Waters with Eric Schlosser
Celebrated chef and founder of Chez Panisse Alice Waters will introduce her newest book, We Are What We Eat: A Slow Food Manifesto. She'll be joined by Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser.
(Fri June 11)
Annette Gordon-Reed with Marcus Harrison Green: The History and Future of Juneteenth
A few days before Juneteenth, which celebrates the end of legalized slavery in the U.S. (and which was finally declared a national holiday this year), Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annette Gordon-Reed will join South Seattle Emerald's Marcus Harrison Green to share insights from her new book, On Juneteenth.
(Mon June 14)
24th Annual Bloomsday Reading
Calling Irish literature nerds: What are you doing for Bloomsday? If you haven't made plans yet to mark the date on which James Joyce's mammoth novel Ulysses takes place, during which the protagonist Leopold Bloom travels picaresquely through Dublin, don't sweat it. The Wild Geese Players of Seattle will take their annual dramatic reading to the virtual stage, picking up at chapter 12, "where it is 5 pm and a variety of Dublin characters take up space in Barney Kiernan’s pub."
(Wed June 16)
Book Launch: Site Fidelity by Claire Boyles, with Camille T. Dungy
Writer, teacher, and former sustainable farmer Claire Boyles tells stories of women and families struggling against economic inequality and the climate crisis in the American West in her debut short-fiction collection, SiteFidelity. She'll appear in conversation with poet Camille T. Dungy upon the book's release.
(Fri June 18)
Dr. Temple Grandin with Dr. Jim Heath: The Outdoor Scientist
Animal behavior expert, scientist, and speaker on autism issues Dr. Temple Grandin tends to sell out Seattle events very quickly, so don't miss your chance to snatch tickets to this online event where she'll introduce her new book, The Outdoor Observer, which imparts wisdom on everything from mushroom foraging to the mysterious migratory patterns of birds.
(Thurs June 10)
Emily Rapp Black with Lidia Yuknavitch
In her new memoir, Frida Kahlo and My Left Leg, Emily Rapp Black holds a conversation with Frida Kahlo's famous work The Two Fridas, which, as an amputee from childhood, she felt an instant connection to. The New York Times-bestselling memoirist will discuss her latest work with acclaimed author Lidia Yuknavitch.
(Tues June 22)
Heidi Seaborn with Matthew Rohrer
There are a handful of great poems on the late Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe (our favorite comes from Sharon Olds's The Dead and the Living), but Seattle poet Heidi Seaborn shows a particular devotion to the haunted subject in her new collection, An Insomniac’s Slumber Party with Marilyn Monroe, which won the PANK Poetry Publication Prize. She'll share some selections alongside fellow poet Matthew Rohrer (The Sky Contains the Plans).
(Thurs June 3)
Hugo Literary Series: Tommy Orange, Khadijah Queen, and Kristen Millares Young
The Red Horse of the Apocalypse will blaze in for the finale of Hugo House's 2021 Literary Series, bringing poets and novelists Tommy Orange, Khadijah Queen, Kristen Millares Young, and Amanda Winterhalter to the stage for a night of readings and musings on literal and figurative warfare.
(Fri June 4)
Laurie Frankel with Marilyn Dahl
Beloved Seattle writer Laurie Frankel (This Is How It Always Is) will read from her long-awaited new novel, One Two Three, which takes a fresh approach to the classic story of a seemingly idyllic small town hiding dark secrets. Frankel will be joined by Marilyn Dahl.
(Tues June 8)
Vietnamese American poet and novelist Ocean Vuong, whose epistolary debut On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous won an American Book Award, will appear in conversation with queer pop virtuoso Perfume Genius.
(Wed June 9)
Pardis Mahdavi with Rich Smith: A Social and Personal History of the Hyphen
Are you pro hyphen, or anti? Whichever the case, bring your grammatically charged energy to this Town Hall talk with social science professor and nonfiction (non-fiction?) writer Pardis Mahdavi (whose works include Passionate Uprisings: Iran’s Sexual Revolution) and The Stranger's Rich Smith.
(Mon June 7)
Virtual Civic Cocktail: One Guilty Verdict – What’s Next?
The conviction of Derek Chauvin, the police officer who murdered George Floyd, was lauded by some as a victory for racial justice, while many others saw it as a simple act of accountability in a system that so often exonerates white supremacists. The Stranger's own Jasmyne Keimig, The Seattle Times' Naomi Ishisaka, and Sports of the Times columnist Kurt Streeter will share their thoughts at this virtual Civic Cocktail.
(Wed June 2)
Word Works | Jericho Brown: Nonsense and Senselessness
Rich Smith has written, "Every time you think a Jericho Brown poem is about to drown in sentimentality or gushy eroticism, he makes a turn that freezes you solid, or boils you over, or completely vaporizes you." In this virtual event originally scheduled for March, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet will mull over sense and nonsense in his and other poets' verses before diving into a Q&A with celebrated Seattle poet Anastacia-Reneé.
(Fri June 11)
FOOD & DRINK
Seattle's premier fine-dining establishment Canlis is at it again: The adaptable, branding-savvy restaurant has unveiled its plans for Camp Canlis, the latest (and hopefully final) in a line of pandemic-borne concepts that have included a burger drive-thru, a bagel shack, "Canlis Community College," and a winter yurt village. Camp Canlis will feature a treehouse hanging from the restaurant's roof with a single-party table for dine-in with upscale service sponsored by Dom Perignon, a retooled version of their yurt village with a summer-friendly camp theme, a "Canlis Canteen" in their lower parking lot with a barbecue menu by new chef de cuisine Celeste Peralez as well as beer and bourbon cocktails, and camp-inspired care packages with local goods that you can send to a friend you miss.
Canlis, Queen Anne (through June 30)
Cooking with Friends
Watch as Northwest culinary gem and Top Chef contestant Shota Nakajima and five guest chefs from the show (Gabe Erales, Sara Hauman, Brittanny Anderson, Roscoe Hall, and Sasha Grumman) prepare a six-course dinner benefiting the local nonprofit We Got This Seattle, which helps feed frontline workers. Tickets account for appetizers, all six courses, beer, wine, and gratuity.
Edmonds Waterfront Center (Sat June 19)
BECU Drive-in Movies at Marymoor Park
For the last years or so, Marymoor Park has been one of Seattle's hottest destinations for outdoor movie viewing. While you won't be able to set up on the grass this year, BECU will keep the tradition going by shifting to a drive-in model for the second year, screening classic flicks on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays throughout June. Food trucks will be onsite, too.
Marymoor Park, Redmond (through June 24)
In the Backspace: New Works by Ko Kirk Yamahira
"Ko Kirk Yamahira's works are destruction in suspension," Jasmyne Keimig has written. "Yamahira creatively takes apart sections of canvases, thread by thread (vertically, horizontally), expanding the breadth of the material and forcing it to occupy the gallery space in a new way." Check out his newest tactile exploration that de- and re-constructs canvas and wood.
SOIL, Pioneer Square (June 3-26)
Jeremy G. Bell | A Glimpse at Soul
Jeremy Bell's mixed-media portraits of Black men, women, and children in ink, encaustic, graphite, spray paint, charcoal, wax, and wood celebrate the beauty of Blackness.
ArtXchange, Sodo (June 5-July 24)
Heroes and Villains: The Art of the Disney Costume
People in the real world are one thing, but you can tell if a Disney character is up to no good based on their outfit alone. From ball gowns to sorcerer capes to tiaras to glass slippers, this exhibition displays than 70 original pieces you'll recognize from your favorite heroes and anti-heroes.
Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle Center (Sat June 5-ongoing)
San Juan Island Artists’ Studio Tour
Head out to the lovely islands and tour 17 local artist studios, home to more than 40 creators, as they sell etchings, kaleidoscopes, garments, glass, and more.
Various locations, San Juan Islands (June 5-6)
Surfing & Chess
"While chess pieces maneuver through the tight boundaries of a grid, surfers move fluidly to move with the behavior of waves," SOIL writes about their new exhibition whose title was born from an analog word-generating game. "Chess is calculated and predictable until human fallibility intervenes, and surfing requires human adaptability to a more unpredictable element." Here to explore this tension further are artists Rachel Thomander and Brooklynn Johnson.
SOIL, Pioneer Square (June 3-26)
SPORTS & OUTDOORS
Seattle Animal Shelter's 2021 Furry 5K
Raise funds for the houseless cats and dogs at Seattle Animal Shelter by running a 5K on the course of your choosing and sharing your experience online.
Wherever you are (June 13-20)
After it rains, slugs abound in Pacific Northwest grasses and gardens. Why not celebrate their slimy presence? Take a tentacled tram, make slug crafts, and slide down a soapy track in a Human Slug Race. Plus, meet critters up close and take a photo by a giant slug statue.
Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Eatonville (June 26-27)