Look Ahead

Your Guide to May 2022 Events in Seattle

Folklife, Seattle Beer Week, Paul McCartney, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and More Things To Do This Month
April 29, 2022
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Discover cultures from around the world through arts, crafts, and street food at the Northwest Folklife Festival 2022, returning to Seattle Center over Memorial Day weekend. (Northwest Folklife via Facebook)
Welcome to May, the homestretch of spring that brings with it the chance to reap the bounties of April showers through the return of major annual festivals, fun holidays, and lots of arts and cultural events. As we do every month, we've compiled the biggest events you need to know about in every genre, from Seattle Beer Week 2022 to the Fisherman's Village Music Festival, from TRANSlations: Seattle Trans Film Festival to the Superfine Art Fair, and from Mother's Day events to Cinco de Mayo parties. 

Jump to: Festivals & Community | Food & Drink | Music | Performance | Comedy | Film | Readings & Talks | Visual Art & Exhibits


FESTIVALS & COMMUNITY

Seattle Erotic Art Festival 2022 Add to a List
An expansive event brimming with sex positivity, the Seattle Erotic Art Festival curates top-notch erotic art from around the world to feast your eyes on. During regular festival hours, check out the art, festival store, and daily entertainment including poetry readings, pantomime, and acrobatic displays. After hours, there's a marked vibe change to sexy party times with more titillating performances, DJs, dancing, and a bar.
Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, Uptown (Apr 29–May 1)

Red May Seattle 2022 Add to a List
This annual, intellectual "vacation from capitalism" ("the most star-studded regular radical left event in Seattle," as The Stranger's Charles Mudede has written) offers new takes on Marx, equality, and economics in community spaces.
Various locations (May 1–31)

Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration Add to a List
The Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration, part of the Seattle Center Festál series, kicks off AAPI Heritage Month with cultural music, martial arts, traditional and folk dances, and a delectable hum bow eating contest.
Seattle Center, Uptown (Sun May 1)

Crosscut Festival Add to a List
Think big at the Crosscut Festival, a gathering of political leaders, authors, journalists, and scholars centering the most pressing topics of our time. Attendees can tune in from home or head to in-person keynotes and activities—there's something for everyone, with events focusing on social justice, the environment, technology, and more. Key speakers include Anthony Fauci, Jay Inslee, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Ijeoma Oluo, and Matt Damon (yes, that one).
Town Hall, First Hill (May 4–7)

Celebra Nuestra Cultura! Add to a List
Every year, El Centro de la Raza hosts a party around Cinco de Mayo to celebrate the richness of Mexican American culture. This year's event will feature local artisans and musicians, food from their food incubator program, and more.
Plaza Roberto Maestas, Beacon Hill (Sat May 7)

Kentucky Derby Day 2022 Add to a List
Pick a winner for the 148th Run for the Roses at Seattle's own horse race track, and watch "the fastest two minutes in sports" with a mint julep in hand. Don't forget to wear your fanciest headwear for the Fabulous Hat Contest.
Emerald Downs, Auburn (Sat May 7)

Opening Day 2022 Add to a List
On the first Saturday of May for almost a century, hundreds of recreational boats have paraded from Portage Bay through the Montlake Cut for Seattle Yacht Club's Opening Day to celebrate the official opening of Seattle's boating season. Watch from the shore as adorned vessels boast live bands and giant floats—this year's theme is "Roaring 20s." It's also a tradition for people on board to throw water balloons at shore-dwellers, so practice your reflexes. Come early to check out the Windermere Cup Add to a List , a regatta featuring the University of Washington and other college crew teams from across the country (and Great Britain and the Netherlands!).
Seattle Yacht Club, Montlake (Sat May 7)

Pike Place Market 14th Annual Flower Festival Add to a List
With over 40 tents brimming with blooms from local flower farmers, this annual spring festival—conveniently timed for Mother's Day—is a Pacific Northwest tradition that never goes out of style. Pick up some fresh tulips, daffodils, irises, and peonies, or bring your mom along to build a sweet bouquet.
Pike Place Market (May 7–8)

40th Anniversary Nordstrom Beat the Bridge 2022 Add to a List
Help fund diabetes research through JDRF by running in Nordstrom's annual Beat the Bridge 5 or 8K. Your goal is to cross the University Bridge before it's raised at the two-mile mark, but if you don't make it in time, you won't have to turn around—there will be live music and more festivities as the bridge makes its way back down.
Husky Stadium, University District (Sat May 14)

17th of May Seattle Add to a List
To mark the signing of the Norwegian Constitution at Eidsvoll on May 17, 1814, Norway celebrates the 17th of May (also known as Syttende Mai) with parades and festivities all over the world. While the biggest procession takes place in the city of Bergen, Seattle's most Nordic neighborhood, Ballard, also hosts a consistently large turnout of spectators as marching bands and drill teams galavant down the street waving Norwegian flags. This year, Anniken Ramberg Krutnes, Norway's first woman ambassador to the US, will be the Grand Marshal for the parade. Before the parade, the Nordic Museum, Bergen Place Park, and the Leif Erikson Lodge will also be open for special Nordic activities.
Ballard (Tues May 17)

Crypticon Seattle Add to a List
Celebrating the best of macabre fandom, this ghoulish gathering includes cosplay and makeup contests, burlesque showcases, VIP parties on the 13th floor, and an appearance from Elvira herself.
DoubleTree Hotel, SeaTac (May 20–22)

One Seattle Day of Service Add to a List
This new initiative from Mayor Bruce Harrell envisions cooperative action and meaningful City improvement as part of his "One Seattle" vision. The event offers a diverse range of volunteer opportunities to Seattleites looking to help beautify the city.
Various locations (Sat May 21)

University District Street Fair Add to a List
The nation's longest-running festival of its kind returns for its 51st anniversary this year. Established in 1970 to help mend a community rocked by protests and violence, the U District StreetFair has since become a regional event of art, craft vendors, and multicultural food offerings.
University District Farmers Market (Sat May 21)

Northwest Folklife Festival 2022 Add to a List
The goal of Folklife is noble as heck: “We envision strong communities, united by arts and culture… When people share aspects of their culture, opportunities are created to dissolve misunderstandings, break down stereotypes, and increase respect for one another.” What does this translate to? A gigantic Memorial Day weekend hippie fest full of lovely people dancing, performing world music from “yodeling to beatboxing” and everything in between, serving tasty street food, and leading workshops in arts and crafts. It’s a great, if potentially overwhelming, people-watching experience, plus a great way to see local music. The 51st edition of this arts and culture festival celebrates metamorphosis, contemplating humanity's capacity for positive change.
Seattle Center, Uptown (
May 27–30)

FOOD & DRINK

An Evening with Yotam Ottolenghi Add to a List
The influential Israeli-born British chef, restaurateur, and food writer Yotam Ottolenghi, known for his fleet of restaurants and his popular award-winning cookbooks like Ottolenghi, Plenty, and Jerusalem, will chat with The Seattle Times' Bethany Jean Clement.
Benaroya Hall, Downtown (Sun May 8)

Seattle Beer Week 2022 Add to a List
Seattle’s craft-beer scene is always alive and bubbling with activity, but during Beer Week, that geeky enthusiasm gets kicked into high gear, with a stacked lineup of beer dinners, festivals, socials, pub crawls, and releases galore.
Various locations (May 13–21)

Buds: A Tomo Dinner Series with Chef Carlo Mirarchi Add to a List
Former Canlis Add to a List chef Brady William's up-and-coming restaurant Tomo Add to a List recently announced a new dinner event series in which Williams collaborates with some of his "chef-buds." This event will find him teaming up with Carlo Mirarchi of the famed New York pizzeria Roberta's and its neighboring Michelin-starred tasting menu restaurant Blanca.
TOMO, White Center (Sat May 14)

Reuben's Haze Fest Add to a List
Get hazed and confused with 16 different hazy beers, including guest taps and one-off infusions, from the acclaimed Reuben's Brews.
Reuben's Brews, Ballard (Sat May 14)

Masonry Farmhouse Beer Festival 2022 Add to a List
For the first time in the past two years, the Masonry will host its annual celebration of mixed-culture brews, with offerings from dozens of breweries.
The Masonry, Fremont (Sat May 21)

MUSIC

Feist Add to a List
Universally beloved singer-songwriter Feist will perform a set of all-new material at this intimate and “radically communal” backstage show accompanied by multi-instrumentalists Todd Dahlhoff and Amir Yaghmai. This won't be your average audience experience of sitting in the shadows, as press materials promise to “muddy the roles between audience and performer."
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Sun May 1)

Big Thief Add to a List
Hailed by notable sources like Pitchfork and NPR, indie rock band with folk tendencies Big Thief employs homey guitars, rattling percussion, and grounded yet whimsical storytelling on their latest output, Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe You. The album was recorded in four different locations across the United States after the band quarantined together in the Vermont woods.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Mon May 2)

Paul McCartney: Got Back Tour 2022 Add to a List
Sir Paul McCartney needs no introduction. With a more than 60-year-long career in music and ticket prices of this show reaching almost $2k, it isn’t surprising that the ex-Beatle is estimated to be the wealthiest musician in the world. Expect to hear a sampling of his greatest hits from fab four classics to solo endeavors. And, considering that surviving the members of Nirvana joined his Seattle show back in 2013, you never know the special high-profile guests may make an appearance.
Climate Pledge Arena, Uptown (Mon May 2)

The Flaming Lips Add to a List
With four decades of otherworldly live performances in their back pocket, psych-rockers The Flaming Lips have gotten putting on a show down to a science. Expect to see costumes, balloons, confetti, video projections, and plenty of stage antics to accompany their cinematic rock arrangements.
Showbox SoDo (Wed May 4)

Belltown Bloom Add to a List
This all-ages music festival will showcase an abundant bouquet of indie bands with highlights including jangle-pop favorites Alvvays, psych-rock four-piece Crumb, indie-pop trio Wet, British singer-songwriter Billie Marten, New York-based Latin roots rockers Combo Chimbita, and many more.
The Crocodile, Belltown (Fri May 6)

DOORS: Seattle Theatre Group's Annual Fundraiser featuring Smokey Robinson Add to a List
Smokey himself will attend Seattle Theatre Group's annual fundraiser, showing his support by performing alongside impressive youth from their Education and Community Engagement programs. STG's initiatives with diverse communities and historic theatres are worth investing in; if in-person events aren't your thing yet, they'll also have an online auction where you can help uphold the organization.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Sat May 7)

Jens Lekman & Youth Orchestras Across The USA Add to a List
Swedish guitar-pop mastermind Jens Lekman will finally set off his four-years-in-the-making Youth Orchestras Across The USA Tour, which blossomed out of an interest in learning from students and exploring the “energy that is present when a young person is still exploring and mastering an instrument.”
Neumos, Capitol Hill (Sat May 7)

Seattle Rock Orchestra Performs The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Add to a List
The self-proclaimed “coolest orchestra in town”, Seattle Rock Orchestra, will pay tribute to the seminal counterculture masterpiece Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band as they continue their Mother’s Day tradition of reimagining the classic albums of the Beatles.
Moore Theatre, Belltown (Sat May 7)

An Evening with Hrishikesh Hirway and Jenny Owen Youngs Add to a List
Podcast hosts and musicians Hrishikesh Hirway (Song Explorer) will join forces with pal Jenny Owen Youngs (Buffering the Vampire Slayer & Veronica Mars Investigations) for an evening of music and storytelling. Expect both individual sets of their own music as well as collaborative songs performed as a duo intertwined with stories shared by the two friends.
Neptune Theatre, University District (Sun May 8)

Mastodon + Opeth Add to a List
Georgia-based heavy metal giants Mastodon will support their latest album, Hushed and Grim, for a monstrous double-headed show with Swedish death metal masters Opeth.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Sun May 8)

The Mountain Goats Add to a List
When I was 18, a friend played me the Mountain Goats’ just-released 2000 album The Coroner’s Gambit, a gloriously uneven collection of noisy lo-fi folk songs recorded, largely, on a boombox. As we chopped breakfast-scramble vegetables in his Olympia apartment, I fell in love with the “band”—or rather, the occasionally accompanied songwriting project of John Darnielle—and their brief vignettes that hinted at longer stories, complete mythologies: characters living lives of isolated despair, in claustrophobic partnerships, wandering disoriented through the airports and back alleys of the world. So I was shocked when, in 2004, the sharply produced, autobiographical We Shall All Be Healed came out via 4AD and propelled the group to a sort of indie stardom. Though I stopped being a fan when the sound changed, to this day I still believe there’s no one who views or writes about the world like Darnielle. He’s a truly singular oddball, and I’m so happy that now everyone knows it. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON
The Showbox, Downtown (Sun May 8)

Daryl Hall with Todd Rundgren Add to a List
Smooth groove legend Daryl Hall (half of Hall & Oates) will stop by with The Daryl's House Band just after the release of Before After, a retrospective album of solo works and live recordings from his Live From Daryl’s House webcast. Here’s to hoping that opener and fellow classic rock-heavy Todd Rundgren will play some songs off of his 1972 glam-rock masterpiece Something/Anything?.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Thurs May 12)

The Sound of Space: Sci-Fi Film Music Add to a List
The Seattle Symphony conducted by Robert Ames will take you on an action-packed musical journey in a galaxy far, far away with a performance of epic sci-fi film scores including Alien, The Martian, Arrival, Foundation, and more.
Benaroya Hall, Downtown (Thurs May 12)

Citizen Cope Add to a List
Long-time touring musician and student of Americana musical traditions, Citizen Cope will treat his fans to an evening of alt-rock tunes pulled from his 20-year music career.
The Showbox, Downtown (Fri May 13)

Sigur RĂłs Add to a List
Although Icelandic post-rockers Sigur RĂłs have not released a proper studio album in nearly a decade, the band has been busy with projects such as the first-time release of their 2002 orchestral work Odin's Raven Magic, a slew of multimedia experiments/ambient soundbaths, and now a world tour.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Fri May 13)

Julianna Barwick with Malibu Add to a List
Using instruments and detectable lyrics sparingly, electronic composer Julianna Barwick primarily employs layers and loops of her voice to create puddles of emotion that Portland Mercury contributor Raquel Nasser noted as being “enough to leave you sobbing over a loved one or reveling in a sense of calm.” Likeminded French composer Malibu will start off the evening with her emotive ambient soundscapes.
Washington Hall, Central District (Sat May 14)

Stevie Nicks Add to a List
Former Fleetwood Mac frontwoman and beloved good witch Stevie Nicks will return to The Gorge once again, with the last time being her Enchanted Tour back in 1998. If you watched her 2020 concert film, Stevie Nicks 24 Karat Gold The Concert, then you know what to expect: her classic hits, a sprinkling of deepcuts, and her signature whimsical garb.
Gorge Amphitheatre (Sat May 14)

Aurora with Sub Urban Add to a List
Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora perfectly encapsulates her noted influences, with the youthful whimsy of Björk, the vocal range of Kate Bush, and the ethereal production of Enya. She will bring her avant-pop to town supporting her latest album, The Gods We Can Touch, with an opening set from kindred weirdo-pop star Sub Urban.
Showbox SoDo (Sun May 15)

PEACHES: The Teaches of Peaches Anniversary Tour Add to a List
Noted feminist musician and performance artist Peaches will celebrate the 20th anniversary of her groundbreaking debut album, Teaches of Peaches, which includes endlessly quotable and dark humor-filled songs like “Fuck the Pain Away,” “Cum Undon,” and “Diddle My Skittle.”
The Showbox, Downtown (Mon May 16)

Bauhaus Add to a List
Despite having disbanded after only five years, English goth-rock prophets Bauhaus are widely recognized as pioneering the genre with their moody potion of post-punk, glam rock, and experimental electronic. The four-piece will reunite once again after a 14-year hiatus, just after the release of their new single "Drink the New Wine," which they recorded separately during lockdown.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Fri May 20)

Kurt Vile and The Violators with Chastity Belt Add to a List
The beloved Philadelphia-based indie rocker Kurt Vile and his luscious locks will stop by on tour supporting his chilled-out new album, (watch my moves), his first full-length release on historic jazz label Verve Records. Uber-popular Seattle-based post-pop quartet Chastity Belt will get things started.
Moore Theatre, Belltown (Fri May 20)

Bastille: Give Me the Future Tour Add to a List
British indie-pop arena rockers Bastille will return in support of their fourth studio album, Give Me The Future, a thought-provoking meditation on the future of technology that aims to blur the boundaries between “real and virtual worlds.” Expect to hear smooth electronic beats and wavey synths with science fiction-inspired lyrics that surround a fictional tech company called Future Inc.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Tues May 24)

Lord Huron Add to a List
Back in 2019, Stranger editor Leilani Polk described LA-based folk-pop quartet Lord Huron's sound as “breezily effortless and expansive, their sweeping anthemic drive imbued with a Springsteenian/War on Drugs-like indie-rock appeal.” The band continues this trajectory on their critically acclaimed new album, Long Lost, which soars with rich vocal harmonies and vivid lyricism.
Marymoor Park, Redmond (Fri May 27)

Pusha T: It's Almost Dry Tour Add to a List
Legendary Virginia rapper Pusha T will take a breather from his standing as diss-track master (his list of subjects include McDonalds, Drake, and Lil Wayne, just to name a few) to support his latest album, It’s Almost Dry, which Pitchfork hailed as “musically varied and vocally impressive, revealing an artist who continues to cut extraneous elements out of his songwriting and drill closer to the core of his style.”
The Showbox, Downtown (Sun May 29)

Belle & Sebastian Add to a List
With Gen Z reviving the twee movement, it's shocking that Glasgow indie-poppers Belle & Sebastian have not blown up on TikTok yet with their seemingly endless tunes about riding the bus, getting lost in a book, and falling in love. The seven-piece will support their new album, A Bit of Previous, which tackles the experiences and turbulence that comes with getting older with their signature wit and tenderness.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Tues May 31)

Grouper Add to a List
Oregon-based artist Liz Harris, also known as Grouper, creates hushed ambient sounds that emanate feeling, despite her lyrics and instrumentation being slightly obscured by echoes and reverb. Her latest release, Shade, is a collection of unreleased recordings from throughout her musical career that shows another side with intimate stripped-down folk songs.
Benaroya Hall, Downtown (Tues May 31)

Fisherman's Village Music Festival 2022 Add to a List
Everett's Fisherman's Village Music Festival is back with headliners including jazz-rap giants Digable Planets, blues-funk-soul singer Black Joe Lewis with his band The Honeybears, indie soloist SYML, local pop-rock project Deep Sea Diver, and acclaimed singer-songwriter Haley Heynderickx.
Downtown Everett (
May 19–21)

Illenium Add to a List
Whether filling an amphitheater or the liminal space between euphoria and heartbreak, Illenium’s dizzying drops and soaring melodies bring an unprecedented level of genuine emotion and musical talent to the EDM soundscape. At Illenium’s sets, it is entirely possible (and okay) to dance and cry. SOPHIA STEPHENS
Gorge Amphitheatre (May 28–29)

PERFORMANCE

Afterwords Add to a List
Afterwords's emotive, soulful score merges pop, rock, and indie-folk. This world premiere follows journalist Jo and grieving sisters Kali and Simone in an innovative story of healing.
The 5th Avenue Theatre, Downtown (Apr 29–May 21)

Sweat Add to a List
Penned by MacArthur genius Lynn Nottage, this Pulitzer-winning play centers the working class in small-town Pennsylvania, where old friends and factory coworkers face job insecurity, racism, and class disparities. Peppered with humor and empathy, Sweat is a clear commentary on the devastating divisions caused by capitalism.
ACT - A Contemporary Theatre, Downtown (Apr 29–May 22)

Welcome to Night Vale Add to a List
This eerie, innovative podcast has found cult status in its narrative depictions of the tiny, isolated (fictional) town of Night Vale. Episodes take the form of community updates, complete with local weather, Sheriff’s Secret Police announcements, and news reports of supernatural, unexplained occurrences. From the minds of Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, Welcome to Night Vale blends the bizarre and macabre with Lynchian imagination.
Neptune Theatre, University District (Sun May 1)

The Watsons go to Birmingham - 1963 Add to a List
This theatrical rendition of Chris Paul Curtis's award-winning novel follows a young boy's journey from Flint, Michigan to Birmingham, Alabama with his family during the Jim Crow era. The Watsons find strength and resilience in the face of persistent racism, including a church bombing that became a standout event in Civil Rights history.
Seattle Children's Theatre, Uptown (May 3–22)

Dorrance Dance Add to a List
Conceived as a site-specific dance work in NYCĘĽs cavernous St. MarkĘĽs Church, SOUNDspace explored the space through the sounds of feet in motion. The performance has since shifted to examine other relationships between sound and movement. Dorrance Dance will perform SOUNDspace in a new iteration, melding traditional and contemporary dance practices.
Moore Theatre, Belltown (Thurs May 5)

Can Can's Lola Add to a List
It'll be just another evening in paradise at this Copacabana-inspired cabaret, complete with flirtatious showgirls and feathers. This gender-bending summer show will include market-fresh fare and cocktails to quench your thirst. 
Can Can, Downtown (May 5–Jul 15)

The Marriage of Figaro Add to a List
Mozart's zany comic opera, which continues the plot of The Barber of Seville, stands the test of time with cutting commentary on classism and gender norms. Maestro Alevtina Ioffe, the first woman Musical Director of Russia’s famed Mikhailovsky Theatre, will make her company debut as a conductor for this production. 
McCaw Hall, Uptown (May 7–21)

MOMIX: Alice Add to a List
Part dance, part surreal light spectacle, this inventive performance of Alice by dancer-illusionists MOMIX dives down the rabbit hole into the classic hallucinatory tale. MOMIX founder Moses Pendleton's imaginative choreography helps unfold the curious fantasy.
Meany Center for the Performing Arts, University District (May 12–14)

Whim W'Him: New Creations by Maurya Kerr, Micaela Taylor, and Olivier Wevers Add to a List
The 12th season of Whim W’Him draws to a close with three world premiere dance performances rooted in liberation and expanded practices. Pushcart-nominated poet and choreographer Maurya Kerr, Belgium-born dancer Olivier Wevers, and Micaela Taylor, Artistic Director of LA-based The TL Collective, will perform.
Various locations (May 13–28)

True Crime Obsessed Add to a List
True crime has been a "thing" for years now, so True Crime Obsessed podcast hosts Gillian Pensavalle and Patrick Hinds offer a sassy twist on the killer genre with plenty of humor and something called a "garbage bell." Spooky!
Neptune Theatre, University District (Sun May 15)

Two Mile Hollow Add to a List
Two Mile Hollow, written by Leah Nanako Winkler, follows a wealthy white family gathering to dish and dine in the Hamptons, but director Jesse Jou's cast of Asian American Pacific Islanders turns the "rich white family" trope upside down with sly wit and insight.
Broadway Performance Hall, Capitol Hill (Through May 15)

Dina Martina Add to a List
Master humorist and demented drag diva Dina Martina brings her gnarled performance art to the stage. The freaky queen's art form goes beyond your standard drag show—John Waters once described Martina's act as "some new kind of twisted art.”
Triple Door, Downtown (Wed May 18)

Riverwood Add to a List
Facing widespread gentrification, the tenants of Riverwood Apartments must navigate the unexpected turbulence of displacement in the tight-knit community they call home. This Seattle Public Theater production was directed by local actor, teaching artist, and director Shermona Mitchell.
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, Central District (May 18–Jun 5)

Much Ado About Nothing Add to a List
Shakespeare's quintessential feisty comedy revolves around two couples who fall in and out of love (and then back in love again), with plenty of tricks, twists, and fake death along the bumpy road. This production of screwball antics and zingy banter is directed by Allison Narver, who previously staged The Government Inspector.
Seattle Center, Uptown (Through May 22)

Selling Kabul Add to a List
Director Valerie Curtis-Newton brings playwright Sylvia Khoury's tense wartime story to life in Selling Kabul. The Americans have withdrawn from Afghanistan, and former U.S. military interpreter Taroon is left in the lurch, struggling with a lack of protection from Taliban forces. When his first child is about to be born, Taroon's anxieties reach a fever pitch.
Seattle Repertory Theatre, Uptown (Through May 22)

Bruce Add to a List
Try to keep up here: The Jaws Log by Carl Gottlieb tells the story of Steven Spielberg's experience directing Jaws, a film based on a book by Peter Benchley. In Bruce, a theatrical interpretation of The Jaws Log, a young director escapes to an island near Cape Cod to film a summer blockbuster. It's a battle against water, weather, and animatronic sharks in this world-premiere musical.
Seattle Repertory Theatre, Uptown (May 27–Jun 26)

Stars On Ice Add to a List
This showcase of the best medal contenders on the U.S. Figure Skating team will have you wistfully recalling your childhood ice skating dreams. (No? Just us?) Reigning World and U.S. National Champion Nathan Chen will hit the ice alongside U.S. Champions Alysa Liu and Madison Hubbell, World Medalist Vincent Zhou, Olympic Medalist Mirai Nagasu, and many more.
Climate Pledge Arena, Uptown (Sat May 28)

Seattle Cabaret Festival Add to a List
The Seattle Cabaret Festival believes that the musical medium is, first and foremost, versatile—past festival artists have pulled inspiration from rock, blues, opera, satire, French chansons, and more. This year's festival promises to continue showcasing the unexpected.
Egan's Ballard Jam House, Ballard (Through May 28)

The Prom Add to a List
Deemed "full of happiness" by Variety, this hit Broadway musical was adapted into a stylish, jewel-toned Netflix flick by Ryan Murphy back in 2020. The Prom follows a batch of big Broadway stars en route to small-town Indiana, where they hope to help a student forbidden from bringing her girlfriend to the prom.
The 5th Avenue Theatre, Downtown (May 31–Jun 19)

Down the Rabbit Hole: a Wonderland Cabaret Add to a List
This Alice in Wonderland-themed event is a mesmerizing feast for the senses, including favorite fantasy tales set to original music and Instagrammable immersive art installations. Indulge in themed cocktails and Eat Me's pop-up tasting menu while the White Rabbit MCs. The Mad Hatter, March Hare, and Queen of Hearts might appear at your table, too.
Cafe Nordo, Pioneer Square (Through Jun 19)

COMEDY

Upper Left Comedy Festival Add to a List
With three days of solid stand-up, Upper Left Comedy Fest showcases the best in local and national talent. Expect side-splitting acts from crowd fave comics like Ron Lynch, Jackie Kashian, Derek Sheen, David Gborie, Emmett Montgomery, Monica Nevi, and Andy Iwancio.
Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill (May 12–14)

Sebastian Maniscalco: Nobody Does This Tour Add to a List
Sebastian Maniscalco, recently described as “the hottest comic in America” by the New York Times, has seen his fair share of success lately—he dropped a bestselling memoir and landed roles in Martin Scorsese’s crime flick The Irishman and the Oscar-winning Green Book. He'll share more of his energetic, exaggerated humor on the Nobody Does This Tour.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Sat May 21)

Nicole Byer: THOT: The Happiest Out There Add to a List
In 2019, Suzette Smith of the Portland Mercury wrote, "Every week I listen to the podcast Why Won’t You Date Me? where Nicole Byer interviews guests (usually comedians) about their relationship(s) and regales everyone with sexy, hilarious stories from her life. Byer’s stand-up takes a similar shape: even more fabulous stories! It’s wonderful, even if it isn’t relatable. I mean, no flight attendant has ever given me nine airplane vodkas so I could rewatch Back to the Future and enjoy it on a whole new level. But I am also nowhere near as glamorous and adventurous as Nicole Byer."
Moore Theatre, Belltown (Sun May 22)

John Cleese Add to a List
Here's your chance to cut loose with a comedy icon. John Cleese's irreverent brand of humor stands strong as the 82-year-old Monty Python frontman returns with more silly stories and observations. 
McCaw Hall, Uptown (Mon May 23)

Gary Gulman: Born on 3rd Base Add to a List
Gary Gulman's refreshingly frank comedy earned him a finalist spot on NBC's Last Comic Standing for two seasons. Equal parts hilarious and encouraging, Gulman looked closely at mental illness in his 2019 HBO special The Great Depresh. We hope to hear more of his witty, candid sincerity in this performance.
Moore Theatre, Belltown (Sat May 28)

FILM

2022 Seattle Black Film Festival Add to a List
The 19th annual Seattle Black Film Festival offers a melanated blend of boundary-pushing films from four continents. Over 40 films will be screened in-person and virtually, celebrating the best of Black local, national, and international filmmaking. The festival programming will wrap up with a guest presentation from Richard Lawson and Tina Knowles Lawson (yes, that Tina) of the documentary film The Evolution of African Dance, plus a behind-the-scenes short documentary of the making of Black Terror.
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, Central District (Apr 29–May 1)

TRANSlations: Seattle Trans Film Festival Add to a List
One of only two trans film festivals in the United States(!), TRANSlations: Seattle Trans Film Festival offers a hybrid showcase of trans-centered features, short films, and special events. Snag a virtual pass for access to any film from home until May 13, or view the best of the fest at a special "Mxxtape" screening Add to a List on May 7. In an effort to increase accessibility, all films will be subtitled for this year's fest. We're stoked for Caer, an experimental documentary illuminating the experience of Latina trans women sex workers in New York.
Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill (May 5–8)

National Film Festival for Talented Youth Add to a List
This forward-thinking film fest spotlights fresh work by emerging filmmakers, with a focus on work by young women, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and others from traditionally marginalized communities. As usual, the youth are honing in on society's most critical issues—look for films that grapple with climate change, gender, Indigeneity, and more. (There's also Meow or Never, which follows a cat astronaut and a space pup on stop-motion adventures.)
Online (Through May 8)

Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Film Festival Add to a List
Now in its 17th year, this annual fest presents the best in innovative sci-fi and fantasy cinema from around the world. It tends to pack the house, selling out for the last 10 years with film fans eager for fresh space stories and tales from other worlds.
MoPOP (May 21–22)

READINGS & TALKS

An Evening with Neil Gaiman Add to a List
The befuddling, mind-bending brain of Neil Gaiman will be on full display for this evening of storytelling and Q&A. Perhaps best known as the celebrated author of Coraline and the comic book series The Sandman, Gaiman's varied creative pursuits also include ventures in screenwriting, radio, blogging, and fountain pen appreciation.
Benaroya Hall, Downtown (Sun May 1)

Sonya Renee Taylor in Conversation with Ijeoma Oluo Add to a List
Sonya Renee Taylor's The Body is Not an Apology proposes revolutionary self-love as a social justice movement for global transformation. The world-shaking activist will be joined by Ijeoma Oluo, self-proclaimed "Internet yeller" and author of So You Want to Talk About Race, for a radical conversation.
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, Central District (Mon May 2)

Douglas Stuart Add to a List
Douglas Stuart's harrowing Bildungsroman Shuggie Bain—the writer's debut novel—was rejected by 30 publishers before its 2020 publication, going on to win the Booker Prize, two British Book Awards, and the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction. Not bad! On the heels of his last success, Stuart's new novel follows a queer love in divided, working-class Glasgow. The author will be present to sign books at this event, and there'll be time for an audience Q&A, too.
Third Place Books Lake Forest Park (Wed May 4)

Natalie Baszile Add to a List
Natalie Baszile's heartbreaking debut novel, Queen Sugar, was adapted into an Ava DuVernay-directed TV show, with a seventh season projected to release this year. Now, Baszile presents an anthology of Black farming in We Are Each Other’s Harvest, compiling essays, poetry, photographs, dialogues, and stories describing systemic discrimination, ancestral legacies, food justice, food sovereignty, and reparations. This talk will include a Q&A led by Hedgebrook Executive Director Kimberly A.C. Wilson.
Town Hall, First Hill (Thurs May 5)

Secrets of the Sprakkar with First Lady Eliza Reid Add to a List
Did you know that Iceland has topped the World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Index for the past 12 years? In Secrets of the Sprakkar, the country's First Lady, Eliza Reid, shares her thoughts on the country's journey toward gender equality and considers how a more equitable society can benefit all people. 
National Nordic Museum, Ballard (Fri May 6)

Connie Walker Add to a List
Award-winning Cree journalist Connie Walker unveils a disturbing pattern of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in her podcasts Stolen and Missing & Murdered. In Stolen, Walker delves into the investigation of the disappearance of Jermain Charlo, a young Indigenous mother who vanished in 2018. More widely, Walker's work grapples with the epidemic of violence that Indigenous women in America face each day. This talk will include a Q&A with Pacific Northwest journalist Wudan Yan.
Town Hall, First Hill (Thurs May 12)

Dr. Andrew Huberman Add to a List
Smart dude incoming! Neuroscientist and Stanford neurobiology professor Andrew Huberman, Ph.D. is an expert on brain development and neural plasticity. Published in top journals and featured in TIME, Scientific American, Discover, and more, Huberman is also the host of the top-ranked Huberman Lab Podcast, which grapples with all things neuroscience.
Moore Theatre, Belltown (Tues May 17)

Henry Rollins: Good to See You 2022 Add to a List
Any attempt to accurately describe Henry Rollins would be futile, but The Washington Post once described him as "enthusiastic and engaging chatter," which seems as good a label as any. For this tour, the legendary provocateur will dish on the details of his life lately with characteristic intensity.
Neptune Theatre, University District (Tues May 17)

Neil deGrasse Tyson Add to a List
Esteemed astrophysicist and Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson will expand your mind with accessible explanations of star formation, dwarf galaxies, and more. Basically, space for dummies!
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Tues May 17)

Innovation Exchange 2022 Add to a List
With climate emergency taking center stage, this program centers the work of sustainability-minded Seattle innovators and visionaries. Expect to hear from the program's Featured Innovator, Sally Jewell, former US Secretary of the Interior and CEO of REI, plus key local figures like Lylianna Allala, the Climate Justice Director for the City of Seattle.
MOHAI, South Lake Union (Thurs May 19)

National Nordic Museum's Nordic Innovation Summit 2022 Add to a List
President of Iceland GuĂ°ni JĂłhannesson will present a keynote address at this innovation-focused summit. Panels on the future of the workplace and conversations on electric mobility, decarbonization, and sustainability will appeal to forward-thinking folks.
National Nordic Museum, Ballard (Thurs May 19)

Greenwood: A Century of Resilience (National Geographic Live) Add to a List
Archaeologist and Tulsa native Dr. Alicia Odewale presents new research on the Tulsa Race Massacre and its aftermath in this illuminating talk. Considered one of the worst episodes of racial violence committed against Black people in American history, the massacre's legacy is still felt today. Dr. Odewale's reexamination of the event—including accounts of the community's astounding resilience—tells a story of incredible strength amid generational trauma. She'll share how archaeology can function as a restorative justice tool, helping to recover untold stories and reclaim complex historical narratives.
Benaroya Hall, Downtown (Sun May 22)

Angela Garbes, Essential Labor Add to a List
Angela Garbes, the former Stranger writer behind a piece that’s still gaining readers nearly four years after it was published, “The More I Learn About Breast Milk, the More Amazed I Am,” and the author of 2018's Like a Mother (which looks at the history of women's health and the cultural prejudices, politics, and preconceived ideas about pregnancy and motherhood), will discuss her new book Essential Labor, which explores the state of caregiving in the United States, with New York Times food journalist Ligaya Mishan.
Book Larder, Fremont (Mon May 23)

VISUAL ART & EXHIBITS

Superfine Art Fair Seattle Add to a List
Superfine's unconventional art fair model allows attendees to support the arts and connect with artists, too. With an eye toward inclusivity, the fair offers affordable art (90% of the art is priced from $50 to $3,000), plus meet-and-greet opportunities. Oh, and it's for a good cause: 25% of ticket proceeds will be donated to an LGBTQ+ youth-supporting charity.
Block 41, Belltown (May 12–15)

Dismantling the Body: Possibilities and Limitations in Art Making Symposium Add to a List
This free two-day virtual symposium investigates the human body as a site of stress, regulation, provocation, and creativity throughout art history. To untangle the sticky web of interactions between body, place, and agency, grad students in UW's Art History department will present talks by scholars and artists, including Indigenous artist and curator Lou-Ann Neel and art historian Amanda Cachia.
University of Washington (May 18–19)

The Infinite Add to a List
This NASA-inspired virtual reality experience allows audiences to become astronauts and freely explore a full-scale replica of the International Space Station. Soundscapes, light design, and even scent will heighten sensory immersion. THE INFINITE is an extension of the Emmy-winning series Space Explorers: The ISS Experience, the largest production ever filmed in space.
Tacoma Armory (May 21–Jul 31)

Ansel Adams: Masterworks Add to a List
We're all familiar with Ansel Adams's transcendent imagery—it seems to surpass the label of "nature photos," becoming something more powerful and devotional. This traveling exhibition compiles 48 of Adams's innovative, precise photographs, hand-selected by the artist late in life as the best works of his career.
MOHAI, South Lake Union (May 28–Sep 5)

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