Though the world may be unpredictable these days, take heart in the fact that some things remain the same, like the return of annual Seattle holiday events including the Christmas Ship Festival (a tradition since 1949) and the Seattle Marathon (going strong since 1970). But if you need to shake up your routine, this month has plenty to offer you as well, including The Stranger's brand-new documentary film festival, SCOOP, and Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective, the first retrospective of the seminal photographer's work in more than 35 years. Some of our current favorites are on the November calendar as well, like Trevor Noah and the Freakout Festival. Read on for details on all that and more things to do all month long.
Tokyo Police Club
Join Canadian rockers Tokyo Police Club as they put on a little fanfare for the 10th anniversary of their seminal album Champ.
Tractor Tavern, Ballard (Tues Nov 2)
World-renowned Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli will make a stop in Seattle on his Believe North America Tour, which supports his new album of the same name that press materials describe as "a poignant and personal collection of songs, celebrating the power of music to soothe the soul."
Climate Pledge Arena, Uptown (Wed Nov 3)
$uicideboy$: Greyday Tour
Think critically about your existence to the tune of Southern rap, courtesy of New Orleans-based hip-hop group $uicideboy$. They'll be joined on this Greyday tour stop by Chief Keef, slowthai, Turnstile, Night Lovell, Germ, Shakewell, Ramirez, and CHETTA.
WaMu Theater, SoDo (Wed Nov 3)
Record producer and audio engineer Finneas has found time aside from his extensive work with sister Billie Eilish to plug away at his own solo career. The singer-songwriter will release his debut album Optimist shortly before embarking on a fall North American tour with support from Marinelli. Showbox SoDo (Thurs Nov 4)
Deer Tick and Delta Spirit
While their hard-bodied insect namesake survives solely on animal blood, Rhode Island stalwarts Deer Tick prefer the sweet taste of indie folk-rock. Join them on this co-headlining tour stop with Cali rockers Delta Spirit.
The Showbox, Downtown (Fri Nov 5)
Hip-hop legend and "Baby Got Back" progenitor Sir Mix-A-Lot will take the lead on a night out on Capitol Hill, joined by fellow MCs Grynch, Marshall Hugh, and The Windbreakers, plus DJ Boombox Kid.
Neumos, Capitol Hill (Fri Nov 5)
Candlebox (all original band): 26 Years of Lucy - 31 Years of Greatest Hits
Most people think of Nirvana and Pearl Jam as the pillars of Seattle's grunge scene, but the five dudes from Candlebox were right there with them churning out radio-ready hooks. Help them celebrate 25th anniversary on their hometown tour stop.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Sat Nov 6)
Evanescence + Halestorm
Amy Lee and Lzzy Hale ("two of the top women in rock") of Evanescence and Halestorm, respectively, will link up for a night of their biggest and baddest hits.
Climate Pledge Arena, Uptown (Sun Nov 7)
Harry Styles: Love On Tour
The pop scene darling, folk-pop-rock star, and young Mick Jagger-Elton John hybrid Harry Styles will visit our fair region with a tour stop in Tacoma. Indie rock queen Jenny Lewis will open for his North America dates.
Tacoma Dome (Sun Nov 7)
Memphis native Julien Baker discusses any and all things melancholy in her music, including substance abuse, questioning God, not being good enough... the list goes on. She pairs this with minimal piano or guitar chords that hit the sweet spot to get a tear rolling down your cheek. All sadness aside, Baker’s tracks are raw, mature, and breathtakingly beautiful—it’s almost as if she opens her diary to be read aloud. Baker’s music is refreshing in a time when many songwriters are recycling the same themes and concepts. ANNA KAPLAN
Moore Theatre, Belltown (Wed Nov 10)
Queer pop dignitary (and excellent Tweeter) Perfume Genius will play two hometown gigs at The Showbox.
The Showbox, Downtown (Sat Nov 13)
Considering their Top 40 radio ubiquity, it's been basically impossible to not recognize the Jeep commercial-ready stadium party rock sound of X Ambassadors. They'll return to Seattle on their Beautiful Liar tour with Scarypoolparty and Taylor Janzen.
The Showbox, Downtown (Mon Nov 15)
Lupe Fiasco Presents Food & Liquor
Before I actually listened to the lyrics, I thought “Kick, Push” (the first single off Lupe Fiasco’s 2006 debut full-length, Food & Liquor) was about climbing and striving to get to the top, then relaxing and coasting as your hard work pays off. In reality, it’s about skateboarding, a love story between two misfits on wheels—and goddamn is it ever an earworm, built on the sweeping symphonics from Celeste Legaspi’s 1982 song “Bolero Medley,” with an added bumpin’ beat and Lupe’s raps gliding over the top. “Daydreamin’” is that album’s other single, a Grammy winner and an obvious jam that taps “Daydream in Blue” by I Monster and features Jill Scott belting the chorus. These tracks will be performed amid the entirety of Food & Liquor for the socially conscious rapper’s Seattle stop. According to press materials, his fans were asking for it and the “time finally felt right” for a full album presentation, although it feels a bit like creative procrastination—his not-so-unconscious way of putting off finishing Skulls, the eighth album that he’s claimed will herald his retirement. LEILANI POLK
Showbox SoDo (Thurs Nov 18)
The first time I ever heard Cowboy Junkies was on a dirty, beer-stained couch at the radio station I used to help run in college. My friend and I were supposed to be studying, but we ended up just lying around listening to music. She put on their cover of Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane,” which seemed to fit every mood I could ever have at 21—melancholy, meditative, cautious, ready to yield to the good things in life. Like the rest of the band’s work. JAS KEIMIG
Moore Theatre, Belltown (Fri Nov 19)
Former Stranger music contributor Robert Ham wrote, "If you seek to understand even a sliver of what the internet has wrought on youth culture, pop music, and celebrity, you're going to need to spend some time with Poppy. The online world created and nurtured Poppy, helping turn her from a curiosity into a sensation whose YouTube videos have logged more than 450 million views and whose work is debated and analyzed on Reddit by fans and detractors alike. She's unavoidable, and she's setting a template for how pop stars create and market their image online."
Showbox SoDo (Wed Nov 24)
Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Celebrating 25 Years of Christmas Eve and Other Stories
As Joseph Schafer wrote in The Stranger in 2019, "Yes, I know, they're cheesy in the extreme and not even actually from Siberia, but Trans-Siberian Orchestra's jolly blend of electric-guitar shredding and Christmas music is like the flu: It comes around every year and it's extremely catchy. That being said, if I'm going to be afflicted with pinch-harmonic-inflected cheer, then I'm at least going to focus on the upside. Which is, TSO formed from the remains of the excellent and under-appreciated power-metal outfit Savatage, whose interpretation of Edvard Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" probably sparked the whole classical-music-meets-metal fad. Now if only they still had Alex Skolnick from Testament in the band."
Climate Pledge Arena, Uptown (Sat Nov 27)
Eagles: Hotel California 2021 Tour
The rock legends will play their iconic album Hotel California from beginning to end plus a set of their greatest hits.
Climate Pledge Arena, Uptown (Nov 5–6)
Earshot Jazz Festival 2021
This year's hybrid Earshot Jazz Festival will provide swingin' in-person and virtual experiences from a lengthy lineup including headlining Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés, featured resident artist Marina Albero, Eugenie Jones, Kareem Kandi World Orchestra, The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, and many more.
Various locations (through Nov 7)
Ballard gets an extra jolt of sonic excitement and diversity with Freakout Festival, a four-night affair returning after a COVID-related hiatus. There will be shows at the Tractor, Sunset, Eagles Club, and Conor Byrne.
Tractor Tavern, Ballard (Nov 11–14)
Demetri Martin: I Feel Funny Tour
A handsomer-than-average nerd, Demetri Martin emits brainy, humorous observations with effortless poise. In one set, he said, “I feel like there’s a parallel world right in front of us that’s revealed with a small shift in perspective.” Those words could stand as Martin’s mission statement. He scrutinizes the mundane activities and thought processes humans engage in every damn day and forces us to reassess them in ways that make you think, “Wow, I’ve never looked at it that way—but he’s totally right! Now I need to adopt this worldview in order to live a much more entertaining life.” Martin excels at slyly making the ordinary seem surreal. DAVE SEGAL
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Fri Nov 5)
Hasan Minhaj: The King's Jester
As Dave Segal once wrote for The Stranger, "America could do with more Muslim comics and their under-acknowledged observations, especially if they’re as sharp-witted as Hasan Minhaj. His charming demeanor belies a deceptively acerbic humor, honed during his trenchant appearances on The Daily Show. Minhaj truly rose to the occasion at the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, where he delivered hundreds of punishing left jabs at right-wing politicians. It was a roast for the ages, and if it made the president’s blood pressure rise to dangerous levels, Minhaj deserves a Nobel Prize. His Netflix special Homecoming King proved he could conceive exceptionally moving personal comedy, too." After the cancellation of his popular Netflix show, Patriot Act, he's returning to the stage with a new one-man show.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Fri Nov 12)
Trevor Noah: Back to Abnormal World Tour
These days I need my news spoon-fed to me with a little sugar; Trevor Noah (and his dimples) knows how to lay it on thick. But as Noah explained in a recent appearance on The Breakfast Club, he tends to stay away from political topics in his standup, since he talks about that crap all week on The Daily Show. (Still, Noah’s spot-on impersonation of Donald Trump is Emmy-worthy at this point.) 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. In his latest Netflix offering, Son of Patricia, 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. JENNI MOORE
Climate Pledge Arena, Uptown (Fri Nov 26)
Can Can's all-new revue sees a cast of salacious characters engaging in forbidden fun, pulling numbers from the company's productions of Bon Bon, Peacock, El Dorado, and more. Wed - Sun, from
Can Can, Pike Place Market (Nov 4-28)
The Hip Hop Nutcracker featuring Kurtis Blow
This reinterpretation of the beloved ballet swaps out imperial Russia for 1980s Brooklyn as little Maria-Clara travels back in time to her parents' first meeting at a nightclub. It's acted out by a dozen hip-hop dancers, a DJ, Kurtis Blow (who opens the evening with a short set), and an onstage violinist.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Nov 13–14)
A fish-out-of-water teenage nerd is tempted by a cruel high school clique in this musical based on the Tina Fey movie, with music by Jeff Richmond (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), lyrics by Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde) and direction by Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon).
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Nov 16–21)
Pacific Northwest Ballet: George Balanchine's The Nutcracker
If you haven't seen this Christmas classic since you were a kid, give it a go this year. In 2014, Pacific Northwest Ballet replaced its beloved Maurice Sendak set with one by Ian Falconer, who did the Olivia the Pig books, and I'm glad that they did. The new set is gorgeous in a Wes Anderson-like way, and it reflects the genuine weirdness and beauty in the story. I mean, the last 45 minutes of this thing is a Katy Perry video starring dancing desserts and a glittery peacock that moves like a sexy broken river. Bring a pot lozenge. RICH SMITH
McCaw Hall, Uptown (Nov 26–Dec 28)
A Drag Queen Christmas
Hosted by former RuPaul's Drag Race contestants Trinity the Tuck and Monét X Change, this holiday spectacular boasts performances by all your Drag Race favorites, like Season 12 winner Jaida Essence Hall, Season 9 winner Sasha Velour, runner-up Shea Couleé, and more.
Moore Theatre, Belltown (Mon Nov 29)
READINGS & TALKS
An Evening with Chelsea Clinton, Deborah Heiligman, Ruby Shamir, and Christine Day
Celebrate the release of three new books in the kids' chapter book series She Persisted, inspired by Chelsea Clinton's New York Times-bestselling book of the same name. The new books follow workers' rights advocate Clara Lemlich, America's first prima ballerina Maria Tallchief, and Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman to serve in both the House and the Senate. A limited supply of signed bookplates from Chelsea Clinton, Deborah Heiligman, Ruby Shamir, and Christine Day are also available to order.
Virtual (Tues Nov 9)
You've snooped his diaries and snort-laughed over his essays, and now you can see the hilarious writer in the flesh when he swings through Seattle for his annual reading and book signing (this time centering his most recent collections, The Best of Me and Carnival of Snackery).
Benaroya Hall, Downtown (Sun Nov 7)
Pulitzer- and National Book Award-winning Louise Erdrich will discuss her new novel, The Sentence, which "explores how the burdens of history, and especially identity, appropriation, exploitation, and violence done to human beings in the name of justice, manifest in ordinary lives today." The timely plot follows an independent bookstore owner in Minneapolis from November 2019 to November 2020 and will also appeal to fans of mysteries and ghost stories. As we've said before about Erdrich, "Those who are already fans of Erdrich's writing about the American plains and modern Native American life are already excited for this one; if you haven't read her before, you're about to enter a world unlike anything else you've ever seen."
Virtual (Wed Nov 10)
WildLanterns presented by BECU
The Woodland Park Zoo is taking a more realistic approach to its beloved annual holiday light display by lining its paths with glowing lanterns in the likeness of tigers, snow leopards, aquatic creatures, zebras, and other exotic animals.
Woodland Park Zoo, Phinney Ridge (Nov 12–Jan 16)
Seattle Turkey Trot
Make room for turkey, Tofurkey, or whatever Thanksgiving feast you're working with by running in the location of your choosing and posting photos on social with the hashtag #SeattleTurkeyTrot. Proceeds will benefit the Ballard Food Bank.
Virtual (Thurs Nov 25)
Christmas Ship Festival
The Puget Sound is filled with lights throughout the holiday season, but no vessel can compete with Argosy Cruises' Christmas Ship, which docks in 65 waterfront communities to serenade people onshore and onboard with its resident choir. Those who choose to board the ship will enjoy photos with Santa, a reading of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," and kids' activities. For a less family-oriented option, you can trail behind in a 21+ boat with rotating themes each week. It's also free to watch from the shore.
Various locations (Nov 26–Dec 23)
FOOD & DRINK
Seattle Restaurant Week
Frugal gourmands everywhere rejoice over Seattle Restaurant Week, which happens twice a year and lets diners tuck into prix-fixe menus at restaurants hoping to lure new customers with singularly slashed prices. The proceedings have adapted a bit in the wake of COVID-19's devastating impact on the restaurant industry: This fall, over 200 restaurants across over 45 cities and neighborhoods in the Seattle area will offer special menus for $20 lunches, $35 and/or $50 dinners, with options for takeout, delivery, and/or dine-in. The lineup this year includes Cafe Munir, Nirmal's, Vendemmia, Rondo, Tamari Bar, Communion/That Brown Girl Cooks!, Sawyer, Revel, Paseo, and other notable favorites.
Various locations (through Nov 6)
Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love with Yotam Ottolenghi & Noor Murad
Co-authors Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad will chat with food writer and Indian-ish author Priya Krishna about their new release Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love, which aims to reinvigorate your home cooking routine with new ideas for using shelf-stable, pantry-and-freezer-friendly ingredients.
Virtual (Thurs Nov 4)
Gastro Obscura with Cecily Wong
Portland writer Cecily Wong of the publication Gastro Obscura, which delves into the many wonders, oddities, and curiosities of the food world, will discuss her new book Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer's Guide, which details everything from a beer made from fog in Chile to the 2000-year-old egg ovens of Egypt. She'll be joined in conversation by Seattle Times food writer Tan Vinh.
Book Larder, Fremont (Wed Nov 11)
Just in time for Thanksgiving (and the subsequent holidays), Urban Craft Uprising will host this specialty food show for the fifth year in a row, promising over 75 local vendors slinging everything from caramels to small-batch pickles to nut butters.
Magnuson Park Hangar 30, Sand Point (Sat Nov 20)
The Alice - An Immersive Cocktail Experience
Take a jaunt down the rabbit hole into this "immersive cocktail adventure" inspired by Alice in Wonderland. The experience will feature two custom cocktails, riddles and challenges, an "Eat Me" cake, a rose-painting activity, and other "curious and curiouser" oddities.
Knee High Stocking Co., Capitol Hill (Nov 24–Dec 30)
M(other) Tongues: Bodhild and Las Hermanas Iglesias
While they now live on opposite ends of the country, Janelle and Lisa Iglesias—the daughters of Norwegian and Dominican immigrant parents—honor their heritage and their mother's love of knitting in this project-based installation featuring hand-knit and woven works inspired by familial traditions, including their grandmother's mother’s rag rugs and the drawings and weavings of modern textile pioneer Anni Albers. "Displayed on an architectural frame that can be seen from multiple angles, the intergenerational team privilege different visual perspectives, and highlight the process through which the works are made," writes the museum.
National Nordic Museum, Ballard (Nov 4–Jan 31)
BAM Biennial 2021: Architecture & Urban Design
Straying from its previous focus on materials—one year was glass, another was fiber, another was wood, etc.—the next five BAM Biennial (the Bellevue Arts Museum's juried exhibition that celebrates new work from emerging artists) will examine specific fields and areas of studies within the realm of art, craft, and design. This year's event will focus on the ever-expanding urban environment. "The upheavals of recent months have raised important questions about the way we think of architecture and urban design," writes the museum. "Should sustainability and density be continually reassessed to respond appropriately to the issues of tomorrow?"
Bellevue Arts Museum (Nov 5–Apr 24)
HOCKEY: Faster Than Ever
Can't get enough of the NHL? Bringing your kids to a Kraken game? Stop by this brand-new, interactive hockey exhibition to "discover the future of hockey, Seattle style." Highlights include a scaled-down replica rink where you can experiment with the science behind the game and a "locker room"-style display with information about and gear from players including Sidney Crosby, Seth Jones, Connor McDavid, and Team USA women’s Olympic gold medalist Hilary Knight.
Pacific Science Center, Uptown (Nov 8–Feb 27)
Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective
The first major US retrospective of photographer Imogen Cunningham's work is coming to the Seattle Art Museum on November 18. It will feature 200 works from PNW-raised Cunningham's seven decade-long career including "portraits of artists, musicians, and Hollywood stars; elegant flower and plant studies; poignant street pictures; and groundbreaking nudes," says a press release from the museum. I flipped through the exhibition catalog and the show will be gorgeous. JAS KEIMIG
Seattle Art Museum, Downtown (Nov 18–Feb 6)
Frisson: The Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis Collection
View 19 works from the collection of Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis, gifted by the Friday Foundation. Frisson spans a post-war period between 1945-1976, with paintings, drawings, and sculptures tracing the artistic development of influential American and European abstract expressionists such as Francis Bacon, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, and others.
Seattle Art Museum, Downtown (through Nov 27)
Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience
You don't have to travel halfway around the world to take in van Gogh's most famous works; a 20,000-square-foot light and sound installation is bringing masterpieces by the Dutch post-impressionist painter to cities across the country, including here in Seattle.A joint project between Exhibition Hub and Fever, Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience is modeled after similar installations that have toured Europe in recent years, comprising a 360-degree floor-to-ceiling rig that unfetters paintings like "The Starry Night" from the borders of their original canvases (who can forget that "Wheatfield with Crows" allegory in Greg Araki's Mysterious Skin?!), leaving viewers to literally bask in their light. Beyond the main room, smaller galleries will provide context on the artist's life alongside "larger than life" re-creations. There's also a virtual reality component to the show, a 10-minute journey billed as "a day in the life of the artist" that's designed to make you feel as if you're strolling alongside Vincent as he discovers scenes that would inspire eight of his seminal paintings.
Cinema Italian Style
Now in its 13th year, SIFF's annual homage to contemporary Italian cinema will be a mix of virtual and in-person screenings, opening with Emma Dante's The Macaluso Sisters (which sees the bond between five siblings grow stronger after an unexpected tragedy) and ending with Paolo Sorrentino's The Hand of God, in which the legendary director excavates the formative experiences of his Neapolitan youth.
SIFF Cinema Egyptian, Capitol Hill (Nov 4 - Nov 11)
The strangest little documentary festival in town is ready to show you what's up! SCOOP is a new mini-doc fest brought to you by The Stranger, the Portland Mercury, and the producers behind HUMP!, SLAY, and SPLIFF Film Festivals. Earlier this year, our sister sites asked readers to go out into our chaotic world and send in their best scoops on the issues they care about the most. After combing through hundreds of submissions, a fresh and international lineup of 11 documentary shorts has been curated, including reports on everything from trippy plants in Hong Kong to the fight to save historic community spaces in Seattle. There are enough scoops to satisfy everyone's tastes, and there's plenty of Pacific Northwest representation.
Virtual (Nov 12–21)
The Romanian Film Festival in Seattle: 8th Edition
"The Romanian film industry has been producing international festival hits since 2004, and the so-called New Wave filmmakers and their successors have never stopped innovating. This brief but mighty film festival screens movies that range from caustically funny to fearlessly intellectual," wrote former Stranger Arts Calendar Editor Joule Zelman last year. Back for an eighth year, this online edition will pay special attention to films that "showcase the creative spirit and resilience of young and established directors alike" through the theme of "Back to Wonderland."
Virtual (Nov 12–21)
The Neptune Centennial
When STG's University District theater first opened on November 16, 1921 as a cinema, the Seattle Times called it the “newest photoplay palace and the finest suburban theatre in this part of the country.” Now, 100 years later, you know it as the newly renovated venue where big-name rap and rock acts from across the country have played for the last 10 years. Celebrate this history at this free community celebration that will include a video presentation, drinks and snacks, and the "honoring of an art installation by indigenous artist Joseph H. (wahalatsu?) Seymour signifying the acknowledgement of the land once inhabited where the Neptune Theatre stands." Afterwards, stick around for live music from Billy Joe & The Dusty 45s, Ron Artis II & The Truths, and more.
Neptune Theatre, University District (Tues Nov 16)
Indigenous Heritage Day Celebration Featuring: Khu.Éex' & More
Jasmyne Keimig has written, "Headed up by Tlingit bassist/vocalist (and lauded glass artist) Preston Singletary, Khu.éex' (pronounced Koo-eex) are a supergroup composed largely of indigenous poets and musicians. Beginning as a chance meeting between Singletary and legendary funk keyboardist Bernie Worrell (Parliament-Funkadelic, Talking Heads), Khu.éex' combine far-out funk and jazz with spoken word and Great Native Northwest storytelling to present a contemporary interpretation of their culture to the world. Most recent EP Héen ('water' in Tlingit) deals with the importance of water to indigenous communities across the country." They'll headline this showcase of indigenous artists and performers, which will also feature Daisy Chain and Air Jazz.
High Dive, Fremont (Fri Nov 26)
SPORTS & RECREATION
There are two options for participating in the oldest marathon in the PNW this year: The in-person course (complete with rolling hills and scenic views of Seattle’s iconic bridges, waterways and architecture"), or socially distanced and on your own time.
Gas Works Park, Wallingford (Sun Nov 28) and virtual