Our music critics have already chosen the 46 best music shows this week, but now it’s our arts critics’ turn to recommend the best events in their areas of expertise. Here are their picks in every genre—from Negroni Week to Queer Bar’s Queer/Pride Festival (and tons more Pride events), and from Dragonfest to a reading with Serious Eats blog creator Ed Levine. See them all below, and find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.
Found something you like and don’t want to forget about it later? Click “Save Event” on any of the linked events below to add it to your own private list.
Sandbox Radio: Busting Out
Sandbox Radio is an old-school-radio-style podcast that periodically stages fresh, fun, live shows. This episode, co-produced with Town Hall, promises “new plays, songs, poetry, adaptations of classic literature,” and live sound effects.
Mark D. Shelton: Passion for Our First Peoples
Mark D. Shelton (Seneca-Honorary Chinook Tribal Artist) responds to the famous portraits of Native Americans by Edward Curtis with his own mixed-media paintings. See sepia and copper prints of the historic photos alongside Shelton’s collage paintings of their subject matter.
Peter Rand: A to B: 6–10
Peter Rand works in a variety of forms: video, installation, interactive media, sculpture, socially engaged art, and performance. He is most interested in examining topics like identity, urban spaces, and the absurd. In his latest show, Rand uses time-lapse photography to depict him constructing objects as they move through space, shifting and reassembling these “toolsets” against various different backgrounds. These photos then become “a study in getting from here to there.” JASMYNE KEIMIG
Clarren’s mixed-media sculptures and large-scale canvases reveal an interest in mystery, expressionism, organic patterning, and human and animal faces. They just might make you think of ancient Sumerian mythology, or Henri Matisse.
Locally cherished artists like Anthony White, Electric Coffin, Brandon Vosika, Blake Blanco, Mary Coss, Drie Chapek, and many others are featured at this show presented by RELISH magazine. Buy their work and pick up a copy of RELISH, and head to the closing reception to meet the curator.
FOOD & DRINK
The refreshingly bitter, glowing-crimson aperitif—made with equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth and garnished with an orange peel—is so beloved, it now has its own week. Bars all over Seattle will be shaking up their own variations of the cocktail to benefit charitable organizations. If the concept of gulping Negronis to combat the world’s ills sounds too good to be true, you’re probably right: As former Stranger food writer Angela Garbes wrote in 2016, “Started in 2013 by Campari and Imbibe magazine, Negroni Week is most definitely a marketing ploy benefitting a global corporation. Feel free to plot the overthrow of our corporate power regime as you throw back another Negroni.” JULIANNE BELL
Look How Far We’ve Come: A Queer Art Show 902 Feet in the Air
Look How Far We’ve Come: A Queer Art Show 902 Feet in the Air is literally that—a bunch of queer art really high off the ground. Curated by Factory director Timothy Rysdyke, the show is featured right off the elevators at the 360-degree Sky View Observatory in the Columbia Center, Seattle’s tallest skyscraper. And while I’m usually not super thrilled at the idea of grouping work solely by marginalized identity, this show works in its straightforwardness and the talent of all involved. Sequoia Day O’Connell’s use of sickly greens and blues and bright neon pinks and oranges is an unexpected color combination that really works. After a night performing as Femme Daddy, Jessica Marie Mercy presses her made-up face into a baby wipe, creating these distinct portraits of drag, gender, and labor. Julian Peña’s Black John Doe has a beautiful cool palette. Its perspective is like looking at a body through a pane of dewy glass, a slowly uploaded picture of a friend, someone who you know, but can’t quite place, an idea, a projection, etc. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Masks: The Art of Becoming
In this yearly show, Stonington Gallery will be celebrating masks as both an art form and an existing cultural expression. Historically along the Northwest Coast, masks were tools of transformation, of “becoming” that helped tell stories and explain histories. The Art of Becoming features masks that riff on their use in ceremonial practice and aesthetic expression from artists who live in and are from the Northwest Coast. These masks, these tools, will be made of diverse materials like wood, glass, stone, bronze, fiber, metal, and horsehair. JASMYNE KEIMIG
FOOD & DRINK
Author Talk: Cooking in Iran by Najmieh Batmanglij
When she was 32, Najmieh Batmanglij was exiled from Iran after the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and fled with her husband to France, where she discovered a passion for cooking. The couple then relocated to Washington, DC, where Batmanglij built a career as a chef and award-winning, world-renowned cookbook author. Chef Yotam Ottolenghi has called her the “goddess of Iranian cooking.” In the early aughts, she started yearning to visit her homeland and returned for the first time in 2015, more than 35 years after she left. That experience led to her latest book, Cooking in Iran: Regional Recipes & Kitchen Secrets, in which she imparts the findings from her journey and uncovers traditional regional recipes. At Book Larder, she’ll demonstrate a dish from the book and share stories from her travels. JULIANNE BELL
Apollo 11 Artifact Public Viewing
Take a look at the Apollo 11 Lunar Module Timeline book—the manual used to achieve the 1969 landing—before it’s auctioned off.
READINGS & TALKS
Clarion West Presents: A Reading by Elizabeth Hand
Elizabeth Hand has been granted scads of horror, sci-fi, and speculative fiction prizes, including such prestigious accolades as the World Fantasy Award (four times!), the Nebula Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and more. The sci-fi/fantasy writing program Clarion West will invite her to read, and if you love genre fiction, you should go.
Hari Kondabolu’s New Material Nights
Hari Kondabolu is a big-deal New York comic now, but he still comes to Seattle pretty regularly to record albums and try out new material. See what he’s been working on and spend a weeknight laughing and thinking.
READINGS & TALKS
Ted Chiang: Exhalation
The lauded recent sci-fi film Arrival was based on Ted Chiang’s short fiction “Story of Your Life,” which combined a gorgeously nerdy and profound examination of alien grammar with a sad and equally profound exploration of love and fate. Which is to say, Ted Chiang is a genius, and “Story of Your Life” should be viewed as a gateway to his body of literature, not a companion to Denis Villeneuve’s (admittedly pretty cool) movie. Better yet, catch up with the author at this Literary Luncheon for a reading of his new collection of short stories, Exhalation, over a lunch prepared by Vios Café. JOULE ZELMAN
Tiny Beautiful Things
Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) has adapted Cheryl Strayed’s story of writing an advice column under the pseudonym Sugar, yielding a play about empathy, healing, tough love, and kindness.
Albert de Belleroche: Lithography
A lithographer, painter, and one-time model for John Singer Sargent, Albert de Belleroche was born in Wales but spent most of his life in Paris and England. Retiring and modest, he’s far from a household name, but his paintings and prints can be found in many museum collections.
Elyse Pignolet: You Should Smile More
Los Angeles–based artist Elyse Pignolet’s work is charming—a ceramicist, she often incorporates feminist messages and phrases into traditional-looking vases and plates. A gorgeous blue-and-white ceramic tulipiere, stuffed with flowery images, has the phrase “Will She Ever Shut Up?” and a plate finds snake-like branches swirling around the word “bitchy.” A bit kitschy, Pignolet’s work subverts the stuffy and persnickety assumptions we have toward ceramic artwork. And it’s a lot of fun. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Hiroshi Yamano: Byōbu
Fukuoka artist Yamano won the 2015 People’s Choice Award from the Museum of Glass, co-founded the Ezra Glass Studio in Fukui, and now chairs the glass program at Osaka University of Arts. His sculptures often depict native birds and wildlife of Japan.
Jane Rosen: Written In Stone
Jane Rosen manages to capture something about birds—hawks—that is at once regal and utterly terrifying; perhaps because they are lifelike without looking entirely real. Her birds have a presence—they are watchful, preying, observant, there. Rosen is inspired by Egyptian funerary art (it shows) and Asian calligraphy. Her exhibition at Traver Gallery is a mix of 2D and 3D work, as well as a mix of material (glass, stone, ink, paper, etc.). JASMYNE KEIMIG
Gorgeous nostalgia reigns in Robbie Riley’s large-scale paintings based on Kodak photos from the 1940s and ’50s, drawn from his family’s trove. See rich and cinematic images of the Northwest from more than a half-century ago.
Employing a vast range of styles, 19 artists, including prolific local notables like Sara Norsworthy, Brian Sanchez, Gabriel Stromberg, Molly Magai, Tuan Nguyen, and Gillian Theobald, seek to capture the shape and spirit of trees.
Now is your chance to see the musical that, 16 years ago, made everyone remember musicals existed. You’ve heard the spiel—it’s the Wizard of Oz, except not boring, and sympathetic to the antagonist (the Wicked Witch of the West). Wicked is spectacular, especially if the cast you see has a Galinda (originally played by Kristin Chenoweth) with a lot of spunk. But, unfortunately for all of us, all of Wicked can’t be the bombastic, show-stopping “Defying Gravity.” And once “Defying Gravity” plays out and you’re absolutely sated, there’s a whole other act to sit through. Wicked is still good, and at some moments great. Especially if, unlike me, you haven’t seen it four times—or played a medley of the music in your middle-school wind ensemble. NATHALIE GRAHAM
Seattle Taiwanese American Film Festival
The festival will present seven Taiwanese and American features like the drama More Than Blue, the gangster epic Gatao 2: Rise of the King, the SIFF-approved Long Time No Sea, and more, along with short films, including a female-centric showcase.
FOOD & DRINK
Ed Levine: Serious Eater
In 2005, with just $100, freelance food writer Ed Levine created a personal blog with the humble goal of uncovering the best burgers, hot dogs, pizza, and bagels in the world. That blog, Serious Eats, would blossom into one of the internet’s most important destinations for intel on all things edible and launch a full-fledged community for food lovers. In his new book, Serious Eater: A Food Lover’s Perilous Quest for Pizza and Redemption, he chronicles the heretofore untold tale of the website’s ascent, supplemented by recipes from “chief culinary consultant” Kenji López-Alt and “resident pastry wizard” Stella Parks. At Town Hall, he and López-Alt will share the story of how their publication evolved. JULIANNE BELL
So You Think You Can Drag, Season 2
The ongoing competition on Wednesday nights at R Place, So You Think You Can Drag, is about to award $5,000 to the winner of its second “season.” It’s one of the biggest cash prizes a queen in Seattle can hope to get. “It’s been a no-brainer success from the beginning,” said Seattle drag queen Cookie Couture, who hosts the competition. The shows have been packed and rowdy: “We’ve been at club capacity every week this season […] The show format appeals to people who are maybe really into Drag Race but haven’t really dived into the local scene, and it appeals to the folks who support the locals on the regular. Plus, you wave $5K around, and people really try to make their performances stand out as something special.” It can get emotional, which is part of the fun. So You Think You Can Drag will have its finale on June 26, during Pride week. When I asked if the competition has gotten wild this year, Cookie Couture laughed. “Does it get wild? Have you ever dangled $5K in front of 10 drag queens before?!” CHASE BURNS
You Are on Indigenous Land: Places/Displaces
Traditional and contemporary art of Native peoples reflects matters of land, ancestry, and kinship through modern forms and handicrafts like basketry and weaving. Go for the artists’ mastery of their media, but also for a reminder of the deep roots of pre-Western cultures and the urgency of sovereignty and environmental issues.
Liz Tran: Innerverse
See brightly colored, exuberant paintings by Liz Tran. The dominant shapes are circles. Circles that look like gears in a machine that creates happiness from a movie set in a flower-power utopia. JEN GRAVES
Legend of El Dorado
Three women on a summer trip turn into sexy, fishnetted robbers on motorcycles in the cozy cabaret’s latest production, featuring all-new choreography and a soundtrack with singing by Brent Amaker.
Kremwerk Complex Pride Week 2019
The Kremwerk Complex has spent the last five years establishing itself as a well-respected touchstone within our city’s drag, performance, dance music, and DJ scenes, so naturally, their Pride weekend events pull from all their strengths. If you’re on the hunt for the best drag and runway looks in town, kick off the weekend with Thriftease, Day Drag, and Soft Shock on Thursday; Cucci’s Critter Barn, Rapture, and MUGZ on Friday; Arthaus 5.0 All-Stars and Revival: Lights Out on Saturday; and Gothic Barbie Drag Haus on Sunday. If you’re a real night owl, stay late on Thursday for Midnight Snack, an indulgent drag revue, and on Saturday for S L I P: Pride After Hours, a slinky party with our city’s best drag and DJ talents that will keep you up through the morning. If the urge to shimmy is guiding your itinerary, then strip down to your panties for HEAT’s Pride Underwear Party on Friday, spin out to Bézier’s genre-defying set on Saturday, enjoy the talents of local DJ collective BabexHouse on Sunday, or wind down at the concluding all-day tea dance co-presented by Re-Bar.
Seattle Alternative Pride Festival 2019
True to the diverse spectrum of sexuality and identity, Pride runs in several currents. NARK magazine’s event series bills itself as being “for EVERYONE, EVERYBODY and EVERY BODY.” Kick things off Wednesday with a market at Grim’s filled with possible party looks for your weekend. At Thursday’s Laser Show at Pacific Science Center, dance to curated sets by DJ Gag Reflex and s O F T P E A K s, and spend Friday sampling rooftop happy hour drinks at MBar, making out with strangers at Queer/Bar, or partying at the Pigs Fly Fetish Night at Grim’s. Recover Saturday with a special double-boat Pride cruise, and/or the 28-hour Pride Is For Everyone dance party at Grim’s, and finish up on Sunday at the Backdoor with South East, Gluttony, Matt Troy, and many more. Some money from the parties will benefit Gay City and its health projects.
Kook Teflon: Church of the Poison Mind
Seattle is about to lose a team of kooky artistic leaders: Kook Teflon, a High Priestess who has produced over 100 live shows during her time in Seattle; and Jackie Hell, a drag queen so strange and wonderful she’s hard to describe, like if Dina Martina were haunted by a fun demon. The duo is moving to New Orleans at the end of June, but Kook will be creating a final installation at Virago Gallery. Kook’s last hurrah should be a spectacle. Expect a ceremony. CHASE BURNS
Stand Up for Pride
Get irreverent with prolific, delightful local comedians Bobby Higley and Woody Shticks, who’ll host a night of queer laughs with stand-up comics Caitlin Weierhauser, Sabrina Jalees, Patti Harrison, and Matteo Lane. Some proceeds will benefit Seattle PrideFest. On Higley, Dave Segal writes: “Growing up in a Mormon family in Utah and Idaho, thin white androgyne Bobby Higley must have stuck out like ’70s-era David Bowie at a hardcore-punk gig. She has turned the pain of being bullied in school and misunderstood at home into one of the raunchiest and funniest acts on Seattle’s comedy stages.”
FOOD & DRINK
Author Talk: Husbands That Cook by Ryan Alvarez and Adam Merrin
Married couple Ryan Alvarez and Adam Merrin offer up recipes like coconut curry with chickpeas and cauliflower (inspired by their first date at a shopping mall food court) and carrot cake in their aptly named co-authored cookbook Husbands That Cook. The pair will talk about their vegetarian-inspired cooking and will sign copies of the book.
Gender Is a Joke
Queer comedians will inspire you to raise your voice in laughter and cheers while you raise money for the Gender Alliance of the South Sound. Hear jokes from delightful locals like Andy Iwancio, El Sanchez, Nancy Jean Naly, Chocolate the Entertainer, and others.
Queer/Pride Burlesque Kick-Off
For Pride, Queer/Bar is throwing an extra-sexy party, a version of their regular Queer/Burlesque show, which is hosted by Lucy Lips and Joel Domenico. Rejoice in diverse, queer body positivity and watch alluring moves by Indigo Blue, Faggedy Randy, Nox Falls, Valtesse, and Shay Simone, then glide onto the dance floor yourself.
According to Chase Burns, the regular drag night TUSH! is proof that “the best drag in town doesn’t just happen on Capitol Hill anymore.” Join host Betty Wetter and DJ Arson Nicki for what no doubt will be an extra-rowdy Pride edition, starring Angel Baby Kill! Kill! Kill!, Beau Degas, Miss Texas 1988, and special guests Strawberry Shartcake and Stasia Coup.
READINGS & TALKS
Chronicles of the Pike Place Market and Prohibition-Era Seattle
Pike Place Podcast host Jerry Antush and producer Bob Trombley will interview local historian Brad Holden about his fantastic new book, Seattle Prohibition: Bootleggers, Rumrunners & Graft in the Queen City. The book chronicles the early wars between the city’s vice lords and buzzkills, shedding light on the undersung adventures of people such as Johnny Schnarr (a badass rumrunner), Frank Gatt (a bootlegger who stored his massive copper stills in dairy barns to hide the smell), and William Whitney (of the Seattle Prohibition Bureau, who was tasked with shutting all this down). RICH SMITH
Frederick Brown: The City Is More Than Human
Instead of focusing on great men, great women, great artists, or great whomever, UW Historian Frederick Brown focuses his history of Seattle on animals. In The City is More Than Human, Brown looks at the way the relationship between people and animals shaped the city, from the days of livestock and imperialism to the days of pets in grocery stores. As far as I can tell, all other books about Seattle’s past focus on brothels and vice lords. Brown’s angle should delight old mossbacks who think they’ve heard it all, but also people who walk their Shiba Inu at Dogwood Play Park and Bar. RICH SMITH
The Moth Seattle GrandSLAM
Listeners of The Moth know the deal: each storyslammer has a short period of time to tell a compelling story, whether poignant, funny, tragic, or edifying. This night’s raconteurs are the top slammers from the previous 10 months, so they’re sure to be unmissable.
Walt Odets: Out of the Shadows
Love won, right? Not exactly, argues clinical psychologist Walt Odets in his new book, Out of the Shadows, which the New York Times describes as “part polemic, part memoir, and part road map for gay people hoping to live fully.” Odets watched his friends and patients die during the AIDS crisis, and now he watches survivors of the plague continue to suffer from the lingering psychological effects of intense stigmatization in the face of claims that we’re living in a “post-homophobic society.” Focusing on gay men specifically, Odet finds increasing isolation and generational friction, as well as a constant struggle with a society that continues to pathologize them. Though the Times thinks Odet’s solutions to these problems are a bit pat and dated, the memoir sections read with “aching” beauty and poignancy. RICH SMITH
Boozy Snow Cones and Naked Art
Through the LooQing Glass is a group show about queer bodies, featuring work by Matthew-Mary Caruchet, Mischa Ally, Mahogany LaPiranha, Bird Lindsay, Dev McCauley, OctoEyes, James Prost, Grego Rachko, Darby Rages, Panic Volkushka, and Timothy White Eagle. As you discover sculptures, collages, “odalisques,” and more, sip spiked snow cones with suggestive names like “Timothée Chalamet’s Summer Sweat,” “Banana Hammock Split,” “Unicorn Dandruff,” and “Cisgender Tears.”
‘The War in Heaven’ and ‘The Waste Land’
ACTLab and New City Theatre have teamed up to stage two short masterpieces, Sam Shepard’s War in Heaven (about an innocent angel who crashes to Earth and witnesses societal turmoil) and T.S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land. New City’s Mary Ewald plays both the angel and Eliot’s myriad characters. Directed by John Kazanjian.
Concerns about the intersectionality of civil rights movements is not a new phenomenon, as Mat Smart’s dramatization of the longtime friendship between Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass will attest. Anthony and Douglass hung out on weekends at a farm in Rochester, New York, for several decades. While both civil rights leaders supported voting rights for women and black men, they butted heads on timing. Anthony thought women should get the right to vote before black men. Douglass thought men would grant women suffrage, but only after black men got the vote. Considering the fact that America has clearly achieved universal suffrage, I’m sure the conversation between these two great thinkers won’t at all resonate with current conversations about the best strategies for securing inalienable rights for all. But it’s worth a go on the off-chance that it does. And, if not, watching Douglass (played by Reginald André Jackson, who’s fresh off his incredible performance of Capulet in ACT’s Romeo and Juliet) intellectually duke it out with Anthony (played by Carol Roscoe) under Valerie Curtis-Newton’s direction will be worth the price of admission. RICH SMITH
Love, Chaos, & Dinner
Beloved circus/cabaret/comedy institution Teatro ZinZanni will reboot their successful variety show, which they describe as the “Kit Kat Klub on acid.” They promise to fill their spiegeltent with “world-class acrobats, musicians, divas, illusionists, madmen, and aerialists,” plus ping-pong-playing comedian Tim Tyler, trapezists Duo Rose, opera singer Kelly Britt, and the Anastasini Brothers, Lady Rizo, and Frank Ferrante.
Growing up in a Mormon family in Utah and Idaho, thin white androgyne Bobby Higley must have stuck out like ’70s-era David Bowie at a hardcore-punk gig. She has turned the pain of being bullied in school and misunderstood at home into one of the raunchiest and funniest acts on Seattle’s comedy stages. “I describe myself as Seattle’s premier sad, gay, ex-Mormon comic,” Higley says. “I have a couple of really cutesy jokes that are actually police-brutality jokes at the end. And you don’t realize until we get there. Then once you do, you’re like, ‘Oh, god.’ I’ve always described my approach as ‘razzle- dazzle gut punch.'” Elaborating on her dark subject matter, Higley says, “The rule of threes is important in comedy, so that last part is where I’m grinning from ear to ear as I say something so fucked up, because you trusted me on step one and step two.” It’s a delicate tightrope walk, these abuse jokes, and Higley masters them with panache—and feels empowered while doing so. “For a long time, I thought I would never talk about any of that onstage. It was something that I would tell my partners six months into dating them, in hushed whispers, crying in the middle of the night.” Turning anxiety, depression, and PTSD into comedy gold has been Higley’s coping mechanism, and few in town are better at it. DAVE SEGAL
BeautyBoiz Queer AF
Live large with a gaggle of queer talent and see aerial, burlesque, and drag performances by the likes of Thadayus, Kimber Shade, LüChi, Karmen Korbel, Beau Degas, Angela Visalia, Cody James, Faggedy Randy, Gunner Field, and Brandon Lentz.
A Glitteris Pride Pre-Funk
As the official beer sponsors of Pride, Elysian brewers concocted a special fruit-forward ale by adding blackberry and raspberry purees to the fermenter—and naturally, it’s glittery, too. Try it for yourself at this funk-themed release party and groove to tunes from DJ Stas THEE Boss. During the main event on Saturday, hang out in the beer garden all day to partake in temporary tattoos, a photo booth, and even more music from DJ Riz, DJ LGSP, DJ Trinitron and DJ Ramiro. A drag show headlined by RuPaul’s Drag Race season five winner Jinx Monsoon will cap things off.
Trans Pride Seattle 2019
For the seventh year, the Gender Justice League will host a full day of activities celebrating trans, non-binary, and gender diverse identities on Capitol Hill with live music, speeches, and comedy in Cal Anderson Park following UW Q’s Trans Pride Parade at Seattle Central College. Also, check out a cocktail-filled kickoff at Babeland and a laid-back community tea at Friday Afternoon the day after the main event.
READINGS & TALKS
Dobby Gibson and Zachary Schomburg
Zachary Schomburg, a Portland poet who combines narrative techniques with surrealism to great effect, is traveling up north with a new book from Black Ocean called Pulver Maar (Poems 2014–2018). The title is a reference to the name of a crater lake in Germany, where many of these poems may have originated. The subtitle portends goodness; all books should just be a collection of poems the poet has written over the last four years. Schomburg will be joined by Dobby Gibson, a chatty poet who uses humor and associative logic to leap down the page. His latest is Polar. Expect a night of unexpected laughter. RICH SMITH
Trenton Davis tackles the familiar comedic topics of marriage, race, parenthood, and insecurity about one’s genitalia. Guys, when your female partner says your penis is “perfect,” do not interpret that as a compliment. He also laments the frequency of divorce in the United States. “Marriage is the only thing you do where the more you do it, the worse you get at it. America makes marriage too easy. You ought to have to get a degree in relationships before you get married.” And Davis’s bits about how women would act if they had dicks and how the lack of black Band-Aids represents the last bastion of racism are hysterical. DAVE SEGAL
Gender Tender: Melted Riot
For a conceptual take on Pride, Fox Whitney, the 2018 Velocity Dance Center Artist in Residence, has created a reverie based on “drag artist and cabaret singer Stormé DeLarverie throwing the first punch at the Stonewall Riots.” MELTED RIOT evokes the queer community’s reactions to oppression and support through durational performance, visuals, and dance.
Mae West’s The Drag: A Homosexual Comedy in Three Acts
When The Drag first opened in 1927, a reviewer for Variety apparently called it “an inexpressibly brutal and vulgar attempt to capitalize on a dirty matter for profit.” After only 10 performances, the play was shut down for “indecency.” So, in honor of indecency, in honor of the vulgar, and in honor of capitalizing on dirty matters, we must all go see this historical revival about a gay man named Rolly Kingsbury coming out in much more homo-hostile times (in America, at least), and then marvel at how far we’ve come, and how far we’ve yet to go. RICH SMITH
They/Them: The Festival
Drag king and former Intiman Emerging Artist Sam I’Am presents They/Them: The Musical, a solo show. Sam I’Am plays an expecting mother imagining the ways the life of their child would change depending on gender. Though their character explores the slipperiness of gender, the music will be “kinda more traditional,” according to Annex. Each night of the festival will kick off with a little cabaret featuring stand-up comedy, burlesque, and musical performances from trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming performance artists. RICH SMITH
Queer Bar’s Queer/Pride Festival
Queer Bar’s three-day Pride party features go-go performers, DJs, a celebrity guest (Carson Kressley, one of the original Queer Eye guys, currently a RuPaul’s Drag Race judge), drag and performance artists (including Drag Race finalists), and live music by some very special guests. LGBTQ icon and New Orleans–brewed “Queen of Bounce” Big Freedia headlines the festivities with big, booming hip-hop that finds her shouting over rapid-fire beats and engaging in nasty, call-and-response lyrics, all of it whirring to a loud, make-ya-ass-shake climax (see: “Booty-Whop”), or segueing directly into her next banger. Grammy-winning breathy-sweet R&B songbird and Dancing with the Stars alum Mýa is also on the bill. You know her from (1) the 2008 “Lady Marmalade” redux (with Pink, Christina Aguilera, and Lil’ Kim); (2) “Case of the Ex (Whatcha Gonna Do),” a 2000-era jam about a creeper ex-girlfriend; and (3) “Best of Me, Part 2,” that sexy grooving hip-hop joint with Jay Z circa 2000 (it was a good year for Mýa). Seattle pop maker Left at London, ethereal rapper DoNormaal, and surrealist drag band the Loungettes also perform. A portion of the ticket proceeds go to nonprofit group OutRight Action International, which fights for the safety, dignity, freedom and equality of LGBTQ people around the world. LEILANI POLK
Improv trio Stoner Chicks (Phoebe Richards, Stephani Thompson, and Kayla Teel) will exhibit their affinity for weed, pizza, and “poor decisions and 420 laughs.”
When you live in Chinatown, you start to take the dragon and lion dances—a traditional form of Chinese dance that is said to bring good luck and fortune—for granted. But the performances are longer and more elaborate during Dragon Fest, taking on extra festive overtones as the team of performers maneuvers and manipulates the long, undulating bodies down the streets of the I.D. using poles positioned along their length, coordinating with the throbbing beat and crashing cymbals issued by the accompanying percussion players. It is quite the sight. Dragon Fest also boasts 14 hours of cultural performances outside of these dances—traditional Korean drumming, bhangra/Bollywood presentations, martial arts demos, and Pacific Islander dances, among others. Plus, there’s the $3 Food Walk (encompassing more than 40 restaurants), and a range of temporary vendors hawking food, goods, and bevvies galore. LEILANI POLK
Move with Spirit: A Contemporary Indigenous Dance Event
After a ritual that “reflects teachings from Coast Salish Life Ways,” Indigenous dancers Shana Therese O’Brien (of the Darkinjung people from Australia) and Dakota Camacho (of the Matao people from Lågua yan Gåni) will share contemporary takes on traditional dance. Then, the company will perform a ceremony at the Duwamish River for a “healing of our relations with the elements.” Learn from First People’s knowledge and artistry and become more in tune with your environment.
Daikon//Dyke Con 2019
Watch queers like Moon Palace, Lola Meraz, Lesbian Death Bed, Stres, Randy Ford (so graceful, so worth seeing!), and Kiki Larson pay tribute to dyke icons, with a “queer ass dance party with DJ Onesies” following at Vermillion.
Elysian’s Pride Beer Garden
Elysian will throw their annual Pride party in their outdoor beer garden, where DJs RIz, LGSP, Trinitron and Ramiro will be spinning all day, a photo booth and temporary tattoo station will be up and running, and RuPaul’s Drag Race season five winner Jinkx Monsoon will be performing (sorry for burying the lead) along with DonnaTella Howe, Dutchess Drew Nightshade, Gaysha Starr, and Amora Dior Black.
Lipstick Libations: A Dark Violet Production
Adra Boo will “femmce” a “glam, queer, dirty, grindy” burlesque show with much-admired dancers like Nox Falls, Violet Tendencies, Briq House, Mia Maravilla, Seraphina Fiero, Carson St. Clair, and Sapphire Savant.
PrideFest Capitol Hill
The sixth year of PrideFest Capitol Hill and the 50th anniversary of Stonewall will collide on this merry occasion. Spend all day skipping across the freshly painted rainbow crosswalks in the company of fellow LGBTQ+ Seattleites and allies, stopping along the way for human and canine drag shows, family activities, karaoke, and so much more.
Terrific burlesque/boylesque stars Waxie Moon, Jamie Von Stratton, Moscato Extatique, Ruby Mimosa, and Faggedy Randy will shake it to the beats in this sexy-sounding Pride celebration.
Scrambled Drags: West End Brunch
Savor a special brunch menu (not included in ticket price, but you do get a free mimosa or orange juice) and enjoy performances by beloved queens Amora Dior Black, Betty Wetter, Fraya Love, Londyn Bradshaw, and Old Witch.
READINGS & TALKS
Dream Delivery Service Celebration with Mathias Svalina
While you were sleeping, poet Mathias Svalina was pedaling his bicycle up and down Seattle’s hills, dropping dreams at the doorsteps of subscribers to his Dream Delivery Service. For 45 bucks, Svalina will write you a dream (or a nightmare!) every day for a month. Before dawn, he’ll tuck the dream into a pink envelope and stick it between your door and the jamb, or maybe beneath a stone if you live in an apartment. Either way, you’ll find a dream at your feet first thing in the morning. Svalina has made a name for himself in the world of contemporary poetry, publishing a handful of books in the last few years. His writing delights—not at all academic, but not too light. Browsing a few recent examples, I laughed at one about a bearded dragon really embracing a new skin-care routine, and at another about a person mowing a field of folding chairs as an orchestra plays in the distance. The dreams he writes for animals, which are included with any pet-owning household’s subscription, are hysterical. RICH SMITH
Get the maximum amount of instruction from Hugo House’s excellent prose writers and poets at this annual event featuring six hours of hourlong mini-workshops and talks. Some of the topics this year: “Essay Experiment: Digression” with Waverly Fitzgerald; “Creating Urgent Scenes in Memoir” with Christine Hemp; “Write Your Novel Now!” with Susan Meyers; “Alarmed and Anxious . . . and Fighting Back! (The Rant)” with Carolyne Wright; “Plotting with Index Cards” with Paul Mullin; and more.
Paolo Arao: Key Change
Queer Manila-born Brooklyn artist Arao arranges textiles and paint in intricate patterns to evoke “traditional and historical” art in a softer, more tactile take on geometrical abstraction.
Arts in Nature Festival
The Arts in Nature Festival presents a series of acoustic, unplugged performances by musicians, dancers, actors, and other performers across several stages, plus participatory art happenings set against the most beautiful backdrop: Mother Nature. Also come for artsy hikes, food, and a beer garden.
Pride Is For Everyone 2019
Go mad with love for the LGBTQ+ universe and its limitless expressions at this 28-hour bash brought to us by Bottom Forty and produced by NARK magazine. Nathan Micay, Bottom Forty, Wesley Holmes, Sean Majors, and others will queer the consoles and dancers will keep the movement going all night long.
Departures and Arrivals: Artists in Abstraction
BIMA offers an “intense session in art vocabulary” with this group exhibition focusing on the artists’ idiosyncratic approaches to abstraction. The roster is intriguing, ranging from textile artist Jono Vaughan to ecologically focused Mary Coss to UW professor and painter Denzil Hurley.
Seattle International Festival of Improv
Improvisors from Canada, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden and the USA will come to Seattle to participate in the 23rd annual Seattle International Festival of Improv. The theme this year will be “maps”: landscape maps, road maps, life maps, and more.
Spec Script: Transparent
This Portland podcast is based on a delightfully silly concept: A comic who has never seen a popular TV show like Game of Thrones or Black Mirror writes a “spec script” for an episode, which is then read by other comedians. For this special edition, Lexi Haack has written her version of Transparent, to be performed exclusively by trans actors Max Delsohn, Corina Lucas, Vee Chattie, Nancy Jean Naly, D Martin Austin, and Juliet Mylan. Andy Iwancio and Chris Khatami will host.
PrideFest Seattle Center
Think of this event as the pot of gold at the end of the Seattle Pride Parade rainbow—one filled with all-ages entertainment from noon to night. This year’s event coincides with the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, with “history moments” sandwiched between artist showcases, live music, and performances by everyone from Jinkx Monsoon to Chi Chi LaRue.
Seattle Pride Parade
After a month’s worth of Pride events, queers and allies of all stripes join the epic procession that is the Seattle Pride Parade, which goes from Fourth Avenue all the way to PrideFest at Seattle Center. It’s a cream-of-the-crop people-watching opportunity, not to mention the best place to wave your rain