From “Avengers: Infinity War” to a Snoop Dogg and Migos concert, our Seattle Times arts writers dish on next month’s most buzzworthy arts and entertainment events.

Share story

From the kid-friendly “Movin’ Around the World” song-and-dance fest, to Marvel superheroes, to the decidedly adult Erotic Art Festival, there’s something happening in the Seattle area in April that you’ll want to go to, no matter your age. Here are some of the most intriguing.


Mohsin Hamid

The Pakistani author is in town for the paperback release of his acclaimed novel “Exit West,” a refugee love story that was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

7 p.m. Wednesday, April 4; Third Place Books at Seward Park, 5041 Wilson Ave. S., Seattle; free with advance purchase of book (ticket required); 206-474-2200,

Anthony Ray Hinton

Arrested in 1985 and charged with murder, Hinton spent nearly 30 years on death row before his exoneration. Now an advocate for prison reform, he’ll speak about his new book, “The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row.”

7 p.m. Wednesday, April 4; Seattle Public Library’s Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave.; free; 206-386-4636,

Anne Lamott

Last seen in town moderating Hillary Clinton’s sold-out appearance in December, Lamott — author of seven novels and several best-selling nonfiction books — is back with a new book, “Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy.”

7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 8; Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $27-$55; 206-215-4747,

J.A. Jance

Ali Reynolds, Jance’s popular broadcaster-turned-investigator, is back in a new thriller: “Duel to the Death.” Jance, who divides her time between Seattle and Tucson, has written more than 50 mystery novels, featuring Reynolds, detective J.P. Beaumont, sheriff Joanna Brady and more.

7 p.m. Monday, April 9; Third Place Books at Lake Forest Park, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., Lake Forest Park; free; 206-366-3333, Jance has a number of additional local events in April; see for details.

Jacqueline Winspear

Another beloved mystery author, Winspear is the creator of Maisie Dobbs, a psychologist/investigator in 1930s England. Her latest, “To Die But Once,” takes place during World War II and the evacuation of Dunkirk.

7 p.m. Wednesday, April 11; University Book Store, 4326 University Way N.E., Seattle; free; 1-800-335-7323,

Samantha Irby

Irby’s funny, frank essay collection “We Are Never Meeting In Real Life” became a New York Times best-seller last year; now, the author of the blog “bitches gotta eat” is in town for the rerelease of her first collection, “Meaty,” originally published in 2013. She’ll be interviewed by Lindy West.

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 11; University Temple Church, 1415 N.E. 43rd St., Seattle; $5; 206-652-4255,

Veronica Roth

The author of the wildly popular “Divergent” series comes to town with the second book in her Carve the Mark series, “The Fates Divide.”

7 p.m. Thursday, April 12; University Book Store, 4326 University Way N.E., Seattle; free; 800-335-7323,

Weike Wang

I’ve heard plenty of praise for Wang’s debut novel (now in paperback), “Chemistry,” about a grad student finding her way through life. Wang, who has a doctorate in public health, was a “5 Under 35” honoree from the National Book Foundation.

7 p.m. Thursday, April 12; Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., Seattle; free; 206-624-6600,

Lindy West

Speaking of West (see Samantha Irby, above), the essayist and New York Times columnist will appear solo at Benaroya, with a talk titled “The Witches are Coming,” about the power of personal storytelling and humor in the war for truth.

7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 15; Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $19-$75; 206-215-4747,


In his new book, “Creative Quest,” the musician, producer and author examines the eternal mystery of creativity: what it is, how you find it, how you develop it.

8 p.m. Friday, April 20; Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave., Seattle; $75 (includes copy of book); 206-621-2230,

Masatsugu Ono

Ono, a Tokyo-based writer who won Japan’s most prestigious literary award in 2015, makes a rare U.S. appearance here, with the translated edition of his novel “Lion Cross Point.”

7 p.m. Saturday, April 21; Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., Seattle; free; 206-624-6600,

Richard Powers

The National Book Award winner (in 2006, for “The Echo Maker”) comes to town for two events introducing his 12th novel, “The Overstory.”

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24; University Lutheran Church, 1604 N.E. 50th St., Seattle; $5; 206-652-4255, Also at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 25; Third Place Books in Ravenna, 6504 20th Ave. N.E., Seattle; $45 (includes lunch and book); 206-525-2347,

Independent Bookstore Day

The fourth annual Seattle Independent Bookstore Day takes place Saturday, April 28, at the following Seattle-area bookstores: Ada’s Technical Books, Book Larder, BookTree Kirkland, Brick & Mortar Books, Eagle Harbor Books, The Traveler, Edmonds Bookshop, Elliott Bay Book Co., Fantagraphics Books, Island Books, Magnolia’s Bookstore, The Neverending Bookshop, Open Books: A Poem Emporium, Phinney Books, Queen Anne Book Co., Secret Garden Books, and all locations of Liberty Bay Books, Third Place Books and the University Book Store. Visit just three on the 28th to win a one-time discount; visit 19 and become a Bookstore Champion.

Information:, or ask at your local bookstore.

Moira Macdonald:



President’s Piano Series presents Simon Trpčeski

Hard to spell; easy to admire. The prizewinning Macedonian pianist brings a creative program to Meany Theater, ranging from Mendelssohn’s intimate “Songs without Words” to the spectacular kaleidoscope of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade.”

7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 5; Meany Theater, University of Washington; $47-$55, kids 5-17 free (two per paying adult); 206-543-4880,

Gallery Concerts presents “Strike the Viol”

This intimate early-music series presents an annual tribute to the late, great Margriet Tindemans, a viol player and tremendous force for early music in Seattle. Guest artists Ellen Hargis (soprano) and Mary Springfels (viola da gamba) join harpsichordist Jillon Stoppels Dupree in English vocal and instrumental music by such greats as Purcell and Dowland.

7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 14, 3 p.m. Sunday, April 15; Queen Anne Christian Church, 1316 Third Ave. W., Seattle; $15-$35, children 7-15 free;

Seattle Symphony Orchestra presents Debussy’s “La Mer”

One of the most picturesque programs of the entire Symphony season, this one has Ludovic Morlot conducting Ibert’s colorful “Escales,” Respighi’s even more colorful “Fountains of Rome,” and Debussy’s eminently seaworthy “La Mer.” The terrific young Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov solos in the rarely heard Scriabin Piano Concerto.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19, 8 p.m. Saturday, April 21; Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $22-$122; 206-215-4747,

Calidore String Quartet with David Finckel and Wu Han

The prizewinning young Calidore String Quartet brings along two distinguished guests — cellist Finckel and pianist Han — for two undisputed masterpieces: Schubert’s String Quintet in C major, D. 956 (with Finckel), and Dvořák’s Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81 (with Han). Expect high-level playing of some of the most beloved works in the chamber-music repertoire.

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24; Meany Theater, University of Washington; $40-$48, kids 5-17 free (two per paying adult); 206-543-4880,

Seattle Symphony Orchestra presents Stravinsky’s “Persephone”

No one can say it’s “business as usual” in Benaroya Hall: Conductor Ludovic Morlot is assembling a vast cadre of soloists (including distinguished pianist Marc-André Hamelin), dancers, puppeteers, three choirs, four grand pianos and his orchestra for two nights of Stravinsky rarities. Repertoire extends from “Song of the Volga Boatman” (yes, that “Yo heave-ho” one) to the Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments, the concert ballet “Les Noces” and the multimedia “Persephone.”

7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26; 8 p.m. Saturday, April 28; Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $37-$122; 206-215-4747,

Melinda Bargreen:



“H.R. 3244”

Spectrum Dance Theater, led by the legendarily rigorous and fearless choreographer Donald Byrd, takes on human trafficking, which Spectrum’s website calls “the largest manifestation of slavery today.” If Byrd’s past work is any indication, “H. R. 3244” promises balletic bodies telling gruesome stories.

April 5-11; Washington Hall, 1350 E. Fir St., Seattle; $5-$25;


The ants go marching once again at Pacific Northwest Ballet, where Crystal Pite’s dark, intoxicating swarm of a ballet returns to the repertory. Also on the bill: the local premiere of Yuri Possokhov’s “RAkU” (be warned, PNB notes that it “contains themes of sexual violence”) and the welcome return of Alejandro Cerrudo’s dreamlike, willowy “Little mortal jump.”

April 13-22; McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; $37-$187; 206-441-2424,

Moira Macdonald:; Brendan Kiley:



Seattle Erotic Art Festival

The annual festival of the erotic and enticing, begun in 2003, is back for another year. Daytime events, including art displays and poetry readings, are open to those ages 18+; nighttime events are open to ages 21+.

April 27-29; Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, 301 Mercer St., Seattle; passes range from $10-$350;

Janet I. Tu:



Tickets are already on sale for the following movie:

“Avengers: Infinity War”

Already missing Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther? He’ll be back, along with pretty much everyone else in the Marvel universe, for this star-studded superhero sequel, which kicks off the popcorn-movie season.

Opens Friday, April 27; advance tickets on sale at (which is where you really want to see it, right?) and

Moira Macdonald:




Valedictorians in the school of ’70s and ’80s soft rock put their contemporary spin on classic pop dynamics with their long-awaited sophomore album, “Something to Tell You.” The sisterly trio’s stellar musicianship shines even brighter on stage. Don’t miss multitalented rapper/singer Lizzo, who opens.

8 p.m. Wednesday, April 4; WaMu Theater, 800 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle; $46.50-$222, 206-381-7985,

Movin’ Around the World

Northwest Folklife has teamed up with Seattle Center for a family-friendly event series dubbed Our Big Neighborhood. The debut venture, Movin’ Around the World, is a weeklong cultural exploration of song and dance from, uh, around the world timed with Seattle Public Schools’ spring break. Think Bollywood dance lessons, marimba music and more.

11 a.m.-3 p.m. April 7-13; Seattle Center Armory Court, 305 Harrison St., Seattle; 206-684-7300,

The Breeders

Back and seemingly happy as ever (for the first time?), tumultuous grunge-era faves reunited their classic “Last Splash” lineup for a strong new full-length, “All Nerve.” Let’s hope they never leave us again.

9 p.m. Friday, April 13; Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave., Seattle; $25-$28,

Snoop Dogg and Migos

After 2013’s out-of-nowhere reggae album, Martha Stewart’s best bud has gone gospel with “Bible of Love,” a double album Snoop executive produced and raps sparingly on, instead relying heavily upon its many guests like the Pointer Sisters, Charlie Wilson and Patti LaBelle. If “Gin and Juice” nostalgia and copious “izzles” aren’t your thing, trap kings and pop-culture sensation Migos are the far more intriguing draw.

8 p.m., Saturday, April 21; ShoWare Center, 625 W. James St., Kent; $65-$75, 253-856-6777,


Annual club “festival” cranks up the fog machine for a hazy onslaught of shoegaze, psych rock, dream pop and post-punk. This year, the heavily reverbed party starts with a kickoff party (April 20) a week before the main events.

8 p.m. Friday, April 20, and April 26-29; Lo-Fi Performance Gallery, 429 Eastlake Ave. E., Seattle; $10-$40,

The Moondoggies release show

Everett’s self-described four-letter-word kickers push their spacey twang rock further into the cosmos on their fourth album, “A Love Sleeps Deep.” Rarely does social-political restlessness sound so soothing.

9 p.m. Friday, April 13; Neptune Theatre, 1303 N.E. 45th St., Seattle; $13.50-$16.50, 206-682-1414,

Alma Mater opening

Tacoma’s new artists complex with a restaurant and 500-capacity venue celebrates its grand opening with three nights of live music and entertainment featuring Sassy Black, Deep Sea Diver, Sisters, Smokey Brights and more. Ten art installations open for public viewing April 15.

Times vary, April 19-21; Alma Mater, 1322 Fawcett Ave., Tacoma; $10-$75,

Michael Rietmulder:



“Ride the Cyclone”

Five members of a Catholic-school choir get on a roller coaster and die when their car flies off the tracks — but one of them gets to come back to life after a bizarre, musical-theater, reality-TV ordeal presided over by a coin-operated, Coney Island-style fortuneteller in a box. Except for its saccharinely nihilistic, tie-it-up-in-a-bow closing number (life is “just a ride”? Give me a break), “Ride the Cyclone” is a delightfully vicious, self-aware meta-musical that’s a little bit “Drowsy Chaperone,” a little bit “American Idol” and a little bit Dresden Dolls.

Through May 20; ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle; $20-$80 (with some pay-what-you-can performances); 206-292-7676;


In 2014, a pack of young theater artists calling themselves The Horse in Motion took over the University Heights Center to stage an immersive version of a difficult play called “Attempts on Her Life” by Martin Crimp, which has 17 scenes and no defined characters, but some terrifying moments. Now THIM is wrestling with an immersive production of “Hamlet,” staging it in the Stimson-Green Mansion on First Hill, directed by Julia Sears.

April 12-29; The Stimson-Green Mansion, 1204 Minor Ave., Seattle; $17-$28; 800-838-3006,

“The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao”

“The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” might go down in history as the greatest novel of the early 21st century, studied by future literature students the way they study James Joyce today. Narrated by a Dominican-American would-be bruiser named Yunior, the story follows improbable, “Star Trek”-like adventures, but all in the Americas: its titular character (a shy, chubby, science-fiction “ghettonerd” in New Jersey, who lives up to exactly zero macho stereotypes), the brutality of the Trujillo regime in the Dominican Republic, Caribbean curses and counter-curses, “The Lord of the Rings,” fractured immigrant families, sex, death, racism, parties, small-but-deadly neighborhood grudges. It’s a hell of a book. So how does Book-It plan to stage that sprawling work of genius as a one-actor show by Elvis Nolasco? It’ll be worth attending just to relive the story — and find out whether the stage version soars or flops.

April 19-May 6; Book-It Repertory Theatre at Center Theatre at the Armory, 305 Harrison St., Seattle; $15-$50; 206-216-0833;


Scotto Moore is one of Seattle’s odder theater talents, in a good way. He has a science-fiction brain and a knack for musicals. His latest, “Silhouette,” is an a-cappella musical for 10 voices about an astronaut from a not-so-nice space empire who crash-lands on a planet whose inhabitants seem culturally retrograde — but they can practice magic. Moore’s work tends to think big on shoestring budgets, so expect the unexpected.

April 27-May 19; Annex Theatre, 1100 E. Pike St., Seattle; $20-$40;

Brendan Kiley:



“Akio Takamori: Portraits and Sleepers”

Earlier this year, artist Takamori — whose work magically combines pathos, politics and a sly sense of humor — died after years of struggling with cancer. The art community is still mourning his passing, and commemorating him with exhibitions. Tacoma’s Museum of Glass presents some of his blown-glass works, loosely based on head-shaped Roman glass flasks from the second and third centuries A.D. Expect more Takamori exhibits in the months to come.

Through May 6; Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock St., Tacoma; $15; 866-468-7386;

“Michael Spafford: Epic Works”

In 1982, artist Spafford created a very public kerfuffle after he’d been commissioned to paint massive murals for the Washington State House of Representatives. Spafford specializes in bold, blocky, semiabstract paintings with silhouettes based on Greek and Roman myths, and look like figures who can’t decide whether they’re trying to kill each other or copulate or both. Once they were hung in Olympia, legislators were sputtering-mad and court battles, which cost the state more than Spafford was originally commissioned for the murals, ensued. Now three galleries are simultaneously mounting — pun intended — exhibitions of Spafford’s work. Go for the history; stay for Spafford’s strange, gorgeous combination of muscularity and delicacy, violence and sensuality that transcends whatever pearl-clutching instincts sent politicians into a tizzy back in 1982.

April 5-28, Davidson Galleries, 313 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle,; April 5-May 26, Greg Kucera Gallery, 212 Third Ave. S., Seattle,; March 31-May 26, Woodside/Braseth Gallery, 1201 Western Ave., Seattle,; free. Check websites for details.

“Preston Singletary: The Air World”

Artist Preston Singletary started working with glass art in the early 1980s, but later realized its possibilities — in terms of line and shape — that could give new dimensions for expressing the Tlingit aesthetics he grew up with. His work varies from cast-lead crystal to blown and sand-carved objects that look like nods to tradition but playfully reject the convention that Native artists should only work with “traditional” materials.

April 5-28; Traver Gallery, 110 Union St., #200, Seattle; free; 206-587-6501,

Jono Vaughan: “Project 42”

This March, artist Jono Vaughan said in a statement: “When a trans individual is murdered, they’re first dehumanized by the act of violence, and then further dehumanized by media that tends to emphasize their transness, rather than their unique personhood,” according to the Bellevue Reporter. Vaughan began making garments to honor murdered trans individuals — and their unique personhood — back in 2012, and plans to continue until 42 garments have been made. Each garment begins with a Google Earth screenshot of the spot where the person was killed, which Vaughan turns into an abstract textile pattern, then designs a garment for someone to wear in performances.

April 21-Aug. 5; Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., Seattle; $12.95-$19.95; 206-654-3100,

“Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes”

MoPOP stages what it claims to be its largest exhibition ever, with 300 Marvel-inspired objects: artwork from the comics, costumes and props from the movies and, according to MoPOP’s website, “immersive set pieces” like Tony Stark’s laboratory.

Opening April 21; Museum of Pop Culture, 325 Fifth Ave. N., Seattle; $25-$36;

Brendan Kiley:


This post has been updated with the correct start time for Gallery Concerts’ “Strike the Viol.”