From Seattle Art Fair to The Rolling Stones and THING music festival, our Seattle Times arts writers dish on next month’s most buzzworthy arts and entertainment events.



Seattle Art Fair

Seattle Art Fair returns for a fifth year with the theme of Wunderkammers, those “cabinets of curiosity” (full of oddities: human skulls, exotic bugs, bits of coral, “exotic” artifacts) that were all the rage in 17th-century Europe and 19th-century U.S., and made a brief aesthetic comeback alongside the neo-vaudeville, cirque noir craze of the late ’90s and early 2000s. “Fast forward to this intersectional 21st century,” returning curator Nato Thompson wrote in a statement for the fair, “where the mutability and interwoven qualities of all forms of life and non-life are distinctively embedded in literary, political, artistic, and scientific discussion.” Galleries with booths this year include: Yufuku Gallery (Tokyo), Blank Space (New York), Hashimoto Contemporary (San Francisco), Greg Kucera Gallery (Seattle), Vin Gallery (Ho Chi Minh City), Gallery G-77 (Kyoto), ACA Galleries (New York), Traver Gallery (Seattle), and dozens and dozens more. Plus talks and performances on climate change, artificial intelligence, tactility (including a pastry-petting area courtesy of internet performance artist Bread Face) and other curiosities.

Aug. 1-4; CenturyLink Field Event Center, 800 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle; $35-$150 ($10 student tickets); 212-518-6912,

Brendan Kiley



Sasquatch! Music Festival is now just a memory (’05 Kanye forever), but founder Adam Zacks’ latest creation is the musical event we’re most excited for this summer. This intimate (5,000 capacity) boutique music and arts fest at Fort Worden courses with the ace booker’s indie sensibilities — Jeff Tweedy, De La Soul, Khruangbin, Kurt Vile & the Violators, Calexico and Iron & Wine, Snail Mail — that made Sasquatch an institution. Plus, the new Port Townsend festival offers live podcast tapings, film events (Napolean Dynamite Live), comedy (Todd Barry) and more.

Aug. 24-25; Fort Worden, 200 Battery Way, Port Townsend; $109.50-$249.50, kids 13 and under free;

Michael Rietmulder


The Bar Plays

The Williams Project makes some of the most reliably great theater in town these days, giving new, marrow-tingling life to plays in modern-American canon: “The Glass Menagerie,” “A Bright Room Called Day,” “Blues for Mr. Charlie,” staged in Emerald City Bible Fellowship church, and more. Now they’re staging two plays about bars during wartime at Washington Hall — which they’ll turn into a working bar. “Small Craft Warnings” by Tennessee Williams takes place in a wharf dive during the Vietnam War (with a doctor, a beautician, a sex worker, a cook, a scriptwriter, a “stud” and a boy from Iowa); in William Saroyan’s “The Time of Your Life,” eight actors play 27 characters sloshing through Nick’s Waterfront Saloon in San Francisco on the brink of World War II. Ryan Guzzo Purcell directs, with performances by Kemiyondo Coutinho, Max Rosenak, Lamar Legend, Madeleine Lambert and others. (If you’d like to see these plays about bars without actually being in one, The Williams Project offers “dry” shows Aug. 11 and 18.)


Aug. 5-25; The Williams Project at Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave., Seattle; all performances pay what you will, $30-$50 suggested for those who can afford it; reservations at

Brendan Kiley


Seattle Opera presents “Rigoletto”

The Verdi classic opens the 2019-2020 season for Seattle Opera, in an updated take by director Lindy Hume (for Australia’s Opera Queensland, in 2014). Set on election night in the dissolute hard-partying world of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, cynical mores fight a winning battle against love and innocence. Seattle favorite Lester Lynch and newcomer Giuseppe Altomare alternate in the title role, with Madison Leonard and Soraya Mafi as Rigoletto’s beloved daughter Gilda; Liparit Avetisyan and Yongzhao Yu portray the dissolute Count. The excellent Carlo Montanaro conducts.

Aug. 10-28; Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; $35-$299; 206-389-7676;

Melinda Bargreen


Beth Macy

Macy, an investigative journalist, won numerous awards in 2018 for her timely examination of the opioid crisis: “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America.” She’ll speak about the book — now in paperback — and about new reporting she’s done since its release.

7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 12; The Forum at Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle; $5; 206-652-4255,




Oyinkan Braithwaite

So, what would you do if your beautiful, irresponsible sister had a bad habit of killing her boyfriends? That’s the question posed by Braithwaite’s irresistible debut, at once crime novel and deadpan comedy. The author visits from her home in Lagos, Nigeria, where the novel is set; she’ll be interviewed by Seattle author Kira Jane Buxton.


7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2; Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., Seattle; free; 206-624-6600,

Andrea Dunlop

A local author, Dunlop is celebrating the release of her fifth novel: “We Came Here To Forget,” about a champion skier who reinvents herself under a new identity, only to be haunted by secrets from her past.

7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6; Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., Seattle; free; 206-624-6600,

Kira Jane Buxton

Another local author (she’s also interviewing Oyinkan Braithwaite on Aug. 2 at Elliott Bay), Buxton’s presenting her debut novel: “Hollow Kingdom,” a genre-bending tale in which a foul-mouthed, cowardly crow must save Seattle from an apocalypse.

7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6; Third Place Books at Lake Forest Park, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., Lake Forest Park; 206-366-3333,

Chuck Klosterman

Klosterman’s latest is a collection of short works that straddle the line between truth and fiction, titled “Raised in Captivity: Fictional Nonfiction.” He’ll be interviewed by local author David Shields, whose most recent work is “The Trouble With Men: Reflections on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, and Power.”


7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8; Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., Seattle; free; 206-624-6600,

Seattle Walk Report

No author name here, as she hasn’t revealed it yet, but the comic artist behind the popular Instagram account Seattle Walk Report will reveal her identity at this event — and her new book, “Seattle Walk Report: An Illustrated Walking Tour Through 23 Seattle Neighborhoods,” complete with hand-drawn maps and meandering adventures. She’ll be interviewed by Paul Constant of the Seattle Review of Books at the SPL event.

7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13; Seattle Public Library’s Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle; 206-386-4636, Also 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22; Ravenna Third Place Books, 6504 20th Ave. N.E., Seattle; free; 206-525-2347,

Tea Obreht

The Orange Prize-winning author of “The Tiger’s Wife” returns with her much-anticipated latest novel, “Inland,” set in a drought-plagued corner of the U.S. in the late 19th century.

7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19; Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., Seattle; free; 206-624-6600,

Lynda V. Mapes/David B. Williams

Two local writers specializing in natural history celebrate two paperback releases together: “Witness Tree: Seasons of Change with a Century-Old Oak” for Seattle Times writer Mapes; “Stories in Stone: Travels Through Urban Geology” for Williams.


7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22; Seattle Public Library’s Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle; 206-386-4636,

Writing Motherhood

Five authors — Amber Flame, Anne Liu Kellor, Mary Pan, Carla Sameth, Samantha Claire Updegrave — reflect on their experiences with mothering and how it has shaped their lives as writers.

7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22; Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., Seattle; free; 206-322-7030,

Rick Moody

A frequent visitor to Elliott Bay Book Co. since his early novels — “Garden State,” “The Ice Storm” — the Brooklyn-based Moody returns with something different: a memoir, “The Long Accomplishment: A Memoir of Hope and Struggle in Matrimony.”

7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28; Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., Seattle; free; 206-624-6600,

Karin Slaughter

The bestselling crime-fiction author (whose works have been published in 120 countries and sold more than 35 million copies) comes to Seattle with her latest thriller, “The Last Widow,” which brings back the characters of medical examiner Sara Linton and her investigator partner Will Trent.


7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29; Third Place Books at Lake Forest Park, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., Lake Forest Park; 206-366-3333,

Moira Macdonald



Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival

Intimate, scenic and creative, this festival — now in its 22nd year — features 10 concerts with an excellent roster of performers, headed by artistic director Aloysia Friedmann (viola) and artistic adviser Jon Kimura Parker (piano). Opening night features an evening with Metropolitan Opera star Susan Graham; former Seattle Symphony music director Gerard Schwarz (also a composer) has written a duo for the festival, and his cellist son Julian will be featured. There’s the brilliant Miró String Quartet, a silent film collection (with music), a world premiere of a Kevin Puts quartet, and even … a magician.

Aug. 2-17, Orcas Center, Orcas Island; $10-$40; 360-376-6636;

Whidbey Island Music Festival

Almost too hot to Handel, with the eminent Grammy-winning lutenist Stephen Stubbs joining soprano Amanda Forsythe and violinist Tekla Cunningham (among others) performing dramatic music of the composer’s youth. There’s also a vocal/instrumental program of Dowland works featuring singer Danielle Samson on Aug. 3.

7:30 p.m. Aug. 2 and 3, 3 p.m. Aug. 4; St. Augustine’s-in-the-Woods Episcopal Church, 5217 S. Honeymoon Bay Road, Freeland; $22 ($10 students, children free); 360-331-4887,

Olympic Music Festival

The scenic Olympic Peninsula is the site of this festival at historic Fort Worden, where Aug. 10’s “Transcendence” program features eight performers in works of Schubert, Brahms and Shostakovich. The action continues with “Musical Forefathers” (Aug. 11), “Passions in Paris” (Aug. 17) and “New Worlds” (Aug. 18); the repertoire extends from Bach to “Rhapsody in Blue.” Artists include violinists Sarah Chang and Ray Chen, pianist Julio Elizalde and cellist Jennifer Culp, among many others.


Aug. 10-Sept. 8, Wheeler Theater at Fort Worden (Aug. 24-25 concerts at Port Townsend’s Northwest Maritime Center); $20-$40, children 7-12 free (must reserve seats); 800-838-3006,

Melinda Bargreen



Morgan Thorson: “Still Life”

Thorson, a Minneapolis-based choreographer, brings her five-hour durational piece “Still Life” to Base in Georgetown (with an assist from On the Boards) for a four-day run. “Still Life,” designed for a white-walled gallery space, ruminates on death and extinction as the dancers perform a pattern of choreography, then adapt as the material decays, and relationships between light, movement and sound change. During a residency at the MANCC center at Florida State University, Thorson consulted with professors in the religion and anthropology departments, as well as a funeral-home director and a grief specialist at a hospice center.

Aug. 1-4; On the Boards and Base: Experimental Arts & Space, 6520 Fifth Ave. S.; $12-$25; 206-217-9886,

Brendan Kiley



Tickets are already on sale for the following movies:

Dressed to the Nines: Style in Cinema

This Saturday-afternoon SIFF series, hosted by the writing duo of Rosemarie and Vince Keenan (who, under the name Renee Patrick, write mystery novels featuring legendary Hollywood costume designer Edith Head), features some deliciously well-costumed classics: “42nd Street” (Aug. 3), “Gilda” (Aug. 10), “The Women” (Aug. 17) and — speaking of Edith Head — “Rear Window” (Aug. 24).

1 p.m. Saturdays Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24; SIFF Cinema Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave. N., Seattle; $14 each; 206-324-9996,

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw”

You REALLY don’t want to let summer go by without watching a movie in which Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson drives really fast cars, Jason Statham makes sardonic remarks and Idris Elba plays some sort of motorcycle-riding badass who, according to the trailer, somehow survives riding his motorcycle through a double-decker bus? I don’t understand either, but I’m going.


Opens Aug. 2 at multiple theaters;

Where’d You Go, Bernadette?”

A lot of us have been waiting a long time for Richard Linklater’s screen version of Maria Semple’s wickedly funny set-in-Seattle novel; the movie, mostly filmed elsewhere (despite a cameo appearance by the downtown Seattle Public Library), has had a series of changes to its release date. Assuming the current one holds firm, we’ll finally see this month how Cate Blanchett personifies the title character, a Seattle architect and mom who disappears on an adventure.

Opens Aug. 16 at multiple theaters;

Moira Macdonald


KEXP Concerts at the Mural

The beloved radio tastemakers’ free summer concert series returns the first four Fridays in August with a stellar 2019 lineup of hip national headliners and smartly picked local/regional support. Canadian indie-rock stalwarts Wolf Parade (Aug. 2) kick things off, followed by L.A. power trio Cherry Glazerr (Aug. 9), expansive baroque-pop architect Weyes Blood — whose new Sub Pop-issued “Titanic Rising” has garnered album-of-the-year talk in indie circles — (Aug. 16) and dreamy, synth-kissed folk/pop maestro Helado Negro (Aug. 23).

5 p.m. Fridays Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23; Seattle Center’s Mural Amphitheatre, 305 Harrison St., Seattle; free,

The Rolling Stones

The classic rock deities return to the Emerald City for the first time since 2005. The make-up date comes after the Stones postponed their No Filter tour while hard-struttin’ frontman Mick Jagger recovered from a heart procedure. Apparently, the 75-year-old wasn’t laid up for long, posting a video of himself rehearsing those signature moves just weeks after his surgery. Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real open the stadium gig of the summer. Tickets for the original date will be honored.

7:30 p.m. Wed., Aug. 14; CenturyLink Field, 800 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle; remaining tickets start at $199,

Herbie Hancock and Kamasi Washington

This coheadlining tour pairs two boundary pushers from different generations whose jazz wanderings won favor beyond traditional jazz circles. Hancock reportedly has a new album in the works with contributions from Washington — the saxophonist/composer who’s become a leading force in a jazz crossover resurgence — and others in his L.A. orbit, including Kendrick Lamar, Terrace Martin and Flying Lotus.


6:45 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16; Marymoor Park, 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway N.E., Redmond; $50-$89.50;


Organizers padded this year’s top line by announcing the addition of hip-hop/soul-pop queen Lizzo after the world-dominating rapper/singer lorded over Capitol Hill Block Party in July. The charismatic self-love messenger joins rapper Tyler, the Creator — who stretched his artistic wings on his psychedelic soul-funk shake-up “IGOR” — EDM heavyweights Rezz, Louis the Child, Hippie Sabotage and Jai Wolf, plus the Lumineers, rising R&B star H.E.R. and more.

Aug. 30-Sept. 1; Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle; $109-$775,

Michael Rietmulder



“The Neverborn”

If the demented, brilliant Dr. Frankenstein and the wry, street-wise Weegee had a playwright love child, she might be something like Kelleen Conway Blanchard, who has a compelling way of cutting open cadaverous genres, excavating their cuts for the weirdest and funniest bits, and stitching them together for plays made with maximum force on minimum budgets. She’s taken on women’s-prison-exploitation flicks (“Kittens in a Cage”), monster-horror movies (“The Underneath”), medieval aristocratic-vampire lore (“Blood Countess”) and more. Now she turns to the creepy orphanage/”Turn of the Screw” genre with “The Neverborn,” about two orphans who murder the Matron at the Starling Home for Feeble Minded Children and try to find their maybe-not-dead mother while being chased by a detective and a haunted baby painting. Sounds like vintage Blanchard.

Aug. 2-31; Annex Theatre, 1100 E. Pike St., Seattle; $10-$40 (suggested price $20);

“Indy Jones and the Raiders of the Last Temple of the Doomed Ark”

Well, this sounds goofy. And that’s the idea! Jeff Schell, Ryan Dobosh and Mark Siano, members of the longtime sketch-comedy group The Habit (who have shown a knack for alchemizing deeply silly ideas into brain-titillating comedy bits), have written/directed a new sketch parody of the whip- and wisecracking adventure franchise. Throw them the idol.


Aug. 15-25; The Habit at Seattle Public Theater, 7312 W. Green Lake Drive N., Seattle; $26-$32; 206-524-1300,

Brendan Kiley



A group show about property and antipathy in pre-1968 Seattle, when homeowners could (and did) write racism into their deeds. Broadmoor was off-limits to anyone “Hebrew … Ethiopian, Malay or any Asiatic Race” and deeds in Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, Magnolia, Beacon Hill, Madison Park and other neighborhoods had similar language. Elisheba Johnson, Sara Osebold, Daniel R. Smith, Monyee Chau and other artists from the restricted groups have made personal responses to that history and legacy.

Through Aug. 31; SOIL Gallery, 112 Third Ave. S.; free; 206-264-8061,

“Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness”

South African artist and “visual activist” Zanele Muholi makes gorgeously powerful portraits, with the mission to “re-write a Black, queer, and trans visual history of South Africa for the world to know of our resistance and existence at the height of hate crimes in SA and beyond.” (In 2012, somebody robbed Muholi’s apartment, stealing hard drives with five years of photos, including those from funerals of black South African lesbians who had been murdered in hate crimes. Nothing else was stolen.) For “Somnyama Ngonyama” (which means “hail the dark lioness” in Zulu), Muholi created 365 self portraits, often using found, culturally charged materials for costumes and props: scouring pads, clothespins, rubber tires, plastic bags, piles of old newspapers and more. By the looks of the preview photos, walking past dozens of Muholi’s steady stares should be a soul-shaking experience.

Through Nov. 3; Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., Seattle; by donation; 206-654-3210,


“Forward,” a four-year, group-art project dreamed up by Shaun Kardinal, takes the old idea of the chain letter and gives it multidimensional mutations. Year one: Kardinal turned landscape postcards into geometric forms containing letters from 12 writers (Kamari Bright, Tessa Hulls, Amanda Manitach, et al.). Year two: Pieces of part one were given to 15 artists (Alex Britt, Anthony White, Jazz Brown, et al.) to turn into something else: beadwork, painting, assemblage (and a conceptual twist by Sharon Arnold). This year: 14 new artists (Zayra Mariona, Barry Johnson, Casey Curran, et al.) got pieces to further transform. The results will be at Glass Box for two weeks before transfer to the 2020 cohort. By its finale, many hands from the Seattle art scene will have touched “Forward.”

Aug. 3-17; Glass Box Gallery, 831 Seattle Blvd. S., Seattle; free;

Brendan Kiley

Freelance writer Melinda Bargreen ( contributed to this report.