From Bikini Kill’s comeback tour kickoff to the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Sweat,” our Seattle Times arts writers dish on next month’s most buzzworthy arts and entertainment events.
TOP 5 EVENTS IN MARCH
After 20 years of dormancy, the Olympia-spawned feminist punk heroes came roaring back last year with a smattering of big-market shows, including a headlining slot at Chicago’s Riot Fest. The well-timed return has led to a full-fledged tour launching with a pair of benefit shows in Olympia before hitting Seattle. One of the most important Northwest rock bands of all time, Bikini Kill’s influence has only grown since the height of the ’90s riot grrrl movement that it played an integral role in. Somehow, tickets remain for the second Seattle date.
8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, March 16-17; Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., Seattle; $39.50; stgpresents.org
The last time Seattle saw a Lynn Nottage play on a big stage was “Ruined” at Intiman Theatre, a psychologically complicated and emotionally discordant drama about life in a brothel surrounded by war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was a searing and memorable work. Her play “Sweat,” about a Rust Belt bar where local factory workers drink, laugh and argue, and how striking female workers disrupt its social fabric, won a 2017 Pulitzer Prize. This production features some great actors (Tracy Michelle Hughes, Anthony Leroy Fuller, Anne Allgood) directed by John Langs, one of the best directors working in Seattle these days.
March 20-April 12; ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle; $27-$75; 206-292-7676, acttheatre.org
Pacific Northwest Ballet presents “One Thousand Pieces”
Alejandro Cerrudo’s ballets at Pacific Northwest Ballet just keep getting better and better — “Memory Glow” was intriguing, “Little mortal jump” was enchanting, and “Silent Ghost” knocked my socks off (that pas de deux plays in my dreams). Now, fresh off being named the company’s resident choreographer (he’ll be creating two world premieres for PNB over the next three years, and will spend time mentoring student and company choreographers), he’s back with his fourth work in PNB’s repertoire: “One Thousand Pieces,” inspired by the artist Marc Chagall and set to music by Philip Glass. It’ll be paired with David Dawson’s powerful, arabesque-filled “Empire Noir.”
March 13-22; McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; $30-$190; 206-441-2424, pnb.org
Seattle Jewish Film Festival
One of Seattle’s biggest film festivals celebrates its silver anniversary this year, growing from a 100-seat weekend event in 1995 to today’s 13-day, five-venue celebration. Highlights from this year’s program include a gala opening-night screening of “Picture of His Life,” a documentary about National Geographic photographer Amos Nachoum; a Sunday Klezmer Brunch screening of the documentary “The Spy Behind Home Plate,” about MLB player Moe Berg; a “Fiddler on the Roof” matinee; a special Jewish edition of Silent Movie Mondays at the Paramount, featuring the 1923 film “The Ancient Law” accompanied by live music; and a tribute evening celebrating the work of SJFF special guest Elliott Gould.
March 19-29 and April 4-5; multiple locations; single tickets begin at $15, full festival pass $225; 206-388-0833, seattlejewishfilmfestival.org
Think of an iconic David Hockney painting: sun-drenched Southern California affluence, manicured lawns, pristine pools, the tasteful minimalism of the rich and famous. Now, who do you think keeps all those spaces so fresh and clean? That’s where Mexican American artist Gomez steps in. Sometimes, he makes Hockney look-alikes but with a guy mowing the lawn, or paints faceless, brown-skinned figures in high-end environments. “Taking Out the Trash in Places to Dine,” for example, features a dark-skinned man with a trash can painted directly onto a glossy magazine page (header text: “places to dine,” lead photo: white people drinking white wine). He’s also created a series of cardboard cutouts of gardeners, nannies and other professionals, sticking them along roadsides and sidewalks in West Hollywood and Bel Air. The work provokes (perhaps shame, anger or satirical laughter, depending on where you fall on the socioeconomic slope), but the anonymous figures are also tinged with soft melancholy. This is what invisibility looks like.
March 5-28; Greg Kucera Gallery, 212 Third Ave. S., Seattle; free; 206-624-0770, gregkucera.com
McCann, in “Let the Great World Spin” (a National Book Award winner) and “Transatlantic” among other works, demonstrated his gift for weaving disparate voices together into an intoxicating tapestry. Now he’s in town with his latest work, “Apeirogon,” which sounds like it might continue in that vein; it’s the story of a friendship between two very different men — one Palestinian, one Israeli.
7 p.m. Thursday, March 5; Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., Lake Forest Park; free; 206-366-3333, thirdplacebooks.com
Jewell Parker Rhodes
The author of numerous books both for children and adults (including the bestselling YA novel “Ghost Boys”), Rhodes will read from her latest novel for young readers, “Black Brother, Black Brother,” about two siblings — one of whom presents as Black, the other as white — coming of age.
6 p.m. Tuesday, March 10; University Book Store, 4326 University Way N.E., Seattle; free; 800-335-7323, ubookstore.com. Also at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 12; Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., Lake Forest Park; free; 206-366-3333, thirdplacebooks.com
Hochschild, the award-winning author of multiple works of nonfiction (“King Leopold’s Ghost,” “Bury the Chains”), will discuss the remarkable subject of his latest book: “Rebel Cinderella: From Rags to Riches to Radical, the Epic Journey of Rose Pastor Stokes.”
Literary Luncheon at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, Ravenna Third Place Books, 6504 20th Ave. N.E., Seattle; $45 (includes lunch and copy of book); 206-525-2347, thirdplacebooks.com. Also 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 11; Seattle Public Library’s Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle; free; 206-386-4636, spl.org.
Choo’s second novel, “The Night Tiger,” was set in colonial Malaysia and is a coming-of-age story about a dance-hall girl and an orphan boy. A New York Times bestseller and Reese’s Book Club selection, it’s just now out in paperback.
7 p.m. Thursday, March 12; Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., Seattle; free; 206-624-6600, elliottbaybook.com
Another paperback tour; this time for a memoir: Land’s 2019 book “Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will To Survive” vividly documented her years as a single mother working as a housecleaner — and fighting against a system seemingly stacked against the working poor. (Happy footnote: The book became a bestseller, and Land now works as an author and public speaker.)
7 p.m. Monday, March 16; Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., Seattle; free; 206-624-6600, elliottbaybook.com
The author of the essay collection “Men Explain Things To Me” comes to town with her new memoir, “Recollections of My Nonexistence,” in which she explores her formative years as a young writer and feminist in 1980s San Francisco. She’ll be interviewed onstage by Carrie Brownstein, author of “Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl.”
7 p.m. Tuesday, March 17; Temple De Hirsch Sinai, 1441 16th Ave., Seattle; $33/one person, $38/two people (includes copy of book); 206-624-6600, elliottbaybook.com
Min Jin Lee
I remember happily disappearing into Lee’s “Pachinko” a year or so ago — a silkily written epic tale of four generations of a Korean/Japanese family that was a National Book Award finalist and one of The New York Times’ 10 best books of the year. The book is the second of a planned trilogy (the first was 2007’s “Free Food For Millionaires”) exploring what it means to be Korean in other cultures. Lee is currently at work on the third.
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 17; Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $20-$80 (top price includes reserved seats and a pre-lecture reception); 206-621-2230, lectures.org
British author Evaristo shared the 2019 Booker Prize (with Margaret Atwood’s “The Testaments”) for her novel “Girl, Woman, Other,” a sweeping tale of the intertwined lives of 12 very different people in England, most of them female and Black. Her previous works include the verse novel “The Emperor’s Babe,” set in Roman London 1,800 years ago.
7 p.m. Monday, March 23; Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, 104 17th Ave. S., Seattle; free; 206-386-4636, spl.org
Bauermeister, a local author whose novel “The Scent Keeper” was a recent Reese’s Book Club selection, will read from her new nonfiction work, “House Lessons: Renovating a Life,” about her experiences in renovating a trash-filled, century-old house in Port Townsend with her family. She’ll be interviewed by local novelist Jennie Shortridge.
7 p.m. Tuesday, March 24; Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., Seattle; free; 206-322-7030, hugohouse.org. Also a Literary Luncheon at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, Ravenna Third Place Books, 6504 20th Ave. N.E., Seattle; $45 (includes lunch and copy of book); 206-525-2347, thirdplacebooks.com
McBride’s follow-up to his National Book Award-winning “The Good Lord Bird” is “Deacon King Kong,” a novel set in 1969 Brooklyn that begins with a church deacon shooting a drug dealer, then widens its gaze to examine the impact of the shooting on those who witnessed it.
7:30 p.m. Monday, March 30; Town Hall Seattle, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle; $35/one person, $40/two people (both prices include one copy of book); 206-624-6600, elliottbaybook.com
Seattle Opera presents “Charlie Parker’s Yardbird”
Five more chances to hear this Seattle Opera production, with music by Daniel Schnyder and libretto by Bridgette A. Wimberly. The plot has the ghost of jazz saxophonist Charlie “Yardbird” Parker traveling back to the 1940s-’50s heyday of Birdland, the jazz club named after him, as he revisits the high and low points in his eventful life.
Through March 7; McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; $35-$199, 206-389-7676, seattleopera.org
Music of Remembrance: Violins of Hope
The chamber-music program Violins of Hope is inspired by a private collection of violins, violas and cellos formerly owned by Jews who played them before and during the Holocaust. A quartet of these instruments will be featured in a narrated concert that marks 75 years after the defeat of the Third Reich. The Seattle Symphony musicians featured in the program of Schulhoff, Klein, Weinberg and others are Mikhail Shmidt (violin), Artur Girsky (violin), Susan Gulkis Assadi (viola), Walter Gray (cello) and clarinetist Laura DeLuca.
President’s Piano Series presents Hélène Grimaud
The highly regarded French-born pianist presents a recital of subtle atmospheres and textures, with selections from her recent and excellent recording of pieces by Chopin, Debussy (including the famous “Clair de lune”), Satie and Silvestrov, plus Schumann’s Op. 16 “Kreisleriana.”
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 4; Gerlich Theater at Meany Hall, University of Washington, 4040 George Washington Lane N.E., Seattle; $61-$69, children 5-17 free (two per paying adult); 206-543-4880, meanycenter.org
Seattle Symphony: Thomas Dausgaard conducts “Salome”
It’s a tempting program: three major works of Richard Strauss, including the powerful Suite from the opera “Salome,” the glorious tone poem “Death and Transfiguration” and the colorful “Don Juan.” Expect fireworks with the high-energy leadership of Dausgaard, the Seattle Symphony’s music director.
7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 19; 8 p.m. Saturday, March 21; Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $24-$134; 206-215-4747, seattlesymphony.org
Los Angeles Master Chorale, “Lagrime di San Pietro”
The Los Angeles Times called this staging of Franco-Flemish composer Orlando di Lasso’s Renaissance masterpiece “a major accomplishment for music history.” Now you can hear 21 a cappella singers of the Los Angeles Master Chorale in acclaimed director Peter Sellars’ staging of this work about the Apostle Peter’s grief and remorse after he denies Jesus Christ before the crucifixion.
7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26; Gerlich Theater at Meany Hall, University of Washington, 4040 George Washington Lane N.E., Seattle; $47-$55, children 5-17 $37-$44; 206-543-4880, meanycenter.org
Tickets are already on sale for the following movies:
The latest Pixar film, directed by Dan Scanlon (“Monsters University”), follows two teenage elf brothers (voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) as they search for magic in the hopes of spending one last day with their father, who died long ago. Also among the voices: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer, Ali Wong and Pixar good-luck charm John Ratzenberger (he’s been heard in every Pixar film). Sounds like it should be pretty sweet.
Opens March 6 at multiple theaters; fandango.com
The Centennial of Federico Fellini
Seattle Art Museum devotes its Thursday night spring movie series to the legendary Italian filmmaker (1920-1993), beginning with his rarely screened second film, 1952’s “The White Sheik,” about a very eventful honeymoon. The series continues with a parade of Fellini classics, including “La Strada,” “The Nights of Cabiria,” “Juliet of the Spirits,” “La Dolce Vita,” “8 1/2” and “Amarcord.” Showing as a bonus with “The White Sheik” on March 19 is “Toby Dammit,” a 1968 short film directed by Fellini, based on an Edgar Allan Poe story.
Thursday evenings, March 19-May 14; Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., Seattle; series ticket $78; 206-654-3210, seattleartmuseum.org
Roughly 40 years before Washington became one of the first states to legalize same-sex marriage, the Evergreen State produced what is widely considered the first gay country album. Fronted by Patrick Haggerty, Lavender Country’s self-titled 1973 debut found renewed interest when it was reissued back in 2014. It won a new generation of fans, Sub Pop’s rising queer country star Orville Peck among them. Haggerty’s been back in the saddle in recent years, gigging around the Northwest and beyond, and releasing Lavender Country’s first new album in 46 years — 2019’s “Blackberry Rose and Other Songs and Sorrows.”
8 p.m. Sunday, March 1; Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., Seattle; $10, tractortavern.com
Even if you haven’t heard of Thundercat by now (for shame), you’ve likely heard the singular bass wiz’s music. Los Angeles’ space-funk lord keeps exceptional musical company, frequently collaborating with some of the city’s most adventurous in Kendrick Lamar, cosmic beat slinger Flying Lotus and new wave jazz composer/saxophonist Kamasi Washington. Between lending his dexterous, elastic bass licks to others’ projects, Thundercat is kicking off a tour in the Northwest ahead of his fourth album, “It Is What It Is,” due April 3. Buzzy Bay Area rapper Guapdad 4000 sweetens the bill.
8 p.m. Sunday, March 1; Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., Seattle; $30-$35, all ages, showboxpresents.com
Nearly 20 years ago, the scruffy NYC rockers arrived as a garage-chic revelation, with their now classic “Is This It.” While their breakout debut helped make them one of the ’00s more influential indie rock bands, The Strokes laid low for much of the 2010s, as frontman Julian Casablancas and guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. devoted more time to solo ventures. That’s about to change, with the jangly, dance-friendly lads set to play a trio of West Coast dates ahead of a South American tour and new album due April 10. Canadian indie-pop vets Alvvays open.
7 p.m. Monday, March 9; WaMu Theater, 800 Occidental Ave., Seattle; sold out, centurylinkfield.com
The story goes that in 1982, when playwright August Wilson took his mother to see this play at the now-defunct Allegheny Repertory Theatre in Pittsburgh, they arrived by jitney — the not-technically-legal cabs that served Black neighborhoods like the Hill District, where official and licensed cabs refused to travel. Like all of Wilson’s plays, “Jitney” is keenly interested in the economics of Black American life, and the intertwining of love, money and loyalty. Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who won a Tony for directing “Jitney” in 2017, directs this national touring production.
Through March 29; Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St., Seattle; $17-$82 (prices subject to change); 206-443-2222, seattlerep.org
Raja Feather Kelly: “UGLY: Black Queer Zoo”
Back in 2011, Seattle audiences got a glimpse of Raja Feather Kelly as the eye-bafflingly long, tall, graceful dancer in Zoe Scofield and Juniper Shuey’s surreal and engrossing dance work “A Crack in Everything” at On the Boards. Since then, he’s done and won a ton of things: artistic director of New Brooklyn Theatre, Creative Capital fellow, three-time Princess Grace Award winner (that’s the Pulitzer Prize of dance), the 2019-2020 resident commissioned artist at New York Live Arts, busy choreographer for Off-Broadway productions and on and on. “UGLY: Black Queer Zoo” is a solo piece with a yellow palette, a sometimes-fevered electronic score by Emily Auciello and his celebration of Blackness and queerness — “feelings,” he told The New York Times, “that don’t have to do with my trauma or my pain.” Kelly comes as part of the GUSH series at Washington Ensemble Theatre, which brings non-Seattle shows to town. Everything about “UGLY” sounds promising.
March 5-16; Washington Ensemble Theatre at 12th Avenue Arts, 1620 12th Ave., Seattle; $15-$25; washingtonensemble.org
Is it film? Is it live comedy? Is it video-art installation? All of the above. Every month, cinematic archaeologists Shane Wahlund and Michael Anderson (who’ve also made video for drag wizards Dina Martina and BenDeLaCreme) bring their latest remixes of old movies, commercials, educational videos and TV detritus (interviews, local news channels, daytime talk shows) to delight and horrify audiences at Re-bar. It must be seen live, in a crowd full of people ready to squeal at unintentional tragicomedy, dredged up from the dumping grounds of the pop-culture industry.
Monday, March 9; Re-bar, 1114 Howell St., Seattle; $10; 206-233-9872, collideoscopeseattle.com
You’d think Seattle would be more of a George Bernard Shaw kinda town: He’s witty, caustic, atheist, socialist, feminist (this is debated — but he was at least feminist enough to have graduate students arguing about how feminist he actually was) and wickedly intelligent. Matthew Wright directs a stripped-down, in-the-round production of Shaw’s theatrical biography of the French soldier-saint, featuring Porscha Shaw (“Nina Simone: Four Women”) as Joan.
March 11-April 5; ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave. S.W., Seattle; $20-$42 (pay-what-you-can preview March 11); 206-938-0963, artswest.org
Timothy White Eagle: “The Violet Symphony”
Timothy White Eagle is a big guy — literally and figuratively. His salt-and-pepper beard, flowing mane and towering stature are easy to spot at arts events around town, where he is a regular presence. White Eagle also has a big circle of collaborators: choreographer Alice Gosti, photographer Adrain Chesser, performance-art legend Taylor Mac and others. “The Violet Symphony” is rooted in the true story of Violet Plague, a charismatic, performative panhandler in the Castro District of San Francisco who, White Eagle says, died of a drug overdose on New Year’s Eve many years ago. Whatever this show winds up looking like, expect to leave at least slightly transformed.
March 19-22; On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., Seattle; $10-$75; 206-217-9888; ontheboards.org
Bing Wright: “Blow-Up”
New York-based photographer Wright was going through some old black-and-white photos in his archive when he found several images of children playing at the beach. Using digital methods, he added new shades of color, and isolated and blew up details. The result is a little hypnotic and a little unsettling — the frozen, tiny bits of carefree moments, filtered through a lens of nostalgia, are artifacts of past happiness. The fact of happiness is gladdening; the fact that it’s past, a little less so. The title of the show aids and abets the ambivalence: It’s taken from Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1967 movie about a feckless art photographer who, when examining and blowing up one of his pictures, realizes he may have accidentally documented a murder.
Through March 21; James Harris Gallery, 604 Second Ave., Seattle; free; 206-903-6220, jamesharrisgallery.com
“Unsettling Femininity: Selections from the Frye Art Museum Collection”
The art world has been a site of gender imbalance (to put it blandly) for a very long time. In its simplest terms: Men look, women get looked at. As the art-activist Guerrilla Girls put it in a now-famous 1985 poster about the Met Museum in New York: “Less than 5% of the artists in the Modern Art Sections are women, but 85% of the nudes are female.” Inside that context, the Frye’s permanent collection has some interesting ladies — a particular point of fascination for the founder-collector couple Charles and Emma Frye. There’s the famous snake-and-woman portrait “Sin,” the insouciant “Here I Am” by Leopold Schmutzler, famous actors, eroticized images of Christian martyrs. The Frye is asking us not just to look at them, but to look at ourselves looking at them. What do we see?
Through Aug. 23; Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle; free; 206-622-9250, fryemuseum.org
“As, Not For: Dethroning Our Absolutes”
A self-described “incomplete historical survey” of Black design work, partly inspired by “The New Negro,” a critical study of Black aesthetics written by philosophy professor Alain Locke, who was called “the Dean” of the Harlem Renaissance. The exhibition’s printed ephemera (both original and blown up to large scale) promises to showcase “authentic representations of Black culture in the time that they were created.” Curated by Jerome Harris.
March 5-26; Jacob Lawrence Gallery, Art Building, University of Washington campus, Seattle; free; 206-685-1805, art.washington.edu/jacob-lawrence-gallery. Also, March 5-April 23; Non-Breaking Space, 532 First Ave. S., Seattle; free; email@example.com, non-breaking.space
Freelance writer Melinda Bargreen (firstname.lastname@example.org) contributed to this report.