From concerts by Olympia-born Sleater-Kinney to a celebration of a new book by local author Lindy West, our Seattle Times arts writers dish on next month’s most buzzworthy arts and entertainment events.




This is the long-awaited feature film about American heroine Harriet Tubman, who was born into slavery, escaped it, and then made multiple trips back to the South to help rescue dozens of enslaved people. Kasi Lemmons (“Eve’s Bayou,” “Talk to Me”) directs Cynthia Erivo, who recently lit up “Widows,” in the title role; Leslie Odom Jr., Broadway veteran of “Hamilton,” co-stars.

Opens Nov. 1;

Moira Macdonald


On the Boards celebrates 40 years

For the past four decades, On the Boards has been bringing some of the best, weirdest, most innovative, most memorable theater, dance and other time-based art forms in the world to Seattle, as well as incubating some of our finest local talent. To name just a few: Laurie Anderson, Bill T. Jones, The Wooster Group, Spalding Gray, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Sankai Juku, Gisèle Vienne, Romeo Castellucci, Constanza Macras and Dorky Park, Mark Morris, Pat Graney, Zoe Scofield & Juniper Shuey, Taylor Mac, Crystal Pite, Saint Genet, Okwui Okpokwasili. (Mikhail Baryshnikov once made a surprise, up-close-and-personal visit.) So OtB is having a birthday party. Special guest: the brilliantly psychedelic comedian/soundmaker Reggie Watts. Host: the wonderful actor/singer/solo performer Sarah Rudinoff.

Friday, Nov. 1; On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., Seattle; $40 (arts-worker price)-$140 (supporter price); 206-217-9886,

Brendan Kiley


Danish String Quartet

One of today’s hottest string quartets, this inventive young Danish foursome arrives in Seattle for an International Chamber Music Series program that offers an unusual lineup. They’ll play Mozart’s arrangement of Bach’s Fugue No. 7 from “The Well-Tempered Clavier,” Book II; Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 15; and Beethoven’s great Op. 127 (Quartet No. 12).

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7; Katharyn Alvord Gerlich Theater at Meany Hall, University of Washington, 4040 George Washington Lane N.E., Seattle; $41-$49; 206-543-4880,


Melinda Bargreen



The departure of longtime drummer Janet Weiss (who cited the band’s “new direction” as the reason) weeks before the Northwest punk greats unleashed their anticipated new album shocked the music world. But the seminal Olympia-formed band is powering on with new kitminder Angie Boylan, veteran of several NYC punk bands including Aye Nako, and a tour that starts (Oct. 9, Spokane) and ends in Washington state, with a two-night Seattle stand capping this North American leg. Night one is sold out, but tickets to the Nov. 24 show were available as of this writing.

8 p.m. Nov. 23-24; Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., Seattle; tickets from $33.50;

Michael Rietmulder


Lindy West

Speaking as part of Seattle Arts & Lectures’ “Women You Need to Know” series, West is a local author whose voice is now heard nationally: in her bestselling memoir “Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman” (which she adapted last year as a series for Hulu) and in her frequent opinion pieces for The New York Times. She’ll appear in celebration of her new book out this fall, the essay collection “The Witches Are Coming.”

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26; Town Hall Seattle, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle; individual tickets sold out but subscriptions are available and standby tickets ($40) may be available on a limited basis (numbers handed out at box office beginning 1.5 hours before event); 206-621-2230,

Moira Macdonald




Meghan Daum 

Daum, a former columnist for the Los Angeles Times, has an uncanny knack for turning the personal into the universal (see her charming essay collections “My Misspent Youth” and “The Unspeakable, and Other Subjects of Discussion”). She’s here with her latest book: “The Problem With Everything: My Journey Through the New Culture Wars,” about contemporary feminism.

7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1; Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., Seattle; free; 206-625-6600,


Nisi Shawl

Local author Shawl, known for the science-fiction/fantasy/steampunk novel “Everfair” (and an occasional Seattle Times contributor), has a new book out: “Talk Like a Man,” a gathering of previously uncollected stories that examine the possibilities and perils opened up by the science-fiction and fantasy world’s new intersectionality.

6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1; University Book Store, 4326 University Way N.E., Seattle; free; 800-335-7323,

Ann Cleeves

The award-winning mystery author, whose books have inspired two British television series (“Shetland” and “Vera”), has launched a new series. “The Long Call,” set in coastal North Devon and featuring Detective Matthew Venn, is its first installment.

7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1; University Temple United Methodist Church, 1415 N.E. 43rd St., Seattle; $26.99 (admits two, includes copy of book); 800-335-7323,

Andre Aciman

The Oscar-winning movie “Call Me By Your Name” brought the name and work of novelist Andre Aciman, on whose book it was based, to new audiences. Now he’s back with a sequel: “Find Me,” which reunites us with Oliver and Elio, decades after their first meeting.

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


Nicole Chung

A Seattle native who grew up in Oregon, Chung returns to the Northwest to celebrate the paperback edition of her acclaimed, eloquent memoir, “All You Can Ever Know,” about how being a transracial adoptee (born to Korean American parents, she was raised in a white family) has shaped her life’s story.

7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4; Third Place Books at Lake Forest Park, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., Lake Forest Park; free; 206-366-3333,

Saeed Jones 

Jones, an acclaimed poet whose debut collection “Prelude to Bruise” was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, comes to town with his much-anticipated new memoir: “How We Fight For Our Lives,” about coming of age as a black gay man in the South. Kirkus Reviews described it as “the emergence of a major literary voice.”

7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7; Northwest African American Museum, 2300 S. Massachusetts St., Seattle; free; 206-624-6600,

Adrienne Brodeur

Lots of literary buzz this fall for Brodeur’s new memoir: “Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me” — and that title pretty much pulls you in, doesn’t it? She’ll speak in conversation with Seattle novelist Danya Kukafka (“Girl in Snow”).

7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8; Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., Seattle; free; 206-625-6600,


David Sedaris

The man who changed the way all of us think about Santaland elves returns to Seattle for his annual reading — and, it’s certain, to make us all laugh. In his latest collection of essays, “Calypso,” which I reviewed last year, I started marking pages where something made me giggle. I ran out of markers. But it’s also a very poignant collection, reflecting on the death of his sister, his relationship to his father and on how middle age brings a wistful awareness of mortality.

7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10; Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $52-$61; 206-215-2727,

Amor Towles  

Who among us didn’t devour the elegant prose and irresistible story of “A Gentleman in Moscow”? (Which is, for the record, FINALLY in paperback.) Towles is a former investment banker whose two novels — his debut was “The Rules of Civility” in 2011 — have both been bestsellers; this writing thing seems to be working out pretty well for him.

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12; Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; individual tickets sold out but subscriptions are available and standby tickets ($40) may be available on a limited basis (numbers handed out at box office beginning 1.5 hours before event); 206-621-2230,

Lisa Jewell 

Jewell’s internationally bestselling thrillers include “Then She Was Gone” and “The Girls in the Garden.” She’s here with her latest, “The Family Upstairs,” which has an intriguing premise: A woman turns 25 and inherits the mansion in which she was found as an infant — alongside three dead bodies.

7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12; Third Place Books at Lake Forest Park, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., Lake Forest Park; presentation free, signing line ticket available with purchase of book; 206-366-3333,


Mo Rocca 

Rocca, a correspondent for “CBS Sunday Morning” and host of “My Grandmother’s Ravioli” (though I know him best as one of the “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me” panelists on NPR), has written a book about one of his passions: obituaries. It’s called “Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving.”

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12; Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle; $5; 206-652-4255,

Tom Perrotta

The author of “Election,” “Little Children,” “The Leftovers,” “Mrs. Fletcher” and other slyly delightful novels will speak on the topic of “Laughter Is Only the Beginning,” discussing how he balances satire, comedy and psychological realism in his work.

7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14; Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., Seattle; 206-322-7030,

Gloria Steinem

Co-founder of Ms. Magazine and icon of modern American feminism, Steinem is visiting Seattle to talk about her life and work — and to promote her new book, “The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off! Thoughts on Life, Love and Rebellion.”

7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21; Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., Seattle; $15.50-55.50 (higher price includes copy of book); 800-982-2787,


Heather Havrilesky 

The author of the popular “Dear Polly” advice column will discuss topics raised in her book “What If This Were Enough” (now out in paperback), about our obsession with self-improvement.

7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22; Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle; $5; 206-652-4255,

Moira Macdonald



Seattle Opera presents Three Singing Sisters

The three talented Costa-Jackson sisters — Ginger, Marina and Miriam — have appeared (jointly and separately) in recent Seattle Opera productions of “Così fan tutte,” “Carmen” and this year’s “Cinderella.” Now they’ll sing solos, duets and trios on Seattle Opera’s mainstage, with a program that spans opera arias, Broadway melodies, popular music and Neapolitan songs.

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2;  McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; $50-$75; 206-389-7676,

President’s Piano Series presents Jonathan Biss

Beethoven expert Biss performs the first of two programs devoted to the master, on this season’s lineup of great pianists. Biss, a highly respected artist who is recording all of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, plays three of them here, including two of the most exciting of the 32 sonatas, the “Tempest” and the “Appassionata.” Catnip for keyboard fans.

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, Gerlich Theater at Meany Hall, University of Washington, 4040 George Washington Lane N.E., Seattle; $41-$49, 206-543-4880,


Music of Remembrance presents “Passage: Confronting Intolerance”

This venturesome chamber-music series has a social mission: presenting powerful new works based on themes of the Holocaust and other international victims of persecution and exclusion. Two world premieres will open the season — Ryuichi Sakamoto’s “Passage” (depicting the struggles of a Middle Eastern refugee) and Shinji Eshima’s “Veritas” (a multimedia work about religious intolerance). Also on the program: Paul Schoenfield’s award-winning “Camp Songs.” Members of the Seattle Symphony join director Erich Parce and soprano Karen Early Evans for this performance.

4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3; Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $55;

Seattle Symphony presents “Orfeo ed Euridice”

According to ancient myth, the musician Orpheus journeyed into the underworld in a quest to retrieve his wife, Eurydice — a story that has inspired many great musical works. Now, Seattle conductor and early-music specialist Stephen Stubbs leads the Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble in an intriguing new production of this classic legend that amalgamates three Italian baroque operatic “Orpheus” settings — by composers Claudio Monteverdi, Antonio Sartorio and Luigi Rossi. Countertenor Philippe Jaroussky and soprano Amanda Forsythe portray the title characters.

8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22; Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; tickets from $32; 206-215-4747,

Melinda Bargreen



Locally Sourced

Here’s a welcome rarity at Pacific Northwest Ballet: an evening of all-new work, all from local choreographers. Presenting world-premiere ballets will be Eva Stone, founder/producer of CHOP SHOP: Bodies of Work; Donald Byrd, artistic director of Spectrum Dance Theater and a Tony Award-nominated choreographer (“The Color Purple”); and PNB corps member Miles Pertl, whose work has been seen at the company’s Next Step and PNB School performances. Stone’s work, “F O I L,” will be set to music by female composers from centuries past (Nadia Boulanger, Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Fanny Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann); Byrd’s, called “Love and Loss,” is set to music by Emmanuel Witzthum; and Pertl’s (as yet untitled) is scored by Jherek Bischoff.


Nov. 8-17; McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; tickets from $37; 206-441-2424, 


Named for a light-loving fungus, the modern-dance troupe Pilobolus has been around since the early 1970s, intriguing and delighting audiences with their unique brand of body sculpture and collaborative movement. They’re in town to present “Come to Your Senses,” which was inspired by their collaborations with MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab and Radiolab. In the show, the company “unravels the mystery of the origin of life, explores the beauty and strength of human connection, and celebrates our orientation in the biosphere.” Sounds like a lot, but Pilobolus always delivers.

Nov. 14-16; Meany Hall, University of Washington campus, 4040 George Washington Lane N.E., Seattle; tickets from $61; 206-543-4880,

Moira Macdonald

“Where is home: birds of passage”

A three-hour, durational solo performance (where the audience can come and go) about human migration and the notion of home by well-established Seattle choreographer (and Italian American immigrant) Alice Gosti. Raised in Italy with an American mother and an Italian father, she says she was always considered “the American,” with all the good and not-so-good associations attached. Once in the U.S., she found herself regarded as another kind of exotic creature. “I know I benefit from my privilege as a white person,” Gosti wrote in an artist’s statement. “In this country, if I don’t speak, I pass while immigrants that aren’t white don’t get to. But as soon as I speak, explain how to pronounce my name, I get asked: ‘Where are you from?’ ” Gosti mines her own history to extrapolate larger themes about what it means to be an immigrant — especially in this era of heightened attention toward aggressive detentions, raids and family separations.

Nov. 1-17; ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle; $10-$25; 206-292-7676,

Brendan Kiley



Tickets are already on sale for the following movies:

“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

“Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers” is the most obvious draw here — you know he’ll look just right in that cardigan. But I’m also intrigued by this film as the latest work from director Marielle Heller; she’s only made two films previously (“Diary of a Teenage Girl,” “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”) and both were terrific.


Opens Nov. 22;

“Knives Out”

Advance buzz from festival screenings is terrific for this film, directed by Rian Johnson (“Looper,” “Star Wars: The Last Jedi“): A wealthy crime novelist (Christopher Plummer) is found dead — and everyone around him is a suspect. Daniel Craig plays the detective who attempts to solve the crime, and the star-heavy cast also includes Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette and Michael Shannon. Watch the trailer — it’s a scream — and tell me you don’t want to see this film NOW.

Opens Nov. 27;

Moira Macdonald


Young Thug and Machine Gun Kelly

A number of Southern rap greats have or will make their way to the Northwest this fall, including certified trunk-knocker Kevin Gates (Nov. 30, WaMu). But hip-hop adventurer Young Thug, one of the decade’s most influential rap artists who toyed with country-trap when Lil Nas X was barely old enough to drive a tractor, is worth circling on the calendar. Spitfire emcee Machine Gun Kelly, who plays Tommy Lee in Netflix’s Mötley Crüe biopic “The Dirt,” co-headlines.

7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10; WaMu Theater, 800 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle; tickets from $32;

The Black Keys

After a few years of dabbling in separate projects and producer gigs, the glammed-up blues-rock duo unveiled their first album in five years, “Let’s Rock,” billed as somewhat of a return to the Ohio rockers’ scruffier roots. For support along its comeback run, the Keys tapped Northwest indie-rock champs Modest Mouse and doo-woppy garage-pop stalwarts Shannon & the Clams.

7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23;  Tacoma Dome, 2727 E. D St., Tacoma; tickets from $39.50;

Michael Rietmulder



“The Pavilion”

This small, tender play by Craig Wright (theater: “Orange Flower Water,” TV: “Lost,” “Six Feet Under”) begins with the creation of the universe and ends with a midnight “sweetheart dance” at a small-town high-school reunion. Our narrator (an avuncular Rob Burgess) talks us through time to this pavilion, where a long-estranged high-school couple, whose lives diverged under bad circumstances (she got pregnant, he left town and abandoned her) reunite. Quinlan Corbett is surprisingly sympathetic as Peter, the repentant ex-boyfriend, who has spent his life regretting that decision. But Kari (Allison Standley), who wound up having an abortion, and whose cold fury has not eased with time, also has our loyalties. Burgess also plays every other character at the reunion as a parade of kids who’ve grown into uncertain adulthood. Wright’s careful writing is a reminder that in an era of epic headlines and Big Issue plays, the tiny, intimate stories of everyday lives are worth examining, too — we are, after all, the center of our own universes.


Through Nov. 9; Strawberry Theatre Workshop at 12th Ave Arts, 1620 12th Ave., Seattle; $10-$36; 800-838-3006;

“The Thanksgiving Play”

“Pilgrims” + “Indians” + disastrously smug “wokeness” = this 2015 satire by Larissa FastHorse (Sicangu Lakota) about four white people bumbling through their attempt to create the first “First Thanksgiving” play that satisfies their political affectations. There’s a “vegan ally” who brings the director a gift of a Mason jar “made with recycled glass from broken windows in housing projects.” There is an attempt to include an actual Native American in the process, but she turns out to be ethnically “flexible,” depending on whatever role she’s hired for. It sounds a bit like “We Are Pleased to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia…” by Pony World Theatre, which was brilliantly discomforting. Directed by Kelly Kitchens.

Through Nov. 16; Seattle Public Theater, 7312 W. Green Lake Drive N., Seattle; $17-$34;

“The Brothers Paranormal”

This comedy-thriller by Prince Gomolvilas is about two Thai American, ghost-hunting brothers who wind up in the Midwest, poking around the home of an African American couple who’d fled Hurricane Katrina. The New Yorker says: “Prince Gomolvilas’s clever, multilayered play is gratifyingly subtle in its inquiry into migration — the pain of crossing over for the living and the dead alike.” Directed by Mimi Katano, the play is in a rolling world premiere, which started in New York at Pan Asian Repertory Theatre in April.

Through Nov. 16; Pork Filled Players at Theatre Off Jackson, 409 Seventh Ave. S., Seattle; $15-$50 (choose your own price); 800-838-3006,


Brendan Kiley



The new J. Rinehart Gallery plants its flag in Seattle with a lively group show featuring acrylics (Tara Flores, Jazz Brown), spray paint (Joseph Steininger), oil on archival prints (Daisy Patton), geometry embroidered on photographs (Shaun Kardinal), cardboard sculpture (Clyde Petersen collaborating with Jennifer Zwick) and more.


Through Nov. 9; J. Rinehart Gallery, 319 Third Ave., Seattle; free; 206-467-4508,

Ginny Ruffner: “Alternative Myths”

Ruffner, a local artist whose “Reforestation of the Imagination” is now showing at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, has a local exhibition at Georgetown’s great Oxbow Gallery. The painter/sculptor/installation artist — perennially interested in biologies and ecologies — is now using augmented reality to imagine what our myths might look like if certain flora and certain fauna had co-evolved. Imagine birds with anthurium flowers for heads, or human hands instead of wings.

Through Nov. 9; Oxbow Gallery, 6118 12th Ave. S., Seattle; free; 206-234-8741,

Norman Lundin: “Remembered Detail” and Paul Rucker: “Forever”

Listing the nouns in Lundin’s paintings sounds drab: teacups, a ladder, oftentimes a window, always some shadows. But the painter evokes something stirring, something strange, in his compositions — both eerie and calming, a sense of mystery and otherworldly in the banal. How does he do it? “The approach I use in my work is quite formal,” he says in an artist’s statement. “I am concerned with the abstract relationships and various other formal interactions. I will make considerable sacrifices in subject matter in order to get these formal considerations “right.'” Some magic in his abstract “considerations” give his paintings a kind of soul. Also showing: Rucker’s “Forever” series, aluminum-print “stamps” of civil-rights martyrs that are not, and probably never will be, commemorated on official U.S. postage, including victims of racist violence (such as Edwin T. Pratt and the girls killed in the 1963 Alabama church bombing).

Nov. 7-Dec. 21; Greg Kucera Gallery, 212 Third Ave. S., Seattle; free; 206-624-4031,

Brendan Kiley

“Flesh and Blood: Italian Masterpieces from the Capodimonte Museum”

This is a very rare chance to see 40 Renaissance and Baroque works of art from a large Italian art museum. The list looks very promising, with paintings by Artemisia Gentileschi, Raphael, Titian, El Greco and more, in an exhibition that, according to SAM, embraces “the human body as a vehicle to express love and devotion, physical labor, and tragic suffering.”

Through Jan. 26, 2020; Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., Seattle; $29.99 adult, $27.99 senior, $19.99 student, free for SAM members and children 14 and under; first Thursday reduced-ticket prices;

Gayle Clemans

Freelance writers Melinda Bargreen and Gayle Clemans contributed to this report.