Fall Arts Guide 2019

It’s all too easy these days to fall into a pattern of flopping down on the couch and flipping on Netflix (or Hulu or Amazon Prime …).

Why, after all, would you want to deal with the traffic and the parking and the unpredictability and the annoying other people involved in getting out of the house and going to an arts event?

And yet, isn’t there something magical about experiencing a concert, a show, an art exhibit live — an immediacy and communal joy, a thrill at possibly seeing something transcendent — that can’t be replicated sitting at home?

In the stories below, we’ll explore that theme, and offer recommendations for the most interesting arts and entertainment events to go to this fall, from concerts to performances, art exhibits to family-friendly fare and more. So that you, too, might experience that thrill. (And, for those who still love more housebound pursuits — yes, we have recommendations for books and TV shows too.)

May this serve as your guide to falling for, or falling more deeply in love with, the arts.

— Janet I. Tu, assistant features editor

Illustration by Gabriel Campanario, news artist


7 best bets for theater this fall in the Seattle area

Why go to the theater? It’s inconvenient. It can be uncomfortable. And here’s why I love it.


Top 10 Seattle music events for fall 2019, from Lana Del Rey to The Who

9 Seattle-area classical music performances to go to in fall 2019


The most anticipated movies of fall 2019

A whirlwind of fall film festivals — 14! — will hit the Seattle area and beyond

Cellphone use during a movie. Clanking ice at a show. What should we do about annoying audience behavior?


10 new releases our critic Moira Macdonald thinks book lovers will enjoy in fall 2019

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ijeoma Oluo, David Sedaris and Rachel Maddow top the list of authors who’ll be speaking in Seattle in fall 2019


9 Seattle-area art experiences you won’t want to miss this fall

Get ready to LOL with these 8 comedy events this fall

6 dance performances to catch this fall 

What to watch on TV, from shows with Seattle ties to the best new series

9 best arts and entertainment events to take kids to this fall


This is a call to action: Let’s go out and experience art and entertainment together, whenever and wherever we can. And let’s just, when we do that, think about the person next to us.

“Grey’s Anatomy” returns for its 16th season on Sept. 26. Shown here are Kevin McKidd, Jesse Williams, Chandra Wilson, Debbie Allen and Ellen Pompeo.

A number of TV shows featuring local ties (including "Survivor," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Watchmen") are set to debut or return this fall. Here's what to keep an eye on.

“Akin” by Emma Donoghue.

Fall is the time to cozy up by a fireplace and dive into a good book. So our books critic Moira Macdonald did some advance scouting to deliver her recommendations for some of the best books coming out in the next couple of months.

Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers in “A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood,” in theaters on Nov. 22. (Lacey Terrell / Sony-Tristar Pictures via AP)

It's that time of year when a glut of good (we hope!) movies hit the multiplexes. Here are the ones we're looking forward to the most.

“Patrinell: The Total Experience,” playing as part of the Local Sightings Film Festival, profiles Seattle’s “First Lady of Gospel,” the Rev. Patrinell Staten Wright.

The season kicks off in earnest Friday, Sept. 20, with Northwest Film Forum’s 22nd annual Local Sightings Film Festival. Here's a rundown of what's coming.

Compared to an evening of Netflix and Uber Eats, theater is downright risky. But it's also an immediate, communal experience that can flirt with the sublime.

Ijeoma Oluo, author of “So You Want to Talk About Race”

Fall brings a vast crop of authors to town; here are just a few mark-your-calendar names.

It's all too easy these days to fall into a pattern of flipping on Netflix (or Hulu or Amazon Prime …) and vegging out. And yet, isn't there something magical about experiencing a concert, a show, an art exhibit live? Here's your guide to experiencing that magic this fall.

Lana Del Rey performs during the LA to the Moon Tour at Philips Arena on Monday, February 5, 2018, in Atlanta. (Photo by Robb Cohen/Invision/AP) INVW

With a number of highly anticipated tours, club fests and limited-run collaborations gracing the Emerald City in the coming months, here are 10 of this season's biggest gigs.

Here are a few highlights of the fall dance season, from a classic pointe-shoe ballet to a weekend of work examining masculinity, queerness, race and gender.

New Burke Museum grand opening is Oct. 12-14, 2019. (Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)

From the Burke Museum reopening to a new creative glass festival, here are some great possibilities for local encounters of the aesthetic kind.

FILE – In this Oct. 21, 2015 file photo, Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang poses for a photograph in New York. The Chinese superstar has recorded a new cross-over album in which he tries to capture the spirit of New York, including doing a cover of “Empire State of Mind,” by Jay Z. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File) NYET217

From a concert by pianist Lang Lang to a "Cinderella" opera, here are the best classical-music bets for fall.

Demetri Martin comes to the Paramount Theatre on Sept. 27. (courtesy of STG)

From Demetri Martin to the Seattle International Comedy Competition, here are some of the best acts coming to town.

Wasim No’mani, Sydney Andrews and Quinlan Corbett in Yussef El Guindi’s “People of the Book” at ACT Theatre.

The fall theater season is looking a little feisty this year, from a play about a megachurch pastor who's suddenly not so sure about that whole hell thing, to a rumination on the still-shocking works of Robert Mapplethorpe.

“Wow in the World,” the podcast on NPR that teaches kids about science and technology, comes in stage show form to Benaroya Hall on Nov. 2.

From movie music to a Minecraft exhibit, the fall arts-and-entertainment calendar for kids is both educational and entertaining.