From Janelle Monáe to "Incredibles 2," our Seattle Times arts writers dish on next month’s most buzzworthy arts and entertainment events.

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Just cuz the sun’s out — and festival season is upon us — doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of great indoor arts-and-entertainment activities happening too. Here are some of the top events — indoors and out — to put on your calendar next month.



Janelle Monáe

The inventive pop fusionist and award-winning actress gets personal and political with her liberating new album, “Dirty Computer.” Leading up to its release, the Prince protégé came out as pansexual and the record is both a celebratory fist in the air for those struggling with their sexuality and a danceable push for an inclusive, equitable America.

6:30 p.m. Monday, June 11, Marymoor Park, 6046 West Lake Sammamish Pkwy. N.E., Redmond; $43-$68.50,


“How I Learned to Drive”

This harrowing but rewarding play by Paula Vogel premiered in 1997 — but in these #MeToo days, its themes of growing up, sexuality and the ambiguity between was-that-horrible? or was-that-just-part-of-life? seem especially urgent. Its lead actors, Amy Danneker and Frank Boyd, have repeatedly shown their willingness to take weird risks on stage while remaining utterly convincing. Just watching them navigate the thorny path of this play — which has only gotten thornier as the cultural climate around it has changed — should be harrowing but rewarding in a whole new way.

June 7-July 7; Strawberry Theatre Workshop at 12th Ave. Arts, 1620 12th Ave., Seattle; $10-$36, 800-838-3006,


Tommy Orange

There’s plenty of buzz already for Orange’s first novel, “There There,” a multigenerational story of urban Native Americans making their way to a powwow. It’s out June 5; a short story, drawn from the book, appeared in The New Yorker earlier this year.

7 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, Elliott Bay Book Co.,  1521 10th Ave., Seattle; free, 206-624-6600,


Seattle Symphony presents Bernstein’s “Wonderful Town”

Two jazzy Leonard Bernstein scores – “Wonderful Town” and “Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs” – are paired here with a world premiere by Alexandra Gardner. Ludovic Morlot conducts; the program features vocal soloists Jessica Rivera, Kristen Choi and Kevin Deas, plus the orchestra’s excellent principal clarinetist, Ben Lulich, and the Seattle Symphony Chorale.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 14, 8 p.m. Saturday, June 16, Benaroya Hall, Seattle; $22-$122 (ages 8-18 free), 206-215-4747,


Double Exposure: Edward S. Curtis, Marianne Nicolson, Tracy Rector, Will Wilson

“Art” is an old and dangerous word. Etymologically, it derives from the Proto-Indo-European root “ar-,” which implied “to fit together,” and whose heirs include “armadillo,” “armor” and the Latin “arma” (or “weapons”). During the 1800s, the new art of photography became a potent weapon in colonizing the American West — showing would-be settlers the exotic, “savage” land waiting for their occupation while simultaneously romanticizing its Eden-like “simplicity” (read: “virginity”). We all know what happened next. (Spoiler alert: It wasn’t as pretty as the pictures.) June will launch a series of shows about famous and troubling photographer Edward S. Curtis, his weird way of staging what Native American culture looked like and responses from contemporary artists. The flagship exhibit of this thorny flotilla will happen at Seattle Art Museum — the cultural struggle, using various art-weapons, is still raging.

June 14-Sept. 9, Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., Seattle; free-$24.95 (see websites for details), 206-654-3100, and

Seattle Times writers



Temple Grandin

The professor, autism spokesperson, scientist, inventor and author speaks specifically to young people at this event, at which she’ll discuss her new children’s book “Calling All Minds: How to Think and Create Like An Inventor.”

7 p.m. Friday, June 1, University Temple United Methodist Church, 1415 N.E. 43rd St., Seattle; $18.99 (includes book and two admissions), 800-838-3006,

Ken Jennings

Local author and “Jeopardy” champion Jennings takes on comedy with his new book “Planet Funny: How Comedy Took Over Our Culture.”

7 p.m. Monday, June 4, Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., Seattle; free, 206-624-6600,

Madeline Miller

The Orange Prize-winning author will speak in conversation with Nancy Pearl about “Circe,” her new novel about the mythological witch, inspired by Homer’s “Odyssey.”

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

Michael Eric Dyson

Dyson, author of the best-selling nonfiction book “Tears We Cannot Stop,” speaks in conversation with Angela Rye about his new book, “What Truth Sounds Like: RFK, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation about Race In America.”

7 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, University Temple United Methodist Church, 1415 N.E. 43rd St., Seattle; $24.99 (includes book and two admissions), 800-838-3006,

Angela Garbes

A former staff writer for The Stranger, Garbes will speak, in conversation with Lindy West, about her new book “Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy.”

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, The Summit Event Space, 420 E Pike St, Seattle; $5, 206-652-4255,

Charles Johnson

A National Book Award winner (in 1990, for “Middle Passage) and emeritus professor of English at the University of Washington, Johnson will read from his new story collection, “Night Hawks.”

7 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, Third Place Books at Ravenna, 6504 20th Ave. N.E., Seattle; free,  206-525-2347,

Fredrik Backman

The best-selling Swedish author of “A Man Called Ove” (soon to be a Tom Hanks movie) and “Beartown” returns to town with his new book, also set in Beartown, “Us Against You.”

7 p.m. Thursday, June 14, Third Place Books at Lake Forest Park, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., Lake Forest Park; $28 (advance purchase of book required for ticket), 206-366-3333,

Roxane Gay

Gay, acclaimed author of fiction (“An Untamed State,” “Difficult Women”) and nonfiction (“Bad Feminist: Essays,” “Hunger: A Memoir of My Body”), is in town to discuss the new anthology “Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture,” of which she is editor.

7 p.m. Thursday, June 21, University Temple United Methodist Church, 1415 N.E. 43rd St., Seattle; $16.99 (includes paperback copy of “Hunger”) or $26.99 (includes hardcover copy of “Not That Bad”),  800-838-3006,

Cara Black

The author of the popular Aimee Leduc mysteries, set in Paris, is in town with her 18th novel in the series, “Murder on the Left Bank.”

7 p.m. Friday, June 22; Third Place Books at Ravenna, 6504 20th Ave. N.E., Seattle; free, 206-525-2347,

Ben Rhodes

A senior aide and former deputy national-security adviser in the Obama administration, Rhodes is here with his behind-the-scenes memoir: “The World As It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House.”

7 p.m. Wednesday, June 27, Seattle Public Library’s Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle; free,  206-386-4636,

Terrance Hayes

The winner of the National Book Award for Poetry in 2010, Hayes will read from his new collection, “American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin.”

7 p.m. Wednesday, June 27, Langston Hughes Performing Art Institute, 104 17th Ave. S., Seattle; free,  206-624-6600,

Amber Tamblyn

Best known as an actor (“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” “House,” “Two and a Half Men”), Tamblyn is here with her debut novel, “Any Man,” the tale of a serial female rapist.

7 p.m. Friday, June 29, Third Place Books at Seward Park, 5041 Wilson Ave. S., Seattle; $15.99 (advance purchase of book required for ticket), 206-474-2200,

Moira Macdonald:



Seattle Opera’s “O + E”

A modern reworking of the Gluck classic opera, “Orpheus and Eurydice,” this all-female version presents the two protagonists as women spouses. At the bedside of her mortally wounded wife, O slips into a feverish dream, experiencing a flood of emotional trials. After demonstrating the depth of their love, O and E are led back from the brink by A (Amore) – the surgeon with the power to save E’s life.

8 p.m. June 2, 7, and 9; 2 p.m. June 3 and 10; running time is 80 minutes without intermission. Seattle Opera Studios, 200 Terry Ave. N., Seattle; $45,

The Esoterics: “Designo”

It’s the 25th season for Eric Banks’ venturesome a cappella chorus, which is devoted to new music – like this upcoming program of motets and contemporary choral works of Lisa Bielawa, Joshua Fishbein, Jaakko Mäntyjärvi and Richard Strauss. Stretch your ears a little; the chorus is first-rate.

8 p.m. Friday, June 8, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 4805 NE 45th St., Seattle; 8 p.m. Saturday, June 9, Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 4210 SW Genesee St., Seattle; 7 p.m. Sunday, June 10, Christ Episcopal Church, 310 North K St., Tacoma; $25 general admission ($22 in advance), $18 student/senior ($15 in advance),

Andrea Bocelli with the Seattle Symphony

The famous tenor sings arias, love songs and crossover hits in the last concert of his current tour. Following his first big success, “Con te Partiro,” the singer has since sold over 80 million albums worldwide.

7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 24, KeyArena at Seattle Center; $134-$375; $1,000 VIP package,

Bellingham Festival of Music

The 25th anniversary season gets a June 30 start with this orchestral program of Dvorak’s “Carnival Overture,” Korngold’s Violin Concerto (1945) and the mighty Brahms Symphony No. 1 in C Minor. Fans of great string-playing will be there in droves to hear the excellent Stefan Jackiw in the Korngold Violin Concerto. Michael Palmer conducts.

7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 30, programs through July 20, Western Washington University Performing Arts Center, Bellingham; $39-$49,

Melinda Bargreen:



“Love & Ballet”

On the eve of their tour to Paris for the Les Étés de la Danse Festival, Pacific Northwest Ballet closes out their season at home with a repertory program of four contemporary works — essentially, a showcase for three of the most prominent ballet choreographers working today. Christopher Wheeldon is represented with “Tide Harmonic” and the achingly lovely pas de deux “After the Rain”; Benjamin Millepied contributes “Appassionata,” with its glorious dancing-in-moonlight pas de deux (let’s hope retiring principal Karel Cruz gets to dance it at least once more); and Justin Peck’s “Year of the Rabbit,” with its origami-like work for the ensemble, closes out the program.

June 1-10, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; $37-$187, 206-441-2424,

Moira Macdonald:



Tickets are already on sale for the following movie:

“Incredibles 2”

It’s taken Pixar 14 years to come up to a sequel to 2004’s beloved “The Incredibles,” about a family of superheroes. In its eagerly awaited (and no doubt adorable) return, Mr. Incredible takes on the job of caring for the kids while Elastigirl is off saving the world. Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter and Samuel L. Jackson reprise their vocal roles from the original. Let’s hope for “Toy Story 2”-level goodness, rather than “Cars 2.”

Opens June 15 at multiple theaters; 

Moira Macdonald:



King Tuff

The Sub Pop garage-glam vet charts a new course on this year’s “The Other,” trading in his party-boy persona for cosmic folk shaman riding synth-funk currents, deep grooves and sax leads.

8 p.m. Friday, June 1, 2200 2nd Ave., Seattle; $18, 206-441-4618,

Upstream Music Fest

The Paul Allen-backed festival beefed up its out-of-town main-stage acts in year two, led by R&B star Miguel and veteran psych-rock weirdos the Flaming Lips, while retaining its focus on Northwest artists throughout the 15-plus participating Pioneer Square venues. Check out our guide to the club-hopping fest with more than 200 artists in Sunday’s paper.

June 1-3, locations throughout Pioneer Square, $70-$675,

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard

After releasing five (!) albums last year, Australia’s prolific psych-rock mad men bring their flower punk energy to Seattle.

8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, Showbox SoDo, 1700 1st Ave. S., Seattle; $28-$30, 206-652-0444,

Volunteer Park Pride Festival

The annual early Pride bash, formerly known as Seattle Pride Picnic, brings soul-pop singer Desi Valentine, Seattle’s ubiquitous hip-hop boundary pusher DoNormaal, Little Bandit and others (including an unnamed surprise guest) to the Capitol Hill park.

12-7 p.m., Saturday, June 9, Volunteer Park, Seattle; free,

Minus the Bear “Planet of Ice” 10th anniversary tour

As their heyday fans begin making babies and reviewing safety rankings of compact SUVs, ’00s indie-rock bands seem increasingly eager to work the nostalgia tours. These proggy Seattleites are playing their “Planet of Ice” album in its entirety.

8 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, Showbox, 1425 1st Ave., Seattle; 206-628-3151,

Paradiso Festival

Ready those rage sticks and stock up on body glitter, festi fam. Washington’s preeminent EDM festival returns to the Gorge, headlined by EDM patriarch and prolific Twitter troll Deadmau5, trap-gone-pop hitmaker DJ Snake and trance king Armin van Buren.

June 15-16, Gorge Amphitheatre, 754 Silica Rd. N.W., George; $195-$479 tickets, $107.50 camping,

GoGo Penguin

The Bad Plus meets latter day Radiohead in this celestial electro-jazz trio from the U.K., touring on their (inter)stellar new album, “A Humdrum Star.”

7:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 20, The Triple Door, 216 Union St., Seattle; $22-$30, 206-838-4333,

Elysian Search Party

The veteran Seattle brewery throws its annual beers-and-bands benefit for the Vera Project featuring Young the Giant, experimental indie rockers Deerhunter, blues-rock wild man Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, local vets Sundries and 40-plus beers.

2-10 p.m. Saturday, June 30, Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle; $35, 21-plus,

Michael Rietmulder:



“Mac Beth”

“Macbeth” is probably Shakespeare’s evilest play — actors famously refuse to say its name inside a theater — and adolescence is probably the most haunted period of human life. So what happens when seven high-school-age girls on the edge of womanhood get together to tell the story in private? Yeesh. Some extra cayenne in the sauce: Playwright Erica Schmidt has worked all over the Anglophone theater map, from “As You Like It” to an Off-Broadway adaptation of “Debbie Does Dallas.”

Through June 17, Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St., Seattle; $16-$71, 206-443-2222,

“The Picture of Dorian Gray”

When Oscar Wilde published his ironic morality tale about decadence and disillusion, the press — and, eventually, the courts — had a sanctimonious field day. What they didn’t know at the time: Its most shocking bits had been cut, without Wilde’s knowledge, by his editor. This adaptation (directed by Victor Pappas) is based on the unbowdlerized version. Let the pearl-clutching commence.

June 7-July 1; Book-It Repertory Theatre at Center Theatre, 305 Harrison St., Seattle; $15-$50, 206-216-0833,

“Until the Flood”

Solo performer Dael Orlandersmith takes on the shooting of Mike Brown and the massive response (outraged citizens, militarized cops) in Ferguson, Missouri. Sometimes, Orlandersmith will shake you to your core (her hyper-intense 2002 play “Yellowman,” about fraught romance in the Gullah region of South Carolina, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist) — but only sometimes. Nevertheless, this artist + her current subject matter = required viewing.

June 8-July 8; ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle; $15-$60, 206-292-7676,

Brendan Kiley:



Joan Miró: Etchings & Lithographs

You’ve probably seen a cheap Joan (pronounced “Jzoh-ahn”) Miró print on some 20-something’s apartment wall. But the Catalan artist was more than a baby’s-first-apartment cliche. He dove into surrealism; color-field painting; fled the violence of 1930s fascist governments; found his own abstract, playful-yet-disturbing visual language; and proposed a new medium of sculptures made from fog. The lithographs and etchings in this show are selling for thousands of dollars. Catch them in person before they get hung in the breakfast nook of baby’s fifth penthouse.

June 7-30, Davidson Galleries, 313 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle; free, 206-624-7684,

Deborah Butterfield

Deborah Butterfield is a well-loved American sculptor, best known for what the New York Times described in 2004 as her “skeletal horses” sometimes rendered in found materials (metal, driftwood, etc.) and sometimes cast in bronze.

June 7-July 26, Greg Kucera Gallery, 212 Third Ave. S., Seattle; free, 206-624-0770,

Brendan Kiley: