From a Beyoncé and Jay-Z concert to an evening with comedian Phoebe Robinson, our Seattle Times arts writers dish on next month’s most buzzworthy arts-and-entertainment events.

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Look Ahead

On deck in October: Bey and Jay storm CenturyLink Field with their “On the Run II” tour, Broadway musical “Come From Away” launches its national tour at the 5th Ave, and more. Here’s what to put on your calendar.



Beyoncé and Jay-Z

Music’s ultimate power couple has aired the innards of their marriage in recent albums, including June’s surprise joint release “Everything is Love.” Mrs. and Mr. Knowles bring their love saga to stadiums on their anticipated “On the Run II” tour with early reviews confirming that Bey’s star shines brightest, as if there were any doubt.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4; CenturyLink Field, 800 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle; $49.50-$1,671; 206-381-7848,

Michael Rietmulder


“Come From Away”

Bummed that you didn’t get tickets for “Come From Away” when they were selling like hot cakes at Seattle Repertory Theatre a few years ago? Be bummed no more! The Tony Award-winning musical — which opened last year on Broadway, where it is still playing — is back in Seattle, this time with a national tour launching at the 5th Avenue Theatre. The musical — which centers on a small town in Newfoundland whose residents scrambled to play host to 7,000 airline passengers forced to land there on Sept. 11, 2001 — became a huge hit for Seattle Rep, La Jolla Playhouse and other theaters. It was nominated for seven Tony Awards, including best musical, and won one, for best direction of a musical.

Oct. 9-Nov. 4; 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave., Seattle; $30-$175 (prices subject to change); 206-625-1900,

Janet I. Tu


“Borealis, a festival of light”

This could be quite a spectacle: It’s billed as a first-in-the-U.S. light-art competition, in which large-scale light and video projections will visually transform the exterior of the Museum of History & Industry, and some two dozen light-art installations will dot the South Lake Union neighborhood. Live music, food trucks and a beer and wine garden also included.

Oct. 11-14 (music starts at 5 p.m. each night; self-guided light-art-installation walking tour 6-10 p.m.; four video-projection mapping shows each night, starting at 6:30 p.m.); video-mapping show outside MOHAI, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle; festival is free and open to the public but tickets are needed for the video-mapping shows;

Janet I. Tu


Eric Idle

If you can hear the title of Idle’s new memoir, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” and not immediately begin whistling, then you probably need to go watch “Life of Brian” again. (Yes, that was him as Lead Singer Crucifee.) Best known for his work in British comedy troupe Monty Python and for the musical “Spamalot,” Idle writes in his book — a “sortabiography” — about his life as a writer and comedian, with particular emphasis on the Python years.

7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8, University Temple United Methodist Church, 1415 N.E. 43rd St., Seattle; $28.94 (includes copy of book); 800-335-7523,

Moira Macdonald


Thomas Dausgaard with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra

The music-director designate of the Seattle Symphony, Thomas Dausgaard — always a riveting maestro — makes his first appearance of this season on the podium with a program of two 19th-century giants, Schumann and Beethoven. The former’s “Zwickauer Symphony” and “Symphony No. 2” will be paired with the latter’s first Piano Concerto, with the award-winning soloist Behzod Abduraimov (who was born in 1990 in Tashkent, Seattle’s sister city in Uzbekistan).

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11; 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12; 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14; Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $22-$122; 206-215-4747,

Melinda Bargreen




Alice Walker

Most of us know this Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner for her fiction; most notably “The Color Purple,” which became a movie and a Broadway musical. But Walker is also known and acclaimed as a poet — a form to which she began to devote herself in earnest after the events of 9/11. She’ll read from her new book of poems, “Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart.”

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4; Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $20-$80 (students $10); 206-621-2230,

Van Jones

Jones, a social entrepreneur, best-selling author and host of CNN’s “The Van Jones Show,” is here with the paperback release of his latest book examining the political divide: “Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together.”

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $35-$95 (includes copy of book; student $10 tickets available but do not include book); 206-621-2230,

Benj Pasek, Justin Paul and Val Emmich

Pasek and Paul, the songwriters behind the Tony Award-winning musical “Dear Evan Hansen” (their work was also heard in the movie “La La Land”), will be joined by writer/singer/actor Emmich, author of the new book “Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel.” (Fans of the show, take note: It’ll be at the Paramount Jan 23-Feb. 2, 2019.)

4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, University Temple United Methodist Church, 1415 N.E. 43rd St., Seattle; $18.99 (includes book and admission for two); 800-335-7523,

Ted Chiang and Karen Joy Fowler

The newly reopened Hugo House presents a conversation between two acclaimed writers of contemporary science fiction: Chiang, a four-time Nebula and Hugo Award winner, recently saw his short story “Story of Your Life” adapted for the screen as the Oscar-nominated film “Arrival.” Fowler, author of six novels and three story collections, won the World Fantasy Award in 2011 for the collection “What I Didn’t See” and the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction for the novel “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.”

7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., Seattle; $10; 206-322-7030,

Jodi Picoult

Perennial best-selling author Picoult (“Small Great Things,” “My Sister’s Keeper” and many more) comes to town with her latest: the timely novel “A Spark of Light,” about a shooting in a women’s health clinic.

7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, University Temple United Methodist Church, 1415 N.E. 43rd St., Seattle; $28.99 (admits two, includes book); 800-335-7523,

Elizabeth George

Author of the beloved Inspector Lynley mystery series (count me on Team Havers, always), George will speak about her writing process — how she plans her elaborately plotted mysteries, and how that process has changed over the course of writing the 20 novels in that series.

7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., Seattle; $15; 206-322-7030,

Phoebe Robinson

A stand-up comedian, actress and writer, Robinson is the author of the best-selling book “You Can’t Touch My Hair and Other Things I Still Have to Explain”; she’s also known for the podcast “2 Dope Queens,” which became four HBO specials, and as a writer for the last season of “Portlandia.” She’s here with her latest book, “Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay,” for an evening that’s sure to be filled with laughter.

7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $60-$105 (includes book); 206-621-2230,

Jill Soloway

The creator of the Emmy Award-winning series “Transparent”— inspired by Soloway’s own parent coming out as transgender — is in town with a new book: “She Wants It: Desire, Power and Toppling the Patriarchy.”

7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, Third Place Books in Seward Park, 5041 Wilson Ave. S., Seattle; free (reserved seating available with pre-purchase of book), 206-474-2200, Also, Soloway will be joined by comedian and writer Hannah Gadsby and author Morgan Parker at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, Temple de Hirsch Sinai, 1441 16th Ave., Seattle; $5, (206) 652-4255,

Markus Zusak

The author of the best-selling World War II novel “The Book Thief” (later a movie) is back with a new novel for young readers: “Bridge of Clay,” in which five brothers bring each other up, and eventually learn the secret of their father’s disappearance.

7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., Seattle; free but ticket required (two tickets per prepaid order of “Bridge of Clay”), 206-366-3333,

Leif Enger

I heard lots of buzz at BookExpo earlier this year about this novel, the latest from the author of the best-selling “Peace Like a River.” “Virgil Wander,” his latest, takes place in a small Midwestern town, within the memory of a man trying to recover from a serious accident.

7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., Seattle; free; 206-624-6600, Also at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, Ravenna Third Place Books, 6504 20th Ave. N.E., Seattle; free; 206-525-2347,

Moira Macdonald:



Seattle Opera presents Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw”

Eerie and suspenseful, this contemporary English opera packs a dramatic and musical punch. Peter Kazaras directs a new production; the cast includes Marcy Stonikas, Elizabeth Caballero, Maria Zifchak and Soraya Mafi, with Ben Bliss as the sinister Peter Quint. Constantin Trinks conducts.

Oct. 13-27; Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center; $25-$314; 206-389-7676,

President’s Piano Series presents Marc-André Hamelin

Famous for his fabulous technique, Hamelin returns to Meany Theater for an enticing program of standard favorites and little-known pieces: a Chopin Polonaise-fantaisie and the Scherzo No. 4; a Bach Chaconne (from the Violin Partita No. 2); and lesser-known rarities by Feinberg, Weissenberg and Castelnuovo-Tedesco.

7:30 p.m. Oct. 17; Gerlich Theater (formerly Meany Theater), University of Washington; $47-$55;

Sheku Kanneh-Mason with Seattle Symphony Orchestra

Ruth Reinhardt, the Seattle Symphony’s former assistant conductor, returns to this city to lead the orchestra in a wide-ranging program that extends from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 to the Kaija Saariaho “Ciel d’hiver.” The soloist is an extraordinary prodigy: young cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, whose international career was launched with the 2016 accolade as BBC Young Musician of the Year. You might also remember him from the royal wedding earlier this year.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18; 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20; Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle, $22-$125; 206-215-4747,

St. Lawrence String Quartet

This highly regarded and venturesome string quartet offers more than a standard concert: a “Discovery” presentation of a Haydn quartet, complete with historical and musical details as well as the performance. Then there are selections from a work inspired by Haydn and Beethoven: Adams’ “John’s Book of Alleged Dances.” Finally, they perform Beethoven’s last completed work, the great Op. 135 Quartet.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25; Gerlich Theater (formerly Meany Theater), University of Washington; $46-$54, youth ages 5-17 free with paying adult (maximum two youths per adult); 206-543-4880,

Melinda Bargreen:



Solo: A Festival of Dance

After fielding 98 applications from dance artists worldwide, On the Boards is presenting 16 performers in this festival of new work, which considers the role of the solo as a “fundamental building block” of dance. Though this is Solo’s first outing, plans are in the works to make it an annual thing. Seeing new performance work — especially when it’s well curated — is a rare chance to get into a dance-makers’ brains, and Solo features some fascinating ones, from Syniva Whitney’s performance influenced by the music played on the jukebox during 1969’s Stonewall riots, to Nora Sharp’s explorations of gender incorporating “childhood, transhood, a looper station, a mini synthesizer, a pile of blue and yellow clothing, daddy issues, repetitive spiraling melodies and song, and a lot of funny stories about bodies and sex (and a donut shop).” Sold!

Oct. 4-7; On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., Seattle; $25-$70; 206-217-9886,

Megan Burbank:



Tickets are already on sale for the following movies:

“A Star Is Born”

Lady Gaga is already a star, but here she makes her leading-lady screen debut in Bradley Cooper’s romantic-melodrama-with-music, the latest remake of a story that’s been around since Janet Gaynor and Fredric March fatefully met in the 1937 “A Star Is Born.” (Other editions are the 1954 Judy Garland/James Mason go-round — beloved for Garland’s killer version of “The Man That Got Away” — and Barbra Streisand/Kris Kristofferson in 1976.) This version includes a slate of original songs, many co-written by Lady Gaga and/or Cooper.

Opens Friday, Oct. 5, at multiple theaters;

“First Man”

Director Damien Chazelle follows up his “La La Land” success (last year, he became the youngest filmmaker to win the Oscar for best director) with this biopic about Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. He collaborates again with his “La La Land” star Ryan Gosling; Claire Foy (“The Crown”) co-stars.

Opens Friday, Oct. 12, at multiple theaters;

TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival

One of the city’s biggest festivals celebrates its 23rd year, opening at the Egyptian with Rupert Everett’s “The Happy Prince” (a drama about the last days of Oscar Wilde, with Everett starring) and continuing for 10 days of programming, featuring 143 narrative features, documentaries and short films from 25 countries.

Oct. 12-21 at various locations on Capitol Hill and downtown; 206-323-4274,

Moira Macdonald:



Earshot Jazz Festival

The annual monthlong fest spreads 60-plus shows across 18 venues in and around Seattle, highlighted by cinematic saxophonist/composer Kamasi Washington’s sold-out Showbox gig (Oct. 17). Other standouts include former Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson (Oct. 15, Triple Door) and Seattle boundary pushers Afrocop (Oct. 14, Lo-Fi).

Oct. 7 through Nov. 4; times, venues and prices vary;

Courtney Barnett

The rising Aussie indie-rock star keeps her hot streak rolling, following her Kurt Vile collab with a jangly gem of a sophomore album, “Tell Me How You Really Feel,” touching on toxic masculinity and self-doubt over folk-inflected garage/slacker rock nuggets. Waxahatchee joins the deadpanning Barnett for a solid double bill.

7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8; Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., Seattle; $35.50-$37.50; 206-682-1414,

Car Seat Headrest

After dropping his critically lauded reboot of his “Twin Fantasy” LP in January, Seattle-based garage phenom Will Toledo finally gets around to playing inside city limits, with a two-night stand at the Showbox. Rambunctious garage-rockers Naked Giants, also members of Toledo’s live band, open.

9 p.m. Oct. 12-13; Showbox, 1426 First Ave., Seattle; $22.50;

Northwest World Fest

It’s a celebration of various African cultures with music from Mamadou Diabate — master of the balafon (think a West African wooden xylophone) — Guinean-born, Vancouver-based guitarist Alpha Yaya Diallo and Seattle’s Mahonyera Mbira Ensemble. Beyond music, the fest features traditional Senegalese cuisine and African jewelers, visual artists and vendors touting their wares.

8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, Kings Hall, 2929 27th Ave. S., Seattle; $25-$35; 21-plus,

88rising: 88 Degrees & Rising Tour

Following K-pop’s rise in the states, Asian hip-hop artists are making waves on this side of the Pacific. NYC-based label/management company 88rising has helped lead the charge, bringing rappers like the trap-informed Chinese-Indonesian MC Rich Brian to prominence in the U.S. Brian — who became the first solo Asian artist to top iTunes’ hip-hop chart with this year’s “Amen” LP — headlines this 88rising showcase featuring Joji, Keith Ape, Chinese rap crew Higher Brothers and more.

7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, Accesso ShoWare Center, 625 W. James St., Kent; $39.50-$135; 253-856-6999,

Michael Rietmulder:



“Richard III”

If you think of Shakespeare as stodgy, this stellar, fierce production full of power plays, murders and backstabbings should rip that idea away. This is Seattle Shakespeare Company and upstart crow collective’s exciting (and at times, wickedly funny) follow-up to last year’s “Bring Down the House,” an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Henry VI” trilogy. Actor Sarah Harlett, who played young Richard in that production, returns to continue her character’s story, leading a strong, all-female cast. “‘Richard III’ is a ripping good yarn when well staged. And that is the case with the blazing new airing of the classic work,” writes Seattle Times reviewer Misha Berson. “Bleak but also sleek and fleet, Rosa Joshi’s staging rarely pauses for breath as it whips us through Richard’s bloody rise to the English throne, and his precipitous fall.”

Through Oct. 7; Seattle Shakespeare Company and upstart crow collective at Seattle Repertory Theatre’s Leo K. Theatre, 155 Mercer St., Seattle; $30-$55; 206-733-8222,

“Skeleton Crew”

ArtsWest starts its season with Obie Award-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau’s play about a group of workers at one of Detroit’s last auto-stamping plants in 2008 during the Great Recession. When rumors of a shutdown begin, the workers are forced to confront what they’re willing to do to survive. The New York Times, in a 2016 review, said the play brought to mind the works of theater greats Clifford Odets and August Wilson, and “is also squarely in the tradition of Arthur Miller’s probing studies of consciences under siege and the crippling concessions made in the name of success. It is, in other words, a deeply moral and deeply American play.”

Through Oct. 14; ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave. S.W., Seattle; $20-$42; 206-938-0339,

“The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes”

This musical comedy, about an ordinary man who wakes up one day to discover that his life has been turned into a musical, is “uproariously funny and surprisingly touching … asserting both the value and absurdity of contemporary American musicals (and slyly broaching the topic of modern masculinity along the way),” Seattle Times reviewer Zoe Sayler writes. This is the world premiere of the musical, which was developed in part at Village Theatre. Brandon Ivie directs.

Through Oct. 21; Francis J. Gaudette Theatre, 303 Front St. N., Issaquah; $32-$74; 425-392-2202, Oct. 26-Nov. 18; Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett; $29-$69; 425-257-8600


OK, so a three-hour play about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process that led to the 1993 Oslo accords doesn’t sound like the most thrilling way to spend an evening. But! This play by J.T. Rogers — which tells a personal story about the behind-the-scenes negotiations — won the 2017 Tony Award for best play. And it’s been described by critics as “a play alive with tension, intrigue, humor, bristling intelligence and emotional peaks” and “compulsively watchable,” with characters that are “so human. And so funny.” Directed by John Langs.

Oct. 12-Nov. 11; ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle; $20-$85; 206-292-7676,

“A People’s History”

Storyteller Mike Daisey is a son of Maine, an adopted child of Seattle and now an official New York Theater Artist™. Like Mark Twain, he’s a fabulous fabulist who’s had his ups and downs. Daisey made his bones in the theater world with “21 Dog Years,” a monologue about working at during the early days, performed in a small Belltown theater space, where he would always mention he’d taped off a seat for Jeff Bezos, who never showed up. (Ha ha, Seattle: Daisey saw that cult of personality, and its backlash, from miles away.) Then he made a bunch of other great shows, including “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” which became a crisis moment when Daisey performed it for “This American Life” and the radio show’s fact-checkers realized he’d invented some of its more colorful details to make the story sound more exciting. Daisey returns to Seattle with “A People’s History,” 18 stand-alone monologues about different sections of Howard Zinn’s iconic “A People’s History of the United States.” In true Daisey fashion, it will be about a whole kaleidoscope of subjects: the book, history, how “all stories are fiction” (also the title of his podcast) and what all of that has to do with his life. Say what you will about Daisey — there’s plenty — but he’s an ace storyteller. “A People’s History” should be excellent.

Oct. 17-Nov. 25; Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St., Seattle; $17-$82 (prices subject to change); 206-443-2222,

Janet I. Tu:; Brendan Kiley:



“WW1 America”

The Museum of History & Industry hosts the West Coast debut of this exhibit, telling the stories of Americans during this turbulent, transformative period. The exhibit coincides with the centennial of Armistice Day on Nov. 11, the day the war ended.

Through Feb. 10, 2019; MOHAI, 860 Terry Ave., Seattle; $15.95-$19.95 (discounted rates on first Thursdays); 206-324-1126,

Quenton Baker, “Ballast”

Poetry alone wouldn’t typically be considered visual art; but Seattle native Quenton Baker’s poetry is too visually striking to be called anything else. In “Ballast,” Baker creates haunting erasure poems in frantic-looking black lines over Senate documents from the 1841 slave revolt aboard the “Creole,” which is typically cited as the most successful slave revolt in U.S. history.

Oct. 6-Jan. 27, 2019, Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle; free; 206-622-9250,

“Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India”

Art and politics have always mixed: This exhibit displays hundreds of years of royal art from the former Indian kingdom of Marwar-Jodhpur, much of which was used in trade, diplomacy and conquest.

Oct. 18-Jan. 21, 2019, Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., Seattle; $14.95-$24.95; 206-654-3100, TTY 206-654-3137,

Zoe Sayler; Janet I. Tu: