From Foo Fighters to Childish Gambino and theater show openings, our Seattle Times arts writers dish on next month’s most buzzworthy arts-and-entertainment events.

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Foo Fighters, Macklemore and Childish Gambino are among the top music acts taking the stage next month. Also on deck: the beginning of Seattle Symphony’s last season with Ludovic Morlot at the artistic helm, a celebration of Jerome Robbins’ centennial and several notable theatrical openings. Here’s what to put on your calendar in September.



Hugo House opening

Long committed to providing a home for Seattle writers, the nonprofit Hugo House is about to move into a new home of its own. The new Capitol Hill space will be open to the public for a special celebration, hosted by Maria Semple and Nancy Guppy and featuring readings from local writers, live music and an after-party.

5-8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22; Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., Seattle; free (RSVP requested); 206-322-7030,

Moira Macdonald


Seattle Symphony with Augustin Hadelich

Violinist Hadelich, “Musical America’s” 2018 Instrumentalist of the Year, returns to the Seattle Symphony — with which he earlier won a Grammy Award — to play Beethoven’s great and only Violin Concerto. A first-rate artist, a beloved concerto and the added enhancement of some attractive orchestral pieces (“Gigue,” from Debussy’s “Images,” and Janacek’s “The Cunning Little Vixen” Suite): it’s a most promising program. Ludovic Morlot conducts.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20; 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22; 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23; Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $22-$122; 206-215-4747,

Melinda Bargreen


Jerome Robbins Festival

This year marks Robbins’ centennial, and Pacific Northwest Ballet (whose artistic director, Peter Boal, worked with Robbins for many years at New York City Ballet) is celebrating with a big bouquet of the choreographer’s ballets, presented in two different groupings. Program A is “Circus Polka,” “In the Night,” “West Side Story Suite,” “Afternoon of a Faun” and “Other Dances”; program B is “Circus Polka,” “The Concert” and “Dances at a Gathering.” If you can see both, do; I’d be hard pressed to choose between such riches. If forced to recommend one program, I’d say that Robbins’ masterpiece, “Dances at a Gathering,” is one of the most delicately moving works in PNB’s repertory — it’s almost startlingly intimate, filled with quiet stories — and that seeing it paired with the sparkling comedy of “The Concert” seems an appropriate tribute to Robbins, who moved throughout his career between ballet and Broadway. Either way, you’ll get a glorious evening of dance. The festival also includes studio presentations, a panel discussion and a screening of the film “Jerome Robbins: Something to Dance About.”

Sept. 21-29; Pacific Northwest Ballet; McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; $30-$189; 206-441-2424,

Moira Macdonald


Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

This doozy of a double bill pairs alt-country troubadour Isbell and folk heroine Aimee Mann at the relaxed amphitheater in the park.

7 p.m. Sept. 6, Marymoor Park, 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway N.E., Redmond; $45-55,

Michael Rietmulder


“Native Gardens”

Intiman closes out its season (on the theme “Wild Wicked Woke”) with Karen Zacarías’ 2016 play about two couples living in houses next to each other, and how their lawns become a proxy war for their differing identities: Republican vs. Democrat, white vs. Latinx, pesticides vs. no pesticides. Does this metaphorical battle center around the proper placement of a fence between the two houses? You bet. As the Minneapolis Post described the characters: “Everyone thinks their position and perspective are right and righteous. Everyone says the wrong thing.” Directed by Arlene Martínez-Vázquez.

Sept. 6-30; Intiman Theatre at Jones Playhouse, 4045 University Way N.E., Seattle; $28-$38; 206-441-7178,

Brendan Kiley





Kim Brooks

One day in 2011, Brooks left her 4-year-old alone in the car for a few minutes while she dashed into a store; what happened next changed her life. She’ll discuss her new book about that day and its aftermath, “Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear,” with local author Claire Dederer.

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

Patrick DeWitt

Northwest author DeWitt (born in Vancouver, B.C., now living in Portland) is having a moment: His prizewinning 2011 novel “The Sisters Brothers” has been made into a movie in theaters this fall, and his tart new novel “French Exit,” about a rashly impecunious mother and son duo, is just out. He’ll discuss the book (and maybe the movie, too, if you ask) with Maria Semple (“Where’d You Go, Bernadette?”).

7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6; Seattle Public Library’s Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle; free; 206-386-4636,

Kamala Shamsie

Shamsie’s “Home Fire,” a novel about three British siblings of Pakistani descent, won the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize; it’s out in paperback this month.

7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10; Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., Lake Forest Park; free; 206-366-3333,

Maria Dahvana Headley

You have to love a writer whose website describes her as an “author, editor, playwright, screenwriter, monstermaker.” The Brooklyn-based Headley’s latest novel is getting much buzz this season; called “The Mere Wife,” it’s a modern-day re-imagining of “Beowulf.” She’ll be interviewed by novelist Nicola Griffith (“So Lucky,” “Hild”).

7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10; Seattle Public Library’s Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle; free; 206-386-4636,

Mark Leibovich

Chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, Leibovich is in town with “Big Game: The NFL In Dangerous Times,” his new nonfiction about the now-troubled world of professional football.

7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12; Third Place Books in Seward Park, 5041 Wilson Ave. S., Seattle; free; 206-474-2200,

John Kerry

The former secretary of state and five-time senator from Massachusetts is in town with his new book about his life in the military and the government, “Every Day Is Extra.”

7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17; Campion Ballroom at Seattle University, 901 12th Ave., Seattle; $40 (includes copy of book); 206-624-6600,


The rapper/singer/essayist has a new book out, “My Own Devices: True Stories from the Road on Music, Science and Senseless Love.”

7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23; Third Place Books at Seward Park, 5041 Wilson Ave. S., Seattle; free (reserved seating available with pre-order of book); 206-474-2200,

Kazu Kibuishi

An event for the family: Kibuishi, author of the bestselling Amulet series (and cover illustrator for the 15th anniversary “Harry Potter” editions), will be present at a launch party for his latest Amulet book, “Super Nova.”

7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25; University Temple United Methodist Church, 1514 N.E. 43rd St., Seattle; $24.99 (includes book and admits entire family); 800-335-7323,

Amy Stewart

The author of the popular Kopp Sisters mystery series, set in early-20th-century New York City and New Jersey, comes to town with her latest, “Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit.”

7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25; Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., Lake Forest Park; free; 206-366-3333,

Porter Fox

Fox’s new book, “Northland: A 4,000-Mile Journey Along America’s Forgotten Border,” is drawn from three years of travel along the U.S.-Canada border.

7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27; Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., Seattle; free; 206-624-6600,

Jose Antonio Vargas

Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, wrote a viral New York Times essay in 2011 about his experiences as an undocumented immigrant (he was brought here from the Philippines as a child). His new memoir, in which he examines his life and what it means to not have a home, is titled “Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen.”

7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28; Seattle First Baptist Church, 1111 Harvard Ave., Seattle; $5; 206-652-4255,

Moira Macdonald:



Seattle Symphony Orchestra Opening Night

The 2018-19 Seattle Symphony season gets off to a Franco-Russian start with this year’s Opening Night Concert and Gala, when French-born pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet joins his countryman — Seattle Symphony Music Director Ludovic Morlot — for a Russian program that includes Mussorgsky’s colorful Pictures at an Exhibition and Khachaturian’s virtuoso Piano Concerto. Music lovers who opt for the Opening Night Gala package will follow the concert with dinner and dancing in celebration of Morlot’s final season as music director, and the 20th anniversary of Benaroya Hall.

5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $55-$145, 206-215-4747, (to reserve a Gala package, call 206-215-4868)

Capella Romana, Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil

Rachmaninoff’s famous “All-Night Vigil” (also called the “Vespers,” it doesn’t really last all night, but just a little over an hour) will be led by Slavic choral expert Benedict Sheehan, from St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Seminary in Pennsylvania. The performance features the highly regarded, Grammy-winning basso profundo Glenn Miller as soloist, upholding the famous Russian tradition of deep bass voices. Completing the program: Znamenny Chants for the Holy Cross and music by Rachmaninoff’s Russian contemporaries.

8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, St. James Cathedral, 804 Ninth Ave., Seattle; $32-$52,

Richard Clayderman

On the classical-pops side, the French pianist Richard Clayderman (the Guinness Book of Records’ “Most successful pianist in the world”) has sold more than 150 million recordings mixing classical and popular styles. Lionized in Europe, he will bring his easy-listening repertoire to Seattle for a solo evening in Benaroya Hall.

8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28; Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $61-$161;

Melinda Bargreen:



Choreographic Shindig IV

For the past few years, contemporary dance company Whim W’Him has let dancers choose which emerging choreographers they’d like to work with — often with stellar results. For this fourth iteration, the dancers chose three choreographers from nearly 200 applicants from around the world: Brendan Duggan, co-founder and co-director of LoudHoundMovement, a Brooklyn-based contemporary dance collective; Alice Klock, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s 2017 choreographic fellow, who was named one of “25 to Watch 2018” by Dance Magazine; and Omar Román De Jesús, who has received awards from The Dance Gallery Festival and Reverb Dance Festival.

8 p.m. Sept. 7-9 and Sept. 12-15; Erickson Theatre Off Broadway, 1524 Harvard Ave., Seattle; $15-$55; 800-838-3006,

The Fall Kick-Off

For over a decade, Velocity Dance Center has been a kind of research-and-development lab for dance, encouraging local talent (Pat Graney, Zoe Scofield/Juniper Shuey, Amy O’Neal, Kate Wallich) while attracting national (and international) talent for Seattle audiences to watch and learn from. This summer, Tonya Lockyer — Velocity’s longtime director and longer-time champion — announced her departure. So … what’s next?  Velocity’s Fall Kick-Off will celebrate the performance center’s legacy and hint at the future, with “micro-performances and micro-brews.”

8 p.m. Sept. 28-30; Velocity Dance Center, 1621 12th Ave., Seattle; $20-$50; 206-325-8773,

Brendan Kiley:; Janet I. Tu:



While we await the prestige movie season (which generally gets underway later in the fall), a couple of local festivals are well worth a look:

70MM Film Festival

If you haven’t seen a 70mm film on Cinerama’s vast (and elegantly curved) screen, what are you waiting for? The annual 70mm Film Festival, beloved by local cinephiles, this year will include such gems as “2001: A Space Odyssey” (in a new, “unrestored” print), “Vertigo,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “The Sound of Music,” “Dunkirk,” “Wonder Woman,” “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” and (why not?) “Howard the Duck.” Seats are reserved and going fast.

Sept. 7-20; Cinerama, 2100 Fourth Ave., Seattle; $17; 206-448-6680,

Local Sightings Film Festival

Now in its 21st year, the Local Sightings festival — the only Seattle fest of its kind — showcases new films from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, the Yukon and British Columbia. Among the special events in this year’s edition will be a screening of  Norman Taurog’s 1963 film “It Happened at the World’s Fair,” with live commentary by Ahamefule Oluo and Charles Mudede.

Sept. 21-29; Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., Seattle; $12 general, $9 student and senior, $7 NWFF member; full festival pass: $125, $110 member; 206-329-2629, 

Moira Macdonald:



Foo Fighters

The world will be watching as Dave Grohl leads his hard-rock juggernaut back to Seattle, at least now that he’s tapped his Nirvana mate Krist Novoselic’s new band Giants in the Trees to open. A chance to see the two surviving members of one of modern rock’s most important bands on stage together again — in the city that launched them, no less — is too good to miss.

8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, Safeco Field, 1250 First Ave., Seattle; $45-$59; 800-745-3000,

Florence + The Machine

One of the coolest arena-show bills of the year groups the anthemic pop queen with guitar-screeching, robot-dancing art-rock wonder St. Vincent and pop/rap diva Lizzo — a hard-twerking, body-positive dual threat who sings as well as she raps. Late arrivers will regret it.

7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., Seattle; $35.50-$95.50; 206-684-7200,

Kali Uchlis

The exciting young Colombian-American pop artist already had a couple Grammy noms by this spring, when she dropped her debut studio album “Isolation,” which splashes around a shimmering pool of soul, doo-wop, reggaeton and bedroom pop.

7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., Seattle; sold out;

Ms. Lauryn Hill

It’s been 20 years since the hip-hop/R&B star’s one and only solo album, the iconic “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” and this anniversary tour stop features a few stars in their own right in Santigold, influential hip-hop trio De La Soul and Seattle’s Shabazz Palaces.

6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, accesso ShoWare Center, 625 W. James St., Kent; $39.50-$200; 253-856-6999,


Seattle’s pop-rap king takes his “Gemini” victory lap down to the Washington State Fair for a homecoming gig following a summer trek with his “Good Old Days” collaborator Kesha.

7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, Washington State Fair Events Center, 110 Ninth Ave. S.W., Puyallup; $85-$110 (includes fair admission); 253-841-5045,


Like their longtime label Sub Pop, the beloved sludge-punks hit the 30-year mark this year and show no signs of kicking less ass. Tonight, the Seattle staples toast their 10th studio album, “Digital Garbage.”

9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, Neptune Theatre, 1303 N.E. 45th St., Seattle; $20.50-$23.50; 206-315-8063,

Childish Gambino

In just a few short years, Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) went from a funnyman sitcom supporting actor with a critically panned rap side gig to one of Earth’s most celebrated artistic talents (and rightfully so). Now, the red-hot multi-hyphenate can seemingly do no wrong as he pulls into the Key with Mississippi duo Rae Sremmurd.

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., Seattle; sold out;

Michael Rietmulder:



“Richard III”

Last year, Seattle Shakespeare Company and upstart crow collective delivered the fierce “Bring Down the House,” an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Henry VI” trilogy, featuring an all-female cast. Actor Sarah Harlett, who played a young Richard in that production, returns in the role to continue her character’s story in “Richard III,” produced by the same two companies and again directed by Rosa Joshi.

Sept. 12-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,

“Everything You Touch”

Washington Ensemble Theatre has been producing some harrowing, visceral plays. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with Sheila Callaghan’s dark comedy — which The New York Times called “volatile” and “highly flammable” — about a woman on a cross-country journey to see her estranged, on-her-deathbed mother, and that explores issues of body image, fashion and beauty.

Sept. 21-Oct. 8; 12th Avenue Arts, 1620 12th Ave., Seattle; $15-$25;

Janet I. Tu:



“MUSE: Mickalene Thomas Photographs and tête-à-tête”

Artist Thomas is best known for her lavish, large-scale paintings “imbued with a groovy vibe and often inhabited by captivating, Afro-wearing women who gaze out of the images,” art critic Gayle Clemans wrote earlier this year. Thomas’ process involves first photographing her subjects. This exhibition allows viewers a chance to see some of those photographs, as well as portraits of personal muses including friends and family, and an installation of work by other photographers curated by Thomas that have inspired her.

Through Sept. 30; Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 41st Street, Seattle; $10 general public, $6 seniors, free for members, UW faculty/staff, students and kids; 206-543-2280,

“Group Therapy”

Talk about your “participatory art.” This show at the Frye Art Museum aims to get the public to take part in works by artists that focus on healing and self-care. The exhibition starts with projects focusing on social pathologies such as racism and sexism, moves on to issues of identification and self-narration, and finally uses sensory experiences to get visitors plugged into “deeper, interconnected consciousness,” the museum says. Exhibition programs include a sound bath and guided meditation, and workshops on topics including political therapy.

Sept. 15-Jan. 6, 2019; Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle; free; 206-622-9250,

Janet I. Tu:


Editor’s note: A previous version of this Look Ahead had included Strawberry Theatre Workshop’s production of “Reckless” as one of the theater recommendations; the theater company decided to replace “Reckless” with “Prelude to a Kiss.” Also, Ahamefule Oluo is replacing Hari Kondabolu in providing live commentary for “It Happened at the World’s Fair” at the Local Sightings Film Festival.