The week of Aug. 16 brings Viking Days, big theater productions and Seattle Opera’s “Nabucco.”

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This nerve-wracking documentary follows not one, but two attempts — by the same trio of climbers — to ascend Mount Meru in India, with its peak at 21,000 feet and its rise so severely sheer that the mountain’s hardest part is called the Shark’s Fin. Now playing at the Guild 45th. For showtimes, see Page H5. For Tom Keogh’s four-star review, go to


‘Documentary Now!’

Bill Hader and Fred Armisen star in the documentary spoof series. Hosted by Helen Mirren. Series premiere, 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, on IFC.


It’s season finale time for this sci-fi series that follows a trio of bounty hunters in a “distant system.” 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21, on Syfy.


Viking Days

Come and enjoy a Swedish pancake breakfast, a charity fun run, a Viking encampment, beer garden, salmon bake and other entertainment. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 22-23, Nordic Heritage Museum, 3014 N.W. 67th St., Seattle; free (206-789-5707 or

Arts In Nature Festival

Chill while listening to 40 artists playing in genres from indie rock to traditional Japanese folk to dance, and sample poetry, audio/visual installations, art activities, and costumed hikes through the forest. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23., Camp Long, 5200 35th Ave. S.W., Seattle; $10 (206-923-0853 or


Otis Taylor

A lot of blues artists sound trapped in a nostalgic Clarksdale/Delta time warp, but award-winning Denver-based blues man Otis Taylor jumps right off the stage of the present. Dealing fearlessly with uncomfortable subjects — his own vulnerabilities, fatal attractions, even incest — Taylor creates a hypnotic aura with his aching, Dave Van Ronk-like baritone, accompanying himself with fingerpicked banjo or guitar. If you fancy yourself a blues fan and have yet seen Taylor, check him out. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 18-19, at Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., Seattle; $28.50 (206-441-9729 or

The Tallest Man On Earth

No, he is not the tallest man on earth, but Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson has gathered a large following with probing songs like “Sagre,” from his new album “Dark Bird Is Home,” fiercely strumming wide-open tunings and singing with a passion inspired by Bob Dylan. Known for his charismatic stage presence, the 32-year-old troubadour has opened for Bon Iver and is now touring with his own band. At a recent, sold-out concert at New York’s Beacon Theatre, Matsson was described as using “every inch of his long guitar cord” as he hyperactively roamed the stage. 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21, at the Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., Seattle; $27.50 (877-784-4849 or


Susan Casey

The author of “The Wave” delves into the remarkable and mysterious world of dolphins in her new book “Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins.” At 7 p.m. Monday Aug. 17, Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle; free (206-386-4636 or



The Paramount Theatre hosts the national touring edition of the circus-themed, Tony Award-honored 2013 revival of composer Stephen Schwartz’s 1972 Broadway musical, a vivacious fantasia about the wayward son of medieval King Charlemagne. Aug. 16-Sept. 6, 911 Pine St., Seattle; tickets from $34 (877-784-4849 or


The first national tour of Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly’s Tony Award-winning musical adaptation of a beloved Roald Dahl book comes to Seattle. In it, the gifted book-lover Matilda Wormwood battles apathetic parents and a mean principal. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, 8 p.m. Thursday. Runs through Sept. 6. The 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave., Seattle; $45-$135 (206-625-1900 or


Olympic Music Festival

The fest’s Iglitzin Chamber Music Fellowship, which joins rising young artists with OMF resident musicians, closes Saturday-Sunday (Aug. 22-23) with performances of works by Suk, Chausson and Mendelssohn. Naumburg Award-winning violinist Tessa Lark will make her OMF debut at the concerts. Concerts are 2 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays through Sept. 13 at 7360 Center Road, Quilcene, Jefferson County; $20-$32 (360-732-4800 or

Seattle Opera

Verdi’s “Nabucco” appears on the SO stage for the first time in the company’s history, and the Verdi work is making a gleaming debut with a full roster of stellar singers: Gordon Hawkins as Nabucco, the king of the title; Mary Elizabeth Williams and Jamie Barton as his daughters Abigaille and Fenena; and the SO chorus in full voice. The production runs through Saturday, Aug. 22. McCaw Hall, Seattle; tickets from $25 (206-389-7676 or


Henry Art Gallery

The gallery is home to eye-catching installations this summer — a 33-minute gender-bending video installation, “Irma Vep, The Last Breath,” by Michelle Handelman, and Martin Creed’s “Work No. 360: Half the air in a given space.” The Creed piece is actually an entire floor’s worth of silvery balloons for visitors to wend their way through; reviewer Michael Upchurch cautions that it’s not for the claustrophobic. Creed is up through Sept. 27, and “Vep” through Oct. 4. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays, until 9 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays, University of Washington, Seattle; $6-$10 (206-543-2280 or