16 Best Things to Do in Seattle in February 2020

Our handpicked list of the best bets for entertainment this month

By Gavin Borchert

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January 31, 2020

This article originally appeared in the February 2020 issue of Seattle Magazine.

This article appears in print in the February 2020 issue. Click here to subscribe.

CABARET
John Cameron Mitchell
2/27
John Cameron Mitchell both co-created Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the 1998 rock musical that recounts how “a slip of a girly boy from communist East Berlin became the internationally ignored song stylist barely standing before you,” and originated its diva-esque title role. On his “The Origin of Love” tour, Mitchell combines songs from the show (by Stephen Trask) with stories from his 20 years with the cult classic on stage and screen. 8 p.m. $50–$65. The Moore Theatre, downtown; stgpresents.org

PHOTOGRAPHY
Exploring Passages Within the Black Diaspora
Ends 3/22
This Photographic Center Northwest exhibit spotlighting female-identifying photographers from Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas is presented in partnership with Frye Art Museum, the University of Washington’s Jacob Lawrence Gallery and Mfon: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. The last, a pioneering photography journal created by Laylah Amatullah Barrayn and Adama Delphine Fawundu, was named for the equally pathbreaking Nigerian-American photographer Mmekutmfon “Mfon” Essien (1967–2001). Times vary. Free. Photographic Center Northwest, Capitol Hill; pcnw.org


Photo by Naomi Ishisaka

DANCE
Black Bois
2/14
The unimaginable tragedies—or, really, the all too imaginable and all too common tragedies—experienced by Kalief Browder and Tamir Rice inspired the dance piece Black Bois, which choreographer Dani Tirrell calls “a thanksgiving to our past and our present and our future; it’s also, for me, a love letter to our bodies.” Those who missed the sold-out April 2018 premiere at On the Boards now have a second chance to see Tirrell’s work, performed by local dance stars Markeith Wiley, David Rue, Randy Ford and others, with original music by Benjamin Hunter and written word by J Mase III. 7:30 p.m. $40–$50. The Moore Theatre, downtown; stgpresents.org

MUSICAL
Bliss
Ends 2/23
Composers/lyricists Emma Lively and Tyler Beattie have taken the classic “princess locked in a tower” trope and twisted it into something new: a story of four princesses who escape an overprotective father only to find themselves in the outside world with its stifling expectations. For its world-premiere production of this musical comedy, The 5th snagged Sex and the City’s Mario Cantone to play the tale’s fairy godfather; Broadway veteran Sheryl Kaller directs. Times and prices vary. 5th Avenue Theatre, downtown; 5thavenue.org 

FILM
Noir City Seattle
2/14–2/20
Perhaps it was to counteract the euphoria and triumphalism of winning World War II that led filmmakers, in the decade that followed, to explore America’s flip side—crime and deception, jazz and gunshots, hardboiled private eyes and untrustworthy femmes fatales—in the genre that became known as film noir. SIFF’s annual festival salutes these classics; Turner Classic Movies host Eddie Muller acts as guide. Times and prices vary. SIFF Cinema Egyptian, Capitol Hill; siff.net


The acclaimed Afro-Brazilian dance troupe Grupo Corpo will perform two works,
Gira and Bach. Photo by Jose Luiz Pederneiras

DANCE
Grupo Corpo
2/20–2/22
This acclaimed Afro-Brazilian dance troupe will perform two works: Gira, inspired by the celebration rites of syncretic Brazilian religions; and Bach, which “celebrates the architecture of life” by combining playfully slinky movement with an electronic reimagining of the Baroque. 8 p.m. $61–$69. Meany Center, University of Washington, University District; meanycenter.org

OPERA
Lowbrow Opera Collective: #adulting
Ends 2/9
“What can we do to make sure that new operas are written, performed and experienced by all sorts of people?” asks this group of young singers. Well, one thing they’re doing is reviving their inaugural production from last May, #adulting (music by John Ervin Brooks, libretto by Natalie Stewart Elder), a comedy of four millennials, a shared apartment and a suboptimal couch. Times and prices vary. 18th & Union, Capitol Hill; 18thandunion.org

THEATER
The Angel in the House
2/8–3/15
Today, Victorian poet Coventry Patmore is remembered, if at all, for The Angel in the House, his book-length paean to the ideal of female domesticity. Busy Seattle playwright/actor Sara Porkalob is having none of that, grabbing Patmore’s title and turning the whole concept upside down into a “feminist-revenge thriller-critique” for Café Nordo’s next show, a murder mystery that promises “corsets, blood, revenge and cake.” Times and prices vary. Café Nordo’s Culinarium, Pioneer Square; cafenordo.com

Taylor Swift/YouTube

New auditorium, better BMX track and a greener Seattle

Casket Case Bellevue company’s product featured in Taylor Swift video Social media absolutely lost it after a casket manufactured by Bellevue-based Titan Casket was featured in American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift’s recent “Anti-Hero” music video. Tweets and Instagram posts from Swift’s fans about the casket have generated tens of thousands of likes and retweets, resulting in…

Act Theater: History of Theatre group shot-cropped

Seattle Celebrates Black History Month

A guide to events happening throughout the city in February

From the Northwest African American Museum to the Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle residents have an abundance of opportunities to celebrate the achievements of African Americans in February during Black History Month. The annual celebration began in the United States in 1976. Countries around the world also celebrate the month. Here’s a guide to events…

Photography by Tyree Harris

Book Excerpt: Marmots May Be Running Out of Time

New book explores endangered species in Pacific Northwest

In her debut as a book author, Josephine Woolington turns back the clock to examine events that have shaped Pacific Northwest wildlife in an effort to provide a deeper sense of place for those who call this unique and beautiful region home. Where We Call Home: Lands, Seas, and Skies of the Pacific Northwest sheds…

Illustration by Arthur Mount

Seattle Artifacts: The Mystery of Chief Seattle’s Death Mask

Is it real? Where did it come from?

In different parts of the world, and throughout the course of history, death has been memorialized in a variety of different ways. One of the more intriguing was death masks. Typically, a wax or plaster cast was made of a deceased person’s face, which then served as a model for sculptors when creating statues and busts.  …

Photography by Sage Chen

The Art of Weathering Winter: Foraging, Bathing, and Gold Dust

Two Seattle Chefs on the Soothing Hobbies that Get Them through the Winter

Though I’ve lived in Seattle nearly my entire life, the early winter sunsets, which fall like a set of blackout curtains over the world, never fail to feel like a curse. This year, though, I wanted to challenge myself to find a better way to get through it. Could it be an opportunity to surrender…

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Hip-Hop Healing in Seattle

Rapper Carter Costello’s house is more than just a venue for artists

The last time I was at Seattle rapper Carter Costello’s house was under the cloak of night. I had been invited to an art and music show — featuring Seattle photographer and artist Baby Claypool, a duo of fire dancers, rapper Nobi and Costello — by local photographer James Gerde. Once I set foot on…