Seattle’s central waterfront is getting a huge, decade-long face-lift: a new tunnel for State Route 99, a new ferry dock, a new seawall, pedestrian promenades, maybe even a mist machine to remind summer visitors that they’re in Seattle. But so far, there’s no sign of those antique streetcars that rumbled down Alaskan Way in the 1980s and ’90s, captivating so many Seattle visitors.
Creatively focused, eco-obsessed, possessing an urban sensibility and locavore leanings, beautiful without being braggy—the new Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) might well be considered the embodiment of the island community itself. And just as the residents prefer the island’s laidback vibe to Seattle’s comparative bustle, BIMA supporters and staff have no intention of trying to compete with mainland art institutions, such as Seattle Art Museum. Instead, the focus is on contemporary work by artists from the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas and the western Puget Sound region.
Even as hipsters age and have kids, there are a few key things they’re unwilling to let go of, the foremost being good music. If they fill their iPods with the right stuff, these particular parents can steer their brood into the capable hands of local “kindiependent” rock bands like The Not-Its!, whose infectious blend of intelligent pop rock gets kids—and their parents—in the mood to groove.
As Swan Lake prepares for takeoff at Pacific Northwest Ballet (4/12-4/21), the company is posting some rehearsal videos that are pretty irresistible—in large part because they offer a peek at backstage ballet fashion, which never fails to mesmerize. How do the dancers end up wearing such a colorful mishmash of leotards, tights, heat wraps, flouncy skirts, shrugs and leg warmer-style knitted garments of varying lengths and locations? And how do they come up with such innovative ways to layer them?
There will be much ado, indeed, at SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) this year. The festival opens with Joss Whedon's take on Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, starring Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Nathan Fillion, and Clark Gregg. The film was shot in twelve days, uses the original text and apparently was edited on a laptop while Whedon was still in production for The Avengers. It also marks Whedon's debut as a composer, according to the press release.
When my husband and I first bought our home, we felt somewhat banished in pre-cool Ballard. (This was 2001, and the sleepy Scandinavian burg was the most affordable neighborhood closest to Lower Queen Anne, where we’d been happily living in an apartment.) But then we stumbled upon Ballard Market and discovered that the humble-appearing grocery store is a foodie heaven. And Ballard Avenue—though only a seed of what it is now (pretty much just Olivine, Habitude and Madame K’s brothel-themed pizzeria)—already had the spark of a happy, bustling place.
You really haven’t seen obscene hand gestures until you’ve seen them performed by a fully nude, slightly sweaty, winking blond woman. In playwright Young Jean Lee’s Untitled Feminist Show, playing at On the Boards through Sunday night, Amelia Zirin-Brown (aka Lady Rizzo) performs this hilariously filthy solo, using only her pantomiming skills and her incredibly expressive face. It’s one of many truly funny moments in this show, which is performed entirely in the nude and with no dialogue.
MUST SEEMaster Harold...and the boysOngoing (thru 4/21) — Apartheid, class issues and ballroom dancing blend in South African playwright Athol Fugard’s acclaimed Broadway drama. Longtime local theater fans will be thrilled to learn that this contemporary take is directed by Burke Walker, founding artistic director of the dearly departed Empty Space Theatre, and stars another Seattle theater vet, G. Valmont Thomas, whose performance is so good, he may just break your heart.
Franz Kafka was a master at crafting absurd yet convincing scenarios (perhaps most famously in his man-turns-cockroach story, The Metamorphosis) and capturing the particularly human feeling of existential dread. You might have experienced a similarly surreal sense of displacement if you ever had the misfortune of being an immigrant detained for days or weeks at Seattle’s hulking INS building.
You’ve swung the West Coast swing, spiced up your salsa and topped off your tango—what’s next? Time to kiss up to kizomba. This Angolan dance style first caught fire in the 1980s, and has since spread across Europe and recently landed in Seattle, at venues such as Century Ballroom (centuryballroom.net), which offers drop-in classes for returning students and five-week series.
Those little waving kitties have become ubiquitous good luck trinkets in Seattle shops—but what exactly do their upraised paws tell us? With Maneki Neko: Japan’s Beckoning Cats—From Talisman to pop icon, Bellevue Arts Museum provides both context and cuteness, exhibiting 155 vintage cats made from ceramic, papier-mâché, wood and stone, as well as several contemporary takes on the form (such as those by Seattle artists Diem Chau and Patti Warashina).
The world’s largest-diameter tunnel boring machine (TBM) is travelling all the way from Osaka, Japan to dig the two-mile-long tunnel that will replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Named for Seattle’s first and only woman mayor, Bertha Landes (a tough groundbreaker herself), the sharp-toothed, 7,000-ton Bertha may have a little trouble busting through “the Seattle freeze.” We have some advice for fitting in and making friends.