15 Best Things To Do in Seattle in June 2018

Our hand-picked list of best bets for entertainment this month
Martha Friedman combines organic and synthetic forms in this 2018 untitled concrete, rubber and steel sculpture at the Henry Art Gallery
This article appears in print in the June 2018 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Martha Friedman: Castoffs
Starting with casts made of a friend’s body—dancer Silas Riener—Brooklyn-based sculptor Friedman then added wicked-looking metal spikes and wormlike rubber tubing to the concrete torso fragments. Up-to-date controversy over the concept of “toxic masculinity” is linked to the idealization of the male form throughout art history—to frankly unsettling effect. Times and prices vary. Henry Art Gallery, University District, 4100 15th Ave. NE; 206.543.2280; henryart.org

Lucy Kalanithi and John Duberstein (CANCELLED)
Two of the most acclaimed memoirs of recent years, Paul Kalanithi’s 2016 When Breath Becomes Air and Nina Riggs’ 2017 The Bright Hour, chronicled each writer’s (ultimately losing) battle with cancer. Their surviving spouses—now a romantic couple—gather to chat about love and loss with KEXP-FM’s John Richards. 7:30 p.m. Prices vary. Pigott Auditorium, Seattle University campus, First Hill; 206.215.4747; lectures.org

The Picture of Dorian Gray
Although known as an apostle of “art for art’s sake,” Oscar Wilde pointedly explored the link between art and morality in his 1890 novel, here getting the Book-It stage treatment. The title character, whose sociopathy is reflected not in his person but in his creepily changing portrait, remains one of Victorian lit’s most haunting personae. Times and prices vary. Book-It Repertory Theater, Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St.; 206.216.0833; book-it.org
Liz Phair
Midcareer, which is where singer/songwriter Phair is, is a good time to look back and take stock, so her double debut 1993 album Exile in Guyville (Rolling Stone’s 327th Greatest Album of All Time) was remastered and re-released in May for its 25th anniversary, issued along with some earlier, previously unreleased tapes. Expect a healthy dose of nostalgia at this gig. 8 p.m. $35. Crocodile Café, downtown, 2200 Second Ave.; 206.441.4618; thecrocodile.com

NW New Works Festival
Aside from big 19th-century story ballets, which only the largest companies are able to stage, the dance world is dominated by new work—but that doesn’t make On the Boards’ annual spring collocation any less vital. In its 35th year, the lineup combines dancers from Portland to Calgary with well-known performers like The Horse in Motion and ilvs strauss. Times and prices vary. On the Boards, 100 W Roy St.; 206.217.9886; ontheboards.org

The Decemberists
This Portland band’s latest album, I’ll Be Your Girl, released in March, has been compared to the music of Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys in its prominent use of synths. It also, says front man Colin Meloy, was inspired (if that’s the right word) by the 2016 presidential election. Is there a connection? 8 p.m. Prices vary. Paramount Theatre, downtown, 911 Pine St.; 206.682.1414; stgpresents.org
Kathy Griffin
Did you really think that whole severed-head kerfuffle meant that Griffin—celebrity gossip maven, gleeful provocatrix, comedy heir to Joan Rivers—was done for? Oh, please. This is America 2018. The list of genuinely career-killing transgressions gets shorter by the minute. 8 p.m. Prices vary. The Moore Theatre, downtown, 1932 Second Ave.; 206.467.5510; stgpresents.org
Pacific Northwest Ballet: Love and Ballet
In illustration of the title concept, this program spotlights couples in works by Christopher Wheeldon, Benjamin Millepied and Justin Peck, whose Sufjan Stevens–scored Year of the Rabbit premiered in 2012 at the New York City Ballet to raves from The New York Times: “A star is born...I’m sure I wasn’t the only person who wished the whole 30-minute dance could have been encored immediately.” Times and prices vary. McCaw Hall, Seattle Center, 321 Mercer St.; 206.733.9725; pnb.org

Andrea Bocelli & Seattle Symphony
His honeyed voice and button-pushing way with a hit have made him one of the few classical-crossover musicians to achieve household-word status in recent decades. Broadway star Heather Headley (The Lion King’s original Nala) and soprano Larisa Martínez join him. 7:30 p.m. Prices vary. KeyArena, Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St.; 206.684.7200; keyarena.com

Double Exposure
: Edward S. Curtis, Marianne Nicolson, Tracy Rector, Will Wilson
In the Seattle Art Museum’s major summer exhibit, photographer and onetime Seattleite Edward Curtis’ controversial, often heavily staged early-20th-century images of Native Americans are shown with modern work from indigenous artists, offering new perspectives on the Native American experience. (While you’re there, drop in to see Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 “Untitled”—evocative of the African-American experience—on view for the first time on the West Coast, until August 13.) Times and prices vary. Seattle Art Museum, downtown, 1300 First Ave.; 206.625.8900; seattleartmuseum.org
Seattle International Dance Festival
A weeklong institute for dancers and an “Art on the Fly” outdoor fun day for families (vendors, free dance lessons, etc.) in South Lake Union will punctuate this annual event. Two series of performances bring together the “Seattle” and the “International” in its title, focusing on innovative choreographers and companies both local and from around the world. Times and prices vary. Broadway Performance Hall, Capitol Hill, 1625 Broadway Ave., 206.934.3052; Erickson Theater Off Broadway, Capitol Hill, 1524 Harvard Ave., 206.329.1050; seattleidf.org
Lady Day at Emerson Bar & Grill
Bllie Holiday (1915–1959) set a standard for jazz vocalism that will never be surpassed; unfortunately, she also set a template for self-destruction that all too many musicians have emulated. Lanie Robertson’s one-woman play stars Seattle vocalist—and Holiday conjurer—Felicia Loud in the title role and re-creates one of Holiday’s wrenchingly intimate performances. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays. Prices vary. ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery, West Seattle, 4711 California Ave. SW; 206.938.0963; artswest.org

Viola Davis (CANCELLED)
Working her way up from childhood poverty to acting studies at Juilliard and eventually to her status as the most nominated black actress for an Oscar ever, no doubt Davis—who took home an Oscar for her performance alongside Denzel Washington in 2016’s Fences—will have plenty to say that inspires. The triple threat follows Anderson Cooper, John Cleese and others who are part of the eclectic “Unique Lives” lecture series. 7:30 p.m. Prices vary. McCaw Hall, Seattle Center, 321 Mercer St.; 206.733.9725; uniquelives.com

Wild Horses
Through 6/24
A woman looks back at her 13th year—drinking, pot, sexual experimentation (hey, it was the ’70s)—in Allison Gregory’s comic coming-of-age monologue. Intiman’s production of the Seattle/Austin playwright’s newest work is directed by Sheila Daniels, stars Seattle-based actor Dedra D Woods and is fresh off its four-stop 2017 “rolling world premiere,” a series of debuts for work in development. Times and prices vary. 12th Avenue Arts, Capitol Hill, 1620 12th Ave.; 206.441.7178; intiman.org

Don’t confuse Samuel Coleridge-Taylor with poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge; the former (1875–1912) was one of the few composers of African descent to make a career in classical music, as well as one of the few from Victorian England with a lot to offer a curious contemporary listener. Kokopelli, an excellent new chamber ensemble led by clarinetist Sean Osborn, plays his luscious 1895 Quintet in F-sharp minor, Op. 10, by turns moody and vernal, on an all-British program. 7:30 p.m. Prices vary. Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center, Wallingford, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N; 206.457.5967; clarinettissimo.org

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