15 Best Things To Do in Seattle in October 2018

Our hand-picked list of best bets for entertainment this month, featuring 5th Avenue Theater, Seattle Symphony, Seattle Repertory Theater, Frye Art Museum and more.
  • An installation detail from Dylan Neuwirth’s “METANOIA,” a virtual reality art experience performed by the artist. Photograph by Nathaniel Willson
An installation detail from Dylan Neuwirth’s “METANOIA,” a virtual reality art experience performed by the artist.

This article appears in print in the October 2018 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Neuwirth's 2015 neon sculpture "TRYLON"; a piece inspired by it will be on view at the exhibit. Photo by Nathaniel Willson

Dylan Neuwirth
You might associate neon artwork with commercial signage, but Neuwirth, creative director at Western Neon, has made it an intimately personal and confessional medium. With a sign maker’s knack for catching viewers’ attention, two works in his first solo museum exhibit, OMNIA, will be set up outside the Bellevue Arts Museum, “to be sought out by the curious or discovered on accident by the unwary.” Times and prices vary. Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, 510 Bellevue Way NE; 425.519.0770

Karin Stevens Dance
Two collaborations with composer Kaley Lane Eaton and music both acoustic and electronic: first, a remount of their disconcertingly lovely 2017 opera Lily; then the premiere of Lung, exploring the main aspect of performance musicians and dancers share: breath. Times and prices vary. Erickson Theatre Off Broadway, Capitol Hill, 1524 Harvard Ave.; 206.329.1050; karinstevensdance.com

Come from Away
This musical was born in Ontario, but Seattle raised it and sent it off to circle the globe. Now the poignant and uplifting story of what happened when 38 international flights were diverted to a small Newfoundland town on September 11, 2001, which has been playing on Broadway since February 2017, is returning home. Times and prices vary. The 5th Avenue Theatre, downtown, 1308 Fifth Ave.; 206.625.1900

Seattle Latino Film Festival
From the dark surrealism of Buñuel to the flamboyant camp dramedy of Almodóvar, Spain’s filmmakers have been some of Europe’s most celebrated. Each year since 2009, the SLFF has focused on a different Hispanic nation, and this year Spain is showcased in its packed schedule of shorts and features. Times, prices and venues vary. 971.704.5849

Photo by Lars Borges

Sheku Kanneh-Mason with the Seattle Symphony
He caught the world’s ear when he played for Harry and Meghan’s wedding, and the Seattle Symphony snapped him up. The 19-year-old cellist makes his U.S. debut playing Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations. Ruth Reinhardt conducts; she also programmed the evening’s shimmering, shivering “Winter Sky” by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho. Times and prices vary. Benaroya Hall, downtown, 200 University St.; 206.215.4747

Alfredo Arreguín
It’s not only Arreguín’s Mexican childhood and his Seattle adulthood that influenced his art; Army service in Asia is echoed in the Hokusai-like waves in many of his nature-reverent paintings. See all this, often expressed through eye-popping color and trippily intricate patterning, in this 50-year retrospective. Times and prices vary. Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Bainbridge Island, 550 Winslow Way E.; 206.842.4451

Seattle Arts & Lectures
Its lineups are always brain-tingling, but SAL is front-loading its schedule with heavy hitters this season: October alone brings, among others, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin (10/1), poet Alice Walker (10/4) and novelist Barbara Kingsolver (10/25). All at 7:30 p.m. Prices vary. Benaroya Hall, downtown, 200 University St.; 206.621.2230

Composer David Coulter (right) performs a live score in the world premiere theatrical adaptation of A Thousand Splendid Suns in San Francisco; he'll reprise the role on the same set in Seattle, along with actor Jason Kapoor (left, back). Photo by Kevin Berne. 

A Thousand Splendid Suns
“I wanted to get beneath that kind of iconic picture of a woman in a burka walking on the street,” said The Kite Runner author Khaled Hosseini in the years right after 9/11, which led to this 2007 novel, the story of two Afghanistan women of different classes and generations whose friendship grows as the Taliban rises in power. Here, it is adapted for the stage by Irish-Indian playwright Ursula Rani Sarma. Times and prices vary. Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Center, 155 Mercer St.; 206.443.2222

It was Bartlett Sher, the Intiman’s former artistic director, who made this 2017 Tony winner possible: He introduced playwright J.T. Rogers to Norwegian diplomat Terje Rød-Larsen, who had helped negotiate the 1993 Israel/PLO peace accords, inspiring Rogers to turn that dramatic story of human ambition and world-changing history into a play. Times and prices vary. ACT – A Contemporary Theatre, downtown, 700 Union St.; 206.292.7676

Indian classical dance ensemble Nritygagram will make its Meany Center Debut. Photo by Wildlight

Nrityagram Dance Ensemble
The women of nrityagram, which is as much a commune as a dance company, live and study together in a holistic approach to dance training. As The New Yorker’s Joan Acocella put it, at their performances, “You get sensuality and majesty, emotion and philosophy, holiness and a good time.” 8 p.m. Prices vary. Meany Center, University of Washington, 4140 George Washington Lane NE; 206.543.4880

Mixed Bag
After its September 22 reopening, literary hub Hugo House is off and running, not only with all kinds of classes and workshops, but with this cabaret evening, hosted by poet/humorist Jeanine Walker and musician Steve Mauer. Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna headlines the performer guest list. 8 p.m. $10. Hugo House, Capitol Hill, 1021 Columbia St.; 206.322.7030

Quenton Baker
The title of this Seattle poet’s text-and-image installation, Ballast, refers to the ballast needed to balance the human cargo on slave ships. For it, Baker made poetry from redactions of a Senate report about an 1841 shipboard slave revolt, and the resulting visual positive/negative space—some words obliterated, some kept visible—creates an analogue to that balance. Times vary. Free. Frye Art Museum, First Hill, 704 Terry Ave.; 206.622.9250

Elizabeth Caballero returns to Seattle Opera, this time in the role of Governess in The Turn of the Scre. Photo by Elise Bakketun

The Turn of the Screw
A small orchestra, just 13 musicians, intensifies the creepy intimacy of Benjamin Britten’s 1954 opera, in which a ghost menaces two children in an English country house—or is their governess just going crazy? Soprano Elizabeth Caballero, who last performed with Seattle Opera as Donna Elvira in the 2015 production of Don Giovanni, returns to play that role. Times and prices vary. Seattle Opera, McCaw Hall, Seattle Center, 321 Mercer St.; 206.389.7676

Ampersand Live
Land conservancy organization Forterra is sponsoring a night of readings, music, photography and dance—sort of a stage-show version of its periodical Ampersand, or, as the nonprofit puts it, “an evening of storytelling….about nature, cities, community and critters.” Brass quartet The Westerlies, dance artist Zoe Scofield, wildlife photographer David Moskowitz and 2017 Seattle mayoral candidate Nikkita Oliver are among those scheduled to appear. 7:30 p.m. $15. The Moore Theatre, downtown, 1932 Second Ave.; 206.682.1414

Jazz harpist Brandee Younger performs at this year's Earshot Jazz Festival

Earshot Jazz Festival
Earshot sponsors performances year around, but it really piles it on for a month every autumn. Once again, organizers have planned more than 60 concerts, featuring several dozen solo musicians and ensembles, from acclaimed high school bands to free improvisers. For this iteration, there’s a special focus on women in jazz (including award-winning jazz violinist Regina Carter, Seattle composer Dawn Clement and R&B hip-hop guru SassyBlack) and on this year’s festival resident artist, pianist Jovino Santos Neto. Times, prices and venues vary. earshot.org

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