Must List: 'Il Trovatore', Tasveer South Asian Literary Festival, World’s Quickest Theater Festival

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MUST VERDI

Seattle Opera’s Il Trovatore
(1/12–1/26) Its switched-baby, love-triangle plot is notoriously spoofable (it’s the opera that the Marx Brothers reduced to rubble in A Night at the Opera), but Verdi’s 1853 swashbuckler can still pack a punch—especially if you have a soaring soprano like the Centralia-raised Angela Meade, making her Seattle Opera debut, in the lead role of the patrician Leonara. Times and prices vary. McCaw Hall, Seattle Center, 321 Mercer St.; 206.389.7676; seattleopera.org

MUST READ

Tasveer South Asian Literary Festival
(1/11–1/20) Formerly focused on film (its flagship event is October’s South Asian Film Festival), South Asian cultural nonprofit Tasveer, devoted to art from the South Asian diaspora, is branching out with this festival of writers. Among the authors are Sharmila Sen (Not Quite Not White), Amitava Kumar (Immigrant, Montana) and others, hosted by venues across the city including the Seattle Art Museum, Elliott Bay Book Company and Hugo House. Times vary. Free. Venues vary. tasveer.org

MUST SEE

The World’s Quickest Theater Festival
(Through 1/12) All of the 14 plays at this festival, now in its 22nd year, are never-before-seen theatrical experiences created in just 48 hours. The process is a whirlwind—not only are the plays first performed in that 48-hour crunch, they are written, designed, cast and directed during that period as well. Come for the once in a lifetime plays (never to be seen again!) and stay for these thespian’s dedication to dizzying speed. Times and prices vary. ACT Theatre, downtown, 700 Union St.; 206.292.7676; acttheatre.org

MUST WARM UP

Sammamish Polar Bear 5K
(1/11) Combat the cold by getting your blood flowing at this 5K. The course is flat and fast, and whatever pace keeps you warm is welcome. Get moving alongside competitive rowers from the Sammamish Rowing Association, warming up before they head into their spring training regime. A portion of the proceeds from the event will support the SRA and their 2019 scholarship fund. 9 a.m. $40. Bear Creek Parkway & 161st Ave. NE, Redmond; runsignup.com

Laura Castellanos

MUST GET FUNKY

Laura Castellanos at ArtXchange Gallery
(Through 1/26) “Being on a budget shouldn’t get in the way of living with art,” says this Manhattan-born Seattle artist of her Brujx website, on which she sells her vibrant, kooky bags and tchotchkes. Her ArtXchange show—called Bodega (Love Materials) in honor of her Cuban grandparents, who ran just such a store—features more work in her “funky frugal dandy” style. Tues-Sat., 11 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Free. ArtXchange Gallery, Pioneer Square, 512 First Ave. S; 206.839.0377; artxchange.org

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