Seattle Weekender: a French play, a French race, and French beer

Crosscut's guide to a culturally enriching weekend in the city. Or at least a dash of France in Seattle.
Pioneer Square's alley are opening up to events.

Pioneer Square's alley are opening up to events. Alley Project Network

Seattle International Beerfest

Unfortunately the Fourth of July fell in the middle of the week this year, meaning those of us with jobs weren’t able to enjoy waking up Thursday afternoon hung over with our ears still ringing from launching bottle rockets off the roof at four a.m. Luckily, the party continues with the Seattle International Beerfest this weekend. Although the fest includes more than 200 brews from around the world, it is still BYOB — bring your own blanket. There will be live music all weekend including performances by the New Orleans Quintet who will bring a taste of the French Quarter to Seattle. Of course, there has to be good greasy food to soak up all the alcohol; Pagliacci Pizza, Dante’s Inferno Dogs, Rancho Bravo Tacos & BBQ, Skillet, and several other eateries will be providing food for all your sobering up needs. Get there early before all the best beers are sold out!

If you drink: Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion, July 6-7, 12-10 p.m., July 8, 12-7 p.m., $25, 21+

Les Miserables

When Flaubert reviewed Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables in 1862 he wrote, “I find neither truth nor greatness in this book.” He accused Hugo of attempting to flatter the populace and called his style “deliberately incorrect and low.” Charles Baudelaire was less harsh in his critique but still questioned Hugo’s placing of morality as a goal. He was wary of any goals in art other than art itself. Although Hugo’s magnum opus has been debated for nearly 150 years, Cameron Mackintosh’s popular production of Les Miserables has received high praise for 25. The show only lasts two weeks but last year it did so well at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle — breaking records with more than 50,000 patrons — the production has chosen Seattle as the first city to return to during their tour. So expect a full house.

If you attend: The 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 5th Avenue, June 27-July 8, 2 p.m. or 8 p.m., tickets start at $49

2012 Le Tour d’Alley

The alleys around Pioneer Square can be rough. At least by reputation, they’re dark, wet, and usually smelly. They usually aren’t the kind of place you’d want to spend your lunch break hanging around in. But there’s actually more to these alleys than dumpsters and bike racks. Throughout July, the Alley Network Project will be hosting Le Tour d’Alley, a public screening of Le Tour de France every weekday. The race is divided up geographically, with flat plain, medium mountain, and high mountain stages, but don’t discount the plains: these can be the most exciting parts when riders duke it at high speeds. Bring your lunch but helmets are optional.  

If you go: Nord Alley behind 314 1st Ave South, between Jackson & Main AND Occidental Ave & 1st Ave South, Weekdays through July 20 (tour rest days excepted), 11:30 to 1:30 p.m., FREE

Fremont’s First Friday

This Friday is the first Friday of July and Fremont will be holding their monthly First Friday event when Fremont’s not so hidden art scene comes to surface, filling the streets with paintings, music, bikes, and dumplings—as if Fremont isn’t always filled with these things. Seattle's Slowpøke Crew will be bringing tunes to the event from their turntables under the Lenin Statue, although Joseph McCarthy might roll in his grave hearing the news that Lenin is awake. Artists Autumn Traquilino and Angie Whitney will be performing live art in the streets and The Kippy Ding Ding, a boutique on wheels, will be selling vintage clothes and antiques. There will also be art presented in several venues by artists Terri Thomas, Rebecca West, Roy Powell, Eli Wolff, Emily Alice Peck, Kelly Knickerbocker, Marianne Maksirisombat, and a collection of employee art will be on display at evo.


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