Seattle Opera's "The Consul." Photo: Elise Bakketun
* denotes events that are $15 or less
The villain here is government bureaucracy, with its floor-to-ceiling filing cabinets and a consulate secretary insisting that one just waits. A woman’s doing the waiting and she’s desperate to save herself and her young family. “I ask you for help/All you give me are papers.” Gian Carlo Menotti’s “The Consul” touches on the themes of hope and displacement and it’s about as accessible a story as you can find in the spectacle that is opera. (It’s even sung in English). When it was produced in New York in 1950, it broke records: 269 performances to sold-out crowds on Broadway. It struck a chord back then and you deserve to let it connect with you now.
If you go: The Consul, Seattle Opera at McCaw Hall, Through March 7 (Tickets start at $25). – F.D.
*Winter in the Blood
Virgil First Raise wakes up in a ditch in the plains of Montana. He’s hungover. He’s hurt. His father is dead and his wife has just taken off — with his rifle. What transpires is a story about loss and recovery. Shot in Montana, with a large Native American cast (including Chaske Spencer from the “Twilight” movies), the film is based on the seminal 1974 Native American novel by James Welch. Directors Alex and Andrew Smith, actor Chaske Spencer and producer Sherman Alexie are scheduled to attend some of the early screenings. Check listings. Presented in partnership with Longhouse Media.
If you go: Winter In the Blood, Northwest Film Forum, Through March 6, ($11). - F.D.
*AWP Conference Off-site Events
The Association of Writers and Writing Programs selected Seattle as this year’s host city. Which means more than 100 free off-site events that celebrate everything from the chapbook to the visual language of jewelry. What I’m most looking forward to are the poetry readings, especially the group reading hosted by Northwestern University Press at Elliott Bay.
If you go: Various venues throughout the city, Through March 1. (FREE). – N.C.
The Grouch & Eligh, the two lynch pins of the LA-based rap collective Living Legends, are spitting rhymes at Neumos. Musically, they land somewhere between G-funk inspired Cali rap and the multi-layered, mile-a-minute rapping style characteristic of the Minneapolis Rhymesayers. While both rappers have longstanding solo careers, they also have a mountain of material to draw upon. The duo’s collaborative work spans several albums and mixtapes over a 12-year period. Earlier this month they dropped a new triple album, “The Tortoise and the Crow.” As a rule, posse rap shows are high energy and these rappers have been perfecting their two-man routine for quite a while now. There are worse ways to get an early start on the weekend.
If you go: The Grouch and Eligh, Neumos, Feb. 27, ($17). All ages.- J.S.H.
There was a serious language barrier when the artists Isamu Noguchi and Qi Baishi met in 1930 in Beijing. Noguchi spoke no Chinese; Qi no English. But they bonded over art and craft and Noguchi apprenticed under the master ink painter for the next six months. Their friendship and influence on one another plays out through the exhibit, which is a unique opportunity to see Noguchi’s abstract ink and crayon paintings of nudes, wrestlers and squirmy babies. The Japanese-American artist, who died in 1988, is more well-known for his sculpture and furniture designs. Qi painted the lowliest of objects — stalks of corn, a grasshopper, shrimp. “Who says that plants have no passion?” reads an inscription on a painting of daffodils. And with a brushstroke, a master profoundly influenced a mentee who, years later, would refer to Qi as “my art’s teacher.”
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