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The Weekend List: The arts and culture guide to Seattle's good life

Hilarious (and nekkid) theater, two -- count them, two -- film festivals, and Cameron Carpenter's dazzling orchestral flair.

* items are $15 or less

A Room With A View

I could wax on about the scenery that whisks you away to Florence and the English countryside. The powerhouse vocal couplings of Laura Griffith and Louis Hobson. The Edwardian wardrobes. The plot, based on the E.M. Forster novel and inspired by the Merchant Ivory film, about a young woman torn between duty and lust. But what really got me and mother howling (at a preview show and yes, I went with Mom) was the male skinny dipping scene in Act 2 — and not just because the actors were nekkid.

At right: The musical "A Room With A View" is world premiering at The 5th Avenue Theatre. Photo: Mark Kitaoka

In a world premiere musical that’s about living and letting one’s heart drive you forth, nothing telegraphs shedding one’s inhibitions quite like dropping trou and splashing around in a bucolic pond. It’s a terrific pond, by the way. The song “Splash is a total winner, as are the comedic let-loose maneuverings of Hobson, Matt Owen and Richard Gray. I dare you not to laugh.

If you go: A Room With A View, The 5th Avenue Theatre, Through May 11. ($30-$65). — F.D.

Hair

Speaking of letting it all hang out, ArtsWest offers up the counterculture rock musical Hair, which never seems all that dated. Peace, love and protestations against The Man. A wee twist here is how the group of hippies act all flash mob-like and take over Grand Central Station to stage the show.

At right: Stacie Pinkney Calkins in "Hair," now playing at ArtsWest. Photo: Michael Brunk.

If you go: Hair, ArtsWest, Through June 7. ($17-$36.50). — F.D.

*Kool Keith

These days, many would associate horrorcore rap — a subgenre that draws on horror-themed lyrical style and imagery — with the profane antics of California’s relatively new Odd Future hip-hop collective. But rappers have been getting surreal and creepy for quite a while now. Kool Keith, a.k.a. Dr. Octagon, the self-proclaimed progenitor of horrorcore rap, is at Neumos this week. Like his hip-hop cohorts and collaborators Dr. Doom and Del tha Funky Homosapien, Kool Keith has a shared penchant for science fiction and alter-egos, sometimes rapping directly from the perspective of Dr. Octagon, an alien gynecologist. Get ready people.

If you go:  Kool Keith, Neumos, April 24 ($15). — J.S-H.

* National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY)

The National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) packs genius and stunning variety – documentary, musical, experimental, reel animation – into three days. Seattle hosts this fest each spring, bringing a new generation of filmmakers, all under age 22, from around the world. While there’s surely a film for everyone’s taste, I recommend seeing one of the shorts programs (a mixed bag called Eclectic Afternoon or Cinematic Journey, showing the work of “young Malicks”) to experience variety. Or on Friday evening, head to SIFF for Happy Hour Shorts, complete with a free tasting from the always-delicious Fremont Brewing Company.

If you go: NFFTY, SIFF Cinema Uptown, April 24-April 26. ($11) — N.C.

Cameron Carpenter

I’ve got a serious love affair with organ music and by all accounts, Cameron Carpenter is the organist who will dazzle, what with his outré sparkly outfits and his musical virtuosity and his tendency to chat up audiences before performances. He’s all about smashing stereotypes, adding his own style of flair to Bach and Demessieux. He’ll play Benaroya’s magnificent Watjen Concert Organ. And to help us appreciate Carpenter’s athletic footwork, there’ll be a screen on the side of the stage for us to watch.


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