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

The ensemble of Book-It's "Truth Like the Sun" Credit: Photo: Chris Bennion

* Denotes events that are $15 or less

Truth Like the Sun

A female Seattle P-I reporter, a bon vivant, corruption and the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. All of these subjects fuel the narrative of Jim Lynch’s 2012 critically-acclaimed novel, Truth Like the Sun. And now it’s re-imagined for the stage at the theater that knows how to translate the written word into a live production: Book-It. The story alternates from the ‘60s to 2001 so expect, perhaps, a nifty Elvis Presley-meets-Visqueen soundtrack? 

Kevin McKeon in Book-It's "Truth Like the Sun" Photo: Chris Bennion

If you go: Truth Like the Sun, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Now through May 18. ($23-$42). — F.D.

Strange Coupling 2014 *

It’s a one-night only showcase of work created by working artists who’ve collaborated with UW students — and how could it not be cool? Among the creatives: Joe Rudko, Casey Curran and Max Kraushaar and Graham Downing. Sharon Arnold (LxWxH) did the matchmaking this year so I repeat: cool.

If you go: Strange Coupling 2014, Fred’s Wildlife Refuge, May 8. ($3). — F.D.

Anthony Doerr *

Since his debut short story collection The Shell Collector wowed people in 2002, Doerr has written non-fiction, novels, and (what I love most) a great many short stories. What I like about Doerr is that as he takes his readers all over the world, he infuses each of his stories with a hint of the fantastical and a nerdy level of scientific expertise on all sorts of subjects (a shell collector, a meteorologist, a hunter). He’ll be here to read from his new novel All the Light We Cannot See but treat yourself to one of his short stories ahead of time.

If you go: Anthony Doerr, Elliott Bay Book Company, May 8 (Free) — N.C.

Bumbershoot 2014 Lineup Announcement

After three harrowing years of stuffy mid-day Key Arena shows, Bumbershoot is moving its mainstage acts back to Memorial Stadium for 2014. In the words of Wayne Campbell, “Schwing!”

Since the heavy-hitting performers are free to play in the glorious open air once again, there’s no better time to celebrate the announcement of this year's lineup, and see a great local act while you’re at it. Pickwick is an extra-euphonious blend of a band. The sizable six-piece outfit often sings and plays in a soul music style, but slides into folk-rock musically and vocally.

If you go:  Bumbershoot 2014 Lineup Announcement ft. Pickwick, Neumos, May 8 ($15). 21+. — J.S.H.

Improvised Music Project (IMP): IMPfest VI *

This mini music festival, put on by the UW School of Jazz, spans the weekend with shows Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Jones Playhouse on the Seattle campus. For those who don’t follow the school, they have a lot of fun with avant-garde fusion techniques. I went to an IMP show where four of the five musicians played music with iPads. Tickets can be found here and for UW students, it’s free. Each day features different ensembles of students and instructors. Keep an eye out for the uncanny trumpet player and teacher Cuong Vu.

If you go: Improvised Music Project, UW’s Jones Playhouse, May 9-11 ($10). — J.S.H.

Seattle’s Architectural History with Jeffrey Karl Ochsner *

If you want to better understand the buildings you walk by everyday, go to this lecture. In the second of a two-part series on Seattle’s architectural history, University of Washington professor Jeffrey Karl Ochsner will give you the history of Seattle architecture (1935 to present), from its artistry to its earthquake preparedness to how design relates to the current landscape.  

If you go: Seattle’s Architectural History with Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, Seattle Central Library, May 10 (Free) — N.C.

All-You-Can-Eat Pierogi Festival

If you really wanted to, you could hunt down the farmer’s cheese, make the dough, find an appropriately-sized glass in lieu of the pierogi cutter, cover everything you own in flour, and then partake in your own all-you-can-eat pierogi session. I believe, however, that making dumplings is best left to others, and the charm of this festival is getting to support the Polish Cultural Center while eating their creations: Meat! Potato and cheese! Blueberry! You’ll agree, from the second you smell each little perfect crispy pouch sautéed in butter and onion. Also on hand: Polish folk dancing!

If you go: All-You-Can-Eat Pierogi Festival, Polish Cultural Center, May 10,($16 for adults, $8 for kids) — N.C.

A Savage Chat with Tony Kushner *

Consider all the themes the sweeping two-part epic Angels in America tackles: AIDS, homosexuality, Mormonism, Republican politics, race, death and heaven. It won the 1993 Pulitizer Prize. It’s been adapted into both an HBO mini-series and an opera. It was the production that drew me to the Intiman for the first time, back in 1994. And it’s what I’m most anticipating seeing this summer, back again in the hands of a (reincarnated) Intiman Theatre. Festival passes go on sale May 9.

Intiman will launch an entire summer series of Angels-related projects. The first happens Saturday: a conversation with the award-winning playwright, Tony Kushner. The Stranger’s Dan Savage will be asking the questions. Expect a candid conversation.

If you go: A Savage Chat with Tony Kushner, Town Hall Seattle,  May 10. ($10). — F.D.

Old 97’s

I heard the new song “Intervention” by Old 97’s on KEXP the other day, and it floored me. It's the perfect high-octane freeway music, and the depth of the band’s songwriting continues to impress as it sails through its 21st anniversary. That particular track made such an impression because it characterizes most of the group’s best qualities. "Intervention" was, as the name alludes, a song about friends trying to stop drugs from ruining the life of a semi-anonymous Richard. That cut, like much of the band’s canon, is raw, intelligently nihilistic and a clever blend of rawboned country and garage rock. Go for the lyrics and the loud guitars.

If you go: Old 97’sShowbox Market, May 12 ($25). – J.S.H.

Crosscut's arts coverage is made possible through the generous support of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.  

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