*Denotes events that are $15 or less
Victor Janusz has been a longtime Seattle Cabaret artist. In this one-man show, he offers up story after story (er, song after song) about what his life as a piano man has been like. There was the time, when he was eight, when he was “fired” by his piano teacher. There was the time when he was sexually confused, back in the 1970s. And there was the time when he was that guy tickling the ivories inside Nordstrom, every Monday morning for nearly nine years.
Credit: Jimmy Malecki
It was during the Nordstrom gig that Janusz met Andre Previn, the famed conductor who composed the soundtrack for the movie Valley of the Dolls. “It just so happens I am a fan of his cheesy songs (from that film) and I belted out one of them at the piano with the bored Shoe Department clapping along,” Janusz says. “I found out much later that it isn’t so good to remind Previn about that film. But he was doing a little dance-shuffle as I sang and seemed genuinely delighted.”
If you go: HANDS SOLO: Pianoman, ACT Theatre’s Bullitt Cabaret, July 10-July 20 ($25). — F.D.
GreenStage’s Shakespeare in the Park *
GreenStage is presenting its 26th season of free Shakespeare in the Park, and by its own count, it’s one of the few companies in the world that has performed all of Shakespeare’s works. (A whopping 39, although some people say it’s actually 37). Point is: This group is committed to presenting the Bard’s canon in an outdoor, comfy setting and again, I ask you, can you seriously pass up a chance to expand your soul and free your feet from footwear? Even more attractive: Greenstage productions roam from park to park throughout King County (and also Snohomish). On any given night there are as many as three productions in a park that’s likely to be in or near your ‘hood.
There are two larger productions: Othello and Love’s Labour’s Lost. Mini productions (4 actors, 45 minutes) of The Comedy of Errors and All’s Well That Ends Well also continue through mid-August.
If you go: Shakespeare in the Park: Othello, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Comedy of Errors and All’s Well That Ends Well. Various city parks throughout King County (and Snohomish). July 11 through Aug. 16 (Free). — F.D.
The Internet’s Own Boy *
This documentary is about Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz, who was indicted in 2011 for systematically downloading thousands of academic journals without paying fees. The case ended with Swartz's suicide in the face of a 35-year prison sentence. His sad story sparked conversations about democracy, justice and intellectual property rights in the digital age. The Internet’s Own Boy keeps the conversation alive, framed by the life of Swartz, a pivotal (and unwitting) free speech activist.
West Seattle Summer Fest *
Seattle is a busy city for music this weekend. In addition to Chive Fest (see video on next page), West Seattle’s Summer Fest has a spiffy lineup sprawling across three days. My favorites are the harder local rock acts — The Fabulous Downey Brothers, Hobosexual and Dude York — but local Americana/country favorites The Moondoggies and The Country Lips should not to be overlooked in any way shape or form. The Sub Pop-signed, Oregon alt rock band The Helio Sequence is perhaps the biggest name on the bill. Look for them on Saturday, last act, playing at 9:30 p.m. And it's all FREE!
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