The Weekend List: The arts and culture guide to Seattle’s good life
* Denotes items that are $15 or less
“Angels in America,” Part One
It is, to quote a character from the play, “glorious.” Tony Kushner’s 1993 Pulitzer Prize-winning “Angels in America” is a two-part epic, a sweeping saga about the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, homosexuality, Reaganism, Mormonism, Valium-induced hallucinations, sassy drag queens, mortality and what it means to love and be loved. In other words, it’s way, way more than a “gay play.” Intiman Theatre, which was the first regional theater in the country to stage the production (20 years ago), is offering this revival in repertory: You’ll be able to see Parts One and Two (7-hours of theater in a single day). Back-to-back showings of both parts begin next month. But right now, you can enjoy Part One and it is good. Really good. Go lose yourself in a work of art that makes you feel very human.
If you go: “Angels in America, Part 1: Millennium Approaches, Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center, Now through Sept. 21; Part Two, “Perestroika,” begins in September ($35-$56) — F.D.
JamFest in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District neighborhood *
You can’t pass up an event that offers booze, food and an artwalk in Canton Alley. Oh, and Hollis Wong-Wear, arguably one of the coolest creatives in our fine city — and Grammy nominated to boot.
If you go: JamFest. Multiple venues throughout Seattle’s Chinatown and International District neighborhoods, including the Wing Luke Asian Museum, Aug. 21 ($8) — F.D.
Gigantic Bicycle Festival
My first thought upon hearing about KEXP’s Gigantic Bicycle Festival was this: Is it a huge festival in appreciation of people who ride around on two wheels, or a festival where everyone rides absurdly large bicycles? The answer has not been forthcoming, but it is clear that KEXP recruited some high caliber artists to play for the event; catchy-yet-cerebral experimental rock group Menomena is headlining. Telekinesis, a former garage pop act that has begun adding more keys and synth into the mix of late, will also be performing, as will local Americana masters, the Moondoggies. The festival starts Saturday and continues through Sunday. Info about the lineup and bicycle-related activities is here.
If you go: Gigantic Bicycle Festival, Centennial Fields park, Aug. 23 and 24 ($30). All ages — J.S.H.
#Ferguson Pecha Kucha *
If you’re outraged over events in Ferguson, MO (and seriously, who isn’t?), here’s a happening that’s meant to inspire, provoke and ponder what it would be like if there actually were justice in the world. No details on whom will be speaking/presenting but I imagine the format will be similar to previous Pecha Kucha Seattle events — local thinkers and makers on stage delivering short, dynamic talks. Organized by the Northwest African American Museum, Seattle People of Color Salon and Pecha Kucha Seattle.
If you go: #Ferguson Pecha Kucha, Northwest African American Museum, Aug. 26 (Free) — F.D.
Strand of Oaks
With the rise of hip-hop and more recently EDM, more doomsayers than ever are prematurely bemoaning the extinction of great rock singers. Fear not, alarmists, the genre lives! Exhibit A: Strand of Oaks, the brainchild of the wonderfully road-weary-sounding singer songwriter Timothy Showalter. Some of his tracks have almost-schmaltzy synthlines and heart-on-sleeve lyrics similar to the Americana ballads of Bruce Springsteen’s “Tunnel of Love” LP. Other tracks are much rowdier, even angry, like The Hold Steady. The sincerity and the pianos are the threadsthat hold these opposite poles together.
If you go: Strand of Oaks , Tractor Tavern, Aug. 26 ($10). 21+ — J.S. H.
How to Dress Well
When Tom Krell performed at Barboza just over a year ago — under his stage name How to Dress Well — he used two microphones. Each came equipped with different vocal effects, to transform his voice into what sounded like a choir of angels falling out of heaven. Most comparable to fellow introspective neo R&B artist The Weeknd, Krell’s falsetto instantly sinks its hooks into listeners. His production, tasteful and restrained, is always an expertly-crafted, if not consistently mind-blowing backdrop to his singing. He’s even been speeding the tempo up a little bit on his newer work, so those expecting the slow serenity of his earlier music might be in for a surprise.
If you go: How to Dress Well, Neumos, Aug. 27 ($15). 21+ — J.S.H.
Men of the 80s Singalong*
There are so many men of the 80s that could have an entire night dedicated to them (looking at you in particular, Prince) but why choose? What could be better than singing along to 30 of the best videos, with your voice blending into the impassioned layers of sound around you, eyes closed with a John Candy pizza on the way? Air conditioning, movie theater table service and a lot of fun, as always, define this quintessential Central Cinema night. Full disclosure: Get pumped up with this video but don’t count on seeing Mr. Joel’s work in the theater on Thursday night. — N.C.
If you go: Men of the 80s Singalong, Central Cinema, Thursday, 8/21 at 8 p.m, $10
SAM throws these parties throughout the year and this one, set outside at the Olympic Sculpture Park as opposed to at the downtown museum seems like the most magical of all. Inspired by the SAM exhibition Modernism in the Pacific Northwest: The Mythic and the Mystical, this night has it all, with opportunities to create (watercolors of “live models with extravagant beards”); watch (short films curated by NWFF); dance (to DJ Utopia, DJ Sharlese, and live music); and chat with others about the installations, permanent and temporary, all around you in the warm August air. — N.C.
If you go: SAM Remix, Olympic Sculpture Park, Friday, 8/22 at 8 p.m., $25 adults, $20 students, $12 SAM members.