Welcome to $15 or Less, our eclectic, weekly events calendar for cash-strapped devotees of arts and culture.
Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: Tomi Ungerer Story
Harvard Exit, Thurs. 5/30 at 9:30 p.m., $12
SIFF continues, and this week I’ll focus on a few of the AWESOME (and, all right, rather dark) documentaries that are being featured this year. This one tells the story of German illustrator Tomi Ungerer, best known for his children’s books and political cartoons. In both, Ungerer pushes the boundaries of eccentric into provocative as he wrestles with his disturbed childhood in Nazi-occupied France. Far Out's director will be at this showing!
Re-Bar, Fri. 5/31 at 8 p.m., $12 advance/$15 day-of
Comedian Jen Kirkman (who, among other things, you may remember from "Drunk History") will be in town for a show at Re-Bar. Afterward, she’ll sign copies of her first book, "I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales from a Happy Life Without Kids," which is a candid and hilarious exploration of exactly that.
Pacific Place Sat. 6/1 at 11 a.m.
This documentary chronicles the history and current reality of orca whales taken into captivity by companies like SeaWorld. Not unlike the 2009 dolphin-centered documentary "The Cove," "Blackfish" explores the intelligence and social structures of these sea mammals, and exposes their tragic mistreatment for our entertainment.
Twenty Feet from Stardom
Egyptian Theatre, Sat. 6/1 at 5:30 p.m. and Sun. 6/2 at 4 p.m., $12
What's it like to be professional backup singer? "Twenty Feet From Stardom" explores this odd intersection of fame, talent and insignificance by focusing on the talented women who have occupied this role. Two singers will be performing at Saturday's screening.
Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center, Sun. 6/2 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., $10 general
Seattle native, all-around talented performer and winner of the most recent season of "RuPaul’s Drag Race!," Jinkx Monsoon will perform as part of her creative duo, The Vaudevillians. This production, for fans of “olde timey music, witty banter, and convoluted backstories,” is a special send-off show for the Vaudevillians' upcoming New York tour. I can’t think of a better way to show Jinkx the love.
Town Hall, Mon. 5/30 at 6:30 p.m., $5
Dick Falkenbury, the iconoclast cabbie who first proposed the Monorail Project (his dream of a city-wide monorail system), talks about his new book "Rise Above it All" (See Crosscut's review here). The author chronicles his years of civic involvement and the many ups and downs of the ill-fated monorail project, which was voted on five times, beginning in 1997. Though his monorail dream died, the issues Falkenbury raised are still relevant: the role and potential of public transportation, and how to enact change on a local level.
The Sunset, Mon. 6/3 at 8 p.m., $10
Folk artist Sam Amidon is here in support of his latest record ("Bright Sunny South") which, along with his usual inventive Americana tunes, includes covers from unexpected musicians (such as Mariah Carey). What I’ve always liked about Amidon is his effortless intensity; whether he’s singing an understated ballad or belting out guttural Appalachian tunes, he skillfully borrows from the centuries of music that have come before him to create a sound that is both earnest and raw.
Kedai Makan (1510 East Olive Way), Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to midnight
Chef of the Unicorn, Josh Nebe, has a new pop-up restaurant called Dackel (meaning “dachshund!”). I’ve only ever indulged in a plate of the Unicorn's adventurous fries, but the menu for Dackel — all nouveau interpretations of German cuisine — is tantalizing. Plus, after getting your order, you can bring your food (like pickled smelt with roasted baby beets and a soft-boiled egg, or pork belly and dumplings) right next door to the ever-adorable bar Montana.
What are you doing this weekend? Let us know in the comments area below. And if you hear of any interesting – under $15 - events in or around our grand city, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.