The Weekend List: Monty Python, Spanish surrealism at SAM & Kate Wallich's fancy footwork

The arts and culture guide to Seattle's good life.
Crosscut archive image.

Laura Griffith, center, stars as the Lady of the Lake in the all-local cast of Monty Python's Spamalot at The 5th Avenue Theatre.

The arts and culture guide to Seattle's good life.

Editor's Note: Welcome to Crosscut's new weekend guide to Seattle's arts and culture good life, made possible by the generous support of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. Each week, Crosscut's new (!) Contributing Arts Editor, Florangela Davila, will be compiling our picks for the city's most provocative, weirdest, funniest, and creative performances, exhibits, happenings and screenings. Because, in a city like Seattle, there's no excuse for a boring weekend.

Got suggestions for next weekend? Send 'em our way! Email ideas to

Monty Python’s Spamalot

Only a toad could walk out of The 5th Avenue without a grin and a skip in their step, whistling that most grabbiest of songs, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” The current production is a howl and it features an all-local cast and crew (68 stagehands, sound engineers, etc. if you must know). 

It’s a stew of satire and political incorrectness and Python, Vegas, Broadway and Village People fans will gobble it down. Also: Laura Griffiths, with that voice! The 12th Man humbly curtsies to you.

If you go: Monty Python's Spamalot, The 5th Avenue, Through March 2, ($40.50-$145.50).

Miró: The Experience of Seeing

At some point, if it hasn’t hit you already, you will realize it’s actually winter and you will mutter and moan. Which is precisely when it’s time to rush out to SAM to wade through the whimsical abstract genius of Miró. This is a first-of-its-kind show, a spotlight on 50 of the artist’s late works, both paintings and sculptures.

Crosscut archive image.

Head, Bird by Joan Miro, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. Credit: Successio MIro/Artists Right Society, New York/ADAGP, Paris 2014.

So you’ve got puddles of squiggly shapes on canvas along with bronze castings of figures that have shovel-shaped heads and forks for limbs. The works come from Madrid’s Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. Gusto. That’s how Miro created work and that’s the oomph of glee you’ll experience seeing this show. Your imagination will thank you.

If you go: Miró: The Experience of Seeing, Seattle Art Museum, Through May 26, ($12.50-$19.50).

Made in Seattle: Kate Wallich +The YC With Andrew Bartee

Last year, it was Ezra Dickinson who created (rightly so) major buzz in the local dance scene. This year it’s Wallich, who’s brought on Bartee to help create a full-length piece titled “Super Eagle,” with an original Lena Simon score and Pierre Davis/NoSesso costumes. The press release asserts the work will include “breath-taking performances,” which is often such an over-statement but, in this case, it’s likely not.

I still remember seeing Wallich’s work for the first time as part of the Seattle International Dance Festival back in 2011. It was physical and fresh and it made me an instant Wallich fan. And Bartee: he dances with Pacific Northwest Ballet and he’s always a stand-out in anything Whim W’him. Call them emerging or The Next Big Thing, just don’t come complaining that you missed seeing them. The run is nearly sold out.

If you go: Made in Seattle: Kate Wallich + The YC With Andrew Bartee, Velocity Dance Center, Through Feb. 16, ($15-$25).

transit in half-light: Lead Pencil Studio encounters the Wing’s collection

Crosscut archive image.Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo are the creative forces behind Seattle-based Lead Pencil Studio, which pushes the boundaries of art and architecture. Their latest installation takes over 3 spaces inside the Wing Luke. Their muse: a visit to the museum’s basement where they encountered all kinds of artificats, old furniture and trunks belonging to longtime community members and the generations that came before them.

Included in the installation are ceramic container ships, at right, which signal the migration of goods as well as the migration of people. Photo: Courtesy of Kohler Co.

“It gave us a sense of things that get left behind. About leaving and hurrying and relocating. And that sense of sadness and excitement that comes when you’re moving to a new place but you have to leave a lot of things,” Han says.

If you go: transit in half-light: Lead Pencil Studio encounters the Wing's collection, Wing Luke Asian Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, Feb. 14-July 20, ($8.95-$12.95).

Genre Bender

A showcase of original work created by five pairs of artists from two different genres. (And look: Ezra Dickinson – see above – is back). This time, Dickinson is working with writer and filmmaker Shaun Scott. There’s also the coupling of singer Kaylee Cole with dancer Jessica Jobaris. And writer/actor Marya Sea Kaminski with fashion and costume designer Mark Mitchell. In a nutshell: five shots of innovative, out-of-the-box creativity. There’s even an opportunity for the audience to cross-pollinate with the artists at an after-party Saturday night.

If you go: Genre Bender, Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center, Feb.15 + Feb. 16, ($20-$30).

This series made possible through the generous support of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.


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