Better than a hangover: Venus in Fur, Dude York's pop rock, horse ballet & all-you-can-eat cheese counter

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

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Oasis, a sequence from Cavalia's "Odysseo." Credit: Pascal Ratthé

Editor's Note: An asterisk * indicates $15 or Less.

Venus in Fur
It’s a psychosexual play with a two-person cast — and an outfit that will whip you into a state of respect for costume designer Harmony Arnold. She’s the one who came up with the lingerie that actor Gillian Williams wear as she squats, twists and lies on her back with outstretched legs in six-inch, thigh high boots. “Would it be strappy?" says Arnold. "Would it be leather? I chose something delicate with great lines that could do things. She (Williams) basically does the Olympics on stage.” And when you’re doing the Olympics, panty lines matter. A lot. Rather than calling up Frederick’s of Hollywood, Arnold turned to the artists in the Seattle Rep costume shop. The outfit is essentially a bra, garter belt and panty all pulled together into a body suit with a layer of nude netting underneath. Only the most confident of actresses can wear it, which is, hands down, Williams. One other tidbit: that suitcase her Vanda character walks in with for the audition? Filson bag. — F.D.

If you go: Venus in Fur, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Through March 9 ($12-$63).


*Dirty Dancing and Harold and Maude

Crosscut archive image.The final film pairing on Central Cinema’s out-of-this-world February calendar is … Dirty Dancing and Harold and Maude! Two unlikely couples (you decide which is which), one overcoming a 50-plus year age gap and the other battling a socioeconomic chasm, a fear of public dancing and Jerry Orbach's unyielding gaze. Each film proves love, however temporal, is possible. All this, set to two epic soundtracks, one including Patrick Swayze (Actor! Dancer! Singer?!) crooning “She’s Like the Wind.” — N.C.

If you go: Dirty Dancing and Harold and Maude, Central Cinema, Feb. 21-26 ($6).


Dude York
Local pop rock act Dude York have made a name for themselves over the last few years by relentlessly playing shows and combining foolproof hooks with unexpectedly poignant lyrics. This show at DIY hotspot Cairo on Capitol Hill celebrates the release of their new record, “Dehumanize.” Marriage + Cancer and Darto open. Space is limited in this tiny venue so show up early! — J.S.H.

If you go: Dude York, Cairo, Feb. 21 ($5). All ages.


The cast is fresh from a two-week vacation in Auburn where they were lounging around in some fields. The cast includes 60-plus horses (and 50 humans). But, no offense to the humans, the horses are the draw and their performance will stay with you — for years. I don’t know an Arabian from a Lusitano; I’m not a horse person. But it’s astonishing how these steeds kneel and run this way or that way, without any reins. Visual and verbal cues direct the equine performers in what has been aptly billed as “equestrian ballet.” This is a new show by Canada’s Cavalia, whose artistic director helped lead Cirque du Soleil. And it’s a $35 million production. Visual effects, multimedia, aerialists. But those horses, if they perform the way they did two years ago when they last toured here, will blow you away. — F.D.

If you go: Odysseo, Marymoor Park in Redmond, Through March 9 ($34.50-$149.50).


*All-You-Can-Eat Cheese Counter
I once said that “free cookie” was the most beautiful phrase in the English language but that was before I knew about the All-You-Can-Eat Cheese Counter. It’s light years away from any other sort of buffet and you can try it with $6 and $8 glasses of wine from Piccola Cellars. — N.C.

If you go: All-You-Can-Eat-Cheese Counter, ART Restaurant, Daily ($7 from 4:30-9 p.m. $14 from 9-11 p.m.).

Sun Kil Moon

This won’t be everybody’s first choice for a Friday night on the town, but singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek, who often performs under the moniker Sun Kil Moon, is one of the most celebrated contemporary lyricists. And, for good reason. Skeptics complain that Sun Kil Moon is too drowsy and muted, but close attention reveals a stellar, poignant songwriting underneath those acoustic guitar melodies. Kozelek earlier this month released his sixth record as Sun Kil Moon, so expect the set to draw heavily from this excellent collection of macabre, vaguely Modest-Mouse-esque tracks. — J.S.H.

If you go: Sun Kil Moon, The Neptune, Feb. 21 ($18.50). All ages.


Cheatahs are a band on the cusp of blowing up; that is, if there is a modicum of fairness in the world. The English natives craft the best kind of alt rock, walking that razor’s edge between noise and melody. Many of the tracks on their self-titled debut LP echo My Bloody Valentine, but with a heavier pop influence and more intelligible lyrics. The album seethes with the kind of infectious energy that is almost guaranteed to translate well to a live show. Slow Bird and Dude York (see above) open. Which means if you can’t make Dude York’s record release show earlier in the week, this concert is a must. — J.S.H.

If you go: Cheatahs, The Tractor Tavern, Feb. 23, ($10). 21+.


Shane Wahlund and Michael Anderson bring another edition of Collide-O-Scope, a collection of oddities and found videos, to the screen at Re-Bar. Curated and set around a theme, this is always an uproarious night, complete with free popcorn and Red Vines. Also, Wahlund and Anderson are behind many of Dina Martina's brilliant videos (which will be showcased at her spring show!). — N.C.

If you go: Collide-O-Scope, Re-Bar, Feb. 24 ($7).


*BenDeLaCreme hosts the premier of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6
RuPaul’s Drag Race, the only reality TV competition worth watching, is back, and once again it features a Seattle queen! BenDeLaCreme will host these weekly showings at the Century Ballroom as the season heats up — and (hopefully) LaCreme will strut to victory a la last year’s winner Jinkx Monsoon. Arrive early to drink and eat small plates from the Tin Table; then bask in the glory that is TV with a lot of heart and talent. — N.C.

If you go: BenDeLaCreme hosts the premier of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6, Century Ballroom, Feb. 24 (free).


*Jennifer Ouellette: Mapping the Journey of Self-Identity
Science writer Jennifer Ouellette will be reading from her new book Me, Myself, and Why: Searching for the Science of Self. An English major-turned writer, she's been writing about science for decades, unafraid to tackle physics and calculus and talented enough to make them accessible. Her latest book is a journey of self-discovery that weaves nature and nurture with brain mapping, personality tests and some genome sequencing. Here's hoping she touches on astrology and the Enneagram personality types. — N.C.

If you go: Jennifer Ouellette: Mapping the Journey of Self-Identity, Town Hall, Feb. 25 ($5).



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About the Authors & Contributors

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Joseph Sutton-Holcomb

Joseph is a full-time landscaper, part-time journalist and full time culture junkie discovering the hidden joys of life as a UW graduate in Seattle. When not taking care of plants or writing, he spends his time in the company of good friends enjoying film, music and the great outdoors.