The Weekend List: The arts and culture guide to Seattle's good life

Seattle hip-hop royalty, Moisture Festival shenanigans, spelling bees and suits.
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Ivanno Jeremiah and Nonhlanhla Kheswa in Peter Brook’s The Suit, now playing at Seattle Rep.

Seattle hip-hop royalty, Moisture Festival shenanigans, spelling bees and suits.

* Denotes events that are $15 or less.

The Suit

This one-act play is sparsely staged, but the story is profound: In apartheid-era South Africa, a man finds a suit belonging to his wife’s lover. What unravels is a story about adultery, oppression and revenge; Ben Brantley, in his review for The New York Times last year, called it both “magic” and something that brought him close to tears. Music is a key player in the production, with three on-stage musicians playing everything from Schubert to Mahler to Miriam "Mama Africa" Makeba. Directed by living legend Peter Brook. – F.D.

If you go:  The Suit, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Now through April 6, ($15-$47). 

The Moisture Festival

The world’s largest comedy/variety festival runs for 4 weeks and it’s the place to sit slack-jawed and marvel at the wonder of aerialists and unicyclists and folks who build sandwiches with their feet. Yes, their feet! The last time Rob Williams performed, he made a bologna-and-cheese sandwich – with mustard and mayo – with his toes. There is nothing milquetoast about a festival featuring groups called The Booby Trap Players or Della Moustachella. Oh, I almost forgot: Swami YoMahmi! If you’re having fun just reading these names, imagine what it’s like to see these folks live? – F.D.

If you go: The Moisture Festival, 55 shows at four different venues (Halles Palladium, Broadway Performance Hall, Teatro Zinzanni and West of Lenin), Now through April 13. ($10-$25).

*Fly Moon Royalty (as part of the Fisherman’s Village Music Festival Announcement Party concert)

They’re not the headliners, but one of the openers, Fly Moon Royalty (spectacularly-named), is one of the freshest local R&B groups. Adra Boo brings sassy, soulful singing. DJ Action Jackson brings razor-sharp hip-hop beats and raps. Together, the duo delivers a high-energy medley of these genres, sometimes with the help of backup dancers. Chances are they’ll play some tracks from their brand new EP, “Unfinished Business.” – J.S-H.

If you go:  Fisherman’s Village Music Festival Announcement Party, featuring The Grizzled Mighty + Fly Moon Royalty and others.  Barboza, March 20 ($10). 21+.

*Katie Kate

Katie Kate represents the best of Seattle rap and despite the fact that The Stranger has sung her praises for some time now, I still don’t think she gets the credit she deserves. Female rappers are a rarity and rarer still are those who produce and sing the hooks on their own tracks. She’s sassy, she’s fly, she has a hipster diss track and her live show features unreal rearrangements of her beats. What more could you ask for? – J.S-H.

If you go:  Katie Kate, Chop Suey, March 20 ($7). 21+.

Plate of Nations

Never heard of Plate of Nations before? Think Dine Around Seattle or Seattle Restaurant Week but with one major geographical difference: only the city’s Martin Luther King Jr. Way is spotlighted, with its Rainier Valley restaurants offering cuisine from all corners of the world. Take this opportunity to head south to Seattle’s most diverse zip code and try the dry cooked lamb at Café Ibex or the green chile verde tamales at Huarachito’s. Menus are fixed at $15 and $25 and they’re designed for two. -N.C.

If you go: Plate of Nations, 11 restaurants along MLK Jr. Way,  March 21- April 9, ($15 or $25).

*King-Snohomish County Regional Spelling Bee

A spelling bee is the perfect storm of middle school awkwardness, nervous energy and freaky genius. All of which will get adults to perch perfectly on the edge of their seats. This annual event goes on for three hours at Town Hall, after which one lucky pre-teen will head to the Nationals in DC. Expect an entertaining time, but also church-like hush and reverence. Anyone who’s been in a spelling bee still remembers the word that took them down, and knows that these affairs are no laughing matter.-N.C.

If you go: King-Snohomish County Regional Spelling Bee, Town Hall, March 23, (Free), All ages.

National Theatre Live: War Horse

SIFF brings us this unparalleled theatre company from halfway around the world, streaming its live production of the acclaimed play War Horse. In case you missed seeing the actual theatrical production when it was in Seattle last year, here’s your chance to experience the spectacle close-up (way better that seats in the balcony Section D.) What to look forward to: a team of life-sized horse puppets created by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Studios and brought to life with surreal grace each night. – N.C.

If you go: National Theatre Live: War Horse,  SIFF Cinema Uptown, March 24 – March 30, ($20).

*A Poet, a Playwright, a Novelist and a Drag Queen

The APRIL (Authors, Publishers, and Readers of Independent Literature) Festival launches on the 24th  and it concludes with a big dance party/reading at Vermillion on the 29th. In the interim, there will be many events for the literati, including an over-the-top night of competitive storytelling called A Poet, a Playwright, a Novelist, and a Drag Queen. Set in the Sorrento Hotel’s regal Fireside Room, you will feel like you have entered a room in the board game “Clue” as you watch four artists — poet Sarah Galvin, playwright Spike Friedman, novelist Ryan Boudinot and drag performer Mark "Mom" Finley — push beyond genre and personal comfort as they tell tales based around a common theme. -N.C.

If you go: A Poet, a Playwright, a Novelist, and a Drag Queen, Sorrento Hotel, March 25, ($10- $13).

St. Vincent

There’s a reason the man/the weirdo/the legend David Byrne chose Annie Clark, a.k.a. St. Vincent as a collaborator. She’s a post-modern poetess who can shred, and if her lyrics resonate with you, her live performance is almost religious. Her new self-titled LP, her fourth solo effort, comes just after her collaborative album with Byrne, and his influence can be heard in her new material (and seen in her kooky music videos). There are more horns, and generally a funkier overtone than in her earlier work.  It’s a gradual, calculated sonic shift; St. Vincent is a master who is gradually freshening up her sound. The only tickets left are balcony seats, but this show is worth any you can get. – J.S-H.

If you go:  St. Vincent, The Moore Theater, March 26 ($25). All ages.


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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.