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

Musicals about urine: Your cup of tea? (So to speak.) How about socially motivated Mexican sculpture? S'mores? Street food? P-Patch walking tours? Free local pop-rap?
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Balagan and Seattle Musical theater companies present "Urinetown"

Musicals about urine: Your cup of tea? (So to speak.) How about socially motivated Mexican sculpture? S'mores? Street food? P-Patch walking tours? Free local pop-rap?

* denotes events that are $15 or less


When Balagan Theatre heard Seattle Musical Theatre also wanted to produce a version of “Urinetown” this year, the two companies said, Hmm, Why not put on this pee-themed Tony-winning musical together? 'ꀨ

So here it is, a show about a toilet scarcity and city politics and wanting to do your personal business your way. It had to be my Number One (get it?) pick.

If you go: Urinetown, Seattle Musical Theatre at Magnuson Park, Aug. 8 to Aug. 24 ($35). — F.D.

Agua es Vida! *

Crosscut archive image.If it’s got a title en español, I’m interested. (I can’t help it; it’s Who I Am). The artist is named Gustavo Martinez and the large-scale clay and mixed media sculpture show is a solo exhibition about water: Mother Nature’s water; water that destroys; water that calms; water that keeps humans alive.

Martinez was born in Jalisco, Mexico. After getting his Master’s of Fine Arts at the UW, he worked as a ceramic water filter production consultant and helped raise funds for residents in rural Guatemalan communities so they could have access to potable water.

If you go: Agua es Vida! Gallery4Culture, Aug. 7 to Aug. 28 (Free) — F.D.

National S’mores Day

National S’mores Day is August 10th! (I know, it’s been a year already?!)  A few local confectionaries will be celebrating, including beloved molten chocolate cake wonderland, Hot Cakes, and my workplace, organic, fair trade chocolate maker, Theo Chocolate. Starting on Friday, Hot Cakes will be showcasing s’mores in everything from their s’mores milkshake to s’mores molten cake. On Sunday (the holy day itself), things get extra-special with made-to-order s’mores from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Wednesday and Thursday (8/13 and 8/14), I’ll be making s’mores from 12-6 p.m. outside of Theo Chocolate. Consider: Housemade marshmallows atop regular or gluten-free graham cracker, 5 kinds of chocolate, AND this year, the option of a peanut butter cup s’more. If that isn’t worth getting sticky for, I don’t know what is.

If you go: S’mores Day(s), Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery, Aug. 8 to 10 and Theo Chocolate, Aug. 13 and 14 (Prices vary). All ages – N.C.

Seattle Street Food Festival *

Our street food scene is burgeoning, and while the celebrations of that fact seem never-ending, who’s to argue with putting a bunch of delicious, inventive food in one place? Vietnamese, hot dogs, Japanese hot dogs, Native American, Salvadorian, Filipino, Ezell’s, Veraci pizza, Hawaiian, Cajun, Thai (at Thai-U-Up…), deep-fried PB&J – your appetite will not go a-wanting. This year, the festival also partners with the Urban Craft Uprising so you can shop for crafts before, after or betwixt all the face-stuffing.

If you go: Seattle Street Food Festival, Capitol Hill (Cal Anderson Park), Aug. 8 and 9. (FREE) All ages — N.C.

Yppah, Katie Kate *

There’s simply no better way to kick off a weekend than seeing free music outside. Unless you want to drive out to the Gorge and pay to see Arcade Fire (that might take the cake; see my recommendation below). But if you feel inclined to stay closer to Seattle, KEXP’s second free concert at Seattle Center’s Mural Amphitheater is an excellent use of time. Headlining is Yppah, one of those wonderfully modern rock acts that blends computer-programmed percussion with live keyboard, guitar and bass. It’s polished, and even a little trip-hoppy, like Portishead. Seattle pop/rap genre bender Katie Kate, an artist I never tire of seeing live, will also be performing. She brings heaps of sassy energy every time.

If you go: Concerts at the Mural: Yppah, Katie Kate, IG88, Mural Amphitheater, Aug. 8 (free). All ages – J.S.H.

Arcade Fire

Last time Arcade Fire came through, in support of their previous album “The Suburbs,” Key Arena was their venue choice and that was unfortunate. The sound quality is always iffy in there, and I skipped the show, terrified of witnessing one of the best modern rock acts (or can they even be pigeonholed in that genre anymore?) ruined by terrible acoustics and oppressive architecture. This time, they’re playing in the great wide open, with the Columbia River at their back. The groups most recent LP “Reflektor,” is their danciest yet, in large part due to James Murphy’s formidable production skills. The band has requested that the audience wear formal attire or a costume. The time is now, and it’s worth the drive. Pay for a camping spot and spend the night!

If you go: Arcade Fire, The Gorge , Aug. 8 ($63). All ages. — J.S.H.

Run the Jewels

“Cops in the ghetto, they move like the Gestapo / Drunk off their power and greed, they often hostile” bellows uncompromising Atlanta rap genius Killer Mike on “Ddfn,” a sparkling track off last year’s debut LP, Run the Jewels. The album is a musical partnership between Mike and rapper/producer/close friend EL-P, who never lets his listeners forget his Brooklyn origins. El-P’s heavy industrial beats and thermonuclear synth lines set the stage for the duo’s Beastie Boys-esque back-and-forth posse banter. (Most songs feature multiple verses from both rappers.) These tag team tracks penetrate the mind with terrifying force, confronting harsh realities, posing difficult questions and, of course, delivering some of the best-conceived one-liners in hip-hop history. To wit, “Emperors that hear the tunes admit that they are nudists.”

If you go: Run the Jewels, Showbox Market, Aug. 9 ($21.50). All ages. — J.S.H.

40 years of P-Patch: MOHAI’s Neighborhood History Tours

Every summer, MOHAI puts on a series of guided walking tours, focusing on a different aspect of Seattle history. Having attended a dozen of these, I can personally attest that the tours themselves are informative, inspiring intrigue and a desire for contextualization. The guides are incredibly engaging and the topics themselves are well chosen. Everywhere I ended up — the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the Duwamish River Superfund site, the Evergreen Washelli Cemetery, in the Arboretum under the 520 bridge — I found myself asking “How DID this get this way?” I imagine I’ll ask the same question on this walk, which celebrates 40 years of community gardening in Seattle, these hidden gems leaving me to ponder the present and future of our parks and public spaces.

If you go40 Years of P-Patch: From Uptown to Belltown, Begins at the UpGarden P-Patch at 300 Mercer St. Aug. 13 ($20) All ages — N.C.

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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.