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

Comedian Tig Notaro hits the Neptune, Lemolo makes acoustical magic at St. Marks, UW dives into musical theater, Spectrum Dance Theatre gets intimate in Madrona and more.
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Annie Morrow in ‘Sweet Charity’ at the UW

Comedian Tig Notaro hits the Neptune, Lemolo makes acoustical magic at St. Marks, UW dives into musical theater, Spectrum Dance Theatre gets intimate in Madrona and more.

* Denotes events that are $15 or less

Tig Notaro

Editor's note: This show has been cancelled due to medical issues. For more information, go here. And fear not: It sounds like Tig is okay -- her show is already rescheduled for January. 

I first heard comedian Tig Notaro when she did a story about Taylor Dayne on This American Life a few years ago. Like others, I was hooked by her deadpan style, great storytelling ability and impeccable pacing. Unlike a lot of comics, she’s not just packing in cheap, predictable jokes — she’s taking her time and it’s totally worth it.

In the last few years, she’s hosted and toured with her podcast Professor Blastoff, and released the acclaimed album Live, all while recovering from cancer. Watch and listen to every Tig Notaro bit you can get your hands on, and then go appreciate her on her tour “Boyish Girl Interrupted” on Thursday. To tide you over, here’s a Tig Notaro audio clip that I send to friends all the time.

If you go: Tig Notaro, The Neptune, Nov. 13, ($25) — N.C.

Spectrum Dance Theater’s Studio Series: Transfigured Night

Here’s a win-win if you’re a dance fan: Spectrum Dance Theater performing in its tiny Madrona studios, which means you can see the intensity and the physicality super up-close. I love this space and I love this group and I’m a fan of a mixed rep. The program is billed as an exploration of personal and political wars. It features three new works by artistic director Donald Byrd as well as a revival of his 2006 “Interrupted Narratives/WAR (STUDY #1)." And oh, included in the performance's soundtrack: music by DJ Spooky.

If you go: Studio Series: Transfigured Night, Madrona Performance Space at Spectrum Dance Theater, Nov. 14 to 16, ($25) — F.D.

The Habit 14

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You try not paying attention to press photos of six guys in flight goggles and leather jackets (OK, one of them is in a military jacket and the other looks like he’s prepped to go sky diving). And then you find a recent clip from a TV show showing these same guys singing about teeny studio apartments in Seattle to the tune of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and you say to yourself: Sold! (At right: The cast and director of The Habit 14. Photo: John Cornicello)

The Habit 14 is a sketch comedy group that’s been around since 1996 (they met at the UW) and I’m told they are super popular and they sell out. I’ve yet to see them (gasp!), but you’re better than me, so you probably have and I bow to you, Oh smart one.

If you go: The Habit 14, The Bathhouse Theater on Greenlake, Nov. 14 through Nov. 30. ($19) — F.D.

Sweet Charity

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Among myriad announcements that come out of the UW, this one caught my attention when it was first reported: The university has started a new Musical Theater Program, a collaboration between the College of Arts & Sciences, the dance program and the music and drama schools. With so much attention on STEM and/or sports, it’s nice to see higher ed giving a nod to the value of the arts.

Sweet Charity, Neil Simon’s tale about the adventures of dancer Charity Hope Valentine, is the program’s inaugural production. Directed by Wilson Mendieta. (At right: Annie Morro, Siena Dumas Ang, Hannah Leyde, and Shandie Hensley in 'Sweet Charity'. Photo: Mike Hipple.)

If you go: Sweet Charity, Meany Studio Theater at the UW, Nov. 14 through Nov. 23, ($10 to $25). — F.D.

Lemolo

Occasionally, St Mark’s Cathedral (affectionately called “God’s washing machine” by some Seattleites because it resembles a giant white cube when you drive past it on I-5) hosts musical artists who draw a mellow crowd more likely to appreciate the incredible acoustics the church has to offer.

This week, swoon-worthy local dream pop sorceresses Lemolo will play the cathedral, and they’ve added a live string bassist for the event. The audience has to sit and be relatively silent for the duration of the show, but the silver lining is that you can bring your own blankets and pillows and kick back while listening.

If you go: Lemolo, St. Mark’s Cathedral, Nov. 14. ($25). 21+ — J.S.H.

2014 Seattle Shorts Film Festival *

This film festival, now in its fourth year, strives to bring the best short films to Seattle audiences. The day is packed with exciting programming, with many directors in attendance, and marks the Seattle premiere for a lot of shorts from across the country and a handful from abroad. Each block contains a handful of short films, spanning genre, origin and style; go to just one program or stay the whole day. I recommend the first block, which contains a dash of horror and animation and a good dose of comedy, and coupling it with brunch in Queen Anne.

If you go: Seattle Shorts Film Festival, SIFF Film Festival, Nov. 15 ($10/program or $24/day pass) — N.C.

Short Run Comix and Arts Festival *

Whether you attend or not, you’ve doubtlessly seen or heard the buzz around the annual Emerald City Comic-con. The Short Run Comics festival doesn’t have the same size or media attention, but that’s the way they like it; it’s a feel-good celebration of indie comix, in their many forms, and the innovative, high-quality work being published independently and by small presses today. Whether you’re a lifelong comic book reader, or a snooty literature reader like me, you’ll be impressed, inspired and find something you absolutely love. The work of these talented artists from near and far is priced reasonably and often in short zine or chapbook form, so you can go totally wild.

If you go: Short Run Comix Festival, Washington Hall, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 15, (Free) — N.C.

The Coup *

The Coup have played in Seattle fairly recently (they came to the Vera Project a few months back), but Nectar Lounge is a venue uniquely suited to their sound. This band makes a very special kind of ruckus — specifically, the funky kind. It’s most easily comparable to more party-ready tracks from Parliament Funkadelic, with a hefty dose of Prince’s rock/funk fusion in the mix as well. The key difference is that in lieu of a more soulful vocalist, front man Boots Riley rides the funk with his socially conscious, satirical raps.

That’s not to say The Coup isn’t soulful; glitzy background vocals often soften the edges of their tracks. The Nectar lounge, with its beefy sound system, spacious interior and often-lively crowds, is a perfect place for this group to leave its imprimatur.

If you go: The Coup, Nectar Lounge, Nov. 15. ($15). 21+ — J.S.H.

Peter Hook and The Light

The untimely death of Joy Division’s magnetic singer, Ian Curtis, at age 23 is one of the greatest tragedies to ever strike the music industry. His heartfelt songwriting and despairing baritone changed the face of post Punk — and rock music in general — forever. Amazingly, after Curtis’ death, the remaining band members reassembled as New Order, delving deeper into the realm of the synthesizer. In the end, this group became as influential in electronic as Joy Division was in rock.

This week, stunning bassist Peter Hook, a founding and integral member of both groups, will open with a set of Joy Division material before performing New Order albums “Low Life” and “Brotherhood” in their entirety.

If you go: Peter Hook and The Light, Neumos, Nov. 18. ($25). 21 + — J.S.H.

  

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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.