The Weekend List: Donald Byrd does Rogers & Hammerstein. NYC men in tutus. Cirque's jaw-dropping acrobatics.

By Florangela Davila, Nicole Capozziello & Joseph Sutton-Holcomb
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Billy Bigelow (Brandon O'Neill) and Julie Jordan (Laura Griffith) in Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel at The 5th Avenue Theatre. ​Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka

By Florangela Davila, Nicole Capozziello & Joseph Sutton-Holcomb

* Denotes events that are $15 or less

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel

There are myriad reasons to go see this production. They include the tremendous voice that belongs to Laura Griffith (who plays steely millworker Julie Jordan); the antics of Eric Ankrim (a funny-but-rascally Jigger); and the way Brandon O’Neill (as Billy Bigelow) can balance being so full of himself and yet so vulnerable at the same time. His performance of “Soliloquy” is glorious.

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The Carnival Boy (Alex Crozier, left) and the company of Spectrum Dance Theatre in Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel at The 5th Avenue /

But it’s the choreography that made me think, Man, I could go see this again! Donald Byrd has remade Agnes de Mille’s classic choreography and he weaves in ballet with jazz, swing and even hip-hop, or at least that’s how I saw it.

His Spectrum dancers can be so damn joyful and so damn sexy and, in Act 2 (Madelyn Koch in “Down Here On a Beach, 15 years later”), so damn pretty. Then, of course, there’s how the story ends. I heard people weeping in the row in front of me, in the row in back of me and, I’ll admit, I choked up as well. It’s a beautiful show.

If you go: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel, The 5th Avenue Theatre, Through March 1 (Tickets start at $29) – F.D.

Lucinda Parker/Michael T. Hensley *

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Lucinda Parkerbr /

I stumbled onto this show when the weather was a dreary gray, but it’s just as suitable when the sky is oh, ribboned in pink. On the walls is a celebration of color: Lucinda Parker, one of the most formidable painters of our time, delivers a punch of graphical abstract landscapes.

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Michael T. Hensleybr /

And Michael T. Hensley, a newer artist, offers up vibrant collages whipped up out of spray paint, crayons and even dirt. Anything that was at his disposal, Hensley explains in his artist statement.

Paired together, the artwork invites us to journey from the natural to the urban worlds and it just feels so perfectly Seattle.

If you go: Lucinda Parker/Michael T. Hensley, Linda Hodges Gallery, Through Feb. 28 (Free) – F.D.

Guest Chef Night at FareStart

Local non-profit FareStart does amazing work every day in its restaurant and job placement center in South Lake Union, giving homeless and disadvantaged people the needed training and skills to enter the food industry. On Guest Chef Thursdays, this magical institution is at its peak, hosting a local chef who works with students in the kitchen leading up to the three-course dinner.

On Thursday, look forward to Chef Matt Janke (of Lecosho and Matt’s in the Market), who’s been lending his time and expertise to FareStart for over 20 years. Janke’s Thursday menu is a seasonal celebration, showcasing winter vegetables in comfort food dishes — kale pesto pasta, pork belly-wrapped pork tenderloin, roasted baby beets with house-smoked Arctic Char. Not only is this night a great cause and experience, but it’s also one of the most affordable nights out at only $29.95. Mark your calendars for Chef Rachel Yang (behind Revel and Joule) on March 19th.

If you go: FareStart Guest Chef Night with Chef Matt Janke, FareStart, 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 19( $29.95) — NC

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

Here’s a chance to see Swan Lake like you’ve probably never seen it before: performed entirely by men in pointe shoes and tutus (of course). The New York City-based TROCKS have been around for more than 40 years (the troupe, that is, not the dancers performing Friday in Tacoma; many are much, much younger). They’re funny, but to shrug them off as not possibly talented would be wrong. Très, très wrong.

If you go: Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Tacoma’s Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, Feb. 20 (Tickets start at $29) – F.D.

Lunar New Year Celebration *

Celebrate Lunar New Year, and the diverse cultures, traditions and foods from across Asia by hanging out in the Chinatown International District on Saturday afternoon. The day marks the 5th annual $2 Food Walk, with dozens of restaurants (Dim Sum King, Tamarind Tree, Szechuan Noodle Bowl, among others) offering food specials.

Get there early enough to see one of the martial arts demonstrations, or stand in awe of the Taiko drumming, and then mosey around waving your Thomas Jeffersons and trying all the dumplings. If you know what’s good for you, head to the Tako Kyuuban booth for some takoyaki (an addictive Japanese street food that involves fried octopus, pickled ginger, and Japanese mayo).

If you go: Lunar New Year Celebration, Hing Hay Park (and throughout the ID), 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 21, All ages (FREE) — NC

Giraffage at Neumos

Giraffage stands, gloriously, at the crossroads of many subgenera of electronica. He’s not quite as manic and unhinged as Flying Lotus’ jazz-influenced stuff, but he retains that sect’s chill vibes. He’s not as overwhelmingly as The Glitch Mob, but his tracks are full of addictively weird, off kilter breaks. He’s not as smooth and soulful as Odesza or Pretty lights, but he infuses his work with ample melodies, and the production quality is glossy. His sound is a far cry from tHip Hop and R&B production, but those genres peak through the cracks in his songs from time to time. This is computer music that almost all fans of synthesized sounds will appreciate. He’s also a masterful remix artist (mostly bootleg stuff). Hopefully he’ll sneak a few in during this set.

 If you go: Giraffage, Neumos Feb. 19 ($22.50). All ages — J.S.H.

Kurios | Cabinet of Curiosities

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Photo: Martin Girard / Costumes: Philippe Guillotel © 2014 Cirque du Soleil

Picture a trapeze act: All that swinging; all that flying. But in this particular act, there is no trapeze. Just a guy with what’s got to be an amazing set of forearms, catching and throwing a woman through the air the way one might toss a piece of linguine to test if it’s done.

This was my first time seeing a Cirque du Soleil show and it’s just as jaw dropping as described. There’s a huge cast here (46) that’s absolutely mesmerizing because they juggle or contort or balance or yo yo or simply, exist. You try not to stare at one of the world’s teeniest women (a wee bit over 3 feet tall; she is unveiled “living” inside the stomach of one of the other characters). This show is a kind of Steampunk meets Tim Burton — totally otherworldly and a total delight.

If you go: Kurios | Cabinet of Curiosities, Marymoor Park in Redmond, Through March 22 (Adult prices start at $50) — F.D


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