* Denotes items that are $15 or less
Native Art Weekend *
The Burke is hosting a weekend-long celebration of Northwest Native art, in conjunction with its “Here & Now: Native Artists Inspired” exhibit. Scholars as well as artists will be part of a free symposium Friday evening and all day Saturday that looks at 50 years of Northwest Coast art. And on Sunday, the Northwest Native Art Market offers visitors a chance to buy original works from 13 emerging and established artists themselves.
If you go: Native Art Weekend, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Symposium is March 27 and 28; Art Market is March 29 ($10) — F.D.
Black is the Color of My Voice
A one-woman show, written and performed by Apphia Campbell, explores the life of a fictional American jazz singer in the wake of her father’s death. Inspired by Nina Simone, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. The Shanghai-based theater company Play the Spotlight initially produced the show in 2013. Now it lands at Langston Hughes. A co-presentation with the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas.
If you go: Black is the Color of My Voice, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, March 27 and 28 ($20) — F.D.
Here’s a world premiere by playwright Laura Schellhardt about three women
navigating the high stakes world of Manhattan real estate. Bette (Linda Gehringer) is an Aikido-loving, 50something-ish woman about to launch a reality TV series about herself. (To be honest, she needs way better clothes.) Monica (Cheyenne Casebier) is oh, in her 40s, and she wants to be Bette’s successor. She wears slacks and flats and yes, the wardrobe telegraphs her personality. And then there’s 20something Iris (Keiko Green), who struts in on a pair of stilettos like, you know, she’s ready to kill. The three women form alliances and rip one another apart and shirk their own long-held morals in order to Play the Game of being a woman who wants to get ahead. I seriously coveted those shoes. And that set, designed by Carey Wong who must seriously never sleep because his work is everywhere, is just plain fab.
If you go: The Comparables, Seattle Rep, Through March 29 (Tickets start at $22) — F.D.
Plate of Nations
Rainier Valley is home to an array of immigrants, and naturally, an array of independently owned, unpretentious, and delicious ethnic restaurants. Each year, these restaurants (from Huarachitos Cocina Mexicana to Huong Dong Vietnamese to Momona Café) offer set menus for $15 and $25 (often with a special vegetarian option), allowing patrons a glimpse of what makes each cuisine so unique. Personally, I can’t wait to try all the Eritrean and Ethiopian food (lamb tibs, lentils, cabbage all sopped up by injera) I can get my hands on, and try the Lao dinner at Thai Savon. Bring a friend or loved one because each meal is enough to be shared between two. Also, fill up your Plate of Nations passport along your journeys, and win a prize!
If you go: Plate of Nations, Various restaurants all along Martin Luther King Jr. Way South in Seattle, March 27 through April 12, All ages ($15 and $25 menus) — N.C.
Rodeo Donut Pop-up *
The people behind Cupcake Royale introduce Rodeo Donut Pop-up – inventive flavor combos and locally sourced ingredients all on BRIOCHE dough (I didn’t even know that was an option!) – which make this confectionary treasure stand out. While there’s a lot left to be revealed, the website shows enough to get my mouth watering; pickled lemon perched atop a lemon curd-filled donut; vanilla cream covered with chocolate caviar; and “The Bonanza,” banana custard with chocolate glaze. Each comes with a free 12 oz. Stumptown coffee (on Saturday morning only). Let’s hope this is a temp-to-permanent situation.
If you go: Rodeo Donut Pop-up, Ballard Cupcake Royale, starting at 7 a.m. March 28 — N.C.
Caspar Babypants *
In an interview with KCTS, Chris Ballew, who performs as Caspar Babypants, claims that he doesn’t make music for kids, but for families. “I’m thinking about a family in a car, stuck in traffic. They’re hungry, they’re tired, they’re mad at each other … you should be able to put in a CD and have it transform the atmosphere,” he said. “I get a lot of feedback from actual families stuck in actual cars that it works.” Ballew, who enjoyed decades of acclaim as the front man of indie rock group The Presidents of the United States of America, has discovered his truest self as Caspar Babypants, and has seven albums of “family” music to prove it. In that same interview, he claims his music under the new moniker is not a far cry sonically from his work with the Presidents. The same energetic, guitar-driven, bouncy playfulness is present in both projects. In retrospect, this transition in genres makes a lot of sense.
Chastity Belt *
Chastity Belt’s music has, from the beginning, been reminiscent of director Richard Linklater’s 1991 cult classic Slacker. Both the film and the band in question involve jaded youth in their 20s, and exude a sort of chic apathy on the surface — Chastity Belt’s brand new album Time to Go Home even has a song called “Why Try.” But both Chastity Belt’s music and Slacker are beautifully composed and quite thoughtful. The all-female group’s song “Cool Slut” is an act of musical word reclamation with a heartfelt feminist message. Formed in Walla Walla, Chastity Belt is a “joke” band that’s always sarcastic, but cunningly so. With a sunny/drony garage sound that never gets boring to hear live. Joining them at the Highline is pop rock hook machine Dude York and the rootsy/bluesy rock group Cool Ghouls, who are in from San Francisco for the night.
If you go: Chastity Belt, The Highline, March 28 ($8) 21+ — J.S.H.
Seattleite Shaprece, like an R&B version of Purity Ring, uses her refined voice (and lots of vocal effects) to build soulful sonic sculptures humming with electronica’s influence. Her songs are rife with vocal loops, swelling strings and heart-pounding programmed basslines. Shaprece’s live shows feature electronic beat programming on sample pads alongside various live strings like cello and harp. This setup, set against Shaprece’s spine-tingling singing, is a captivating mixture of a modern DJ/rapper two-person act with a more traditional lead singer and backing band combination. Opening for her is another local, the wonderfully contemplative Bryan John Appleby. It will just be him and an acoustic guitar for this performance, but his timelessly intimate folk ballads sound amazing when performed in such a minimalist fashion.
An Evening with Ann Hamilton *
Ann Hamilton’s exhibit the common S E N S E has filled UW’s Henry Art Gallery for the last six months. For the exhibit (continuing through April 26), Hamilton took over the entire museum, unblocking the skylights and covering the walls in pictures, printed on newsprint, of dead animals (many from the Burke Museum’s collection). As the exhibit has gone on, exhibit-goers have taken home copies of the prints themselves, and as Hamilton hoped, it’s taken on new meaning as layers of images have been torn off the walls. In conjunction with the exhibit, celebrated for the inventiveness and intimacy that’s synonymous with
Hamilton’s name, she’ll be speaking at Town Hall as a part of Seattle Arts & Lectures series. People have said a lot about Hamilton, but one of my favorite snippets is from radio journalist Krista Tippett, who said, “She uses her hands to create installations that are both visually astounding and surprisingly inmate, and meet a longing many of us share, as [Hamilton] puts it, to be alone together."
If you go: An Evening with Ann Hamilton, Town Hall, 7:30 p.m. on March 30 ($15) — N.C.
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