* Denotes items that are $15 or less
Seattle Rep has a bona fide hit on its hands and the has surely hugged and high-fived actor/playwright/musician Justin Huertas many a time for being so damn talented. Huertas stars in a musical he’s created about Trevor, a young man coming to terms with his own uniqueness: He not only has the green skin of a lizard (the result of being splattered with dragon’s blood as a youngster – yes, it’s fully explained in the story), but he’s about to discover he’s got some serious superpowers. That's a good thing because a female rocker (Kirsten deLohr Helland) with some gnarly-looking nails is about to upend his world.
If this sounds more like something you’d read in a comic book, well, it kind of is. Commissioned by the late Jerry Manning, (the former Seattle Rep artistic director) to keep journal entries, Huertas started writing about coming out as a gay man to his family (the character Trevor, who is the Lizard Boy, is gay). But Huertas thought the story a bit boring so he decided to rewrite it and he put in having superpowers.
The result is an oddball, charming hero who is full of insecurities that make Huertas magnetic on stage. Huertas knows how to play “soft” and “real” and the banter between him and Cary (William A Williams), a guy he meets on Grindr, is hilarious. This is Huertas’ first play and you have to wonder what lies ahead for him and this work. Note: The Rep is offering front row seats for $5 each at every performance; they’re available one hour before showtime.
If you go: Lizard Boy, Seattle Rep, Now through April 26 (Tickets start at $16) – F.D.
Delfos Danza Contemporanea
You can always count on the UW World Series to offer you something unexpectedly creative from outside our borders. And I count on it as well as On The Boards to keep me apprised of all that’s good and cutting edge in the world of dance. This week’s offering is Delfos Danza Contemporanea, which hails from Mexico. Just take a look at the trailer for the show: that choreography, those video projections, those costumes!
This is the contemporary dance troupe’s Seattle debut and it’ll be performing a piece called Cuando los Disfraces se Cuelgan (When the Disguises are Hung Up). And in a related — and free! — event, the company will be doing a pop-up performance at 11 a.m. at SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park.
If you go: Delfos Danza Contemporanea, Meany Studio Theater at UW Seattle, April 9 through 11 ($30) – F.D.
Music taste changes with the seasons. As we dust off our sunglasses and debate wearing long or short pants when we dress in the morning, different genres of music stowed away for the winter begin to regain their appeal. Classics like Bob Marley, Michael Franti and Sublime get shuffled into the playlists. Something about those sun-soaked Jamaican-born genres — rocksteady, reggae, dancehall and, of course, ska — is irresistible when temperatures sneak closer to 70.
This week The Highline hosts the 12th annual Ska Fest, and their timing couldn’t be better. The self-described “Afro-Caribbean roots rock” group Bachaco gives the classic Jamaican Ska sound a more Latin twist while maintaining the soulful, upbeat demeanor of traditional Ska. Joining them are the local Georgetown Orbits, who blend a reggae sound (heavy on the brass) with American soul music. Six other bands join them for this event, making it well worth the investment.
If you go: Ska Fest, The Highline, April 10 ($15-20).21+ — J.S.H.
Questlove DJ Set
Of all the musical celebrities Neumos has roped into playing DJ sets over the last year or two (Bonobo, James Murphy and Purity Ring, to name a few) Questlove might be the most qualified. He’s the co-founder and drummer for hip-hop/soul/funk bastion The Roots, who are also the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Questlove (sometimes spelled ?uestlove) has been playing music since childhood; no musician in any genre would question his percussion skills.
Recently, he’s gained a different kind of notoriety for his encyclopedic knowledge of music. His frequent forays into music journalism and staggeringly huge record collection prove Questlove to be a musician with respect for his predecessors and benefactors, especially the classic soul and funk artists. Because his knowledge is so vast, this DJ set’s potential is impossible to calculate. But the set is guaranteed to be chosen and presented with care and precision.
If you go: Questlove DJ set, Neumos, April 10 ($15-20). 21+. — J.S.H.
The Homestretch *
The Homestretch follows three homeless youth in Chicago as they weather the Chicago streets, find support wherever they can and show remarkable human strength (just watch the trailer). This film, one of the few of its kind, helps start a conversation about the problem of teen homelessness prevalent across American cities.
A panel afterward will feature members of Northshore and Seattle Public Schools and directors of local nonprofits ROOTS and Friends of Youth- Eastside. The discussion will address the reality of homeless youth in the Seattle area and what we can do to change it.
If you go: The Homestretch, The Frye, noon on April 11 (Free but RSVPs are encouraged) – N.C.
Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host
Ira Glass, arguably our most beloved public radio persona (just ask anyone) is in town