Recommended Arts Picks

SATURDAY

OPERA

ARIADNE AUF NAXOS

Composer Richard Strauss has been criticized for sticking to his late-romantic guns long after the style had stopped being cutting-edge, but a case can be made that he was really the first postmodernist. Exhibit A: his 1914 genre-bending comedy Ariadne auf Naxos. In it, an ardent, hapless young composer is trying to stage his new opera seria (the "serious" style of Italian opera) but a commedia-dell'arte troupe keeps getting in his way. The solution? Perform both pieces simultaneously. This production's set in contemporary Seattle, and I can't wait to see Seattle Opera satirize its own audience. Soprano Jane Giering-De Haan (shown above in rehearsal) will sing the role of comedienne Zerbinetta, whose aria "Grossmachtige Prinzessin" is one of the most giddily vertiginous coloratura showpieces in all of opera. Opens 7:30 p.m. Sat., Feb. 28. $37–$118. McCaw Hall, Seattle Center, 206-389-7676. Runs through Sat., March 13. GAVIN BORCHERT

THURSDAY

MUSIC

NEUMO'S GRAND OPENING

This reincarnation of the beloved '90s venue Moe's (new Moe's, you might call it) kicks off with an ace local show: the Posies (above), Alien Crime Syndicate, and Sushirobo, with an upcoming schedule that looks just as solid. Tonight is an opening, but only if you don't count the fact that Neumo's has already hosted two editions of the former Chop Suey hip-hop stalwart, Yo! Son (recently named one of the top club nights in the nation by Rolling Stone, for what that's worth). 8 p.m. Thurs., Feb. 26. $10 adv./$12. Neumo's, 925 E. Pike St., 206-709-9442. MICHAELANGELO MATOS

FRIDAY

FILM

THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND

2003 was a banner year for documentaries, including Capturing the Friedmans and The Fog of War. Less known is their fellow Oscar nominee, which was screened to acclaim at SIFF last spring and during a weeklong run in October. It shows how, in 1968, radicalized members of the Students for a Democratic Society formed a violent spin-off faction, the Weathermen. A string of bombings followed, leading to the disastrous Brinks robbery of 1981; some members were jailed, while others died in a Greenwich Village bomb factory mishap. Interviewed today, many of the graying former militants regret their former deeds. "I think the Vietnam War made us all a little crazy," says one, which raises the question of how some today might respond to Iraq. 8 p.m. Fri., Feb. 27. $4–$6. 911 Media Arts Center, 117 Yale Ave. N., 206-682-6552. BRIAN MILLER

FRIDAY

VISUAL ARTS

GRACIELA ITURBIDE

Mexico's best-regarded contemporary photographer seeks the fabulous and iconic in everyday life. Her images have the uncanny quality of being both otherworldly and very much of this world: A village girl descending a rocky path with boom box in hand becomes Angel Woman; a woman selling iguanas in the market is transformed into Our Lady of the Iguanas. In her recent work, Iturbide ventures to India, creating mystic images firmly rooted in reality. Keeper of the Roads (above) could be a character from Greek mythology, but his hightop sneakers remind us he's just an old man with sore knees and bunions. Lecture and Slide show: 7 p.m. Fri., Feb. 27. Seattle Art Museum, 100 University St., $8–$10. 206-654-3100. ANDREW ENGELSON

SATURDAY

BENEFIT

'80S DANCE PARTY

The Empty Space is bringing down the curtain on its current production of Orwell's 1984, but it's not leaving the decade behind altogether. Even Big Brother is hanging around: Five video screens will help recall the days of Flashdance and the Material Girl for this company fund-raiser, featuring a DJ for the dance floor, shot girls on roller skates, and two bars stocked with cheap booze. For an extra dash of authenticity, there's also a Best '80s-Wear Contest. The Space is one of Seattle's best spaces—show them you care by showing up in leg warmers or acid wash. 11 p.m. Sat., Feb. 28. $10 cover charge, 21 and over only. Empty Space Theatre, 3509 Fremont Ave. N., 206-547-7500. STEVE WIECKING

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