Arts Picks

SATURDAY

BENEFIT

STRIPJOINT!

The big-top entertainments from Circus Contraption are goofy, clanky, messy evenings of questionable taste and staunchly irreverent mirth—Contraption's Master of Ceremonies once suggested the crucifixion was the result of Jesus forgetting his "safe word." It costs money to produce such elaborate blasphemy, so now the performers are doing Showgirls one better, promising some "clown-on-clown action" at an adults-only party that will raise funds for their next show. Red-nosed tarts of all persuasions will be teasing you with naughty bits from two stages and a trapeze; there's also live music, a full bar, and, of course, gratuitous oil wrestling. 8 p.m.–1:30 a.m. Sat., March 6. $8–$20 sliding scale. The Segway, 5701 22nd Ave. N.W., Ballard, 206-442-2004. STEVE WIECKING

THURSDAY

BOOKS

NUHA AL-RADI

By the time Dubya invaded, Nuha Al-Radi was living in exile from her native Iraq. But in her wildly uneven memoir, Baghdad Diaries (now in paperback), she conveys the daily absurdity of living in Saddam's echo-chamber totalitarian regime and cowering under American bombs, starting with the first Gulf War and moving to the brink of the second. A Western-educated artist from a privileged Baghdad family, Al-Radi captures mundane life in impressionistic detail—banal, beautiful, bemused. Though her scorn toward U.S. foreign policy and Israel is somewhat indiscriminate, she's still a voice worth hearing. 6 p.m. Thurs., March 4. Elliott Bay Book Co., 101 S. Main St., 206-624-6600. BRIAN MILLER

FRIDAY -SUNDAY

DANCE

LELAVISION

Ela Lamblin's musical instruments, which often resemble carnival rides more than the implements of an orchestra, could make any musician into a dancer, but the Lelavision crew, including choreographer Leah Mann, extend that gentle chaos into a full-fledged circus of action. Vessels of Vibe is the next installment in the Seattle company's rollicking combination of dance and music making. 8 p.m. Fri., March 5–Sat., March 6; 5 p.m. Sun., March 7. $12–$15. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway Ave., 206-371-8287. SANDRA KURTZ

FRIDAY

CHANTING

KRISHNA DAS

Once known as Jeffrey Kagel, a Reform Jew and Long Island basketball player, Das has become the most famousAmerican practi­tioner and pop­ularizer of Hinduchanting, or kirtan. You can hardly take a yoga class without hearinghis resonant bass on the speakers, usually accompanied by the hip Westernized production of Rick Rubin. (Das has also collaborated with Krist Novoselic, among many others.) His concerts are reported to be stirring, participatory spirit lifters, so if you're into that kind of thing, catch this rare Seattle appearance. 8 p.m. Fri., March 5. $20 adv./$25. First Baptist Church, 1111 Harvard Ave., 206-329-4070. MARK D. FEFER

TUESDAY - WEDNESDAY

DANCE

MIKHAIL BARYSHNIKOV

As his repertory has changed from the grandeur of his classical balletic roles to a more abstracted kind of nobility, he has brought his audience with him, still drawn to his cool intelligence. On a fund-raising tour for a new dance center in New York, Baryshnikov's performing a set of solos recently created for him by a half-dozen disparate choreographers, accompanied only by piano. If critics in other cities are to be believed, the dance superstar, now in his mid-50s, can still command the stage like he did when he first came West in 1974, even if he's lost one or two steps. (His scheduled performance late last year was post­poned due to a knee injury.) 7:30 p.m. Tues., March 9–Wed., March 10. $29–$61. Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., 206-292- ARTS. SANDRA KURTZ

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