Arts Picks

MAE WEST FEST

THURSDAY - SUNDAY

STAGE

Cinema icon West had great fun claiming that she was a woman "who lost her reputation and never missed it," but her gift for brazen self-expression tended to overshadow how truly remarkable she was—a genuine talent who wrote and promoted all of her own material and refused to play society's second fiddle. This eighth annual theater festival salutes that indomitability by highlighting more than 30 original works—full-length plays, one-acts, solo shows—written and directed by women. There are over 90 such performances in four days, as well as a spirited exhibit, "She Stole the Show," that spotlights posters and signage created by distaff artists to promote both real and imagined productions featuring fabulous females (like Katelan Foisy's ruminative mixed-media collage for Madame Butterfly, pictured). Various times Thurs., July 22–Sun., July 25. $5–$10 individual tickets/$25–$50 festival passes. Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1621 12th Ave., 206-860-2970 or www.maewestfest.org for complete schedule and info. STEVE WIECKING

THURSDAY

VISUAL ARTS

MARK MUMFORD

Mumford has turned the old Marshall McLuhan adage upside down: The message becomes medium in a new series of almost ludicrously simple photographs opening this week at James Harris Gallery. Each photo features a single office chair holding a placard emblazoned with a seemingly banal slogan, such as "Break It Down," "Very Nearly Empty," and "There Is Nothing Left to Say" (pictured). Mumford's post-postmodern art finds language and imagery completely exhausted but, after accepting that fact, creates pictures that simultaneously yell at you (like advertising) and manage to hold a kind of quiet calm. Opens Thurs., July 22. 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Tues.–Sat. Ends Sat., Aug. 21. James Harris Gallery, 309A Third Ave., 206-903-6220. ANDREW ENGELSON

FRIDAY

FILM

DELIVERANCE

Yes, there will come a point in John Boorman's 1972 male-bonding thriller when—as Ned Beatty begins crawling around the mud in his tighty-whities—the audience will gleefully shout out with the crazed, hillbilly sodomite, "I'm gonna make you squeal like a pig!" Yet there's more to the movie than that classic moment. Caught in a quagmire (there's a Vietnam War context), Beatty, Ronny Cox, Jon Voight, and Burt Reynolds are soft urbanites unprepared for the violent consequences of their white-water adventure. They want a little risk in their lives but fail to understand that means risking their lives. With a new war raging, Deliverance is still a disturbing reminder of how a little machismo can lead to a lot of trouble. (R) Begins at dusk Fri., July 23. $5. Fremont Outdoor Movies, 3410 Stoneway Ave. N., 206-781-4230. BRIAN MILLER

SATURDAY

OUTDOORS

CENTRAL AREA GARDEN TOUR

This year marks the seventh anniversary of this guided stroll through some of the city's hidden botanical treasures. Some new attractions, including Homer Harris Park and other public spaces, should liven up the walk for those who've taken it before. As usual, the gardeners behind every floral and landscaping masterpiece (like Peter and Chloe Brussard, whose oasis is pictured here) will be on hand to chat. Thanks to rising property values, the opening of the Central Cinema, and a recent influx of pilates studios (surely the sign of a changing neighborhood), the Central Area is looking better than ever, and the tour is a perfect chance to check it out. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat., July 24. $6 adv./$8. Tour begins at Midtown Center Plaza, 23rd Avenue East and East Union Street, 206-325-6917. NEAL SCHINDLER

TUESDAY

MUSIC

Linda Ronstadt

Ronstadt's clarion soprano has enriched American music since her debut in 1967, exulting everything from Roy Orbison classics like "Blue Bayou" to the operetta of Gilbert and Sullivan. Her Seattle appearance is a rare opportunity to witness that chameleonic expressiveness: She'll be wailing the California rock hits that made her name, as well as crooning standards from her influential Nelson Riddle recordings. Las Vegas just gave her the boot for speaking out in support of Michael Moore, but Ronstadt can feel free to raise her voice here anytime she wants. 7 p.m. Tues., July 27. $65. Pier 62/63, 1901 Alaskan Way, 206-628-0888. STEVE WIECKING

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