The Last State

Also: Dance Cinema, Night and the City, Jonathan Richman, Jonathan Raban.

THURSDAY

STAGE

THE LAST STATE

If there's anything Sarah Rudinoff knows how to do, it's grab your attention and keep it. The force of her personality—and her indisputable talent as an actor and singer—has enriched even shows not worthy of such gifts; her rowdy vocal turns in the 5th Avenue's otherwise ho-hum Smokey Joe's Cafe made the production seem suddenly inspired. Who better to take the stage by herself? Her new solo piece finds her reflecting on Kauai, the beautiful Hawaiian island on which she was raised. She'll probably make it paradise for us, too. Opens Thurs., Dec. 9. 8 p.m. Thurs.–Sun. Ends Sun., Dec., 19. $12–$18. On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., 206-217-9888. STEVE WIECKING

THURSDAY-SATURDAY

FILM

DANCE CINEMA

Corrie Befort's dances make you want to sit up close—the combination of subtlety and detail draws you in—so it makes sense that they translate well to film, which can make an earthquake out of a twisting shoulder. Befort has been collaborating with filmmaker Darrick Borowski since 2001, and their films are usually a combination of allusion and straight-on documentation. Since Befort will be relocating to Tokyo early in the New Year, this is the easiest way for local audiences to see her work for a while. 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 9–Sat., Dec. 11. $8. Chamber Theater, 915 E. Pine St., fourth floor, 206- 324-6780. SANDRA KURTZ

FRIDAY

FILM

NIGHT AND THE CITY

Blacklisted in Hollywood, director Jules Dassin made this 1950 film noir in London, with hood Richard Widmark (pictured) a man equally at odds with English law and disorder. He's on the run for most of the picture after a scheme to profit from rigged wrestling matches goes wrong. The criminal underworld offers no safe harbor for this con on the lam; even girlfriend Gene Tierney can't do much to comfort him. Widmark's own greed is to blame, of course, and he can be seen as a close cousin to Orson Welles' Harry Lime in The Third Man—a creature of the alleys and shadows for whom the light of day is fatal. (NR) 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Fri., Dec. 10–Thurs., Dec. 16. Also 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sat., Dec. 11–Sun., Dec. 12. Call for prices. Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 206-523-3935. BRIAN MILLER

MONDAY-TUESDAY

MUSIC

JONATHAN RICHMAN

Too bad about Jojo's new Not So Much to Be Loved as to Love (Vapor), one of the most dog-eared discs in a career not exactly known for its evenness. The album feels pedantic and weighted-down; only the sung-in-Spanish "Cosi Veloce" has anything like the air of effortlessness and discovery that Richman can bring even to songs he's recorded twice before. Nevertheless, you need to see this two-day stand, because Richman remains one of pop's great performers—a funny, total onstage natural who knows how to pace and to keep an audience's eyes on him for the entirety of a show. 8 p.m. Mon., Dec. 13–Tues., Dec. 14. $10. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 206-789-3599. MICHAELANGELO MATOS

WEDNESDAY

BOOKS

JONATHAN RABAN

Our favorite whiskey- voiced expat Brit (and an occasional SW contributor) will read from his Waxwings (Vintage, $13), which is new in paper. It's very much a tale of two cities, contrasting the fortunes of fresh-off-the-boat Chinese immigrant "Chick" and Janeway, an English-born writer watching as his adopted city succumbs to dot-com madness and anti-WTO rioting. Meanwhile, there's also a messy divorce and a child-murder investigation complicating Janeway's life, which helps to shake him out of his complacency. The two men meet, ironically, in Janeway's house-remodel-from-hell, which will seem familiar to any area homeowner. Wed., Dec. 15. Free. Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., 206-366-3333. BRIAN MILLER

 
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