Tsunami Relief

Also: Rockrgrl anniversary, Michelle Ellsworth, Willie Weir, and Gary Shteyngart.

WEDNESDAY

BENEFIT

TSUNAMI RELIEF

Town Hall is putting on something similar to those televised fund-raisers following 9/11— a performance evening studded with stars of classical music and Southeast Asian dance to benefit those directly affected by the Dec. 26 tsunami. On the program so far are actor Tom Skerritt, politicos Jim McDermott and Ron Sims, and pianist Craig Sheppard, who recently performed Beethoven's 32 sonatas in seven concerts over two years. Also scheduled to appear: acts representative of countries damaged by the disaster, including Indian classical dancer Joyce Paul (pictured), Indonesian musician I Wayan Sinti, and Chao Praya Ensemble, a Thai music and dance group. 7 p.m. Wed., Jan. 12. $25–$75. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 206-652-4255. NEAL SCHINDLER

WEDNESDAY

MUSIC

ROCKRGRL ANNIVERSARY

These days, we don't look twice when we see a "rockrgrl" behind the drums or on the mike, but that's because an underground movement a decade ago encouraged more women to rock. You've come a long way, baby. Join Carrie Akre (pictured), Laura Veirs, the Rotten Apples, and others as ROCKRGRL, the locally produced magazine, salutes 10 years of celebrating the power of riot grrrls, indie chicks, and folk songstresses. 9 p.m. Wed., Jan. 12. $10. Neumo's, 925 E. Pike St., 206-709-9467. LAURA CASSIDY

WEDNESDAY - SUNDAY

PERFORMANCE

MICHELLE ELLSWORTH

This many-hyphened performance artist (dance-theater-multimedia) is here to help you. Whether it's through her series of faux motivational videos, or works that feature clothing with the power to fix your life, Ellsworth is like some lunatic Oprah or Dr. Phil. In Ed: The Word Made Dress, one of two pieces she'll perform here, she's created "a dress that solves problems": Between her manic delivery of non sequiturs, she cheerfully transforms her outfit into a cabana, a production demonstration booth, and a felt board. 8 p.m. Wed., Jan. 12–Sun., Jan. 16. Also 2 p.m. Sat., Jan. 15. $12–$18. On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., 206-217-9888. SANDRA KURTZ

THURSDAY - SATURDAY

TRAVEL

WILLIE WEIR

A regular commentator on KUOW, Weir will share stories of adventures and cultural clashes from his 5,000-mile odyssey across India by bicycle. The self-described "cycling fool" has some of the same manic energy as his fellow bike enthusiast Robin Williams; accordingly, his presentations are more like stand-up comedy than dry slide-and-pointer travel presentations. Off the bike, he's got energy to burn; on it, he could probably power a small city if attached to a generator. 7 p.m. Thurs., Jan. 13–Sat., Jan. 15. $5–$7. R+E Cycles, 5627 University Way N.E., 206-527-4822. BRIAN MILLER

THURSDAY

BOOKS

GARY SHTEYNGART

His vividly sprawling, unreasonably entertaining 2002 debut novel, The Russian Debutante's Handbook (Riverhead, $14 in paper), follows Russian immigrant Jew Vladimir Borisovich Girshkin (dubbed "failurchka" by his overbearing mother) on a polyglot picaresque from Leningrad to Westchester, N.Y., to Florida to Prague. Vladimir's a kind of greedy, lazy Candide figure who hates everything outside the city, who's too Jewish to be Russian and too Russian to be American. Shteyngart (pictured) creates an assimilation comedy about a guy who never quite fits in—and is never quite sure he wants to. 7:30 p.m. Thurs., Jan. 13. Free. Jewel Box Theatre in the Rendezvous, 2320 Second Ave., 206-441-5823. BRIAN MILLER

 
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