Emio Greco | PC

Also: Demon of the Derby, Mary McAleese, Stephen Malkmus, and Thomas Frank.

THURSDAY - SUNDAY

DANCE

EMIO GRECO | PC

Rimasto Orfano (Abandoned Orphan) opens with a dancer swaying across the stage, her blond wig and sultry looks making her long gray sheath seem like an evening gown. Even on video, though, as the work evolves and the cast jitters and flails through the grueling choreography, the costumes look more like hospital gowns, with their extended sleeves perhaps the arms of a straitjacket. Whether they are compelled by desires we cannot see or possessed by spirits we do not understand, Greco and his performers grab our attention as they work through their demons. 8 p.m. Thurs., May 19–Sun., May 22. $22. On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., 206-217-9888, www.ontheboards.org. SANDRA KURTZ

THURSDAY - FRIDAY

FILM

DEMON OF THE DERBY: THE ANN CALVELLO STORY

Before there was women's lib, there was roller derby. The septuagenarian subject (pictured in midair) of this 2001 documentary began skating and brawling in 1948, and she hasn't slowed down much. Even while working as a Safeway clerk in the Bay Area, she continues to try to roll the rink, looking for teams that'll still have her. Demon will be preceded by the 1949 Oscar-winning short Roller Derby Girl, which chronicles Calvello's same bruising milieu. Both films provide a nice warm-up to the women's wrestling documentary Lipstick & Dynamite at SIFF on the 20th and 21st of this month. 7 p.m. Thurs., May 19–Fri., May 20. $5–$7. 911 Media Arts Center, 402 Ninth Ave. N., 206-652-4255. BRIAN MILLER

TUESDAY

POLITICS

MARY MCALEESE

She's not Ireland's first female president (that would be Mary Robinson, elected in 1990), but McAleese is the first to hail from Northern Ireland—which, considering the historically fractious relationship between those two countries, might be the more significant development. She was elected in 1997 after participating in a series of international delegations on trade and human rights and serving as director of Britain's Channel 4 Television. As part of a four-day visit to Seattle, she speaks tonight on the University of Washington campus, co-sponsored by Seattle's Irish Heritage Club and UW's Jackson School of International Studies. 7 p.m. (doors close at 6:30 p.m.) Tues., May 24. Free. UW Kane Hall, 206-543-1675. NEAL SCHINDLER

TUESDAY

MUSIC

STEPHEN MALKMUS

Face the Truth (Matador), the third solo album by ex-Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus and his Portland band, the Jicks, finds a happy medium between his first two: It's less jammy than 2003's slack Pig Lib and more playful than 2001's straightforward, song-heavy Stephen Malkmus. The wayward structures of Pig Lib are still there, but they feel less willful and more lived-in this time around, and where Malkmus' singing has always made a virtue of its (and his) slyness, here he's belting without being annoying about it. This is a free record-release show; arrive early. 7 p.m. Tues., May 24. Free. Sonic Boom Records, 514 15th Ave. E., 206-568-BOOM. MICHAELANGELO MATOS

WEDNESDAY

BOOKS

THOMAS FRANK

Perhaps the most widely cited book during last fall's elections, What's the Matter With Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (Owl, $14 in paper) analyzes how a once- progressive Midwestern state went right-wing reactionary. Frank (pictured) argues that conservatives have effectively invented a "Great Backlash" among those left behind in economic terms (farmers, Rust Belt workers, Wal-Mart slaves, etc.). Their discontent is then rallied against unpopular liberal touchstones (e.g., abortion, gay marriage, activist judges, and Janet Jackson's nipple) so that they vote—here's the Republican genius part—against their own self-interest. Universal health care, environmental protections, and corporate accountability? Those are just for the "latte-sipping, Volvo-driving" elite. 7:30 p.m. Wed. May 25. $5. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 206-652-4255. BRIAN MILLER

 
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