The Wire: This Week’s Notable Events

THURSDAY 6/4Comedy: Mr. WarmthAnybody who can dis Frank Sinatra to his face and live to laugh about it deserves our utmost respect. The marvel of it is that after 83 years, Don Rickles is still practicing his brand of multiethnic, equal-opportunity insult comedy. Italian-Americans, WASPs, Jews, blacks, the Irish, and the whole damn melting pot are the butt of his stage act. Because he came up in nightclubs during the era when you could and did joke openly about micks and wops and dagos, then found fame in Vegas and on The Tonight Show precisely as political and ethnic sensitivities began to change, his long career encompasses 20th-century American humor. Before boomer comics like Richard Pryor or George Carlin could stick it to the man, Rickles was telling off the Mafia. Before Whoopi Goldberg could foreground her blackness on stage, or Roseanne Barr vent her angry-housewife tirades, Rickles made such sweaty, earthy ire acceptable. He's angry, irate, indignant, but always...just kidding. That's one of his signature bits: After mocking the old and the drunk and the idiotic (and we're all idiots from where he's standing), Rickles ritually apologizes to the audience. And he's sincere. And then you realize Johnny Carson was, too, when he gave Rickles his famous nickname. (As the recent HBO doc Mr. Warmth reveals, he really is a beloved figure in showbiz.) And yes, God willing, he'll give voice to Mr. Potato Head again in next year's third Toy Story movie. Snoqualmie Casino, 37500 S.E. North Bend Way, 425-888-1234, snocasino.com. $55–$90. 8 p.m. BRIAN MILLERVisual Arts: Skin to the LensJapanese photographer Kohei Yoshiyuki caused an uproar in the '70s with his voyeuristic photographs of people having sex in various Tokyo parks. Armed with a 35-millimeter camera and infrared flashbulbs, he crouched for hours behind bushes at night waiting for potential subjects. (Creepy, much?) His, er, dedication resulted in several absorbing black-and-white shots of people getting it on. But more interesting are the peeping Toms also lurking in the darkness, whom Yoshiyuki includes in his shots. The reclusive artist—who refuses to give his real name or grant interviews—also frames his own shadow in many of these scenes, reminding us that he's a voyeur too. His work can be seen as part of the group show I.D.: Individual Demographics (through June 27), which also features Louise Bourgeois, Ed Ruscha, and local photographer (and SW contributor) Alice Wheeler. Greg Kucera Gallery, 212 Third Ave. S., 624-0770, gregkucera.com. Free. Reception: 6–8 p.m. ERIKA HOBARTFRIDAY 6/5Public Radio: NPR DivaIf it's not too late, and if any of her production people happen to be reading this, I'd like to suggest that a costume change might not be out of order for Terry Gross' appearance tonight. To express her intellectual side, she could start the evening in one of those elegant Mao-collar jackets she sometimes wears. Then she could take a quick break and come back in a cute little denim jacket—like the one from the All I Did Was Ask book tour—to bring it back to the down-to-earth approachability that makes Terry Terry. When it comes time for questions from the audience, I'm sure she'll be good-natured about rehashing some greatest hits, like the inside story of the Gene Simmons interview. I hope there'll be time for more advanced queries as well. My own question requires a little preamble to explain the metaphor that informs its premise. Peripherals aside, there's no doubt about one thing: The kind of ovation that will greet this imp of grace and curiosity when she takes the stage. The Paramount, 911 Pine St., 467-5510, theparamount.com. $25–$65. 8 p.m. UPTIGHT SEATTLEITEDance: Domestic AccommodationsAiko Kinoshita and Aaron Swartzman aren't necessarily "new"—the pair have been dancing in Seattle for several years, both together and separately, and the work they're presenting at the NW New Works Festival (through June 14) has been in development for months. But this latest chapter of their Home Bodies series looks to be a powerful evocation of close relationships and the web of intimate accommodations that longtime partners make with each other. In earlier sections of this ongoing work, they've built little rooms out of household objects, taking shelter among pillows and dishes. Now the props are gone, leaving just their bodies and their tender give-and-take. Among all the craziness that New Works usually celebrates, Home Bodies will be a sweet exception to the chaos. Tonight's Studio Showcase program also includes performance art, theater, and music. On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., 217-9888, ontheboards.org. $14. 8 p.m. (Repeats 5 p.m. Sat.–Sun.) SANDRA KURTZSATURDAY 6/6Fashion/Music: London CallingEven though it's called the Punk Rock Flea Market, don't worry: It's not limited to half-full bottles of fuchsia Manic Panic and hand-studded leather jackets. No, this is a bona fide cornucopia of trash-turned-treasure. You can pick up everything from bicycles to appliances to toys to records (and not just records by the Sex Pistols or the Clash, either). In this context, "punk" refers more to the DIY, homespun nature of the event, which also includes vegan treats, tarot readings, and tattoo booths. Plus, while plenty of shindigs like this offer live music, the jams tonight—beginning around 6 p.m.—are actually listenable. And the lineup is as diverse as the wares: punk (Keg), metal (Kled), and hip-hop (Specs One). Belltown Underground Events Center, 2407 First Ave., myspace.com/punkrock_fleamarket. $1. 10 a.m.–10 p.m. SARA BRICKNERFashion: If the Tiara FitsI've always harbored fantasies of becoming an actress. Not necessarily to bask in the limelight; I'm far too shy for that. I'd be in it solely for the costumes. The urge to dress up like the Queen of England on any given Tuesday is probably why I've resisted the whole Renaissance Faire thing; I think I might get a little too into it, if you know what I mean. My level of sanity (and credit rating) will be tested at Seattle Rep's Costume and Prop Sale. They're clearing out their closets and unloading hundreds of costumes, props, and wigs from the past 36 seasons. (They haven't had a sale like this since 1974.) Prices go from $10 to $1,000. Some of the more elaborate pieces will be offered in a silent auction. Sizes run from a women's 0 all the way up to a men's 48 suit; and costumes range from Shakespearean to gorilla suits. So if next week you see a girl picking up a six-pack down at QFC in a turquoise kimono, she's, um, just practicing for a play. Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St. (Seattle Center), 443-2210, seattlerep.org. Free. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. SUZIE RUGHTUESDAY 6/9Film: Terror in the SkyThe self-styled counterweight to SIFF, Seattle's True Independent Film Festival runs June 5–14 at multiple venues. Now in its fifth year, STIFF seems tailor-made for films such as Ilana Sol's richly drawn debut documentary On Paper Wings. Its power accumulates quietly, without the aid of a large budget or klieg-lit name. As the Portland-based Sol relates, near the end of World War II, the Japanese conscripted teenage girls to build "balloon bombs" then lofted into the jet stream, which were supposed to transport the weapons across the Pacific to detonate in U.S. cities. Although mostly a failure, as Sol shows via archival footage skillfully balanced against talking-head interviews, the military program devastated Bly, Oregon, a small town that lost six residents to a balloon bomb. But On Paper Wings isn't a snapshot of an obscure historical tragedy. Rather, it's a panoramic portrait of civilians trapped on opposing sides of a conflict beyond their control. As the film progresses, the recurring image of an unmanned hot-air balloon sailing through a pellucid sky, though shot in black-and-white, gradually assumes an ominous meaning. (See the STIFF Web site for the full schedule and details on 18 other features, several short-film packages, and related parties and musical events.) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., trueindependent.org. $50 (festival pass), $8–$10 (individual). 7 p.m. KEVIN CAPPBooks/Horticulture: Death From BelowAfter penning four volumes on the beauties and secrets of the plant world (see: Flower Confidential, The Earth Moved), there was only one thing left for Amy Stewart to do: Write about the dark side. Wicked Plants (Algonquin, $18.95) will send shivers through even the most enthusiastic botanists, with its A–Z listings of plants that poison, maim, paralyze, and even kill. She tells of Nazis using aconite in bullets, doctors administering curare to immobilize patients during surgery (not knowing it didn't relieve the pain), and certain houseplants that were the last their unwitting buyers ever purchased. The book is divided into ominous sections including "Lawn of Death," "Deadly Dinner," and "Weeds of Mass Destruction," bringing a lighthearted tone to an often morbid subject. We also learn about the weed that killed Lincoln's mother, an exotic herb Sting sought in South America, and what Stewart considers the most wicked and dangerous plant of them all: tobacco. After reading this book, you may find yourself scouring your neighborhood for signs of colchicum, lobelia, or foxglove. The neighbors might look at you funny, but you could be saving their lives. Elliott Bay Book Co., 101 S. Main St., 624-6600, elliottbaybook.com. Free. 7:30 p.m. (Also Third Place Books, 7 p.m. Wed., June 10; and Washington Arboretum, 7 p.m. Thurs., June 11.) BRITT THORSON

 
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