The Weekly Wire: The Week’s Notable Events

THURSDAY 7/9 Visual ArtsSHOT IN THE ARTSAM's big summer show is awfully specific about its themes and dates: Target Practice: Painting Under Attack 1949–78. After the Abstract Expressionists got done gobbing on the paint, a new generation began scraping it off and, ultimately, probing through the picture frame. With nine galleries organized by concept (thanks to curator Michael Darling), we see the canvas variously perforated, blasted with gunfire, flipped over to reveal the wooden frame, described instead of painted, rolled up and knotted, or left on the floor for you to walk on (in a piece by Yoko Ono). In today's art-speak, you'd call it deconstruction. Representation, or the apparatus of traditional representation, is being represented. We're being asked to look past, look through the picture surface—into history and theory, in some cases. Thus Robert Rauschenberg's famous Erased de Kooning Drawing, which is just that. Or Roy Lichtenstein's Red Painting (Brushstroke), rendered not with brushes but his signature benday dots. Jasper Johns' iconic Target paintings provide the curatorial premise for the large postwar survey: Our eyes are being directed along vectors, aimed like bullets at the picture plane. Looking isn't quite the same as assault—more like dissection. Through September 7. Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., 644-3100, seattleartmuseum.org. $9–$15. 10 a.m.–9 p.m. BRIAN MILLER Film GLAMOR GIRL There's overacting and there's over-Acting. John Barrymore provides the latter as a gloriously manic, egocentric Broadway producer in Howard Hawks' priceless 1934 screwball comedy Twentieth Century. The pompous impresario creates a star (Carole Lombard) who becomes his lover, but his overwrought jealousy drives her to Hollywood. Two years later, they meet on a train (the Twentieth Century line from Chicago to NYC), and comic pandemonium erupts. Peerless supporting players abet the insanity as Barrymore schemes to win her back. "We're only real between curtains," Lombard tells him, meaning those precious moments on stage. And in truth, neither is well-equipped to walk among us mortals in the audience. A peerless comedienne during her short career, Lombard (1908–42) is the subject of a six-film retrospective running Thursdays through August 13. You could call her the pinup queen of the screwball era—swell-looking and smart with her mouth. Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., 654-3121, seattleartmuseum.org. $35–$39 (series), $7 (individual). 7:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLER FRIDAY 7/10 Sports TURN BACK THE TUBE NIGHT The off-season signing of Ken Griffey Jr. was hailed by many (including this scribe) as a public-relations masterstroke. Even if the Kid sucked on the field, his mere presence would serve to distract fans from a sub-middling team in the midst of an overhaul. Junior has, for the most part, sucked—but the Mariners haven't, gamely straddling the .500 line while staying within striking distance of their more talented division rivals in Texas (Rangers) and Southern California (Angels). But now that third baseman and third-place hitter Adrian Beltre is out until Labor Day with a shoulder injury, the team's low expectations may yet be met. So what's a franchise to do? Bust out even more nostalgia: For tonight's game against Texas (part of a Thurs.–Sun. series), the first 20,000 fans to pass through the Safeco turnstiles will receive the first of a free two-DVD collection of ad man Jim Copacino's brilliantly humorous television commercials involving the likes of Edgar, Buhner, Ichiro, and the Kid. They're enough to make you wish TiVo had never been invented, or that Junior never forced a trade to Cincy in the first place. Safeco Field, 1250 First Ave. S., 622-HITS, mariners.com. $7–$65. 7:10 p.m. MIKE SEELY SATURDAY 7/11 Food/Books SMALL PORTIONS When Matthew Amster-Burton, who writes about food for The Seattle Times, Seattle magazine, and Gourmet.com, segued from reviewing restaurants to raising his daughter full-time, he settled on two goals: Not only was he going to keep eating the spicy, pungent food he loved, but he was going to teach Iris to love it too. Not surprisingly, Iris has had her own agenda. Amster-Burton started chronicling his conversations and meals with Iris on his blog Roots & Grubs—turns out Iris shares his gift for the one-liner—and the blog eventually turned into Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father's Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater (Houghton Mifflin, $23). It's a fast, funny memoir punctuated with sensible advice and recipes. In an age when children's and adults' diets are more and more segregated, and when parents have to navigate through daily scare stories and nutrition advisories, the book encourages adults to chill the heck out and have fun cooking with their kids. Hungry Monkey's recipes are also notably designed for urban families, whose kids are growing up on sushi and pad thai as well as hot dogs and pizza (though those are OK, too). Today, Amster-Burton appears to talk about the book, answer your most neurotic child-feeding questions, and cook a dish or two that parents may not have realized their kids will love. U District Farmers Market, N.E. 50th St. & University Way N.E., 547-2278, seattlefarmersmarket.org. Free. 10 a.m. JONATHAN KAUFFMAN Skateboarding FINALLY ROLLING The Seattle Center Skatepark is finally opening today, a year and a half after the old park (opposite the EMP) was demolished to make way for the Gates Foundation. The long interim has been filled with siting concerns and city-council squabbles—at one point the replacement park was to displace DuPen Fountain. But the Skateboard Park Advisory Committee persisted, and a new location was found. (A World's Fair pavilion by Paul Thiry was razed to make room.) The bulk of the $2.1 million budget came from the sale of the old land, and the state threw in $800,000 as well. At 10,000 square feet, the new park is about 25 percent larger than the old. Its design, by local firm Weinstein A|U and VBZ/New Line Skateparks, is also much more modern. Skateable streetscape features combine with architectural elements, like a vertical glass wall that's fully skateable! Equally impressive are the laminated glass panels along the park's south boundary: Designers bought used skateboards on eBay, studied their contours, scratch works, and indentations, then digitized those images onto the glass. They're not only aesthetically pleasing, but provide a safety and sound barrier between the park and Thomas Street. Among those attending today's grand opening (with music!) will be city council members, Ryan Barth and other leaders of the skateboarding community, and members of Skate Like a Girl. Seattle Center (Second Avenue & Thomas Street), 684-7200, seattlecenter.com/skatepark. Free. 11 a.m. BRITT THORSON Dance FRESH RHYTHMS Local teens and youth groups are the focus of the annual "DANCE This" showcase, augmented this year by the Step Afrika! troupe. Stepping is rooted in both traditional African body music (slapping, clapping, stomping) and marching-band choreography; it's an idiom also popular with African-American fraternities, and two from the UW will perform tonight. (There's also a 1 p.m. youth matinee on Friday.) Over a dozen local groups are featured, including the S.C.A.T.S. from Dearborn Park Elementary School (on Beacon Hill); the acronym is for Seattle Cirque & Acrobat Teams, a P.E. program now extended to two other public schools. The fitness regimen, founded 30 years ago as an alternative to conventional sports, teaches tumbling skills, juggling, and jump rope—including the insanely fast and complicated double-dutch variety. Also on the bill: the drum ensemble Seattle Kokon Taiko, pounding on the giant, resonant drums that—according to Japanese folklore—were based on empty sake barrels. But needless to say, no booze will be poured tonight. The Paramount, 911 Pine St., 467-5510, theparamount.com. $23–$26. 7:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLER Seafair COPYCATS ENCOURAGED Banana boats, purple pirate barges, and Titanic replicas are just a sample of the creations you might see cruising—or sinking—during today's Seafair Milk Carton Derby on Green Lake. Prizes are awarded in five categories: racing, commercially sponsored groups, open class (with subdivisions for kids and families), showboat, and military (which we expect the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy to dominate). Last year the showboat award went to a look-alike based on the Time Bandit craft on the reality TV show Deadliest Catch. Why the tribute? That show's Sig Hansen was a Seafair marshal for the event. This year's marshals are former Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren and longtime DJ and hydroplane race announcer Pat O'Day. So perhaps we can expect to see a floating Hawks design or a paddle-powered hydro. Green Lake Aqua Theater, West Green Lake Way North, seafair.com. Free. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. CHANTAL ANDERSON Cycling PEDAL REVELRY It's too late to register for the sold-out annual Seattle to Portland ride, now 30 years old. Organized by the Cascade Bicycle Club, the 202-mile STP last year counted over 9,500 entrants, most of whom divide the journey into two centuries, stopping for rest and a night's sleep in Centralia. Riders start pedaling early this morning. And we mean early! But you can bring coffee and doughnuts to help yourself wake up and cheer the departing throng. (In Seattle, everyone is one degree of separation from an STP rider.) Or you can join the velo-procession for the first few miles, since streets will be closed from the UW south along Lake Washington Boulevard to Renton. It's a parade! It'll be like Critical Mass, only without running red lights and beating up innocent motorists. Then, when the STPers continue south from Renton toward Kent, you can pedal home or loop around the lake. And if you're feeling inspired afterward, remember to register early for STP 2010, because it's sure to sell out too. UW parking lots (Montlake Boulevard), cascade.org. Free. Tiered start times: 4:45–5:30 a.m. BRIAN MILLER

 
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