The Weekly Wire: The Week's Recommended Events

WEDNESDAY 5/19Sports: For the BirdsThe bar for whether a Mariners game is considered a success nowadays is whether or not Ken Griffey Jr. retires to a clubhouse La-Z-Boy in the fifth inning and promptly dozes off. That really bodes well for an electric atmosphere on a weeknight at the Safe, doesn't it? Fortunately for the turnstiles, Toronto is in town, and aside from the Yankees and Red Sox, Canada's lone remaining ballclub tends to fetch the largest visiting crowd at opposing parks. (Did you know there are heaps of Canucks around here? Go figure!) If you think the prospect of Blue Jays fans outnumbering those of the M's is a funky one, consider that thus far each team has enjoyed the season the other was supposed to have. The Jays, perennially picked to finish fourth in the powerhouse AL East, are within striking distance of the Yankees and Tampa Bay, while keeping Boston in its rear-view mirror. Meanwhile, the Mariners, a trendy prediction to finish atop the crummy AL West, are in the division's cellar. Because nothing has thus far has made much sense, it'd be perfectly [il]logical for the M's to sweep this two-game series via an awakening of their previously impotent bats—and Griffey. Safeco Field, 1250 First Ave. S., 346-4001, seattlemariners.com. $8–$70. 7:10 p.m. (Also: Thurs., 12:40 p.m.) MIKE SEELYTHURSDAY 5/20Visual Arts: Safe BetsWhen a business disappears, whether bankrupt or acquired, few consider what happens to the art that once lined the corporate walls. Not so with Safeco, bought two years ago by Liberty Mutual. Safeco began amassing local art in 1973, a half-century after its birth in Seattle. More than 800 pieces have now been generously donated to the Washington Arts Consortium (comprising seven museums including SAM), and today you can see 90-odd highlights from the previously private collection. Here are Roger Shimomura and Mark Tobey, Paul Horiuchi and George Tsutakawa (who crafted the fountain in front of Safeco Tower, now a UW office building), Jacob Lawrence and Norman Lundin. (And also Dale Chihuly; but we all made mistakes in the '80s.) The roster of talent goes on and on. Not every artist is represented by his or her best work, but this selection ("A Continuing Cultural Legacy") offers a survey of Northwest art running right up to 2008. And there are some interesting finds, like photographer Myra Albert Wiggins (1869–1956), whose Indian scene Unloading the Catch (1898) shows the influence of Edward Curtis and Alfred Stieglitz. My favorite oddball canvas on view is Glen Alps' unruly 1947 Chicken in the Box; I wonder how many Safeco employees walked by the canvas over the years, unconsciously letting it determine their choice of lunch. (Open Thurs. and Fri. only through June 25.) Wright Exhibition Space, 407 Dexter Ave. N., 264-8200, west.wwu.edu/wac. Free. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. BRIAN MILLERClassical: The More, the MerrierThough not quite as deprived of chamber-music repertory as, say, trombone or accordion players, double bassists still don't have much to choose from. (Unlike in jazz, of course, where they're nearly indispensable.) Bassist Barry Lieberman, wondering how he could include himself in some of the great string-quartet literature, got the idea of reworking quartets into pieces for full string orchestra, then invited players from around the country to join him. Which is how his American String Project, now in its ninth season, was launched. Not often will you hear such expert string playing in Seattle. This year, each of their three concerts will be preceded by a little demo showing how music for four is tweaked to make it music for 15. Tonight, the program is Haydn and Shostakovich, with Beethoven and Mendelssohn on Saturday and Verdi and Brahms on Sunday. Benaroya Recital Hall, Third Ave. & Union St., 215-4747, theamericanstringproject.org. $20–$30. 7:30 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERTFRIDAY 5/21Dance: Role ReversalMark Morris has been telling dancers how to perform his Gloria since he created the dance in 1981. Now he's commandeering the orchestra. When the Mark Morris Dance Group performs the iconic work, the boss will be in the orchestra pit, leading members of the Seattle Symphony and Tudor Choir through the Vivaldi score. Morris has a reputation as a musically astute and adventurous choreographer, choosing music from Arnold Schoenberg to Yoko Ono, but he's always had a particular sympathy for baroque composers. This makes Vivaldi the logical starting point to grab the baton. The strangest part of his new role is its position, standing in front of the stage to look at musicians and dancers, his back to the audience. As he complained in a talk at Town Hall earlier this spring, "I'm facing the wrong way!" (Through Sun.) Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 877-784-4849, stgpresents.org. $37–$75. 8 p.m. SANDRA KURTZFilm: Factory MadeSex, time, stardom, spectatorship: All are reconfigured in the films of Andy Warhol. From 1963 to 1968, he made hundreds of movies. In his astounding oeuvre, Warhol slowed the passage of time; fervently recorded men's bodies; captured legendary performances from disaffected heiresses, logorrheic speed freaks, and beautiful boys and girls. In conjunction with SAM's ongoing "love fear pleasure lust pain glamour death" Warhol show, four of his films will be screened through June 25. The series begins with his 1966 dual-screen masterpiece The Chelsea Girls, a plotless study of the bohemian inhabitants of the famous Chelsea Hotel. Among the cast are Nico, Ondine, and Brigid Berlin, who displays a ferocious wit in her indelible scenes. (Following are Vinyl, My Hustler, and Lonesome Cowboys.) Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., 654-3121, seattleartmuseum.org. $22–$25 (series), $7 (individual). 7:30 p.m. MELISSA ANDERSONMONDAY 5/24Books: Feathered FriendshipThough the title of Monroe musician Jeff Guidry's memoir sounds like something out of The Colbert Report, it's quite serious, sometimes even touching. An Eagle Named Freedom (Morrow, $21.99) is a love story between man and bird. The man is a guitarist who moved to the Northwest in the late '80s, became an avid eagle-spotter in the Skagit Valley, then a volunteer at the Sarvey Wildlife Center near Granite Falls. He worked his way up through snarling basement raccoons to lost bear cubs and car-struck deer, but always had a thing for eagles. Then in 1998, he found his bird—a female with two broken wings that he named, yes, Freedom. With photos by former SW contributor Annie Marie Musselman, the book contains many other cute critters and animal-rescue operations, but it's also a chronicle of Guidry's battle with lymphoma. Even as Freedom was mended and domesticated, and grew large and powerful, Guidry was making the rounds of all our famous cancer-treatment centers, losing his hair and experiencing all the nasty side effects of chemotherapy. Meanwhile, Freedom became a fixture at schools and tribal ceremonies, where she and her handler, now cancer-free, continue to make regular appearances. University Book Store, 4326 University Way N.E., 634-3400, bookstore.washington.edu. Free. 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLERTUESDAY 5/25Arts: Tickets for Two?The third Spring Arts Fling offers three hours of diverse entertainment in ACT's Bullitt Cabaret and Falls Lobby, with a discounted cash bar. (Joanie's Catering will also provide complimentary hors d'oeuvres.) Members of nine performing-arts organizations will be part of the buffet—including PNB, ACT, Intiman, Seattle Rep, Teatro ZinZanni, and Seattle Opera. It's a casual chance not only to sample their repertory, but also to meet and mingle with some of the performers. (And if you sign up for season tickets, well, a free drink and kiss on the cheek may follow.) Would it be wrong to call Spring Fling a mixer? The focus is on building an audience among millennial Gen-Y types who tend to be single. Attendance is capped at 250, so that's a fairly exclusive dating pool. And if you meet someone you like, and he or she adores ballet, your first date can be Coppélia (opening June 3 at PNB). Even if the date is a bust, you may fall in love with Balanchine. ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., 292-7676, acttheatre.org. $15 (21 and over). 7 p.m. T. BOND

 
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