The Weekly Wire: The Week’s Recommended Events

FRIDAY 6/18Stage: Female TroubleTen years ago, a teenage student held groundbreaking feminist author Germaine Greer (The Female Eunuch) hostage in her English country home. Playwright Joanna Murray-Smith took note and debuted The Female of the Species, a farcical comment on the failures of the women's movement, in London eight years later. Offstage barbs soon eclipsed the script's one-liners: Greer called fellow Aussie Murray-Smith "an insane reactionary." Murray-Smith, the mother of two, proclaimed Greer's childlessness an intellectual liability, and even denied Greer was the primary inspiration for her play's Margot Mason—a groundbreaking feminist author (The Cerebral Vagina) held hostage by a former student. Critics, meanwhile, agreed mainly on one point: The monstrous Margot, cartoonish or no, provides an undeniable star turn in the proper hands. Dame Eileen Atkins held London in thrall; Annette Bening recently tore into the role in L.A. Seattleites will now get to better appreciate Suzy Hunt, whose faultless instincts and formidable comic oomph as a character actress have stolen many scenes. The play may offend, but Hunt should be a hoot. (Through July 18.) ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., 292-7676, acttheatre.org. $10–$55. 8 p.m. STEVE WIECKINGComedy: Kill the Moose!Nato Green is a hard-working man in show business. Based in San Francisco, his "Iron Comic" series blends improv-style audience participation with traditional stand-up. He's also a blogger for The Huffington Post, where he recently contributed an Onion-style fiction about a group calling the Tea Party "not conservative enough." The takeaway quote comes from a woman too afraid of Jews to give her name: "I voted for Sarah Palin, but I don't believe a woman's place is to kill a moose. We should leave that to the menfolk." Green, W. Kamau Bell, and former Seattle resident Hari Kondabolu are currently on the Laughter Against the Machine tour, and it's the funniest comedy show we've ever seen. (Janine Brito emcees the show, which repeats Saturday.) Balagan Theater, 1117 E. Pike St., brownpapertickets.com. $15–$20. 8 and 10 p.m. T. BONDSATURDAY 6/19Books: Two-Wheeled One-UpmanshipOnce upon a time in America, a Ford and Chevy would pull up to a stop sign together, rev their engines, then race to the next red light. Fifty years later, as our dwindling fossil-fuel supply pours into the Gulf of Mexico, the scenario is more like this: A tattooed fixie rider, U-lock stuffed into the back pocket of his pencil-leg jeans, does a track stand next to a bearded recumbent rider while waiting for the Fremont Bridge to close. What could the two possibly have to say to each other? Are they even members of the same tribe? And which one is the bigger dork? Such questions of taxonomy and mutual scorn have made the blogger known as BikeSnobNYC (aka Eben Weiss) indispensable, hilarious reading since 2007 (Lance Armstrong is a fan), and now he's compiled his observations into a book simply known as Bike Snob (Chronicle, $16.95). Because, really, all cyclists are snobs—each convinced that his or her mode of transportation is superior to the vintage Bianchi or Goodwill beater or full-suspension, double-disc-braked mountain rig or carbon-fiber Cervélo likewise patrolling the Burke-Gilman Trail. Weiss makes fun of us all because he's one of us all: former messenger, weary Brooklyn bicycle commuter, weekend racer. Every stereotype comes in for mockery, and he makes important points about safety, helmets, and bike lanes. "Don't ride next to cars at intersections," he writes. "Think of cars as affectionate cats that are going to try to rub themselves against you." University Book Store, 4326 University Way N.E., 634-3400, bookstore.washington.edu. Free. 2 p.m. BRIAN MILLERMusic: Five Strings, No JokesWhen it comes to the banjo, legendary comic Steve Martin is all business—and I don't mean funny business. Though the instrument was an integral part of his early stand-up routine in the '70s, he's never approached it lightly, having learned to pick from his childhood friend John McCuen, who would later help form the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Over the years, Martin has held court with the upper crust of the banjo world, from Earl Scruggs to Bela Fleck. With his companion group The Steep Canyon Rangers, Martin plays mostly self-penned instrumental tunes that draw heavily from bluegrass and country traditions. (Check out his 2009 album The Crow.) The songs are warm, lighthearted affairs that showcase his impressive skill, but in that humble way that has made Martin such an enduring performer. Chateau Ste. Michelle, 14111 N.E. 145th St., 425-488-3300, ste-michelle.com. $49.50.–$75. 7 p.m. BRIAN BARRTUESDAY 6/22Food: Cooking on All BurnersAnthony Bourdain is a bombastic, self-aggrandizing name-dropper. But you knew that already. Famous for his lusty, irreverent behind-the-scenes bestseller Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain is back with Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook (Ecco, $26.99). In it he skewers some big names, and lavishes high praise on a few as well. Tonight you can hear what he thinks about Food Network star Emeril Lagasse, the notion of molecular gastronomy, Chicago's Alinea restaurant, and his world travel for the No Reservations TV show, which once included a U.S. Marine–led evacuation from Beirut. Bourdain still likes to shock, and his text could stand fewer references to murder. But he's eloquent and respectful when regaling us with tales of food star David Chang, the cuisine of Vietnam, and Justo Thomas, the exacting fish butcher of New York's three-Michelin-star Le Bernardin. Bourdain possesses an outsized personality, fit for the stage, which should make this an evening of theater as well as food. Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., 467-5510, stgpresents.org. $35 (includes pre-signed copy of book). 7:30 p.m. ADRIANA GRANTPolitics: Transatlantic WitChristopher Hitchens is a bombastic, self-aggrandizing name-dropper. But you knew that already. He's also perhaps the most irascible writer of the unorthodox left (he was in favor of the Iraq War). And certainly the most quotable. A TV regular and contributor to Vanity Fair, the expat Englishman became a U.S. citizen three years ago, and that process—along with his tart political views—are featured in his new memoir, Hitch-22 (Twelve Books, $26.99). Though he counts Salman Rushdie and Martin Amis as close friends, Hitchens wasn't born posh. He was a scholarship boy at Oxford, and he's survived by his wits in journalism for four decades. Apart from his political views ("I consider myself a very conservative Marxist"), Hitchens' personal revelations will also help sell the book. His mother, later a suicide, never told her kids she was Jewish. Hitchens, married twice, frankly acknowledges a couple of gay affairs. He and Amis visit a New York brothel together (but don't sleep together). In the '80s, he debates then–Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who orders him to bow. With a life like that, can a second volume—Hitch-23, perhaps—be far behind? Tonight, radio host Luke Burbank will interview Hitchens on stage. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 652-4255, townhallseattle.org. $5. 7:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

 
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