The Weekly Wire: The Week's Recommended Events

WEDNESDAY 9/29 Visual Arts: Assembly Required Set-apart From Memory by Time is an architectural funhouse. Set diagonally across the large gallery, this corridor can be entered from either end. (Walk around it first, and you'll see the fresh sheetrock and two-by-fours, like the back of a stage set.) Inside, the space either expands or collapses, depending on your direction of travel. California artist and architect Primitivo Suarez-Wolfe has previously constructed temporary structures in the desert that are carefully unbuilt—the skewed lumber never reaching any final form. This installation works both ways: What seems to be an ordinary hallway, perhaps in some old hotel, gradually expands around you. Then the ceiling raises, the wainscoting rises, and the dimensions shift until the once-contained space is more of a suggestion—like an exploded textbook diagram of something you need to assemble. Reverse direction, and the form does in fact reassemble itself; one's sense of shelter and security are restored. (Through Nov. 13.) Open Satellite, 989 112th Ave. N.E. (Bellevue), 425-454-7355, opensatellite.org. Free. Noon–6 p.m. BRIAN MILLER THURSDAY 9/30 Dance: Sci-Fi Steps Charles O. Anderson, director of Philadelphia's dance theatre X, calls himself "a kinetic storyteller." His movement style, lush and bold, is always balanced by a narrative thread. He says "I have trouble making abstract movement that doesn't attach itself somehow to the world we live in." It's not just about how compelling bodies are as they surge and flow—a dance has to engage all the parts of your brain. For his new World Headquarters, presented by Velocity Dance Center and the CD Forum, he adapts themes from the novels of the late local science-fiction writer Octavia Butler, linking spirituality and future worlds with what he terms "neo-traditional African dance." (Through Sat.) Velocity Dance Center, 1621 12th Ave., 325-8773, velocitydancecenter.org. $10–$18. 8 p.m. SANDRA KURTZ Stage: Before Blanche Tennessee Williams loved to write a dramatic Southern belle, and one of his first, Amanda, the matriarch of his 1944 The Glass Menagerie, remains among his best-known—an oft-vilified character, blamed for the dysfunction of her family after their financial security slips away. In truth, it may be hard to sympathize with Amanda today. Unless you've been lamenting the challenges of life without your servants, you may not relate to her particular woes. But her complaints aren't entirely imagined: She was abandoned by her alcoholic husband; her daughter is crippled and dependent; and her adult son has the maturity of a moody teen. For all this, we see that Amanda genuinely wants better lives for her children, and it's this humanity that Karen Gruber Ryan brings to the role. She may seem young for the part, but with her determination and strength in the role, she owns the stage and leads Schmeater's cast to a fine production of the classic. (Ends Oct. 16.) Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave., 800-838-3006, schmeater.org. $15–$21. 8 p.m. BRENT ARONOWITZ Books: Vampire Outbreak After his acclaimed Pan's Labyrinth, Oscar-nominated and one of the most praised movies of 2006, you could excuse Guillermo del Toro for slowing down and going on a long vacation. The Mexican-born writer/director has been working nonstop since 1993's Cronos, often producing and collaborating with his countrymen Alejandro González Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuarón. Yet he's continued to direct Hellboy movies, is currently writing The Hobbit (possibly in two parts! Possibly to be directed by Peter Jackson!), and has found time to launch a book-writing career. He's now followed The Strain with The Fall (William Morrow, $26.99), in which the same vampire virus continues to plague mankind. A trilogy is planned with co-writer Chuck Hogan; after that, don't be surprised if the whole undead saga becomes a TV miniseries. (After, we hope, The Hobbit.) Tonight, del Toro will be interviewed on stage by local film gadfly Warren Etheredge, always a cheerful and gracious host. Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum, 325 Fifth Ave. N., 367-5483, empsfm.org. $30 (includes book). 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER FRIDAY 10/1 Classical: BAM! BAM! The Eroica, number three, has always been my ninth-favorite Beethoven symphony—it can be a real watch-checker of a piece in the hands of a conductor who's not quite sure how to bring some goal-directed drive to its garrulous sprawl. But I've found smaller, leaner orchestras to be pretty good at making the symphony spring to life; hearing all the inner details better holds the attention. Christophe Chagnard leads it with the 35-member, Tacoma-based Northwest Sinfonietta tonight. The orchestra is celebrating its 20th anniversary with two soloists about that age: violinist Marié Rossano and cellist Julian Schwarz, on hand to play Brahms' Double Concerto. My favorite movement's the finale, in which a bumptious polka and bittersweet strains seem to compete for your favor, but end up reconciling and somehow melding. Benaroya Recital Hall, Third Ave. & Union St., 888-833-4747, nwsinfonietta.org. $10–$29. 7:30 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT Stage: War of the Words The bloody battle between two kids in a playground brawl is nothing compared to what's waged when their respective parents meet to discuss the matter. So goes God of Carnage, the Tony-winning tweak on upper-middle-class anxiety from Parisian playwright Yasmina Reza. You may remember her Art several seasons ago at the Rep, in which the purchase of a pricey all-white painting sent three friends into various amusing conniptions. Reza writes crisp, engaging drawing-room comedies often studded with topicality, and Carnage goes so far as to bring up issues like Darfur. But, like Art, it's mainly a chance to watch good actors play profane parlor games. This tempting ensemble includes local acting "It" couple Hans Altweis and Amy Thone—founding members of the justly praised New Century Theatre Company—as well as the superior Denis Arndt and woefully underrated comic bombshell Bhama Roget. Parents may be grateful that, during the 90-minute play, there's no intermission in which to compare their kids'—and their own—misbehavior. (Through Oct. 24) Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St. (Seattle Center), 443-2222, seattlerep.org. $12–$45. 7:30 p.m. STEVE WIECKING Classical: It's Not About Me "Let sounds be themselves," said John Cage (1912–1992) famously in a 1957 lecture, "rather than vehicles for . . . the expression of human sentiments." To those who protested the idea of an "inhumane" art, he responded that people found beauty in, and were deeply moved by, all sorts of natural phenomena (mountains, thunder and lightning, night) that have nothing to do with humans. He only asked us to approach sound in the same spirit: "Emotion takes place in the person who has it." Of course, in our Age of Accessibility, it's become extremely politically incorrect to suggest that listeners bear even an atom of responsibility in their interaction with music—but don't get me started. Cage's preferred method for letting nature speak, and keeping himself out, was to use chance operations (specifically the I Ching) to select and arrange sounds; percussion, probably since it carries the least baggage from the Western art-music tradition, was a favorite medium. Hear how all this theory was put into practice as the Seattle Percussion Collective offers a program of his works tonight and of (mostly) local composers on Saturday. Friday: Gallery 1412, 1412 18th Ave. E. Saturday: Chapel Performance Space, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N., seattlepercussioncollective.com. Both $5–$15. Both 8 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT SATURDAY 10/2 Museums: Loom and Boom Though textiles may forever be tainted for some by the dread association with Cosby sweaters, the ancient craft should earn your respect in Weaving Heritage, which brings 130 of the Burke's finest tapestries and woven goods out of the basement. Salish and Pacific Coast tribal creations will be prominent in the show, which also includes work from the Philippines, Tibet, and pre-Columbian South America. Some of the beautiful Tlingit blankets, made from goat wool, gain their yellow color from cedar bark. For thousands of years, our native Northwest craftswomen (and men) used berries, shells, and other found materials to adorn sweaters and blankets made without benefit of steel needles or tags reading "100 percent natural fabric." Today's show-opening activities include curator tours, Filipino dancing and stories, and hands-on opportunities to work a loom and make indigo dye. Various weaving classes will also be available during the duration of the exhibit. (Through Feb. 27.) Burke Museum, N.E. 45th St. & 17th Ave. N.E., 543-5590, burkemuseum.org. $6–$9.50. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. T. BOND MONDAY 10/4 Film: Silent Shots This fall's Silent Movie Mondays series offers a new organist, Jim Riggs, who'll perform a live score to the four vintage crime titles being projected. First up is A Cottage on Dartmoor, an English 1929 prison-escape tale told mostly in flashback. You'll see traces of Hitchcock and German Expressionism as a fugitive searches for the girl who got him sent to jail. Before, he merely threatened her with a straight razor. Perhaps this time he actually means to kill her? Following are Louise Brooks as a murderess protected by tramp Wallace Beery in Beggars of Life, Josef von Sternberg's gangster saga Underworld, and Raoul Walsh's landmark New York mobster drama Regeneration. (Through Oct. 25.) Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 877-784-4849, stgpresents.org. $12 (individual), $46 (series). 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER TUESDAY 10/5 Jazz: Master Class At a time (the mid-1940s) when jazz was lit up with the burning volleys of Charlie Parker, Lee Konitz came along with an alto-sax sound that was drier and reserved, a martini to Bird's whisky shots, ruminative rather than rapid-fire. He helped inaugurate a new strain of jazz that has been as persistent, productive, and eloquent as the decades of hard bop that have followed in Parker's wake. At 82, he's still making music out of space and restraint, and he's found a perfectly simpatico rhythm section in the Minsarah Trio, players more than half his age, who hail from the U.S., Israel, and Germany. The Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333, tripledoor.net. $10–$22. All ages. 7:30 p.m. MARK D. FEFER Books: A "Rigged Game" Of course you expect those on the right to bemoan President Obama's spending, health-care law, and economic policies. It's midterm-election season, and gloom works against the incumbents. So it's sobering to hear from a guy well to the left of the Obama administration, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, who writes, "We are almost certainly in store for many years of high unemployment." Indeed, his Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future (Knopf, $25) is a grim little book. Its villain is a top-end concentration of wealth, and its thesis is that unless middle-class consumption is again restored to the rightful center of the economy, our post-recession slump will last for a generation. Billionaires buying yachts or building trophy homes—both Paul Allen and Bill Gates are mentioned—simply isn't enough stimulus to correct an inequitable system. Unless the estate tax is restored, capital-gains taxes are raised, and marginal rates are returned to Clinton-era levels (among other proposals), Reich predicts that high unemployment and lower living standards will surely result. Children will be worse off than their boomer parents. Already, he writes, "Middle-class coping mechanisms are exhausted." Some in the audience tonight may know exactly that feeling. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 652-4255, townhallseattle.org. $5. 7:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

 
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