The Weekly Wire: The Week's Recommended Events

FRIDAY 11/26 Film: Shower Time If you watched the arm amputation in 127 Hours through your fingers, while your friends simply closed their eyes, you'll know the scene relied less on gore than on sound effects. Like every other director working today, Danny Boyle has learned a trick or two from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, whose 50th anniversary is being honored with a crisp new black-and-white print. As Anthony Perkins, dressed in his mother's drag, surprises Janet Leigh in the shower with a carving knife, it's the shrieking soundtrack and meticulous editing that make you believe you've seen something you haven't. The penetration of the blade is never shown, and the rest of the film relies on equally subtle suggestion. The taxidermy birds, beckoning swamp, and curiously empty rooms at the Bates Motel all hint at the proprietor's unhinged state of mind. If Leigh's flighty fugitive misses the signs, it may be because she's preoccupied with her own guilt. Hitchcock pairs the two in a weird kind of seduction: She wants to confess, but can't. He wants to caress, but can't. There's so much repression that violence, not sex, is the only release. (Through Thurs.) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 267-5380, nwfilmforum.org. $6–$9. 7:15 and 9:15 p.m. BRIAN MILLER Stage: Out of the Embers A year ago, longtime SW contributor and playwright John Longenbaugh was all set to premiere his Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol. Then the theater burned down. "Where we had gotten to last year," he recalls, "[was] rehearsal number four. We were well into it." That's when the Greenwood arsonist (Kevin Swalwell, now convicted and jailed) struck, gutting Taproot Theatre and several other businesses. No other stage could be found on short notice to mount this "unapologetic Yuletide show," so Longenbaugh and his cast members—all but one is returning—had to delay their premiere. "We just put it away and waited. It's been hard waiting a year," he says. "It's been hard waiting three years"—since he began writing the Arthur Conan Doyle/Charles Dickens mashup in 2007. In the play, Holmes is like Scrooge, isolated and alone, "with a strong misanthropic streak to him." Then three visitors call at 221B Baker Street, drawing him into a new mystery and the recollection of happier times and lost friends (including Dr. Watson, perhaps?). So during the long interim, when Taproot was rebuilding, was Longenbaugh ever tempted to rewrite the play for a different holiday? Like Sherlock Holmes and the Mother's- Day Murders? Or Sherlock Holmes and the Purloined Easter Eggs? Unfortunately, says Longenbaugh, "There's no great call for Easter plays." (Through Dec. 30.) Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 85th St., 781-9705, taproottheatre.org. $32–$35. 8 p.m. BRIAN MILLER Stage: Ever Evergreen ACT produces its 35th annual A Christmas Carol this season, and damn if they didn't find yet another way to keep their chestnut feeling fresh. The theater always maintains interest by double-casting its Scrooges—you've got your choice of Seán G. Griffin or Mark Chamberlin this year—and tossing in an aesthetic curveball or two. (A new entrance for Marley's Ghost, perhaps, or some other such nuance?) Very promising curveball this year: director Allison Narver, a local artist of near- virtuoso versatility whose craft has only increased since her years leading the Empty Space Theatre (her Three Tall Women for Seattle Rep ends Sunday). This will be Narver's first Carol, so her interpretation of what makes Ebenezer tick should make this Carol really sing. The Dickens classic never dates, thanks to its tear-soaked promise of human redemption. And ACT never veers from its promise to bring the show in at a brisk, family-friendly 90 minutes. Factor in whatever whimsy Narver brings, and you've got good reasons to take a seat and wait for Tiny Tim to say . . . well, you know. (Through Dec. 26.) ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., 292-7676, acttheatre.org. $22–$47. 7 p.m. STEVE WIECKING SUNDAY 11/28 Sports: 26 Point No F'n Way! Let's assume you haven't done any training for the Seattle Marathon. You're not going to run; you're not going to even think about running. But you also ingested about six pounds of mashed potatoes on Thursday, so maybe it's time for a little thinspiration. (Why wait until New Year's?) Non-runners annually bitch about the traffic snarls caused by the marathon route, which loops from Seattle Center to Seward Park, returning via Lake Washington Boulevard and Eastlake. So rather than grind your teeth in your car, waiting for the intersection to clear, why not cheer the runners instead? The marathon website offers a course map and a schedule of when competitors are expected to pass each section, giving you ample opportunity to walk, jog, run, or bike to several viewpoints. Remember: If it's cool and wet outside, you'll burn a few more calories staying warm. And if you're feeling really inspired, there's always the 5K ($25–$30, 8:30 a.m.) as atonement for that third slice of pumpkin pie. Various locations, seattlemarathon.org. Free. Marathon start: 8:15 a.m. BRIAN MILLER Stage: Flower Power You can't go wrong with Hair. The latest wildly successful remount, now on national tour, surprised many by winning the Best Revival of a Musical Tony Award away from West Side Story last year. Although the show carries with it notions of what constituted Broadway risk back in 1968 (a nearly nonexistent book, pop/rock music, hippies bashing the establishment, carefree sexuality, and, of course, notorious nudity), it now seems one of the few can't-miss musicals. (Just try to do My Fair Lady minus a lady able to top "I Could Have Danced All Night" with a decent high G.) But you're set when these unabashed beauties of both sexes bare all and burst into song. Diane Paulus directed this go-round, yet the lift and liberation comes from the Ragni/Rado/MacDermot songs. They veer from sexually subversive ("Sodomy") to plaintive hurt ("Easy to Be Hard") to a majestic finale of mournful optimism. When the cast soars into "Let the Sun Shine In," your heart still pushes right up into your throat. You don't even need to equate the Iraq War with the original production's slam against Vietnam. Hair at its most potent is a simple plea to unleash the power of love. All these years later, that feels as necessary and nearly impossible to deny as ever. (Through Dec. 4.) The Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 877-784-4849, stgpresents.org. $25–$65. 1 and 6 p.m. STEVE WIECKING Sports: Reversal of Fortune Admit it: When the Seahawks released their schedule in April, you circled this home game—against the Kansas City Chiefs, who had dropped 38 of 48 games over the past three seasons—as a W. But the division-leading Chiefs show up today with a 6–4 record and the league's top running attack, as Jamaal Charles (6.1 yards per carry) and Thomas Jones pound away for nearly 150 yards per game behind a strong, veteran line. Dwayne Bowe leads all NFL receivers with 11 touchdowns, 10 in the past six games. The Chiefs did the Seahawks a favor Sunday with a 31–13 win over Arizona, driving another nail into the coffin of the Hawks' NFC West competition. Seattle tops the division at 5–5 despite a 34-19 loss at New Orleans that exposed a sketchy pass defense for the third time in four weeks. The Hawks are a team in transition, making nearly 230 personnel moves since Pete Carroll took over 10 months ago. Matt Hasselbeck's go-to receiver, Mike Williams—one of those additions—will at least be slowed, if not sidelined, by a sprained left foot. These teams were AFC West rivals for a quarter-century (1977–2001), but KC hasn't visited in eight years. Only 13 members of the Chiefs' young roster have played at Qwest; the 12th Man's high-decibel din should be a factor. Qwest Field, 800 Occidental Ave. S., 622-4295, seahawks.com. $56 and up. 1:15 p.m. MICHAEL MAHONEY TUESDAY 11/30 Arts & Culture: Pod-Gabbers The Slate Culture Gabfest is one of the best podcasts around; if you're not already listening, you ought to. Or better, see it live tonight. The roundtable show covers a broad cultural spectrum, with critics Dana Stevens, Julia Turner, and Stephen Metcalf chatting about subjects from Conan O'Brien's comeback to the continuing relevance of French children's literature to the oversaturation of the whole zombie/fantasy thing. It's often hilarious to listen to this trio—along with frequent guests from the Slate stable—argue while remaining impeccably civil. (My favorite part: each week's seemingly random "endorsements," based upon some media morsel that has tickled their fancy of late.) They provide a highbrow opinion on some decidedly middlebrow fare. You can't help but feel a little smarter by the end of each episode, and each gives you a sudden to-do list of cultural catch-up items—whether at Netflix, Amazon, or the library. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 652-4255. Free, but registration required at slate.com/seattle. 6 p.m. JOHN WOOD

 
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