The Weekly Wire: The Week's Recommended Events

Fake Shakespeare, sushi for charity, and the Henry throws a party.

thurs/5/5 Food Finely Sliced The city is full of cheap sushi happy hours. But be honest: How many have left you disappointed? Sure, with all the $2 tuna rolls and $4 lychee martinis out there, it's easy to feel that a tab exceeding $20 at a Japanese restaurant is too steep. But the harsh reality is that with sushi, you get what you pay for. For proof, look no further than tonight's Sushi Chef Dream Team: a formal dinner (cocktail attire requested) featuring signature dishes and collaborations from the city's most respected seafood slicers, including Hiro Kirita of Chiso, Shiro Kashiba of Shiro's, and Ryuichi Nakano of Kisaku, in addition to wine and sake offerings. The plates are sure to be presented artfully, using only the highest-quality fish—meaning not a trace of that god-awful "fishy" taste. All the proceeds support Peace Wind's relief efforts for the earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan. So put your bargain-sushi plans on hold this month and use the cash you save on this one experience. Chances are you'll never look back. Bell Harbor International Conference Center, Pier 66, 2211 Alaskan Way, 547-0937, brownpapertickets.com. $175–$200 (21 and over). 5 p.m. early entry, 6:30 p.m. general admission. ERIKA HOBART fri/5/6 Photography Ruin and Relief It's been almost six years since Hurricane Katrina, two since the earthquake hit Haiti. Three visiting photographers consider the aftermaths of these disasters in The Dust Never Settles, and they'll discuss their work at tonight's book-signing, lecture, and mid-show reception. Jennifer Shaw was nine months pregnant and living in New Orleans when the hurricane hit. Instead of employing photojournalism to document the storm, she later created small, smeared toy tableaux to represent her own sudden evacuation and subsequent return there. By contrast, Dave Anderson (also in New Orleans) and Wyatt Gallery (in Haiti) do more straight-forward reportage in their large color images. Here are children living in tents, destroyed churches, gradual rebuilding, and the endless patience of the homeless and dispossessed who, in truth, have no alternative to being patient. As we just witnessed in the Japanese quake and tsunami, a catastrophe only takes seconds, like a few blinks of the camera shutter. But the "recovery"—which is never total, never complete—can last the duration of childhood, youth, or even a lifetime. Along the Gulf Coast and Caribbean, one suspects, many more photographers will fill books and portfolios for decades to follow. (Through May 29.) Photographic Center Northwest, 900 12th Ave., 720-7222, pcnw.org. Free. Artist reception 6–9 p.m. (Separate lecture and signing, 7 p.m., $4–$6.) BRIAN MILLER Nightlife Put Your Hands in the Air Outrageous behavior is encouraged at Neighbours. Just ask Richard J. Dalton, the popular C89.5 on-air personality who hosts the Ultimate Dance Party at the Capitol Hill club every Friday night. He typically rocks a feather boa and animal hat of some sort as he spins an eclectic mix of what he calls "hands-up techno"—guilty pop pleasures like Britney Spears and Cascada and fast-paced dance mashups sampling, um, David Lee Roth. You need not be embarrassed to wave your freak flag and flail about to these jams. If you need further evidence: 13-year-old Rebecca Black's "Friday"—which recently went viral on YouTube after being described by critics across the country as the worst song ever—is met with so much excitement from the crowd that it results in a mosh pit on the dance floor. Neighbours, 1509 Broadway, 324-5358, neighboursnightclub.com. $10. 10 p.m. onward. ERIKA HOBART Museum openings Look at Me! Everyone's famous, or should be. Everyone's got talent. And everyone's pushing it in your face via YouTube, Twitter, blogs, and every form of social media. Never has there been a greater flattening of the old cultural elevation between the august artist and the spectator far below. Everything's constantly on display, being monitored or performed. Tonight's Henry Open House welcomes the visiting group exhibition The Talent Show with live music (Melanie Valera and Tender Forever), some kind of "intervention" by Jason Hirata, dancing, and more. Organized by Peter Eleey for the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, The Talent Show features 20 works by 18 prominent artists (Warhol among them), all of which deal with the daily broadcasting and viewing of our quotidian lives. As Eleey explains of The Intra-Venus Tapes, a multiscreen video installation by the late artist Hannah Wilke (1940–1993), which includes her losing battle with lymphoma: "This work anticipates the confessional mode of more recent popular culture and social media, but without the scripted structures and familiar narrative modes that increasingly codify these presentations of so-called real life." The latter, for him, represents a "false authenticity" resisted by Wilke and others in the show. (Through Aug. 21; also note Eleey's curator talk, 2 p.m. Sat., $5.) Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E. (UW campus), 543-2280, henryart.org. $8–$12. 8–11 p.m. BRIAN MILLER sat/5/7 Opera There's Even a Dragon Mozart's last two operas, written concurrently in 1791, couldn't be more different. La clemenza di Tito is a throwback to the rigid conventions of baroque opera of decades earlier—a stately sequence of formally cut (but profoundly beautiful) arias based on a 57-year-old libretto that had already been set by dozens of composers. The Magic Flute, on the other hand, is, comparatively, a glorious mess. One step away from a revue, this fairy-tale opera offers a bit of everything, from music- box tunes to Mozart's most over-the-top virtuoso arias to hymnlike chorales that are, as George Bernard Shaw put it, "the only music yet written that would not sound out of place in the mouth of God." Slapstick and magic rub up against the most high-minded Age-of-Reason sentiments of equality and brotherhood. There's even a little politics, if you read the tyrannical Queen of the Night as an allegory of the reactionary empress Maria Theresa. Since it's a fantasy, you can do anything you want with it; teaser videos of Seattle Opera's production, opening tonight, show that costume designer Zandra Rhodes is going nuts. (Through May 21.) McCaw Hall, Seattle Center, 389-7676, seattleopera.org. $25 and up. 7:30 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT sun/5/8 Books Cut, Sew, Study If you thought your middle-school years were tough, consider this mortifying incident from Jean Kwok 's debut novel, Girl in Translation (Riverhead, $15). Eleven-year-old Kimberly Chang, newly emigrated from Hong Kong to New York City with her single mother, musters the nerve to ask her teacher for an eraser in her still-shaky English. "Excuse me, sir," she says in front of her entire class. "May I borrow a rubber?" And, really, the language barrier is the least of Kimberly's troubles. New in paperback, Girl details her double life as an adolescent. By day, she's a schoolgirl trying to make friends and straight A's. In the dark, secret night, she's a Chinatown sweatshop worker struggling to help her mother pay for their rat- and roach-infested apartment. When inspectors come to the garment factory, Kimberly and other underage child workers are herded into the men's bathroom to hide. Such scenes are based on Kwok's own life: She also worked in a sweatshop and also became an academic star (earning degrees from Harvard and Columbia). And now, equally against all odds, she's become a best-selling novelist. Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., 624-6600, elliottbaybook.com. Free. 2 p.m. ERIN K. THOMPSON tues/5/10 Double Play In his high-concept The Tragedy of Arthur (Random House, $26), Arthur Phillips invents a fictional character named Arthur Phillips who discovers an unknown Shakespeare manuscript (also called The Tragedy of Arthur). In the 256-page introduction, Phillips the author blends memoir and scholarly discourse to recount how Phillips the character's family acquired this priceless piece of literary history. Then Phillips the author includes the footnoted "text" of the "original" script of the Shakespeare play, which may be a fabrication perpetrated by the character's father, also named Arthur Phillips—either way, his Fakespeare had better be a masterpiece of pastiche. Like his spiritual brother, David Mitchell, Phillips not only kicks postmodernism awake but encourages it to shoot crystal meth. Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., 624-6600, elliottbaybook.com. Free. 7 p.m. JAMES HANNAHAM

 
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