The Weekly Wire: The Week's Recommended Events

WEDNESDAY 9/28

Happy Hours: Free Peas, Please

You needn't be traveling on your company's expense account to enjoy the luxuries of the posh W Hotel. Inside is the W Bar, a intimate lounge with dim lighting and velvet drapes, where hotel visitors (predominantly businessmen and silver foxes) and local drinkers gather in equal number. The regular daily happy hour (4–7 p.m. & 10 p.m.–midnight) is slightly on the expensive side, but you certainly get your money's worth—especially on Wednesdays, when happy hour runs all day. Within moments of your arrival, a server will bring a bowl of complimentary wasabi peas to nosh on while you peruse the menu. Signature cocktails ($8) are fanciful concoctions made with freshly squeezed fruit juices and housemade acai and hibiscus-infused syrups. Satiating appetizers ($6) include smoked-eggplant salad and chicken kebabs with almond yogurt. If you want 25-cent wings, this isn't the place for you. But you will have a lovely evening and possibly score a number from a George Clooney lookalike. Better still, he'll be staying just upstairs. W Bar, 1112 Fourth Ave., 265-6000, whotels.com. Free (21 and over). Noon–close. ERIKA HOBART

FRIDAY 9/30

Visual Arts: Future Oak

As Bay Area sculptor Michael Cooper explains in a companion video, he's a near-exact contemporary of George Lucas. Growing up during the '50s in Lodi, in California's Central Valley, he too built go-karts and cruised for girls in homemade hot rods. Then he went to art school instead of film school, but all the same Lucas influences are there: sci-fi, race cars, and a garage-shop, cobbled-together view of the future. By the '70s, Cooper began to incorporate car parts and bent wood—as in an Eames lounge chair—into his mobile art. BAM's survey, "A Sculptural Odyssey, 1968–2011," includes many examples from that period. Some of Cooper's pieces are studded with Hot Wheels, spark plugs, guns, drills, and wooden female figureheads (as if from a clipper ship, the hot rods of their era). The best piece on view is Soapbox Racer, a spindly, delicately wrought sled that actually was raced in a 1975 artists' derby (he won). The spidery oak creation almost looks like it's from another planet—Tatooine, perhaps. (Through Oct. 9.) Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., 425-519-0770, bellevuearts.org. $7–$10. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

Film: Twice Bitten

Over three decades after its world premiere at SIFF (yes, really), here's what's interesting about Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi classic Alien: AIDS and ebola and SARS have given a whole new mortal resonance to Sigourney Weaver's (disregarded) concerns about quarantine and infection. The bickering, class-divided shipmates reflect the movie's origins in Thatcherite England. They're fractious proles in the service of a corporate overlord whose computer proclaims, "All other considerations secondary. Crew expendable." It's paired with James Cameron's 1986 sequel Aliens, a great action movie with far less dread, in which space Marine Bill Paxton memorably cries, "Game over, man!" Aliens is a showdown between mothers: Weaver's Ripley, returning to the now-colonized planet where she battled the lone monster before, versus the alien queen and her burgeoning brood of acid-fanged, rip-ya-apart, double-jawed spawn. The double feature (through Thurs.) begins the GI's Halloween-themed annual "Bride of All Monsters Attack" horror series, through Oct. 27. Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., Seattle, 523-3935, grandillusioncinema.org. $5–$8. 6:15 & 8:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

Film: 90 Feet of the Duke

1962's How the West Was Won, though packed full of stars—Henry Fonda, James Stewart, John Wayne, etc.—is no great Western, but it's significant as one of the very few full-scale Hollywood epics made for the three-projector Cinerama process. For that reason, it opens The Big Screen 70mm Film Festival tonight, and leads to some much better titles. (Among them: West Side Story, Lawrence of Arabia, and 2001: A Space Odyssey.) Paul Allen's lovingly restored theater, the best single-screen cinema in Seattle, was recently overhauled, and it's now operating as an independent venue—meaning better, smarter programming choices. (Also 3-D, but that's another story.) For How the West Was Won, the Cinerama's curved 90-foot screen will put you at the center of the cattle drives, wagon trains, and Civil War battles. The same wraparound experience applies to all 15 films in the series—all projected from real prints, not digital, direct from the studio vaults. When Julie Andrews bursts into song to open The Sound of Music, the Alps will almost be life-size in their glory. (Through Oct. 16.) Cinerama, 2100 Fourth Ave., 448-6680, cinerama.com. $12. 8 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

SATURDAY 10/1

Arts & Culture: Crush-Tober

The month-long ArtsCrush festival spans all disciplines, including dozens of events at venues up and down Puget Sound, from Tacoma to Bellingham. A massive schedule begins with today's Sparks of Glory performance/lecture by classical concert presenter Music of Remembrance, whose Mina Miller will speak on SAM's ongoing baseball show (Our National Game) and the importance of Jackie Robinson to both blacks and Jews as a symbol of postwar integration and tolerance. If that sounds a little heavy, it is. But among cheerier Seattle highlights are Sight and Sound BREW, a poetry/viz mashup at Gallery 110 (Oct. 8); a group reading from the Seattle7Writers at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center (Oct. 15); special date nights at several different venues; and Show and Tell, a collection of embarrassing childhood stories from comedian Emmett Montgomery and other locals at Richard Hugo House (Oct. 20). Festival continues through Oct. 31. Seattle Art Museum, 100 University St., artscrush.org. Free. 2 p.m. T. BONILLA

Comedy: Something About Nothing

"Didja ever notice . . . " "What is the deal with that?" Man hands, high-waisted jeans, the close talker, the Soup Nazi, the bike hanging in the back of the set that never gets ridden . . . 13 years later, there still hasn't been a network success like Seinfeld. And Jerry Seinfeld could, as a very rich man, have dedicated his retirement to real estate, his young family, and his stableful of Porsches. But he does stand-up because he loves it. And he could charge a lot more doing residencies in Vegas, yet he still goes on the road. Sure, Seinfeld co-creator Larry David has lately gotten more acclaim on HBO, but Jerry has the unflappable delivery, the comfortable self-assurance, the stage presence of a guy who wants to be there performing for you. He doesn't pretend to be neurotic or struggling or angry about anything. Because he isn't. His jokes are small and observational, but they're also river-polished with practice. And that's something. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 467-5510, stgpresents.org. $45–$75. 7 & 9:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

 
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