The Weekly Wire: This Week's Recommended Events

THURSDAY 5/17

Stage: Talking It All In

Former Seattleite Lauren Weedman's comic prowess continues to turn heads in Hollywood. In addition to stealing scenes as the insatiable Horny Patty on HBO's Hung, she recently won raves as a tough yet needy top chef in The Five-Year Engagement (The New Yorker called her bit "irresistible"). But Weedman still tours the country doing solo stage shows, a skill she honed here; and her latest piece is a departure from the ouch-inducing, introspective comedy mined from recent experiences. Instead, SRO—Single Room Occupancy reaches back to a time spent in Amsterdam watching American movies like Philadelphia. ("The death scene that leads into the wake? I was 23, OK? It carpe diem-ed me really hard.") Upon her return to Fremont, she took up with a "stalker" who did lawn care and obsessed over horror movies. "I lived above City People's—the dreariest apartment in the world," she explains by phone. "I found this SRO; and the first night I was there, a man was passed out on the toilet. So getting into this ritual with this lawn-care guy watching horror movies every night was sort of comforting." SRO will be more off-the-cuff than usual thanks to her ongoing gig hosting the popular live storytelling event The Moth in Santa Monica. "This time I just want to let stuff happen," says Weedman. "That's usually the best part of the story—the part you find while you're talking." (Through Sat.) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 267-5380, nwfilmforum.org. $12–$15. 8 p.m. STEVE WIECKING

Stage: Sonic History

A lot of composers today—practically every one under 40, and plenty over—spend a lot of self-conscious time and energy on the question of genre-blending. This means "breaking down barriers" (or however they choose to describe it), writing effortfully funky ostinatos into string quartets and impressing themselves deeply. Dilettantes, all of them, compared to Seattle's own Trimpin, who's forged an unlikely, eccentric career by exploring the musical possibilities of sculpture. His newest piece even adds a third artistic discipline, theater. The Gurs Zyklus, Trimpin's collaboration with narrator Rinde Eckert, premiered at Stanford a year ago. It's based on letters from inmates at the Gurs concentration camp, to which Jews from his hometown of Efringen-Kirchen, Germany, were sent during the Holocaust. Adding four vocalists to a stageful of his inventions, Trimpin pays homage to the doomed using water-filled jars, player pianos, automated castanets, speaker-enhanced teeter-totters, a "fire organ," and more. (Through Sun.) On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., 217-9886, ontheboards.org. $20. 8 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT

FRIDAY 5/18

Cycling: What's That Between Your Legs?

Bike to Work Day? Not already! Not again! And not the usual excuses, either: no air in your tires, can't find those shorts with the cushiony crotch, all the batteries in your blinky lights are dead. And think of the incentives: More than 40 sponsored stations will be offering swag, food, mechanical advice, and encouragement from Everett to Kent. (You can also buy the official T-shirt at selected stations, organized by the Cascade Bicycle Club.) In fact, the whole of May is deemed Bike Month, an ecumenical occasion when we should seek to forgive the trespasses of fixies (those red lights are for you, too), racers (do you have to pass so close?), and recumbents/unicyclists (just grit your teeth and smile at those bearded cousins). Instead of complaining about motorists for a change, today's a day for cyclists to increase their visibility (which increases safety) and defer to pedestrians (no matter how they meander). And while some local companies are competing to log miles in the Group Health Commute Challenge, we prefer to think of today as a karmic challenge: Ride politely and law-abidingly, wave and smile at drivers, and the good feeling will benefit us all during the other 364 days of the year. Various locations, cascade.org/bike-month. Bike stations open 6–9 a.m. (Also note City Hall rally, 8–8:30 a.m., and Ballard Street Party, 4–6 p.m.) BRIAN MILLER

Film: Third Time's a Charmer

Holiday is a late addition to the GI's Cary Grant tribute, the third of four films pairing him with Katharine Hepburn. The 1938 comedy flips the dynamic of Bringing Up Baby, with Grant the hearty freethinker and Hepburn the inhibited society girl brought to life by Grant, her sister's fiancé. It's based on a play by Philip Barry, and it shows: The theme of independence versus conformity and respectability is practically stated like a classroom lecture. Still, the dialogue is delicious, and George Cukor's light, generous direction keeps Holiday focused on the people rather than the moral. A sense of play erupts amid stodgy society gatherings, with Grant goofing like a big kid and inspiring Hepburn to follow suit. So often cast as the fussy, befuddled ninny with more money than sense, Edward Everett Horton is wonderful in support as a high-society intellectual with a philosophical streak and a playful manner. There's plenty of jawboning over the issues, but when Horton uses a puppet to get his point across, he's irresistible. This is a new 35mm print of one of Grant's most underrated classics. (Through Thurs.) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 523-3935, grandillusioncinema.org. $5–$10. 7 & 9 p.m. SEAN AXMAKER

SATURDAY 5/19

Photography: Short-Term Shelters

Returning home from several years in Boston, UW-trained photographer Eirik Johnson soon set out for the woods of Oregon. And for the north shore of Alaska. His intent for the images in Camps & Cabins was to document what he calls "cultural and environmental modes of improvisation." Or, put differently, shacks and lean-tos. In Oregon, predominantly Mexican and Southeast Asian mushroom pickers set up temporary camps among the pines. They're basically wood poles that sketch the shape of a house, then covered with tarps in season. When the pickers depart, the outlines remain, like architectural traces of a domicile that doesn't really exist. There's just the suggestion of a house whose residents provide the precious morels, matsukes, and chanterelles we eat in expensive organic restaurants. Up in Barrow, Alaska, the Iñupiat cabins used for bird and seal hunting have to withstand more severe weather, since the wind blows right off the Beaufort Sea. These structures are a bit more finished, with traces of family life outside: old tricycles, basketball hoops, even a skateboard ramp. But they're hardly domestic, just drab and functional when framed against the flat horizon. These homes are for leaving as much as for staying. Today Johnson will give a gallery talk on the show, which continues through May 26. G. Gibson Gallery, 300 S. Washington St. (Tashiro Kaplan Building), 587-4033, ggibsongallery.com. Free. 2 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

TUESDAY 5/22

Books/Music: Fear and Groveling in San Diego

OK, so maybe the William Shatner–starring TV adaptation of his book Shit My Dad Says didn't find an audience, but it broke Justin Halpern out of the Twittersphere and into sitcomland. His new memoir I Suck at Girls (HarperCollins, $16.99) edges a little closer to narrative, but it's mainly a collection of relatable vignettes about dismal dates, teenage insecurity, and verbal abuse from Dad. (Dr. Halpern continues to pour obscenities on his would-be screenwriter son, but in a loving way.) Halpern's slim volume of humiliation—projectile vomiting, working as a virginal dishwasher at Hooters, etc.—is like a literary companion to all those Judd Apatow movies. In fact, it's a book begging to be made into an Apatow movie. I Suck at Girls will reduce nicely to a 90-minute, R-rated rom-com, but after all Halpern's drunken hookup failures, his hard-won success with a commuter romance will earn your applause at the final credits. And an extra bonus before the movie: Tonight Halpern will be joined by the Bushwick Book Club Seattle, performing new songs based on his book. University Book Store, 4326 University Way N.E., 634-3400, bookstore.washington.edu. Free. 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

 
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