The Weekly Wire: This Week's Recommended Events

WEDNESDAY 10/31

Pets/Halloween: Paws & Pints

Fall is a tough time for dogs. Weeks ago they were frolicking outside in the sun, tongues lolling; now we're stuffing them into itchy wool sweaters, miniature football jerseys, and raincoats. (My guy's is pink, with a little hood and skull-and-crossbones insignia). Even worse, every dog's third-most-dreaded holiday—following the noisy Fourth of July and New Year's Eve—is tonight: Halloween. It's hard to think of another sight that inspires as much simultaneous pity (they're so miserable!) and joy (but they're so damn cute!) as a dog wearing Yoda ears, a hot-dog bun, or a Superman outfit with fake human legs dangling down the front. But that's what the beastly bacchanalia The Dog and Pony Show will involve tonight in the courtyard/beer garden of the Brave Horse Tavern. Appropriate to the canine costume contest, the culinary theme will be hot dogs. (Edible prizes for the contestants come from Scraps Dog Bakery.) After an ordeal like this, you might feel obligated to buy your dog a pint or two. Brave Horse Tavern, 310 Terry Ave. N., 971-0717, bravehorsetavern.com. Free. 21 and over. 4–6 p.m. ERIN K. THOMPSON

THURSDAY 11/1

Stage: Topical Storm

With an incomparable gift for musical pastiche and an unflappably deadpan performing style, singer/songwriter Tom Lehrer sent every sacred cow of the 1950s straight to the abattoir, especially the big three: race, sex, and the Cold War. His owlish, Stevensonian demeanor—he recorded his first album in 1953 while a mathematics grad student at Harvard—let him get away with singing things in his one-man shows that probably would've landed an edgier comedian before a Congressional grand jury. The mid-'60s essentially marked the end of his lifetime output and his public career (Gen-Xers may recall his later non-political songs, like "Silent E" and "L-Y," from The Electric Company), and he retreated to Santa Cruz to teach math and musical theater, bemoan the political scene in rare interviews, and genially refuse ever to be coaxed back into performing. But his comic tunes live on in Unexpected Productions' Poisoning Pigeons in the Park—and Other Relevant, Radical, and Risque Songs by Tom Lehrer. Directed by Arne Zaslove (who's received the 84-year-old satirist's blessing), the revue runs through Nov. 17. Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley, 800-838-3006, unexpectedproductions.org. $15–$18. 8 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT

FRIDAY 11/2

Film: Beaks of Vengeance!

It was 1963, and Alfred Hitchcock needed a new villain. Spies and serial killers he'd done, so what was left? Opening the Universal Pictures: Celebrating 100 Years retrospective tonight, The Birds is one of the oddest entries in his suspense canon. It's based on a 1952 story by Daphne du Maurier (who also wrote Rebecca), which never explains just why the feathered marauders begin their attack. The English writer—like anyone dive-bombed by crows in Seattle—had seen random bird strafings of those who walked too close to a nest, but her premise was viral, almost science-fiction. What if the whole Audubon Guide went mad all at once? What if those pea-brained dinosaur descendants decided to take back the planet from us soft-skinned interlopers? In many ways, The Birds looks ahead to the enviro-apocalypse films of the later '60s and early '70s, and it followed Rachel Carson's Silent Spring by only a year. Maybe it's coincidence, or maybe there was just something in the air. Tippi Hedren plays the Bay Area blonde menaced by birds in the film, to be introduced by erstwhile SW critic Tom Keogh. (The series continues through Nov. 14 with 13 other titles including Frankenstein, Jaws, The Sting, and High Plains Drifter.) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 829-7863, nwfilmforum.org. $6–$10. 7 & 9:15 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

Stage: Ritual Offerings

Though occultist Aleister Crowley (1875–1947) wrote his Rites of Eleusis, a cycle of seven mystery plays, in 1910, it was only decades later that a musical genre developed that could really do justice to their voluptuous inscrutableness. Local troupe Eleusyve Productions figured out that they need to be staged as "Wagnerian rock operas," as founder Jon Sewell puts it, with soaring '70s-style melodies and acidy guitar solos. Eleusyve's fourth show in the cycle, The Rite of Sol, opens tonight. To a prerecorded backing track, the cast of personified planets and zodiacal signs sings Crowley's entire text—which makes it easier to memorize, especially the 112-line verse that Sewell, as Leo, belts in his best arena-rock tenor at the Rite's climax. Sunnie Larsen's electric viola adds yin to the production's thrusting yang. You won't see anything like it from any other fringe-theater group in Seattle. (Through Nov. 10.) Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., eleusyve.com. $15–$20. 7 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT

Dance: Living History

Ballet may trace its roots to the manners of Louis XIV and his court, but it's still a living art, which means it needs to grow. As Pacific Northwest Ballet celebrates its 40th anniversary with the All Premiere program, that growth continues with four freshly minted works that mix past and present—and hope to influence the future. Three are homegrown, by current PNB performers Andrew Bartee, Kiyon Gaines, and Margaret Mullin. The fourth is by ever-forward-looking former native Mark Morris, who'll attend tonight's debut of his Kammermusik no. 3, set to a 1925 piece by Paul Hindemith. If you can believe it, it's the first dance he's ever created for PNB. And about time. (Through Nov. 11.) McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St. (Seattle Center), 441-2424, pnb.org. $28–$173. 7:30 p.m. SANDRA KURTZ

TUESDAY 11/6

Booze/Politics: Drinking Your Way to 270

Your ballot was mailed last week, and your Election Day alternatives are basically these: 1) hide in your bedroom closet with a bottle of booze, ignoring your smartphone and TV until tomorrow morning; or 2) face the results tonight, no matter how dreadful they may be, with good company. We recommend the latter at the Triple Door's Musicquarium Election 2012 party, where CNN will be playing all night long. Specialty cocktails will be served as New Hampshire (yes, it could matter this year), Virginia, and Florida are called early. Then comes critical Ohio, when you're entitled to an extra shot if Candy Crowley puts it in the blue column. You should be fairly buzzed when Wolf Blitzer renders a verdict on Wisconsin and Iowa. Remember to order some bar food before Colorado and Nevada come in, by which time you should be on your third or fourth round of drinks. Our own state results aren't so critical: Inslee and Ref. 74 will probably follow on Obama's blue coattails; Cantwell and McDermott will do just fine. But the top of the ticket may be decided very late, even past closing time. It's possible that Obama (or Romney) could win the Electoral College but lose the popular vote. Or everything could end up in the Supreme Court, again, as you're nursing your hangover on Wednesday. The Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333, thetripledoor.net. Free. 21 and over. 4 p.m.–2 a.m. BRIAN MILLER

 
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