THURSDAY 1/31

Comedy: Dress for Success

A 20-year-old friend from Australia recently told me that her celebrity crush is Seth Meyers. No way! Seth Meyers is

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The Weekly Wire: This Week's Recommended Events

THURSDAY 1/31

Comedy: Dress for Success

A 20-year-old friend from Australia recently told me that her celebrity crush is Seth Meyers. No way! Seth Meyers is also my celebrity crush. How does an older, slightly nerdy Jewish guy become the Pacific Ocean– spanning mutual object of desire for 20-something females? I'm not sure, exactly, but Seth—we're on a first-name basis—falls into the same category of sexiness as Jon Stewart: smart, funny, compact, looks great in a suit. Oh, and there's also his crazy-successful career: A head writer for Saturday Night Live for six years, he's so good at hosting "Weekend Update" that he doesn't even need a co-anchor. With his wide-eyed, barely straight-faced delivery, it's like he can't believe he's getting paid to spoof the news. Meyers clearly takes joy in his role as a comedian—that much was clear when, at Anna Wintour's suggestion, he appeared at the CFDA Fashion Awards last June in an exact replica of the sheer black dress Marc Jacobs unironically wore to the prior Costume Institute Gala. The dress wasn't as flattering as Meyers' usual tailored suits, but damn, he still looked sexy. The Paramount, 911 Pine St., 877-784-4849, stgpresents.org. $36. 7:30 p.m. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Family Events: Island Life

Featuring characters named Miranda and Cali (as in Caliban), Cirque du Soleil's new Amaluna is loosely inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest. But in place of sorcerer Prospero, the force that conjures the eponymous storm is a she: Prospera. And like the acrobatic twists and turns of Soleil's circus troupe, Amaluna flips the familiar plot with mostly distaff casting. The action is set on a "mysterious island governed by goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon." There, the love of young Miranda and her shipwrecked suitor—now named Romeo—is tested. Created and directed by Diane Paulus, this touring show isn't heavy on plot. Kids will appreciate the acrobats, juggling, and colorful costumes, and the traveling Grand Chapiteau—a climate-controlled, 2,600-seat tent—only adds to the spectacle. (Through March 24.) Marymoor Park, 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Pkwy. N.E., Redmond, 800-450-1480, cirquedusoleil.com. $43.50 and up. 8 p.m. GWENDOLYN ELLIOTT

FRIDAY 2/1

Dance: Next Stop: Passion

There are all kinds of reasons to see Pacific Northwest Ballet's Roméo et Juliette— Prokofiev's landmark score, choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot's hybrid movement choices (combining balletic strength with contemporary expression), the stylish costumes by Jérôme Kaplan, and the scenic design of Ernest Pignon-Ernest. But among all this, the characterization of the two main roles is what really stands out. Shakespeare's young lovers are close to us all in their passionate squirminess, reminding us of the times when our own obsessions were so powerful they made our toes wiggle. James Moore and Kaori Nakamura share the title roles with Seth Orza and Carla Körbes. And before the company departs for New York to reprise Roméo, the Saturday, Feb. 9 performance will feature PNB alums Noelani Pantastico and Lucien Postlewaite. (Through Feb. 10.) McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., 441-2424, pnb.org. $28–$183. 7:30 p.m. SANDRA KURTZ

Comedy: The Ire Artist

Ever irate, Lewis Black delivers some of the sharpest commentary about our politics and culture. The Daily Show veteran is returning to Seattle after his wedding comedy One Slight Hitch ran at ACT last summer, and his new tour is appropriately called The Rant Is Due. Expect him to release all his pent-up anger and disillusionment from last year's election. ("Hallelujah, our long national nightmare is over," he recently declared. "Now we face a fiscal cliff. Sounds like an event from the X Games.") Yet beyond his sputtering, teeth-gritting, and violent finger-pointing (which is really an act), Black the playwright intends to enlighten the audience, to grant us new understanding of an absurd world. He's an expert satirist, who with one well-crafted sentence can light up a house with laughter, frighten onlookers with rage, and convert naysayers with airtight logic. The Paramount, 911 Pine St., 877-784-4849, stgpresents.org. $36–$62. 8 p.m. DANA SITAR

SATURDAY 2/2

Books/Film: Ever on Guard

Let's go to the source: Is the 1993 comedy Groundhog Day a cult film? "They say it's a cult film, and I correct them," says Stephen Tobolowsky, who plays the overly friendly Ned Ryerson (the guy whom Bill Murray punches but later befriends). "It's not a cult film anymore. Now it is a classic film. On television here in L.A., it's on every February 2nd. It's the new Wizard of Oz." With his podcast/radio show The Tobolowsky Files heard on KUOW, the veteran actor has become a regular visitor to Seattle, and tonight he'll conduct a Q&A about the making of Groundhog Day. Of seeing himself in that film, he says, "It's a strange experience. You get transported back to when you were in that space when you were working on it. But I'm always happy to see it. First and foremost, what a phenomenal script. Kudos to Danny Rubin. I think it's one of the most underrated jobs of comedic direction by Harold Ramis." Then there's Murray—"one of the great comic performances of all time." In a karmic comedy about the endless repetition of a single day, Tobolowsky recalls, "I'd never been involved with a movie like this ever before. Ramis . . . said we'd shoot the movie over and over and over again! Nobody had a day off. Nobody had a moment off. We were always on what you call 'will-notify.' This was before the day of cell phones. Everybody had to be on their toes. It created a sense that everybody was on guard. You always had to be in performance mode. We were ready for action." Tobolowsky sounds considerably more relaxed on the audio version of his droll new memoir The Dangerous Animals Club ($7.49 on Amazon's audible.com), and tonight he'll also sign copies of the hardbound edition. SIFF Cinema Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave. N., 324-9996, siff.net. $10–$15. 6:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

Stage: Artfully Out

Falsettos, William Finn and James Lapine's landmark show about a married Jewish father circa 1979 who leaves his wife when he comes out of the closet, lost the 1992 Tony for Best Musical to Crazy for You, a charming crowd-pleaser created out of old Gershwin tunes (Falsettos did, however, win for book and score). While there is currently on Broadway another charming crowd-pleaser that culls from the Gershwin songbook (Nice Work if You Can Get It), there is not now, nor has there been since, another musical that deals in one sung-through (i.e., no dialogue) swoop with gays, marriage, AIDS, what it means to be a family, and how a boy becomes a man. Pity, considering those subjects are as relevant as ever—more reason to check out this week's concert staging by veteran director Victor Pappas. To give you an idea of its singularity, Falsettos begins with a song called "Four Jews in a Room Bitching" and ends with the question "How am I to face tomorrow/After being screwed out of today?" Marvin, the protagonist, is sometimes selfish in his quest to find satisfaction; his wife is understandably peeved by his attempts to welcome a lover into their clan; and his young son is prone to calling him a "homo." This is life in all its funny, tearful, and sometimes exhausting complexity. You'll come out of it humming and hopeful. Bena-roya Recital Hall, 200 University St., 215-4747, showtunestheatre.org. $21–$46. 8 p.m. (Also 2 p.m. Sun.) STEVE WIECKING

MONDAY 2/4

Books: His Kind of Cruel

The most acclaimed short-story writer in America today, George Saunders is masterful at creating feverishly imaginative fictional worlds. He famously set "CivilWarLand in Bad Decline" in a failing Civil War theme park and "Pastoralia" in a prehistoric caveman exhibit where Neanderthal re-enactors eat goat carcasses and communicate by fax. Some of his worlds are troublingly realistic; others are bizarre yet troublingly possible. Hailed by The New York Times as "the best book you'll read this year," his new collection Tenth of December (Random House, $26) is a fairly harrowing read. Its characters face class conflict, dysfunctional families, and their own warped psyches. In "Escape From Spiderhead," a ward of the state is forced to have mind-blowingly passionate sex with a series of women, which only makes him miserable. In "Al Roosten," a businessman struggles with his self-esteem as he's auctioned off at a community fundraiser. In "The Semplica Girl Diary," a family hires a trio of poor foreign girls to dangle from a wire as their lawn ornaments. Yet Saunders' most moving stories depict acts of kindness—as when, in "Victory Lap," a 15-year-old defies his parents' strict rules to rescue a beautiful schoolmate from kidnapping. And in the title story, a cancer victim's suicide attempt is thwarted by a bumbling chubby kid. In Saunders' pages, we're surrounded as much by tenderness as by cruelty. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 652-4255, townhallseattle.org. $5. 7:30 p.m. ERIN K. THOMPSON

TUESDAY 2/5

Food/Books: Kitchen Confrontational

Food-memoir readers accustomed to Ruth Reichl's dulcet recollections of just-plucked fruit or Julia Child's awed descriptions of sole meunière are likely to be taken aback by the coarse, streetwise musings of Eddie Huang, who chronicles his rise from wayward thug to successful restaurant owner in Fresh Off the Boat (Spiegel & Grau, $26). Huang, who wowed New York's culinary kingmakers with his Taiwanese bun counter, BaoHaus, references hip-hop, weed, and sneakers more frequently than his fellow kitchen memoirists, but he's equally serious about food, race, and the ever-changing relationship between those two subjects. A proud provocateur, the 30-year-old Huang is sure to touch on family, identity, assimilation, and commerce in his chat with poet and musician Geo (of the local band Blue Scholars), another son of Asian immigrants. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 652-4255, townhallseattle.org. $5. 7:30 p.m. HANNA RASKIN

 
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