The Weekly Wire: The Week’s Recommended Events

Friday 6/28

Pride: Nightlife/Working Up a Sweat

Go ahead and add talcum powder to all the shimmering accoutrements—glitter, confetti, body paint, etc.—you’ll see this Pride Weekend on the Hill. You’ll find it in the heart of the ’hood on Chop Suey’s dance floor, and it’s there to help with traction once all that body art gets sweated off during what production manager Alex Barr calls the venue’s “best dance parties.” They’ll be using a lot of it, too. But first, tonight’s lesbian-oriented Lick Night features top-40, hip-hop, and classic dance music. Saturday’s Talcum Night, presented by beloved pop-up dance party Emerald City Soul Club, has four DJs spinning sultry soul singles from divas like Dusty Springfield and Tina Turner. If cutting loose to “Proud Mary” with some of Seattle’s hottest guys doesn’t reel you in, stick around long enough and you’re sure to find something—or someone—worth following inside. With DJs Mathematix, Dewey Decimal, DJ Res, DJ Riff Raff, and the Hill Rats. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005, chopsuey.com. $5. 21 and over. 7:30 p.m. (and 9 p.m. Sat.)

Pride: Film/Beautiful Boy

As gay icons go, James Dean fit the ’50s ideal of being handsome, sensitive, and attractive to the ladies, too. During his short lifetime (1931–1955) flourished a beefcake tribe of closeted gay actors, renamed by their studios and assigned girlfriends in the tabloids, including Rock Hudson and Tab Hunter. Dean was an awkward fit with that Hollywood machinery—a little too Methody, a little too New York, a little too close to the “I’m about to have a nervous breakdown!” tremulousness of Montgomery Clift. For that reason, he’s compelling to watch as red-jacketed teen Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause (1955), his iconic screen role. Director Nicholas Ray wound him up for the movie’s overwrought moments (“You’re tearing me apart! ”), but he also has an appreciation—as does the camera—for the stillness of Dean’s sheer beauty. From the way Natalie Wood stares at him, the way Sal Mineo stares at him, Dean’s magnetism is apparent. Fifty years later, gay men have many more diverse role models, none in the closet, but few with such enduring fascination. (See James Franco’s worshipful impersonation in the 2001 TV movie James Dean.) His death wasn’t a martyrdom, but he’s still something of a queer patron saint. (Through Wed.) Central Cinema, $6–$8. 7 p.m.

Saturday 6/29

Pride: Picnics/Invasion of the Sippy-Cups!

Sunscreen? Check. Diapers? Check. Extra Ziploc bags of Cheerios and grapes? Check and check. Being a child-raising gay couple isn’t what it used to be. For starters, most of those couples are married now, their schedules crammed with PTA meetings, play dates, soccer games, visits to the pediatrician, and kiddie matinees. For that reason, today’s PrideFest Family Day will be an excellent chance to meet and mingle with other LGBT parents while the kids run wild. It’ll be a stroller-ific, picnicky kind of gathering where you can set up a blanket as a base of operations, then let the young’uns roam the grass, wade in the fountain, poke at the dog poo (“No! Don’t touch that!”), and beg for ice cream from the food vendors. (Other forms of roving entertainment are also expected.) Now that the kids are out of school, summer means embracing the chaos and skinned knees. (Band-Aids? Check.) While they’re at play, you can compare notes with other parents on schools, braces, and saving for college. Cal Anderson Park, 1635 11th Ave., seattlepride.org. Free. Noon–5 p.m.

Sunday 6/30

Pride: Parades/The Rainbow Congestion

There are bad traffic jams and there are good traffic jams. The former come on work days, the latter fall on celebratory weekends—like today’s annual Pride Parade, which will make Belltown impassable for two hours and keep Seattle Center crowded for the rest of the day with PrideFest. (Warning: Mercer, Denny, and Broad will be a nightmare; try the bus or monorail, walk or bike, or park far from the festivities.) Dozens of community groups will march up Fourth, with Sylvia O’Stayformore serving as the parade’s announcer at Westlake Park. And yes, Dykes on Bikes® will be rumbling down the parade route, too. At Seattle Center, attractions will include four music stages, food, and vendors of every description. If you need a respite from the crowds and noise, the food court at the renovated Armory is a great place to sit (or park the parents). And if you’re looking for a little beefcake, remember that Man of Steel is playing in IMAX at the Science Center—we understand that Henry Cavill is easy on the eyes. Parade start: Fourth Ave. & Union St., 11 a.m. Finish: Seattle Center. PrideFest: noon–8 p.m. Free, pridefest.org .

Monday 7/1

Pride: Classical/”Yes, Peter was queer.”

—is, I vividly recall, how one music-history book I read as a kid broached the subject of Tchaikovsky’s gayness. Naturally, composers’ sexuality, especially homo-, has been almost entirely airbrushed out of history—with this sole exception. Biographies and textbooks can’t avoid mentioning it, if gingerly; I knew Tchaikovsky was homosexual before I knew what a homosexual was. For one thing, the fiasco of his two-and-a-half-month marriage in 1877 to the borderline-nuts Antonina Miliukova, followed by his suicide attempt, looms so large in his life that it’s unomittable. Also, mid-century American music writing followed two manly-man gods: Schoenberg if you were an avant-gardist, Wagner if you were not. Neither school had any time for the composer of the “Pathetique” Symphony and all those twee ballets, and it was easy to explain away the embarrassing hyperemotionality of Tchaikovsky’s music by talking about his . . . tendencies. Tonight the Seattle Chamber Music Society, whose summer festival runs June 29–July 26, presents his Third String Quartet—from 1876, as matters were coming to a head: Tchaikovsky’s own guilt, his romantic disappointment over a male violinist, and pressure from Miliukova, cluelessly throwing herself at him. Other gay composers represented in the festival: Britten (July 5, 15); Tchaikovsky again (his lavish Piano Trio, July 10); Bernstein (July 22); Copland and Barber (July 26). And maybe Ravel (July 3) and Saint-Saëns (July 5, 19). Benaroya Recital Hall, Third Ave. & Union St., 283-8710, seattlechambermusic.org. $15–$45. 8 p.m.

 
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