<em>The American bad boy and the cool Swede clashed on the court, a tale recounted on opening night of the Nordic Lights Film Festival.</em>

The American bad boy and the cool Swede clashed on the court, a tale recounted on opening night of the Nordic Lights Film Festival.

Nordic Lights Film Fest, the Drama of Whiteness, and Your MLK Day Planned

The week’s best events.


Jesse Myers

“To sober and quiet the mind” was John Cage’s eloquent response when asked what he thought music’s purpose was (following this with the rationale: “… thus making it susceptible to divine influences.”). Myers has taken this phrase for the title of his recital of meditative piano works by Cage, Feldman, Pärt, and others. Applause is discouraged; lying on the floor encouraged. Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N., waywardmusic.org. $5–$15. 8 p.m. Fri., Jan. 12.

Bern Herbolsheimer Musical Memorial

The Saint Helens String Quartet and others remember the universally admired and beloved Seattle composer on the second anniversary of his death with a concert of his vocal and chamber works, including a violin sonata, a chamber opera, and a song cycle. Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N. Free. 5 p.m. Sat., Jan. 13.


Straight White Men

“A hyper-realistic family drama/comedy centering whiteness as a theme” is how director Sara Porkalob describes Straight White Men, Young Jean Lee’s play about three brothers gathering for Christmas. She’s directing this show and Peerless, opening at ArtsWest on the 18th, concurrently—and coincidentally, both plays are by women of Korean descent. “They are almost perfect aesthetic and dramaturgical foils … Peerless is a comedy/horror about two ruthless, ambitious Asian females destroying whiteness as an obstacle,” Porkalob says. “Directing them in tandem is a dream and a beast, but I’m the perfect person for the job.” 12th Avenue Arts, 1620 12th Ave., washingtonensemble.org. $15–$25. Preview Thurs., Jan. 11, opens Fri., Jan. 12. 7:30 p.m. Thurs.–Mon. Ends Jan. 29.


Nordic Lights Film Festival

More than a dozen features and shorts from Scandinavia, shown at the SIFF Film Center and SIFF Cinema Uptown; see nordicmuseum.org/nlff for the exact lineup, schedule, and ticket prices. Opening night is Borg vs. McEnroe, with Shia LaBeouf as the volatile American tennis star; other highlights include the Palme d’Or-winning The Square and a doc about a Sami rapper. SIFF Film Center, Northwest Rooms, Seattle Center and SIFF Cinema Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave. N. Thurs., Jan. 11–Sun., Jan. 14.

Dr. Strangelove

Current events have rendered Dr. Strangelove, Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 satire of nuclear armageddon and the men whose egos and incompetence bring it about, totally obsolete and implausible. For one thing, in the movie, the U.S. president works against the Russians. Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., central-cinema.com. $5–$8. 7 p.m. Fri., Jan. 12; 1:30 & 7 p.m. Sat., Jan. 13–Sun., Jan. 14; 7 p.m. Mon., Jan. 15.


• At MLK Unity Day, Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz, will be the keynote speaker, celebrating Dr. King’s legacy with Mayor Jenny Durkan and other luminaries. Seattle First Baptist Church, 1111 Harvard Ave., 7 p.m. Thurs., Jan. 11.

• King County is sponsoring a celebration at The Sanctuary, 811 Fifth Ave., 1 p.m. Thurs., Jan. 11.

• The Seattle Colleges MLK celebration features keynote speaker Ijeoma Oluo and gospel music from DaNell Daymon and Greater Works. Mount Zion Baptist Church, 1634 19th Ave., noon, Fri., Jan. 12.

• A screening of I Am Not Your Negro, the 2016 doc recounting our country’s legacy of racism through the words of James Baldwin, is followed by a discussion with Jane Elliott, the educator who created the revealing “Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes” classroom exercise. Seattle First Baptist Church, 1111 Harvard Ave., 10 a.m. Sat., Jan. 13.

• The Northwest African American Museum’s open house, with films and art activities, runs from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon., Jan. 15. naamnw.org.

• MLK Seattle’s march starts at Garfield High at 12:30 p.m. Mon., Jan., 15 and heads to the Federal Building at Second & Madison, followed by a rally at Westlake Park; see mlkseattle.org for more details. A second Westlake Park rally, at 6 p.m.,is sponsored by the Black Freedom Front.

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