Cornell Alston in <em>JACK &</em>, this weekend at On the Boards. Photo by Christopher Myers.

Cornell Alston in JACK &, this weekend at On the Boards. Photo by Christopher Myers.

Pick List: Harry Partch Festival, ‘Jack &,’ Sabroso Fest

Seattle’s best entertainment options this week.


“Prison—it takes one’s dreaming … and the process of killing dreams continues even on the outside,” says actor Cornell Alston, who during his 33 years in the New York State prison system staged plays there (in one example, taking the role of Ma Rainey in August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom). Yet JACK &, created in collaboration with Kaneza Schaal, is, Schaal emphasizes, not “a personal narrative reportage drama.” Instead their stage duet is “a multimedia comedy of errors” that examines social codes and trainings from prison re-entry programs to … debutante balls. On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., $23–$30. 8 p.m. Thurs., May 10– Fri., May 11; 5 p.m. Sat., May 12–Sun., May 13.


A musical innovator like no other, composer Harry Partch (1901–74) went so far as to invent his own instruments. Unsatisfied by standard tuning (the rigid hegemony of the piano), he sought even subtler pitch nuances, preferring the sound of a scale that divides the octave into 43 separate notes rather than the usual 12. To play this music, he built an orchestral menagerie whose names suggest some collaboration between J.K. Rowling and Dr. Seuss—among them the bloboy, the quadrangularis reversum, and the zymo-xyl, built from “14 high-pitched oak xylophone bars, 17 tuned whisky bottles, two hubcaps, and an aluminum kettle top.” In 2012, UW inherited this collection, and likes to show them off regularly, inventing this mini-festival: three nights of music by Partch and others, plus other talks and symposia. See for complete lineup and schedule. Meany Center, UW campus. $10–$25. Fri., May 11–Sun., May 13.


Playing off her earlier casting as a smoky-voiced femme fatale, John Waters chose Kathleen Turner as the chipper suburban psychopath—avenger of social faux pas, dispatcher of anyone who irritates her—in his 1994 black comedy Serial Mom. Celebrate Mother’s Day weekend by watching her beat Patty Hearst to death with a phone for wearing white shoes after Labor Day. Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., $8. 9:30 p.m. Fri., May 11, 4 & 9:30 p.m. Sat., May 12–Sun., May 13.


After 20+ years of moshing in arena parking lots and fairgrounds, the Warped Tour is calling it quits in 2018. And while the final edition of Warped isn’t coming anywhere near the Pacific Northwest, the Sabroso Craft Beer, Tacos, and Music Festival actually offers a better opportunity for the older crowd to relive their late-’90s/early-’00s melodic punk glory years without quite as large a horde of sweaty mall-punk teens. Serving as the unoffical kickoff to the summer outdoor-music season, Sabroso Fest’s White River Amphitheatre stop features Cali punk legends The Offspring and Pennywise, a couple acts that had momentary crossover modern rock success (Lit and Unwritten Law), and (best of all) the still-relevant trans ferocity of Against Me! (pictured). Throw in an array of craft brews, a host of local taco vendors, and a lucha libre wrestling tournament, and you’ve got a summery rock extravaganza more suited for the old punks anyway. White River Amphitheatre, $25–$30. 1–9 p.m. Sat., May 12.

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