Your Weekend Arts & Chowder Guide"/>
Richard Nixon lives! The disgraced former president (actually portrayed by Stacy Keach) begins a weekend packed with tugboat racing, excellent photography, classical music, and more. First, here's Margaret Friedman on Frost/Nixon:
British playwright Peter Morgan does what he must to magnify the entertainment value of history. In 2006, he debuted three dramas about stumbling leaders: movies The Last King of Scotland and The Queen, and Frost/Nixon. The latter, recently adapted to film, relates how English TV host David Frost made a huge financial and career gamble to interview the disgraced former president. The gamble paid off: Frost recouped his investment by syndicating the famous 1977 broadcasts, and historians could debate whether, in fact, Tricky Dick had confessed his crimes or not. In this touring production of the play (running through Sunday), Stacy Keach plays Nixon opposite Alan Cox's Frost. It's a psychological prizefight between a friendly, breezy "people guy" and the brooding, fallen politician. The Paramount, 911 Pine St., 467-5510, www.theparamount.com. $18-$60. 8 p.m. MARGARET FRIEDMAN
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ARTattack: Teen Night Out
This event just in: SAM presents a free night for teens. Per the museum's press release: "We all know the American Revolution didn't stop in 1776. Give props to one of your world-changing, revolutionary role models. It could be a historic freedom fighter, a family member or someone in your community who gives back in big ways. Rock a poem, dance, make art or sing your heart out. Performances by the All City Break Dancers, Dani Hobbs, Seattle Youth Poetry Slam Finalists, Jason Webley and the Frontmen." Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., 654-3121, www.seattleartmuseum.org. Free. 6-9 p.m.
Seattle Maritime Festival
When tourists crowd the Pike Place Market each summer, I inevitably end up cursing the throngs dazedly wandering the cobbles like they own the place. (Hey, why don't you stop in the middle of a crowded sidewalk to take a picture or consult your map?) The Seattle Maritime Festival isn't going to help. Today's activities begin with a chowder cook-off that runs all day at eight waterfront restaurants including Ivar's, the Crab Pot, and Elliott's Oyster House. It's all-you-can chow for the price of a $5 "chowder passport." There's also a survival suit race in the Bell Harbor Marina at 11 a.m. (you know, those orange inflatable get-ups they wear on Deadliest Catch). But the main attraction is the tugboat racing between Pier 59 and Myrtle-Edwards Park (noon to 3 p.m.). Between heats, the Coast Guard will do a helicopter rescue demonstration. Other family friendly activities include tours of various vessels, one owned by the Canadian Navy. I love chowder. And I love a Canadian in a uniform. So I guess I'll have to be a little more patient with those tourists. Even the ones riding the Duck. Pier 66, 728-3163, www.seattlepropellerclub.org. Free. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. SUZIE RUGH
Raised in Seattle and a UW grad, photographer Eirik Johnson today teaches in Boston and is known for collections including Borderlands, about the neglected, forgotten, trash-strewn fringes of the city. His new Sawdust Mountain (Aperture, $50) chronicles the decline of the timber industry--or rather, its bleak aftermath--back here in the Northwest. In this selection from the book, on view through May 30, we see the depopulated, clear-cut remnants of our region's century-long logging boom. There are no towering Doug firs or heroic woodsmen left, no quaint images like those of frontier photographer Darius Kinsey (whom Johnson acknowledges as an influence). Along the Sauk and Columbia rivers, over on the Olympic Peninsula, old-growth timber has been replaced by weedy, fast-growing breeds, bioengineered for swift harvest. The mills are closed and jobs are scarce. Empty buildings are used for flea markets, or to sell Star Wars memorabilia; most of the young people have moved to the city. Yet at the same time, natural habitats are being restored and dams removed (including that on the Elwha River, after years of litigation). Johnson's Sawdust Nation isn't post-apocalyptic but post-industrial, since logging (like fishing) will never return to its old scale. His images are depressing but not hopeless. The landscape may not be poised for recovery, but it's ready for the next uncertain thing--new uses, though surely with fewer users. Johnson portrays those who remain with stoic, mossy fortitude. G. Gibson Gallery, 300 S. Washington St., 587-4033, www.ggibsongallery.com. Free. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Also: Johnson appears toady at 2 p.m. with Tess Gallagher, who contributed an essay to the book, at Elliott Bay Book Co. (101 S. Main St., 624-6600, www.elliottbaybook.com). BRIAN MILLER
Seattle Pro Musica/Master Chorus Eastside
Composer anniversaries, which the classical music world never tires of observing, are often just an excuse for ensembles to perform music they would have performed anyway. (The really big kahunas get both their birth and death celebrated every 50 years.) But two local choirs are going all out this weekend with a pair of oratorios that represent their composers' grandest expressions of religious feeling. To honor Felix Mendelssohn (born Feb. 3, 1809), Seattle Pro Musica, under Karen P. Thomas, is performing his vast and rousing Elijah (1846). That story of the Biblical prophet retains not a little contemporary resonance, given its themes of religious conflict and crusading belief. (God vs. Baal--guess Who wins?) The God of Joseph Haydn (died May 31, 1809) was a considerably more benign deity, and Master Chorus Eastside is staging his 1798 The Creation, a picturesque tour through His seven days of handiwork, with instrumentally depicted details from the origin of light to the creeping of the worm. "To match Haydn's sense of play," says MCE director Linda Gingrich, the work is being semi-staged with special lighting, blocking, and set pieces representing mountains, animals, and such. (The soloists singing Adam and Eve may or may not appear authentically costumed.) Elijah: St. James Cathedral, Ninth Avenue and Marion Street, 781-2766, www.seattlepromusica.org. $25-$32. 8 p.m. (Also 8:15 p.m. Fri., May 8.) The Creation: Eastlake Performing Arts Center, 400 228th Ave. N.E., Sammamish, 425-392-8446, www.masterchoruseastside.org. $9-$18. 7:30 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT
Dave Eggers/Away We Go
You can decide whether literary hunk Dave Eggers or TV hunk John Krasinski is hotter at a special benefit screening of Away We Go. Northwest Film Forum is presenting the film; proceeds go to local writing-tutoring center 826 Seattle, part of the national organization founded by Eggers in the Bay Area. He and wife Vendela Vida wrote the script, about a couple (Krasinski and Maya Rudolph) searching the country for the right place to start a family. Also in the cast: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Paul Schneider, Allison Janney, Catherine O'Hara, and Jeff Daniels. It's directed by Oscar winner Sam Mendes (of Revolutionary Road and American Beauty). Eggers will do a Q&A following the screening. Krasinski will not attend. The film opens June 5 in New York and L.A., then soon after in Seattle. Harvard Exit, 807 E. Roy St., www.brownpapertickets.com. $20-$25. 5 p.m. BRIAN MILLER
Cities and their inhabitants are at rest in the black-and-white prints by Eduardo Calderón (on view through May 31). The Peruvian-born local photographer, shooting from Seattle to Paris and beyond, favors relaxed scenes: a cat staring implacably out a window; a man, dressed in a neat suit, lying on the cobblestones for a nap next to the Seine; bolts of cloth draped for display that somehow suggest women in burkas. Store windows reflect further images of urban repose, doubling the languor. Elsewhere Calderón frames stairwells, arches, rooftops, brick walls, and shadowy lattices whose forms multiply by geometric progression. In one image recalling Cartier-Bresson, a Parisian woman thumbs out a text message beside a Lanvin shop window, her head obscured by tree. She's in no hurry to lose her privacy. Francine Seders Gallery, 6701 Greenwood Ave. N., 782-0355, www.sedersgallery.com. Free. 1-5 p.m. BRIAN MILLER
As William, a taciturn senior who seems to be planning for his final days, veteran character actor Red West takes center stage in Goodbye Solo, the third feature co-written and directed by Ramin Bahrani (Man Push Cart, Chop Shop), who, at 34, has quietly emerged as one of the major figures in American independent film. What's consistently remarkable about Bahrani's work is his steadfast refusal to peddle cheap sentiment, or to mine for hope where there is none to be found. And while all of his films to date have dealt with entrepreneurial endeavors, it is not riches that Bahrani's ragged protagonists seek, but merely a finer quality of rags. In Goodbye Solo, the small-scale social climber is the title character (excellent newcomer Souléymane Sy Savané), a Senegalese-born taxi driver who cruises the streets of Winston-Salem. When Solo gives a ride to William, he's perplexed by the elder man's request to pick him up again at a date in the near future and deposit him at the top of a local mountain--no questions asked. The more Solo pries, the more William retreats. Yet a profound, if fragile bond forms between the two men. The revelation of the film is West, who, in his first leading role, seems like an old buffalo nickel uncovered from the recesses of a dusty bureau, its worth derived not from its assigned value, but from the places it has been and the hands it has passed through. (91 minutes, not rated.) Varsity, 4329 University Way N.E., 781-5755, www.landmarktheatres.com. $10. 2:30, 4:40, 7:10, and 9:10 p.m. SCOTT FOUNDAS