The Pick List: Recommended Events

Thursday, June 5

ARTSparks

Of course there is a hashtag. You knew there would be a hashtag. #ARTSparks is one way to keep track of the city’s summer-long schedule of cultural events in Occidental Park, which aren’t just limited to First Thursdays. (Dancing and chamber music come next month.) However, tonight being the first such art walk of the summer, the park and environs will be unusually full of outdoor activity. Dylan Neuwirth is installing Just Be Your Selfie, a big neon status update of sorts. (Related is Tariqa Waters’ No I in Self at Martyr Sauce Gallery on South Washington Street.) Also on view through the summer is Sam Trout’s Welcome to the Park—geometric designs placed on all the light poles using colorful adhesive tape. In Nord Alley, the New Mystics collective will display five kinetic sculptures inspired by bicycling (some of them also foot-powered), so expect a large peloton to spill from Washington Bikes through Axis and to Back Alley Bike Repair. Local art and craft vendors will also set up their stands in the park. And as on every First Thursday, all Pioneer Square galleries will be open for your perusal, north from James Harris and south to Roq La Rue. If you need a downloadable walking map, go to firstthursdayseattle.com. Occidental Park, South Main Street & Occidental Avenue South, artsparksseattle.org. Free. 5:30–7 p.m.

Friday, June 6

Lily Tomlin

Period pieces don’t get any more periodic than Laugh-In, the cheese-tastic 1968–73 comedy show which encapsulated its flower-power era so perfectly that it couldn’t help but date into near-unwatchability. This pop-culture supernova collapsed into a black hole, with very few of its dozens of cast members able to escape it and flourish in its aftermath. There’s Oscar-winner Goldie Hawn, though she hasn’t made a film in years; and Wikipedia tells me that the great Eileen Brennan participated in the show’s first season, which I hadn’t remembered. (Laugh-In is among my earliest TV memories, and being a kindergartener definitely helped me appreciate it.) But Lily Tomlin, 74, is now in her fifth decade of steady and acclaimed stage and screen work—the latter neatly bracketed by two Robert Altman masterpieces 31 years apart, Nashville and A Prairie Home Companion. Her new stage show promises a greatest-hits roundup of her characters, from bratty-but-wise tot Edith Ann to sardonic phone operator (speaking of dated!) Ernestine and more. 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave., 625-1900, 5thavenue.org. $34 and up. 8 p.m. (Repeats Sat.)

Ashani Dances

Iyun Ashani Harrison has been making new work the old-school way for his ensemble, drawing from his deep background with companies like Dance Theater of Harlem and Alvin Ailey. Harrison’s day job is teaching at Cornish College, fostering the next generation of performers, some of whom have graduated into his group. For this set of performances, he’s got both his neoclassical and West African funk sides engaged for a mixed bill including live music by Johnaye Kendrick and Dawn Clement, as well as modern-influenced choreography by guest artist Eric Rivera. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway Ave., ashanidances.org. $15–$20. 7 p.m. (Repeats Sat. June 8.)

Sunday, June 8

The One I Love

Wait, is SIFF over just like that? Tonight’s closing gala includes a big after-party, with food, drinks, and music coordinated by Sub Pop co-founder Bruce Pavitt. The party is reason enough to splurge on an all-in ticket, but I also recommend this debut feature by Charlie McDowell, which stars Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass as a bickering L.A. couple who go to the world’s most bizarre couples therapy retreat. (Ted Danson is the counselor who sends them.) The less said about the plot mechanics here the better, since the movie is a kind of through-the-looking-glass experience for these smug Silver Lake marrieds. (Here’s my précis: It’s like two Edward Albee characters trapped in an enchanted Williams-Sonoma catalog.) Ethan (Duplass, always a SIFF favorite) has cheated on Sophie (Moss, of Mad Men), but what’s really afflicting these affluent, childless yuppies is their self-absorption. The fun, Lollapalooza-going days of their early marriage are forgotten. What happened to our kinder, cooler selves? Ethan and Sophie wonder. Anyone who’s been in a long relationship or marriage will know the feeling, and McDowell views that past/present discontent through a refracting lens. You want to be a better person, but it takes so much damn effort. And in The One I Love, Ethan and Sophie are suddenly forced to make that effort. McDowell and his two stars will attend the screening. The film opens here August 15. Cinerama, 2100 Fourth Ave., 324-9996, siff.net. $35–$100. 6:30 p.m.

Monday, June 9

Silent Movie Mondays

Oh, I hear all you SIFF junkies wailing and wondering what to do next. How can we continue to avoid exercise and stay out of the sun?!? Well, this four-film series offers both live music, from organist Jim Riggs, and historical immersion in the celluloid era. Tonight’s program begins with the ur-text of the Disney empire, the eight-minute Steamboat Willie, which introduced Mickey Mouse to the world. Also from 1928, the following feature is Feel My Pulse, the first movie to be screened at the Paramount when it opened that year. The romantic comedy concerns a rich, hypochondriac heiress (Bebe Daniels) who inherits a sanitarium that turns out to be a front for bootleggers and criminals! There she must choose between two men (Richard Arlen and William Powell). Appropriate to the era, following the show, Historic Seattle’s Larry Kreisman will give a talk in the Lobby Bar about the ’20s building boom that created our city’s grand theaters and picture palaces, many of them razed in the postwar era. The series runs through June 30 with Show People (Marion Davies stars, half of Hollywood drops by for cameos), Victor Sjöjström’s harrowing The Wind (with Lillian Gish), and Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus (featuring its original prerecorded score, composed by Chaplin). All programs include shorts and post-film discussions. The Paramount, 911 Pine St., 877-784-4849, stgpresents.org. $5-$10. 7 p.m.

 
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