Arts Picks




Rumors of an appearance by Steven Spielberg or George Lucas may be, ahem, slightly exaggerated, but the inauguration of the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame is still a big ripple on Seattle’s cultural pond. For one thing, its mere existence clinches our Geek City status; comic-book conventions and anime festivals seem just mildly geeky compared to this. The opening-day program includes a public dedication, a book-signing smorgasbord (featuring Octavia Butler and other acclaimed sci-fi authors), and a lecture—prepare yourself—on “The Physics of Star Trek.” Just think of this as a cousin to the new Central Library—but with aliens and space guns (like the “Happiness Patrol” pistol from Dr. Who, seen here). Opening ceremony: 10 a.m. Fri., June 18. Free admission. 325 Fifth Ave. N., 206-SCI-FICT. NEAL SCHINDLER




The folks at Taproot, purveyors of spir­itual uplift, have discovered the perfect ma­terial in William Nicholson’s story of the death-challenged love affair between Christian writer C.S. Lewis and Brooklyn poet Joy Gresham. Everything about this production is inspired, and as the ecumenical lovebirds, Jeff Berryman and Nikki Visel Whitfield (pictured) bring a quiet ferocity to their roles that makes their difficult arrival at mutual adoration believable and affecting. This is a smart, moving romance that finds a wonderful balance between pathos and hope. 7:30 p.m. Wed.–Thurs.; 8 p.m. Fri.–Sat.; 2 p.m. matinee Sat. Ends Sat., June 19. $10–$28. Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 85th St., 206-781-9707. RICHARD MORIN




Cirque du Soleil meets Airs Above the Ground? It sounds strange, but this grand-scale show— in which dozens of acrobats, aerialists, and riders perform with 30 horses in front of a 200-foot-wide projection screen—has wowed critics and fans in several cities. Created by Cirque co-founder Normand Latourelle and European “horse whisperers” Frédéric Pignon and Magali Delgado, the show is said to be spectacular both for its visuals and for the rapport between human and horse. Cavalia reportedly sold out in several other cities, so book early. Opens Thurs., June 17. Call for days and times through Sun., June 27. $25–$73. Under the big top next to the Boeing Renton Plant, off I-405 at exit 5, 866-999-8111 or NICHOLAS H. ALLISON




Now in its 33rd year, Fremont’s annual frolic is like the county fair without the feeling that you might get beaten up for your “Beat Bush” bumper sticker. The festivities are rich in options: The singular Solstice Parade begins at noon Saturday; five music stages feature everything from the funk of NuSol Tribe to the empower pop of Ms. Led; a display of ingenious “art cars” is the third largest such gathering in the country; and the outdoor movie season kicks off with Cameron Crowe’s romantic comedy classic Say Anything. 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Sat., June 19; 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Sun., June 20. $1 donation goes toward low-income food, shelter, and advocacy programs. In the heart of Fremont, call 206-694-6706 or for more info. STEVE WIECKING




The English-born Cole is a perfect example of how an artist can age with his audience. His Rattlesnakes, with former band the Commotions, had college kids on both sides of the pond singing wistfully along to the jangle-pop of “Perfect Skin” in 1984; Twenty years later, many of those same romantics are under the spell of his seventh solo release, Music in a Foreign Language. It isn’t that Cole is rewriting the same love songs, it’s that his craft is as literary, ambitious, and honest as ever. Live, he gives great banter, and that, too, has aged: In between his Leonard Cohen–esque ballads, he cracks wry lines about baby-sitters and gray hair. 9 p.m. Mon., June 21. $15– $17.50. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 800-965-4827. LAURA CASSIDY