Even if most of us fall short of being hoarders, American culture certainly has its roots deep in the soil of capitalist materialism. Always-engaging Seattle choreographer Alice Gosti dives headfirst into our object obsession—and the memories, dreams, and symbolic weight we attach to our stuff—with her latest work, Material Deviance in Contemporary American Culture. How do we fill our own existential voids with clutter? SETH SOMMERFELD On the Boards, ontheboards.org, $23–$30. 8 p.m. Thurs., March 29–Sat., March 31, 5 p.m. Sun., April 1.
The timing couldn’t have been better: In April 2015, just a couple weeks before the Seattle Symphony was scheduled to play John Luther Adams’ Become Ocean in Carnegie Hall as part of the invitation-only Spring for Music festival, the piece won that year’s Pulitzer Prize for music. Suddenly it was the festival’s must-hear concert, garnering international attention (and even celebrity attention; pop goddess Taylor Swift loved the work so much she donated $50K to the orchestra). Thus interest is high for Adams’ follow-up, Become Desert, another epic canvas (one movement, 42 minutes) to which the composer (formerly resident in Alaska, currently in Mexico) is adding a chorus to the full orchestra. Ludovic Morlot conducts; Jeremy Denk is also on hand to play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 5. Benaroya Hall, seattlesymphony.org. $22–$122. 7:30 p.m. Thurs., March 29, 8 p.m. Sat., March 31.
Sometimes opposites attract. Other times, you’re both on the crime beat at The Baltimore Sun. Married couple David Simon and Laura Lippman both cut their teeth reporting at the Sun before moving on to acclaimed fiction-writing careers. Simon wrote for Homicide: Life on the Street before creating the iconic TV drama The Wire. Lippman become one of the most prominent female crime writers, penning numerous award-winning detective novels. If you’re looking for insightful and entertaining thoughts on the current criminal-justice system, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option than spending a night with the couple. SETH SOMMERFELD Benaroya Hall, lectures.org. $20–$80. 7:30 p.m. Fri., March 30.
Tommy Wiseau, The Room’s addled auteur, and Greg Sestero, who told the cult classic’s behind-the-scenes story in The Disaster Artist, reteam for their noir a clef Best F(r)iends. Loosely inspired by the pair’s actual road trip, it’s the tale of a drifter and a mortician who fall in together and plan a heist. It’s also told in two “volumes”; you’ll have to wait until June 1 & 4 for the second. See fathomevents.com for participating theaters. $13.13. 8 p.m. Fri., March 30 & Mon., April 2.
Can mice and bears be friends? NO THEY CANNOT—which is the one thing the denizens of the above-ground bear city and the subterranean, Borrowers-style mouse city agree on in Ernest & Célestine, the French/Belgian nominee for the 2013 Best Animated Feature Oscar. The two are linked by mutual fear and a weirdly interdependent dental-based economy too fancifully complex to go into here. (Mice and bears, that is, not France and Belgium.) But independent-minded and (consequently) lonely Célestine, who lives in a mouse orphanage and likes to draw, isn’t afraid of bears, shocking everyone. She befriends Ernest, a grumpy and none-too-successful busker, and the two outlaws (after raiding a confectioner’s) settle down in Ernest’s cabin. The pair’s final peril, after the Bear Police and Rat Police finally catch up with them, is scary enough for kids to enjoy, but not too scary to freak out parents. The masterful animation, sketchy and watercolory in a way that reminded me a bit of William Steig’s illustrations (CDB! ), hits its peak of adorableness early with a mass mouse pillow fight, though a lot of what comes after comes close. SIFF Film Center, siff.net. $5–$10. 11 a.m. Sat., March 31.
While reasons for pessimism abound, there’s always a kernel of hope when the Mariners’ record sits at an unblemished 0-0. Sure, the M’s now have the longest playoff drought in all of pro sports, but it’s still fun to see Felix Hernandez, Nelson Cruz, and Robinson Caño take the field before everything turns into the usual soul-sucking hellscape of injuries and ineptitude. The season gets underway with a matchup against the Cleveland Indians. SETH SOMMERFELD Safeco Field, mariners.com. $35–$120. 7:10 p.m. Thurs., March 29.