Pick List: Laurie Anderson, Calidore String Quartet, ‘The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao’

Seattle’s best entertainment events of the week.


Though he couldn’t have known it for sure, Schubert may have intuited that his String Quintet, finished just a couple of months before he died in November 1828, would be one of his last major works—not a tragic piece but a valedictory one in its spaciousness and immense emotional range, as if he were taking one final opportunity to say everything he had to say. My favorite recording of the Quintet—by which I mean the one that best makes the case that this is the greatest piece of chamber music ever written—combines the Emerson String Quartet and cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. David Finckel was the Emerson’s cellist on that 1992 disc, and now, off on his own, he’s joining the younger Calidore String Quartet for this performance. Meany Center, UW campus, meanycenter.org. $40–$48. 7:30 p.m. Tues., April 24.


Project 42, an ongoing series by Bellevue College faculty member Jono Vaughan, memorializes, via textiles made into garments, the lives of 42 murdered transgender individuals. The garments are given to collaborators—dancers or other performing artists—who use the garment in their own performances and document the results. Seattle Art Museum, seattleart museum.org. Opens April 21. Open Wed.–Sun. Ends Aug. 5.


For Green Fog, director Guy Maddin turned his attention from his native Winnipeg—setting for so many of his neurotically heightened, surreally stylized hommages to filmmaking methods of the ’20s and ’30s—to San Francisco. He describes it as a “parallel-universe version” of Vertigo, rethinking Hitchcock using found footage of the Bay Area. Northwest Film Forum, nwfilmforum.org. $7–$12. 8:15 p.m. Fri., April 20; 4:30 & 7:45 p.m. Sat., April 21; 7:15 p.m. Sun., April 22.

Features, shorts, workshops, discussions, a Youth Film Showcase, and Saturday’s Hep Cat Ball (at MOHAI) fill four days in the 15th annual Langston Hughes Film Festival. The closing-night film, 6 p.m. Sunday, is My People Are Rising, Raphael Flores’ doc based on the 2012 memoir of Seattle activist Aaron Dixon, a founder of the Seattle chapter of the Black Panthers. Nikkita Oliver hosts. See langstonseattle.org for complete lineup. Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Pass $90, single tickets $7–$12. Thurs., April 19–Sun., April 22.


The performance-art pioneer who topped the pop charts, Laurie Anderson’s two most recent works came in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which flooded her Manhattan house. One, Landfall, is a recording with the Kronos Quartet; the other, All the Things I Lost in the Flood, is a collection of essays, looking back over 40 years of her work and examining her use of stories and language. She’s also turned this book into a performance, combining, as usual for her, visuals, electronics, and her magically rich and serene storytelling voice. The Neptune, stgpresents.org. $35–$40. 7 p.m. Sun., April 22.


It’s not easy growing up as an overweight sci-fi and fantasy-loving Dominican boy in New Jersey. It’s even harder when your family is cursed. Expect an engaging dose of magical realism in Literature to Life/Young Audiences of New York’s adaptation of Junot Díaz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao into a one-man show; Elvis Nolasco (pictured) plays 30 characters. As Oscar grows from a boy struggling to find love (or at least lose his virginity) to a man still looking for that connection, the story interweaves his family history, supernatural mongooses, and more unexpected turns. SETH SOMMERFELD Center Theatre, Seattle Center Armory, book-it.org. $26–$50. 7:30 p.m. Wed.–Sat. & 2 p.m. Sun., plus 2 p.m. Wed., April 25 and Sat., May 5. Ends May 6.