Since 2004, the Moisture Festival has heralded spring as Seattle’s motley gathering of musicians, dancers, and circus artists (jugglers, magicians, aerialists) of all kinds. Back again this season are favorites like Americana singer/guitarist Baby Gramps, acrobat/martial-arts team Nanda, acrobalancers Dr. Calamari and Acrophelia, and bubble sculptor Tom Noddy, plus a weekend of Libertease Cabaret burlesque shows (March 29–31; performer Luminous Pariah is pictured above). Oddball acts include virtuoso whistler Jason Victor Serinus and Zipcode Man, who’s memorized more than 30,000 of them. (”If it’s a town more than a thousand,” he boasts, “I’m probably not going to get stumped.”) Hale’s Palladium & Broadway Performance Hall, moisturefestival.org. March 15–April 8.
During his time leading the Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz championed American music more fervently than any conductor since Bernstein, especially that of the traditionalist wing. One of the very few pieces that was already kinda in the repertory when he recorded it (beautifully) with the SSO was the “Romantic” Symphony from 1930 by Howard Hanson (1896–1981), popular for its sweep, warmth, opulence, and particularly the unabashedly tuney tune in its slow movement. Stephen Radcliffe conducts it with the Seattle Youth Symphony on a mostly-American program that includes the premiere of local composer/SYSO alumnus Brendan McMullen’s Harbor Lights, plus music by Samuel Barber and Bedrich Smetana. Meany Center, UW campus, syso.org. $16–$32. 7:30 p.m. Sat., March 17.
Depending on when you determine that Nirvana became Nirvana (Dave Grohl, for example, didn’t enter the picture until 1990), the band’s 30th anniversary could be sometime around now. The Museum of Pop Culture is marking the occasion with the return of the exhibit “Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses.” Memorabilia from instruments and speakers to shirts and flyers will be on display, and Friday’s reopening party features panels (Charles Peterson, Jack Endino, Bruce Pavitt, Kim Thayil, Gillian Gaar, and Steve Fisk), performances (from Dead Bars and Red Ribbon), and more. Museum of Pop Culture, mopop.org. $23–$28. 7 p.m. Fri., March 16.
SIFF’s “Cinema Dissection” series digs deep into a film, exploring it scene by scene over six hours. This weekend, Sharon Nyree Williams (executive director of the Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas) guides you through Spike Lee’s slashing satire Bamboozled, in which Damon Wayans plays a cynical TV executive who revives a 19th-century minstrel show, with every racist stereotype dialed (back) up to 11. Expect the discussion to touch on how the media and racial landscapes in America have changed since Lee made the film 18 years ago. Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, siff.net. $15–$20. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat., March 17.
Save the Date
The Residents The Triple Door, April 9
Lisa Lampanelli The Neptune, June 8
Violent Femmes Woodland Park Zoo, June 17
Seattle Symphony—Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert Benaroya Hall, July 13–15
Neil deGrasse Tyson The Paramount, November 26 & 27