Pick List: ‘My Àntonia,’ Sun Breaks, Bob Woodward

The week’s best entertainment offerings.


In the centennial year of its publication, Book-It adapts My Àntonia, Willa Cather’s lyrical novel about a Czech immigrant farm woman’s lifelong friendship with the book’s idealistic male narrator. GAVIN BORCHERT Center Theatre at the Armory, Seattle Center, book-it.org. $26 and up. Previews Nov. 28–30. 7:30 p.m. Wed.–Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., plus 2 p.m. Dec. 5, 15, 22, 29. Dec. 1–30.

Women gather for a country weekend in Fefu and Her Friend, surrealist play by María Irene Fornés (who passed away Oct. 31). Meany Studio Theater, UW campus, drama.washington.edu. $8–$20. 7:30 p.m. Wed.–Sat.; 2 p.m. Sun. Ends Nov. 28–Dec. 9.

Hershey Felder, the man who brought Irving Berlin to life last season at Seattle Rep, presents his new solo show, Our Great Tchaikovsky, about the composer of The Nutcracker. GB Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Center. $17 and up. 7:30 p.m. Tues.–Sun.; see seattlerep.org for exact schedule. Nov. 29–Dec. 16.

Penn and Teller almost single-, or rather double-, handedly transformed stage magic from kitsch to performance art. GB The Paramount, stgpresents.org. $31–$81. 8 p.m. Fri., Nov. 30.


A Very Die Hard Christmas serves up musical spoof of the 1988 action movie (and Christmas) classic. Yippee-ki-yay, indeed. SS Bathhouse Theater, seattlepublictheater.org. $22–$26. Nov. 29–Dec. 23.

’Tis the season for a visit from a jolly older gentleman who’s about to lavish gifts on you. I mean filmmaker/raconteur John Waters, America’s paterfamilias of perversion, and the gift is his holiday monologue. A John Waters Christmas is full of reflections on the spirit of the season, with plenty of helpful advice on decorating (do you have an electric chair at home you’re not using? String it with lights!—like Waters does with a prop from his film Female Trouble) and (more important) spending time with ideologically unenlightened family members. GB The Neptune, stgpresents.org. $38. 8 p.m. Sun., Dec. 2.


Possibly the most popular piano concerto of all is Rachmaninoff’s second; Khatia Buniatishvili plays it with Seattle Symphony (Gustavo Gimeno on the podium) and Rimsky-Korsakov’s luscious fairy-tale Scheherazade to follow. GB Benaroya Hall, seattlesymphony.org. 7:30 p.m. Thurs., Nov. 29, 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 1; 7 p.m., Fri., Nov. 30 is a one-hour “Untuxed” concert with Rach only.

One of the great sound-liberators among 20th-century composers, Edgard Varèse (1883–1965) wrote just a handful of hugely influential works whose surface may startle tender ears even today, though their dramatic force and exhilarating propulsion will pull you in. His roof-raising Ionisation, for 13 percussionists on instruments from sirens to sleigh bells, will be played, among much else, by the UW Percussion Ensemble. GB Meany Center, music. washington.edu. $10. 7:30 p.m. Fri., Nov. 30.


Sometimes there’s beauty in the clash. Sun Breaks—Seattle music veterans John Atkins (764-HERO) and James van Leuven—combines Atkins’ indie songwriting and instrumental side with van Leuven’s more studio-centric synths and drum in a way that doesn’t strive for any notion of The Postal Service pop smoothness. Their sounds clang off one another with a continually interesting, carefree, casual chaos. Sun Breaks celebrates the release of its first LP, All on Camera (out now on Suicide Squeeze), with DoNormaal (who features on the record) and Select Level. SS Clock-Out Lounge, clockoutlounge.com. $10–$13. 9 p.m. Fri., Nov. 30.


Bob Woodward, the acclaimed journalist who took down President Nixon with his Watergate reporting (and as a reward got portrayed by Hollywood’s handsomest actor in a hit film) has made more waves with his new Trump tome, Fear. (It’d sure be nice for a repeat, Bob.) SETH SOMMERFELD The Paramount, stgpresents.org. $25–$75. 7:30 p.m. Wed., Nov. 28.

Since 1982, Paul Dorpat has written “Seattle Now and Then” photo-history columns for the Sunday Seattle Times. 100 of the top entries now are complied in a coffee-table book bearing the series name. GB Third Place Books Lake Forest Park, thirdplacebooks.com, 7 p.m. Free. Thurs., Nov. 29; Aljoya Mercer Island, 2:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 1

Now 85, the Iowa educator Jane Elliott created the famous “Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Exercise” a half-century ago to teach elementary school students about racism and segregation. She travels to Seattle to presents a seminar, “The Anatomy of Prejudice.” GB Seattle Center Armory. $25–$59. 9 a.m., Sat., Dec 1

Richard Rothstein explores the roots of Seattle’s infamous “redlining” zoning policies, and similar procedures in other cities, in The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. GB Elliott Bay Book Company, elliottbaybook.com. 7 p.m., Tues., Dec. 4

In her anthology Black Ink: Literary Legends on the Peril, Power, and Pleasure of Reading and Writing, Stephanie Stokes Oliver gathers reflections by writers from Frederick Douglass to Ta-Nehisi Coates. GB Northwest African American Museum, naamnw.org. Free. 7 p.m., Tues., Dec. 4

Octavio Solis’s memoir Retablos—Stories From a Life Lived Along the Border uses paintings as a metaphor and structural inspiration. GB Rainier Arts Center, townhallseattle.org. $5. 7:30 p.m., Tues., Dec. 4


Urban Craft Uprising — Seattle’s largest indie craft show — offers clothing of all types, jewelry, gifts, bags, wallets, accessories, children’s goods, toys, housewares, paper goods, candles, kits, geekery, art, food, and much, much more. Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, urbancraftuprising.com. Free. 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Sat., Dec. 1, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun., Dec. 2.


The Victoria, B.C.-based Short Circuit Pacific Rim Film Festival annually brings together an array of filmmakers from the lands that border our closest ocean (Canada, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, etc.) to highlight the kinships among people who may live in different lands but share the same connection to humanity and the water. For the first time, Short Circuit is touring a selection of festival favorites from this year’s edition, including shorts about a deaf boy wanting to perform New Zealand’s traditional haka dance, minor-league hockey hazing, and family quarrels at a pho joint. SS Northwest Film Forum, nwfilmforum.org. $12. 7 p.m., Wed., Nov. 28.

The Seattle Sikh Art and Film Festival features movies spotlighting Sikh heritage, music, history, and culture. Green River College, tinyurl.com/sikhfilms. $10–$20. 2 p.m. Sat., Dec. 1.