Wednesday, Oct. 1
Chris TaylorIt’s difficult to overstate now, to a millennial generation, how huge was the impact of the 1977 Star Wars, when there were no cable or Internet or home video games to compete. The lines, the repeat viewers, the fans camping in line, the fans camping in line in costume, the costume parties, the lunchboxes, and the frenzied anticipation of the next two parts. Then came the crash: George Lucas’ ill-advised second trilogy, generally deemed an embarrassment. And two years ago, a new hope: Disney bought the franchise from its father for $4 billion. Hence a new cycle of anticipation for the original Star Wars generation, and their kids, as J.J. Abrams prepares to deliver Episode VII (in the new math) for Christmas 2015. So now’s a good time to hear from the author of How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present and Future of a Multibillion-Dollar Franchise (Basic Books, $28.99). Chris Taylor, an editor for the website Mashable, takes us all the way back to the origins of the Lucas-sphere (Modesto, car racing, Joseph Campbell, etc.), and also delves into the technical arcana of filmmaking—from the little models and men in robot suits to the CGI era. Meanwhile, over in England, Harrison Ford has recovered from his broken leg, meaning that all of us will be standing in line together 14 months hence. Taylor, too. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 652-4255, townhall seattle.org. $5. 7:30 p.m.
By Brian Miller
Friday, Oct. 3
Men in DanceLast weekend at this biennial event, they gave Anne Green Gilbert (founder of the Creative Dance Center) the first Lawrence Tenney Stevens award; this weekend one of her many students returns to Seattle to perform. Aaron Loux is a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group, and he’ll perform a solo by Morris on a program that also includes an appearance by Bill Evans, whose influence on the Seattle dance community can’t be overemphasized. Alongside these elements from local history is a work by Ted Shawn, one of the founders of American modern dance. It’s a 10th-anniversary program covering almost 100 years of dance traditions. (Through Sun.) Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, menindance.org. $20–$35. 8 p.m.
By Sandra Kurtz
Egyptian ReopeningEverybody loves Amelie (Audrey Tautou). Miramax Many celluloid tears were wept when the Egyptian went dark in the summer of 2013, a casualty of the marketplace. Seattle Central College needed a paying tenant, and the San Diego–based Landmark Theatres had struggled to fill that oversized, single-screen hall. Now, with hundreds of new Cap Hill apartments rising within close walking distance, our own nonprofit SIFF has signed a 10-year lease on the former Masonic Hall (100 years old next year). To celebrate and show off (hear off?) its new sound system, the theater is programming a slew of free movie favorites this weekend. On the schedule are titles including Amelie, Enter the Dragon, Pan’s Labyrinth, My Neighbo
r Totoro, Y Tu Mama Tambien, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Blood Simple, Risky Business, Kagemusha, Orlando, and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Then note that the following week, the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival takes residence, meaning the relaunched, rebranded Egyptian will be more fabulous than ever. (Through Sun.) SIFF Cinema Egyptian, 801 E. Pine St., 324-9996. Free. See siff.net for showtimes.
By Brian Miller
The EsotericsThe evolve-or-perish mantra may hold for, say, consumer electronics, but doesn’t necessarily govern the performing arts. GASP! Heresy! The graying of the audience! Classical music is dying! I hear you, but I will offer a counterexample: The Esoterics, which, since its 1992 founding by then-UW student Eric Banks, has thrived as few local choirs have simply by doing what it’s always done. He established its niche early: a cappella choral music, from 1900 at the earliest, impeccably performed and thoughtfully thematically programmed. Add a social conscience and Banks’ own diverse skills—an encyclopedic knowledge of the repertory, a first-rate compositional gift, and a knack for languages (he seems to pick them up the way you and I pick up groceries on the way home from work)—and you have a concert experience beloved by its fan base like none other. (And if it ain’t broke . . . ) This weekend’s concert, titled “Aetheria,” is the third of three “choral ecologies” in The Esoterics’ 2014 season paying homage to the natural world, and includes music by the winners of the choir’s annual composition competition as well as Banks’ The Syrian seasons, sung in Arabic and English. (Through Sun.) St.
Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 4805 N.E. 45th St. $10–$20. 8 p.m. See theesoterics.org for other venues and times.
By Gavin Borchert
Walker in his studio. David Scherrer PhotographyA giant deer towers over the city, like all those Amazon construction cranes above South Lake Union. An elevated roadway turns to a river, pouring commuters over the brink of a waterfall. Aberrant chickens lay coins instead of eggs. Welcome to the fanciful urban menagerie of Jason Walker, whose solo show On the River, Down the Road has been specially created for BAM. The local artist works mainly in ceramics, combining whimsy and satire, “exploring American ideas of nature and how technology has changed our perceptions of it.” That notion of transmogrification seems apt in our booming, post-recession Northwest (Bellevue is sprouting as fast as Seattle, after all). There’s a woodsy surrealism to Walker’s work, as if unfathomable forces—hatched almost from dreams—are burrowing into our conscious cityscape. With Bertha slumbering underground, almost like a dormant monster, his fairy-tale phantasmagoria may be closer to reality than we think. (Through March 1.) Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., 425-519-0770, bellevuearts.org. $5–$10. 11 a.m.–6 p.m. (Artist talk 7 p.m.)
By Brian Miller