Mar 29–Apr 22
TV writer Rachel Axler (Parks and Recreation, The Daily Show) made her playwrighting debut in 2010 with this black comedy about the unspoken fears of parenthood—namely, what do we do if we give birth to a monster? New parents Nick and Colby face a harsh reality when their baby comes out—in Colby’s words—a “creature,” “hot dog,” “freak,” or plainly put, a “smudge.” Washington Ensemble Theatre, $15–$20.
Mar 28–Apr 21
Master Harold…and the Boys
Seattle theater heralds the brief return of founding Empty Space artistic director Burke Walker, who visits from New York to lead a black-box production of the Tony-winning South African apartheid story. In this drama, a 17-year-old white boy, raised in a house with two middle-aged African servants, confronts his own concept of race, justice, and friendship. West of Lenin, $13–$20.
BOOKS & TALKS
Thru Mar 31
The festival of Authors, Publishers and Readers of Independent Literature rises from the ashes of Small Press Fest—and let it be known, this is no series of sedate readings. APRIL wants to bring in people who wouldn’t usually find themselves at literary events, with parties, live music, happy-hour readings, a small press expo at Richard Hugo House on Saturday, and Sherman Alexie teaming up with neo-soul act Fly Moon Royalty for The Stranger's Verse-Chapter-Verse on Friday. Visit website for prices, schedule, and venues, aprilfestival.com.
CLASSICAL & MORE
Mar 28 & 30
Seattle Symphony: Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade
Arabian nights come to life in this tour de force by Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, who was inspired by the 1,001 bedtime stories Scheherazade spun to keep her murderous husband, the sultan, at bay. Visiting conductor Andrey Boreyko leads the Seattle Symphony and chorale in a suite that conjures the voyages of Sinbad, as told through the charming violin refrain of a wily young bride. Benaroya Hall, $19–$112.
Symphony Untuxed: Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade
Once called the Rush Hour series, Symphony Untuxed is a shorter, no-intermission concert that starts earlier and invites all to join for happy hour. Come at 6 for a drink; stay for Scheherazade and Liadov’s The Enchanted Lake. Benaroya Hall, $17–$81.
Mar 28 & 29
Bushwick Book Club Presents Original Music Inspired by the Bible
We’re talking Old Testament: Adam and Eve. Sodom and Gomorrah. Joseph and his crazy coat. Seattle singer-songwriters write a soundtrack to the Bible with help from local jazz com-posers and gay vocal-comedy troupe Captain Smartypants. Town Hall, $15.
French alt-rock band Phoenix has been dormant in the years following its breakthough album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, but the group returns to action in 2013 with a new album (Bankrupt!), a Coachella headlining gig, and a plenty of tour dates. Paramount Theatre, sold out.
Who could've guessed that that the most reliable band to come out of Seattle's grunge period would be… Mudhoney? Twenty-five years after the band's formation, Mudhoney hosts a record release show for its ninth studio album of disheveled rock fury, Vanishing Point. Neumos, $15.
Mar 28–May 4
Spokane native Matt Sellars frequently calls on nature as his muse, creating minimalist sculptures, drawings, and installations that evoke art with a conscience: terra cotta boats strewn about like debris on a beach; or tilting tabletop barns that meditate on the tenuous life of a farmer. Platform Gallery.
FOOD & DRINK
Washington Cask Beer Festival
Casks aren’t your average ales. Brewers handcraft one-of-a-kind unfiltered beers (no added CO2 or pasteurization here) with traditional ingredients, let the suds mature naturally, and ultimately pour a tasty final product. More than 70 varieties by the state’s cask brewers will be available for sampling. Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, $40–$45.