Saint Genet: Paradisiacal Rites
Seattle art-mayhem maestro Ryan Mitchell conducts performance art that intentionally disquiets viewers. For one past work, he covered his arm with leeches while the cast did whippets; for another, dancers shocked the audience by rising from beneath funereal piles of dirt—an hour into the show. So when Mitchell and his experimental troupe Saint Genet say their next act, Paradisiacal Rites, will be fueled by “blood, booze, bands,” they might mean it literally. On the Boards, $20.
May 17–June 15
The Twilight Zone: Live!
Theater Schmeater dims the lights, cues the creepy music, and reimagines three episodes of the Cold War–era sci-fi TV chiller for the stage, with director Tim Moore standing in as series creator Rod Serling. Cue the body snatchers. Theater Schmeater, $15–$18.
May 17 & 18
SIFF 2013: We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks
Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney has taken on Enron and the U.S. Army (and is working on a Lance Armstrong doc), so it's no surprise that WikiLeaks hacker Julian Assange was on his radar. Assange plays the antihero, naturally, but based on early reviews, it sounds like the surprise star of the documentary is Army Private Bradley Manning, the semisympathetic soldier accused of disclosing thousands of classified military reports. Harvard Exit Theater, $12.
May 18 & 19
SIFF 2013: Our Nixon
A documentary composed of stitched-together Super 8 footage from President Nixon's top three White House aides: H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and Dwight Chapin. The FBI seized their loving home movies during Watergate and the tapes have been on lock down or in storage...until now. This is director and coproducer Penny Lane's first feature-length documentary. What a way to start. Harvard Exit Theater, $12.
Whim W'Him: Third Degree
Since leaving Pacific Northwest Ballet in 2009, former principal Olivier Wevers has been winning awards nationally for his playful, provocative choreography. His dance company Whim W’Him presents two new works by Wevers and rising PNB star Andrew Bartee, the Seattle premiere of L’Effleure by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and a reprisal of Wevers' Fragments, an early foray into choreography created for Spectrum Dance. Playhouse at Seattle Center (formerly Intiman Playhouse), $15–$30.
CLASSICAL & MORE
Music of Today with Cuong Vu
Seattle trumpeter Cuong Vu heralds the next coming of jazz artists, whose Music of Today (also the show’s title) is an avant-garde dream, one that experiments with Coltrane and grunge alike. Henry Art Gallery, free.
May 18 & 19
Lucis: Music of Light
Modern choral works recalling shipwrecks and JFK sound divine as Seattle Pro Musica’s 70-strong voices reverberate around St. James Cathedral. St. James Cathedral, $25–$35.
Cold War Kids
After selling out three nights at Columbia City Theater last year, soulful California rock quartet Cold War Kids gets promoted to a bigger Seattle stage. The Kids arrive armed with tunes from their new record, Dear Miss Lonelyhearts, which enlisted Modest Mouse guitarist Dann Gallucci to change up the sound. Neptune Theatre, sold out.
Bushwick Book Club Presents: Music Inspired by The Omnivore's Dilemma
Days after New York Times food writer Michael Pollan speaks at Benaroya Hall, the singer-songwriters of Bushwick Book Club attempt to cook up some delicious ditties inspired by Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. The Crocodile, $10.
Yo La Tengo
The indie-rock trio has the bittersweet distinction of being the last band to ever play an in-store concert at Easy Street Records in Queen Anne. Even though brick-and-mortar record stores may close, the music lives on; the trio’s back to play more slow-burning songs from its latest album, Fade. Showbox at the Market, $20–$22.
Indie-pop act Beat Connection ends its West Coast tour with a hometown gig that’ll showcase the band’s U-Dub hipster style and sunny, danceable grooves that beckon the start of summer. Neumos, $15.
BOOKS & TALKS
An Evening with Eve Ensler
Things get ever more personal when Eve Ensler, the playwright who dared to go down there with The Vagina Monologues, discusses her new book In the Body of the World. As part of her ongoing commitment to respecting the female body, her latest work spotlights the struggles of Congolese women against rape and violence, as well as her own seven-month battle with cancer. VIP tickets support Planned Parenthood. Benaroya Hall, $24–$500.