Seattle Central Library's 10th Anniversary
Ten years after completion, Seattle’s Central Library remains one of the city’s most significant buildings. To celebrate the occasion, the library is hosting a week of lectures, concerts, and other festivities. Talks will cover the building’s architecture, history, and the authors that inhabit it. Kids can enjoy wizard rock from Harry and the Potters (May 16) and free cupcakes on the library’s anniversary day (May 23). Seattle Central Library, free.
Museum Week Northwest
Been yearning to check out the multitude of museums in the area, but waiting for a good excuse? The American Alliance of Museums Conference heads to town in mid-May and to celebrate, Visit Seattle hosts the first Museum Week Northwest. The festivities include two-for-one admission prices, specially designed tours, and much more at the best museums in Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, and everywhere in between. Various museum.
Whim W'Him: #unprotected
Under the direction of Olivier Wevers, Seattle contemporary dance company Whim W'Him continually pushes the boundaries of ballet. The group's #unprotected features three new works by Wevers, Amsterdam choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and PNB favorite Andrew Bartee. Patrons can get closer to the action than ever as the company moves to the 150-seat Erickson Theater Off Broadway On Capitol Hill. Erickson Theater Off Broadway, $25–$50.
Rambunctious: A Festival of American Composers and Dance
When the artistic brains behind Spectrum Dance (Donald Byrd) and Simple Measures (Rajan Krishnaswami) come together, one expects crackling results. Rambunctious: A Festival of American Composers and Dance, proves this assumption right. Over the course of three days, the fest presents seven world premieres of new choreography scored by legendary American composers like Gershwin, Copland, and Ives. Fremont Abbey Arts Center and Washington Hall, $25.
CLASSICAL & MORE
Thur, May 15
WSU Gershwin Gala
The players of the Palouse head to Benaroya Hall as Washington State University’s School of Music hosts an evening of George Gershwin’s classic compositions. The symphonic wind ensemble takes on Rhapsody in Blue, “Strike Up the Band,” and more. It’s American music to soothe the wild cougar. Benaroya Hall, $21.
Fri, May 16
Northwest Sinfonietta: Beethoven Violin Concerto
If there’s one phrase that brings out classical music fanatics, it’s “world premiere.” If there’s one name that brings out the casual audience, it’s Beethoven. Northwest Sinfonietta combines the two for a program that appeals to all comers. The chamber players' May program features both Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and the world premiere of New York composer Thomas Pasatieri’s Symphony no. 3. Benaroya Hall, $42.
Thur, May 15
Entirely self-produced and undefinable by any genre, Katie Kate is truly a force. With a classical background, she channels her quirky lyrics through hip hop, pop, and even black metal. She'll be joined by local artists Erik Blood and Pillar Point in a show that's not to be missed. Neumos, $8.
Fri, May 16
Little Big Show 9: Cloud Cult
As a way to benefit Seattle's local arts organizations Starbucks, KEXP, and STG have teamed up to bring you their ninth Little Big Show. This edition features Cloud Cult, the indie experiment of Craig Minowa that Pitchfork called "insane genius," and the local troubadour Benjamin Verdoes. 100% of the ticket sales benefit the Hugo House Youth Programs. Now isn't that a beat we can all dance to? Neptune Theatre, $15.
Thru May 15
Pulp Fiction 20th Anniversary
Quentin Tarantino has spent the last two decades in the elite echelon of filmmakers, but few films produced over that time can touch the iconographic brilliance of Pulp Fiction. The film’s interweaving narratives defined his style as a writer and director: frenetic, bloody, referential, profane, and verbose. Celebrate Pulp Fiction’s 20th anniversary by seeing it on the big screen again. Grand Illusion Cinema, $8.
Thur, May 15
SIFF 2014 Opening Night Gala: Jimi: All Is By My Side
It just seems fitting that the 40th Seattle International Film Festival would start with the searing guitar licks of a local legend. Jimi: All Is By My Side, the Jimi Hendrix biopic starring André Benjamin (aka OutKast's André 3000), will kick things off as the SIFF 2014's Opening Night Gala film. Written and directed by Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years a Slave), the movie centers on Hendrix's early career going from unknown talent to rock star, while struggling to deal with the women in his life (played by Imogen Poots and Hayley Atwell). McCaw Hall, $50–$250.
SIFF 2014: The Search for General Tso
While many documentaries help expose important truths and challenge societal perceptions, some of the best docs revel in weird, trivial specificity. The Search for General Tso fits firmly in the latter camp. The film examines the American obsession with the Chinese dish and attempts to uncover its origins. Pacific Place and Lincoln Square, $10–$12.
SIFF 2014: An Afternoon with Laura Dern: Wild at Heart
From the challenging brilliance of David Lynch's films to the popcorn perfection of Jurassic Park, Laura Dern has showcased her acting ability across the cinematic spectrum. She'll be on hand to accept a SIFF Award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting before the screening of Lynch's 1990 Palme d'Or winner Wild at Heart (good Nic Cage alert!). Egyptian Theatre, $25–$150.