Former YouTube actor Ahmed Bharoocha is a stand-up with fizzy wit.

Books & Talks

Valeria Luiselli

April 17 Valeria Luiselli knows migration. The writer was born in Mexico to Italians, lived in South Korea, South Africa, India, and eventually landed in New York. So her career-long interest in immigration has artfully merged with recent headlines. Her newest novel, Lost Children Archive, follows an American family’s road trip as it coincides with masses of children being detained at the Mexican-American border. Benaroya Hall

An Evening with Bill and Hillary Clinton

May 3 Does one of the most covered first couples in American history have anything left to say? Is their North American tour just another big payday? Is Hillary ramping up for 2020? Or is this a stadium-sized clapback at their White House nemesis? Might spite be a reason enough to attend this talk? Can this all be true? WaMu Theater

Maria Bamford deconstructs other comic modes into something all her own. 

Comedy

Maria Bamford

March 23 Surface descriptors for Maria Bamford’s comedy might recall the hackiest of stand-ups—impressions, crazy voices, long confessional stretches. But when Bamford steps on stage, what unfolds is more a deconstruction of those comic modes into something bright, weird, and discomfiting—like Andy Kaufman and Robin Williams fused and focused on destigmatizing mental illness. Moore Theatre

Ahmed Bharoocha

April 12 & 13 Ahmed Bharoocha caught the public eye with a YouTube sketch comedy show called Dead Kevin. He’s since graduated to spots on Conan and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, performing stand-up with fizzy wit, whether about his family, religion, or why we eat veal and then put missing children’s faces on cartons of milk. Laughs Comedy Club

Vince Staples and JPEGMAFIA come to the Showbox SoDo for a likely scalding show. 

Concerts

Noname

March 9 & 10 On her latest album, Room 25, Noname announced herself as a remarkably sophisticated artist, and on stage she floats over supple soul beats with rhymes of balletic intelligence. Just see her verbal pirouettes in couplets like “No more apples and oranges, only pickles and pacifists / Twitter ranting for martyrdom unified as capitalists.” Showbox

Illuminati Hotties

March 22 The plural moniker for artist Sarah Tudzin refers, perhaps, to the myriad tones she crams into her first full album,  Kiss Yr Frenemies. On it she bends Pixies-type quiet-loud punk dynamics toward other registers: bedroom lo-fi, noisy guitar squalls, and shout-along indie pop choruses. And those ranging moods abut sometimes silly, sometimes serious lyrics. Tractor Tavern

Vince Staples with JPEGMAFIA

March 25 Few current rappers drive more ferociously at societal sordidness than Vince Staples and JPEGMAFIA. Staples, on his recent FM!, upends G-Funk’s sunshine state bravado into something dark and piercing, while JPEGMAFIA dismantles some of the internet’s more noxious rhetoric with equally noxious noise rap. Uplift isn’t really on the menu, but sometimes a little scathing does you good. Showbox SoDo

Dancers confront rage in Ligia Lewis's Minor Matter.

Dance

Director’s Choice

March 15–24 This year’s Director’s Choice, a mixed bill picked by PNB artistic director Peter Boal, sees two world premieres commissioned by the company—one by Robyn Mineko Williams, the other by Matthew Neenan. The final work, In the Countenance of Kings, already debuted but retains plenty of draw: It’s created by New York City Ballet resident choreographer Justin Peck and set to Sufjan Steven’s plucky orchestral score. McCaw Hall

Ligia Lewis: Minor Matter and Sorrow Swag

May 9–11 & May 17–18 On back-to-back weekends in May, On the Boards will present two parts of choreographer Ligia Lewis’s Blue, Red, White trilogy. Part one, Sorrow Swag, immerses the stage in blue light as dancers work through grief and consider its political underpinnings. Part two, Minor Matter, digs into red rage as dancers grapple with both each other and their circumstances. Merrill Theater

Film

Seattle International Film Festival

May 16–June 9 The U.S.'s Biggest Film Fest is back. Festival programmers have a knack for picking films that will become breakout hits in the following months, like Eighth Grade and Sorry to Bother You in 2018. Last year tallied 435 films from 90 countries spread across 25 days. Yes, that’s overwhelming. But this is one tide to be gladly swept away in. Various Locations

Theater

Marie: A New Musical

March 22–April 14 In 2014 Susan Stroman, Lynn Ahrens, and Stephen Flaherty premiered Little Dancer—a musical based on the Edgar Degas sculpture of Marie van Goethem. Now the three Tony-winning creators have reworked the musical to center on Marie, the 14-year-old French girl who Ahrens has called “this unknown young dancer who’s actually now the most famous dancer in the world.” 5th Avenue Theatre

Meggan Joy Trobaugh's work evokes a botanical Giuseppe Arcimboldo.

Visual Art

Gentleman Warrior: Art of the Samurai

March 16–Dec 1 The last in a quartet of Japanese art installations, Gentleman Warrior looks beyond the meticulous swashbuckling that samurai are known for. Much like King Arthur and his lance-and-handkerchief-brandishing ilk, samurai were both noblemen and warriors. So expect the paraphernalia of tea ceremonies, religious practices, and Noh theater masks alongside armor and a sword. Seattle Art Museum

Meggan Joy Trobaugh

May 1–25 Meggan Joy Trobaugh takes thousands of photos showing little bits of nature—leaves, flowers, dandelion seeds, an orange. She then forms intricate figures. The effect is somewhere between a fairy tale and the work of Giuseppe Arcimboldo had he lived to wield a digital camera in a botanical garden. Core Gallery

Cecilia Vicuña

April 27–Sept 15 Born in 1947 in Chile, artist and poet Cecilia Vicuña is now having her first major U.S. solo exhibition. Going as far back as the late 1960s, the exhibition comprises sculpture, drawing, video, text, and installation. Vicuña has preoccupations with memory and dematerialization, but distilling the work down to a single aesthetic, mode, or meaning would do disservice to an artist with this sense of wild multiplicity. Henry Art Gallery