PNB ties the Bard’s tongue with A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Books & Talks

Ilya Kaminsky

April 1 On the page, Ilya Kaminsky’s work stands alongside some of the best contemporary poetry. But when Kaminsky—a hard-of-hearing Russian Jewish American writer—reads aloud, he subverts any standard speech categories, as though a Russian rabbi turned a kaddish into strange new (beautiful) music. Seattle Community College

Clive Thompson

April 3 A writer for Wired and New York Times Magazine, Clive Thompson is one of the country’s more prominent tech journalists. In 2017 he posited that coding might be the nation’s next major blue-collar job. His new book, Coders, sees him digging further into the job that’s rewriting our global culture while forging a subculture all its own. The Summit on Pike

Concerts

Smino

April 4 Smino may be the only contemporary rapper more multivocal than Kendrick Lamar—such that it’s hard to tell where the solo work ends and guest spots begin. His latest album, Noir, finds him moving from velvet-voiced falsetto to rasping speech, from neo soul to rat-a-tat raps he measures out to the syllable. Showbox

Sasami

April 12 After playing synths in the LA psych-punk group Cherry Glazerr, Sasami Ashworth has struck out on her own. Before she’d even released a full album she was sharing stages with Japanese Breakfast, the Breeders, and Blondie, and she sounds like a spiritual disciple of all, blending strutting, arty pop-punk with vocals that seep in like thick mist. Barboza

Alsarah and the Nubatones

April 13 That Sudanese singer-songwriter Alsarah’s music gets scholarly is rather the point: She sports a degree in ethnomusicology. Though her incandescent mode with the Nubatones—a genre dubbed East African retro pop, a happy tumult of polyrhythmic drums and twanging strings—sounds like anything but a fusty library. Meany Center

The 1975

April 25 The 1975 should not be good. The Manchester performers, from their emo debut to last year’s A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, shamelessly lift hip riffs and lyrics (LCD Soundsystem! Joy Division!) and shamelessly bleach them into global-market pop rock. Then—maybe it’s the conflicted sincerity and giddy decadence—they shamelessly make something legitimately meaningful. WaMu Theater

Classical & More

Surrogate Cities

April 25 & 26 Heiner Goebbels’s Surrogate Cities—a mixtape of multimedia unease, first performed in 1994—is firmly a piece of its decade, a sort of abstract, high-culture corollary to movies like The Matrix and Dark City that arrived a few years later. But the techy, metropolitan noir overflows with human versus machine dissonance, so while this performance features a new movement, even without it would sound utterly current. Benaroya Hall

Dance

Ballet Preljocaj

April 4–6 The French-born choreographer Angelin Preljocaj and his ballet company, currently on a traveling tour, merge classical finesse with the striking energy of the club’s best dancer. Here they perform La Fresque: A traveler falls for a woman in a painting and steps inside the brushstrokes to woo her. Meany Center

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

April 12–21 Dig the Bard’s story of love in many forms but grow tired of all that brilliant chatter? George Balanchine’s 1962 ballet plays bodily and liberally off Shakespeare’s romantic comedy, compressing the story into the first act, so that the second is pure celebration, a wedding set to song. This production adds a local nod with sets that evoke Northwest forests. McCaw Hall

Dance Theatre of Harlem

April 27 & 28 Founded by Arthur Mitchell, an early internationally famous black ballet dancer, the Dance Theatre of Harlem is now 50 and hitting the road in celebration. Expect the same expert blend of classical ballet and black culture for which the company is now revered. Who says a grand jeté doesn’t pair well with James Brown’s “Super Bad”? Paramount Theatre

Theater

Urinetown

April 6–May 26 Urinetown remains the only dystopia in which emphasis lands firmly on the “p.” After its 2001 Broadway debut, the musical satire snagged three Tony Awards. Set in a city that’s made urination private business (amenities are now owned and operated by Urine Good Company), the story centers on a proletariat uprising after a hike in the price of a flush. ACT Theatre

Visual Art

Leah Gerrard

April 4–25 Vashon-based artist Leah Gerrard contorts wire into abstract but startlingly familiar sculptures. Like sloughed-off snake skins made of metal, her pieces connote chains, aquatic plants, and—as at her 4Culture exhibition—her memories of walks through forests and playgrounds at night. Gallery 4Culture

Wendy Orville

April 4–27 Wendy Orville’s monotypes exist in a stark world between classic, sepia photographs and inky sketches. They create impressions, figurative and literal, of Northwest landscapes: the thatched grasses along a pond’s edge, a tree smudged by wind, cumulus clouds abstracted against a gray scale sky. Davidson Galleries

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