Image: Courtesy SIFF

Film

Seattle International Film Festival

May 16–June 9 Seattle International Film Festival returns for its 45th year with film panels, a glitzy opening night gala, and a nearly unparalleled variety of movies. Last year’s lineup, with over 430 titles, ranged from a Chinese absurdist comedy to a sci-fi western shot near the Olympic National Park rain forest to a room full of virtual reality movies, which awed in their technology and their intimacy. Various Locations, Price TBD

Books & Talks

Jericho Brown

“I present myself that you might / Understand how you got here / And who you owe.” —Jericho Brown

May 21 Jericho Brown’s latest collection of poetry, The Tradition, interrogates evil all around us with lines formal yet tender. Broadway Performance Hall, $20

Theater

Pass Over

May 31–June 23 In Antoinette Nwandu’s Pass Over, Moses and Kitsch hang out on Chicago-like streets, bantering existentially and playing macabre games, much like the characters in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (Pass Over also invokes the biblical book of “Exodus”). The difference, of course, is that Moses and Kitsch are young and black. Thus their fear has a precise tack: in their words, “po-pos.” ACT Theatre, $20–$40

Dance

Themes and Variations

May 31–June 9 Pacific Northwest Ballet offers up an era-spanning sample platter. This mixed bill includes three classics: George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations and Tarantella as well as José Limón’s The Moor’s Pavane, which recasts Shakespeare’s Othello as an act of physical lyricism. The trio is complemented by Signature, choreographed by PNB’s Price Suddarth—a celebration of individuality with flourishes of Vivaldi in its original score. McCaw Hall, $37–$189

Concert

Orville Peck

May 18 Sub Pop signed a country singer. As counterintuitive as that sounds for the local indie label, once you hear Orville Peck—who wears a cowboy hat and a mask with a curtain of fringe—the contradiction eases: Peck’s image might evoke a bent West, but his ominously eclectic music and outlaw croon land somewhere between a surreal Roy Orbison and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Barboza, Sold Out 

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