Hannah Gadsby and dog Douglas, inspiration for the comedian's latest show.

Image: Courtesy STG

Books & Talks

Hannah Gadsby

“I don’t assume bald babies are boys. I assume they are angry feminists and I treat them with respect.” —Hannah Gadsby

June 8 & 9 Hannah Gadsby’s breakout comedy special, Nanette, both critiqued and furthered stand-up. Now she returns with Douglas, a show named after her dog. Moore Theatre, $40

Ocean Vuong

June 20 Following a widely lauded poetry collection, Ocean Vuong comes to the library with his debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. Written as a letter from a son to his illiterate Vietnamese mother (Vuong himself was born in Saigon) as she struggles with postwar trauma, the book engages persistently relevant themes—race, immigration, class, masculinity, addiction—in prose strobing, lyrical, and fleet-footed. Seattle Public Library, Free

Classical & More

Ludovic Morlot Conducts Debussy

June 20–23 After eight seasons conducting Seattle Symphony, Ludovic Morlot is moving on. For his last concert, he’ll lead bounding pieces from Wagner and Leoš Janáček. But this season Morlot has focused on the work of Claude Debussy, and here two of the composer’s pieces bring a fittingly French exit to Morlot’s tenure: the subtle, twirling Nocturnes and Pelléas et Mélisande Suite, the composer’s sole completed, and utterly uncanny, opera. Benaroya Hall, $37–$122

This Mess Is a Place is Tacocat's most polished work yet.

Image: Helen Moga

Concerts

Anderson .Paak

June 20 Presumably based on the remarkable gravity of his 2016 album Malibu, Anderson .Paak now draws an enviable list of performers into his jazzy, swirling soul-funk-rap galaxy. Last year’s Oxnard featured Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, and Q-Tip, while this tour includes futuristic bassist Thundercat and Earl Sweatshirt, who’s grown from misogynistic adolescent to a beguiling and moving voice in hip-hop. WaMu Theater, $66

The Comet Is Coming

June 20 The Comet Is Coming plays music that is, like its name, apocalyptic and astral. The trio will lock into an ominous electronic groove, all wobbly bass and synth hits, like dystopian EDM, but then a sax adds some cosmic dust, wispy and lovely, and any gloom is abated. The space jazz of Sun Ra is clearly a touchstone, but Comet explores worlds all its own. Barboza, $17

Julia Shapiro

June 27 Lead singer Julia Shapiro was halfway through her band Chastity Belt’s last tour when she realized—due to health problems and existential woes—she couldn’t continue. She flew home and recorded a solo album, largely by herself. Perfect Version sounds like Chastity Belt—layered guitars and earnestly yearning lyrics—but also has a newfound intimacy, a little less Sleater-Kinney and a little more Elliott Smith. Barboza, $15

Tacocat

June 8 Tacocat’s new album, This Mess Is a Place, has the Seattle quartet plying its strengths: iridescent punk hooks and affably snarky lyrics. But in pleasant contradiction to its title, the record also marks a refinement. There’s a new and triumphant pop gloss, and lyrically the band has never sounded so assured, from epigrams (“power is a hologram”) to evocative images like a curtain seen as “otherworldly bits of plastic catching all the purple light.” Showbox, $17

Dance

Danses des Cygnes

June 6–9 In 2018, local choreographer Natascha Greenwalt premiered an unfinished dance piece to significant local acclaim. Now it is finished: Danses des Cygnes busts open the patriarchal systems in Swan Lake, reworking one of the most beloved ballets in history as a piece of smart—and still beautiful—feminist dance. Velocity Dance Center, $20

Wicked explores the humanity of The Wizard of Oz’s purportedly evil, green-skinned witch.

Image: Joan Marcus

Theater

Wicked

June 12–July 7 Someone combing through the varied and rampant inequities in the cinema of 1939 probably wouldn’t much flinch at how The Wizard of Oz portrays the bad witch. Nevertheless, Wicked takes to the stage to explore the humanity of the green-skinned villain, who, by caprice of public opinion, becomes the maligned, “wicked” witch. Paramount Theatre, $69–$139

Visual Art

Victorian Radicals

June 13–Sept 8 If you like to ponder the cyclicality of artistic movements and the recurrent anxieties surrounding the rise of the machine, SAM’s headlining summer exhibition, Victorian Radicals, ought to prove fertile ground. The 145-item show focuses on a group of nineteenth-century artists—Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Morris—who reacted against industrial revolution changes by emphasizing the irreplaceable artistic skill of the human hand. Seattle Art Museum, $30