The Weekend Out

Met Picks

Your best entertainment bets May 21 through May 24

By Steve Wiecking May 20, 2009

Heat up and cool off at Folklife.

Nancy Rawles is everywhere this week, leading the city-wide Seattle Reads discussions of her novel My Jim, which relates the memories of a black woman whose intense relationship with the runaway slave of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn involves suffering and sacrifices Mark Twain could not fully comprehend.

Believe me when I tell you that the Seattle International Film Festival managed to snare a genuinely great opening night film, In the Loop. I can’t recall any movie in recent memory that made me laugh as hard. (And you don’t feel stupid for laughing, either. A small miracle.) Tom Hollander leads a crackerjack cast of Brit and American character actors in the tale of a dimwitted British Cabinet member whose heartbreaking inability to keep his mouth shut in public leads both sides of the Atlantic into a possible invasion of the Middle East. You can still get tickets for the Thursday, May 21 screening—and, of course, there are weeks of other cinematic offerings ahead.

Intiman opens its production of Herb Gardner’s audience-friendly A Thousand Clowns, a comedy about a nonconformist and a cute kid that Neil Simon is still kicking himself for not writing.

We’re supposed to have gorgeous weather all weekend—I say “supposed to” in a Seattle kind of way that accepts the possibility of random rain, sleet, or snow—which should make the Northwest Folklife Festival an even better way to let it all hang loose for a few days. Free music in the sun is one of life’s greatest pleasures. And knock it off, wiseass, with the jokes about old hippies—if you think young Republicans are going to show you a good time for free, you’re dreaming.

I’m taking a tour of Jim Henson’s Fantastic World on Thursday so you can look here for my thoughts before the Saturday, May 23 opening of this methods-behind-the-man exhibit. I can already tell you that I think Henson was one of our greatest creative minds—and, aside from a genius like Chaplin, was there ever a popular artist as insistently humane?

Here’s the trailer for In the Loop:

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