The Weekend Starts...Now.

Met Picks: Carnival Masquerade, SXSW Kickoff Party, Comicon

The top 10 things to see or do this weekend.

By Laura Dannen March 3, 2011

Just a little inspiration for the Carnivale ball this weekend.

SOCIAL DATEBOOK If you can’t be in the Big Easy this weekend for Mardi Gras, the next best thing is the Venice Is Sinking masked carnival ball at Seattle Design Center. Costumes encouraged, Venetian-style masks required. Proceeds benefit nonprofit Crooked Trails. Mar 5.

SPECIAL EVENT Emerald City Comicon returns this Friday, with William Shatner and Seattle native Rainn Wilson in attendance on Saturday. But don’t reach for the tights until you’ve completed our questionnaire. Mar 4-6.

DANCE Choreographer Donald Byrd is no stranger to politically charged performances. His Spectrum Dance Theatre’s latest show explores Africa, “the mother of us all,” at the Moore. Mar 3-5.

French troupe Compagnie La Baraka returns to UW’s Meany Hall with new work A World in Itself, which combines modern dance and lyrical ballet, set to live music by the Debussy String Quartet. Mar 3-5.

CONCERTS Gypsy-punk band DeVotchKa plays the Paramount on Saturday; French multi-instrumentalist Yann Tiersen (composer for the film Amélie) slings his accordion on Saturday at Neumos; and the Crocodile hosts a SXSW kickoff party tonight with local acts that will head to Austin, Texas for the festival next week: D. Black, Wild Orchid Children, State of the Artist, and Tea Cozies.

COMEDY Actor Tom Arnold talks about life after Rosanne and True Lies at the Parlor Live Comedy Club in Bellevue. Mar 4 & 5.

VISUAL ART It’s First Thursday, so consider stopping by 619 Western Ave, a five-story collection of artist studios that opens its doors monthly for this event. Mar 3.

CLASSICAL & MORE Broadway’s Kelli O’Hara and Doug LaBrecque team up for a Tribute to Cole Porter with the Seattle Symphony and award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch at the baton. Mar 3-6

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