The Weekend Starts....Now.

Met Picks: Madama Butterfly, STIFF, Van Halen

The top 10 things to see or do this weekend.

By Seattle Met Staff May 3, 2012

Patricia Racette makes her Seattle opera debut as Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly.

Photo: Courtesy Patricia Racette, © Marty Sohl, Metropolitan Opera, 2009.

CLASSICAL & MORE

May 5–20
Madama Butterfly
To close its 48th season, Seattle Opera will rely on the young love of 15-year-old geisha Cio-Cio-San, the “delicate butterfly” who falls for a dashing U.S. Naval officer, Lieutenant Pinkerton, in Puccini’s tragedy Madama Butterfly. Met Opera regular Patricia Racette makes her Seattle debut in a part she now owns; her Butterfly is more emotionally complex, less porcelain doll, the way Puccini intended her to be. McCaw Hall, $25–$241.

Seattle Opera will simulcast opening night in HD at KeyArena, where roughly 8,000 people can view the production for free. Ticket registration is closed, but limited walk-in tickets are available: seattleopera.org/keysimulcast. KeyArena, free.

CONCERTS

May 5
Van Halen
David Lee Roth is back fronting these hard rock titans (as it should be) and Van Halen just released its first new album in 14 years, A Different Kind of Truth. Old bones might prevent them from running with the devil anymore, but VH can still maintain a brisk jog. Tacoma Dome, $50–$100.

Brian Jonestown Massacre
After seeing the award-winning documentary Dig! about frenemy rock bands Brain Jonestown Massacre and the Dandy Warhols, it’s hard to argue there’s a more volatile band on the planet than BJM. This show will be worth attending just to see if frontman Anton Newcombe can keep himself together. Neptune Theatre, $18–$20.

FILM

May 4–12
Seattle True Independent Film Festival
Boasting films with budgets closer to a Funny or Die video than a Hollywood indie, STIFF is the scrappy, rowdy neighbor of that other May film fest in Seattle. Various venues, $8–$50.

May 5–27
UCLA Festival of Preservation
Los Angeles’s biannual festival of rescued and restored 35mm prints travels to Seattle, with a collection ranging from Robert Altman’s Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean to episodes of This Is Your Life. Northwest Film Forum, $6–$10.

DANCE

May 4–6
Scuba: National Touring Network for Dance
For a decade, Velocity has partnered with theaters in San Francisco, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia to put together a tour of up-and-coming contemporary dancers. This year’s performers are local artists Allie Hankins and Alice Gosti, and Philadelphia’s Gabrielle Revlock. Velocity MainSpace Theater, $12–$18.

BOOKS & TALKS

May 4
Daniel Waugh
Even in retirement, the UW history professor emeritus continues his extensive studies of the Silk Road and Central Asia. For this First Friday lecture, he’ll discuss the diversity of Islamic culture and its varied artistic traditions. Seattle Asian Art Museum, $10.

EAT & DRINK

May 6
Seattle Luxury Chocolate Salon
If heaven is indeed a place on earth (as Belinda Carlisle suggested), that place would have a seemingly limitless supply of gourmet chocolates to sample from a host of regional chocolatiers. The chef demos and author talks might also provide divine chocolate inspiration. Pier 66, Bell Harbor International Convention Center, $20–$25.

Mobile Food Rodeo
Thirty-five food trucks roll into Fremont boasting some of the best street food from Seattle, Portland, and Idaho. Admission is free, giving you a few extra pennies to spend on your favorite tacos, or ice cream, or po’boys, or… Note: Seattle Met is a sponsor. Fremont Studios, free.

SPECIAL EVENTS

May 5
Free Comic Book Day
With a selection of free books ranging from Spider-Man to Smurfs, the yearly comics giveaway has options for both the young and the young at heart. Various comic shops, free.

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