ONCE Catch the Tony Winning Broadway hit when it comes to the Paramount Theatre May 27-June 8

So Nice, You Might See It Twice

It came as no surprise when the Oscar-winning musical Once made the effortless transition to a Tony-winning Broadway hit. The story follows the relationship between a Dublin busker and a young woman who meet by chance and instantly connect on a musical level. She inspires and pushes him to follow his failed performer dreams, as songs vacillate between uplifting hope and emotionally crushing heartbreak. The touring Broadway production is sure to have eyes welling with tears as the simple folk songs soar. May 27–June 8, Paramount Theatre stgpresents.org


Flip the Script

Seattle’s Zoë/Juniper has always approached dance with a unique sense of design and visual art composition, but the new piece BeginAgain pushes this strength even further. This time around, the collaborating dancemakers inverted their normal process, starting with the creation of production elements (sound, lighting, video, and costumes), then crafting the choreography in response. After working out the show via an On the Boards residency last summer, Zoë/Juniper performs the world premiere BeginAgain for a hometown audience before taking the show on the road. Mar 27–30, On the Boards ontheboards.org

Stars on Ice skates into Key Arena May 18

Special Event

Those of us still battling a case of Olympic fever after the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, can hopefully find the cure when Stars on Ice skates into KeyArena in May. Reigning U.S. champion Ashley Wagner and her chief rival Gracie Gold highlight the affair alongside other top American talent. May 18, KeyArena keyarena.com



The Seattle International Film Festival is already one of the city’s biggest annual cultural parties, so expect an unparalleled blowout as SIFF celebrates its 40th anniversary. Historically the fest has lacked one key party element: readily available booze. But there’s hope that void may be filled, as both the SIFF Uptown and Film Center have pending liquor licenses that could be approved before the festival commences. May 15–June 8, various locations siff.net

Books & Talks
Statistically Speaking

Is Nate Silver a witch? The Internet had fun theorizing as such when the statistician and writer correctly predicted how every state would vote in the 2012 presidential election. Silver now is transforming hisFiveThirtyEight blog into a megasite for statistical writing under the ESPN umbrella. He’ll talk stats, the new site, and probably receive an influx of job applications when he visits UW this spring to deliver a lecture titled “Ahead of the Curve: Predicting Baseball, Politics, and Everything in Between.” Apr 25, Meany Hall bookstore.washington.edu


A Meeting of the Minds and Feet

When the artistic brains behind Spectrum Dance (Donald Byrd) and Simple Measures (Rajan Krishnaswami) come together, one expects crackling results. Rambunctious: A Festival of American Composers and Dance proves this assumption right. Over three days, the fest presents seven world premieres of new choreography scored by legendary American composers like Gershwin, Copland, and Ives. May 16–18, Spectrum Dance spectrumdance.org


Lorde, Have Mercy

Call her “Queen Bee.” Call her Ella Yelich-O’Connor. Just don’t call Lorde a flash in the pan. The 17-year-old Kiwi burst onto the scene last year with the brilliant minimalist electro pop of Pure Heroine and the Grammy-winning hit “Royals.” On her first major U.S. tour, she looks to lay claim to the modern pop throne. Mar 24, WaMu Theater ticketmaster.com

Downturn Desperation

The economic crisis has hit Crystal with a haymaker in ACT’s production of Bethany. The recently fired saleswoman resorts to desperate measures, including squatting in a foreclosed house with an emotionally disturbed man in the hopes of making one big sale that will get her back on track and allow her to get her daughter Bethany out of foster care. Crystal’s path takes one dark turn after another as she becomes the embodiment of the harrowing repercussions of our economic climate. Apr 11–May 4, ACT Theatre, acttheatre.org

Books & Talks
Short and Bittersweet

George Saunders has long been a master of the short story form, but his public stature rose to a new level in 2013, thanks to his PEN/Malamud-winning book Tenth of December. Sporting a sense of humor darker than midnight black, Saunders’s stories focus on human lawn ornaments, sadistic drug trials, children chained up like dogs, and other manner of twisted tales. Mar 24, Town Hall, lectures.org

Seattle World’s Fair Redux

Seattle’s fascination with the 1962 World’s Fair remains unwavering, because it provided the seed of imagination that grew into the city we know today. Jim Lynch explores the connection between the fair and modernity in his novel Truth Like the Sun, which now receives its Book-It -Theatre adaptation. The story follows the fictional Roger Morgan, aka Mr. Seattle, as the toast of the town who shows off the city to guests like Elvis during the 1962 fair, and as a surprising mayoral candidate in his 70s who is hounded by an overzealous Seattle P-I reporter in 2001. Apr 23–May 18, Center Theatre, book-it.org

Lady Gaga Performs at KeyArena May 28

Image: VIPFlash

Queen of the Quick Change

The latest Lady Gaga album Artpop lacks monster hits, like “Poker Face” and “Born This Way,” that her previous records boasted, but that lack of sweet ear candy shouldn’t affect the grandiosity of her lavish live show. It’s the only concert where one wouldn’t be shocked if there were more costume changes than songs. May 28, KeyArena, keyarena.com


Classical & More

Something Old, Something New

If there’s one phrase that brings out classical music fanatics, it’s “world premiere.” If there’s one name that brings out the casual audience, it’s Beethoven. Northwest Sinfonietta combines the two for a program that appeals to all comers. The chamber players’ May program features both Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and the world premiere of New York composer Thomas Pasatieri’s Symphony no. 3. May 16, Benaroya Hall, benaroyahall.org


The Virginia Woolf Drinking Game

Many running themes permeate Edward Albee’s modern theatrical classic Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: marital unrest, repressed feelings, manipulation, and whisky. Seattle Rep plans to highlight the last of the bunch, by offering up whisky tie-ins for patrons looking for a stiff drink to match the show’s downtrodden tone.Apr 18–May 18, Seattle Repertory Theatre, seattlerep.org


Japanese Art Deco at Seattle Asian Art Museum May 10-October 19

Visual Art

The often-overlooked pre–World War II period in Japan offers many surprising and refreshing discoveries, like the Japanese art deco boom that occurred between 1920 and ’45. While viewed as an American style, the Japanese take on the sleek, cosmopolitan modernity seems even more ahead of its time. Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920–1945 at Seattle Asian Art Museum explores the trend through paintings, prints, jewelry, fashion, sculptures, and more. May 10–October 19, Seattle Asian Art Museum, seattleartmuseum.org

Sporting Life
Big Splash Equals Big Results?

It took $240 million, but the Seattle Mariners finally landed the big-time free agent bat fans had long demanded. Robinson Cano’s arrival is welcome, but adding a star player doesn’t instantly make a team a title (or even a playoff) contender. Whether the Mariners have enough talent behind Cano and Felix Hernandez remains a huge question as the team takes the field to play its home opener versus the Angels. Apr 8, Safeco Field, mariners.com


Lonely Ride to Adulthood

Washington Ensemble Theatre continues its commitment to bring progressive new plays to Seattle with the Northwest premiere of Adam Rapp’s one-woman show The Edge of Our Bodies. Bernadette, a privileged and pregnant New York teen, embarks on a train trip to see her long-distance boyfriend and must face the sobering and sometimes brutal realities of loneliness and adulthood. Mar 28–Apr 14, Washington Ensemble Theatre, washingtonensemble.org


Classical & More
In-Chair Dancing Encouraged

In a way, Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra’s Art of the Jitterbug almost seems unfair.How can SRJO expect patrons to jive to Count Basie’s and Benny Goodman’s swinging jazz compositions when seated in performance halls? While there’s not space to bust out a jitterbug, there’s still plenty of enjoyment to be garnered from the popular big band arrangements that packed dance halls in the 1930s. Apr 5 & 6, Benaroya Hall and Kirkland Performance Center, srjo.org


Eric Zener, Levitate, mixed media, 28 x 20.5 in.

Image: Eric Zener

Visual Art

Eric Zener has a fascination with bodies in water and a knack for capturing the photosurreal aspects of the submerged human form. He takes underwater photographs, then applies resin and paint to distort reality while maintaining the spontaneity of a snapshot. The images make the perfect May daydream fodder to get your mind primed for a summer in the sun. May 1–30, Foster/White Gallery fosterwhite.com

The Sting of Infidelity

Power is sexy, but sex is often power’s undoing. New Century Theatre Company’s world premiere of Stephanie Timm’s Tails of Wasps captures one such downfall in vivid, intimate detail. Within the private walls of a luxury hotel room, a politician comes apart as he faces his lustful desires and sexual transgressions. Apr 3–27, ACT Theatre, wearenctc.org


Classical & More
Dispatches from Inanimate Objects

Classical music isn’t always at the forefront of technology, so it’s no surprise that a virtuosic talent like Hilary Hahn doesn’t have Twitter or Instagram accounts, but her violin case does…and they’re verified. The case keeps fans updated on Hahn, who has transitioned from teenage wunderkind in the spotlight to seasoned vet with almost 20 years as one of classical music’s top performers. For the UW World Series, she mixes timeless compositions by Mozart, Schoenberg, and Schubert with modern works like Richard Barrett’sShade. And yes, the famed case will be in attendance. Apr 29, Meany Hall, uwworldseries.org


Shakes Gone Wilde 

Seattle Shakespeare Company takes a break from its namesake’s theatrical library. This time around, Seattle Shakes substitutes the most prominent wit of the sixteenth century, the Bard of Avon himself, for the masterpiece by the preeminent wit of the nineteenth century, Oscar Wilde. The Importance of Being Earnest sharply lampoons the absurd constructs of Victorian high society with its tale of courting and deception and masterfully playful dialogue. Mar 19–Apr 13, Center Theatre, seattleshakespeare.org


The Returning Underground Indie Kings

Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea wasn’t supposed to be anything more than a niche album: The band’s label, Merge Records, ordered just over 7,000 copies in its initial pressing in 1998. The warbly vocals and lo-fi baroque indie-rock was just too weird to catch on. Now it’s one of the most beloved records in indie rock history. After a 15-year hiatus, Neutral Milk Hotel has reunited and heads to the Neptune for an intimate indie sing-along. Apr 4, Neptune Theatre, stgpresents.org


Yuks and a Tug on the Ear

Many of the most sidesplitting laughs from The Carol Burnett Show occurred when something went awry and Carol Burnett improvised on the spot. While the classic variety program went off the air 36 years ago, Burnett remains a bastion of comedic wit and charm. She showcases her skills and storytelling in Laughter and Reflection with Carol Burnett, looking back on her career and spontaneously responding to audience questions. May 9, Paramount Theatre, stgpresents.org


Sasquatch! Festival Is now split into two three-day weekends spanning Memorial Day and Fourth of July

Special Event
Two Confirmed Sightings

Not content with selling out four days of Memorial Day weekend festivities, Sasquatch! Festival undergoes a bold overhaul in 2014. The fest is now split into two three-day weekends (Memorial Day and Fourth of July), and, unlike other two-weekend festivals like California’s Coachella, each will feature a completely different lineup including Outkast, Soundgarden, and more music and comedy acts. While ticket sales will be fine, the question is whether the split will impact Sasquatch!’s communal spirit. May 23–25, July 4–6, Gorge Amphitheatre, sasquatchfestival.com


Classical & More

Video game music has evolved drastically since the eight-bit bleeps of the iconic Super Mario Bros. theme. These days game soundtracks for titles like BioShockor the Legend of Zelda often feature rich orchestration that not only fleshes out the world, but can also adapt in real time in response to the way gamers play. The touring Video Games Live employs a full orchestra to tackle the most famous works of the genre from the bright sounds of Sonic the Hedgehogto the understated horror scoring of Silent Hill. Apr 27, Paramount Theatre, stgpresents.org

Video Games Live Employs a full orchestra to recreate your favorite video game soundtracks. At the Paramount Theater April 27.

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