October 4 & 5: Basie Bash

Much of the swinging style associated with the big band sound can be traced directly back to iconic bandleader and pianist Count Basie. So it’s only fitting that Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra would celebrate its 20th birthday with a tribute to the man who paved the way for its very existence. Benaroya Hall and Kirkland Performance Center,

Study Material: 

♫  Listen Count Basie’s Finest Hour and Complete Atomic Basie by Count Basie


Oct 5 & 6: The New Pornographers

Indie rock supergroup seems like an oxymoron, but Vancouver’s New Pornographers is so consistently stellar that no one bats a lash at it. Fronted by A. C. Newman, Dan Bejar (Destroyer), and Neko Case, the band has been called “virtually peerless in the world of power-pop and indie-rock” by NPR. The Canadian octet returns with Brill Bruisers, the collective’s most upbeat record to date. The Showbox,

Study Material:

♫ Listen Brill Bruisers and Twin Cinema by the New Pornographers

Nov 1: The Black Keys

Arena rock is a dying art. It’s a relic of a bygone era before the nichification of music consumption made it nearly impossible for modern rock acts to pack the cavernous venues. But the Black Keys’ gritty throwback blues sound manages to hit that populist sweet spot. The Akron, Ohio, duo (now backed by a full band to fill said arena with a fleshed-out sound) rambles into town with new tunes from Turn Blue. KeyArena,

Study Material

♫ Listen Turn Blue and Brothers by the Black Keys




Nov 8: Seattle Rock Orchestra Performs the Police

Every little thing the Seattle Rock Orchestra does is magic, and that’s especially the case when it takes on the catalog of the Police. How will the strings jazz up bouncy hits like “Message in a Bottle” or provide sweeping emotion to “Every Breath You Take”? Moreover, which local singers will step up to act as pseudo-Sting? Moore Theatre,

Study Material 

♫ Listen Synchronicity by the Police


Nov 20: Fleetwood Mac

Backstage drama has always been nearly as integral to Fleetwood Mac’s lore as its classic rock songs. But it seems we’ve caught the band at a moment when all the bridges aren’t burning. After a 16-year absence, Christine McVie rejoins the group and rekindles the legendary dual-vocalist dynamic with Stevie Nicks. Hits like “Don’t Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun” weren’t the same without her. Tacoma Dome,

Study Material 

♫ Listen Fleetwood Mac and Rumours by Fleetwood Mac

✓  Read  Fleetwood Mac: The Definitive History by Mike Evans

Nov 21: David Bazan and Passenger String Quartet

As one of Seattle’s preeminent singer-songwriters, David Bazan's career as a solo artist (and Pedro the Lion front man) has been less about tugging on heartstrings and more about drenching them in sorrow. But there’s always been a beauty in his sad-sack lyricism. That delicate side gets pushed to the forefront, thanks to his new collaboration with the local players of the Passenger String Quartet. Neptune Theatre,

Study Material 

♫ Listen David Bazan and Passenger String Quartet: Volume 1; Control by Pedro the Lion



Amy O'Neal: Opposing Forces

Oct 17–26 Made in Seattle: Jody Kuehner

Jody Kuehner’s over-the-top alter ego Cherdonna Shinatra puts many of  Seattle’s male drag performers to shame. Her colorful costumes (designed by Mark Mitchell), wild wigs, and garish makeup transform her, but it doesn’t mask her inherent dancing and comedic talents. In her first evening-length Cherdonna show, Worth My Salt, Kuehner explores femininity and gender inequality in a brash performance piece. Velocity Dance Center,

Study Material:

♫ Listen The Whole Story by Kate Bush 


Oct 23 – 26: Amy O’Neal: Opposing Forces

Seattle has some of the best breakdancing talent on the planet, and rising choreographer Amy O’Neal seeks to use this to examine the gender conformity in b-boy culture. Opposing Forces takes five Seattle b-boys and pushes them to explore the subculture’s masculinity while still performing jaw-dropping dance steps. On the Boards,

Study Material:

✓  Read Foundation: B-Boys, B-Girls and Hip-Hop Culture in New York by Joseph G. Schloss 

▸  Watch Planet B-Boy


Oct 23 – 25: Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca

Spain’s top flamenco company, Noche Flamenca (and its star performer Soledad Barrio), heads to UW this fall for an extended residency where it’ll finish crafting its latest performance, Antigona. The adaptation of Sophocles’s Antigone will combine the ancient Greek tragedy with Noche Flamenca’s lively dance and live music style for a completely unique world premiere performance. Meany Hall,

Study Material: 

✓  Read Antigone by Sophocles


Nov 7 – 16: PNB Director’s Choice

Narrative ballets have their place, but Director’s Choice is the most exciting program of the PNB season. The diversity of works performed truly displays the dancers’ prowess. This year’s lineup features a world premiere by rising New York choreographer Justin Peck, A Million Kisses to My Skin’s ode to dance ecstasy, Rassemblement and its Haitian voodoo slave songs, and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s examination of an ending relationship, Before After. McCaw Hall,

Study Material:

✓  Read Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet by Gail Grant



Opening Oct 4: Bruce Lee

Not only did Bruce Lee popularize martial arts in the U.S., he also offered Asian Americans a mainstream role model at a time when they were nonexistent. Wing Luke offers a comprehensive personal look at the former Seattle resident in its new Bruce Lee exhibit, which will showcase Lee’s letters, training equipment, memorabilia, and much more from his Seattle days. Wing Luke Museum,

Study Material 

▸  Watch Enter the Dragon

✓   Read Bruce Lee: Fighting Spirit by Bruce Thomas


Classical & More

Oct 10 – 12: The Movie Music of John Williams

There’s a case to be made that John Williams impacted cinema iconography over the past 50 years more than anyone else. The composer has crafted some of film’s most memorable music, from Star Wars’ ominous “Imperial March” to Jaws’ fear-inducing two-note leitmotif. It’s music that elicits deep emotional responses. Seattle Symphony Orchestra honors the 49-time Oscar nominee with three nights of his classic compositions. Benaroya Hall,

Study Material 

▸  Watch Star Wars, Jaws, E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler’s List


Oct 4: Marsalis: Well Tempered

Renowned saxophonist Branford Marsalis needn’t prove his jazz chops, so he’s branching out into musical realms where his instrument of choice feels less at home. Marsalis’s sax is joined by the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia for an evening of classical compositions by Bach, Handel, Albinoni, Rameau, Vincent, and Locatelli. Meany Hall,

Study Material 

♫  Listen American Spectrum by Branford Marsalis Quartet and North Carolina Symphony

Visual Art


John Nieto, Buffalo at Sunset, 1996, acrylic on canvas, 48 × 60 in.

Opening Nov 15: Haub Family Galleries Open at Tacoma Art Museum

Call it manifest destiny. Tacoma Art Museum further focuses its gaze on western expansion with the addition of the Haub Family Galleries. The new 16,000-square-foot wing increases the museum’s size by 32 percent and will house the Haub Family Collection of Western American Art, displaying 150 works from masters like Georgia O’Keeffe and Charles M. Russell. Tacoma Art Museum,

Study Material:

✓  Read Art of the American Frontier: From the Buffalo Bill Center of the West


Sept 5 – Oct 11: Lauren Grossman: Ghost Variations

The sculptural creations that spring out of Lauren Grossman’s mind are fascinatingly freaky and fractured. The UW grad’s latest collection of gnarled glass and metal works, Ghost Variations, provides bizarrely beautiful exploration on life’s final moments and the idea of “giving up the ghost.” Platform Gallery,

Study Material:

✓  Read Sculpture Since 1945 by Andrew Causey, Sculpture Now by Anna Moszynska

Oct – Jan 11: Pop Departures

Pop art was always a response to the cultural norm. The genre’s artists took what was commonplace in modernity and subverted it, fetishized it, and spat it back out for further public consumption. Seattle Art Museum’s Pop Departures exhibit takes an in-depth look at the art inspired by the initial 1960s pop art boom and the way it subsequently shaped our contemporary viewpoint.

Study Material:

✓  Read Pop Art: A Critical History edited by Steven Henry Madoff, The Pop Revolution by Alice Goldfarb Marquis


Books & Talks

Oct 12: Wordless! Art Spiegelman and Phillip Johnston

Part lecture, part art exhibition, part jazz concert, part Vaudevillian show, Wordless! is unlike anything else coming to town this fall. Art Spiegelman, the Pulitzer Prize–winning cartoonist behind the Holocaust graphic novel Maus, delivers a history lesson on the woodcut wordless novels of the early twentieth century that led to modern graphic novels, while jazz composer Phillip Johnston scores the night’s proceedings. Moore Theatre,

Study Material:

✓  Read Maus by Art Spiegelman

 Listen Music for Films by Phillip Johnston


Sept 25: David Mitchell

David Mitchell cares not for your writing conventions. The British author behind mind-altering form benders like Cloud Atlas heads to Town Hall with his sixth novel, The Bone Clocks. The story centers on Holly, a teen with a deep connection to the psychic realm beyond our sight. As the book jumps forward decades in Holly’s life, her battle with the otherworldly seeps into the lives of other souls around the globe and across history. Town Hall,

Study Material 

✓  Read Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell



Oct 15: James McBride

After beginning his career as a journalist, James McBride burst onto the literary scene with his memoir, The Color of Water, an instant classic about growing up biracial in New York City with a white mother. He’s yet to miss the mark since. His most recent novel, The Good Lord Bird, took home the National Book Award for its surprisingly comedic portrayal of a slave who becomes entangled with famed abolitionist John Brown. Town Hall,

Study Material 

✓  Read The Color of Water and The Good Lord Bird by James McBride

Theater & Film 

Oct 3 – Nov 2: The Vaudevillians

Jinkx Monsoon went from fringy Seattle favorite to drag superstar after winning season five of the reality show competition RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2013. Since then, she’s spent much of her time touring The Vaudevillians, a wild two-performer cabaret. In the show, Monsoon and Major Scales play pop hits like “Drop It Like It’s Hot” in the style of Cole Porter and Irving Berlin. This might be The Vaudevillians final run, and if so Seattle Rep will send it out in style with its first full theatrical production. Seattle Repertory Theatre,

Study Material 

▸  Watch RuPaul’s Drag Race season five


Nov 14 – Jan 4: All the Way / The Great Society

Seattle playwright Robert Schenkkan struck Tony Award gold this year with All the Way, a dramatic look at the first term of president Lyndon B. Johnson (played on the Broadway stage by Bryan Cranston) and his struggles with the Civil Rights Act and Vietnam War. Seattle Rep cocommissioned All the Way’s sequel, The Great Society, and will present the shows in tandem for the first time ever in what will be the theater’s biggest production to date. Seattle Repertory Theatre,

Study Material:

✓  Read Judgment Days by Nick Kotz, Pillar of Fire by Taylor Branch, The Walls of Jericho by Robert Mann


Sept 3 – 21: Waiting for Godot

The tragicomedy of the absurdist landmark Waiting for Godot arises from the nihilism of the characters’ titular wait. So what sort of perverse existentialists does that make us for waiting for Waiting for Godot? Seattle Shakespeare Company ventures away from its namesake with a production of Samuel Beckett’s best-known work as part of the citywide Seattle Beckett Festival. ACT Theatre,

Study Material: 

✓  Read Damned to Fame: The Life of Samuel Beckett by James R. Knowlson


Oct 7–26: Kinky Boots

The story of a company pulling itself up by its bootstraps has never been as literal as in the musical Kinky Boots, which makes its Seattle debut this October. The show tells the true story of a floundering British shoe factory that begins making flamboyant high boots for drag queens to stay afloat. Cyndi Lauper’s Tony-winning score will have patrons tapping their toes regardless of their footwear choices. 5th Avenue Theatre,

Study Material 

▸  Watch Kinky Boots (2005 film)

♫ Listen Kinky Boots, The New Musical Based on a True Story (Cast recording)


Chloë Grace Moretz and Keira Knightley star in Lynn Shelton's Laggies.

Opens Oct 24: Laggies

Director Lynn Shelton helms her most star--studded Seattle-set film to date. In Laggies, Keira Knightley plays Megan, a woman in her late 20s who—after running out on a wedding proposal—lays low and becomes close friends with a high schooler named Annika (Chloë Grace Moretz). As Megan attempts to piece together her life, sparks fly between her and Annika’s father (Sam Rockwell). It’s got all the elements to be Shelton’s mainstream breakthrough. Various theaters,

Study Material

▸  Watch Your Sister’s Sister, Humpday


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