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Pacific Northwest Ballet shows off an array of contemporary dance—including William Forsythe’s 'New Suite'—during its 'Director's Choice' program.

Dance

Mar 17–26
PNB Director's Choice
For a sampling of modern ballet choreography, turn to Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Director’s Choice. The program showcases William Forsythe’s classically scored duet collage New Suite, the atmospheric darkness of Empire Noir by David Dawson, and Jessica Lang’s Georgia O’Keeffe–inspired Her Door to the Sky. McCaw Hall, $30–$187

Books & Talks

Thur, Mar 16 
Word Works: Mary Gaitskill
Novelist Mary Gaitskill, author of National Book Award Finalist Veronica, describes the curious facet of fiction that makes even the most out there plots and characters seem real as “the inner weave.” As part of Hugo House’s Word Works series, Gaitskill heads to Washington Hall to discusses the mystery involved with the inner weave—crafting subtle layers of detail and feelings in order to make the alien feel authentic. Following the talk, she’ll engage in a Q&A led by Peter Mountford. Washington Hall, $12

Sat, Mar 18
Serial: Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder

Back in 2014, Serial became a phenomenon. The podcast’s host Sarah Koenig expertly mixed investigative journalism and narrative storytelling to take a fresh look at the case of the 1999 murder of Baltimore high school student Hae Min Lee and the subsequent conviction of her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed. It was a twist-filled true crime tale that captivated listeners’ imaginations, and introduced many to the podcasting medium. Earlier this year, Syed was granted a new trial. While Serial’s second season—which look at the case of Sargent Bowe Bergdahl—didn’t generate anywhere near the same hype, Koenig and company aren’t slowing down anytime soon. On March 18, Koenig and producer Julie Snyder will bring Serial to the Paramount Theatre. In a form somewhat resembling an episode of the show (there will be clips), the pair will discusses the process of creating Serial, being at the forefront of a new style of journalistic storytelling, and the experience of being an unexpected cultural phenomenon. Paramount Theatre, $26–$96

The Sporting Life

Sun, Mar 19
Seattle Sounders Home Opener vs. New York Red Bulls
The champs are back. After spending the first couple weeks of the the MLS season on the road, the MLS Cup Champion Seattle Sounders finally return to the CenturyLink Field pitch to truly celebrate their title in style. Expect the always rowdy rave green crowd to be extra boisterous when Jordan Morris, Clint Dempsey, and Stefan Frei provide an energetic welcome to the New York Red Bulls. CenturyLink Field, $26–$101

Concerts

Fri, Mar 17
Chris Botti
Jazz is a niche genre? Don’t tell that to Chris Botti. The Grammy-winning, chart-topping trumpeter and composer who’s collaborated with John Mayer, Sting, and Vince Gill joins forces with Symphony Tacoma to headline the Tacoma Dome. When’s the last time you heard of an arena jazz concert? Tacoma Dome, $27–$87

Fri, Mar 17
Hot Java Cool Jazz
Somewhere along the way Seattle area high schools became jazz hot spots. As a way of supporting the scholastic scene, Starbucks hosts its annual Hot Java Cool Jazz concert, which highlights the top local talent while donating 100 percent of ticket sales to the schools' musical performance programs. This year's lineup features swinging tunes by the students in five jazz bands: Bellevue, Garfield, Roosevelt, Mountlake Terrace, and Edmonds-Woodway. Paramount Theatre, $22

Fri, Mar 17
The Internet Presents The Internet Tour
By blending hip-hop, soul, and R&B in a way that seems effortlessly fresh, the Internet has become one of the better young bands around. Now, is morphing into five bands. The Internet Presents The Internet Tour features all five of the group's band members—Syd, Matt Martians, Patrick Paige II, Christopher Smith, and Steve Lacy—performing sets of their solo material while the other four act as a backing band. If you're looking for sonic diversity from a single entity bursting with ideas, look no further. Neptune Theatre, $24

Fri, Mar 17
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Sure they might not be the hippest band and Anthony Kiedis's lyrics can often veer into nonsensical rhyming gibberish (other bands like Pavement get a huge pass on this front), but there's a reason why the Red Hot Chili Peppers remain a force in the mainstream rock scene. For more than three decades, RHCP has consistently turned out undeniably catchy singles based around its funk-inspired sound. While the group hasn't been totally the same since the departure of guitarist John Frusciante in 2009, its strong loyal fan base means the band can still sell out KeyArena. KeyArena, Sold Out

Mar 17–19
A Woman's World
Memo to the new POTUS: Women do more than march. They fight. They rally. They sing. Under the guidance of new artistic director Paul Caldwell, Seattle Women’s Chorus celebrates trailblazing women—from Susan B. Anthony and Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Margaret Cho—with A Woman’s World, a program that features the debut of a new song suite by composer Eric Lane Barnes. Cornish Playhouse, $15–$58

Sat, Mar 18
Japandroids
After releasing the best rock record of the last decade (2012’s Celebration Rock), Vancouver duo Japandroids went radio silent for almost three years. The band made a welcome comeback in January with Near to the Wild Heart of Life. Don’t miss out on the sweaty ecstasy of Japandroids live. Neptune Theatre, $19

Special Events

Sun, Mar 19
Seattle’s French Fest

France is so much more than the cliched stereotypes: curling mustaches, the Eiffel Tower, baguettes, and berets. Seattle’s French Fest offers locals a chance to learn more about this European culture (and other French-speaking countries) with vendors, dance troupes, wine tastings, and more. And let’s not forget why many young aspiring chefs venture off to Paris—French cuisine is not only something you taste, it’s something you experience. Indulge in true French flavor at this free fest. Seattle Center Armory, Free

Comedy

Mar 17 & 18
Ali Wong
“My doctor told me I have one of two strains of HPV: Either I have the kind that’s gonna turn into cervical cancer or I have the kind where my body will heal itself. Very helpful, this doctor, right? So, basically, either I’m gonna die or you’re in the presence of Wolverine.” After filming her previous standup special Baby Cobra at the Neptune while seven-months pregnant, Wong returns to rip things apart with her adamantium claws of comedy. Moore Theatre, Sold Out

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