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Rirkrit Tiravanija, Untitled (Demonstration no. 146), 2006, from Henry Art Gallery's contemporary collection.

Books & Talks

Sun, Nov 5
Ta-Nehisi Coates
As a best-selling memoirist, educator, contributor to The Atlantic, and writer for a revived and wildly successful Black Panther Marvel comic series, Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of our most vital cultural arbiters. In his new book, released in October, Coates gathers his essays on the Obama presidency—an uplifting and challenging era for Coates as a writer, years that saw him rise alongside the president as a dynamic voice on black America, only to watch efforts enacted to undo the president’s legacy. The title of the book acknowledges this narrative: We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy. Benaroya Hall, $105–$185


Nov 3 & 4
Mike Birbiglia
A respected run of comedy specials, two offBroadway shows (and an indie film spin-off), regular contributions to This American Life; somewhere along the way in his 17-year career, Mike Birbiglia transformed from standup workhorse to esteemed humorist. Though the gently self-deprecating and goodnatured comedian would never admit that. Moore Theatre, $27–$57


Sat, Nov 4
Deer Tick
Like the band’s arachnid namesake, Deer Tick’s music latches on and doesn’t let go— albeit in a more pleasant fashion. The Rhode Island–based musicians shy away from the rustic and in-vogue alt-folk melodies with rock anthems that combine the blue-collar songwriting of Tom Petty with the electric stage presence of Arcade Fire. Neumos, Various Prices


Nov 3–5
Joanna Kotze and Kim Lusk
New York choreographer Joanna Kotze and Velocity’s 2018 Made in Seattle artist Kim Lusk perform as part of the Guest Artist series. Kotze brings her celebrated show, It Happened It Had Happened It Is Happening It Will Happen, while Lusk premieres new work. The event also includes a free master class with Kotze. Velocity Dance Center, $20–$25

Nov 3–11
Her Story
Three accomplished female choreographers—Jessica Lang, Twyla Tharp, and Crystal Pite—each contribute one piece in a trio of ballet performances. Her Story draws from a diverse pool of inspiration, including Russian minimalism, the paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe, and music from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller Psycho. McCaw Hall, $30-$187


Thru Nov 5
Set in turn-of-the-century New York City, Ragtime follows the seemingly disparate lives of a white upper class wife and mother, a Jewish Latvian immigrant struggling to survive on his art, and a young black musician making waves in Harlem. A tribute to the powerful yet danceable sounds of gospel and ragtime music, Ragtime navigates the politics of race, the role of celebrities like J.P. Morgan, Harry Houdini, and Booker T. Washington in the country's culture, and the viability of the American dream. You can read our review here. 5th Avenue Theatre, $29–$101

Visual Art

Thru Nov 4
Zaria Forman: Antartica
After four weeks aboard an Antarctic expedition on the National Geographic Explorer, Zaria Forman had ice on the brain. She imbues her large photorealistic drawings of the massive and incongruous frozen architecture with a profound sense of scale—but also impermanence. Forman observes a landscape under widespread threat at the hands of climate change, recasting these ancient stalwarts born from a largely inhospitable environment into something more precious, vital, and endangered. Winston Wächter Fine Art, Free

Nov 4–April 15
The Time. The Place. Contemporary Art from the Collection
For the 20th anniversary of its contemporary collection, the Henry lets it all hang out with a museum-wide exhibition. Over 50 works of drawing, sculpture, video, and photography each enunciate the museum’s larger mission to showcase art as a catalyst for empathy, a bridge to meaningful civic dialogue and engagement. Henry Art Gallery, Free–$10

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