Monthly Planner

14 August Events You Can't Miss

A guide to getting your arts and culture fix this month.

By Stefan Milne July 17, 2018 Published in the August 2018 issue of Seattle Met

Jack White kicks his garage blues into the funky future at WaMu Theater.

Books & Talks

Sallie Tisdale and David Shields

Aug 4 Presented as a guide to death and dying, Sallie Tisdale’s Advice for Future Corpses is actually a collage-like personal reflection. Tisdale, a palliative care nurse, weaves together experiences, stories, and Buddhism. For this event, she’s joined in conversation by local writer (and lightning rod for intellectual contention) David Shields. Elliott Bay Book Company

Valerie Trueblood

Aug 7 Seattle author Valerie Trueblood’s quietly notable career—she was a 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award finalist—echoes the understated, naturalist fiction she’s been writing for over a decade. Terrarium gathers stories from her last three collections and adds 30 brief new pieces that strike with swift grace. Elliott Bay Book Company

Classical & More


Aug 4 Members of Mali musical group Tinariwen take guitar blues, bake it in the Sahara sun, and add choral male vocals and an eclectic garnish of guests (Kurt Vile, Mark Lanegan) to create a groove all their own. Then they aim their lyrics (largely in their native Tamashek) at the injustice and upheaval that’s exiled them from their North Mali home. Benaroya Hall

An Intimate Evening with David Foster

Aug 12 A Grammy Award winner 16 times over, music producer David Foster is responsible for a particular brand of operatic pop—writing and producing for Celine Dion and Josh Groban. But now he’ll perch at a piano in Benaroya and play epic hits himself. Benaroya Hall


Neal Brennan

Aug 17 For years, Chapelle Show co-creator and writer Neal Brennan’s stand-up riffed on over-trafficked stereotypes that never reached the heights of his TV work. But in his 2017 Netflix special 3 Mics, while the stereotypes persisted, he parsed confessional material—his father, depression—with wit and pathos. Neptune Theater


Willie Nelson and Family with Alison Krauss

Aug 1 Perhaps it’s his affably hash-addled persona, but few country artists garner Willie Nelson’s goodwill. Touring for his newest album, Last Man Standing, the octogenarian brings along Alison Krauss, whose wailing fiddle has helped rekindle a love for the country that Nelson’s been purveying all along. Marymoor Park

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks

Aug 4 An artist knocking out a legitimately notable record three decades into his career sounds like musical folklore. But that’s just what former Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus has done with Sparkle Hard. If his other recent releases with the Jicks have eased into apathy, this one just sounds confidently at ease. Neptune Theater

Jack White

Aug 13 Jack White has always been a high-wire act of weirdness and accessibility, pulling pop hooks from guitar freakouts. With this year’s Boarding House Reach—which kicks his garage blues into a deeply funky Prince future—he might tumble to the nets a few times (rapping on something called “Ice Station Zebra”), but he’s still a performer of major curiosity. WaMu Theater


Movies at the Mural

Thru Aug 25 Each Saturday in August, Seattle Center drops a screen in front of the Mural Stage’s eponymous work and shows a film. Snag a patch of grass, catch a pre-screening short film from a Cornish student, and enjoy—beneath stars—a flick from the eclectic marquee: Get Out, Little Shop of Horrors, I Am Not Your Negro, and Wonder Woman. Seattle Center

Special Events

PAX West

Aug 31–Sept 3 Gaggles of adults storming through downtown in full costume? PAX is back. One of the largest U.S. gaming events, this annual convention comes replete with its usual array of panels, an exhibit hall, musical performances, and a monster gaming tournament called “Omegathon.” Washington State Convention Center

Washington State Fair

Aug 31–Sept 23 For an event built around displaying and roping farm animals, deep frying every foodstuff known to humankind, and then spinning you around in the Zipper to the verge of regurgitation, the Washington State Fair also culls a surprisingly varied group of musicians, including Macklemore, Khalid, Joan Jett, and Toby Keith. Washington State Fair Events Center


Blood Wedding

Aug 2–4 At the Williams Project’s Blood Wedding, you’ll be treated like family—welcomed, fed, and then submitted to tragic drama. This outdoor, interactive take on Frederico García Lorca’s play (in a seldom-seen Langston Hughes translation) woos the audience with a preshow wedding feast and then pulls them into the Andalusian action when a former lover visits a bride on her wedding day. Equinox Studios

Phantom of the Opera

Aug 8–19 While Andrew Lloyd Webber’s original production still plugs changelessly along on Broadway, three decades into its run, Cameron Mackintosh’s new touring take updates the design and choreography. But the epic prog-rock songs—which tell the tale of a masked opera-house creeper sonorously pining for his Christine—remain the same. Paramount Theater

Visual Art

Timea Tihanyi

Aug 2–Sept 1 Hungarian-born Seattle artist Timea Tihanyi’s sculptures often take inspiration from other disciplines: math, philosophy, neuroscience. At this show subtle variations in the rules of a self-replicating algorithm yield infinitely mesmerizing vessels, each wrought in 3D porcelain. Linda Hodges Gallery

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