Monthly Planner

13 Seattle Events to Catch This November

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

By Stefan Milne October 16, 2018 Published in the November 2018 issue of Seattle Met

See Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first, In the Heights.

Books & Talks

Lauren Groff, R.O. Kwon, Kim Fu

Nov 9 In the Hugo Literary Series, writers take inspiration from an iconic book title. This time Lauren Groff (author of the beloved Fates and Furies), lauded debut novelist R.O. Kwon, and local author Kim Fu use Adrienne Rich’s Diving into the Wreck as a sort of diving board for new work. Hugo House

David Sedaris

Nov 19 Yes, David Sedaris comes to Seattle at least once a year, and his books are sacred texts of wit and charm—thumped persistently and pervasively in liberal cities. So if seeing him live isn’t especially novel, it is still special. While other prose writers’ words can wilt aloud, Sedaris’s bloom into things even funnier, and more touching, than those in print. Benaroya Hall

Jonathan Lethem

Nov 29 Jonathan Lethem made his name on Motherless Brooklyn, a moving story of the narrator’s Tourette’s disorder and maternal loss in a detective novel disguise. Nineteen years later, Lethem returns to the form in The Feral Detective, a novel that’s about a search for a missing child, but that also expands to investigate our current Trumpian predicament. Elliott Bay Book Company

Classical & More

Inon Barnatan in Recital

Nov 14 Pianist Inon Barnatan just spent three years as the New York Philharmonic’s Artist-in-Association. In this solo recital he brings his renowned grace to bear as he flits through a constellation of 10 classical works—from a lesser-known bit of Bach to some jittery Ravel to György Ligeti’s nervy discord. Benaroya Hall


Mountain Man

Nov 5 The three women of Mountain Man reuniting eight years after their first album is certainly notable (one, Amelia Meath, even created Sylvan Esso in the interim). And Mountain Man’s new songs are full of the same a cappella as their older work. But at this show, venue and band dovetail, creating the true draw: to hear the band’s lifted, gossamer harmonies in a cathedral on a hill. St. Mark’s Cathedral

Young Fathers bend genres at the Showbox.

Young Fathers

Nov 16 Listening to Young Fathers, three vocalists out of Edinburgh, you’ll likely plug them into some compound genre: avant-hip-hop or ambient post-soul. But as soon as you do, they’ll give you the slip: here sounding like TV on the Radio descendants, there skittering through a knotty rap verse. Luckily, they’re beholden to deep grooves, so the proceedings gloriously cohere. Showbox Market


Nov 17 That name, and song titles like “King of the Beach,” make you want to align Wavves with the surf resurgence that’s washed in lately. While beachy vibes do abide, the band is less interested in Dick Dale riffs and harmonies so sunny they impart vitamin D, and more about ripping guitars and rah-rah choruses tinged with bratty apathy. Chop Suey


Nov 24 Singer-songwriters Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, and Lucy Dacus are so well suited to form the supergroup Boygenius that when you hear their eponymous debut EP, it can be tough—unless you’re deeply familiar with all three—to tell where one aesthetic ends and the next begins. Instead of homogenizing into a melancholy slog, though, they stand elegantly together, a triptych of indie introspection. Moore Theatre


Cinema Italian Style

Nov 8–15 Italian cinema had such a stunning midcentury moment—bequeathing classics like The Bicycle Thief and La Dolce Vita (even this festival’s title nods to 1961’s Divorce Italian Style)—that it’s easy to forget the country still produces movies. SIFF programs a week of gems to remind that Italy remains relevant and that not all of its films are exercises in neorealism or monochrome ennui—last year, there was even a romantic comedy. SIFF Cinema Uptown

Special Events

Penn and Teller

Nov 30 Penn and Teller are the Laurel and Hardy of magic, not only because they’re a comic odd couple—one large and loquacious, the other small and silent—but also because they’re a bit of throwback. In three-piece suits, the pair revamp old vaudeville routines with layers of sly irony—a technique that both takes the piss out of magical pomp and becomes a sneaky, integral part of the journey toward awe. Paramount Theatre


In the Heights

Nov 23–Dec 30 Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first musical tells the slice-of-life story of a Washington Heights bodega owner and the neighborhood denizens he encourages. In the Heights has Mirandan touchstones (salsa and hip-hop comingle on the soundtrack), but the musical finds the anointed king of Broadway working in a lighter mode and on a smaller scale (just three days) than Hamilton’s grand canvas. Bagley Wright Theatre

Visual Art

Saul Becker

Nov 1–Dec 22 In Uneven Terrain, Burien-based artist Saul Becker uses watercolor, ink, and gouache to turn photographs of landscapes—rocks, barren trees—into minuscule multimedia works, some not even four inches across. Yet their ominous impact—rendering the scorched realms left after the Carlton Complex Fire, for instance—is anything but tiny. Greg Kucera Gallery

Heidi Oberheide

Nov 1–Dec 1 At first glance, Heidi Oberheide’s canvases appear as the flags of nations from some fantastic beyond, columns of color arrayed like crayons in a box. Soon, though, their treeness comes into focus and you know Oberheide’s abstracted the woods into something even more elemental. She disrupted the adage: You’re missing the trees for the hue. Linda Hodges Gallery

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