Monthly Planner

The Top Things to Do in Seattle This July

Eddie Izzard continues his polyglot globe trot, Priests bring the other Washington's punk, and Joan Didion's memoir is a one-woman show.

By Stefan Milne June 27, 2019 Published in the June/July 2019 issue of Seattle Met

Chris Staples debuts his new folk rock album, Holy Moly, in an unexpected and delightful way: a backyard circus.

Books & Talks

Lisa Taddeo

July 12 Journalist Lisa Taddeo spent eight years interviewing three American women about their sex lives: a married suburban homemaker who starts an affair, a businesswoman whose husband likes to watch her couple with others, and a high school student who gets involved with her English teacher. The result of Taddeo’s investigation—Three Women—nabbed her a seven-figure book deal, and initial response has been passionate. Elliott Bay Book Company, Free

Classical & More

Seattle Chamber Music Society Summer Festival

July 1–27 Since Seattle Symphony goes largely dormant during the summer, Seattle Chamber Music Society’s annual festival brings a fine replacement. This month of concerts runs from big names (Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin) to smaller (John Blow, Georges Enescu), and it finishes with a proper summer grace note: a free outdoor concert in Volunteer Park, which last year drew over 3,000. Benaroya Hall, $20–$55


Eddie Izzard

July 12–14 Over 30 years into his career, Eddie Izzard is beyond comic comparison. He has acted in period pieces, talked of a 2020 run for mayor of London, and performed his last show, Force Majeure, in all 50 states, in 45 countries, and in four languages. That his act is erudite—moving deftly between historical epochs—is a given. That he remains a charming, globe-trotting populist is a marvel. Paramount Theatre, $45–$68



July 3 On their debut album, through sheer wit and will, Priests turned the tradition of lean, snarling Washington DC punk into something ineffably fresh. Their new record, The Seduction of Kansas, elaborates on those bare bones, a disco groove here, an ambient wash there, but still rails against the rotten world. Anyway, how could you not like a band that wedges a Point Break quote into a song called “Jesus’ Son”? Neumos, $15

The Amazing Holy Moly Circus

July 6 For over 20 years, Seattle singer-songwriter Chris Staples has been amassing a body of work that’s as impressive as it is unassuming—built on gentle, exquisite pop hooks and the type of indie folk that his local label, Barsuk Records, is known for. His latest album, Holy Moly, continues this legacy, and to celebrate its release Staples is holding a variety show in a Seward Park backyard. He and Sophia Duccini will perform, as will acrobat and contortionist Brittany Walsh. There’ll also be Eurasian owl, a python (literally), a “lizard as big as a dog,” and some actual hot dogs. Carr Family Fairgrounds, $30

Broken Social Scene

July 29 & 30 For a band with a name so explicitly ruinous, Broken Social Scene has returned from a seven-year hiatus and made music that radiates warmth. It isn’t all rosy optimism (see “Protest Song”), but the Canadian collective’s sonic palette is richly colored and exploratory. Post-rock guitars flit over strumming acoustics and the voices, even when bleak, remain intently human and thus welcoming. Neptune Theatre, $31

Special Events

Capitol Hill Block Party

July 19–21 Across the state, and the country, music festivals have seen rough attendance lately. Not so with Block Party. The intersection at Pike and 10th Avenue still gets carpeted with bare-shoulder-to-bare-shoulder twentysomethings when the headliners hit. This year that’s RL Grime, Lizzo, and Phantogram. But drift further down the poster for equal, if not greater, draws: national acts like Mitski and Jpegmafia alongside local excellence like Perry Porter and Tres Leches. Capitol Hill, $70–$160


The Events

July 18–Aug 10 Claire has just survived a community choir mass shooting. Scottish writer David Greig’s play follows her into trauma’s aftermath, as she searches the narratives we’ve come to associate with shootings—like a loner male who believes in racial purity—for answers. That sometimes these answers do not satisfy, or even exist, becomes its own sort of reckoning. Intiman Theatre, Free

The Year of Magical Thinking

July 19–Aug 11 In December 2003, writer Joan Didion’s adult daughter went to the hospital with septic shock; then she went into a coma. That same month Didion’s husband dropped suddenly dead. This one-woman play is based on Didion’s memoir that followed: The Year of Magical Thinking found the writer—long a searing, seer-like voice in our cultural tragedies—grappling through research and memory with intimate loss. ACT Theatre, $27–$47

Visual Art

Carrie Yamaoka

July 13–Nov 3 New York–based artist Carrie Yamaoka has been showing work since the 1980s, though her oeuvre has remained stunningly cohesive. She moves between materials—paints, photographs, wood panels, urethane resin—but continually returns to ideas both physical (mirrored surfaces, often fractured or blurred) and thematic: reflection, transformation, obfuscation. Henry Art Gallery, $10

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