Monthly Planner

The Top Things to Do in Seattle This February

The Asian Art Museum returns, a jazz legend gets operatic, and Tim and Eric demand your attendance.

By Stefan Milne January 31, 2020 Published in the January/February 2020 issue of Seattle Met

Frozen comes to the Paramount for a three-week run.

Books & Talks

Hugo Literary Series

Feb 28 Hugo House’s seasonal reading series is simply a treasure: Four times a year the writing center commissions new work from three authors and one musician based on a theme. In the last few years, stories from Lauren Groff and Sheila Heti have ended up in The New Yorker. This installment brings Anthony Swofford, Mitchell S. Jackson, Charles D’Ambrosio, and JusMoni. The theme? Behind Closed Doors. But when their work is unveiled, expect new ones to open. Hugo House, $25

Classical & More

The Branford Marsalis Quartet

Feb 20–22 The Marsalises—which include Wynton and Ellis—are the first family of contemporary American jazz. So it’s little surprise that saxophonist Branford and his three bandmates take the genre’s already broad canvas, stretch it a touch further, and paint all over it—smooth classicism here, nervy jitters there—so that by performance’s end, you’ll feel that jazz, this vast and shifty thing, has been fully articulated. The Triple Door, $60–$80


Gary Gulman

“I was kind of a lonely kid. I think the best way to picture my childhood [is] think of Charlie Brown, had Snoopy died.” —Gary Gulman

Feb 8 Following a breakthrough special exploring his depression, the eloquent and kind-hearted comic returns with Peace of Mind. Neptune Theatre, $21–$34

Tim and Eric

Feb 28 Comedy duo Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim work in a very particular space, manic and deadpan, absurd and eerily relatable. They’re every bit as weird as their Adult Swim ilk, but their sketches and movies come inflected with subversive unease. Their 2020 Mandatory Attendance World Tour should be no different: The trailer appears as a fever dream about awkward and inept 1980s used car salesmen. Moore Theatre, $40


Chastity Belt

Feb 28 Seattle’s Chastity Belt has, over four albums, created a sort of bildungsroman. Since No Regerts’s wasted garage punk wanderings, the quartet has moved toward maturity, both sonically and narratively. Their new eponymous album is their most finely wrought yet. The guitars twine with strings and harmonies, and even a song called “Pissed Pants” offers lines like, “In time we’ll all be surrounded by what guides us.” Neumos, $20


Disney’s Frozen

Feb 7–Mar 1 If you have kids between the ages of, oh, five and 16, chances are you’ve had the songs from Frozen drilled into your head with all the gentleness of an old-time lobotomy. Is the movie now a musical, touring the country? Yes. If you’re part of the target audience, will you be seeing it during its three-week run at the Paramount? Likely. But perhaps the live renditions of Anna and Elsa’s struggle can melt even a frostbitten heart. Paramount Theatre, $30–$150

Charlie Parker's Yardbird

Feb 22–Mar 7 The high drama of Charlie “Bird” Parker’s life—ducking school at 14, four marriages, a blaze of bebop brilliance, a heroin overdose at 34—is just as suited to opera as one of his bracing sax runs. In Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, a recent chamber opera, the legend’s ghost departs his deathbed body and takes flight to explore the life that brought him there. McCaw Hall, $35–$339

Visual Art

Jacob Riis: How the Other Half Lives

Feb 1–Mar 15 Working as a police reporter, Jacob Riis began photographing New York City slums. When he published these shots in the 1890 book How the Other Half Lives, the impact rippled all the way into legislation. This exhibition includes some complementary materials (journals, letters, others’ work), but the draw is Riis’s images themselves. They stand not only as a stark journalistic look into poverty, but as pieces of surprising artistic quality: the crush of light coming down an alley, a woman’s heavenward gaze as she holds a baby. National Nordic Museum, $18

Anne Siems

Feb 6–29 In local painter Anne Siems’s new Tattooed exhibition, figural images of women (who, yes, have tattoos, often of nature) pop from abstract backgrounds and interact with animals. Sometimes the two merge outright: A woman’s hands turn into wolf heads. All of it explores the wild woman archetype—both in its naturalism and its freedom from societal strictures that surround creativity and sexuality. Patricia Rovzar Gallery, Free

Grand Reopening

Feb 8 & 9 After closing two years ago for renovations, Seattle’s Asian Art Museum, located in Volunteer Park, returns with a weekend-long celebration. The opening brings back the reconfigured main collection, Boundless: Stories of Asian Art (now organized by 12 themes), and signals the arrival of the first special exhibition, Be/longing: Contemporary Asian Art, a group show of Asian artists who’ve worked outside the continent. Asian Art Museum, Free

Show Comments