15 Best Things to Do in Seattle in March 2020

Our handpicked list of the best bets for entertainment this month
UGLY: An artistic response to “the dearth of nuanced black queer subjectivity in the mainstream”

*Due to evolving public health concerns related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, be sure to check with event hosts and venues for updates on event schedules and cancellations.

This article appears in print in the March 2020 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Washington Ensemble Theatre’s Gush Series presents groundbreaking performances by out-of-town artists, works that Seattle audiences otherwise might not have a chance to see. In this installment, explosive New York-based director/choreographer Raja Feather Kelly presents his solo show UGLY, which is billed as “part dance-theater and part pop-culture collage.” 7:30 p.m. $25. 12th Avenue Arts, Capitol Hill; washingtonensemble.org

Children’s Film Festival Seattle
Ends 3/8
Expect an eclectic extravaganza of international cinematic offerings, from animated shorts to feature-length films, at this impressive annual festival aimed primarily at audience members ages 2–14. Check online for a full listing of 2020 events; previous years’ festivals have included interactive lobby installations, hands-on experiences, live scores performed alongside classic films and singalong screenings. Times and prices vary. Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill; childrensfilmfestivalseattle.org

The Turn of the Screw
Ends 3/8
In this eerie tale, adapted by playwright Rachel Atkins from Henry James’ gothic horror novella, a young governess is hired to care for orphaned siblings Flora and Miles in a remote British country house. She soon begins to see strange spirits and becomes convinced that these evil apparitions are possessing the children. But are they really the spirits of former house employees, as she believes, or are they inventions of the governess’s mind? Come for the deliciously spooky ambiguity, stay for the performances by Book-it Repertory Theatre newcomer Shannon Lee Clair as the governess, and rising local stars Nabilah Ahmed and Rheanna Atendido as Miles and Flora, respectively. Times and prices vary. Center Theater at the Armory, Seattle Center; book-it.org

Iconic Black Women: Ain’t I a Woman
Ends 3/15
If you haven’t yet seen local artist Hiawatha D.’s exhibit honoring black women, make sure you get there before it closes this month. The paintings include subjects ranging chronologically from Sojourner Truth to Simone Biles, and they’re conceptualized as an homage to all black women and their unparalleled power as historymakers in America. Hours vary. $5–$7. Northwest African American Museum, Central District; naamnw.org

March Is Cabaret Month
Ends 3/28
If listening to a sultry chanteuse in a dimly lit club is your idea of a good time, clear your weekend calendar this month. Every Friday and Saturday in March, you can listen to both established and up-and-coming singers perform everything from classic cabaret repertoire (think French chansons and the Great American Songbook) to more unusual cabaret offerings, including folk music, opera and political satire. Times and prices vary. Egan’s Ballard Jam House, Ballard; marchcabaret.com

Kassa Overall
Don’t sleep on Kassa Overall, a Seattle-born, New York City–based jazz drummer who recently signed with Brownswood Recordings. Overall has played with the best of the best, and he just released his first album with Brownswood, I Think I’m Good, on February 28. Come and celebrate. 7:30 p.m. $15. The Triple Door, downtown; thetripledoor.net

Sister Act
Fans of this 1992 Whoopi Goldberg movie will love this faithful stage adaptation with music by eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken. After nightclub singer Deloris Van Cartier witnesses her gangster boyfriend off someone, police put her in protective custody in a convent. In her undercover nun role as Sister Mary Clarence, Deloris brings her glitzy, glamorous disco style first to the convent choir, and then to the whole community. Times and prices vary. 5th Avenue Theatre, downtown; 5thavenue.org

My Dad Wrote a Porno World Tour 2020
The title of the popular podcast My Dad Wrote a Porno is distressingly literal. After retiring, British comedian Jamie Morton’s father took to writing pornography under the pen name Rocky Flintstone. Like a good son, Morton created a podcast in which he reads this amateur porn aloud, with commentary from two comedian friends, and the result is cringeworthy in the funniest possible way.
8 p.m. $57.50–$67.50. Moore Theatre, downtown; stgpresents.org

Fauré’s Requiem
Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, a transcendently beautiful choral and orchestral mass for the dead, inspires devotion in longtime classical music lovers and newcomers alike. Some attribute this requiem’s power to Fauré’s committed agnosticism rather than any religious devotion, meaning he focused on beauty instead of sacred rumination. Choral Arts Northwest presents the French composer’s masterwork alongside a modern tribute, Kevin Siegfried’s Songs for the Journey. Times vary. $28 in advance, $32 at the door. Various locations; choralartsnw.org

Bikini Kill
Riot grrrls unite! Coming straight out of 1990s Olympia, Bikini Kill’s feminist punk music remains at once an expression of rage, frenzy joy and a rallying cry, particularly for Northwest women of a certain age. After breaking up in 1997, Bikini Kill reunited in early 2019 for a four-show tour, and now keeps the party going with this additional North American tour, kicking off March 13 in Olympia. Between these shows and a never-ending feud with Courtney Love, it’s like the ’90s never ended. 8 p.m. $39.50. Paramount Theatre, downtown; stgpresents.org

Rebecca Solnit 
If you’ve ever wondered how Rebecca Solnit became such a fiery, fearless writer, wonder no more. Tonight, the author of Men Explain Things to Me and many other books, reads from Recollections of My Nonexistence, about “her formation as a writer and as a feminist in 1980s San Francisco, in an atmosphere of gender violence on the street and throughout society and the exclusion of women from cultural arenas.” Buckle up. Presented by Elliott Bay Book Company. 7 p.m. $33 (includes a copy of the book). Temple de Hirsch Sinai, Capitol Hill; elliottbaybook.com

The Seattle Process with Brett Hamil
Seattle comedian Brett Hamil is an incisive and insatiable consumer of local politics, so do your civic duty and get to “Seattle’s favorite crackpot leftist political comedy talk show.” Previous guests have included writers Lindy West and Ijeoma Oluo, Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant and Washington State Solicitor General Noah Purcell, who argued against Trump’s Muslim travel ban in the Supreme Court. 8 p.m. $17. Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill; nwfilmforum.org

Hidden Wild: Secrets of the Everglades
Venture into the heart of one of America’s wildest places with author, photographer, conservationist and National Geographic explorer Carlton Ward Jr. In this installment of National Geographic Live, Ward will share incredible images and video from his treks in the Everglades, as well as behind-the-scenes stories. (Please note that while Seattle Symphony hosts this event, the symphony will not perform in this program.) Times and prices vary. Benaroya Hall, downtown; seattlesymphony.org

“Typecast OOO” by Rob Rhee (cultivated gourd, brass-plated steel, pegs), from Subspontaneous. Photo by Jueqian Fang. 

Get thee to the Frye Art Museum this month to see two exceptional shows, each excavating and exploring the messy organic world. Vancouver, British Columbia–based Rebecca Brewer showcases both abstraction and representation throughout Natural Horror. By employing nontraditional materials and techniques in her paintings, Brewer “evokes fragmented memories and flowing organic forms.” In Subspontaneous, artists Francesca Lohmann and Rob Rhee both “collaborate with forces of nature.” Lohmann’s cast sculptures—sprouted potatoes cast in bronze, plaster-filled sausage casings—share space with Rhee’s experiments in “environmental manipulation,” which include castings made with a seaweed-derived polymer and his ongoing sculptural work of gourds grown inside small, cage-like steel sculptures. Ends 4/19. Hours vary. Tue.–Sun. Free. Frye Art Museum, First Hill; fryemuseum.org 

Juggler, plate spinner, and human fountain Henrik Bothe will do everything for a laugh. Photo by Rob Falk.

Give us your bendy, your bizarre, your clowns and contortionists, your artists yearning to defy both gravity and description. Seattle’s annual celebration of variety performance presents four weeks of wild artistry in the vein of a modern-day circus. Each performance features a different lineup of talents, made up of both locals and visitors from around the world, for unpredictable evenings of fun. A small sampling from the long list of Moisture fest 2020 artists includes German clown duo Hacki & Möppi, American physical comedian Hilary Chaplain and aerialist and Cirque du Soleil veteran Mathieu Bolillo. All performances take place at Hale’s Palladium, except for the Libertease Cabaret (for ages 18 and older), which is held at the Broadway Performance Hall.  3/12–4/5, Times and prices vary. Hale’s Palladium, Fremont; moisturefestival.org

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