15 Best Things To Do in Seattle in March 2019

Our hand-picked list of best bets for entertainment this month
Dance ensemble A.I.M. performing “Drive”

This article appears in print in the March 2019 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Every artist claims to draw from diverse influences, but even so, few are as widely disparate as those of Pittsburgh-born choreographer Kyle Abraham, whose inspirations include baroque opera and street dance, Merce Cunningham and N.W.A. The MacArthur “genius” grant recipient brings his NYC-based troupe A.I.M (Abraham in Motion) to the Moore for a two-night stand of his solo and ensemble works. 8 p.m. Prices vary. The Moore Theatre, downtown, 1932 Second Ave.; 206.467.5510; stgpresents.org

Tiffany Haddish
Stand-up, sitcoms, animation voice work, memoir writing, SNL hosting and movie work (including her breakout role in Girls Trip, the top-grossing comedy of 2017): Haddish has moved from a foster care upbringing in South Central Los Angeles (which she often draws on in her act) to what she is today—the hottest thing in comedy. 7 p.m. Prices vary. Paramount Theatre, downtown, 911 Pine St.; 206.682.1414; stgpresents.org

A Doll’s House, Part 2
What happened after Nora Helmer walked out on her husband at the end of Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 A Doll’s House, an ending that dumbfounded and enraged Europe? This season, Seattle Rep is one of 27 theaters nationwide (!) to show us by staging Lucas Hnath’s 2017 play, in which Nora returns, asks for a divorce and faces recriminations for her act. Times and prices vary. Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Center, 155 Mercer St.; 206.443.2222

Dean Baquet & Marty Baron
Asked on the air by Stephen Colbert what it was like to be vilified by the president, New York Times executive editor Baquet made lemonade: “The last year has been energizing for journalism,” he said, especially after a long and difficult period of economic retrenchment, and “all of a sudden I feel like people understand what we do and why what we do is important.” To reflect further on journalism’s role these days, he’ll be joined by Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post. 7:30 p.m. Prices vary. Benaroya Hall, downtown, 200 University St.; 206.621.2230; lectures.org

This annual festival, presented in collaboration with the American Institute of Architects’ Design in Public initiative, showcases films and presentations about architecture and design—visual culture of all kinds, really. Expect short- and feature-length screenings and performances, workshops and a design bazaar. Design-minded, artisan-crazed viewers shouldn’t miss opening night’s screening of Pablo Pivetta’s Endless Letterpress, about the resurgence of typesetting. Times and prices vary. Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill, 1515 12th Ave.; 206.329.2629

Dancer Kim Lusk appears in Peggy Piacenza's sweet, rotten, sweet video installation. Photo by Jazzy Photo

Peggy Piacenza
“I love bringing things from my prior work into my current work, because I’m not done exploring those images,” said veteran Seattle choreographer Peggy Piacenza during the creation of her 2017 piece The Event—and she still isn’t done, working material from The Event into a new format: a video installation titled sweet, rotten, sweet. It’ll be on view, for free, Thursday–Sunday, March 7–31. On selected days (March 16–17, 23–24, 29–30), Piacenza, who directed the video and choreographed its cast of four local dancers—Kim Lusk, Ezra Dickinson, Wade Madsen and Amelia Weber—but is not performing herself, will present a live performance including those dancers—a “visceral communal ritual”—for an intimate audience of only 25. Times and prices vary. Bonfire Gallery, Pioneer Square, 603 S Main St.; 206.790.1073

Emerson String Quartet
How often do artists know that their final work, while they’re working on it, is their final work? The ending of Benjamin Britten’s Third String Quartet, written in the fall of 1975, two years after a heart operation, offers no clue; its closing gesture seems to be left weirdly hanging in midair—a sort of a sonic semicolon—yet he lived a year more before ultimately succumbing to heart failure. One of the best quartets working today, ESQ’s strength, precision, clarity and insight reveal the soul of everything it plays; they’ll perform the Britten alongside music by Beethoven and Samuel Barber. 7:30 p.m. Prices vary. Meany Center, University of Washington, 4140 George Washington Lane NE; 206.543.4880

Steve Wozniak
How’s this for a one-of-a-kind résumé? Wozniak was on Season 8 of Dancing with the Stars; he’s corresponded extensively with Kathy Griffin (as published in her memoir Official Book Club Selection); and he was a character in The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, performed last month at Seattle Opera. Should be an interesting talk! (His day job has to do with computers or some such.) 7:30 p.m. Prices vary. McCaw Hall, Seattle Center, 321 Mercer St.; 206.733.9725; uniquelives.com

Aziz Ansari
Do you remember when Ansari, young and eager, performed at Bumbershoot in 2009? From there it took him only six years of stand-up to sell out Madison Square Garden, all while keeping up a sitcom career: a stint on Parks and Recreation, which led to an equally acclaimed starring role on the current Master of None, which he created. A #MeToo moment last year was poised to put it all in jeopardy, but the situation ultimately revealed the movement’s murkier areas, and given these two sold-out dates—an odd ticket or two still may be available, if you’re willing to sit alone—Seattle seems ready to accept him once again. 7:30 p.m. SOLD OUT. Paramount Theatre, downtown, 911 Pine St.; 206.682.1414; stgpresents.org

Hugo Literary Series
Hugo House likes to commission new work from writers and musicians by giving them a shared theme and seeing what diverse points of view pop up. With Franz Kafka’s novella The Metamorphosis as the assigned inspiration for this night, we’ll hear fiction writer Benjamin Percy, journalist and author Vanessa Hua, poet Keetje Kuipers and singer-songwriter SassyBlack ponder what it would like to be an insect. 7:30 p.m. Prices vary. Hugo House, Capitol Hill, 1634 11th Ave.; 206.322.7030

Tiler Peck, a principal dancer at New York City Ballet who originated the role of Marie in Little Dancer, also stars in the revamped production, Marie, debuting in Seattle this month. Photo by Matt Karas

It sounds a little bit Sunday in the Park with George (life and art clash in late-19th-century Paris) and a little bit Phantom of the Opera (backstage drama in Europe’s most opulent theater), but the newly revamped and renamed musical (formerly titled Little Dancer) by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Once on This Island) focuses on the title character, the ballerina who inspired painter Edgar Degas, rather than (as Sondheim and Lloyd Webber did) on the dudes. Times and prices vary. 5th Avenue Theatre, downtown, 1308 Fifth Ave.; 206.625.1900

Pacific Northwest Ballet: Director’s Choice
PNB Director Peter Boal is using his annual soapbox to introduce the company’s audiences to new work by rising choreographers. He has commissioned dances from Chicago-based Robyn Mineko Williams (“She lets the quiet spaces between movements color the work,” Dance Magazine observed) and Philadelphia’s Matthew Neenan (“He makes dancers look vulnerable, openhearted, and, above all, marvelously free,” said The New York Times). Third on the program is Justin Peck’s In the Countenance of Kings, set to music by Sufjan Stevens. Times and prices vary. McCaw Hall, Seattle Center, 321 Mercer St.; 206.441.2424; pnb.org

Photo by Charlie Gross

Meshell Ndegeocello
On top of her many albums (averaging about one every two years since 1993, her latest is last year’s spacey, soulful Ventriloquism) and collaborations (with everyone from John Mellencamp and the Rolling Stones to Chaka Khan and Madonna), this veteran bassist/rapper also works in the theatrical domain. Her 2016 multimedia music-theater piece, Can I Get a Witness? The Gospel of James Baldwin, a genre-bending performance she’ll stage at Jazz Alley, treats Baldwin’s reflections on race as a liturgy, a recited text that underpins her music to make something like—and something more than—a church service. Times vary. $40.50. Jazz Alley, downtown, 2033 Sixth Ave.; 206.441.9729

Seattle Symphony 
Many instruments live in both the classical and jazz worlds, but none more happily than the clarinet: suave and raucous, comic and amorous, brash and otherworldly. Which is why it’s the focus of this concert, one of the dozens that will fill Octave 9 Raisbeck Music Center, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra’s new music space at Second and Union, this spring (for more about the venue, click here). The orchestra’s composer-in-residence, Derek Bermel, plays that instrument, and he’ll be joined by cellist Seth Parker Woods, pianist Ethan Iverson and other Seattle Symphony musicians for several of his jazz-inflected, genre-bridging pieces in a program that also includes works by Leonard Bernstein, Duke Ellington, Seattle-born William Bolcom and Seattle Pacific University composer Stephen Newby. 6 p.m. Prices vary. Octave 9 at Benaroya Hall, downtown, 200 University St.; 206.215.4747; seattlesymphony.org

Thaddeus Turner
In his parenting advice manual Rocking Fatherhood, music journalist Chris Kornelis is a strong advocate for having your kids listen to real music, not kids’ music. “Don’t waste your money on Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Radiohead,” he urges. “Just turn on Radiohead.” Or you could take them to hear expert local soul guitarist Thaddeus Turner (performances with Digable Planets, Maktub, Pearl Jam and Dave Matthews are on his résumé) offer what’s billed as “a kid-friendly introduction to Seattle’s proud rock scene” in this concert in Town Hall’s Saturday Family Concerts Series. 11 a.m. $5. Town Hall, First Hill, 1119 Eighth Ave.; 206.652.4255; townhallseattle.org

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