Food & Drink

Datebook: 12 Best Things To Do in Seattle in April 2018

Our hand-picked list of best bets for entertainment this month

By Gavin Borchert March 30, 2018


This article originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of Seattle Magazine.

This article appears in print in the April 2018 issueClick here to subscribe.

Heathers: The Musical
The 1988 cult comedy about high school cliques and the meanest of mean girls is, if anything, even darker in its 2010 musical adaptation by Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy. In the film, “dead gay son” is a punch line; in the musical, it’s an entire number. This production is a benefit for the It Gets Better Project, so don your favorite red scrunchie and come out in support. 
Times and prices vary. Erickson Theater Off Broadway, Capitol Hill, 1524 Harvard Ave.; 206.329.1050; Facebook, “Erickson Theatre” 

Hari Kondabolu
He came to Seattle in 2004 as an activist and organizer and left a stand-up comedian. Well, that’s a little reductive; Kondabolu had been pursuing comedy since high school, but it was his time here that boosted him to the next level. Of course, he hasn’t lost his passion for social justice causes, which he tackles intrepidly; his recent documentary, The Problem with Apu, even criticizes, with biting wit, a comedy institution like The Simpsons for its use of an Indian stereotype.
8 p.m. $29. Kirkland Performance Center, Kirkland, 350 Kirkland Ave.; 425.893.9900;

Photo by Sasha Israel

Jon Batiste
The talk-show format has barely changed since the dawn of television, back in the late Pleistocene Epoch, but the music definitely has. Gone is the Vegas-cheese aesthetic represented by The Tonight Show’s Doc Severinsen (and then sent up by Paul Shaffer)—the new breed of late-night bandleader includes Questlove and The Roots for Jimmy Fallon, Cleto Escobedo for Jimmy Kimmel, Reggie Watts for James Corden and, for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, New Orleans–born jazz pianist Jon Batiste. Busy as not just a musician, but an all-around jazz ambassador, he visits Seattle for a solo gig as part of a multicity tour.
7 p.m. Prices vary. Neumos, Capitol Hill, 925 E Pike St.; 206.709.9442;

Demian DinéYazhi´, Photo Credit: Patrick Weishampel

The Brink: Demian DinéYazhi´
The Henry Art Gallery’s Brink Award is not named for a benefactor; it refers to being on the edge of a professional career, and it’s awarded every other year to artists 35 and younger who are living and working in the Northwest (Washington, Oregon or British Columbia). The transdisciplinary work of this year’s winner, Demian DinéYazhi´ of the Navajo Nation (now a Portland resident), metaphorically ties together transcendence of many kinds: of the boundaries of Native American reservations, of colonial capitalist systems, of binary gender norms. At the Henry, analog slide projectors will fill the walls with images and text in yet another sort of boundary breaking.
Times and prices vary. Henry Art Gallery, University District, 4100 15th Ave. NE; 206.543.2280;

Karin Stevens at Velocity Dance Center performing (re)MOVE: Back Toward Again the (re)TURN Facing with live music by Wayne Horvitz in April 2016. Photography by Karen Mason Blair.

What Better Than Call a Dance?
Improvised dance and improvised music, separately, have a flourishing tradition in Seattle, but not so much together. New “improvisation-centric, technology-friendly chamber music series/ensemble” Kin of the Moon (violinist Heather Bentley, composer and vocalist Kaley Lane Eaton, flutist Leanna Keith) is intending to change that, inviting local choreographer Karin Stevens to collaborate on this cross-disciplinary show. Seattle’s unofficial queen of avant-garde clarinet, Beth Fleenor, will be along for the ride, too, creating what Bentley calls “a hybrid of…dance music of the Renaissance, a new view on the waltz and the tango, and a sort of EDM thing.”
8 p.m. Prices vary. Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center, Wallingford, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N; 206.457.5967;

Photo by Kristen Cofer

The Singing Mime
4/5 & 4/12
Imagine if Seattle’s theaters treated the sets for their productions as artworks open for public viewing. That’s what new Pioneer Square art-book emporium Mount Analogue does: Shows performed in the tiny, cabinet-of-wonders-like space double as installations. For this one-woman, hourlong show, a corporeal mime performance by artist Jess Joy (of Los Angeles art-rock duo Moon Honey), the setting will be her own papier-mâché structures in stark black and white. Within that setting, Joy, brightly clad and painted, will enact what gallery curator Colleen Louise Barry calls “an emotional breakup…using carefully composed and subtle movements.” And yes, this mime sings (and plays guitar and a theremin), so it will surely beguile the ear as well as eye. (The set remains on view through the month.)
7 p.m. Free, donations accepted. Mount Analogue, 300 S. Washington St.;

Black Bois, a meditation on black male identity. Photo by Naomi Ishisaka

Black Bois
The unimaginable—or, looked at another way, all too imaginable—tragedies of Kalief Browder and Tamir Rice inspired Black Bois, which Seattle choreographer Dani Tirrell calls “a thanksgiving to our past and our present and our future,” and a “a love letter to our bodies.” Previewed at SAM Remix last August, the collaborative exploration of black male emotion, with original music by Benjamin Hunter (of blues and folk duo Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons) and words by self-described “Black/trans/queer” poet J Mase III, is being premiered by On the Boards.
Times and prices vary. On the Boards, 100 W Roy St.; 206.217.9886;

The Wolves
Playwright sarah delappe was a soccer player growing up, so it was a natural milieu from which to explore the transition from girlhood to adulthood. She built The Wolves out of conversations among the nine high school age team members—whom she dubs “warriors”—during prematch warmups, drawing inspiration from their overlapping dialogue and constant kinetic motion. The resulting ensemble piece earned a 2017 Pulitzer Prize nomination. 
Times and prices vary. ACT – A Contemporary Theatre, downtown, 700 Union St.; 206.292.7676;

‘Of an Impossible Country’
Here are a few arresting lines from the three Latina and Latino poets gathering on this evening to present work that sponsor Seattle Arts and Lectures says “challenges and illuminates the notion of border-crossing”:
Rachel McKibbens (from upstate New York): When we returned the next morning, the children squealed at the minnows shimmering against the linoleum.
Javier Zamora (born in El Salvador, now attending Stanford University): I don’t like to eat iguanas like Mom. 
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (teaches at the University of Texas–El Paso): We’re people who feel and breathe and die and suffer and hope for salvation and yearn for love. We’re not just a newspaper headline.
7:30 p.m. Prices vary. Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall, Seattle Center, 321 Mercer St.; 206.733.9725; 

Bill Maher
It’s hard to think of a comedian working today who’s a more blistering critic of the right, especially since Maher became king of the political comedy talk show 25 years ago with Politically Incorrect and continues to reign with HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. Yet orthodoxies anywhere on the ideological spectrum can be his target; his season-premiere monologue riffed on l’affaire Franken, ferociously observing, “The nothing-is-funny people are trying to take over the world!” Who wouldn’t love watching him discuss comedy with Kondabolu? 
8 p.m. Prices vary. Paramount Theatre, downtown, 911 Pine St.; 206.682.1414; 

Photo by Angela Sterling (PNB)

Pacific Northwest Ballet: Emergence
For canadian choreographer Crystal Pite, whose 2009 work Emergence gives PNB’s spring show its name, inspiration came from insects: How do organisms build social structures? More specifically, how might this be a metaphor for a ballet company? Pite’s approach was collaborative: “Get everyone contributing material: delegate, divide and conquer… [a hive] is not a hierarchy at all. The queen does not govern.” It’ll be(e) an intriguingly fresh take on a traditionally ballerina-centric art form.
Times and prices vary. McCaw Hall, Seattle Center, 321 Mercer St.; 206.389.7676; 

Stravinsky Perséphone
4/26 & 4/28
Clangorous pianos (four of them), a splash of percussion (17 instruments), a keening soprano: Stravinsky never wrote a more eye-opening opening, nor concocted an earthier rhythmic thrust, than in his 1923 work Les noces (“The Wedding”), depicting scenes from a village wedding ceremony. Part ballet, part cantata, it’s the centerpiece of an all-Stravinsky concert by the Seattle Symphony, featuring conductor Ludovic Morlot and, in the composer’s Concerto for Piano and Winds, soloist Marc-André Hamelin.
Times and prices vary. Benaroya Hall, downtown, 200 University St.; 206.215.4747;  


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