Arts Picks




Don't be put off by that "children's" bit—the festival is always full of acts that bridge ages as well as expectations. Wai (pictured) combines the traditional rhythms of haka, the Maori dance of defiance (performed before combat to energize warriors and scare the opposition), with global pop styles like funk and reggae to make a contemporary expression of native New Zealand culture. This year the festival is presenting "adult" evening programming with Seattle International Nights—beginning May 5 at Consolidated Works—but you don't have to be a kid to come during the day. Times vary. Mon., May 10–Sat., May 15. $10–$15 daily, or $50–$60 "six-pack" for Seattle International Nights. Multiple venues, Seattle Center, 206-684-7346 or SANDRA KURTZ




Can you draw the pirate? Back in the '70s, ads from the Art Instruction Institute promised that by taking its aptitude test (no tracing allowed!), it could scientifically determine if you had the right stuff to be an artist. (Peanuts creator Charles Schulz graduated the Institute's program with flying colors.) In a show assembled by sharp-eyed curators Kipling West and Jess Van Nostrand, local artists—including Tom Bagley, Ellen Forney, Joe Newton, Erin Norlin, and 14 (whose pirate is pictured here)—create their own twisted versions of A.I.I. favorites. Reception: 6–9 p.m. Fri., May 7. 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Mon.–Sat.; noon–5 p.m. Sun. Ends Sat., July 31. Kuhlman, 2419 First Ave., 206-441-1999. ANDREW ENGELSON




He's always got an opinion, and he's not shy about sharing it. Expect some choice digs at Bush—and perhaps the Dems, too—as Lee takes the stage as part of Foolproof's "American Voices" lecture series. 8 p.m. Sat., May 8. $25–$75. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 206-628-0888. And if you want to get yourself riled up for the event, check out SAM's Friday screening of Do the Right Thing. His 1989 classic of racial tension, street fighting, and uneasy forgiveness concludes the museum's "Only Skin Deep" series with a riot in Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy neighborhood on the hottest day of the summer. (Lee is pictured with Rosie Perez, a knockout in the famous opening credits sequence). 7:30 p.m. Fri., May 7 (followed by a dance party at 10 p.m.). $7. Seattle Art Museum, 100 University St., 206-654-3121. BRIAN MILLER




Mma Precious Ramotswe embodies the best of old Botswana. The traditionally built lady detective returns in The Full Cupboard of Life (Pantheon, $19.95), the fifth book in Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. This time, she's checking out a wealthy woman's four suitors—are they after her money? Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe's fiancé (will they ever marry?), Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, deals with ethics and manages his apprentices at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors when he's enlisted to make a parachute jump for an orphan-farm fund-raiser. Fans won't want to miss the Zimbabwe-born author (pictured), who has such respect for Africa's long courtships, loving families, and majestic landscapes. 6 p.m. Fri., May 7. Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way N.E. 206-366-3333. JOANNE GARRETT




The Manhattan-based journalist spent almost a decade researching her Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx (new in paper, Scribner, $14), venturing even farther upstate when various subjects of hers were incarcerated—some for life. Heroin dealers, AIDS, and a succession of unplanned pregnancies are just some of the roadblocks faced by two Latina women, Coco and Jessica, as they try to attain some stability in their lives. LeBlanc (pictured) doesn't judge these two, or the various men who drift in and out of their beds; she just reports on an underclass likely to be overlooked and ignored during the coming presidential campaign. 5 p.m. Wed., May 12. Free. Elliott Bay Book Co., 101 S. Main St. 206-624-6600. BRIAN MILLER

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