Arts Picks




Some things have to be seen to be believed . . . like, say, goddess choreographer Twyla Tharp fashioning a dance musical from the songs of Billy freakin' Joel. No, we're not making it up. Exhibit A: a picture of leaping lovers Brenda and Eddie (above), as in "Brenda and Eddie were the popular steadies/ And the king and the queen of the prom. . . . " (Stop pretending you don't know all the words.) This puts "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant" in a whole new light, doesn't it? Hey, if ABBA can go Broadway, why not the Piano Man? Opens Wed., June 9. 7:30 p.m. Sun. and Tues.–Thurs.; 8 p.m. Fri.–Sat.; 2 p.m. matinees Sat.–Sun. $26–$64. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 206-292-ARTS. STEVE WIECKING




Sedaris, the rock star of NPR commentaries, is back with his eagerly awaited new collection of essays, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (Little Brown & Company, $24.95). With a Mark Twain literary sensibility and the timing of Chris Rock, Sedaris can make you snort, guffaw, and whoop: Listening to him on tape on a drive back from California, I almost crashed my car from laughing so hard. Make sure you have a change of underwear if you're hearing him in person because, literally, you might pee your pants. 2 p.m. Thurs., June 10, at Bailey/Coy Books, 414 Broadway Ave. E., 206-323-8842; 7:3O p.m. Thurs., June 10, at Elliott Bay Book Co., 101 S. Main St., 206-624-6600. SAMANTHA STOREY




The airport isn't the place you'd normally think to look for art, but Sea-Tac has always had a pretty good collection (Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg), and a new, 30-foot-high painted glass installation titled I Was Dreaming of Spirit Animals (pictured) by local artist Cappy Thompson is to be unveiled. Thompson is a student of the medieval stained-glass technique known as grisaille, in which vitreous paints are applied and then fired onto glass, and her resulting work offers a similar function to panels found in a cathedral—offering a little bit of comfort in an intimidating space. Unveiling ceremony: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat., June 12. Free ($2 general parking). Concourse A, Sea-Tac Airport. ANDREW ENGELSON




Onetime Seattle actor Joe Morton has played Malcolm X and Thurgood Marshall, but he never had a more original hero part than the mute yet eloquent alien star of John Sayles' 1984 The Brother From Another Planet (pictured). It's a dream role, but the entire fable about a slave who falls to Earth, discovers Harlem, and flees the original Men in Black (bounty hunters played by Sayles and David Strathairn) would fall apart without Morton's charisma and heart. See it as part of this "Black to the Future" film series, along with black gold oldies like the classic Sun Ra: Space Is the Place. Films screen at various times Sat., June 12–Sun., June 13 (Sun Ra at 9 p.m. Sat.; Brother at 7 p.m. Sun.). $6–$8. Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, 104 17th Ave. S., 877-278-4842. TIM APPELO




A great songwriter, pianist, and vocalist, Allison has been straddling categories for decades, easing between blues and jazz and beyond with remarkable fluency. His hefty catalog (plenty of albums on labels including Atlantic, Capitol/Blue Note, Prestige, Discovery, and Columbia) is as friendly as it is daunting, and he's written some of the most biting songs in any category: "Middle Class White Boy," "Ever Since I Stole the Blues," "Ever Since the World Ended," and "Your Mind Is on Vacation." He'll be backed on this stand by drummer Milo Peterson and bassist Phil Sparks. Doors open at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tues., June 15–Wed., June 16. $18.50–$22.50. Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., 206-441-9729. MICHAELANGELO MATOS

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