Arts Picks




Let's forget about gay marriage for the moment and remember that other once exclusively straight territory of coupledom, the high-school dance. In Kings & Queens: Queers at the Prom (Soft Skull, $24.95), David Boyer affectingly documents several decades of homo teens putting themselves through the paces of a universally awkward rite of passage. The true stories have an often amusing irony—don't worry, you weren't the only latent fag to take a future dyke to your big night—as do the postscripts provided. Case in point: Tony Scalia (pictured), from a Decatur, Ala., class of '79, who is now happily humping in porn opuses such as Take It Like a Man. Boyer should have many more tales to share at this appearance, and his bittersweet scrapbook will touch anyone, of any sexual orientation, who remembers what it was like to be young and stumbling with two left feet. 4:30 p.m. Sun., July 11. Free. Elliot Bay Book Co., 101 S. Main St., 206-624-6600. STEVE WIECKING




Richard Thompson is a guitar player's guitar player, which means that musicians especially love him. He's got one of the deepest song catalogs in all of rock, beginning with his late-'60s stint in British folk-rockers Fairport Convention and continuing through his '70s and early-'80s albums with now-ex-wife Linda Thompson, as well as dozens of wry gems from his two-dozen-odd solo discs. And he's a terrific showman, quick- witted and smart. This will be a loud electric concert, so probably nothing from last year's sharp, self-issued live recording, 1,000 Years of Popular Music (Beeswing), will make it in. Oh, darn—that just means more guitar playing. 8 p.m. Wed., July 7. $22.50 adv./$25. Showbox, 1426 First Ave., 206-628-3151. MICHAELANGELO MATOS




Imagine your typical circus entertainment. Add a dash of burlesque and a hint of Rocky Horror. Now take whatever pharmaceutical you have handy. Voilà: You've got the gist of Contraption, the wily, whimsical, not-for-the-youngsters big-top treat that's like Barnum & Bailey on a bender. The troupe is back with an encore presentation of its popular Grand American Traveling Dime Museum show, so if you've missed the Contraption cult up until this point, now would be a good time to give yourself over to its singularly scroungy, surreal pleasures. 8 p.m. Fri., July 9–Sat., July 10. $15. 21 and over only. Workshop 30, Sand Point Magnuson Park, 7400 Sand Point Way N.E., 800-838-3006. STEVE WIECKING




Armed with legions of mall galleries, Thomas Kinkade holds the title of America's most popular artist. We won't go into the aesthetics of the "Painter of Light™" other than to say that Kinkade's inspired bit of genius is to hire trained "highlighters" to add oil paint to reproductions of his work for that "personal" touch. Inevitably, a group of locals have decided to do a little highlighting of their own: For two nights, Roq la Rue is showing Kinkade desecration by Charles Krafft, Pat Moriarty, Erin Norlin (whose contribution is pictured above), and many others. To add to the fun, artists including Tom Bagley, David Drake, and David Lasky will riff off the work of Jack T. Chick, the evangelical comic artist whose creepy pamphlets have been trying to save your soul from eternal damnation since 1961. Reception 6–10 p.m. Fri., July 9. Show also open 2–6 p.m. Sat., July 10. Free. Roq La Rue, 2316 Second Ave., 206-374-8977. ANDREW ENGELSON




The energy from this annual youth program always blows the roof off the theater, but this year there's an extra lift from an appearance by the Joffrey Ballet (whose Jennifer Goodman is pictured here)—after 20 years away from the Emerald City—as part of a tribute to Seattle dance artists. Robert Joffrey and his colleague Gerald Arpino both got their start here, and their work will be joined by that of more recent residents Pat Graney, Donald Byrd, Sonia Dawkins, and members of the Vela Luka Croatian Dance Ensemble. Jamel Gaines also returns to stage a new work for the 22 teen dancers in the program's ensemble. 7:30 p.m. Sat., July 10. $10–$15. The Paramount Theatre, 907 Pine St., 206-292-ARTS. SANDRA KURTZ

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