Arts Picks




This touring tribute to gender-bending is boa'd and determined to prove the old adage that boys will be girls. The first half of the two-hour drag extravaganza features a selection of Northwest divas (Terra Hymen, anyone?) proclaiming their sovereignty with lip-synched laissez-faire, headlined by those most supreme of queens, Wigstock's royal Lady Bunny (pictured) and, stepping out after Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, the Lady Chablis. The evening concludes with a screening of Dixie Queen, a documentary peek into the life of 300-pound North Carolina "lady" legend Tara Nicole. If the art of drag is dying out, it certainly refuses to go gently into that gaudy night. 8 p.m. Fri., Aug. 6–Sat., Aug. 7. $20–$35. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 206-628-0888 or STEVE WIECKING




If you can't get enough of SAM's ongoing ex­hi­bit, check out Vincente Minnelli's 1956 Van Gogh biopic, which applies an appropriately over-the-top palette to the artist's torments and triumphs. It doesn't hurt that Kirk Douglas delivers such a fulsome performance in the starring role; his borderline-insane intensity is well suited to Van Gogh's own mental states. As his buddy Gaughin, Anthony Quinn is somewhat more restrained—at least by Anthony Quinn standards; he earned an Oscar, perhaps for that very reason. Minnelli makes the hues as vivid here as they were on Van Gogh's canvas, and the movie is not on DVD, so this is a precious chance to see it on the big screen. (NR) 7:30 p.m. Fri., Aug. 6. $4–$5. Seattle Art Museum, 100 University St., 206-654-3121. BRIAN MILLER




Think Vegas meets the Olympics. For most of us, dancing is a night with friends at a club, or perhaps a companionable twirl around the rec room with Aunt Ruthie. For the competitors at the annual Star Ball, however, it means spandex, sequins, and an athletic version of traditional forms. Bob Powers and Julia Gorchakova (pictured) are the current U.S. Rhythm Champions, and their appearance at this offering of Latin and swing styles in hyperdrive comes at the end of a weekend full of aspiring Astaires. Times vary Fri., Aug. 6–Sat., Aug. 7. $35–$135. SeaTac Hilton, 17620 Pacific Hwy. S., 206-361-8239. SANDRA KURTZ




Thanks to foul-mouthed comedians like Whoopi Goldberg and Dick Cheney, the tenor of our political dialogue is enough to give some poor FCC censor an aneurysm. It's time for an injection of artistic civility into the discussion: "Art vs. Bush," sponsored by No Vote Left Behind, collects subversive works by Peter Blecha, Ellen Forney, and 11 more; Jack Daws, Susan Robb, Iris Stevenson (whose ExhibitA is pictured) and others ponder "101 Ways to Remove a President From Power" (whether it be GWB, Martha Stewart, or Kenneth Lay) at CoCA. Looking for art that isn't by a bunch of pinko hedonist commies? Ah, go screw yourself. "Art vs. Bush" opening party 5–11 p.m. Fri., Aug 6. Free. Crespinel Gallery, 2312 Second Ave., 206-427-1987. "101" reception 7 p.m.–midnight Fri., Aug 6. Free. CoCA, 410 Dexter Ave. N, 206-728-1980. ANDREW ENGELSON




Photographer Edison takes the charge out of bared male flesh in her Familiar Men: A Book of Nudes (Shifting Focus, $25) by treating subjects like Phillip Huang (pictured) as ordinary guys, not Colin Farrell–like demigods whose penises must be covered at all costs. Edison brings a similar fine-art yet commonplace approach to the plus-size ladies she profiles in 1994's Women En Large. In both books, both sexes have beer bellies, not six-pack abs—all part of Edison's body-acceptance agenda. Expect to see samples from the collections, plus some of her live—but presumably clothed—male models, at this event. 4 p.m. Sat., Aug. 7. Free. Elliott Bay Book Co., 101 S. Main St., 206-624-6600. BRIAN MILLER

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