Summer Event Picks

Our list of the top arts and entertainment choices for the summer months.




Summer Guide 2005

• 50 Ways to Celebrate Global Warming. MORE

• Ask the Experts. MORE

• Event Picks. MORE

• Author Readings. MORE

• Movies. MORE

• The Bard Is Back. MORE

• Concerts. MORE



June 4

Sure, KNDD-FM (107.7/The End) is a fairly mediocre mod-rock station in a city that's not exactly lacking for places to hear mod-rock, but Endfest, its annual outdoor fete, does bring the goods. To wit: a mainstage featuring Social Distortion, Queens of the Stone Age, Interpol, Hot Hot Heat, and Stereophonics; a second stage with the Bravery, Ash, Kaiser Chiefs, the Caesars, Kasabian, and Tegan & Sara; and a local stage starring Pretty Girls Make Graves, Vendetta Red, the Lashes, Aqueduct, Mountain Con, and RazRez. We don't love 'em all, but there's plenty good there to choose from. 1 p.m. Sat., June 4. $20–$40. White River Amphitheatre, 40601 Auburn Enumclaw Rd., Auburn, 360-825-6200, MICHAELANGELO MATOS

U.S.E. and the Hold Steady

June 9

In this corner: United State of Electronica, the three-time winner of Seattle Weekly's Music Award for Best Electronica Artist and the most insanely joyous live performers you will ever see in your life. In that corner: Brooklyn's the Hold Steady, whose second album, Separation Sunday (Frenchkiss), is the hands-down best rock album of 2005 so far and whose live shows are every bit as much fun as the record—and as U.S.E.'s shows. Together, they will make you dance, drink, rock, and jump in the air like your life depends on it. Get your tickets early—barring an act of God, this inspired pairing looks like the concert of the year. 9 p.m. Thurs., June 9. $8. Crocodile Cafe, 2220 Second Ave., 206-441-5611,,, MICHAELANGELO MATOS

Isamu Noguchi

June 9–Sept. 5

One of the city's most popular public sculptures is Isamu Noguci's Black Sun, balanced like a giant stone doughnut outside the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Noguchi, who would have turned 100 last year, believed that art belonged everywhere. He designed functional and stylish items ranging from coffee tables to silverware. The Japanese-American artist's long career is celebrated in an exhibit at Seattle Art Museum—an eclectic sampling of sculpture, theater designs, and the ubiquitous Akari paper lamp—still popular among hip condo-dwellers. June 9–Sept. 5. $7–$10. Seattle Art Museum, 100 University St., 206-654-3100, ANDREW ENGELSON

Bebel Gilberto

June 10

Nature or nurture? That's the question with Bebel Gilberto, the Brazilian-raised, New York–dwelling songstress whose two smart albums for Six Degrees, 2000's Tanto Tempo and last year's Bebel Gilberto, have made her one of the most visible world-music artists in the U.S. As the daughter of legendary Brazilian guitarist João Gilberto and singer Miúcha, as well as the niece of Chico Buarque de Holanda, she's got music in her genes. But despite her musical similarities to her family, Bebel's her own woman, and her cool demeanor is frequently doused in up-to-the-minute electronics, as on the remix discs that accompany the aforementioned albums. 8 p.m. Fri., June 10. $29.50–$39.50. Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., 206-443-1744, MICHAELANGELO MATOS

Grand Kabuki

June 11–12

Though the vivid drama and passions of Kabuki have influenced countless Western minds (how else to explain Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest?), few have had a chance to experience Japan's centuries-old art form. The appearance of Shochiku Grand Kabuki with its Chikamatsu-za Troupe will give Seattleites a don't-miss opportunity to witness the classic Sonezaki Shinju (Love Suicides at Sonezaki) starring a genuine master, Nakamura Ganjiro III, whose role as the courtesan Ohatsu is one he's been performing for over 50 years. 7:30 p.m. Sat., June 11; 2 p.m. Sun., June 12. $25.50–$100. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 206-292-ARTS, STEVE WIECKING

SIFF Closing Night

June 12

Gus Van Sant's film Last Days received mixed reviews at Cannes, but its subject matter—the final hours in the life of a Kurt Cobain–like pop star—makes it a must-see for Seattle audiences. After the screening, party down with the dog- tired survivors of the 31st annual Seattle International Film Festival. 6:30 p.m. Sun., June 12. $40. Neptune Theatre, 1303 N.E. 45th St., 206-324-9996, LYNN JACOBSON

PNB Gala

June 12

To honor the retirement of its two longtime artistic directors, Kent Stowell and Francia Russell, Pacific Northwest Ballet will hold a gala at McCaw Hall. After 28 years with the company, Stowell and Russell deserve quite a celebration, and lucky for all of us, PNB knows how to party. There will be champagne, dancing, and performances created especially for the occasion—not to mention some tasty little hors d'oeuvres.Black tie is optional but fabulous fashion is a must. 6 p.m. Sun., June 12. $30–$150. McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., 206-441-2424, NICHOLE BOLAND

Bellevue Arts Museum

June 18

After closing its doors for nearly two years, Bellevue Arts Museum reopens in June, reinventing itself as a center for craft and design. New executive director Michael Monroe is a highly credentialed authority on arts and crafts, having served as curator at the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery for American Craft. No more avant-garde stuff for BAM—in its first months, look for art glass from the early days of Pilchuck Glass School (yep, that means Chihuly), ironwork by New York sculptor Albert Paley, and a collection of 20th-century teapots. Museum opens Sat., June 18. Admission $5–$7. (Bellevue Arts and Crafts Fair: Fri., July 29–Sun., July 31. Free.) Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., 425-519-0770, ANDREW ENGELSON

Solstice Celebration

June 18

Clothing is "encouraged" at the Fremont Solstice Parade, but the type of clothing is up to you.

(Michelle Bates)

Not everyone loves a parade, but you have to shower at least a small amount of sunny affection on Fremont's annual Solstice Celebration, which kicks off with the legendary laissez-faire of its parade. Rules include "we're all happily free of logos for the day" and "clothing and costumes are always encouraged." (You know you're among good people when they have to be reminded to wear clothes.) Picnics, performances, music, art installations, and various workshops follow the nonconformist frolic. Parade begins at noon Sat., June 18, at Third Avenue Northwest and Northwest 36th Street, 206-547-7440, STEVE WIECKING

Summer Nights Concerts

June 24–Aug. 26

The Summer Nights at the Pier series has relocated its unbelievably stellar lineup of time-tested talent to South Lake Union Park, just west of the Center for Wooden Boats and the Center for Unflattering Waitress Fashions (i.e., Hooters). Catch two-night headliner Lyle Lovett, plus Lucinda Williams, John Hiatt, Chris Isaak, the Indigo Girls, Ann Wilson, and a nifty outdoor stageful of blues legends. While you're at it, you can booze up at the beer garden (or not, if you're in the all-ages section) and gloat that there's actually more parking available than at the pier. June 24–Aug. 26. $32–$56. 845 Terry Ave. N. (at Valley Street), 206-281-7788, TIM APPELO

Fremont Outdoor Movies

June 25–Aug. 27

As John Travolta sang, "Oh-oh those summer nights." If you want to spend one in the glow of the big screen, outdoor cinema is a necessity. Luckily, Fremont Outdoor Movies will be in full swing on Saturdays with everything from "Class President Night, "featuring Napoleon Dynamite, to "Drag Queen Night," with Priscilla Queen of the Desert, to "Everything British Night," featuring Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Movies begin at dusk on Saturdays, June 25–Aug. 27. $5 suggested donation. North 35th Street and Phinney Avenue North, 206-781-4230, HEATHER LOGUE


Fourth of July

July 4

Downtown fireworks crowds got you ready to explode? Then you might want to check out one of the Northwest's small-town celebrations, like the Sammamish Valley Fourth of July. The display can be seen best from J.B. Instant Lawn on a mammoth green field of—you guessed it—instant lawn where you can spread a blanket and make space for your whole family. Best of all, there are free shuttles from Kingsgate, Woodinville, and Redmond, so finding a parking spot shouldn't be a problem. This celebration has all the punch of a downtown display, and the warm Wonder Years feeling of a hometown holiday. 6–11 p.m. Mon., July 4. Free admission. Northeast 145th Street, Woodinville. 425-489-2700, NICHOLE BOLAND

Chamber Music Festival

July 5–Aug. 12

Is there any more sublimely summery experience than sitting on the lawn at Lakeside School, as Schumann and the setting sun wash over you? The Chamber Music Society's Summer Festival runs from July 5 to July 29 at Lakeside, and this year—for the first time—at Overlake School on the Eastside from Aug. 3 to Aug. 12. At both venues, you can buy a ticket, go indoors, and watch the action up close, or freeload on the lawn, where the concerts are broadcast through speakers. The programs are always scrumptious—everything from the Three Bs to George Gershwin played by top-notch local and visiting musicians. July 5–Aug. 12. Free–$38. Lakeside School, 14050 First Ave. N.E., and Overlake School, 20301 N.E. 108th St., Redmond; 206-283-8808, LYNN JACOBSON

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

July 7

It's hard to know whether Ladysmith Black Mambazo set out to be the world's premier a cappella group when they began 31 years ago in the South African townships, but that's basically what they've done. A dozen years in, they became widely known outside their home country thanks to Paul Simon, who featured them on 1986's Graceland, but their catalog is remarkably strong and consistent—start with Shanachie's 1990 compilation, Classic Tracks—and as 1999's Live at the Royal Festival Hall demonstrates, they're amazingly good live. 8 p.m. Thurs., July 7. $35. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., 206- 215-4747, MICHAELANGELO MATOS

Savion Glover/Dance This . . . 

July 9

Glover is arguably the hottest, most influential proponent of tap since the days of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire, and now the articulate, athletic benevolence that distinguishes his work will have an even larger effect on Puget Sound kids. He's the artist in resident for Dance This . . . , an annual showcase of local youth dance talent. Glover will set a piece on the young hopefuls and make a guest appearance in it. 7:30 p.m. Sat., July 9. $12–$20. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 206-292-ARTS, STEVE WIECKING

Outdoor Theater Festival

July 16–17

Yes, there are mosquitoes, and you'll need a chair, a good hat, and a meal if you want real comfort, but Capitol Hill's two-day, annual Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival offers truly engaging free entertainment. You'll be surprised by the ingenuity of the productions and heartened by the sight of the large, diverse crowds—teenagers, families, and hipsters alike—gathered to appreciate the goods. This year's lineup features five companies and six productions, from the swordplay of Theater Schmeater's The Three Musketeers to Wooden O's take on the murderous Macbeth. Festival begins at 11 a.m. Sat., July 16, and at noon Sun., July 17. Free. Volunteer Park, 1247 15th Ave. E., STEVE WIECKING

Bon Odori/Seafair

July 16–17

Of all the Seattle cultural festivals that have aligned themselves with Seafair, Bon Odori, at the Seattle Buddhist Temple, is one of our favorites. It's low-key, easy to circumnavigate, and solidly grounded in a long-standing Seattle community. Dance, crafts, music, and food booths abound, and if you just gotta see those Seafair pirates, well, they've been known to show up at Bon Odori, too. Sat., July 16–Sun., July 17. Free. 1427 S. Main St., 206-329-0800, For more Seafair events: 206-728-0123, LYNN JACOBSON



Aug. 6

White Center boasts a large Polynesian population, and if (when?) the big quake hits and our land mass breaks up into small islands, we might have a lot to learn from the more than 20,000 native Hawaiians, Samoans, Tongans, Fijians, and other Pacific Islanders living there. One of the largest communities of its kind in the Northwest, the White Center Pacific Islanders will hold their second annual Pasefika Celebration this August. You can bank on the streets being lined with food booths and several stages showcasing traditional dance troupes. All day Sat., Aug. 6. Southwest 98th Street between 14th and 15th avenues southwest, 206-694-1082, LAURA CASSIDY

The Ring

Aug. 7–28

What better way to while away those hazy, lazy late summer days than to spend them indoors, watching the incestuous travails of Norse demigods awash in Richard Wagner's hyperchromatic music? Four days! Twenty-one hours! Sold out! But friendly scalpers are standing by! (Prices start at $1,200 for the series.) Aug. 7–28. McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., 206-389-7676, ROGER DOWNEY

comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow