Circus Contraption

Also: Pacific Northwest Ballet, 'Queer Eye on the Future,' UFO/Paranormal Conference and Sasquatch Symposium, and 50-Foot Wave.




They're weird, wild, noisy, nasty, cheeky, cheap—basically, everything that you're sure is really going on beneath the big top but the Ringling Bros. are too afraid to show you. Circus Contraption revel in the surreal, slightly seedy side of things, and Grand American Traveling Dime Museum, their hit extravaganza from 2004, returns with a healthy dose of it all. It's an immersion into peep shows, vaudeville, curiosity shops, nickelodeons, and other pop escapes. And, yes, there will always be a high-flying beauty (like Sally Pepper, pictured, on the Captivating Cloud Swing). Pay-what-you-can opening Fri., June 3. 8 p.m. Fri.–Sun. Also midnight Sat., July 23. Ends Sat., July 30. $15–$20 ($40–$100 for closing-night gala). Magnuson Community Center Auditorium, 7400 Sand Point Way N.E., Building 47, 800-838-3006 or STEVE WIECKING




After 27 years, company directors Kent Stowell and Francia Russell had a wealth of ballets to choose from for their final set of performances, but in the end their decision was all about the dancers. Silver Lining, Stowell's genial tribute to the music of Jerome Kern, has a cast so large it uses all the dancers in the company. And, after the main run, the troupe returns for a tribute to their departing directors, featuring a special performance of George Balanchine's lush Liebeslieder Walzer, as well as several special surprise appearances. Various times Thurs., June 2– Sat., June 11. $20–$137. McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., 206-441-2424, The salutary performance for Stowell and Russell follows on Sun., June 12. $30–$150. SANDRA KURTZ




Never mind the margins —how are gay and lesbian writers reaching into the mainstream? SW's own Steve Wiecking leads a panel discussion among several prominent authors. Among them are Brent Hartinger, whose young-adult coming- of-age novel Geography Club is being developed as a movie. Michael Jensen's latest historical novel, Firelands, is set on the dangerous Ohio frontier at the turn of the 18th century. Sarah Warn edits a Web site on G&L representation in the media (, and Elizabeth Sims is known for hard-boiled crime novels like Lucky Stiff. All of them believe the once pigeonholed realm of gay popular entertainment is blurring into the culture at large. And not a moment too soon. Your opinions are also welcome. 7:30 p.m. Sat., June 4. Free. Elliott Bay Book Co., 101 S. Main St., 206-624-6600. BRIAN MILLER




Capitol Hill's Museum of the Mysteries has become the local destination for anyone with even a passing interest in Bigfoot and/or aliens, so it's only natural that MOM should sponsor Seattle's biggest UFO/Sasquatch weekend. On Saturday, check out the latest evidence of extraterrestrial life and attend lectures by experts like Peter Davenport, director of the National UFO Reporting Center. The following day, examine the 1967 Patterson-Gimlin film (pictured), regarded as the most valid proof of Bigfoot's existence, and chat with one of its makers, Robert Gimlin. 10 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Sat., June 4–Sun., June 5. $50 day pass ($40 MOM members) or $12 ($10) per speaker. Seattle Center (Northwest Rooms), 206-328-6499. NEAL SCHINDLER




Originally, 50 Foot Wave—singer-guitarist Kristin Hersh and bassist Bernard Georges, both formerly of Throwing Muses, and drummer Rob Ahlers—were going to sidestep rock's album-tour grind by issuing a series of EPs, but after a well-received six-song debut in 2004, they've come up with something more albumlike with the explosive Golden Ocean (Throwing Music). Hersh's voice has grown extremely ragged around the edges, but like Dylan or Waits, the cragginess just deepens her authority, and the songs, especially "Clara Bow" and the title track, are some of her best yet. The Golden Republic and Ms. Led open. 9 p.m. Tues., June 7. $10. Crocodile Cafe, 2200 Second Ave., 206-441-5611. MICHAELANGELO MATOS

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