Perfect Summer Events

SIFF Opening Night

May 25

Wear your sneakers for the sprint to the hors d'oeuvres tables: Seattle International Film Festival's kickoff party is always overpopulated, underprovisioned, and a lot of fun in spite of both. The first-night film is The Illusionist, a period drama starring Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti that scored with at least a couple major critics at Sundance. Twenty-five days and nearly 300 movies later, SIFF will close with another crowded, can't-miss party, on June 18. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 206-324-9996, LYNN JACOBSON

X-Men: The Last Stand

May 26

Hugh Jackman and your other favorite mutants are back to kick some life into the summer blockbuster season. (See review, p. 116.) Other dates to mark on your movie calendar: Superman Returns on June 30, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest surfaces on July 7. And if by some chance you didn't get enough of 9/11 the first time around, Oliver Stone's World Trade Center opens Aug. 9. Check for showtimes. LYNN JACOBSON

Team Dresch

May 26

The Portland-based Team's Personal Best and Captain, My Captain didn't make an impact on the music scene—they made a music scene. The reverberations of their mid-'90s queercore movement have been felt in the Northwest ever since, and this is the first club gig in their original lineup since Olympia's Homo-a-Gogo fest. With Libber and Swan Island. Neumo's, 925 E. Pike St., 206-709-9467, $8 adv./$10 DOS. RACHEL SHIMP

Sasquatch! Festival

May 26–28

It's hot, it's dry, and it's a long drive from Seattle. But watching musicians like Neko Case and the Flaming Lips wail away while the sun dips behind the expansive Columbia River Gorge can bring you to the brink of transcendence. Leave Seattle early to beat the I-90 traffic so you can catch Wolfmother on Friday night. Gorge Amphitheatre, 745 Silica Rd. N.W., George, 206-628-0888, BRIAN J. BARR

Folklife Festival

May 26–29

Seattle's summer launches with four days of "ethnic, folk, and traditional arts"— including Spanish bagpipe, Balkan women's choir, Ugandan strings, Japanese flute, madrigals, mariachi, and "xtreme marimba." Plus film, storytelling, crafts, food, and—don't just sit there—a full lineup of workshops and participatory music and dance events. Seattle Center, 206-684-7300, GAVIN BORCHERT

Pike Place Market Festival

June 3–4

For this 34th annual "Meet the Producer" weekend, Washington wine pros, top chefs (Thierry Rautureau from Rovers, Mauro Golmarvi from Assaggio, more), local bands, and area artists will gather in the alley to welcome summer. Pike Place Market, between Virginia and Pike streets, west of First Avenue, 206-682-7453, LAURA CASSIDY

Northwest New Works Festival

June 9–11 and 16–18

Make yourself an instant expert on the Northwest's indie dance and theater scene by blocking out a couple evenings to visit On the Boards this June. Four different showcases over the course of two weekends will introduce you to (or update you on) Gaelen Hanson, Marya Sea Kaminski, Alia Swersky, Gust Burns/Maureen Whiting, and many other local notables. 100 W. Roy St., 206-217-9888, LYNN JACOBSON

French Drawings

June 10–Sept. 17

Daumier's wry caricatures of fatuous politicians and poignant sketches of the downtrodden, Ingres' delicate pencil portraits, and Degas' pastel dancers are a sampling of the 19th-century French drawings and watercolors from the vast collections of the Baltimore and Walters art museums on display at Tacoma Art Museum, the only West Coast stop on this tour. (For a preview: 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253-272-4258, www.tacomaart SUE PETERS

Pacific Northwest Ballet

June 11

Some of the most memorable moments of Peter Boal's first season flash by again, for one night only: Matthias Goecke's punk explosion Mopey, Susan Marshall's languidly suspended Kiss, plus excerpts from Jerome Robbins' In the Night, Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs, and all of Ulysses Dove's sizzling quartet Red Angels. McCaw Hall, Seattle Center, 206-441-2424, ROGER DOWNEY

Northwest Mahler Festival

June 12–29, July 18

If most community orchestras don't have the manpower to tackle the repertory's biggest works, their players can team up for informal, enthusiastic read-throughs of works by Mahler and his late-romantic colleagues (June 12–29, repertory TBA) plus a July 18 public concert centering on a piece by their namesake (this year, Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde). Meany Hall, UW campus, GAVIN BORCHERT

Anthony Bourdain Dinner

June 13

If you heard the hubbub about last year's Thomas Keller dinner at Union, you're primed for this one, starring America's favorite adventurous eater. The globe-trotting Travel Channel chef and Union's Ethan Stowell will cook from Bourdain's Les Halles cookbook. Union, 1400 First Ave., 206-838-8000, LAURA CASSIDY

Built to Spill

June 13–15

Idaho's favorite sons perform like simple dudes jamming out in a garage. It's all the same to these guitar heroes; they'll perform with or without an audience, which is all part of BtS's onstage magic. Their latest record, You in Reverse, is their first in five years and their most insistent since 1999's Keep It Like a Secret. Showbox, 1426 First Ave., 206-628-3151, BRIAN J. BARR

Samurai Festival

June 16–July 6

Watch the old-school masters slice 'em and dice 'em in 11 reconstructed, 35 mm classic samurai films, hosted by the Northwest Film Forum. Japanese film fanatics can rejoice in this ode to the samurai with characters flying through the air, using their weapons with artistic grace. There would be no Crouching Tiger and Hero without these influential precursors. Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-329-2629, KELLIE HWANG

Science Fiction Museum Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

June 17

Four of science fiction's greatest creators are honored—movie guru George Lucas, the late Frank Herbert (author of the Dune saga), the late Frank Kelly Freas (sci-fi artist extraordinaire), and author Anne McCaffrey. Wine and dessert on tap at the seated reception. Skychurch, Experience Music Project, 325 Fifth Ave. N., 206-770-2702, MOLLY LORI

Fremont Solstice Parade and Pageant

June 17

For strident antigay activists who like to trot out lascivious frames of pride parades past, the Fremont Solstice Parade exists to prove that people of all persuasions can strip down and act like complete freaks from time to time. God—a pagan God, mind you—bless 'em. Starts at Northwest 36th Street and Third Avenue Northwest, 206-547-7440, MIKE SEELY

Columbia City Farmers Market Greens and Grains Tasting

June 21

What does spelt flour taste like—and what's the big fuss about? Does butterhead lettuce taste buttery? What the hell is mizuna and what can a person do with it? These secrets and others are revealed as you sample greens and grains from our great state. Columbia City Farmers Market, 4801 Rainier Ave. S., 206-632-5234, LAURA CASSIDY

Seu Jorge

June 22

The versatile Brazilian actor and musician anticipated a samba revival with 1999's well-received Samba Esporte Fino, but most of us know him from knockout roles in City of God and The Life Aquatic. Seeing the charismatic talent on a small stage rather than big screen shouldn't disappoint—even if he doesn't play "Life on Mars." Neumo's, 925 E. Pike St., 206-709-9467, RACHEL SHIMP

Baaba Maal

June 24

In Senegal, you're born into a musical clan or you're not. Baaba Maal decided to be a musician and went his own way, learning from the traditional griot artists but drawing on other African national traditions as well as Western music theory and recorded pop, rock, and jazz. The fusion has made him a unique artist, with a pan-African audience and growing popularity abroad. Showbox, 1426 First Ave., 206-628-3151, www.showboxonline.comROGER DOWNEY

Fremont Outdoor Movies

June 24–Sept. 2

Why stay cooped up watching a movie inside on a Saturday night when you can be under the stars? It's like the old drive-in movies minus the cars. Now in its 14th season, this tradition keeps the crowd interactive with preshow entertainment and contests. The movie lineup includes an eclectic variety from indie action comedy Kung Fu Hustle to bubbly classic musical Grease. North 35th Street and Phinney Avenue North, 206-781-4230, www.fremont KELLIE HWANG

Seattle Pride

June 24–25

The Pride Festival and Parade are farther out than ever this year, having moved from their longtime Capitol Hill home to downtown and Seattle Center. The parade will march down Fourth Avenue on Sunday; the festival inhabits the Center grounds all weekend. Not everyone is happy with the move, but Dykes on Bikes still promise to post. 206-322-9561, LYNN JACOBSON

Chef Demo Days

June 24–Sept. 24

Better than even the best episode of Iron Chef: watching local chefs (German-born Ludger Szmania, Raul Villalobos from El Chalan Peruvian Cuisine, Kraig Hansen from Palisade, more) wrangle a meal for four using just $10 worth of locally harvested goods. Various weekend days at Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets, 206-632-5234, www.seattle LAURA CASSIDY


July 1–Aug. 6

Over a month of summery neighborhood and cultural events starts with the Wooden Boat Festival & Classic Speedboat Show (July 1–4). It culminates in the wildly popular-but-loud air show (Aug. 4–6), where the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and other aerial acts perform jaw-dropping stunts over Lake Washington. Various locations, 206-728-0123, MOLLY LORI

Seattle Chamber Music Society Summer Festival

July 3–Aug. 11

If Benaroya isn't your bailiwick, you might enjoy the informality of SCMS's summer concerts at the Lakeside and Overlake schools. You can buy a ticket to hear chamber music performed in intimate settings, but freeloading is also encouraged: Just bring a picnic and pull up a blanket on the lawn outside; the music is broadcast live at every performance.St. Nicholas Hall, Lakeside School, 14050 First Ave. N.E. (July 3–28); Fulton Performing Arts Center, Overlake School, 20301 N.E. 108th St., Redmond (Aug. 2–11); 206-283-8808, www.seattlechamber JACOBSON

Fourth of July Fireworks Shows

July 4

Nurture your inner pyromaniac—get yourself in viewing range for one of Seattle's festive fireworks displays well before 10 p.m. (when everything goes boom). There's a show over Elliott Bay as part of the 42nd Annual Fourth of Jul-Ivar's ( and a show over Lake Union as part of the WaMu Family 4th ( Eastsiders: Avoid bridge traffic by hitting the Bellevue Family Fourth at Bellevue's Downtown Park (www.bellevue MOLLY LORI

Audrey Hepburn Festival

July 6–Aug. 10

Presented by the Seattle Art Museum, several of Hepburn's films will be shown, including the everlasting Breakfast at Tiffany's and Sabrina. This collection of Hepburn's most famous films is bound to be a classic-movie fan's best friend. Museum of History and Industry, 2700 24th Ave. E., 206-324-1126, www.seattleart KELLIE HWANG

Dance this . . . 

July 8

Every summer this performance featuring young dancers threatens to lift the roof off the theater, and this edition should follow that tradition. There's ballroom dancing led by the stars of Mad Hot Ballroom, Cornish Dance Theater's wonderful production of Martha Graham's Diversion of Angels, a new dance by Sonia Dawkins, and a trio of groups featuring percussive dance styles from Samoa, West Africa, and hip-hop America. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 206-292-ARTS, SANDRA KURTZ


July 8–20

Barefoot Studios introduces myriad dance performances designed specifically for the plaza spaces at the Museum of Glass. Performers competed for spaces in SiteWorks, promising the best of the best for audiences. Museum of Glass, 1801 E. Dock St., 253-284-4719, KELLIE HWANG

Circus Contraption's Grand American Traveling Dime Museum

July 14–23

Seattle's very own one-ring circus returns to shock, awe, and show a little skin. The wide array of acts includes acrobatics, juggling, burlesque, and stilt walking. Think: a circus for grown-ups. Magnuson Park Auditorium, 74 Sandpoint Way N.E., 206-442-2004, KELLIE HWANG

Trimpin: 'Klompen'

July 14–Jan. 21

Trimpin: 'Picnics, Rhythms and Vacations'

Aug. 5–Oct. 15

A cacophony of 120 wooden clogs suspended from the ceiling and struck by tiny mallets, and stacks of slide projectors rhythmically spitting out images from discarded slides found at flea markets around the world are this summer's bookend installations at the Frye and Seattle Asian Art Museum by German-born local sound artist and large-scale tinker, Trimpin. "Klompen": Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Avenue, 206-622-9250, "Picnics": SAAM North Galleries, Volunteer Park, 1400 E. Prospect St.,206-654-3100, SUE PETERS

Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival July 15–16

The big question for this two-day event is where you want your lawn chair to be, or not to be, while you watch actors spout soliloquies and sonnets at the cozy park on Capitol Hill. GreenStage, Theater Schmeater, and Wooden O are all on this year's roster. Pack a picnic with some friends and get comfortable for some poetic entertainment. Volunteer Park, 1247 15th Ave. E., KELLIE HWANG

Prairie Home Companion

July 21

Those who only know Garrison Keillor as fictional small-town chronicler may be surprised to read his early humor pieces, some approaching a sort of Borges-ian meta-lit surrealism. This occasionally still peeks out in his radio variety show's sketches, alongside the roots music and his weekly Lake Wobegonologue. Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, 14111 N.E. 145th St., Woodinville, 206-628-0888, GAVIN BORCHERT

Pearl Jam

July 22–23

Ending their 2006 tour in one of the most breathtaking venues imaginable, the wide open spaces of the Gorge should compliment Pearl Jam's equally large sound. Supporting this year's self-titled album, their eighth from the studio, their endurance is a testament to the Northwest's sheer, uh, rock power. Gorge Amphitheatre, 754 Silica Rd. N.W., George, 206-628-0888, RACHEL SHIMP

Os Mutantes

July 26

Forget every other indie/post-punk reunion you've attended (Pixies, Mission of Burma). Brazilian psychedelic pioneers Os Mutantes are reuniting for the first time since 1973 and playing only five cities, including Seattle. Do your ears a favor and experience their weirdness. This will probably never happen again. Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., 206-467-5510, BRIAN J. BARR

Strictly Seattle

July 28–29

This festival and set of concerts is the dance equivalent of Dorothy's lesson—that you can find what you need in your own backyard. Local artists teach for three intense weeks, giving these performances the giddy thrill of a graduation party. With new work by Paige Barnes, Rob Kitsos, Amii LeGendre, Adele Myers, Amy O'Neal, and Deborah Wolf, this is a glossary of local choreographers. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway Ave., 206- 325-8773, SANDRA KURTZ

Bellevue Craft Fairs

July 28–30

Christmas in July—at least that's how we think of the Eastside's annual craft convergence, since it's a great opportunity to get your shopping done early. Among events coinciding are the Bellevue Arts and Crafts Fair (sponsored by the Bellevue Arts Museum) and the Bellevue Festival of the Arts. Bellevue Arts and Crafts Fair: Bellevue Square parking lot, Northeast Fourth Street and 100th Avenue Northeast, Bellevue, 425-519-0770, Bellevue Festival of the Arts: Cost Plus Parking Lot, Bellevue Way Northeast and Northeast Eighth Street, Bellevue, 206-363-2048, LYNN JACOBSON

Ballard SeafoodFest

July 29–30

Make a beeline for the festival's beer garden; it serves up some fab local brews. Oh, and don't forget the seafood! The Ballard Chamber of Commerce makes a mean barbecue salmon. After chowing, hear music from Stan Boreson or Wylie & the Wild West Show and check out the arts and crafts booths. Northwest Market Street and 22nd Avenue Northwest, 206-784-9705, MOLLY LORI

Der Rosenkavalier

Aug. 5–26

Richard Strauss was the bad boy of the European avant-garde when in 1911 he came up with something really shocking: a silvered, perfumed, bittersweet romantic comedy set in 18th-century Vienna, full of sumptuous waltzes and a three-soprano finale to die for. Seattle Opera, McCaw Hall, 206-389-7676, GAVIN BORCHERT

South Lake Union Block Party

Aug. 11–12

Calling this a "block party" is a little disingenuous. A quasi-publicity stunt designed to legitimize the city's least organically created neighborhood is more like it. But that doesn't mean tons of fun can't be had for everyone via a hodgepodge of first-rate chow, elixir, and hot, hard rock and roll. South Lake Union Discovery Center, Westlake Avenue and Denny Way, 206-342-5900, MIKE SEELY

Endfest 15

Aug. 12

Always a hot ticket, the lineup will be announced Thursday, June 1. White River Amphitheatre, 40601 Auburn Enumclaw Rd., 360-825-6200, KELLIE HWANG


Aug. 19–20

Celebrate all things cannabis, with music, food, arts, and political action. This popular annual "freedom festival" is in its 15th year. Myrtle Edwards Park, Pier 70, 206-781-5734, LYNN JACOBSON

Longacres Mile

Aug. 20

Contrary to popular opinion, horse racing isn't restricted to a handful of elite 3-year-olds on the first weekend in May. The sport's tried-and-true stars are actually older than that, and some of that cream will race in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile, the crown jewel of Emerald Downs' always stimulating meet. Emerald Downs, 2300 Emerald Downs Dr., Auburn, 206-342-5900, MIKE SEELY

comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow