The Weekly Wire: This Week’s Recommended Events

WEDNESDAY 10/21Photography: StreetwiseCori Chandler-Pepelnjak recalls being mesmerized the moment she laid eyes on the girl smoking on the steps of New York's Union Square. "She was so beautiful," says the photographer from her Minneapolis home. "But I couldn't tell how old she was or what she was thinking." So she asked if she could take the teen's picture, resulting in her ongoing photo-documentary project "JoJo." We see the 14-year-old careening about town in a miniskirt and fishnet stockings, chatting with cab drivers, cuddling in bed with her boyfriend, and playing with her dog. In one frame, she looks like a gorgeous 20-something socialite; in another, she's just another awkward teenager with greasy hair and pimples. But in none of the photos does she appear to be truly happy. These candid snaps raise countless questions about JoJo's existence—#1 being Where the hell are her parents? Is she homeless, a runaway, or what? Chandler-Pepelnjak intentionally omits important details: "I don't want it to be a reality show. I want to maintain a level of curiosity, so I only reveal little pieces of her life." (Through Nov. 25.) Photographic Center Northwest, 900 12th Ave., 720-7222, Free. 9 a.m.–9:30 p.m. ERIKA HOBARTTHURSDAY 10/22Comedy: The Upside of ADDDavid Letterman, naturally, said it best: "One thing about Tom Arnold...he's nuts." This is true. But he is also very funny, something the Iowa native rarely gets credit for. Most famous for being the former Mr. Roseanne Barr, Arnold has built a career of playing "the fat white sidekick" in close to 70 movies (True Lies, Nine Months, etc.). This year, however, he decided to return to his roots in stand-up comedy. Anyone who has seen Arnold's riotous recent appearances on The Late Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live know that his act is basically his life. Expect stories of his wacky Iowa family, revelations about his married life (four times and counting!), and scandalous tales about his big-shot Hollywood friends, all of it told in a manner so kinetic and jumpy that it makes one thing clear—even in his drug-binge days with Roseanne, Tom Arnold was a tremendous waste of cocaine. Snoqualmie Casino, 37500 North Bend Way, Snoqualmie, 425-888-1234, $20–$40. 8 p.m. BRIAN J. BARRDance: Rhythmic DissentModern dance began as a revolutionary art form, yet it's also been a source of social commentary. The UW's Chamber Dance Company is dedicated to presenting the best of that heritage, and "The Shape of Dissent" (through Sun.) is drawn from the legacy of protest dance. Its credo: Movement can move us to act. The program starts in the 1930s with Jane Dudley's Dust Bowl–inspired Harmonica Breakdown and Charles Weidman's Lynchtown, an indictment of intolerance. Discrimination in a more contemporary vein is the subject of Bill T. Jones' D-Man in the Water, about the fight against AIDS. All five dances on the bill try to pull hope out of despair. As Jones has said, "This is about life throwing down the gauntlet and you rising to the occasion." Meany Theater, 4001 University Way N.E., 543-4880, $10–$18. 7:30 p.m. SANDRA KURTZMONDAY 10/26Music/Conversation: Are We a Pair?Starting his career at the late-'50s tail of the Broadway musical's golden age, Stephen Sondheim, an Oscar Hammerstein protégé, turned out to be just the man to lead it into its next phase. Actually, he pretty much was its next phase. Hair and its self-conscious "relevance" was a fluke; what the musical needed was the urbanity of the earlier Gershwin/Porter generation, mixed with unsentimentality, bittersweetness, bravura verbal adroitness, and what in our Daily Show era seems like a very prescient sense of irony. Though he never quite obtained, or sought, the mainstream popularity of Andrew Lloyd Webber and his Broadway-as-theme-park school of musicals, Sondheim has earned most every other accolade—Oscar, Pulitzer, and multiple Tony Awards. In his first Seattle visit, Sondheim will chat and reminisce toniiiight, toniiiight with Frank Rich, an avowed fan once known as "the Butcher of Broadway" for his New York Times theater reviews, and just as stinging today as Sunday op-ed writer. (Warm up on Sunday afternoon, as the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival presents a subtitled sing-along screening of West Side Story, with Sondheim's lyrics: 2:30 p.m., Cinerama, Benaroya Hall, Third Ave. and Union St., 215-4747, $48–$78. 8 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERTBooks/Climbing: Ascent OddsTo assess the risks of climbing a mountain whose name is partly a number, let's consider these numbers: On Everest, where commercially guided parties abound even after Into Thin Air, the ratio of successful climbers to fatalities is 19:1. On K2, subject of far less media interest, it's 4:1. Bainbridge Island mountaineer Ed Viesturs was quoted last summer in The New York Times when 11 died on K2, but that wasn't even the peak's worst season. Thirteen died in 1986, when Viesturs was still guiding on Rainier. Six years later, with Seattle's Scott Fischer, he took his chances on the Karakoram killer, which nearly claimed their lives in an avalanche, as he relates in K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain (Broadway, $26). Viesturs uses K2 as a prism to examine what he did wrong in '92—not turn around when his instincts told him to—and what other expeditions did wrong (mostly) and occasionally right in the past 70 years. Local legends like Pete Schoening ('53) and Jim Whittaker ('78) figure in these historical accounts. The famously methodical Viesturs confesses that he never again climbed again with the "freewheeling, let-it-happen" Fischer, who perished on Everest in '96. And while he returned to Everest that year to make an IMAX movie, and again this summer to promote a new line of Eddie Bauer clothing, K2 remains a peak that neither Viesturs nor any other serious mountaineer wants to repeat. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 652-4255, $5. 7:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLERTUESDAY 10/27Theater: A Company That Loves MiseryOriginally produced by Chicago's Steppenwolf company (which is now touring it around the country), August: Osage County takes the American theatrical tradition of wrenching, boozy, into-the-night family screamfests and dials it up to 11, even while making the whole business fantastically funny. Broadway great Estelle Parsons didn't originate the role of caustic, drug-scarfing matriarch Beverly Weston, but she made it her own in New York and is heading the road production. Her ability to be at once monstrously vicious, pitifully vulnerable, and bitchily witty sets the tone for this homebound, multigenerational reunion-gone-bad, which won a Pulitzer for playwright Tracy Letts. Directed by Anna D. Shapiro, who got a Tony for it, this is a brisk, if exhausting, three-hours-plus that no Seattle theater-lover should miss. (Through Sun.) Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 800-745-3000, $20–$60. 7:30 p.m. MARK D. FEFERVisual Arts: The Zen CaveThe next best thing to James Turrell's Skyspace at the Henry is Dan Corson's temporary installation Grotesque Arabesque, a calming indoor grotto in the heart of Belltown. And it's free! Up in the U District, how many students really need a place to chill? How stressful can college be? Downtown, Corson's cave is a perfect Zen retreat for us harried office workers: green, luminescent light strips undulating above (like stalactites) reflected in the water pool below (like stalagmites). The rest of the lofty expanse—set in the middle of an architecture firm—glows a relaxing blue hue, and the only sound is the gentle hiss of the A/C. (Thank God, no Eraserhead soundtrack for once.) Local artist Corson says he was inspired by spelunking in caves in Europe, where bioluminescent algae cast an eerie light. Closer to home, the Corson grotto is an ideal midday meditation center, only without benches that might encourage you to linger before returning to the harsh, bright world outside. (Through Dec. 18; buzz for entry.) Suyama Space, 2324 Second Ave., 256-0809, Free. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

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