The Weekly Wire: The Week’s Recommended Events

WEDNESDAY 3/3Stage: Criminally EntertainingWhen director Bob Fosse's Chicago debuted in 1975, the idea of a snappy tunefest equating murder with show business seemed cold-hearted. By the time of the musical's 1996 revival, however, the murderous equation was business as usual: The production didn't even require the gaudy vaudevillian designs once used to make the point. The spare staging became Broadway's longest-running musical revival (and later an Oscar-winning movie). This touring production toplines John O'Hurley, aka the Seinfeld guy who hoofed a little on Dancing With the Stars. He's the defense lawyer for tarty Roxie Hart (Bianca Marroquin), a would-be star who turns offing her husband into boffo publicity. Her eventual partner-in-crime, Velma Kelly, is played by diva dynamo Brenda Braxton—not a household name, but a pro's pro whose résumé includes the original Dreamgirls. (She also holds the record for having played Velma longer than any other actress on Broadway.) Watch her slink through choreographer Ann Reinking's award-winning tribute to the Fosse style, all rolling shoulders, sinuous arms, and come-hither hips. And all that jazz. (Through Sun.) Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 682-1414, $20–$60. 7:30 p.m. STEVE WIECKINGTHURSDAY 3/4Fashion: High on HeelsBeth Levine is arguably the most important woman in fashion you've never heard of. The late New York shoe designer (1914–2006) popularized stilettos and boots while working for the footwear label of her husband, Herbert Levine, from the late '40s to early '70s. Those sweet white go-go boots Nancy Sinatra rocked in "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'"? A Levine creation. The first exhibit of her work in the United States, "Beth Levine: First Lady of Shoes" (through June 6) features more than 100 designs, ranging from classic to questionable to, er, experimental. It's the latter that make the show. These are styles that even Lady GaGa would pause before donning—pumps attached to pantyhose, flip-flops with AstroTurf insoles, stilettos that can be worn only if glued directly to the feet. (You can also thank Levine for the clear plastic heels that strippers favor.) It's fashion over function at its finest. As Levine herself once explained, her niche was creating shoes that "nobody needed, but everybody wanted." Indeed. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., 425-519-0770, $10. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. ERIKA HOBARTFRIDAY 3/5Film/Design: Design Within ReachYou care about fonts. Poor signage annoys you. A bad map is enough to ruin your entire day. That's why you're the intended audience for the screenings, panels, and presentations of ByDesign, which celebrates names like Saul Bass (designer of the Vertigo credits) and Pablo Ferro (the Dr. Strangelove lettering). You already know who they are, of course, but have you heard of Danny Yount? A former Seattle resident, he did the cool credit sequences that begin Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes. Tonight he'll appear to demonstrate and discuss his work, featured in too many other TV shows and movies to list, followed by an opening-night party. Among other highlights of the fest (through Thurs., March 11), a program featuring Charles and Ray Eames will include House of Science, an educational six-panel projector work commissioned for our own 1962 World's Fair (Sun. and Tues.). And you can also lust after their famous furniture, showcased in short films, even if you can't afford it. Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 267-5380, $6–$9. 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLERSATURDAY 3/6Classical: Simple GiftsComposer Samuel Barber's strengths were affectingly reticent lyricism and an equally unassuming craftsmanship, which have made his Violin Concerto, the orchestral song Knoxville: Summer of 1915, and his greatest hit, the Adagio for string orchestra, beloved repertory standards. (For all their aching pathos, those upwardly curling lines in the Adagio are based on note patterns of Apollonian simplicity: 123 234 345 456...) But thanks to 20th-century music's vicious style wars, those were gifts many of his more "progressive" colleagues were unable or unwilling to appreciate. Possibly in response, Barber occasionally, ill-advisedly, raised his voice—resulting in some turgid orchestral and stage works. Naturally it'll be his better side that The Esoterics celebrate this weekend and next in concerts marking his 100th birthday (March 9, actually). Under Eric Banks, this expert a cappella choir sings his complete choral works, including the Agnus Dei Barber arranged from his ever-popular Adagio. (Also Thurs., March 11 and Sun., March 14; see Web site for venues.) St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 8398 N.E. 12th St. (Medina), 935-7779, $15–$20. 8 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERTSUNDAY 3/7Visual Arts: 100 Years on 4 WallsLaminated menus, like in a point-to-eat sushi joint, are necessary to cope with the 19th-century buffet that is "Tête-à-tête." The show amounts to a rotation of 150 paintings from the Frye's permanent collection, closely packed onto four walls, which is emphatically TMI: too much information. So my advice is to grab the menu (one page per wall), narrow down your selection, and visit several times this year (considering the free admission). Give yourself an assignment, like trying the squid. Thus, for example, Hermann Corrodi (1844–1905) is a Swiss-born painter of no great reputation, but he has an eye for romantic landscapes and peasant scenes. His large, horizontal view of Venice dates to 1900, when recently unified Italy became a sightseeing destination—for the well-heeled—in the Baedeker guide. Instead of today's cruise ships disgorging tourists, diagonal red sails at sunset welcome a fisherman's humble family; a gondolier and the Piazza San Marco are more familiar sights, but rendered before they were clichéd. Nearby, Corrodi's coastal view of Corsica is oriented vertically, framed through a cleft ravine. An old tower or lighthouse stands on the shore, and a few white sails fleck the distant horizon. But this is a barren, sun-scoured, uncultured island—a place of leaving, not arrival. (Through Jan. 2.) Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., 622-9250, Free. Noon–5 p.m. BRIAN MILLEROscar Parties: Beverly Hills 98004Forget the pizza and sweatpants. Why watch the Academy Awards at home when you too could be sashaying down the red carpet in your fanciest dress? Lincoln Square Cinemas will broadcast the ceremony live, with wine and hors d'oeuvres from Parlor Billiards & Spirits. The party begins as the movie stars make their arrival, so you can compare their glamour with your own. What will Penélope Cruz be wearing? Will Mickey Rourke bring his Russian model child, er, girlfriend?) Mingle with other guests and cheer on your favorite nominees. (Sandra Bullock, all the way.) But don't get too sloshed. A photographer will be onsite, and you don't want any compromising images to appear on the Internet. Leave that to the professionals. Proceeds benefit Seattle Children's Hospital. (And see our Web site for a dozen more Oscar parties.) Lincoln Square Cinemas, 700 Bellevue Way N.E. RSVP to 21 & over. $50. 4 p.m. ERIKA HOBARTMONDAY 3/8Film: Bond-athonSean, meet George. Roger, we presume you three have met. The first, briefest, and funniest incarnations of James Bond will be featured in five 007 movies from the franchise's early-to-middle period (through March 18). Now that Daniel Craig has brought sexy back to Bond, here's your chance to re-evaluate the past charms of Sean Connery (in Goldfinger and Thunderball, which opens the series tonight), George Lazenby (On Her Majesty's Secret Service), and Roger Moore (Moonraker, A View to a Kill). Limited as an actor, Connery has the masculine presence and physical threat of a licensed killer, and Thunderball often strips him down to swim trunks or packs him into a wetsuit while battling SPECTRE and reclaiming lost nukes in the Caribbean. More polished and restrained, Lazenby shows surprising emotional range in the underappreciated Secret Service; it's a shame he couldn't keep Bond from veering into '70s self-parody. That was the domain of Moore, a suave, ever-unmussed comic more comfortable with quips than a Walther PPK. If Connery is the most plausible spy of the trio, and Lazenby the most vulnerable, Moore exudes a blithe assurance that the champagne will never run out, the girls will always be young and willing, and Britain will always prevail. Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 686-6684, $6. 6:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLERHeroes: UnflappableDon't be surprised if in another four years, all the little boys in kindergarten are named Sully. That would be in honor of US Airways pilot Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III, who landed his bird-crippled flight 1549 on the Hudson River just over a year ago. Nobody was injured, thanks to his preparedness and quick thinking, and the story made him an international hero. Since then there have been books, TV specials, and countless talk-show appearances. None of which, remarkably, have appeared to change the guy. Tonight Sullenberger will discuss the "Miracle on the Hudson," talk about aviation safety, and perhaps sign copies of his memoir, Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters. And another thing? Thanks to Sully, mustaches are now officially cool again. Museum of Flight, 9404 E. Marginal Way S., 764-5720, $5–$10. 7 p.m. T. BOND

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