The Weekly Wire: The Week’s Recommended Events

THURSDAY 4/22Theater: Twat TalkCoochie, twat, vajayjay, honeypot. If you're uncomfortable reading the terms, you might really squirm hearing them in Eve Ensler's ever-evolving 1996 The Vagina Monologues. Directed by Tyrone Brown, this production features five new monologues that feature oppressed women (i.e., transgendered, the Juarez murders, Lakota domestic abuse, Korean comfort women, life in a burqa). The others are more lighthearted—paeans to the feisty/filthy/fabulous life socket. Actresses in evening attire penetrate the cramped Stone Soup stage from all directions with stories of gushing, gashing, gnashing, seductions, sedations, and secretions. A child rape victim, for example, gets back on track through the sexual affections of a glamorous female neighbor. Despite some faltering dialects, the performances I saw were powerful in their unflinching present-ness; and in giving voice to that long-silent mouth downstairs, a few were actually funny. (Ends May 16.) Stone Soup Theater, 4035 Stone Way N.E., 633-1883, $10–$20. 8 p.m. MARGARET FRIEDMANDance: Attack of the Giant Kittens!Amelia Reeber has an impeccable alternative-dance resume, performing with Deborah Hay and Pat Graney, co-founding Foot in Mouth, and continuing to be a gifted improviser and soloist. But what you don't really expect from that serious background is how funny she can be. For December's A.W.A.R.D. Show at On the Boards, she buzzed around stage like a demented bee to a soundtrack of home-remodeling horror stories, her eccentric rhythms working in counterpoint to those tales of woe. In this is a forgery, which she's expanded from last year's Northwest New Works Fest, she's stalked by videos of giant kittens while she methodically unwraps yards and yards of Ace bandages from her shins. From the tangle, she makes a giant cat's cradle that's attached to a ship's anchor. She's the leading contender for my non sequitur dance prize of 2010. (Through May 1.) Erickson Theatre, 1524 Harvard Ave., 587-5400, $12–$15. 8 p.m. SANDRA KURTZClassical: Opening GambitsFunny thing about the opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony: It's one of the most famously assertive and arresting gestures in the repertory, yet it's completely harmonically and rhythmically ambiguous—you can't tell from those first few bars what key or meter the movement's going to continue in. French composer Henri Dutilleux relishes such mystery in the opening of his 1970 cello concerto Tout un monde lointain—a brush on the snare drum, nothing more, like the hushed drawing-back of a veil. Behind that veil, in the half-hourish work, lie enraptured, floating cello soliloquies backed by pastel wisps from the orchestra, which become concentrated in the dashing final movement into firework-like gushes of color. Then there are the six no-nonsense brass honks of Verdi's La forza del destino overture, telling you to shut the hell up, the opera's starting. (I'm making the piece sound subtler than it actually is.) Ludovic Morlot conducts all three works on this weekend's Seattle Symphony concerts, with cellist Xavier Phillips (whose performance of the Dutilleux with a Swiss orchestra can be found on YouTube). Benaroya Hall, Third Ave. & Union St., 215-4747, $17–$100. 7:30 p.m. (Repeats Sat. & Sun.) GAVIN BORCHERTFRIDAY 4/23Comedy: Blithe SpiritEnglish comic Russell Brand was basically unknown here until the 2008 Forgetting Sarah Marshall, in which he played a preeningly self-absorbed rock star. (Bombing on MTV's VMA awards that year also helped.) But the film was such a hit that he's reprising the role in Get Him to the Greek (opening June 4) and currently touring the U.S. with his mop of hair and calculated insouciance. Whether discussing drugs or prostitutes, Brand assumes a kind of innocent wonderment toward sin and transgression (chiefly his own). He seems to be asking How could anyone find this so wrong? But his giggly, high-pitched South London accent and foppish stage demeanor are something of a façade. There's a nimble mind at work beneath the back-combed coiffure. Brand shifts easily from politics to class issues to sports (he's written about soccer for The Guardian), all the while maintaining his cheerful mock quest for transatlantic celebrity. Eagerly tracking his Google search rankings, he's said more than once, "My personality doesn't work without fame. Without fame, this haircut just looks like mental illness." Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., 443-1744, $33–$35.50. 8 p.m. BRIAN MILLERLOL Dogs: I Can Has Meme, Pleez?Maybe he underpays his employees, and doesn't pay his content suppliers at all, but Ben Huh has built his into one of Seattle's biggest tech success stories. His family of Web sites, most featuring user-generated pet photos and wacky, misspelled captions, reaps the kind of page-view counts that the MSM can only imagine. (See also: and Lately he's also become a publisher of humor books, with the iconic LOL Cats again getting into more ungrammatical mischief. Tonight he'll show and discuss images from I Has a Hotdog: What Your Dog Is Really Thinking (Grand Central, $12), which is sure to lead to calendars, greeting cards, T-shirts, and coffee mugs. It may not be enduring literature, but "Oh hai" and "Do not want!" have become part of the nation's water-cooler parlance. The power of such memes is to cut through our Internet info-clutter, the too-muchness of the Web, with one easy click to a smile (or frown, if ur [sic] a copy editor). Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., 386-4636, Free. 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLERFilm: Looking for LoveThe '80s were the cruelest decade for indie movies, yet Bainbridge Island's Alan Rudolph was then one of the tough, true-to-himself survivors between the burnout of the New Hollywood and rise of Miramax. This six-film retrospective, "Next Stop Rain City," begins in the '70s shadow of Robert Altman, Rudolph's mentor, and ends near the digital millennium. The series launches with a double feature of Remember My Name (1978) and Choose Me (1984), which Rudolph is expected to attend. With a theme song by Teddy Pendergrass, Choose Me is the sexier of the pair, starring Lesley Ann Warren and Geneviève Bujold as women looking for love in a shallow L.A. sea of unreliable men. In a long career that's lately trailed off in Hollywood, Rudolph has consistently written sympathetic roles for women. Bujold, as a radio host dispensing romantic advice, proves incapable of applying that wisdom to her real-world dating encounters. Part of the film's pleasure is seeing all her sagacity disproven—much to the tarty Warren's amusement (though she too has to find a balance between head and heart). Also presented as double features are the Seattle-shot Trouble in Mind and The Moderns (Sat.), and Afterglow and Breakfast of Champions (Sun.). SIFF Cinema, 321 Mercer St. (McCaw Hall), 448-2186, $8–$10. 7:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLERSATURDAY 4/24Animal Welfare: Paws and HeelsDevoted dog owners—and the term excludes Paris Hilton—typically choose to spend their downtime at home rather than attending glitzy social functions. This evening, make an exception. Guys, rent a tux. Ladies, don your most glamorous dress, high heels, and lipstick to attend the Seattle Humane Society's biggest fund-raiser of the year, the Tuxes & Tails Gala. Join 600-plus guests for a silent auction, four-course gourmet dinner, and plenty of wine. Then watch several dogs—many up for adoption—strut their stuff on a runway. Yours will have to sit this one out, unfortunately, so remember to bring home some of your bourbon-braised beef as a treat. Your tablemates will certainly understand if you ask for a doggie bag. In fact, they'll likely do the same. Sheraton Seattle Hotel, 1400 Sixth Ave., 621-9000, $200–$300. 5 p.m.–9:30 p.m. ERIKA HOBARTTUESDAY 4/27Visual Arts: BluescapeIt's the kind of group show in which no artist wants to participate: "Northwest Mid-Career Artists," which includes 20 notable locals who probably cringe at being placed mid-anything. But still. Unlike some patrons and museums in this economy, the city is still buying, so let's be grateful for that. Jaq Chartier employs "DNA gel electrophoresis" to create a very scientific-looking color chart. John Wimberley's black-and-white view of swollen storm clouds over Crater Lake is photographed so crisply you could mistake it for Ansel Adams. But my favorite piece is Michael Hensley's painting So Long Sam, which crams together cartoon figures in a teeming frame of blue. It's like Brueghel meets Mad magazine—a little dreamscape of whimsical beings and Escher architecture. The painting makes you think what our world would be like if there were only one color, with all dogs, buildings, and people the exact same hue. Almost everyone and everything would look alike, the individual dissolving into the monochromatic universe—like Sam, wherever he is. (Through July 2.) Seattle Municipal Tower Gallery, 700 Fifth Ave., 684-7171, Free. 5 a.m.–7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

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