The Weekly Wire: The Week's Recommended Events

WEDNESDAY 5/5Theater: Of Apes and MenPlaywright Stephanie Timm decided to address the disintegrating relationship between a mother and daughter after hearing that 40 percent of Americans don't believe in evolution. It's a sideways approach to what Timm calls "a metaphor for a teenager becoming a different species." She hopes, too, that On the Nature of Dust, her official debut as company playwright for Seattle's award-winning New Century Theatre Company (they premiered big last season with The Adding Machine and Orange Flower Water), respects the particular nature of Midwesterners. "One thing that's very important to me," says Timm, a native of now-fabled Fargo, N.D., "is the stoicism that comes with their suffering and anger. They're very pleasant, but underneath there are always dark waters." You could say the same of Timm's work, which meshes ingratiating quirk with hurt in equal measure: Her puppet show Frankenocchio told the fractured fairy tale of a decapitated head searching for its wandering torso; Big Fish, Small Pond imagined the travails of a brother-and-sister "punk bluegrass" band whose hits include "Kicking the Dog I Named After You." Previewing tonight, Dust also represents Timm's first work since returning to Seattle with her new MFA in playwriting from UC San Diego. It should be worth a look to see how much she's evolved. (Opens Fri. Through May 30.) ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., 292-7676, $25. 8 p.m. STEVE WIECKINGCinco de Mayo: Booze in BulkFact: Peso's spent more on liquor purchases over the past 12 months than any other bar in the state. The manager suggests it's because they only serve 100 percent agave tequila. Thus we suggest you drink there on Cinco de Mayo. Though we may sometimes mock it as a herpes laboratory, Peso's is, for good reason, the most popular party destination in Lower Queen Anne. The margarita menu is extensive; the music is deafening; and the crowd is a sexy sea of biceps, cleavage, and immaculate haircuts. It's as close as you can get to experiencing spring break in Cancún without actually visiting Mexico. Expect absolute mayhem on this, Peso's busiest day of the year. Past history suggests the bar won't drain its entire tequila inventory, but it should come damn close. Peso's, 605 Queen Anne Ave. N., 283-9353, Free (21 and over). 9 a.m.–2 a.m. ERIKA HOBARTTHURSDAY 5/6Comedy: Enduringly UnderratedRob Schneider has no delusions of grandeur: "I never got my hour the way that Chris Rock, George Carlin, or Jerry Seinfeld did," he says matter-of-factly over the phone from the Wichita, Kan., stop on his present stand-up comedy tour. "Why the hell else would I be here?" But the guy deserves credit. Schneider is a showbiz survivor whose career, from Saturday Night Live to Adam Sandler films, spans two decades. (This reporter still has a soft spot for Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.) Next month, he stars in the comedy Grown-Ups (alongside Sandler, Chris Rock, and David Spade) as a screw-up in an unlikely relationship. "It's sort of like my own life," he acknowledges. "But you can also tell that Adam wrote it, because I'm married to a 74-year-old and he gets Salma Hayek." Schneider's stage routine consists of similar jabs at his personal life, along with politics and Hollywood. He also stays after every show to meet fans. Take note: He still digs the old SNL references—the more obscure, the better. But more often than not, he gamely tells me, he gets "Where's Adam?" Parlor Live Comedy Club, 700 Bellevue Way N.E. Suite 300, Bellevue, 425-289-7000, $30–$35 (21 and over). 7:30 p.m. (Also: Fri.–Sat., 7:30 and 10 p.m.) ERIKA HOBARTVisual Arts: Unfree at LastWith the rather shocking news that curator Michael Darling is jumping ship to Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art after four years at SAM, his last gesture will be remembered as a small, well-chosen, but little-publicized gallery of satire and grotesquerie. The pairing—on facing walls—of James Ensor and Georg Baselitz isn't obvious. The often postcard-sized prints of Ensor (1860–1949) lampoon the Belgian clergy, monarchy, and bourgeoisie. A proto-surrealist, his imagery bears traces of Brueghel and hints of the Sgt. Pepper album cover to come. There's an outsider's anger to his sometimes scatological cartoons; he's a loner mocking the groups that would never accept him. (Fellow oddballs They Might Be Giants even wrote a song about the solitary grouch.) By contrast, the octogenarian Baselitz is, in this selection, entirely intent on the individual. His heavy-lined prints and woodcuts depict faces and figures in anguished, contorted isolation. During his 19th-century prime, Ensor sought to overturn the ancien régime and liberate man. Coming of age in demolished postwar Germany, Baselitz finds no such freedom, only inner torment. (Through Oct. 24.) Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., 654-3121, $9–$15. 10 a.m.–9 p.m. BRIAN MILLERFRIDAY 5/7Film: I Was a Teenage Rumpot!The sincere, outer-borough, downmarket alternative to Warhol in the '60s, the Kuchar brothers have a reputation that's today rather hard to maintain—or explain—in the documentary It Came From Kuchar. Praised here by John Waters, Atom Egoyan, and Guy Maddin, gay identical twins George and Mike Kuchar took a literal approach to the movies they devoured and copied. The results were not cool, not detached, not campy, not sophisticated...just, well, adoring. Shot on Super-8 and later 16mm film, their shorts are amateurish cross-genre tributes to Westerns, melodramas, and sci-fi pictures all at the same time. The acting and production values are terrible. Yet the titles are genius: The Devil's Cleavage, Hold Me While I'm Naked, Lust for Ecstasy, Corruption of the Damned...(Wait, if you're already damned, how can you be corrupted? Oh, never mind.) Director Jennifer Kroot plainly loves these peculiar old men, who seem too absorbed in their prodigious ongoing output to pay any attention to her or their place in film history. (Through Thurs.) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 523-3935, $5–$8. 7 and 9 p.m. BRIAN MILLERSATURDAY 5/8Festivals: Tortoise vs. TortoiseThe annual tugboat races that highlight the Seattle Maritime Festival would seem to be a contradiction in terms. Tugboats racing? And yet they do, in all their smoke-belching, snub-nosed glory. Freed from the dull responsibility of nudging container ships and cruise liners into port, unmoored from barges and log rafts, this is their day to shine. Vessels range in size, and compete in classes, from the giant to the tiny. And the lumbering craft from Foss Maritime, the Fremont Tugboat Co., and other local fleets can actually be quite peppy when all their torque is applied to a two-mile course running along the Seattle waterfront. Past winners have reached speeds over 16 knots! (That's nearly 20 mph for you landlubbers.) Also on the maritime menu: The all-day Waterfront Chowder Cook-Off pits various waterfront eateries against one another, and your $5 "chowder passport" allows you to sample them all. Pier 66 (Bell Harbor Marina), 2203 Alaskan Way, Free. 2 p.m. BRIAN MILLERComedy: Adore Her if You DareJaneane Garofalo doesn't make it easy to love her. Which is why you love her. If you do. And if she lets you. Yes, her aggravated wit—a kind of unforced contrariness—effortlessly endeared her to Generation X after her breakout role in Ben Stiller's 1994 Reality Bites. Yet Garofalo would likely counter such a claim by claiming that she's never yearned for fame, that she hates the Gen-X label, that her past association with Stiller—which began with his short-lived TV sketch show—is of no consequence, and that it's pointless to be discussing something she did in the '90s. Garofalo's confident crabbing, actually, means she holds her own against the best men in her business (who better to play Jerry Seinfeld's "female me" fiancée on Seinfeld?) and the worst men in the media (regularly forcing Bill O'Reilly to dodge her left hooks). She holds an unflinching gaze on both pop culture and politics, has enlivened every movie in which she's appeared, and can boast an enviable resume of television work—including The Larry Sanders Show, The West Wing, and most recently 24. She's here to tape a live DVD of her stand-up comedy. But don't make a big deal out of it. Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., 877-784-4849, $18. 7 and 9:30 p.m. STEVE WIECKINGArts & Liquors: No Chardonnay, PleaseMore of a rowdy pub crawl than a traditional gallery walk, the Georgetown Art Attack keeps going long after the opening receptions at galleries including Mark LaFalce, KrabJabStudio, and Frida. In fact, after meeting artists like Claire Brown, Michael Kupperman, and Todd Kalamar, you can later buy them a drink at any number of watering holes along Airport Way. (Which may help when negotiating the price of a canvas.) Over 30 venues have signed on to the monthly event (every second Saturday), meaning booze and music run late at the Georgetown Liquor Company, 9 Lb. Hammer, and anyplace else you care to bend an elbow. And if art isn't your thing, the Georgetown Super-8 Film Festival offers 40-plus tiny titles being screened at five venues including The Stables. Rather than sipping cheap white wine in plastic cups, beer and a shot is the preferred tipple down here. Georgetown (various locations), Free. 6–8 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

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