The Weekly Wire: The Week's Recommended Events

WEDNESDAY 9/22 Books: A Raging Ex-Drunk Following the publication of her critically acclaimed 2005 memoir of drunkenness, Smashed, Koren Zailckas is sober, successful, and...miserable. Having repressed her emotions, particularly anger, for years, she turns to counseling, homeopathy, even yoga. But she discovers her issues run too deep to be solved with the downward dog. In her follow-up memoir Fury (Viking, $25.95), Zailckas relates both her personal struggles with, and detailed research into, female anger. The journalism is well-informed, and her accounts of an unplanned pregnancy and family conflicts are harrowing. Readers may have less patience with her on again/off again relationship with a British musician she calls "the Lark." (One wonders: Does he have a single brother named "the Crow"?) But you can thumb past those pages and still admire this young woman's candor. She knows how to tell one hell of a story—one you'd rather read about than experience firsthand. Barnes & Noble, 2675 N.E. University Village St., 517-4107, Free. 7 p.m. ERIKA HOBART THURSDAY 9/23 Extreme Eating: Facial Cream Have you spent your life waiting for an eating competition that involves musically talented, heavily bearded men ferociously wolfing down pastries filled with sticky white cream? Of course you have. And tonight, hirsute rockers Matt Badger (of Ravenna Woods) and Andrew Chapman (of The Keeper)—joined by one lucky Seattle Weekly reader—will go mouth to mouth in the first-ever Beard Papa's Cream Puff Munch-Off, presented by our Voracious food blog. Whoever eats the most puffs within three minutes will win a gift certificate to Best of Seattle champ Gray's Barber Lounge and a $50 gift certificate to Beard Papa's bakery. Those rooting them on will gain a lifetime of memories, made even more indelible by the Hen's cheap, stiff drinks and pan-Asian (by way of Texas) cuisine. Little Red Hen, 7115 Woodlawn Ave N.E., 522-1168, Free. 6:30 p.m. MIKE SEELY Fashion: Locks and Frocks Shawn Michael and Lauryn Grinnell are both popular salonists at Queen Anne's plush Intermezzo. (Grinnell's even done Lady Gaga's hair!) Tonight they're joining fashionable forces in the fight against domestic violence. All proceeds from the Runway to Freedom show will benefit local nonprofit New Beginnings, which provides 24-hour support for such victims. "We've given makeovers to some of the women in need," says Michael. "This was kind of a progression, the next step of what we could do for them." Three brands will showcase their designs at Ballard's Franco-chic Bastille: Zebra Club's urban casual, The Powder Room's girly boutique-wear, and Lina Cho, a fresh new talent whose sheer floral minidresses recently made waves at the Art Institute's spring fashion show. Appetizers will be available, as well as raffle tickets for salon products, dinners at Fare Start, and exclusive designer purses by Rian Handbags that will hit Nordstrom later this fall. And to ensure the party doesn't stop, neo-soul singer Portia Monique will perform. And the always-entertaining Macklemore and Ryan Lewis will host. Bastille Cafe and Bar, 5307 Ballard Ave. N.W., 724-7743, $15-$25. 8 p.m. ERIN K. THOMPSON FRIDAY 9/24 Comedy: Born to Kvetch Nobody pisses off Larry David like his longtime BFF Richard Lewis. The two met as 12-year-olds at a New York summer camp. Today, on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Lewis plays "Richard Lewis" as an aging, neurotic, black-clad, recovering alcoholic. He gets to trade insults back and forth with David, accusing the Seinfeld creator of everything from stealing his outgoing voicemail greeting to ruining countless romantic relationships (always with much younger women). "What are you eating, a lot of grains and nuts?" Lewis asks David in one episode, ribbing him about his frequent bathroom visits. "What are you, a Jewish squirrel?" Of course, Curb is only the latest milestone in Lewis' nearly 40-year career, which began in the New York comedy boom of the '70s and made him a staple of the Letterman and Carson shows and HBO specials. Despairing, oversharing, overwrought, convinced he's dying and unable to love—his stage persona as a tortured Jew is both familiar and a mask. Only after flaming out in the '90s on drugs and booze did he sober up, write a highly confessional memoir (The Other Great Depression), and—with David's help—begin a second chapter in his career. And more good news: Next year the resurgent performer will be filming Curb's eighth season with his old friend. Parlor Live Comedy Club, 700 Bellevue Way N.E., Suite 300, Bellevue, 425-289-7000, $25–$35. 21 and over. 7:30 and 10 p.m. (Also Sat.) ERIN K. THOMPSON Books: Fleeing the Bolls Because we never grew cotton in this state and because we were admitted to the union 27 years after the 13th Amendment, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration (Random House, $30) might not seem to have much bearing on Seattle. In Isabel Wilkerson's sweeping, humane, impeccably researched history, we merit only one passing reference as a city where—along with many others—residents celebrate Juneteenth to commemorate the end of the Civil War. But there would be no CD without that migration, no Jimi Hendrix, no Quincy Jones, no Ray Charles playing lonely gigs in a strange, damp land. No Norm Rice or Ron Sims, nor the rededication of King County to a very different namesake. The forced mobility of African Americans was a direct result, after Lincoln and before LBJ, of a crumbling Southern agricultural "caste system" that sent six million migrants northward to Detroit, Philly, Harlem, and beyond. Wilkerson, a past Pulitzer Prize winner for The New York Times, personalizes her grand project through three individual stories spanning different decades of the exodus. In a sense, she Oprahcizes history, but in a manner I thoroughly recommend. How heavy is a cotton bag? How terrifying is a lynching for a 10-year-old asked to help cut the rope the next morning? How humiliating to drink water run from the same pipe to separate spigots? The book is suffused with such narrative detail (composited from the experiences of many other interviewees), always grounded in cruel economic logic. To go north was to face hardship, uncertainty, and subtler forms of discrimination. To stay meant subjugating oneself to a system where, a white woman once fretted, "If these Negroes become doctors and merchants or buy their own farms, what shall we do for servants?" Northwest African American Museum, 2300 S. Massachusetts St., 518-6000, Free. 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER Dance: Sex and Sechs PNB audiences last year adored Jirí Kylián's Petit Mort (1991), from its salacious title to its dead-sexy movement and non sequitur props. And so Peter Boal added a new installment for the season-opening Director's Choice program—Kylián's Sechs Tänze (that's "six dances" in German). This 1986 predecessor to Petit Mort, also set to Mozart, foreshadows its sophisticated juxtapositions alongside sections of full-out humor. Both these progressive works show PNB's interest in pushing beyond classical storytelling or neoclassical virtuosity for virtuosity's sake. Also ton the program: a new production of Jerome Robbins' Glass Pieces (1983), his coolly kinetic reaction to the music of Phillip Glass; and Nacho Duato's Jardí Tancat, set to Catalonian folksongs. (Through Oct. 3.) McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., 441-2424, $27–$165. 7:30 p.m. SANDRA KURTZ SATURDAY 9/25 Film: A Grand Cause The Nazis are winning. Europe is in disarray. Freedom is in retreat. Exiles and refugees are streaming into any (semi-)safe haven, Casablanca included. There, inside Rick's bar, money and information change hands among a few brave partisans hoping to keep the cause alive. The same could be said of the 40-year-old nonprofit Grand Illusion Cinema, which "almost went dark this summer after a severe slow period," according to manager Brian Alter. "Things got to the edge. We were kind of worried we wouldn't make it." Tonight's fund-raiser is intended to help fight the financial darkness, with two drinks and appetizers included in your ticket price. As for the 1942 movie, directed by Michael Curtiz, it neatly balances themes of selfishness and sacrifice, patriotism and exile, love and duty. Humphrey Bogart gained iconic status as Rick, who weighs his lingering attachment to Ingrid Bergman's Ilsa against his long-suppressed idealism. Casablanca is about a lot of things, but one strong theme is forgiveness: Two former lovers must somehow reconcile with the past, mutually absolving each other for the future's sake. Their relationship has its parallel as Bogie and Claude Rains also forgive and forget, then famously stride forward together to battle. Screenings commence an hour after cocktails. Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 523-3935, $25. 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLER Parks & Recreation: A Cove in Recovery Remember when we voted "no" on Paul Allen's proposed Seattle Commons? Before the dot-com boom and bust? Before the NASDAQ crash? Before our ongoing Subprime Stagcession? That electoral defeat was in 1995; in response, the Seattle Parks Foundation was established. Since 2001, the nonprofit has helped fund 30 city parks. Today it celebrates the opening of Seattle's biggest new park in 120 years. Built for $30 million (including $10 million each from Allen's Vulcan, Inc. and the SPF), Lake Union Park occupies a prime 12-acre site wrapping around the waterfront. Natural beaches have been restored, salmon and turtles have returned, and blue herons now patrol the shallows. (With them, unfortunately, come Canada geese.) And if MoHaI wins its subsidy standoff with Mayor Mike McGinn, the museum is expected to occupy the renovated naval armory building in late 2012. But the bulk of the open space is meant for strolling. Closest to the SLUT tracks and Valley Street—to be much smaller and quieter when the Mercer Mess is fixed—is a fine-gravel tree grove, where chairs can be dragged about. (Though it'll be years before those saplings provide much shade.) A kid-friendly 300-foot walkway/fountain divides the gravel from the grass, planters, and a model boat pond leading to the water. And of course the entire shoreline is a walkable esplanade. Activities today include an 11:30 a.m. ribbon cutting, cheap eats ($1–$8) from Ivar's, Molly Moon's, and others, boat rides, kiddie activities, and two stages of music (notably including Recess Monkey and the Raggedy Anns). But note that in this urban environment, there's no free parking for cars. Paddle your kayak, however, and you can simply park it on the beach. Lake Union Park, 860 Terry Ave. N., 684-7254, Free. 7 a.m.–7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER Film: Sweet 15 To celebrate its 15th anniversary, Northwest Film Forum is screening 15 titles it's helped birth. Beginning the "Arboring Film" series tonight, appropriately, is NWFF co-founder Jamie Hook's 2003 screwball comedy The Naked Proof. In it, a grad student (Michael Chick) is blocked on his long-gestating philosophy dissertation; he's visited by a mercurial pregnant woman (the wonderful Arlette Del Toro), who may or may not be a symbol of his epistemological disgruntlement. Preceded by local shorts, other screenings will include Greg Lachow's Money Buys Happiness (Sun.), Lynn Shelton's We Go Way Back (Thurs.), and Guy Maddin's Brand Upon the Brain! (also Thurs.). A concluding party on Friday, Oct. 1 simultaneously launches the Local Sightings film festival, which runs the following week. Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 267-5380, $6–$9 (individual), $15–$19.99 (series). 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER TUESDAY 9/28 Stage: Up From the Streets You won't leave In the Heights, the touring 2008 Tony winner for Best Musical, humming any of composer/lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda's tunes. You'll be far too suffused with joy to cavil much, though, about melody. Heights addresses hope, class, and change among various characters in a Washington Heights neighborhood with a series of ascending pop credos and a heartfelt simplicity that wouldn't challenge Sesame Street viewers. Yet it also does what every musical should (but so few of late accomplish): make you a citizen of a unified theatrical world, crafted from words, music, and movement. Even without a single "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'," the show still provides an old-school Oklahoma! uplift that could captivate entire continents. An electrifying Act 1 climax begins on a hot summer night at a club and ends, understandably, in a city-wide blackout (kudos to choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler for using dance as a natural expression of urban forward momentum). Credit Miranda for the ease with which he occasionally weaves an authentic, affable rap into his score; then thank the cast for the high-wattage warmth that rushes you back to your own community armed with an ecstatic, hopeful glow. (Through Oct. 17.) The 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave., 625-1900, $22.50 and up. 7:30 p.m. STEVE WIECKING

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