The Weekly Wire: The Week's Recommended Events

WEDNESDAY 1/12 Books: The Growing Menace Those who have it can joke about it, and patients at the Hutch, SCCA, and the UW often speak of their time at "cancer city," a term that applies equally to all of Seattle. We're a world leader in cancer research and treatment, so it's appropriate that oncologist and author Siddhartha Mukherjee should be visiting, courtesy of Seattle Arts & Lectures, with the best-reviewed medical history of the past year. In The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (Scribner, $30), the Columbia professor traces the diagnosis and treatment of our cellular rebellion from ancient Egypt to the stem-cell transplants of today. Nearly everyone has a friend or family member with cancer, and its prevalence—with our increased life expectancy—is only growing. Once unmentionable, then the object of Nixon's war on cancer, the disease continues to thrive. Cancer, and cancer treatment, are very much a growth industry. Just take a stroll through South Lake Union, where new oncology labs are sprouting each day. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 621-2230, $15–$30. BRIAN MILLER Classical: Sound and Space For pianist Simone Dinnerstein to choose Bach's "Goldberg" Variations for her 2007 debut CD (self-financed, though Telarc issued it) was roughly the classical equivalent of a band deciding to make its first album a start-to-finish cover of Abbey Road. The work's been recorded by many pianists, but identified with none so strongly as Glenn Gould, who chose it for his own astounding debut almost exactly 50 years earlier (and then re-recorded it just before his death in 1982). And in a way, Dinnerstein carries on Gould's legacy: She plays Bach with a similar miraculous, luminous clarity, but with a slightly creamier tone and a more Romantic sense of tempo shading, applied with a thoughtfully subtle hand, than Gould used. Above all, she achieves in Bach the same sort of ecstatic serenity; of her performance of the Variations' opening movement, she made the very Gouldian pronouncement "I didn't want any movement in the Aria. I wanted it to be about sound, and space." She'll play Bach at Meany Hall tonight, of course—an English Suite and a few arrangements of organ works—plus Schumann and Schubert miniatures. Meany Hall, UW campus, 543-4880, $20–$37. 8 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT THURSDAY 1/13 Books: On Not Fitting In The literary world is no longer run by dead white men, which is fitting, because the good ol' U.S. of A. is getting more colorful by the minute. Heidi Durrow's debut novel, The Girl Who Fell From the Sky (Algonquin, $13.95, new in paper), is exactly the kind of socially relevant book that is destined to become a new classic. Having won the Bellwether Prize for the best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice, the novel tells the story of Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black GI, who becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy. Taken in by her African American grandmother, Rachel moves to a predominantly black community, where her light skin and blue eyes single her out. Durrow unflinchingly tackles the big questions of race as she peels away the layers of Rachel's powerful story. (Also: SoDo Costco, 12:30 p.m. Fri., and Third Place Books, 6:30 p.m. Fri.) Northwest African American Museum, 2300 S. Massachusetts St., 624-6600, $5. 7 p.m. A. PEREZ Stage: Closing the Deal Young Polish director Radosaw Rychcik adapts a French play by Bernard-Marie Koltès, In the Solitude of Cotton Fields, with the musical backing of techno punk band Natural Born Chillers (also Polish). In a recent L.A. staging, smoke billowed around the band and the two unnamed characters. The production took a single moment of eye contact—a sliver of interaction between two men engaged in an anonymous sexual pickup, a prelude to prostitution—and exploded that moment with sound, poetry, and psychology to expose the matrix of connections among desire, power, and economics. Says one guy, "I'm not here to offer pleasure, but to fill the aching void of desire to the brim." He's answered by the client's comparatively brutish response. It's the kind of friction that could've been conjured by Tennessee Williams. (Through Sun.) On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., 217-9888, $25. 8 p.m. STEVEN LEIGH MORRISFilm/Music: Fog and Horns F.W. Murnau's beautifully photographed 1927 melodrama Sunrise is one of the last great silents made in Hollywood, but also perhaps the least typical. It's essentially a work of German Romanticism, since Murnau made no effort to tailor his first American film to studio tastes. Peasant George O'Brien is lured by city vamp Margaret Livingston into a murder plot against his faithful, innocent wife (Janet Gaynor). The tale's sentimental simplicity still packs an emotional wallop (nowhere more than in O'Brien's frantic, foggy search for Gaynor, presumed drowned in the rushes). More power will come from the new score by local cellist and composer Lori Goldston, who'll be joined by Greg Campbell on percussion and French horn. (Through Fri.) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 267-5380, $10–$12. 8 p.m. BRIAN MILLER FRIDAY 1/14 Dance: The Divisive Belgian The inaugural show for Olivier Wevers' Whim W'Him company at On the Boards last year created a big ruckus with the audience. In the lobby following the show, "Needs to be more radical" argued with "Not enough like ballet." The debate continued on blogs and in the online comments to reviews. Both factions, and everyone in between, should come see the next episode in this young Belgian choreographer's development. (Don't worry, he hasn't quit his day job as a principal at PNB.) Shadows, Raincoats & Monsters begins Whim W'Him's five-year residency with Intiman, a platform for Wevers to fuse what might seem like disparate parts of the dance world. In addition to his two new works (Monster and This Is Not a Raincoat), rising European dancemaker Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Cylindrical Shadows will be performed. All three pieces should give us all plenty to talk about. (Through Sun.) Intiman Theatre, 201 Mercer St. (Seattle Center), 269-1900, $25–$30. 7:30 p.m. SANDRA KURTZ

comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow