The Weekly Wire: This Week's Recommended Events


Dance: Appropriate for All Ages

The danger in promoting a ballet as "family-friendly" is that a chunk of your potential audience will write it off as "kid stuff." But Pacific Northwest Ballet's production of Coppélia is not like Trix cereal—it isn't just for kids. The work, with one of ballet's most beautiful scores (by Léo Delibes), is full of complex and tricky dancing, restaged from its 19th-century roots by George Balanchine in 1974 and laced together with a sunny plot full of mistaken identities and true love. (To refresh your memories: Mad scientist Dr. Coppelius creates a life-sized doll, Coppélia, who comes between lovers Franz and Swanilda. And look for PNB director Peter Boal as one of three dancers portraying the doctor.) After a year filled with all sorts of dancing, from traditional to cutting-edge, PNB closes its season with real sweetness. (Through June 10.) McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St. (Seattle Center), 441-2424, $28–$168. 7:30 p.m. SANDRA KURTZ

Dance: Audience Election

Next time I go on vacation, I want Cyrus Khambatta to pack my bags—every year he's produced the Seattle International Dance Festival (aka Beyond the Threshold), he's managed to find room for just one more new thing. Tonight begins the indoor performances, featuring movement artists from as far away as India and as close as Capitol Hill (including a tribute to Seattle choreographer Mary Sheldon Scott). Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. is the "Art on the Fly" series of outdoor mini-events along the South Lake Union Trolley route. Khambatta is also inaugurating the "Sanity Cafe" (Sat., June 9), a late-night cabaret performance of a trio of works to be created during the festival. The theme? That'll be selected by you, the audience, this evening. (Through June 10.) Raisbeck Performance Hall (Cornish College), 2015 Boren Ave., 800-838-3006, $15–$50. 8 p.m. SANDRA KURTZ


SIFF: End of the Indies?

Do you love Parker Posey, indie-movie queen of the '90s? Of course you do. Do you love Dean Wareham, leader of indie bands Galaxie 500, Luna, and Dean & Britta? Again, yes. What if I said you could indulge both these ever-closer-to-40 indie affinities in one short, enjoyable comedy? But here's the catch: It's all about giving up that indie edge, saying farewell to your 30s, paying the mortgage, placating the wife, supporting the kid . . . and sleeping with your boss (Posey). Michael Walker's debut feature Price Check places Pete (Eric Mabius) in the drab Long Island office of a large supermarket chain. His job has to do with pricing strategies and where to shelve goods. He used to work for an indie label, but he traded that for dull job security. Posey's Susan enters as a pushy, needy, oversharing hellion from L.A.; she immediately shakes up the office, soon doubles Pete's salary, and ingratiates herself with his son and wife. He's flattered, and they share the same musical taste (Wareham, wall-to-wall on the soundtrack and featured in a club scene), but Pete is also worried. Susan's ambitions are more than professional. She tells Pete "I always get what I want," which sounds both desperate and threatening in Posey's manic, comic performance. Be warned that Price Check lacks a proper ending, but maybe its fizzle is just how your 30s end, too. Harvard Exit, 807 E. Roy St., 324-9996, $11. 6 p.m. (Repeats 11:30 a.m. Sun.) BRIAN MILLER

Arts & Cycling: Rolling Appreciation

It starts, like all good things in life, in Kent. There, few Seattle artgoers know, are some large, significant installations you can tour today during the Earthworks Tour Inaugural Bike Ride. Three loops range from a mostly flat 12-miler suitable for families to a hillier 23-mile circuit that heads up the hill to Robert Morris' Johnson Pit #30, a major excavation in the west slope above Kent, ringed with terraces and charred tree trunks. The eerie 1979 divot was funded by the King County Arts Commission, making use of an old gravel pit now flanked by homes and apartments. Down at the Herbert Bayer Earthworks Park (the ride's start/finish area), that 1982 storm-water containment project comprises a series of nested grassy rings and mounds designed by Herbert Bayer (1900–1985). He was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, studied at the Bauhaus, art-directed Vogue in Weimar Germany, and was included in the Nazis' notorious 1937 "Degenerate Art" exhibit before fleeing to the U.S. Being dedicated today is the Inkwell Collective's Filaments, a series of dangling orange guideposts along the Green River Trail. (The long ride extends over to Renton and the Waterworks Gardens, by Lorna Jordan.) At the start/finish, there will also be music, family activities, and displays of local artworks—some, of course, on wheels. Herbert Bayer Earthworks Park, 742 E. Titus St., Kent; register at Free. 9 a.m. BRIAN MILLER


Music & Beyond: The Sampler

Whatever the fate of local band Maktub, the future of Reggie Watts is assured. Now based in New York, he's broken out nationally as a near-uncategorizable musician and performer. (Credit Conan O'Brien for having Watts open his post–Tonight Show concert tour in 2010; the accolades soon followed, as did a brilliant TV ad for DieHard batteries.) It makes sense that so much of Watts' act should involve languages, foreign accents, and sentences fragmented into melody lines, since he grew up a bilingual Army brat traveling all over Europe. From Montana to Seattle to Brooklyn, his journey has allowed him to sample and select random bits of culture that get reprocessed—sometimes on his laptop into loops played onstage—into dazzling improvised performances. He's been touring almost continuously for the past two years, gathering still more sounds and phrases that he'll scramble tonight in his former hometown. The Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., 877-784-4849, $35. 8 p.m. T. BONILLA


SIFF: Lights! Camera! Misery!

The Woman in the Septic Tank is a cheeky backstage farce of the poverty-film genre frequently exported by developing nations—here, the Philippines. Directed by Marlon Rivera, the film begins in the stench of the Manila slums, as a mother of seven (TV star Eugene Domingo) sets out to sell one of her children to a pedophile and an offscreen voice gives stage direction. The voice, we discover, belongs to director Rainier, who is visualizing this, his upcoming feature, with his producer Bingbong in an upscale Manila coffee shop, where they strategize how best to cater to the misery market. "The festival programmers aren't going to have it any other way," insists savvy Bingbong as they refashion the material, visualized as a docudrama ("The film will blur the lines between reality and fiction"), a musical, and finally according to the soap-operatic ideas of Domingo, who plays herself taking a meeting with the filmmakers. The film's dry punch line is that each revision isn't presented as a gradual compromising of artistic integrity, but as merely another version of show business as usual. Pacific Place, 600 Pine St., 324-9996, $11. 4 p.m. (Repeats 8:30 p.m. Thurs., June 7 at Harvard Exit.) NICK PINKERTON

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