The Weekly Wire: This Week's Recommended Events


Sports/TV: Ride to the Sea

Tour de France viewing parties typically mean you, a party of one, sitting before the TV or computer screen. It's a lonely obsession, shared by a few at traffic lights or on the Burke-Gilman Trail. ("How about Contador's attack on the Tourmalet?" "He broke his collarbone in how many places?") But for those with a generous lunch hour, there's a more social option at the new bike shop in Nord Alley (just east of First between Jackson and Main). Back Alley Bike Repair is launching a TV recap gathering it calls Le Tour d' Alley, which runs weekdays through July 20 (except July 4, 10, and 17—the latter two dates being rest days, but you knew that already). Maybe you can't make every screening, but we recommend you bring your takeout lunch today to watch the rolling and potentially windy stage three from Orchies to Boulogne-sur-Mer. At only 197 kilometers (about 120 miles), the route runs west to the coast, just south of Calais, where ocean breezes and a twisty, bumpy finale await. Just as the peloton has likely caught the day's escapees, there are four unwelcome little climbs in the last 16 clicks. The sprint finish is uphill: 700 meters at a 7.4 percent grade, which may defeat Wenatchee's Tyler Farrar and Englishman Mark Cavendish (aka "The Manx Missile"). Instead, look for Spaniards Samuel Sánchez and Alejandro Valverde and the Belgian Philippe Gilbert to be in the mix. And if you already know the results, put a burrito in it. Back Alley Bike Repair, 314 First Ave. S., 307-1179, Free. 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

Stage: Pasties and Patriotism

Among their many other talents, burlesque performers are skilled multitaskers. They're stripping and dancing, stripping and singing, and, in Freedom Fantasia, stripping and roller-skating. J. Von Stratton, usually with the Atomic Bombshells, will be rolling across the stage alongside a roster of Seattle's best burlesque performers in a tongue-firmly-in-cheek salute to the United States. Also featuring Ben de la Creme, Lou Henry Hoover, and Kitten LaRue, the show is indeed full of glitter. But underneath the fabulousness, there's real dancing going on—including the big musical number "Apple Pie Parade," which Hoover (aka Ricki Mason) compares to Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. That some of the brides are men and some of the brothers women simply furthers the cause of liberty—for the show and for our nation. The Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333, $22–$25. 7:30 & 10:30 p.m. (Repeats Fri. & Sat.) SANDRA KURTZ


Film: She's Got Moxie

Jean Arthur is one of the screen's greats. From her breakthrough in the mid-'30s (after a decade plugging away in minor roles) to her 1953 big-screen farewell in Shane, she was the modern urban woman, the girl next door, and the sardonic smart cookie—all rolled into a snappy, sassy, adorable package. While Arthur (1900–1991) could be glamorous, she was most successful as a comedienne and most memorable playing practical, savvy women who toss all caution to the wind and dive headlong into the unknown. Her fast-talking patter, trilling laugh, and sunny charisma made her a natural screwball star and a perfect leading lady for the Depression era. SAM's six-film retrospective begins tonight with her 1935 star turn in John Ford's snappy comedy The Whole Town's Talking. She plays a hardheaded career gal opposite Edward G. Robinson's meek clerk, who's mistaken for a wanted gangster. Running Thursdays through August 9, the "Queen of Screwball" series also features You Can't Take It With You, The Talk of the Town, The More the Merrier, and A Foreign Affair. Of special note is the comic discovery If You Could Only Cook (July 12), in which Arthur's moxie and snap charms an auto-company president and a gangster. Who could blame them? Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., 654-3121, $35–$39 series, $8 individual. 7:30 p.m. SEAN AXMAKER


Seafair: Historical Reach on the Beach

In a ceremony to be repeated today, the Seafair Pirates first landed at Alki Beach with the Denny party in 1851. Hydroplane racing immediately followed the festivities, though Chief Sealth actually won that race by paddling his cedar canoe. On hand to cheer were JP Patches, Ivar Haglund, and Jimi Hendrix. Afterward, the Blue Angels—then comprising only Wilbur and Orville Wright and their pedal-powered aircraft—flew over the city, which promptly burned to the ground. During the massive rebuilding effort, our proud Alaskan Way Viaduct was erected and Jim McDermott began his first term in Congress. Didn't you know any of this? More people should study our local history, rich in pirate-related lore. For instance, the Seafair Pirates were in the vanguard of the Normandy Beach landings during World War II. The Titanic's lucky few survivors were rescued by Seafair Pirates. When the wrecked Exxon Valdez was gushing oil in Prince William Sound in '89, to help begin the cleanup, a single Seafair Pirate pulled the supertanker off the rocks using his own beard! When Melville went to sea to research what would become Moby-Dick, he actually cribbed most of his material from the Seafair Pirates. More recently, the Seafair Pirates defeated billionaire Larry Ellison in the America's Cup despite being vastly outspent. And they'll host the next America's Cup during Seafair using little radio-controlled sailboats in the Green Lake children's wading pool. It's a fact. It's a Seafair Pirate Fact.™ Alki Beach, 1702 Alki Ave. S.W., Free. 9:30 a.m. BRIAN MILLER

Sports: Hail the Conquering Hero

Though Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid doesn't seem like the sentimental type, he could stage-direct a perfectly Frank Capra-esque moment by bringing Steve Zakuani in for tonight's match against the Colorado Rapids: It was against the Rapids, on April 22, 2011, that Zakuani's leg was broken by an overzealous tackle by Brian Mullan, putting the popular midfielder out of commission for a year filled with palpitating speculation about his return (and anguished what-ifs over the Sounders' ignominious early exit from last fall's playoffs). Though he played in a reserve match on June 1 and made the 18-man active roster for the June 20 game against Kansas City, #11 has (as of this writing) seen no minutes in MLS play. How poetically just, how Greek-drama it would be if his home-field return came facing the team which has become nearly as loathed among fans as Portland's. CenturyLink Field, 800 Occidental Ave. S., $30–$115. 8 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT


Film: From the Scullery to the Stars

This summer's Silent Movie Mondays series is all about "Opulence & Epics," and it launches with the 1929 British music-hall drama Piccadilly, starring Anna May Wong as a scullery worker promoted from kitchen staff to exotic star attraction. Though second-billed to Gilda Gray, who plays the displaced "over the hill" dancer, Wong steals the film from her entrance, shimmying on the counter of a basement kitchen in a mock nightclub routine to the delight of her fellow workers. The rest is a sophisticated take on a backstage melodrama of jealousies and rivalries, with lavish sets, lots of atmosphere, and a terrific early turn by Charles Laughton as a rowdy patron. Organist Jim Riggs provides live musical accompaniment for both the evening series and—new this year—lunchtime matinee screenings. (Yes, you can bring your food inside.) Today's early program includes Charlie Chaplin's great The Immigrant and Georges Méliès' landmark A Trip to the Moon (recently celebrated in Martin Scorsese's Hugo). The evening series continues with L'Argent, the original 1925 Ben-Hur, and Cecil B. DeMille's lavish The King of Kings. Also look for more Chaplin and Buster Keaton among the coming daytime shows. (Through July 30.) The Paramount, 911 Pine St., 877-784-4849, $10 evening, $5 matinee. Noon & 7 p.m. SEAN AXMAKER

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