The Pick List: This Week's Recommended Events

Wednesday, July 23

Monty Python Live (mostly)

This is a rebroadcast of one of this month’s 10 live London reunion shows by the legendary comedy troupe (all together, now): John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin. The five have been coy about convening for official performances (as opposed to stage chats), and they commanded a hefty paycheck for doing these gigs after a 30-year break. The Guardian sniffed that the whole lucrative enterprise was to pay for Cleese’s alimony, but tickets sold out instantly, no matter the price, no complaints from fans. Idle, who created the cash cow that is Spamalot, directed the show; and Gilliam, on something of an unwanted hiatus from film directing, was in charge of the animations and archival projections of past Python TV shows and movies—of which there are many. (Hence the “mostly” live qualifier.) But from both The New York Times and Guardian, the reviews were entirely warm about the Pythons’ warmed-over material. This is an oldies show, and they know it: vaudeville for the Lipitor and hip-replacement set (all five are in their 70s); entertainment now fit for grandfather-and-grandson outings. (The three-hour show carries an R rating, but kids have to start somewhere, right?) All your favorite bits will be reprised, including the dead parrot sketch, the lumberjack song, and the Spanish Inquisition—now entirely expected. And of course the ghost of Graham Chapman (well, ghostly image) will make a cameo or three. Pacific Place, 600 Pine St., $18. 7:30 p.m. (Repeats Thurs.; also plays at Lincoln Square.)

Friday, July 25

Niehoff is among the locals in Strictly Seattle.
Photo By Hayley Young


I recently learned, in a pictorial history of Bellevue, that what we presently call ARTSfair (now in its 68th year) was launched from the walls of the Crabapple restaurant in Bellevue Square. Its owner decorated the upscale eatery—famed for its large madrona tree in front—with local art, and thus came the 1947 Pacific Northwest Arts & Crafts Fair. Kemper Freeman Sr.’s new open-air mall was then still a small operation serving a nascent suburb. The war had just ended, and the first floating bridge across Lake Washington was only seven years old. Before then, Renton and Kirkland (serviced by ferry) were the only towns of note on the Eastside. Inaccessible Bellevue, in the lonely middle between them, was just farmland when Freeman began buying up parcels. Remember that in ’47, there was no I-5, and Bellevue suddenly became a quick downtown commute to affordable new ranch houses. The fair kept growing with the city, aided by a second bridge; and BAM got its start inside the mall in 1975.

This weekend’s celebration takes place in an entirely changed landscape with three concurrent festivals. BAM offers free admission to its exhibits (including origami art and the craft creations of Japanese-American internees during World War II). Outside and at the mall will be booths representing some 300 artists, children’s activities, live music, and artist demos. Then there’s the Bellevue Street Fair and the Bellevue Festival of the Arts, offering still more food, fun, and entertainment. The whole enchilada is being called Bellevue Arts Fair Weekend. The Crabapple, so far as I can determine, closed with the mall’s 1980 redo. It was located roughly where Crate & Barrel is today. (Through Sun.) Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., 425-519-0770, & Free. 9:30 a.m.–9 p.m.

Strictly Seattle
Velocity Dance Center started this summer workshop to bring local dancers together with local choreographers, but somehow the word leaked out—and now we’ve got dancers from all over the country showing up. The session-closing performances (with choreography from Byron Carr, Pat Graney, Jody Kuehner, KT Niehoff, Bennyroyce Royon, Shannon Stewart, and Rosa Vissers) are as warm as the last night at sleepaway camp. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, $12–$18. 8 p.m. (Also Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.)

Saturday, July 26

Twentieth Century Fox
Movies at the Mural
From 1987, Rob Reiner’s charming PG-rated adaptation of the classic William Goldman children’s tale The Princess Bride is sweet, funny, and well played down the line for both parents and kids. Cary Elwes and Robin Wright are the handsome, occasionally quarrelsome lovers; Wallace Shawn, Mandy Patinkin, and the late André the Giant help get them together after many amusing adventures. Don’t be surprised or offended if people call out their favorite lines (especially “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die”), since this is a very informal, family-oriented series. Also stake out your places early on the relatively small lawn. It’s best to get takeout food first from one of the restaurants inside the Armory, then have a picnic while waiting for the movie to begin. Extra sweaters are also recommended after the sun goes down. Other titles screening Saturday nights through August 23 are Gravity, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the recent Leo DiCaprio version of The Great Gatsby, and Star Trek Into Darkness. Seattle Center Mural Amphitheater, 684-7200, Free. Movies begin at dusk.

Malam Budaya
There are over 17,000 islands in the Indonesian archipelago, and almost as many different dances in that nation’s culture. From ancient classical works telling stories about the gods to contemporary hybrid forms, Indonesia’s dance tradition is older and more complex than many Western practices. Astrid Vinje, who was trained in Java and brought those traditions with her to the Northwest, will perform a variety of works in Malam Budaya: A Cultural Night of Indonesian Dance, along with colleagues Christina Sunardi and Hawwa Djuned. Langston Hughes Performance Institute, 104 17th Ave. S., seattleindonesian $5–$17. 6 p.m.

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