The Pick List: This Week’s Recommended Events

Thursday, Sept. 10

Philippe Quesne

If you didn’t make it to a theme park this summer, here’s a chance to make up the loss. Quesne is a French theater artist with circus roots who bumps up against dance and scenography in his work—in La Mélancolie des dragons, his six heavy-metal heroes work to build an anti-consumerist amusement park. OtB opens its new season with a surreal version of a Rube Goldberg adventure, with music by the Scorpions and other masters of metal. (Through Sun.) On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., 217-9888, ontheboards.org. $25. 8 p.m.

American Idiot

It may sound like a jukebox musical, but it’s really a stage fleshing-out of Green Day’s 2004 concept album of the same name. The story is your basic drug-laced, suburbia-sucks bildungsroman, but the music makes it, packing a punk punch with an adhesive tunefulness, a touch of Hedwig-ian glam, and a good dose of the exhilarating larger-than-lifeness actors love to sell; it proves to be an ideal conduit for delivering emotion straight into the listener’s head and keeping it lodged there. (The show’s development is chronicled winningly in the doc Broadway Idiot, which shows front man/composer Billie Joe Armstrong gradually seduced by the goddess of theater; he has more musicals in him, no question.) ArtsWest is offering two ways to take in its production: observational (i.e., traditional, seated) and immersive—I’m not exactly sure what that’ll entail, but they suggest bringing good shoes. (Through Oct. 11.) ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave. S.W., 938-0339, artswest.org. $19–$39.50. 7:30 p.m.

Me and My Selfie

The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year for 2013, the selfie has become even more ubiquitous in our culture. Appropriately, this show will start small, then gradually build in number through the fall. To accommodate so many new public-supplied images (submitted via #selfie_pcnw), this won’t be a traditional static show of prints in frames. Instead, the images will slowly alternate on video monitors “to highlight where selfies are most often created and viewed,” says PCNW. Part of the intent here is surely also to balance selfies’ inherent narcissism with their legitimate potential for populist self-expression outside the academy. Even the most serious sanctioned artists have created self-portraits through the centuries (Picasso surely had more ego in one finger than does the entire Kardashian klan), so there’s nothing to sneer at in these pixels of self-validation. As with Facebook, iPhones, and the Internet as a whole, technology simultaneously dwarfs us—we insignificant, replaceable peons in the New Economy—and allows us to resist such belittlement. The selfie is a form of rebellion, however fleeting, against time and tide. But please, leave your selfie stick at home when visiting the gallery. Someone might lose an eye. (Through Oct. 31.) P hoto Center NW, 900 12th Ave., 720-7222, pcnw.org. Free. Opening reception 6–8 p.m.

Bohemia

When you think of Prague in the ’90s, you think of cheap beer, Internet startups, and American expats flocking to explore newly liberated Czechoslovakia as it emerges from Soviet rule. Think again. This new musical cabaret (with food and drinks, including absinthe) is set during the 1890s in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as rendered by Mark Siano and Opal Peachey in a fantasia that has composer Antonin Dvořák (Siano) visited by the ghost of Frédéric Chopin (Peachey). What follows is no history lesson, but a lighthearted riff on the artists and bohemians of that era: Sarah Bernhardt, George Sand, and Oscar Wilde included. Comedy, burlesque, and even trapeze performances are as didactic as the show will get, with live musical accompaniment from an onstage trio. Mark Wissing supplies the food and Maximillian Davis the drinks. No passport required. (Through Sept. 27.) Nordo’s Culinarium, 109 S. Main St., 800-838-3006, cafenordo.com. $25–$80. 8 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 11

Whim W’him

Since he founded Whim W’him in 2009, one of choreographer Olivier Wevers’ goals was to present the work of other dancemakers. With Choreographic Shindig, he’s taken himself even further out of the process—the three artists who have created new work for this program were chosen not by Wevers, but by the dancers themselves. Maurya Kerr, Joshua Peugh, and Ihsan Rustem are all new to Seattle audiences, but they share some of the fluid virtuosity that is Wevers’ calling card. This should be a sinuous evening in the theater. (Through Sept 19.) Erickson Theatre Off Broadway, 1524 Harvard Ave., whimwhim.org. $25–$50. 8 p. m.

Saturday, Sept. 12

BrechtFest

Angrier than Café Nordo, more confrontational (and way more political) than Teatro ZinZanni, brunch theater meets Germany’s angsty, class-conscious modernist playwright thanks to The Horse in Motion. With the cast as servers, their show braids together characters and scenes from Bertolt Brecht’s Baal, The Good Person of Szechwan, and The Threepenny Opera to dig into issues of income inequality, gender dynamics, the nature of morality—and how it’s all made moot by an empty stomach. The presence of bacon on the menu is intentionally allegorical. Enjoy your mimosas, bourgeois leeches! (Through Oct. 4.) The Can Can, 94 Pike St., thehorseinmotion.org. $25–$35. 11 a.m.

 
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