MAY 1, 2010


The Stranger Gong Show

Why: For three years in a row, the Stranger Gong Show has delivered a roller-coaster ride through the wilds of human endeavor, from acts so bad you'll wish you were dead to acts so great you'll scream louder than you knew you could. The winner of this year's show will take home an avalanche of prizes, including $300 cash. If you want to perform, sign up at If you want to watch, just show up. (And wear your hollering pants.) (Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave, Talent sign-up at 8 pm/show starts at 9 pm, $8, 21+.)


Washington Hall House Party

Why: For a while, it seemed like the crumbling old brick building on 14th Avenue and Fir Street, just down from the juvie jail, was going down. It had holes in the ceiling, a thick patina of pigeon shit, and squatters and piles of trash and the stink of decay in its labyrinthine recesses. But Historic Seattle saved the day—they bought it, fixed it, and today's the big party. Come rebaptize the historic hall (W. E. B. DuBois and MLK spoke there, Billie Holiday and Jimi Hendrix played there) with MC Felicia Loud, DJ Vitamin D, and a long list of great local dancers and musicians. (Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave, www.wash 7 pm, free.)

MAY 2, 2010


'An Iliad'

Why: You'd be forgiven for suspecting that a one-man retelling of the Iliad at Seattle's largest (and sometimes fustiest) regional theater would be an edifying snooze—but you'd also be 1,000 percent wrong. Local actor Hans Altwies brings the juice as a tattered storyteller straight out of a Cormac McCarthy wasteland, doomed to wander the earth and tell his tale over and over again. Altwies jumps between high Homeric incantations (occasionally in ancient Greek) and beguiling, chilling storytelling. (Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St, 443-2222. 2 and 7:30 pm, $12–$37. Through May 16.)

MAY 3, 2010



Why: Do not walk these streets without noticing these new heads of green hair everywhere! Just photosynthesizing everything right up for your breathing convenience! They are out, and they are new, and they are officially unbelievable. We've got them on vines and on trees and on bushes, and they are their own bursty, lookworthy flowers. That is all. (Everywhere, all hours, free as hell.)

MAY 4, 2010


Los Campesinos!

Why: No band right now does existential dread and doomed romantic melodrama better or with more blown-out, explosive glee than Welsh tweecore septet Los Campesinos! Over three ace albums in as many years, the band has grown from clever and kinetic kids' games into darker (but never humorless) lyrical themes and more fully realized instrumental disarray. Their new album, Romance Is Boring, is a thrilling mess of sharp hooks and sharper wit, huge sing-along choruses clashing with jarring guitars, heaving brass, and restless rhythm. If you're not a hormone-drunk teenager, their live show will make you feel like one again. (Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151. 8 pm, $17.50 adv/$20 DOS, all ages.)

MAY 5, 2010


'American Psycho'

Why: The 2000 film American Psycho actually improves on the book from which it is adapted: The confluence of Mary Harron's witty direction and Christian Bale in one of the best performances he will ever give is a major upgrade from Bret Easton Ellis's novel, which is basically one good, sick joke—serial killer obsessed with status and money in the '80s! Get it?—over and over again. Topping off the horror/comedy/social-commentary goodness will be a talk by Stranger film editor Lindy West about consumerism, ironically liking Huey Lewis, and the wonder that is Christian Bale's young rack of abs. (Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave, 686-6684. 7 pm, $10.)

MAY 6, 2010


Rimini Protokoll

Why: This pioneering Berlin performance group (with three directors!) conducts radical experiments in Theater der Zeit, which they translate as "Reality Trend." They've converted freight trucks into mobile theaters with one clear wall and put audiences of 50 in the back to be driven around European and Asian cities by actual truck drivers who tell stories about their lives. This Seattle performance, called Best Before, is a video game with a giant screen upstage—each audience member gets a Nintendo game controller and an avatar. The "renegade game developers" onstage and the players in the audience build (and possibly destroy) a world together. (On the Boards, 100 W Roy St, 217-9888. 8 pm, $24. Through May 9.)

MAY 7, 2010


'Willy Wonka' in 

Why: Fuck 3-D. 3-D is for the kind of wusses who jump at cheap horror-movie scares. No, the future of interactive cinema is Smell-O-Vision, and you can get in on the ground floor at SIFF Cinema tonight with a scent-centric screening of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (the original, not the Tim Burton reheat). The theater will fill your nose-holes with the scent of chocolate, butterscotch, and schnozberries at appropriate moments; Gene Wilder will molest you with his eyes; and with your goody bag of treats, you will fall into a high-blood-sugar coma of delight. (SIFF Cinema, 321 Mercer St, 324-9996. 7 and 9:30 pm, $10.)

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