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The Biggest Events You Should Know About This Weekend

Written by on February 20, 2020

Right after the Nevada caucuses on Saturday, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren will rally for her campaign at Seattle Center.

DREW ANGERER / GETTY IMAGES

All week long, we’ve been posting lists of Seattle events to keep you busy (including the best arts & culture events, quirky things to do, and the best music shows to see), but we realize there’s a lot to sort through. So, if you only have time to read one list, make it this one: We’ve plucked the biggest events you need to know about in every genre, from the Seattle Polar Plunge to Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and from the Seattle Wine and Food Experience to Fremont’s pre-Mardi Gras Petite Troll Parade. See them all below, and find even more things to do this weekend on our complete EverOut Things To Do calendar.


Jump to: Food & Drink | Mardi Gras | Sports & Recreation | Comedy & Performances | Major Concerts & Music Shows| Film | Museum Events | Other Noteworthy Happenings


FOOD & DRINK EVENTS

Alki Winter Beer & Food Truck Festival

As Special Olympics Washington attempts their annual Polar Plunge into the punishingly icy waters of Puget Sound, the Mobile Food Rodeo will provide warming sustenance for plungers and onlookers alike with plenty of food trucks, plus over 20 beers on tap.

Saturday, Alki Beach (West Seattle)

Ghostfish 5th Anniversary Weekend Celebration

Ghostfish Brewing Company will stretch its fifth birthday into a weekend of festivities. Come through on Friday for the release of their 5th Anniversary Doppelbock, come back on Saturday for special menu items and the release of a barrel-aged tart Saison, and, if you end up boozing too hard, roll in on Sunday for a hangover brunch.

Friday-Sunday, Ghostfish Brewing Company (Sodo)

Seattle Thorrablót 2020

The mid-winter Icelandic festival Þorrablót is filled with traditional food (like fermented shark meat), Brennivin schnapps, and music (provided here by Icelandic band Sour Balls).

Saturday, National Nordic Museum (Ballard)

Seattle Wine and Food Experience

This annual extravaganza of all things edible and drinkable is an ode to gluttony in three parts. After Thursday’s Comfort (a festival of “feel-good foods and crafty brews,” complete with bars for french fries, Bloody Marys, and cozy cocktails) comes POP! Bubbles and Seafood, which capitalizes on the felicitous pairing of bubbles and bivalves with more than 30 sparkling wines from around the world and seafood-driven bites from 20 Seattle chefs. Finally, the Grand Tasting will showcase local and regional wines, beer, cider, spirits, and tastes from big-name Seattle chefs, with plenty of opportunities to watch demonstrations and meet artisan food producers. JULIANNE BELL

Friday-Saturday, Various locations

See also: Unique margaritas to try for National Margarita Day.

MARDI GRAS EVENTS

Brazilian Carnival

This 26th annual Carnaval event celebrates music and dance traditions across Brazil with Eduardo Mendonça, Show Brazil!, and others.

Saturday, Crocodile (Belltown)

Fastelavn 2020: A Danish Carnival in Seattle

The Danish kids’ carnival Fastelavn invites little ones to “beat the cat out of the barrel” to chase away the winter spirit, swing at a piñata, eat candy, make crafts (like a fastelavnsris, which kids use to flog their lazy parents to wake them up Fastelavn Sunday), and more.

Sunday, Seattle Danish Center (North Seattle)

Island Soul’s Mardi Gras Celebration

Columbia City’s family-run Caribbean-Southern spot will fête Mardi Gras for a whole week, with a featured dish each day and drink specials all weekend long.

Friday-Sunday, Island Soul Restaurant (Columbia City)

Mardi Gras in New Orleans: Dr. John and Art Neville

Celebrate late New Orleans blues icons Dr. John and Art Neville with a lively evening of tribute performances by Jeff Fielder, Keith Lowe, Eric Eagle, Tim Kennedy, and others.

Friday, the Royal Room (Columbia City)

Petit Troll Parade

Join the Neon Brass Party at the Fremont Sunday Market for a flashy mini parade a couple days before Fat Tuesday. They’ll be decked out in glittery costumes as they galavant down the street with mini floats in tow.

Sunday, Fremont Sunday Market

See also: The biggest & best Mardi Gras 2020 events.

SPORTS & RECREATION

Chilly Hilly

Show winter that you’re a force to be reckoned with by hopping the ferry to Bainbridge Island to bike a 33-mile bike route in this annual race that’s been going strong for 48 years.

Sunday, Pyramid Alehouse (Sodo)

Lunar New Year 5K 2020

Lion dance performances and firecrackers will get you warmed up for this mostly flat 5K, the last major Seattle-area Lunar New Year celebration this year.

Sunday, Shoreline Interurban Trail

Seattle Dragons vs. Dallas Renegades

XFL team the Seattle Dragons will take on the Dallas Renegades in the second home game of their inaugural season. 

Saturday, CenturyLink Field (Pioneer Square)

Seattle Polar Plunge

If you slept through the various Polar Plunges on New Year’s Day, head to West Seattle to dive into the icy waters of the Puget Sound to raise money for Special Olympics Washington. If you’re too scared to jump in, you can keep warm in the “chicken coop” while still raising funds. There’ll be beer, food trucks, and live DJs, too.

Saturday, Alki Beach (West Seattle)

Willy Nilly Bike Ride

For a less-intense alternative to the Chilly Hilly bike ride, it doesn’t get more lackadaisical than Willy Nilly, a 10- to 60-mile route (“your pace, your style”) that goes from West Seattle to Vashon Island and back again. Riders are encouraged to stop for food and drinks at establishments along the way.

Sunday, Beveridge Place Pub (West Seattle)

COMEDY & PERFORMANCES

12 Minutes Max at Base

This show features 12 minutes (“surprisingly quick or unfortunately long”—Rich Smith) of brand-new work from Pacific Northwest performers, who this time were chosen by curators Mario Martinez and Kathy Moore. This edition will feature such diverse acts as Melissa Sanderson “Letting Go is an Acquired Taste,” based on her “recent personal history as an object of study”; Ben Gale-Schreck’s feedback-loop-based “Balloonacentipede”; Sebastian Arredondo’s dance “Ceremonia del Flor”; and more. Stay on after the Sunday performance for a party.

Sunday, Base: Experimental Arts + Space (Georgetown)

1984​

On the subject of George Orwell’s literary masterpiece, I stand with Kristen Stewart, who was unfairly maligned for calling the book, “a love story of epic, epic, epic proportion.” Though I, too, take issue with all three deployments of the word “epic” in this context, Stewart is absolutely correct in her analysis. Sure, the book has retained its currency long after its titular date, but, for me, the intensity of its love story and the richness of its description of human sensation has always outshined the prescience of its politics. Radial Theater Project, the local troupe producing Tim Robbins’s (who’s also coincidentally in town directing The New Colossus—see below) theatrical adaptation of the story, is well positioned to highlight those qualities with a fantastic cast in the cozy theater at 18th and Union. RICH SMITH

Friday-Sunday, 18th & Union (Capitol Hill)

The Actors’ Gang: The New Colossus

Twelve actors of diverse origins and heritage will tell the stories of their ancestors in this tribute to the strength and courage of refugees. This touring production is directed by Tim Robbins and performed by the Actors Gang, a justice-oriented Los Angeles troupe founded in 1981.

Friday-Saturday, Moore Theatre (Belltown)

Admissions

Playwright Joshua Harmon (Bad Jews)’s new, award-winning play tackles affluent, “liberal white America” through the story of a prep school admissions chief named Sherri. In her professional life, she’s successfully helped diversify the student body, but her ideals are challenged when her son reveals his determination to attend an Ivy League university.

Friday-Sunday, Seattle Public Theater (Green Lake)

The Angel in the House

During the Victorian era, Coventry Patmore wrote a poem describing the ideal wife as an “angel in the house” who lives to please her man, as it were. Nobody liked the poem at the time, but it became popular around the turn of the century, and its ideology was pervasive enough to spur Virginia Woolf to write a whole essay collection critiquing it. “Killing the Angel in the House was part of the occupation of a woman writer,” she wrote. Quadruple-threat Sara Porkalob, who has built her career on a biographical trilogy about her cool family, said her love of Victorian-era literature and her passionate agreement with Woolf’s takedown inspired her riff on this cursed character. Like her Dragon Cycle, The Angel in the House will serve as the first installment of a new play cycle based on “magic, the occult, revenge, blood, and sacrifice.” Unlike the Dragon Cycle, the show is a thriller that looks like a murder mystery at first but ends up being something else entirely. Major reasons to be excited include local stars Ray Tagavilla and Ayo Tushinde, plus the joy of watching a writer/director exploring completely new territory. RICH SMITH

Friday-Sunday, Cafe Nordo (Pioneer Square)

Bliss

The third of 5th Avenue’s new musicals this season is Bliss, written by Emma Lively and Tyler Beattie and choreographed by Josh Prince (the Broadway choreographer of Shrek and Beautiful). It follows four sister princesses who sneak out of their castle, determined to be belles of the ball in their fairy-tale world.

Friday-Sunday, the 5th Avenue Theatre (Downtown)

Charlie Parker’s ‘Yardbird’

Jazz icon Charlie Parker gets the operatic treatment in this Seattle Opera production of Daniel Schnyder’s Yardbird, a journey through limbo by Parker, who struggles to complete his last masterpiece amidst a series of flashbacks that showcases the glorious heyday of iconic NYC jazz club Birdland, as well as the failures and victories of Parker’s dynamic life.

Saturday-Sunday, McCaw Hall (Seattle Center)

The Children

In this Tony Award-nominated play by Lucy Kirkwood, two retired nuclear scientists on the coast of an environmentally devastated England receive a disruptive visit from an old friend.

Friday-Sunday, Seattle Repertory Theatre (Seattle Center)

Disney’s ‘Frozen’

I’ve written in the past that I have a warm spot in my heart for Frozen, Disney’s second-highest-grossing animated film, about a princess who sets out on a quest (with a group of helpful sidekicks, of course) to find her estranged older sister after said sister’s icy magical powers accidentally bring eternal winter to their kingdom. Now the Tony-nominated Broadway show from Disney Theatrical Productions, directed by Michael Grandage, is coming to Seattle for an engagement that promises “sensational special effects, stunning sets and costumes, and powerhouse performances.” Expect all those earwormy songs (including the relentlessly triumphant, hard-not-to-sing-along-and-make-dramatic-hand-gestures-to “Let It Go”), plus an expanded score that features a dozen new numbers by the film’s songwriters, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and EGOT winner Robert Lopez. LEILANI POLK

Friday-Sunday, Paramount Theatre (Downtown)

Grupo Corpo

Brazilian dance company Grupo Corpo, known for their extensive international tours, will present two pieces pairing classical ballet with Latin dance: the baroque Bach and the poetry- and religion-tinged Gira.

Friday-Saturday, Meany Center for the Performing Arts (University District)

Our Country’s Good

Timberlake Wertenbaker’s play, staged here by Strawberry Theatre Workshop, depicts a group of convicts in 18th-century New South Wales who are encouraged by British Navy officers to put on George Farquhar’s restoration comedy The Recruiting Officer. In the words of the Workshop, the play is especially relevant to the current day, because “The United States incarcerates more people than any country in the world; the US constitutes 4% of the world population, but keeps 22% of the world’s prisoners behind bars. Many prison inmates haven’t been convicted of anything—they are jailed awaiting trial or a hearing on their immigration status.”

Friday-Saturday, 12th Avenue Arts (Capitol Hill)

Peacock

An ambitious young man in 1920s Paris works his way up in a ritzy nightclub in Can Can’s latest kitschy-glam, flesh-baring, plot-driven revue.

Friday-Sunday, Can Can (Downtown)

Seattle International Dance Festival Winter Mini-fest

Once again, the Khambatta Dance Company will team up with international choreographers and dance troupes to produce two weekends of exciting performances. This year, director Cyrus Khambatta and Jaewoo Jung and Kyoung-Shin Kim from South Korea’s Unplugged Bodies company will dance new and established pieces, with a different lineup each weekend. On February 21–22, Unplugged Bodies’ duet Two Bodies will be paired with Khambatta Dance Company’s Crowd Control, which draws on the theme of protest movements around the world.

Friday-Saturday, Erickson Theatre Off Broadway (Capitol Hill)

She Loves Me

You know the story: two people who hate each other in real life are unwittingly in love with each other in a different realm. It’s based on the same 1937 play, Parfumerie, that Nora Ephron’s You’ve Got Mail was based on. In She Loves Me, which is set in the 1930s, the romantic leads are Amalia Balash (Allison Standley) and Georg Nowack (Eric Ankrim). They spar in the perfume shop where they both work and while corresponding anonymously as pen pals connected through a Lonely Hearts Club. No one is as happy as they seem in She Loves Me and everyone seems to be hiding something. Maybe love could fix all this. Through the constant hum of music that serves as the heartbeat to She Loves Me, each character gets a breath of individuality. There are no showstoppers here. Some of the characters shine, and others fade into the background, all while telling us what they yearn for, or what they think they yearn for. Mostly, that’s love. NATHALIE GRAHAM

Friday-Sunday, Village Theatre (Issaquah)

Snow White

Two actors will portray Snow White, the evil queen, seven dwarfs, the talking mirror, and the huntsman in this ambitious children’s theater production written by Greg Banks and directed by Desdemona Chiang.

Saturday-Sunday, Seattle Children’s Theatre (Seattle Center)

Solo: A Festival of Dance

I love solos. They hold the attention of a room like nothing else in the world of performance. They’re like the cat in that old theater rule about never allowing cats onstage because it’s all the audience will look at. That’s because the cat, like the solo dancer, is completely unpredictable. Two dancers, even in an improv show, project a sort of ordered world. In a solo, anything can happen. If this iteration is the same as On the Boards’ inaugural edition in 2018, expect a good mix of local and national dancers showcasing incredible choreography they’d have a hard time producing anywhere else—not because it’s bad, but because venues rarely afford solo pieces big stages. RICH SMITH

Friday-Sunday, On the Boards (Queen Anne)

Through the Eyes of Art: A Salute to Black Comedy

In this entertaining annual Black History Month tribute to black excellence, community members, political leaders, artists, and others will explore the rich incarnations of black comedy and its role in raising awareness of social issues.

Friday, MoPOP (Seattle Center)

The Turn of the Screw

Book-It will adapt Henry James’s chilling and ambiguous Victorian ghost novel about a naive governess who discovers what she perceives as evil supernatural influences trying to possess her two charges. Carol Roscoe will direct an adaptation by Rachel Atkins.

Friday-Sunday, Book-It Repertory Theatre (Seattle Center)

See also: Our arts & culture critics’ picks for the week.

MAJOR CONCERTS & MUSIC SHOWS

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Perhaps Cleveland, Ohio’s chief contribution to the history of hiphop, the melodic rap stylings of Bone Thugs now seem almost prophetic, with more rappers singing these days than actually rapping. The Eazy-E-signed quintet have undergone many changes and bumps along the way since their smash single “Crossroads,” releasing the album New Waves in 2017 with just Krayzie and Bizzy Bone. Expect to see the original lineup in full force, combining old-school lyricism and forward-thinking harmonies that will get any crowd going. NICK ZURKO

Friday, the Showbox (Downtown)

Brandi Carlile with Seattle Symphony, the Secret Sisters

The experience of listening to Brandi Carlile’s 2018 album, By the Way, I Forgive You, is similar to that of listening to Carole King’s Tapestry or Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks; it’s a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, and a lot of hard truths about the human race. Carlile’s talents lie in her tone, a dusky alto that swims around confessions of heartbreak and lifelong efforts to love and be loved, with the deftness of a much more senior troubadour. She’ll be joined in this performance of her recent works by the Seattle Symphony, with an opening set by Americana singer-songwriter duo the Secret Sisters. KIM SELLING

Friday-Sunday, Benaroya Hall (Downtown)

Combo Chimbita, Y La Bamba, Savila

This is such an ideal lineup for a night spent watching lasers bounce around a big old dome. Headliner Combo Chimbita are composed of four first-gen New Yorkers who have roots in Colombia. They fuse cumbia with genres they loved growing up, creating their own new danceable genre, “tropical futurism.” Portland-based folk-rockers Y La Bamba put out two of the best albums of 2019 (Mujeres and Entre Los Dos), and are led by Luz Elena Mendoza, a musician with a tremendous voice and an even bigger spirit. The very chill Latin/cumbia/R&B-inspired Sávila are also not to be missed. Take an edible and float. JASMYNE KEIMIG

Sunday, Laser Dome at Pacific Science Center (Queen Anne)

Kremwerk 6-Year Anniversary Week

Kremwerk, the downtown tri-venue compound boasting exceptional live music, dance, and drag events, will celebrate their sixth birthday this weekend with a plethora of events featuring—you guessed it—live music, dance, and drag.

Friday-Sunday, Kremwerk (Downtown)

Sound Off! 2020 Finals

For the 19th year, MoPOP’s Sound Off! will pit local, under-21 bands against each other in this concert series that rewards the first-place winner with a performance slot at Bumbershoot. Throughout these three nights, each band (which for this second installment includes 49th Parallel, Mr. Dinkles, Searows, and thom.ko) will get the chance to show off their skills in an effort to win the big prize.

Saturday, MoPOP (Seattle Center)

Sudan Archives

Named for the goddess of wisdom, war, and the arts, Athena is an apt introduction and shows what Sudan’s capable of achieving with support from a team of producers that included Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, Sampha) and Paul White (Danny Brown, Charli XCX). It’s bigger and more ambitious than her bedroom productions, more slickly and finely wrought without losing its DIY moments. She bares it all, literally, on the album’s cover, which finds her nude, sculpted in bronze, posing strong and proud like a Greek goddess, balancing a violin on one hand, and within the album, where she addresses themes of family, sex, rebelliousness, money, and heartache. Her combination of earthy and electro sounds is reminiscent of trip-hop, though instead of jumping off from jazz and hip-hop, it’s rooted in R&B and African sounds. Its ethereally groovy, pared-back production is magnetic, a mix of bowing and pizzicato plucking that’s often layered, looped, and/or effected to add texture and dimension to her compositions, though her violin limit-pushing and experimentation remain accessible. LEILANI POLK

Friday, Barboza (Capitol Hill)

Wintergrass

Bluegrass artists from near and far will gather to play their twangy, resonant music at this annual festival. This year’s lineup includes Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Darrell Scott, the Kruger Brothers, Che Apalache, the Warren G Hardings, and many others. 

Friday-Sunday, Hyatt Regency (Bellevue)

Wonder Women

Celebrate the works of women composers like Boulanger, Beach, and Price in this performance of songs and stories of strong women throughout history.

Saturday, Benaroya Hall (Downtown)

See also: Our music critics’ picks for the week.

FILM

‘Call of the Wild’ Opening

Chris Sanders brings the Jack London classic to the screen.

Friday-Sunday, Various locations

CatVideoFest 2020

Spend some time appreciating the glories of the feline realm on the big screen instead of on YouTube at this annual celebration of the divine conjunction of cats and internet. Watch them purr, romp, pounce, and cuddle—and, if you choose to donate with your ticket admission, feel good knowing your dollar is benefitting Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). On Saturday, celebrity feline Klaus the Cat will make a special guest appearance. 

Saturday-Sunday, SIFF Cinema Uptown (Queen Anne)

‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ Opening

From Céline Sciamma (Girlhood), Portrait of a Lady on Fire is set in 18th century France, where young artist Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is commissioned to paint a portrait of Héloïse (Adèle Haenel) for potential suitors to fall in love with. One thing: Héloïse does not want her portrait done, as she does not want to get married. So Marianne poses as her maid to get close to the lady, completing the painting in secret. But of course this closeness and secretiveness makes them all hot for each other. Portrait was the first woman-directed film to take home the Queer Palm award at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and was also nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes. JASMYNE KEIMIG

Friday-Sunday, SIFF Cinema Egyptian (Capitol Hill)

Seattle Asian American Film Festival 2020

Films by and about Asian Americans are showcased at this annual festival, which always includes diverse features and short films about the rich and varied experiences of these populations, particularly in Seattle and the Northwest.

Friday-Sunday, Northwest Film Forum (Capitol Hill)

Seattle Black Film Festival 2020 (Bainbridge Island)

I have yet to attend a Langston Hughes African American Film Festival [ed. note: the name has changed this year] that doesn’t have an important black-directed or black-themed film that’s somehow been missed by the wider film community or is unavailable in any format—web, disk, cable, theater. CHARLES MUDEDE

Sunday, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

MUSEUM EVENTS

Frye Art Museum Community Day

Art enthusiasts of all ages are invited to explore the galleries, make art, learn fascinating facts on art tours, watch a movie from SIFF education, and hear music by Magic Key featuring Mike Fox and Seattle University violinists.

Saturday, Frye Art Museum (First Hill)

Seattle Museum Month

Visiting Seattle? For the entire month of February, get discounts on admission to a number of local museums, including the Burke Museum, the Seattle Asian Art Museum, the National Nordic Museum, MoPOP, and others. When you check into a participating downtown Seattle hotel, ask for a Museum Month packet for a map of participating museums and a guest pass. If you’re a local, book yourself a staycation or attend special events. 

Friday-Sunday, Various locations

OTHER NOTEWORTHY HAPPENINGS

Octopus Week

Show some love for the one and only eight-limbed, big-brained mollusk at this week-long octopus fest complete with special feeding demos, hands-on kids’ activities, and educational talks.

Friday-Sunday, Seattle Aquarium (Downtown)

Rally with Elizabeth Warren

One day after Washington State voters receive their primary ballots, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren will rally for her campaign in Seattle.

Saturday, Seattle Center

Seattle Home Show

Homeowners looking to cozy up their new abode can get inspired by landscape and decor displays, chat with gardening and design experts, and, of course, shop for home goods. There will also be a wine and beer garden presented by Sleep Number (who we assume will provide comfy mattresses to sit on), cooking demos, and more.

Friday-Sunday, CenturyLink Field Event Center (Downtown)

See also: quirky and unusual things to do this week.

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