This Week in Performance: Weekend of January 30th, 2014

The Michael Owcharuk Trio perform at Vito's this coming Wednesday. Image by Omar Willey.
The Michael Owcharuk Trio perform at Vito’s this coming Wednesday. Image by Omar Willey.

As is bound to happen here at This Week, the week just happens to be dominated with Theater events, but we’ll get to that later. Let’s turn our focus to…

…where we are highlighting something of a grab bag for you to consider.

This Saturday, over at Barboza — the new music club underneath the Mo Bar — an evening of your eclectic-type rock, with the Young Evils (who kind of sound like Celebration), the Vampire Weekend-ish EXOHXO, and local upstarts, Ghost Pains, open up the evening. If the demo on their page is anything to go by, they’ve got a Stooges thing going.

Also on Saturday in East Lake’s Black Lodge, fans of Hex Records have a night to call their own, as hard core acts The Helm, Portland’s Low Sky, and Washington/Alaska hybrid She take the stage. The key descriptor here is “Hard Core”, if you need more information than that, check the links.

Finally, next Wednesday at the lushly re-decorated Vito’s on First Hill, the Michael Owcharuk Trio take up their regularly scheduled residence. Both the trio and venue are part of Seattle’s unsung jazz scene, but where Owcharuk continues to expand what constitutes a standard, Vito’s complements that with a particularly enhancing setting.


Speaking of perfect settings, the Velocity Dance Studio is hosting The Bridge Project 2014 through this weekend (starting on Friday). Velocity’s intimate four walls is the perfect place to catch what four local young choreographers (Shannon Stewart, Babette McGeady, Anna Conner and Colleen McNeary) were able to create inside of four weeks, an idea that certainly makes us excited. Sure to sell out, so get tickets now.


As the Theater section is just about to dominate this page with a ton of text, let’s take a moment to welcome Comedy into the This Week fold. This is a strong scene in town — about as strong as any other, honestly — but, because Seattle strongly avoids celebrating anything that hails from here, there really isn’t a great place to find out all of what happens here. We don’t claim to be the solution to this problem, but we at least want to help.

That said, you likely will have heard of the following event: Weird & Awesome with Emmett Montgomery has its monthly showcase happen this Sunday. Hosted by Seattle’s resident bearded-humorous-weirdo, Weird and Awesome is much like spending the evening at your uncle’s house while his eccentric friends regale you with stories, songs, acts and jokes. It’s a very pleasant, low-key time.

Something you likely haven’t heard about yet is Pocket Theater’s production of Peter n’ Chris and the Kinda OK Corral happening this weekend at the West of Lenin. The internationally celebrated sketch-comedy-duo, who just recently won the Best Comedy award at the Montreal Fringe for the second year in a row, come to town with their take on the Western genre.


All right, fine, we’ve ignored Theater long enough. Let’s start with a special engagement up at the North Seattle Community College, where renowned soloist Dawson Nichols is reprising his hit I Might Be Edgar Allan Poe, before he takes the show on an international tour. Nichols has a way of crafting characters who slowly insinuate their way into your consciousness, which is fitting, given the show’s subject matter. (Friday night only!)

Meanwhile, the folks at Washington Ensemble Theatre bring us Ed, Downloaded, and intriguing little SciFi tale. In a scenario seemingly out of the pages of Transmetropolitan tells a story set in a world where humanity could have its memories digitally downloaded onto a cloud. Billed as “half-live action play and half-feature film,” this evening could have just the right mix of SciFi exploration of human trope, with fantastical staging.

Inside ACT’s Allen Theater, the UMO Ensemble returns with their hit Red Tiger Tales, a production your correspondent has recommended highly in the past. Family friendly and deeply philosophic, Tiger Tales combines clowning with Zen koans in order to explore life’s various follies. (This weekend only!)

We finish out the week’s Theater slate with a couple of productions from Annex Theatre. For reasons that will soon become evident, let’s first talk about Story and Song, their latest OFf Night offering. Created by Annex’s Bret Fetzer, in collaboration with Eric Padget and Sari Breznau (from the Circus Contraption), Story and Song is a new cycle of fairy tales written by Fetzer, underscored with music written by Padget and Breznau. There are those in town that recall Fetzer’s work in the fairy tale genre, these folks know to expect a glib and rollicking time. (Performed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.)

And so, we come to Black Like Us, Annex’s Mainstage co-production along with Brownbox Theatre. In the interests of full disclosure, your correspondent is the director on this production. So, while he feels a bit self-conscious plugging his own project on these pages (not aided by talking in the third person), what he can tell you is this: Rachel Atkins’ story is a frank, honest and humorous look at the dynamics created when one African American woman realizes that she could live life as a White person in the 1950s and the ripples this decision has on the lives of three White women in the present day. The cast — which is evenly split along color lines if that’s important to you — features some of Seattle’s better female actors. The fear is that, due to the fact that Race is talked about openly, Seattle audiences will forget that there is much that’s meant to be funny about this play; the piece welcomes laughter. With luck, the racial diversity in the audience will mirror that of the cast and some of that awkwardness will melt quickly.

Break legs to the weekend’s other productions!


Let’s finish this weeks entry with a couple of shows that defy easy categorization. Which isn’t to say that it’s difficult to understand what RISK! is about. Belonging to the “story-show” format popularized by The Moth and This American Life, RISK!, which is hosted by Reno 9-1-1‘s Kevin Allison, will feature a number of Seattle luminaries like Kelleen Conway Blanchard, Emmett Montgomery and Summer Waldon, among others. The evening is being brought to you by our friends at Seattle Gay Scene in conjunction with the High Line Bar in Capitol Hill.

Finally, let’s talk about this week’s other Cabaret event, WET and the April Festival’s Six Pack Series: Too Famous to Blame Us. The idea’s much the same as the “story-shows” talked about above, except WET asks its writers to come up with a story to share, and then riddles them with drink. The idea is to create a raucous evening, and it often works — if that is your cup of tea.

Have an event you’d like to have included in the Star calendar? Send an email to

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