Mike's adventures in art: An earth-ending flood, therapeutic play, and high school musical
If you're looking for tips on how to experience art in the Seattle area, you're in the right place. In this weekly post, KUOW arts reporter Mike Davis has suggestions for what to do around Seattle over the weekend so you can have your own adventures in arts and culture.
Jónsi's FLÓÐ, at the National Nordic Museum is my pick of the week. Jónsi (Jón Þór Birgisson), artist and lead singer of Icelandic band Sigur Rós, created an immersive experience for his first exhibition in the United States.
In this exhibit, you enter a dark room, with dense fog, the smell of the ocean, sounds from over 30 speakers lining the walls, and light from an LED strip spanning the ceiling — and experience a wave strong enough to end civilization.
Jónsi took inspiration from his hometown, which is similar to Seattle with grey skies, lots of rain, proximity to the ocean, and seasonal depression. This exhibit reminds us that we are one massive wave away from destruction. By incorporating a custom scent, surround sound that you can feel in your bones, and creepy fog that lingers like a cloud ready to burst with rain, Jónsi puts audiences right on the beach as the final wave approaches.
Jónsi's FLÓÐ (Flood), is at the National Nordic Museum March 17 - July 30
Every Brilliant Thing, at ACT Theater, is a simple, one-person play. The set is a stool with a few rugs, and the use of props is minimal. The heart of the play is the story and the audience interaction. The plot follows a man as he recounts his upbringing living with his mother who suffers from depression. To help her see that life is worth living, the boy creates a list of all the wonderful things in the world. As the audience follows the boy's journey into high school, college, dating, marriage, divorce — this list continues grow and takes on new life as more and more people contribute their own brilliant things.
The audience plays a key role in this production. Prior to the play, cards are distributed, seemingly at random, and as the story unfolds on stage, the actor calls out to people holding cards for participation. This ranges from simply reading the note on the card out loud, to becoming a reoccurring character, such as the boy's father. The level of participation, and the varying asks of people in the crowd, ensure that no two plays will be same.
Every Brilliant Thing is showing at ACT Theater until March 31
Little Shop of Horrors, is showing at West Seattle High School. This is a chance to see a high school musical performed by actual high school students! This well-known musical is fun, and seeing the production by local students was a treat. They transformed their school theater into skid-row, and the singing, dancing, and puppeteering was on point.
Little Shop of Horrors is showing at West Seattle High School until March 31