In the news:
13 of the week's top entertainment events
The Week Ahead is a weekly list of top entertainment options in the Seattle area. This week, among 13 offerings: the opening of "The Secret World of Arrietty," the anime version of "The Borrowers"; the last of Season 2 for "Downton Abbey" on KCTS; and Octopus Week at Seattle Aquarium.
'The Secret World of Arrietty'
This Disney release is a splendid anime version of "The Borrowers." Dubbed in English and cowritten by Hayao Miyazaki ("Spirited Away," "Ponyo"), it stars Bridgit Mendler as the title character, a young girl from a 4-inch-tall family of "Borrowers" secretly dwelling in a house of full-size humans. The voice cast also includes Amy Poehler, Will Arnett and Carol Burnett. For showtimes, see Page 6. For Tom Keogh's recent 3 ½-star review, go to www.seattletimes.com.
"Downton Abbey" — complete with snow, a Christmas tree and an ever-quotable Dowager Countess in velvet — ends Season 2 Sunday night with an hour-and-a-half episode (aired on British television as a Christmas special). Tune in and find out: Will Matthew and Mary end up in each others' arms? Will Bates be found guilty? Will Thomas and O'Brien sneer knowingly at each other? Watch and revel; it's all we'll see until Season 3, many months from now.
9 p.m., KCTS.
PBS' "Great Performances" series airs this Tony award-winning musical set in the 1950s with the original Broadway cast (including Seattle native Chad Kimball and Montego Glover). 9 p.m. Friday on KCTS.
Barking Frog pastries
Barking Frog pastry chef Matt Kelley will show you how to make some easy decadent desserts like chocolate passion fruit parfait at home. It's a free class, held Wednesday, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Fireside Cellars inside the Willows Lodge in Woodinville. Held at 14580 N.E. 145th St. (425-424-3900 or www.willowslodge.com).
All things bacon
The Blue Ribbon Cooking & Culinary Center offers a cooking class on all things bacon from stirring an Old Fashioned cocktail with bacon infused bourbon to making crème caramel with bacon brittle. And we haven't even gotten around to talking about the main courses yet. Class costs $95. Held at 6 p.m. Monday at 2501 Fairview Ave. E., Seattle. Check www.cookingschoolsofamerica.com/blueribbonunder "calendar" for more detail.
Octopus Week at Seattle Aquarium
All things octopus are happening this week, with daily octopus feedings and talks, and a variety of kids activities. At noon on Feb. 25, the aquarium's octopus will go to its new home under the pier, with live video so visitors can monitor the event. Octopi events run through Feb. 26. The Seattle Aquarium, 1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59, Seattle; $13.95-$19.95 (206-386-4300 or www.seattleaquarium.org).
Washington State History Museum
Monday is the opening day of the Washington State History Museum's exhibit, "Hope in Hard Time: Washington during the Great Depression." Photo exhibits and other visual records, popular music of the era, memorabilia, programs, gallery talks, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday. Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma; $6-$8, free admission with canned food bank donation opening day Monday (888-238-4373 or www.washingtonhistory.org).
The frontman of the high-energy Brooklyn band The Hold Steady has made a solo recording, which he'll promote in a Friday night appearance at The Crocodile Café. Tickets are $15-$18 at Sonic Boom Records in Ballard or at thecrocodile.com.
'I Am My Own Wife'
Local performer Nick Garrison is a man of many faces in Doug Wright's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about a transvestite in Nazi- and communist-era Germany. Extended through March 10, Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St., Seattle; $12-$49 (206-443-2222 or www.seattlerep.org).
Stars on Ice
Skating greats Sasha Cohen, Ekaterina Gordeeva, Kurt Browning and Ilia Kulik are among the performers in the latest version of the popular showcase that warms hearts in the U.S., Canada and Japan. 5:30 p.m. Saturday, KeyArena, Seattle Center; $26-$143 (800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com).
Julia Fischer, Itzhak Perlman, Hahn-Bin
Valentine's Day is past, but the coming days will make violin-lovers' hearts beat faster. At 7:30 p.m. Monday, the elegant Julia Fischer appears in recital with pianist Milana Chernyavska; the masterful Itzhak Perlman performs with the Seattle Symphony at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; and at 7:30 p.m. Friday, the Perlman student-turned-unconventional genius Hahn-Bin joins the annual "Celebrate Asia" festival with guest conductor Mei Ann Chen. All at Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; ticket info at 206-215-4747 or www.seattlesymphony.org.
Hear the popular physicist, author and commentator discuss his new book, "Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100." 7:30 p.m. Friday, Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle; $5 (800-838-3006 or www.townhallseattle.org).
Winter break at SAM
The Seattle Art Museum will have extended hours during winter break for Seattle schools and offer a variety of kids' art activities, a good deal since admission is free for the 12-and-under set. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Seattle Art Museum, 100 University St., Seattle; admission including Gauguin exhibit, $23/adults, reduced rates for seniors, members of the military and teens. $3 off admission 5-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday (206-654-3100 or www.seattleartmuseum.org).