The Week Ahead: Sasquatch! Sam Kean and tribe portraits
The week of May 18 brings festivals, burger tasting and lots of music.
Steven Knight’s tight little drama takes place almost entirely in the front seat of a car, during real time, as a man (played by Tom Hardy) drives from Birmingham to London on a night that will change his life. We see no other characters; only hear them through a phone headset. And, for the most part, it works like gangbusters. Now playing at Harvard Exit. For showtimes, see Page H6. For Seattle Times movie critic Moira Macdonald’s full 3.5-star review, go to www.seattletimes.com/movies.
‘Dancing with the Stars’ and ‘The Voice’
The season finales of both of these popular competition shows air at 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 20, on ABC (“Dancing”) and NBC (“The Voice”).
‘Survivor’ and ‘American Idol’
New champions will be crowned on the season finales of both of these long-running competition series at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 21, on CBS (“Survivor”) and Fox (“Idol”).
Best burger competition
Come check out the throwdown in downtown. RN74 chef David Varley will compete with two guest chefs to see who makes the best burger. You can sample the entries (three mini burgers and a glass of Burgundy for $20). 4 p.m. Friday, May 23, 1433 Fourth Ave., Seattle (206-456-7474 or michaelmina.net).
Everybody’s favorite Northwest rock festival lasts only three days this year, after a plan that called for two three-day festivals, one in spring and one in summer (the latter was canceled). But there are still some great headliners at the frolic by the river, including Outkast, The National, Queens of the Stone Age, M.I.A. and Foster the People. May 23-25, the Gorge Amphitheatre, 754 Silica Road N.W., George, Grant County; sold out (800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com).
Seattle’s “back porch” celebration of homemade music focuses on the arts and music of the Northwest’s East Indian community as well offering the usual showcase of bluegrass, Marimba, Morris dance, clogging, jugglers, clowns and workshops. May 23-26, Seattle Center; free (206-684-7300 or nwfolklife.org).
Backstreet Boys, Avril Lavigne
With 130 million records sales worldwide, the Backstreet Boys are the biggest-selling “boy band” in history, though they are hardly boys anymore, this being their 21st year as a group. Touring with the original lineup — A.J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, and Brian Littrell — the group has matured, as evidenced by its adult contemporary-flavored 2013 album, “In a World Like This.” They are joined on this double bill by Canadian punk pop star Avril Lavigne, whose catchy new single, “Hello Kitty,” appears to be a K-pop sendup. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 22, at WaMu Theater, 800 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle; $56.50-$141.10 (800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com).
One of the most interesting science writers working today discusses his new book “The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness and Recovery.” 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 20, Town Hall Seattle, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle; $5 (206-652-4255 or townhallseattle.org).
The author of a recent biography of John Cheever has his own memoir out, “The Splendid Things We Planned: A Family Portrait.” He discusses the book in conversation with Tom Nissley. 7 p.m. Thursday, May 22, Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., Seattle; free (206-322-7030 or hugohouse.org).
Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
The irrepressible “Freakonomics” authors have a new book out — “Think Like a Freak.” 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 23, Town Hall Seattle, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle; $5 (206-652-4255 or townhallseattle.org).
Inspired by the letters-only relationship between author Gore Vidal and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, Edmund White’s play tells the story of a writer who pays a visit to “America’s most notorious terrorist on death row.” Through June 15, a Bridges Stage Company/Central Heating Lab production at ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle; tickets start at $25 (206-292-7676 or acttheatre.org).
Seattle Pro Musica
Karen P. Thomas’ company presents Brahms’ soaring German Requiem, complete with full orchestra and soloists Alexandra Picard and Charles Robert Austin, in a stately cathedral setting. This Requiem is dedicated to Seattle musician/composer and St. Mark choirmaster Peter Hallock, who died in April. 8 p.m. Sunday, May 18, St. James Cathedral, 804 Ninth Ave., Seattle; $15-$38 (800-838-3006 or brownpapertickets.com).
Spectrum Dance Theater
Contemporary dance and a live string quartet meet in “Rambunctious: A Festival of American Composers and Dance.” Seven new works by Spectrum director Donald Byrd will be accompanied by Seattle’s Simple Measures. On the program are pieces by Charles Ives, John Zorn and Charles Wuorinen, plus the world premiere of Don Krishnaswami’s “Quintet for Trumpet and Strings.” 8 p.m. Thursday, May 22, through May 24, Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave., Seattle; $20-$25 (206-325-4161 or spectrumdance.org).
Tacoma Art Museum
Matika Wilbur, a member of the Tulalip/Swinomish tribes, has logged more than 60,000 miles on her quest to photograph and collect stories from people from every federally recognized sovereign U.S. Native American tribe. The result is “Project 562” (the “562” refers to the number of tribes at the project’s start; now, there are 566), comprising her images of visits to one-third of those tribes. Along with 40 photographs, the exhibition includes audio narratives from some of her subjects. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays, until 8 p.m. third Thursdays, TAM, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma; $5-$10 (253-272.-4258 or tacomaartmuseum.org).