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Autumn entertainment

12 exciting events that’ll make you brave the elements

One of the greats of modern R&B, India.Arie has always been unapologetically, passionately herself. Photo credit: Facebook

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As the leaves start to change and a bitter bite begins to permeate the air, there are lots of folks in the South Sound who are bidding a tearful goodbye to summer and dreading the approach of fall and winter. It's during these months that people have a tendency to hole up in their homes and try to hibernate until the sun comes around again. Fight this urge! There are so many worthwhile events on the horizon that'll have you happily bundling up to venture out into the world. Here are just a few of the goings-on that have us the most excited.


One of the most singular voices in modern soul and R&B is making her way to the Pantages Theater. Beginning with her acclaimed 2001 debut, Acoustic Soul, India.Arie announced herself as an utterly striking performer and songwriter, crafting brilliantly textural songs that radiate with warmth and an individualistic spirit. Nearly 20 years later, India.Arie has continually shown herself to blessedly creative artist, incorporating sounds and styles from around the world, while always remaining inimitably herself.

India.Arie, 7:30 p.m., Sept. 20, Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, $35-$91, 253.591.5894,


Entering its 14th year, the Tacoma Film Festival (TFF) has evolved into something altogether more sprawling and alive than we could have ever foreseen. Packed with more films than you could ever hope to watch, and an equally daunting number of supplementary events and panels, TFF has something for every cinephile. Beyond the generally high quality indie films on offer (plucked from an increasingly impressive well of international filmmakers), there will also be a music video showcase and an opportunity to experience film in virtual reality.

Tacoma Film Festival, Oct. 3-10, Grand Cinema and other locations, 606 S. Fawcett Ave., Tacoma, schedule and ticket info can be found at


One of the most legendary duos in music history, Simon and Garfunkel seemed practically doomed to implode: two huge egos creating some of the greatest music of their time is a combustible scenario. The Simon and Garfunkel Story, which enjoyed a very successful run on London's West End, tracks the rise and fall of Paul and Art, with much of the story told through uncanny performances of their biggest hits. The actors tasked with sounding like Simon and Garfunkel are thrillingly close to the real deal.

The Simon and Garfunkel Story, 7:30 p.m., Oct. 6, Washington Center, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, $35-$89, 360.753.8586,


Indie rock stalwarts Built to Spill had one of the greatest one-two punches of the ‘90s, following up Perfect from Now On with Keep It Like a Secret. The latter of those albums hits its 20th anniversary this year, which is enough to make many people feel awfully old. Built to Spill's mixture of cathartic guitar rock and twisty compositions helped them stand out from the ‘90s alt-rock boom, and helped keep them revered throughout the ‘00s. Their big, open-hearted sound still resonates.

Built to Spill, 8 p.m., Oct. 23, Spanish Ballroom, All Ages, 565 Broadway, Tacoma, $30-$35, 253.300.8790,


Seattle indie pop outfit Ivan & Alyosha have a real knack for seemingly effortless hooks. Though they've only released two full lengths so far, each of those albums is loaded with enough melodicism and winsome energy for two bands. Drawing decidedly from the McCartney side of Lennon-McCartney, Ivan & Alyosha songs feel cozy and welcoming, like a well-worn afghan.

Ivan & Alyosha, 9 p.m., Oct. 25, Fawcett Hall, All Ages, 1322 Fawcett Ave., Tacoma, $13, 253.507.7289,


Has there ever been a more beautiful voice in rock music than Roy Orbison's? Orbison's voice -- operatic and deeply vulnerable -- was the ideal medium through which to convey his songs of heartache and sorrow. Canadian tribute band The Lonely aims to bring the departed Orbison's music back to life, covering his legendary run as a solo artist, as well as his work in quintessential supergroup the Traveling Wilburys.

The Lonely, 7:30 p.m., Nov. 8, Washington Center, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, $45, 360.753.8586,


After making a lot of noise at fringe theater festivals around the world, God is a Scottish Drag Queen makes its way to Tacoma. Starring comedian Mike Delamont as the man upstairs, the show challenges political and biblical notions with healthy backbone of razor-sharp wit. Anyone upset at the idea of this show should reflect on why they think God wouldn't rock a floral print.

God is a Scottish Drag Queen, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Nov. 9, Theater on the Square, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, $19-$39, 253.591.5894,


Gilbert Gottfried has been telling dirty jokes for what feels like an eternity, always with an impish glee that allows him to seemingly get away with anything. He is the master of pummeling an audience into submission, hammering a joke until even the most reluctant laughers are powerless. Watching him work is like seeing Michelangelo sculpt David with dynamite.

Gilbert Gottfried, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., Nov. 9-10, Tacoma Comedy Club, 933 Market St., Tacoma, 253.282.7203,


Anti-folk singer-songwriter Jeffrey Lewis has been making stubbornly iconoclastic music for the better part of two decades. Unleashing reams upon reams of lyrics in every song, Lewis sometimes can sound like stream-of-consciousness, but have all been carefully assembled to create a sonic tapestry, full of color and character.

Jeffrey Lewis and Los Bolts, 6 p.m., Nov. 11, Le Voyeur, All Ages, 404 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, $8-$10, 360.943.5710,


Returning to the Pantages Theater for its third year in a row, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is an unstoppable crowd-pleaser. Blending Tchaikovsky's classic ballet with hip-hop music and dance, this is a show that turns even the stodgiest of relatives on to rap. Hip-hop legend Kurtis Blow is the perfect MC, getting the crowd moving and feeling the holiday spirit.

The Hip Hop Nutcracker, 7:30 p.m., Nov. 15, Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, $29-$89, 253.591.5894,


The Seattle International Comedy Competition has been going on for an astounding 40th year, helping to highlight the best and brightest up-and-coming stand-ups. Leaving Seattle for one night, the semi-finalists of the competition will be bringing the funny in Olympia. This is your chance to see some of the future biggest names in comedy.

Seattle International Comedy Competition, 7:30 p.m., Nov. 21, Washington Center, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, $35, 360.753.8586,


Having made his name off of being a cast member on Saturday Night Live, as well his supporting role in cult classic Half Baked, Jim Breuer remains one of the most energetically goofy voices in stand-up. His live shows are raucous affairs, with Breuer throwing everything at the wall to make an audience laugh.

Jim Breuer, 7:30 p.m., Dec. 5, Washington Center, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, $29-$145, 360.753.8586,

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