Last week, ArtsPage’s weekend preview was all about free, outdoor festivals, deep-fried Snickers bars and all. This week, we’re in the mood for more highbrow pursuits. (Though if you’re still looking for free and fun, stick with me till the end.)
CLASSICAL MUSIC: If you haven’t yet made it to the Seattle Chamber Music Society Summer Festival, you’ve been missing out. Our reviewers report that the quality of the performances has surpassed even SCMS’s usual high standards, and the setting — Benaroya’s recital room — is relaxed and intimate. Final performances of the 2012 festival are Friday (July 27) and Sunday.
THEATER: A few blocks from Benaroya, ACT Theatre is celebrating Harold Pinter — one of the most influential playwrights of the 20th century. The English writer’s plays are typically spare, acerbic and funny, in a chilling sort of way. ACT’s Pinter Festival consists of four plays, several free movie screenings and a Pinter Party, and it continues through Aug. 26. See Seattle Times theater critic Misha Berson’s preview for descriptions of some of the festival selections.
VISUAL ARTS: Note that Bellevue Arts Museum is free to the public Friday through Sunday. The current Shaker art exhibition, “Gather Up the Fragments,” is “elegance on display,” according to an upcoming review by Nancy Worssam. You’ll see furniture, tools and clothing, all meticulously handmade from exquisite natural materials.
Be forewarned: BAM is free this weekend because of the annual (fun! free!) arts-and-crafts fairs that take over downtown Bellevue from Friday through Sunday. It’ll be a mob scene, but of the best possible kind: music, activities and art for purchase directly from the people who make it. And food, of course — maybe even deep-fried candy bars? For more on the three Bellevue arts fairs and a gazillion more low-budget ways to spend your weekend, see Madeline McKenzie’s community datebook calendar.
Did I overlook the event you’re most excited about this weekend? Feel free to share it with other readers in the comments thread.
(Photos: James Ehnes, left, and Richard O’Neill by Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times; the cast of Harold Pinter’s “Celebration” by LaRae Lobdell; a cobbler’s bench from the Andrews Collection, Hancock Shaker Village, photo by Michael Fredericks.)