Things to Do Around Seattle This Weekend: Jan 12–14

Monster trucks & showgirls 🛻💨👠

Three dancers jump and lunge over fire in the movie Showgirls

📸: Showgirls, screening at Northwest Film Forum on Sunday

Holy smokes 🔥 It might be snowing this weekend in Seattle, but things are heating up at events across the region. In Capitol Hill, the camp classic Showgirls is screening at Northwest Film Forum. Down in Tacoma, the Monster Jam is revving up again at the Tacoma Dome. And MLK Day 2024 events get started with the annual MLK Day Unity Party presented by KEXP at Clock-Out Lounge.

The Book of Mormon @ The Paramount Theatre

Retooled for today 📚

📸: Julieta Cervantes

Sam Nackman and Sam McLellan in THE BOOK OF MORMON North American tour. Photo by Julieta Cervantes

 📅 Tuesday, January 9th – Sunday, January 14th
 📍 The Paramount Theatre: 911 Pine St, Seattle

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A couple of Mormons go on mission to a Ugandan village and are confronted with their own privileged whiteness. Okay, yes, Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s musical The Book of Mormon premiered during Obama’s first term, all the way back in distant 2011. (It feels like 90 years ago, tbh.) And let’s just say that South Park, Parker and Stone’s flagship enterprise, is no longer the zeitgeist-busting provocateur it was when it exploded onto Comedy Central in the summer of 1997.

So why recommend this one now? Because musical comedy is, IMO, the hardest genre to do right, and tBoM blows most of its contemporaries out of the water in sheer laugh consistency. It still sells like crazy on Broadway even 13 years later and will overtake Jersey Boys this month as the 12th longest-running show in Broadway history. (You’re next, Rent, you lovely Bohemian monstrosity.) And Filipino American composer Robert Lopez (Avenue Q, Frozen, Coco) is an unstoppable double-EGOT.

More interestingly, this might not be the version you’ve seen over the past decade. During the George Floyd protests, several current and former Black cast members sent a letter to the creative staff asking for changes to the show, ones that would better reflect a new world. The script was retooled from the ground up, with Parker, Stone, and Lopez refining the satire and better centering the characters of color. And in an America that only pretends to listen to its most vulnerable citizens, it’s a great start.


Mean Girls @ SIFF Cinema Downtown

Make fetch happen again 💅

📸: Mean Girls

Three girls look to the front of a classroom

📅  Thursday, January 11th – Thursday, January 25th
 ⏰ 7:30 pm
 📍 SIFF Cinema Downtown: 2100 4th Ave, Seattle
 🎟 $14.50+

A movie becomes a hit with one generation of teens, the hit becomes a stage musical roughly a decade later, the stage musical becomes a hit for another generation of teens, then the stage musical becomes a movie. Such is the path of Mean Girls: The Musical, releasing 21 years after Tina Fey/Mark Waters’ original film. Feel old yet?

Don’t worry, because Reneé Rapp has enough star quality to rip you from your daily doldrums and send you careening right back into high school, where every perceived slight felt like the end of the world and every crush felt like you were the first person to discover love. Rapp, a newly minted pop star who I best know as Leighton on Max’s underrated comedy The Sex Lives of College Girls, is going to eat up the big screen with her turn as Regina George, North Shore High’s Queen Bee. (She also played the role on Broadway.) Consider it a solidification of the singer/actress’ rise to glory.

YouTube video

The rest of the ensemble boasts Angourie Rice (Mare of Easttown) as protagonist Cady, Auli’i Cravalho (Moana in Moana) and Jacquel Spivey (A Strange Loop) as friends/outsiders Janis and Damian, and Jenna Fischer (The Office) and Busy Phillips (Freaks & Geeks) as Cady and Regina’s moms, plus Fey and Tim Meadows reprising their original teacher/principal film roles. So if you missed the Broadway tour a couple years back, thank Paramount for pushing this movie into theaters instead of straight to streaming. Because musicals deserve the biggest room possible.


Monster Jam 2024 @ Tacoma Dome


📸: Monster Jam

A dad takes a selfie with his son in front of a Monster Truck

 📅 Friday, January 12th – Sunday, January 14th
 🎟 $25+
 📍 Tacoma Dome: 2727 East D St, Tacoma


The mega motorsport competition Monster Jam is returning to the Tacoma Dome this January, bringing speed, sick jumps, and its classic 12,000-pound trucks. That means it’s time to slap on your camo attire, pull out your sports shades, and stick earplugs in—let’s watch drivers swerve around in some muck and mire

Each day of the Jam, pro monster truck drivers push their vehicles to the limit with tricks and high speeds, flipping and bouncing around the stadium. It features four main competitions: the racing competition (where drivers race along a prescribed course), a skill challenge (drivers show off their skillz), a donut competition (drivers must rotate their trucks as many times as possible), and a freestyle portion (drivers get freaky with it). 

If looking at monster trucks monster-truckin’ gets you excited, you’re not just relegated to the stands. Get to the Jam early, and you and your family can snag tickets to the Monster Jam Pit Party, where you can take a gander at these bad boys up close, chat with the drivers and crew—for trucks like Gravedigger, Megalodon, and El Toro Loco—and snap some pics. If you can’t get there in time, there’s also a post-show meet and greet. Vroom vroom!

Featured competitors 

 Grave Digger – Brandon Vinson
 Megalodon – Ashley Sanford
 El Toro Loco – MJ Solorio
 ThunderROARus – Tony Ochs
 Velociraptor – Devin Winfield
 Jurassic Attack – Dalton Widner
 TBD – James Calhoun
 Monster Mutt Rottweiler – Berto Treviño


Seattle Thunderbirds vs. Portland Winterhawks @ ShoWare Center

Break out the hamster balls 🏒

📸: Seattle Thunderbirds

A screenshot of the Seattle Thunderbirds posing with teddy bears after winning

 📅 Friday, January 12th
 🎟 $32+
 📍 Accesso ShoWare Center: 625 W James St, Kent

Recently, I admitted to the person sitting next to me on a plane that I’d never been to a hockey game before. They went off, and in the convo I learned a lot about our junior league hockey team, the Seattle Thunderbirds, which actually started its life in the ’70s in Vancouver, BC, but is now based in Kent. Last season, the Thunderbirds, one of 22 teams that make up the Western Hockey League, won the club playoffs—but they lost the Memorial Cup Championship, meaning they are poised for a comeback. These are all facts I learned, and now it’s my responsibility to share them with you. 

YouTube video

If what I wrote above isn’t enough reason to see a Thunderbirds game, consider that you might get to see the next National Hockey League star in the making. Last year, six players from the team were picked in the draft. Plus, the Thunderbirds play their home games at Kent’s ShoWare Center, a venue that has comfy seats, plenty of free parking, and is accessible by public transportation. Oh, and expect chants, and know that the intermission games might be more entertaining than the actual game. Hamster balls, anyone?? 


24th Annual MLK Unity Party @ Clock-Out Lounge

Party with purpose 🤴🏿


A promotional image for the 24th Annual MLK Unity Party featuring an image of MLK.


📅 Sunday, January 14th
 6 pm til late
🎟  $12 advance | $15 door 
📍  Clock-Out Lounge: 4864 Beacon Ave S, Seattle

Local radio station KEXP does Martin Luther King Jr. Day in a way that genuinely applauds his accomplishments—with a party! 

The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is visible in the civil rights movement. During this time, he helped pave the way toward a new future. One without segregation. One where discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin is prohibited. One where King’s dream, which he so famously shared in 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, is closer to reality

King’s impact extends to even the music that brings us joy. So enter The 24th Annual Expansions MLK Unity Party at Clock-Out Lounge in Beacon Hill.

The event coincides with a live broadcast on KEXP, with DJ Supreme La Rock starting off with Sunday Soul. DJs RizBrit HansenKid HopsAlex, and Sharlese will close out with Expansions, a show with multiple hosts that mix genres. The night will be full of music, dancing—and looking at the musicians impacted by King. For instance, the song “Happy Birthday” by Stevie Wonder was about King, and it helped pass the bill that gave us MLK Day. 

“What could fit more perfectly
Than to have a world party on the day you came to be
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday…”

In honor of the sacrifices made by MLK, we celebrate his birth, life, and legacy, even though, as a nation, we still have work to do. So join the DJs of KEXP and the community in an all-out birthday extravaganza.


Showgirls @ Northwest Film Forum

Wear Ver-sayce 🐅

📸: Showgirls

A still from the movie Showgirls featuring the character Nomi Malone looking away from a mirror while applying lipstick and smiling.

 📅 Sunday, January 14th
 🎟 $13+
 📍 Northwest Film Forum: 1515 12th Ave, Seattle

From fanny packs and blazers to reboots of shows like Saved by the Bell and Will & Grace—whether in fashion or what we watch, ’90s nostalgia continues to stay in full effect. So, it’s a good thing that Northwest Film Forum will start the year off by screening the queer cult classic Showgirls (1995). 

As part of Mourning Sickness, a quarterly showcase of cult and camp classics hosted by drag queen Monday Mourning, this erotic thriller starring Elizabeth Berkley is a story about sexuality and success in a showgirl-packed Vegas strip. It’s a parable about the risks of chasing stardom—and despite copious amounts of nudity, the movie was a box office flop, earning less than half its estimated 45 million dollar budget. It also hurt Berkley’s career, relegating her to B and TV movies. How meta of a movie about the pitfalls of fame to destroy its leading lady. 

YouTube video

But even though many audiences and critics hated Showgirlsredemption came in the form of home movie sales, which topped over $100 million. The film built an underground following for those who appreciated it for exactly what critics bashed: its over-the-top, melodramatic outlandishnessShowgirls is now regularly reclaimed through sing-alongs, private screenings, and musical parodies by the queer community. 

At this event, dress to impress by putting on your best Ver-sayce. Come for the 8 pm pre-show drag performance by host Monday Mourning, and bring your tips. (And here’s a tip: Check out the documentary You Don’t Nomi before going. It’ll help you understand Showgirl‘s legacy and how this cinematic catastrophe became a cult classic.)


7 pm – Doors
8 pm – Pre-show entertainment
8:30 pm – THRUST IT!



Patheresa Wells

Patheresa Wells is a Black/Persian, Pansexual, Polyamorous Poet (so many Ps) and writer living in Seatac. An aspiring comic, you can catch her cracking jokes at open mics around the area. In her free time, she likes to imagine what she’d do with free time and feed her backyard crows cuz they’re silly. Follow her on Twitter @PatheresaWells.

An author pic of Jas Keimig. They have blue braids.

Jas Keimig

Jas Keimig is an arts and culture writer in Seattle. Their work has previously appeared in The Stranger, i-D, Netflix, and Feast Portland. They won a game show once and have a thing for stickers.

Marcus Gorman

Marcus Gorman is a Seattle-based playwright and film programmer. He once raised money for a synagogue by marathoning 15 Adam Sandler movies in one weekend. You can find him on Instagram and Twitter @marcus_gorman.

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