Monday, December 4, 2017

Where to Find Santa Claus in Seattle


The jolly old elf is easy to spot when you're not looking for him, but can be difficult to find when you are! Here is where he'll be hanging out now through Christmas Eve:

Macy's Downtown Seattle (3rd Floor), 300 Pine St., Seattle, 98181 - (206) 506-6915
  • Dec. 4-7: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 8-23:  9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 24: 9:00 a.m-5:00 p.m.

Nordstrom Downtown Seattle 500 Pine St. Seattle, WA 98101 - (206) 628-2111
Dec. 4-9: 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Dec. 10: 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Dec. 11-16: 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Dec. 17: 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Dec. 18-23: 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Dec. 24: 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Pacific Place Mall in Downtown Seattle
600 Pine St., Seattle, WA 98101 – (206) 405-2655

  • Dec. 4-9: 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 10: 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 11-15: 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 16: 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 17: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 18-22: 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 23: 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 24: 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Westfield Southcenter Mall, 2800 Southcenter Mall, Seattle 98188 - (206) 246-0423
  • Dec. 4-9: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 10: 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 11-21: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 22-23 – 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 24 – 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Northgate Mall, 401 NE Northgate Way, Seattle, 98125 - (206) 362-4778
  • Dec. 4-7: 10 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 8-9: 10:00 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 10: 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 11-15: 10:00 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 16: 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 17: 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 18-23: 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 24: 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Bellevue Square (Second level, center court) 575 Bellevue Square, Bellevue 98004 - (206) 783-5227
  • Dec. 4-9: 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 10: 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 11-14: 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 15-16: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 17: 10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 18-21: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 22-23: 9:00 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 24: 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

    Alderwood Mall, 3000 184th St. SW, Lynnwood, 98037 - (425) 967-8994
    • Dec. 4-9: 10:00 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
    • Dec. 10: 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
    • Dec. 1-14: 10:00 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
    • Dec. 15-23: 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    • Dec. 24: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

    Everett Mall, 1402 SE Everett Mall Way, Everett, 98208 - (425) 355-1771
    • Dec. 4-8: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
    • Dec. 9: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
    • Dec. 10: 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
    • Dec. 11-15: 10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
    • Dec. 16-24: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.

      Country Village 23718 Bothell Everett Hwy., Bothell, WA 98021 – (425) 483-2250

      • Dec. 4-9: 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
      • Dec. 10: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
      • Dec. 11-15: 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
      • Dec. 16: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
      • Dec. 17: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
      • Dec. 18-23: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
      • Dec. 24: 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

      Redmond Town Center 7525 166th Ave. N.E., Redmond, WA 98052 – (425) 869-2640

      • Dec. 4-8: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
      • Dec. 9: 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
      • Dec. 10: 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
      • Dec. 11-15: 10:00 a.m-8:00 p.m.
      • Dec. 16-17: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
      • Dec. 18-22: 10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
      • Dec. 23: 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
      • Dec. 24: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

      Wednesday, November 1, 2017

      You Simply Must Go 'Into the Woods'

      Review of Village Theatre's "Into the Woods."
      Arika Matoba (Little Red Ridinghood) and Kevin Vortmann (The Wolf). (Photo: Mark Kitaoka)


      While a cursory glance of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods may appear to be nothing more than a musical comedy featuring a mashup of fairy tale characters, by the end, you’ll realize that there is a lot more to this story. Its messages are deceptively deep and though I knew going into it that this production had some dark undertones, I had no idea. And just because the play features Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood doesn’t mean that this production is one for the kids. Well, maybe if you left after Act One.

      Just to clarify, Into the Woods isn’t a “naughty” production but most of the humor will go over little one’s heads and there is a sharp tonal shift that comes between the first and second act that not only challenges the notion of a “happily ever after,” but also presents these characters as real, flawed people who need to take responsibility for their own actions. Themes include parents making mistakes while trying to do what is best for their children, learning how to be content with what you have rather than what you want and reaping what you sow.

      Review of Village Theatre's "Into the Woods."
      Allison Standley as Cinderella. (Photo: Mark Kitaoka)
      This musical features multiple storylines that crossover each other. Unlike the Disney-fied and perhaps sanitized versions of the Grimm Brothers fairy tale classic stories, Into the Wood presents a more traditional view of these character warts and all. These stories include:

      • Cinderella (Allison Standley) who longs to go to ball and get away from her evil stepmother (Cheryse McLeod Lewis) and stepsisters Lucinda (Marissa Ryder) and Florinda (Arika Matoba). Instead of a fairy godmother, Cinderella visits her mother’s grave and is visited by her spirit (Corinna Munter).
      • Jack (Rafael Molina) who loves his cow, Milky White, more than anything, struggles to find a way to keep her despite his mother’s (Jayne Muirhead) pleading with him to sell her so they won’t starve. Let’s just say that there will be a beanstalk in his future.
      • Little Red Ridinghood (Arika Matoba) is challenged to either follow her mother’s advice to “not stray from the path” or listen to the Wolf’s (Kevin Vortmann) instructions on how to find beautiful flowers to give to her grandmother (Corinna Munter).
      • A baker and his wife (Trey Ellett and Christine Marie Brown) have hope of breaking a curse that prevents them from becoming parents if they are willing to do a few unsavory tasks for their next-door neighbor, the witch (Mari Nelson).
      • Rapunzel (Molli Corcoran) sings out happily though unable to leave her tower. She sings a different tune once she gets out.

      Review of Village Theatre's "Into the Woods."
      Marissa Ryder (Lucinda), Cheryse McLeod Lewis (Cinderella's Stepmother),
      and Alexandria Henderson (Florinda). (Photo: Tracy Martin)
      Each of the character’s stories lead them to go “into the woods” which is sort of a metaphor for taking risks in life and coming back a changed person, whether for good or for bad. Some of the characters do the right thing while others do not.

      I have to say that while watching this production that I really liked the first act, then I found myself not liking the middle and then come back around full circle for the time the play wrapped up. The stories and pretty familiar for the first half where most of the stories we know end on “happily ever after” but Act 2 ventures beyond with a real crisis that affects all of the characters. Some choose to ignore it, others run away and others face the obstacle head on. Without giving anything away, the story does end on a positive note.


      Review of Village Theatre's "Into the Woods."
      Christine Marie Brown, Trey Ellett and Mari Nelson. (Photo: Mark Kitaoka)
      Matthew Smucker’s sets and Melanie Taylor Burgess’ costumes for Into the Woods are some of the best I’ve ever seen and the photos do not do them justice. The revolving stage features woods that contain trees that are made out of ladders and leaves that are really pages from a story book. The woods change appearance from being warm and magical to stark and grim. Many of the character’s costumes feature a patch quilt look. As for the characters, some truly over-the-top as is the case of the prince brothers played by Kevin Vortmann and Matthew Posner. (Their song, “Agony,” about dealing with the fairer sex is spot on.) Others, like the Baker’s Wife, are more realistic where you sympathize with them one moment and then are angry with them the next. The stand out though is Arika Matoba who is able to present Red Ridinghood’s lines with dry humor and perfect comedic timing and yet still remain innocent. As for the music, don’t expect to walk away with songs stuck in your head as Sondheim’s musical numbers are more poetic than toe-tapping.

      Into the Woods continues playing at the Everett Performing Arts Center through November 19, 2017. The theatre is located at 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett, WA 98201.

      Thursday, October 5, 2017

      'Relativity' Presents a Thought-Provoking "What if" Story About Albert Einstein

      Review of the play "Relativity" at Taproot Theatre.
      Dennis Bateman & Candace Vance in Relativity at Taproot Theatre. (Photo by Erik Stuhaug)


      Mark St. Germain’s play, Relativity brings a unique theatrical experience to Taproot Theatre about the life of Albert Einstein with themes of public vs. private, genius vs. eccentric and good vs. great. Though “relatively” short, this play tackles a lot of ground that is sometimes comedic, sometimes heartbreaking but wholly thought-provoking.

      Based on real history events based of the life of Einstein, Relativity is actually a fictional tale of “what if.” History books share information about Einstein’s two sons and one daughter who was born in 1902. However, there is no mention of her after 1904 leaving many to speculate what happened to the girl. Did she die? Was she given up for adoption?

      Relativity takes place during an interview with the professor in his home in 1949. Dennis Bateman plays Einstein wild hair and all. And quite believably too. Though famous, Einstein is rather reclusive separating his public life from his private life. His live-in maid, Miss Dukas (Pam Nolte) serves as a watchdog keeping out unwanted guests. However, she meets her match when Margaret Harding (Candace Vance) arrives home with the professor one afternoon in December. Harding is a reporter for the Jewish Daily who has been turned away from Miss Dukas twice in the past. Undeterred, Harding gets Einstein’s attention on the campus of Princeton University and follows him home. The conversation begins rather cordial but soon becomes more intense as Harding pushes for answers on whatever happened to Albert’s daughter which later turns into a debate on whether or not Einstein, considered by many to be a “great” man, could be considered a “good” man as well.

      This is Bateman’s debut performance at Taproot having performed at the 5th Avenue and Village Theatre as well as many episodes of the radio drama show, Imagination Theater. He’s a fantastic addition. Vance on the other hand has performed in many Taproot productions and is a favorite of many. The two spare back and forth well. And though this is manly a two person play, Nolte does get a few choice moments as well. The play is directed by Pam’s husband and co-founder of Taproot Theatre, Scott Nolte with a set design by Mark Lund that compliments Einstein’s character very well.

      Relativity plays through October 21, 2017 (but don’t be surprised if it gets held over) at Taproot Theatre’s Jewel Mainstage Theatre located at 204 N 85th St. in Seattle, 98103. Performances are held at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and special matinee performances are also presented on Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. Tickets range from $27-$47 depending on the performance and can be purchased online or by calling (206) 781-9707. Taproot offers a $5 senior/student discount off of regularly priced tickets. This play has a age recommendation of 12 and up.

      Tuesday, October 3, 2017

      Christmas Comes Early to Everett

      Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant and Jordan Smith come to Everett for Christmas.


      It’s time to deck the halls early when Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith roll back into town for their 2017 Christmas concet, this time held at the Xfinity Arena Everett on November 18, 2017. And before you ask, yes, Jordan Smith (winner of Season 9 of NBC’s The Voice) will join them on stage once again singing his fantastic version of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”

      In addition to the performance, and in support of their longstanding relationship with Compassion International, Michael and Amy are exclusively meeting with as many as 200 people who sponsor a child through the organization prior to the concert and through the website This “Compassion Meet & Greet” is an opportunity to learn more about the Compassion International’s child sponsorship experience and will include a photo opportunity with the artists. (Tickets to each concert must be purchased separately.)

      Tickets range from $38-$128 and a 4-course dinner package including parking is also available starting at $110. TheXfinity Arena at Everett is located at 2000 Hewitt Ave, Everett, WA 98201. For more information call 1-866-332-8499 or visit the arena website.

      Tuesday, August 22, 2017

      Funko Headquarters is Now Open!

      Funko Flagship store in Everett, Washington


      If you are a fan of Funko figurines (and really, who isn’t?) you’ll be thrilled to know that the flagship store for the brand has just been opened at Funko headquarters located in downtown Everett. Outside, you’ll see the Funko-branded building with its iconic spinning crown atop of the Funko sign. Giant versions of different Funko products line up on the outside the shop to greet you.

      If you are unfamiliar to Funko, just know that this shop is a one stop pop culture shop. Many different TV and movie characters, along with Funko’s own original characters, dwell here from comic book heroes to Disney princesses, from the Golden Girls to The Walking Dead. It’s one place where good guys and bad guys dwell together.

      Funko Flagship store in Everett, WashingtonOver the years, Funko has grown their inventory of different types of figurines including POP! Dorbz, and Vinyl to include different gift products like mugs, pencils, t-shirts, purses, buttons, etc. and you’ll find the very latest here.

      Funko Flagship store in Everett, WashingtonOnce inside the main doors you’ll be tasked to decide which section to explore first. Each area is themed with different sights and sounds related to the various genres represented. Larger-than-life characters are placed around, beside and even over you to fully immerse you into this crazy world of worlds. Immediately on the right you’ll find the anime and American animated cartoon section which featres many well-known characters from your childhood like The Jetsons, Space Jam and Huckleberry Hound as well as may popular anime characters.

      Next door sits “Gotham” where Batman and friends hang out. You’ll find the Joker in jail, while Wonder Woman, Batgirl and Supergirl are ready to take on crime, but the highlight here is the 1960’s version of the Batmobile with an Adam West-looking Batman driving. This is a photo opp to sit beside the famed caped crusader.

      Funko Flagship store in Everett, Washington
      After crossing the drawbridge through a castle that features Disney princesses, you’ll find a world that focuses on Marvel comics characters including Stan Lee himself.  In one corner, The Hulk and Iron man are busting through the wall, in another corner, you'll find Spider-Man just hanging around. Look closely, and you'll be able to see inside the bedroom of a comic book fan.

      To the left you’ll find the upcoming “Build Your Own POP” creation station. It isn’t open yet for business, but looks very cool and gives guests a chance to create their own character their own way. You’ll also find characters and products from Star Wars and Harry Potter here as well. The attention to detail is amazing.

      Funko is located at 2802 Wetmore Avenue, Everett, 98201. The store is open Tuesday-Friday from 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

      Wednesday, August 9, 2017

      One Step Closer to a Cure

      Information about the 2017 Base 2 Space event at the Space Needle.
      (Seattle Needle Foundation/Fred Hutch)


      The the third time in 55-year history of the Seattle Space Needle, the public is invited to climb the tower’s 832 stairs. Why would you want to when there is a perfectly good elevator available? To raise money and awareness for cancer.

      Base 2 Space is open to runner and walkers at least eight years old who will climb two open-air stairways witness 360 degree views in a way that you’ve never experienced before all the way up to the Observation Deck which sits 520 feet above the ground. Then, you’ll jump! (Okay, I’m kidding about that last part.)

      One hundred percent of the money raised during the Base 2 Space event will go toward Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Each participant will pay a registration of $75 and must also raise a minimum of $175 in donations. As an added incentive, the top ten fundraisers, the fastest male and female climbers, and two additional participants chosen at random will have the opportunity walk around the Space Needle’s Halo, next April. Only a handful of people have walked the Halo since the Space Needle was built in 1962. (Participants must be 18 years old or older – and maybe a little crazy - to qualify for the Halo Walk.) The big day is Sunday, October 1, 2017 so dust off the treadmill now.

      In just two short years, Base 2 Space has raised nearly $1 million for Fred Hutch! For more information and to register, visit the Base 2 Space website.

      Eat Your Weight in Free Guacamole

      Information on the Guac Stop at the Seattle Center.
      The Guac Stop is in town! (Wholly Guacamole)

      FOOD & DRINK

      I can’t believe it either, but I have just been informed that Wholly Guacamole is touring the Seattle area with a pop-up display called The Guac Stop at the Seattle Center. Here you’ll find a guac bar with different varities of the green stuff including one branded just for Seattleites: Apple Guacamole with consists of green apple, jalapeno, red onion, lime juice and salt.

      In addition to chowing down, you can spend some time learning how to macrame (seriously!) or hula hooping, get an airbrush tattoos that you don’t have to feel quilty about and get a caricature drawing of yourself – and it’s all free! The Guac Stop will be around all day Wednesday, August 9 through August 13. The Seattle Center is located at 305 Harrison St., 98109. For more details, visit

      Friday, July 28, 2017

      Village Theatre Announces 2017-2018 Season

      Village Theatre's 2017-2018 season
      (Village Theatre)


      From Disney to Sondheim, Village Theatre promises another great season of musical and dramatic entertainment in two venues! Some shows are classics, some are new classics, some are family-friendly and others are perfect for a date night. Village Theatre plays are presented at the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre in Issaquah and the Everett Performing Arts Center in Everett. Here is what is coming to the stage soon:

      Into the Woods
      Find out what happens to Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack (sans beanstalk), rapunzel and others when they find out that they have been cursed by a witch and all of their happy endings will be in jeopardy in this Stephen Sondheim musical.
      Issaquah: September 14 – October 22, 2017
      Everett: October 27 – November 19, 2017

      Disney’s Newsies the Musical
      Based on the Disney orignal musical movie of the same name, Newsises is based on real events that took place during the newsboys’ strike of 1899 in New York.
      Issaquah: November 9 – December 31, 2017
      Everett: January 5 – 28, 2018

      The Gin Game
      Described as a “tragic-comedy,” The Gin Game is a two-person play that takes place at an old folks home. Old man Weller teaches Fonsia how to play a game of gin which goes great at first until Fonsia gets a taste of a winning streak.
      Issaquah: January 18 – February 25, 2018
      Everett: March 2-25, 2018

      Village Theatre presents the world premiere of the new musical, String, which features three goddesses known as the Fates sent to live and work among human offices workers. However, falling in love with one of them was not part of the plan.
      Issaquah: March 15 – April 22, 2018
      Everett: April 27 – May 20, 2018

      Based on the original John Waters movie of the same name, this lively musical is a toe-tapping journey back to the 1960s when both TV star-dreaming Tracy Turnblad and her hair were really big. Will she make it on Baltimore’s most popular dance show? You better believe it.
      Issaquah: May 10 – July 1, 2018
      Everett: July 6 – 29, 2018

      For more information, visit the Village Theatre website.

      Thursday, July 27, 2017

      2017 Seattle Mini Maker Faire

      Information about the 2017 Mini Maker Faire in Seattle.


      Billed as the “Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth,” the Maker Faire is a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker Movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning. Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers of all ages and backgrounds.

      Organized by MoPOP, Seattle Mini Maker Faire offers tech enthusiasts, crafters, scientists, garage tinkerers, commercial makers, and inventors of all ages and backgrounds a platform to share their passion projects. Over the course of a weekend in September, guests are invited to test the latest inventions, participate in activities and talks that blend art, engineering, science, and technology from more than 130 makers.

      This year’s initial lineup includes: The Big-Brained Superheroes, Tiny Houses, Makerologist Interactive Exhibits, R2 Builders Club, Making Muggle Magic, Luminescent Grand, Mario the Maker Magician, The Lumbercade, VRMakerDome, Brainfreeze, School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts, Elcano Self-Driving Tricycle and many more.

      The Seattle Mini Maker Faire will be held September 16-17, 2017 from 10:00 am.-5:00 p.m. at the MoPOP and Seattle Center’s Next 50 Plaza. MoPOP is located at 325 5th Ave N, Seattle 98109. Discount tickets are available now trough September 1, 2017 online.