Monday, March 12, 2018

Shen Yun Returns to Seattle

(Shen Yun)

DANCE

“In ancient times, China was known as the Land of the Divine. Everyone, from emperors to the common people, believed that their culture was a gift from heaven. They lived in harmony with the universe and saw a connection among all things. Traditional Chinese culture carried these principles for thousands of years—until this world was lost,” so states the Shen Yun website.

There is no doubt that Shen Yun’s traditional dances are beautiful with costumes that are beyond belief but today’s performance combine the ancient dance form with new technological innovations. “We let classical Chinese dance do the storytelling, and share with you beautifully diverse ethnic and folk traditions.”

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The sad thing about this show is that it cannot been seen in China. According to their website, authentic Chinese culture is seen as a threat to the Communist Party which controls China. “In 2006, a group of elite Chinese artists came together in New York with a mission to revive traditional culture and share it with the world. They created Shen Yun and brought this majestic culture back from the brink of extinction.”

Shen Yun will perform at McCaw Hall for seven performances from March 28 - April 1, 2018. Tickets range from $70-$180. McCaw Hall is located at 321 Mercer St., Seattle, Washington 98109. For tickets and more information, call (800) 745-3000 or visit the Shen Yun website.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

REVIEW: The 'Gin Game' is More Exciting Than it Seems

Review of "The Gin Game" at Village Theatre
Marianne Owen and Kurt Beattie in The Gin Game (Village Theatre)

THEATRE REVIEW

At first glance, The Gin Game seems to have everything working against its success. The play features only two characters interacting within an old folks’ home with the action happening around a fold-up card table. Watching two seniors playing cards doesn’t sound like much to get excited about, but this Pulitzer Prize-winning play is full of surprises.

Some might mistake The Gin Game as a romantic comedy, but actually, the play has been described by some as a tragi-comedy which starts out rather benignly and then builds to strong finale. Weller is a fairly new resident at a home for seniors, but he acts like he has lived there for years. He’s lonely and bitter and plays solitaire to amuse himself. He doesn’t like any of the “old” people living there. One day during visitor hours, Weller meets Fonsia, an even newer resident to the home, skipping out on the festivities. Neither of them have any visitors to talk to. They strike up a conversation which leads to a friendly game of Gin Rummy. At first.

The two couldn’t be more different. Weller is outspoken, foul-mouthed and cranky. Fonsia is timid, a little religious and kind. Fonsia admits that she hasn’t played cards in years but Weller assures her that she’ll get the hang of it pretty quick. And she does. Fonsia has an impressive streak of beginner’s luck. Soon, though, the conversation becomes less about the game and more personal. As they chat, each begin to learn how alike they are. Weller begins to remind Fonsia of her former husband and in turn, Fonsia has some mannerism that remind Weller of his own mother, and these are not happy memories.

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The Gin Game stars Kurt Beattie and Marianne Owen, two Seattle theatre icons and real-life married couple. They play off each other beautifully with the help of director Jeff Steitzer. As is often the case at Village Theatre, the set design almost serves as a third character. The set (designed by Bill Forrester) is hugely over-sized for its small cast but it is incredible looking like a rundown dollhouse with most of the action happening on the sun porch.

Review of "The Gin Game" at Village Theatre
(Village Theatre)
Full of humor, the first half of the play is very enjoyable to watch. The duo's timing is perfect. Unfortunately, the second half of the play contains equal parts of humor and tension. We see that a thunderstorm in rising up in the background as a nice piece of foreshadowing. The two characters spar back and forth with more intensity and even more curse words. The more Fonsia asks to not take the Lord’s name in vain, the more Weller does it. The final scene gets pretty uncomfortable and then, poof, it’s over.

Although good, The Gin Game feels unfinished as if there is a lost third act to the production hidden away somewhere. Those wanting a more solid ending will be frustrated. Still, this is one play worth seeing these two local masters of the stage verbally chew up the scenery.

The Gin Game continues playing at the Everett Performing Arts Center through March 25. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 425-257-8600. The Arts Center is located at 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett, WA 98201.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Annual 'Director's Choice' Will Make You Leap

Director's Choice will be presented March 16-25, 2018

DANCE

This year’s Peter Boal’s annual selection of ballet performances at the Pacific Northwest Ballet offers audiences a riveting duet, a favorite work, a little controversy, and a world premiere by PNB dancer Ezra Thomson.

Selections included in the performance are Slingerland Duet, Red Angels and One Flat Thing. Performances will be presented March 16-25, 2018 at McCaw Hall with tickets starting at $37.

Slingerland Duet
William Forsythe’s Slingerland Duet was first performed by Pacific Northwest Ballet as part of New Suite. It features music from Gavin Bryars (String Quartet No. 1, “Between The National and The Bristol“). Dance writer Roslyn Sulcas referred to Slingerland as “one of Forsythe’s most poetic and magical ballets, with its post-apocalyptic world of scattered stones, its supernatural fairies of the corps de ballet in tutus that look like crisp, curved potato chips [this costume recently has been redesigned by Forsythe for the pas de deux], its Beckettian tramps, and passages in which individuals suspended in harnesses achieve the weightless dream of the dancer, yet float (to mysterious music by Gavin Bryars) in vulnerable limbo, unable to dance without gravity.”

One Flat Thing (PNB)
Red Angels
Red Angels premiere at the PNB on September 2005. It is a ballet of intense dramatic impact that is calculated to charge all the senses. Dressed in scarlet leotards and bathed in white and red hot light, four dancers perform with powerful athleticism to a riveting score for electric violin. It features music from Richard Einhorn and Choreography by Ulysses Dove

One Flat Thing
Originally presented in March of 2008, One Flat Thing caused a stir when it premiered. Set to a rumbling sound construction by the choreographer’s frequent collaborator, composer Thom Willems, and performed by fourteen dancers on and around twenty metal tables, One Flat Thing thrilled some, challenged others, and, for some, called into question the definitions of “ballet” and “dance.”

Tickets for Director’s Choice can be purchased online or by calling the box office at (206) 441-2424. McCaw Hall is located at 321 Mercer St. Seattle 98109.




Thursday, March 1, 2018

Get Your Geek On

Geekwire Bash will be held on March 15, 2017.
(Geekwire.com)

SPECIAL EVENTS

Now in its 7th year, Seattle’s Geekwire Bash is just the ticket for techies. Held at the CenturyLink Events Center, the event features video games, arcades, beer pong, ping-pong, dodgeball, sumo wrestling, cornhole and foosball tables at “Seattle’s biggest, geekiest tech party.” But its more than just fun and games, it’s a unique experience for men and women and mix and mingle with hundreds of other people just like you in the tech community.

Geekwire Bash 2018 event will be held on Thursday, March 15 from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. and as much as kids would love to go, this is a 21+ event. Tickets start at $69 ad can be purchased here. The CenturyLink Events Center is located at 800 Occidental Ave. S., 98134.

Where to Find Awesome Irish Eats

Mulleady's Pub in Seattle

FOOD & DRINK

While most Irish restaurants and pubs in the greater Seattle area do well all year long, St. Patrick’s Day week is like Christmas for them. And don’t feel left out if you don’t have an Irish heritage – they would love to have you!

Celebrate the holiday with a traditional meal, fish and chips or go crazy by trying out something totally new to go along with your green beer. Paddy Coynes on Pier 70 creates a cinnamon and clove braised corned beef that is then sautéed in garlic. The dish is served with red potatoes, green cabbage, kale and a side of house-made sweet mustard sauce. T.S. McHugh’s serves up traditional soda bread alongside modern favorites, but we suggest trying the Ploughman’s Platter (banger sausage with wedges or Irish and English cheeses), a pot pie or the All Irish Reuben sandwich which is stuffed with thinly-sliced corned beef and topped with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese on light rye. Then, the sandwich is grilled and served with their own Ballymaloe sauce. All three Shawn O’Donnells locations prepare a family recipe of corned beef and cabbage that has been handed down for generations where the beef is cooked in Guinness beer and is served with Irish Champ Potatoes.

For the best in Irish fare, visit any (or all) of the following:

The Blarney Stone
The Blarney Stone
1416 1st Ave., Seattle WA 98101 - (206) 448-8439

Paddy Coynes
2801 Alaskan Way #103, Seattle, WA 98121 - (206) 737-8891

T.S. McHugh's Irish Pub & Restaurant
21 Mercer St., Seattle, WA 98109 - (206)282-1910

Shawn O’Donnells
Smith Tower, 508 2nd Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 - (206) 602-6380
3601 Fremont Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103 – (206) 420-3656
122 128th St. SE, Everett, WA 98208 – (425) 338-5700

Mulleady’s Pub
3055 21st Ave W., Seattle, WA 98199 - (206) 283-8843

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Crowder: American Prodigal Tour

 CONCERTS
Crowder's "American Prodigal" tour will be making a stop in Seattle on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the Moore Theatre with special guests The Young Escape. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and show begins at 8:00 p.m. Tickets range from $100-$125. VIP tickets are available too which include a post show Kenny Rodgers VIP Jamboree, meet and greet with Crowder and nacho bar! For questions and more info, call 800-745-3000. The Moore Theatre is located at 1932 2nd Ave., Seattle, 98101. For tickets or more information, click here.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Roadshow 2018

Matthew West, Natalie Grant, Bethel Music, Zach Williams and Social Club Misfits in concert!

CONCERTS

Presented by Compassion International, Matthew West, Natalie Grant, Bethel Music, Zach Williams and Social Club Misfits will be in concert for The Roadshow 2018 on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at the Key Arena. All seats are $10 general admission and no tickets are required. However, you’ll want to get there early to get a good seat. LMG Concerts also offers a $25 “Fast Pass” which includes entry into the show and a reserved spot in line which will save you time waiting to get in. Doors open at 3:45 p.m. and the show begins at 6:00 p.m. The Key Arena is located at the Seattle Center at 305 Harrison St. Seattle, 98109. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Best Wine and Food Event in Seattle

Taste Washington

 FOOD & DRINK / SPECIAL EVENT 


Billed as the “most delicious event of the year,” Taste Washington is four days spreading the virtues of the state’s very best wine and food. It also boasts of being the nation’s largest single-region wine and food event. Sip exclusive pours from world-class vintners, eat gourmet bites from some of the nation’s most-talented chefs and even partake in private food and farm tours – all for the pleasure of your taste buds. Running from March 22-28, 2018, Taste Washington features over 235 wineries, 65 restaurants and 60 culinary exhibitors with most of the events happening at CenturyLink Events Center.

This year’s lineup includes:

Red and White Party: Thursday, March 22
Held at the renowned AQUA by El Gaucho on Seattle’s waterfront, this event features top Washington winemakers pouring only their top bottles. And to make the night extra special, everything you’ll taste is exclusively available at the Red & White Party only, which means you won’t find these wines anywhere else at Taste Washington. Guests are encouraged to wear red and white as well.

On the Farm: Friday, March 23
Learn how Seattle’s restaurants come to serve some of the freshest bounty the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Explore the region’s best products alongside local chefs, winemakers and farmers as they lead you through a carefully curated farm excursion where you’ll have the chance to tour the property and then hear directly from chefs and winemakers as they serve a sensational lunch made from farm-fresh ingredients.

The New Vintage: Friday, March 23
Sample exquisite Washington wines and discover new favorites as you chat with celebrity chefs and sample gourmet bites. Grab your closest friends and dance the night away, but don’t forget to pay a visit to the popular Rosé Lounge for a tasty glass of pink before the evening ends.

Taste and Savor Tours: Saturday, March 24
Eat your way through Pike Place Market, during this early morning food tour tasting locally-made specialties and meeting one-on-one with eight market vendors. Nibble on breakfast biscuits and maple-bacon donuts, catch a fish at the famous Pike Place Fish stand, and discover hidden gems even locals don’t know about.

Grand Tasting: Saturday & Sunday, March 24-25
Watch celebrity chefs flaunt their culinary skills on the Alaska Mileage Plan Chef’s Stage, slurp freshly-shucked oysters at AQUA by El Gaucho’s oyster bar, and of course, sip and savor tastes from the region’s best wineries and restaurants during this two-day event.

Seminars: Saturday & Sunday, March 24-25
Enhance your knowledge of Washington wine with insight directly from the experts. Hear from top winemakers, Master Sommeliers and national wine personalities at these engaging and educational seminars, which explore what makes Washington State a world-class winegrowing region.

Sunday Brunch: Sunday, March 25
A brilliant Seattle musician will be paired with two amazing chefs to create a very special event, exclusive for festival goers. Join us at Quality Athletics before the Grand Tasting on Sunday to see what happens when music and food collide. Our three celebrities will collaborate on a menu and a playlist – served up with Grey Goose Bloody Marys and St~Germain Brunch Cocktails.

Naturally, this is a 21 and over event and tickets range from $45 to a whopping $585 depending on your “tastes.” Tickets can be purchased online. The CenturyLink Field Events Center is located at 1000 Occidental Ave. S. in Seattle.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Running of the Green

The F5 St. Patrick's Day Dash

SPECIAL EVENTS

The F5 St. Patrick’s Day Dash 5k has been a tradition in Seattle since 1985 where they say, “Run, Walk, Jog or Crawl! To Celebrate the Arrival of Spring and the Irish in us all!” This year’s race will be held on Saturday, March 17, 2018 Beginning from the Seattle Center, the course winds down through downtown and back. Simple right? As motivation, there will be a giant bear garden waiting for you at the end. And the event is not just for adults either. There will be a special “Leprechaun Lap” 1 K for kids age 10 and younger too.

The F5 St. Patrick’s Day Dash benefits the Detlef Schrempf Foundation in support of Northwest children’s charities. Funds are directed to local organizations which provide critical support and services to youth in our community.

“If you haven’t been to the St. Patrick’s Day Dash before, get ready for a big party where everyone is Irish for a day! You could be passed by a human pot of gold, a 6ft 10in leprechaun, a group of beer cans, or a grown man in a tutu. With all of the costumes, the Dash is like an Irish Halloween in spring. The Post Dash Bash features live music, plenty of sponsors, great giveaways, a Costume Contest, plus the biggest St. Patrick’s Day beer garden in the region,” boast the race’s website.