Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Seattle Celebrates Norwegian Day

Ballard’s Syttende Mai (17th of May)
Ballard’s Syttende Mai - 17th of May- event (17thofMay.org)

SPECIAL EVENTS

The Norwegian Seventeenth of May Committee sponsors Ballard’s Syttende Mai [Soot-n-duh My] celebration that has been recognized since 1889. Last year’s event was one of the largest where thousands came to see the parade of marching bands, Norwegian-American lodges, drill teams, classic cars and more.

Special events included in the festivities on May 17, 2017 include:

  • Free admission and children’s events at the Nordic Heritage Museum from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Free Shuttle between Bergen Place the Museum
  • Entertainment at Bergen Place from 12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m
  • A Traditional Norwegian Luncheon with the Grand Marshal from 12:00p.m.-2:00 p.m.
  • The 17th of May Parade from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

For more information, visit the 17 of May website.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Color Run Dream Tour Dashes Through Seattle

2017 Color Run Dream Tour Seattle
The Color Run Dream Run 

SPECIAL EVENTS

The 2017 Color Run Dream Tour comes to town on May 14 with the inspirational Dream Wall, giant inflatable unicorns, the Foam Zone and Purple Color Zone. Yes, this is a race where you pay to have strangers pelt you with colored powders which stains the white t-shirt you’re wearing to keep as a keepsake after all is said and done. Every participant receives a t-shirt, a color runner headband, unicorn finisher’s medal and color packet.

After signing up online, come a day early on Saturday, May 13, 2017 for the “Check In Party” from 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Then, come early the next day for the “Pre-Race Party” with music, dancing, warm up stretching and even prizes. People will begin to line up at 8:00 a.m. with waves leaving every few minutes through 8:45 a.m.

Both the “Check in Party” and the race itself will be held at the Seattle Center located at 305 Harrison St., Seattle 98109.

Monday, April 24, 2017

10 Years, 10 Pianos

10 Grands, Seattle WA
Ten Grands (Seattle Symphony)

CONCERTS

Serving as a fundraiser for music education programs for Washington State, Benaroya Hall hosts the tenth annual Ten Grands event on Saturday, May 13. Over the years, this special event has raised over one million dollars to the cause with ten different artists playing ten grand pianos in one spectacular event.

This year’s pianist tickling the ivories include a blind artist, a ten-year-old prodigy and a Steinway Classical Artist:
  • Colleen Adent: A classically-trained, improvisationally-minded pianist, Adent is one of the Pacific Northwest’s accomplished pianists, the uniqueness of Colleen’s artistry lies in her ability to improvise as well as perform as a classical musician.
  • Yelena Balabanova: A native of Moscow, Russia, Balabaova is one of only six Steinway Classical Artists in our state. She is an acclaimed soloist and is widely recognized for her extensive repertoire, original interpretations, and innovative programs.
  • Tom Grant: One of the original Smooth Jazz artists, Grant is considered one of the founders of that genre who's hit records on major labels from the 80's propelled him to national and international recognition.
  • Andrew Gu: Currently a pre-college student with scholarship at San Francisco Conservatory of Music in California, Gu was born in August 2006 in Germany to a musical family. He moved to Boston with his parents when he was two.
  • JJ Guo: A second year Informatics major at the University of Washington, Guo performed in the Seattle and Portland Ten Grands from 2007–2015.
  • Michael Allen Harrison: His classical contemporary style carves a distinct niche of timeless music that has connected with thousands throughout his three-decade career.
  • Michael Kaeshammer: Described as “Canada’s triple-threat combo of piano virtuosity, vocal ability and charisma.”
  • Kelsey Lee Keogh: Keogh can be found regularly performing at SkyCity Restaurant at the Space Needle, Canlis and The Bellevue Collection.
  • Ben Klinger: Klinger dedicated much of his career in the piano industry to helping other artists and organizations grow in exposure and opportunities.
  • Alexander Lu: A Junior at the International Community School in Kirkland, Lu studies piano with Dr. Sasha Starcevich and was the Grand Prize winner of the inaugural “King FM Ten Grands Young Artist Award” competition.
  • Mac Potts: Born blind, with absolutely no vision, whatsoever, Potts began playing piano at about two.



Ten Grands will be presented on Saturday, May 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium at Benaroya Hall. Tickets range from $43-$121 and can be purchased online or by calling (206) 215-4747. Benaroya Hall is located at 200 University St., Seattle 98101.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A ‘Twin Peaks’ Parody Dinner Show

Dinner theatre show at Cafe Nordo
(Cafe Nordo)

THEATRE

Café Nordo is currently presenting Lost Falls, a murder mystery dinner theatre presentation. Set within Café Nordo’s Culinarium, Lost Falls tells of the gruesome (but funny) murder of two chefs at a roadhouse restaurant on Highway 2. Special Agent Eliot Pennis called to the scene of the crime and soon discovers the malevolent forces that are threatening the small, spooky town. As with all good mysteries, everyone is a suspect including the theatre patrons/diners.

Inspired by the TV series Twin Peaks, Café Nordo says the story of Lost Falls begins with a dinner that is disguised as breakfast with a “savory mashed potato donut served with coffee gravy.”

Award winning composer Annastasia Workman has written a score that integrates Angelo Badalamenti style cool jazz and raucous roadhouse blues with Devin Bannon on lead vocals and a live band including Matt Manges on drums and Dave Pascal on bass. The cast of Lost Falls includes Gregory Award Winner Ryan Higgins, Ayo Tushinde, Opal Peachey, Carol Thompson, Ronnie Hill, and Laura Dux.

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Each ticket to Lost Falls includes a 5 course "breakfast" where even the donuts are not what they seem. There is the option of purchasing a ticket with a paired cocktail flight, or purchasing beverages a la carte at the show. The prix fixe menu offers omnivore, vegetarian and gluten free options.

Lost Falls plays through June 25, 2017. Performances are at 8:00 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. Standard tickets are $67 and Guest with Flight tickets are $92; both can be ordered online. Café Nordo is located at 109 S. Main St., Seattle 98104. For more information, visit the Café Nordo website.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

And All That Jazz

Ballard Jazz Fesival

CONCERTS

The Ballard Jazz Festival started in 2003 to highlight the growing jazz scene in old town Ballard with six clubs. For 2017, the festival now runs for four nights featuring over 100 performers playing at 15 different venues. The highlights of the festival include:

Brotherhood of the Drum – Wednesday, May 17
Four drummers lead their own groups at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave. NW beginning at 8:00 p.m.

Guitar Summit – Thursday, May 18
Guitarists take the stage on night two of the festival as we showcase some of the finest six-string talent from the Northwest and beyond again at Conor Byrne Pub at 8:00 p.m.

The Ballard Jazz Walk – Friday, May 19
23 groups will play in 10 different venues all for a single ticket price. The most recognizable event of the festival brings together all styles of jazz and a New Orleans atmosphere with listeners pouring from club-to-club making this a truly one-of-a-kind event.

Mainstage Concert – Saturday, May 20
The crown jewel of the festival features international jazz artists to Ballard at our Mainstage Concert at the Nordic Heritage Museum located at 3014 NW 67th St. The event begins at 7:30 p.m.

For complete information, visit the Ballard Jazz Festival website.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Win an Experience at Portal VR Arcade!

Portal VR Arcade in Seattle
Portal Virtual Reality Arcade and Lounge just opened its doors in Ballard and we are celebrating with Portal with a special giveaway.

Located in Ballard, Portal is designed to provide the highest-quality VR experiences in a sophisticated, but family-friendly atmosphere. Players experience VR in individual booths while others relax in our lounge area enjoying snacks, soft drinks and/or beer. HD monitors throughout the space show what each player is experiencing too, so you won't feel left out.

Portal and Best of Seattle Washington are giving away a free one-hour experience at portal for two or more people (a $39.95 value) to one lucky winner. You have 5 different ways to enter for a better chance of winning (see form below for details). Deadline to enter is 11:59 p.m. on May 5, 2017.

Read more about Portal here.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Honk! Fest West Celebrates 10 Years

Honk Fest West 2017
Honk! Fest West celebrates 10 years this summer. (Honk! Fest West)

CONCERTS

It takes a village to create Honk! Fest West. This free, family-friendly festival is part of a much larger “global renaissance of community street band culture” says the groups’s website. The Seattle celebration features over 25 bands playing in parks and neighborhoods.

“There is a rich community ethic among HONK!ers, who use their music to erode the barriers between professional and novice, and between audience and performers," says the group. "Although uniforms are sometimes used as a performance tool, individuality is key, and group members often hail from all range of classes, ethnicities, ages, and backgrounds. Perhaps most importantly, the honkers’ ultimate goal is to have fun, to relish the art of making fun as a form of individual and collective transcendence, and to encourage others to see and do the same.”

Honk! Fest West is taking donations and volunteers! Visit their website for full details. This year’s events will take place at the following locations and times:

  • June 2nd – Georgetown from 6:00-10:00 p.m.
  • June 3rd – Pioneer Square from 12:00 noon-4:00 p.m, and Waterfront Park from 5:00-9:00 p.m.
  • June 4th – Columbia City from 2:00-6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

‘Dreamgirls’ to Finish Up Season at Village Theatre

"Dreamgirls" at Village Theatre
(Village Theatre)

THEATRE

It’s been a good year for Village Theatre presenting a great mix of musicals and plays for the 2016-2017 season and to finish it up, they will end thing on a high note this spring and summer with Dreamgirls. Set in the 1960’s the award-winning musical will give audiences a look behind the scenes of the 1960s entertainment business.

“I am so excited to be doing such an epic show with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever worked with,” says director, Steve Tomkins. “The whole audition process was just wonderful, as each person came into the room and blew the roof off. I can’t wait for opening night, because this cast is just going to send it through the roof again. They are truly outstanding.”

Headlining the show is Angela Birchett who comes straight from Broadway’s The Color Purple. She will be joined by Lauren Du Pree, Alexandria Henderson, John Devereaux, Nathaniel Tenebaum, Charles Simmons, Ty Willis and Joell Weil. Experience all the onstage joy and backstage drama as an up-and-coming girl group learns hard lessons about love, trust, and what it takes to get to the top.

Dreamgirls will play in following locations and times:

Francis Gaudette Theatre from May 11-July 2, 2017. Performance will be presented on select Tuesdays-Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 7:00 p.m. Matinees will be shown at 2:00 p.m. on both Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling (425) 392-2202. The theatre is located at 303 Front St. N., Issaquah 98027.

Everett Performing Arts Center from July 7-30, 2017. Performances will be presented on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., Sundays at 7:00 p.m. Matinees will be shown at 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling (425) 257-8600. The theatre is located at 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett 98201.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Seattle’s First Virtual Reality Arcade

Portal: A VR Arcade in Seattle
Seattle's first VR arcade (Portal)

ATTRACTIONS

So while Virtual Reality (VR) isn’t exactly a new thing, it is a very current thing and now Seattle has gotten into the action with Portal, the city’s first VR arcade. Located in Ballard, Portal is designed to provide the highest-quality VR experiences in a sophisticated, but family-friendly atmosphere. Players experience VR in individual booths while others relax in our lounge area enjoying snacks, soft drinks and/or beer. HD monitors throughout the space show what each player is experiencing.

Unlike the arcades of yesteryear, Portal features ten booths that are padded for your safety (things can get out of hand if you’re not too careful) and that’s about it. No chairs, no joysticks. “Instead you’ll be actively participating in your VR experience 360 degrees,” says Portal. “We use HTC Vive systems driven by powerful computers with superior graphics capability that provide the state of the art in VR.”

Portal VR Arcade
VR booths are available in 15, 30 and 60 minute blocks. Play by yourself or split your time with others. Pricing per booth: 15 Minutes: $12.95, 30 Minutes: $19.95/$24.95 (two or more people), 60 Minutes: $29.95/$39.95 (two or more people). 15 and 30 minute sessions are available for walk-ins, but for longer sessions, book your space online. You can also try the ridiculously scary “Richie’s Plank Experience” for $4.99 where you will be physically walking a plank just inches off the floor, but in VR, high above a busy street.

Portal is located at 2601 NW Market St. in Seattle and are open Mondays-Thursdays from 2:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m, Fridays from 2:30 p.m. – midnight, Saturdays from 11:00 a.m.-midnight and Sundays from noon-6:00 p.m. For more information, visit their website or call them at (206) 494-0102.