Showing posts with label 2018. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2018. Show all posts

Sunday, November 4, 2018

'Noteworthy Life' is Not Your Typical Musical

The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes
"The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes" (Mark Kitaoka/Village Theatre)
THEATRE REVIEW
Maggie: “Maybe you’re in a new musical.”

Howard: “Is that good?”

Maggie: “Not if you want anyone to see it.”

Those are lines from Village Theatre’s world premiere show, The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes about a guy who finds himself stuck in a musical. That statement is very true for a lot of new shows as it takes some trust going to a new show when you don’t already know some of the music. But in this case, I think it is an exception. Much of the music featured in the new production is toe-tapping and catchy and for that matter, it's one funny show too. That’s not to say that it a perfect production, but certainly an entertaining one on many levels.

The premise of the show is that Howard Barnes is an average Joe kind of guy. There’s nothing really special about him. He’s a single, hockey-loving guy still nursing a broken heart of a previous relationship when suddenly he finds himself in the middle of a musical which sort of plays out like an extended dream sequence. At about 90 minutes in length, it is one of the shortest musicals out there, but it plays with no intermission. I suppose that’s so you don’t lose continuity or something.

The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes
Perhaps ironically, this show is at its best at the beginning when things are pretty simple. Howard (Joshua Carter) lives in New York City (the set of his apartment is great) and his odd neighbor brings him some of his mail that got delivered to him by mistake. That’s when Howard starts to hear music. He goes to bed and suddenly he’s magically brought to the city streets where everyone around him sings “Welcome to Today,” a catchy little tune that will stick in your head for a while (a good sign of a new musical). Then Howard is magically brought to his office with some mysterious co-workers singing around him, but nobody else notices them. He has an awkward encounter with one co-worker, Maggie (Taryn Darr) who he clearly has a crush on, before he’s brought to a hockey game. And who should show up to said game? Maggie. The crowd is shouting to the players on the ice when suddenly one of them shouts at Howard to “Shoot the Puck,” a metaphor for “ask the girl out on a date!” The crowd, still seemingly interested in the game, continue to encourage Howard in song to “shoot the puck” while Maggie watches the games oblivious of what is happening around her. This is not only one of the show’s best songs, but it is the best scene in the musical period. This is when the play is its simplest. A musical is happening all around Howard, but he’s the only one who can hear it. Very clever and I wish the rest of the show was like this, but it’s not.

Howard gets transported again back to his apartment and his ex-girlfriend Grace (Jasmine Jean Sim) shows up in his closet wearing a wedding gown. She simultaneously teases him about being commitment phobic while encouraging him to live life to the fullest. She pops up over and over again in the show and it’s hard to figure out if she is the show’s villain or if she’s doing work as a godmother type of character.

The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes
Eventually, Howard confesses to Maggie about his dilemma, who surprisingly takes it well. It is here that the show feels like a whole different one going down a rabbit hole or a trip similar to the one Dorothy had to during The Wizard of Oz. Maggie is now an unrealistic character trying to help Howard to get out of “his musical.” In order to do so, they must find the great Von Schwartzenheim (Jeff Steitzer who is ALWAYS great on stage) who has written the best musicals ever known, on how to escape. In my opinion, this is a mistake. Some of the scenes that follow work really well while others fall flat. The show manages to poke fun at other forms of theatre (the “Let It Out” number with the “experimental” artists is especially great) while also including a variety of characters and lines from such well-known musicals. This is actually pretty fun for those who have seen a lot of musicals over the years. Many of the characters in this show pop up as characters they played before including Mallory King as Mary Poppins, Sarah Russell as one of the Dreamgirls and Greg McCormick Allen as the Musicman. Other musicals represented include Annie, Peter Pan, Hairspray, Cats, Chicago, Avenue Q and even Hamilton! The show even breaks through the fourth wall involving the audience a bit.

All in all, this is a fun show that is unlike any you have seen before it, but it also feels unpolished as is. There are a few too many clever ideas here and I appreciated many of the things they bring up like the problem with dance sequences or those boring songs thrown in your favorite musical which feel as if they are only there to extend the length of the show. Some of these references work while other don’t. There are also a few crass lines that take the innocent quality away from the show and some scenes that while are entertaining, don’t really make much sense to the story at all. Of course, everything ends up happy in the end, but this isn’t a show for families.



The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes continues its run at the Everett Performing Arts Center through November 18. Tickets can be purchased online or by call the box office at 425.257.8600.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Taproot's 'Baskerville' is a Hilarious, Yet Faithful, Sherlock Holmes Adventure

Review of "Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery."
Michael Patten and Reginald André Jackson (Photos by Erik Stuhaug)
THEATRE REVIEW

While perhaps not intending to, Taproot Theatre’s production of Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery offers a unique alternative to the usual Halloween fare around town. Of all of the Sherlock Holmes tales, The Hound of the Baskervilles is the most Halloween-ish story with a mysterious creature killing people in swampy area. Baskerville takes the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle mystery and turns it into a family-friendly Halloween special. Though it only runs through October 20, chances are fairly good that it might be extended and continue throughout the month. I have no way of knowing for sure, so you’ll want to get your tickets now just to be safe.

Review of "Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery."
Eric Hampton
Director Scott Nolte puts a little of his own sense of humor into this show which is already hilarious while also being faithful to the source material. In the story, Dr. James Mortimer pleads with Sherlock to investigate the death of his friend Sir Charles Baskerville who died on the grounds of his own estate reportedly attacked by a gigantic beast. Some say the death was part of curse. Mortimer tells Sherlock that he fears for Sir Charles’ nephew, Sir Henry, the sole heir of the estate, who plans to move into the now-vacant home. Fearing that Henry might suffer the same fate, he asks Sherlock to look into this mystery, something Sherlock has no trouble getting interested in.

Review of "Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery."
Michael Patten, Elizabeth Keck, 
Nick Watson and Reginald André Jackson
In Baskerville, the story is given a comedy treatment with all 35 characters being played by only five actors. Okay, to be fair, Michal Patten and Reginald Andre Jackson play Holmes and Dr. Watson. It’s the other three actors who portray the other 33 characters. This calls for quick costume and character changes throughout along with a few technical mishaps and hi-jinx. The other actors are Nick Watson, Elizabeth Keck and Eric Hampton. Together, this troupe creates the perfect ensemble comedy where Sherlock is the main character, but not necessarily the star of the show. The honor is pretty much evenly spread between the five.

Baskerville is different in another way too. This Sherlock is bit different than what we usually see. Yes, his deductive reasoning is still uncanny to be sure, but this detective is more playful and fun. He’s smart, but not overly intellectual. The story also presents a unique friendship between Doctor Watson and Sir Henry (Nick Watson), a cowboy from Canada. There is also a large section of the play where Sherlock doesn’t appear at all, making this friendship even more important. If played by less talented actors, the story would surely drag.

Designed by Richard Lorig, the cartoonish set with it’s bright blue and purple colors serves as another character and plays multiple roles as well with quick change projections designed by Mark Lund. There is a lot going on here leaving a lot of room for mistakes, but the production I saw was nearly flawless.

As of now, Baskerville continues through October 20. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the box office at (206) 781-9707. Taproot Theatre is located at 204 N. 85th St., Seattle 98103. Parking can be a bit tricky, so be sure to look at the Theatre’s suggestions on their website and leave early enough before the show to find a spot.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Danny Gokey: Hope Encounter Tour Coming Soon

Danny Gokey's "The Hope Encounter" Tour
Danny Gokey
CONCERTS
Danny Gokey is gearing up for his first-ever headline tour with this fall’s Hope Encounter. Also featuring GRAMMY® nominee Tauren Wells and breakout artist Riley Clemmons, the tour will hit 29 markets across the country, including Seattle on October 21, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at Eastridege Church.

“It’s been a dream of mine since American Idol to headline my own major tour,” says Gokey. “That platform opened my eyes to the power of mixing hope with entertainment. Hearing a message of hope at just the right time can truly make an impact in someone’s life. Getting this opportunity is a dream come true! I love touring, being with fans, and seeing first-hand how the music can encourage people in a time in our society where hope (mixed with a little fun) is so desperately needed.”

Gokey became a favorite of millions of fans as a Top 3 finalist on Season 8 of American Idol. His first album, My Best Days, debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart. Since then, the Wisconsin native has celebrated a series of #1 album debuts, including his first award-winning holiday album, Christmas Is Here, as well as singles including the recently Gold-certified “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again” and “Hope In Front of Me.” Gokey’s latest album, Rise, reached #1 on the Billboard Top Christian Album chart and garnered his first Grammy nomination. Its title track, marked his third, multi-week, multi-chart #1 single.

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased here. Eastridge Church is located at 24205 SE Issaquah Fall City Rd, Issaquah, Washington 98029.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Cirque Du Soleil Returns with “Volta”

"Volta" will perform at Marymoor Park this fall. (Cirque Du Soleil)
SPECIAL EVENTS
While the circus days of Barnum and Bailey and live animals are now gone, we still have Cirque Du Soleil and all of the acrobat feats that come with it.

Returning once again to Marymoor Park this fall, Volta is described as “the ultimate achievement” according to Cirque Du Soleil.

“Volta is a captivating voyage of discovery,” says the press materials. “It’s about finding yourself, and unveiling your personal powers. Inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of street sports, the show weaves acrobatics in a visually striking world driven by a stirring melodic score.”

This year’s show appears to be a bit different from previous ones as this one has a storyline involving a gameshow contestant who is apparently ashamed of himself because he’s different. He searches for fame in hopes of receiving love and acceptance from others, but of course that is not the solution.
Volta is said to be “about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and recognizing one’s own power to make it possible. Ultimate freedom comes with self-acceptance, and with the liberation of the judgement of others.”

Acts Include:

Acro Lamp
An aerial artist flies in long sweeping arcs. Hanging on with his hands or feet, he swings and spins gracefully using the light to metaphorically illuminate the journey of the character.

Hand to Hand
Two colourful acrobats perform a daring hand to hand duo while rolling on a unicycle as part of a striking group choreography.

Shape Diving
In an electric, urban atmosphere, artists tumble and jump through shapes, sometimes feet first, sometimes backwards, sometimes bent in half, even adding breakdancing and hip-hop-style moves into the mix.

BMX
Five riders invade the stage to deliver a jaw-dropping, fast and furious performance of nonstop acrobatics on wheels.

Flatland & Ballet Duo
Coming from disciplines that seem worlds apart, two artists create mirror-like images in a mesmerizing synchronized choreography.

Rope Skipping
With an urban, hip hop attitude, they tumble, flip, and perform handstand hops through the spinning ropes

Acrobatic Ladder
Artists climb on two giant articulated ladders pivoting on stage. They execute stunning acrobatic figures while spinning majestically over the audience.



Volta will be playing at the park from September 7 through November 4, 2018 with tickets starting at $39. (Bring some extra cash with you as the park usually charges extra for parking,) Tickets can be purchased online here. Marymoor Park is located at 6046 West Lake Sammamish Parkway NE, Redmond, WA 98052.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Doin' the Puyallup Once Again

Washington State Fair
Washington State Fair
SPECIAL EVENTS
You’d better wake up early and pace yourself if you plan on seeing everything The Washington State Fair in Puyallup has to offer including a rodeo, exhibits, special presentations, concerts, rides, food, animals, arts and crafts, kids fun, over 700 vendors and of course - scones. The Washington State Fair is in operation August 31 through September 23, 2018 and open every day except Tuesdays and Wednesday, September 5. The fairgrounds are located at 110 9th Ave. SE, Puyallup, WA 98371.

The Basics
Hours:
Mon-Thu. 10:30 A.M.-9:30 p.m., Fri. 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Sun. 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. (Closed Tuesdays and September 5)

Tickets:
General admission (ages 13-61) is $14, Children ages 6-12 get in for $11 and those younger than that get in for free! Seniors (ages 62+) get in for $11.

Parking: Mon.-Fri. $10, Sat.-Sun. $15

What to See
The following will be on site at the fair every day this year: Fair Farm, Grange Displays, Discover the Dinosaurs ($7 additional), Hobby Hall, Home Arts, Northwest Outdoors, Outpost 47, Pioneer Experience 1880’s Variety Show, Planting Patch, Sillyville Rides, The Farm at Sillyville, Timber Gulch, Tractor Tracks, Tumbleweed Crossing Comedy Wild West Gunfight Stunt Show, Woolriders Only Mutton Busting.

Washington State Fair
Cirque Ma’Ceo Equestrian Stunt Show
Special Limited Events:
Urban Farm and Garden: Aug. 31 – Sept. 3
Cirque Ma’Ceo Equestrian Stunt Show: Aug. 31-Sept. 3 ($7 additional)
Run the Puyallup: Sept. 1
World’s Biggest Bounce House: Sept. 6-9
Animals of the World: Sept. 6-12
Seahawks’ Ultimate Fan Contest: Sept. 23
Seahawks’ Ultimate Tailgate: Sept. 23
Thirsty Thursdays at Brew Park: Thursdays
Fireworks Spectacular: Fridays

Washington State Fair
Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles
This Year's Concerts:
Aug. 1: Chicago at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 1: Khalid at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 2: Florida Georgia Line at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 3: Lost 80’s Live at 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 7: Scotty McCreery at 9:00 p.m.
Sept. 8: Jamey Johnson at 9:00 p.m.
Sept. 10: Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 12: Seal at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 13: Boy George and Culture Club at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 14: Terry Fator at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 15: Toby Keith at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 16: Fiestas Patrias
Sept. 17: Lauren Daigle at 7:30 p.m.
Washington State Fair
The classic wooden coaster
Sept. 19: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts/Cheap Trick at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 20: Brett Eldredge at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 21: Macklemore at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 22: Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 23: Rascal Flatts at 7:30 p.m.

Deals and Discounts
The Washington State Fair offers a large selection of deals and discounts throughout its run. You can find them all here. For discounts on rides, check here.

For more complete information regarding this year’s fair, visit the website.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Don't Forget Your 'Bumpershoot' This Labor Day

CONCERTS
Named after the humble umbrella, The Bumpershoot festival is held every Labor Day weekend at the Seattle Center.

Nearly 50 years of age, thousands come through the gates to enjoy music of all kinds, comedy, spoken word, dance, live theatre and more at both indoor and outdoor stages. Some of the performing act are:

Music Lineup: J. Cole, The Chainsmokers, SZA, Fleet Foxes, Lil Wayne, Illenium, Portugal The Man, RL Grime, Phoenix, Ludacris, Young Thug, Chromeo, Blondie, Cold War Kids, T-Pain, Mura Masa, Gryffin, DVSN, Rhye Bishop Briggs, Tinashe, The Revolution, Tritonal, Kelela, Lane 8, Emancipator Ensemble, Moses Sumney, Deorro, Marian Hill, AJR, Noah Gundersen, Towkio, Poolside, Superorganism, Bahamas, Bhad Bhabie, Elderbrook, Olivia O’Brien, Saweetie, Arkells, Black Pistol Fire, Yung Pinch, Cherry Glazerr, London On Da Track, Sasha Sloan, Knox Fortune, Elohim, Mt. Joy, Xavier Omar, Hobo Johnson & the Lovemakers, Daysormay, Ducky, Maxo Kream, Fisher, Field Report, Sloucher, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Kailee Morgue, Marc E. Bassy, The Pink Slips, Ella Vos, Jade Bird, GG Magree, BAS, Jillian Jacqueline, Duckwrth, The Regrettes, Ripe, Travis Thompson, Jack Harlow, Knife Knights, Grynch, Yuno, Jpegmafia, Cozz, LovelytheBand, Wimps, Ethan Tucker, Khanvict, Carlie Hanson, Xie, Great Grandpa, Brent Amaker the the Rodeo, Donormaal, UMII, Noodles, DJ100Proof, Mersiv, Jo Passed, BAG (Blimes X Gifted Gab, Jake Crocker, Let’s Eat Grandma, Desure, Skating Polly, Craig Jaffe, Micaiah Sawyer

Comedy and Conversation Lineup: Eugene Mirman, Last Podcast on the Left, Think It, Say It, Do It, Langston Kerman, The Omnibus Project with Ken Jennings & John Roderick, Emily Heller, Alex Edelman, Sam Jay, Josh Johnson, Liza Treyger, Shane Torres, Haunting Renditions: Plugged in with Eliot Glazer, Chris Fairbanks, On Deck with Courtney Karwal, Jamel Johnson and Mike Mulloy, Amir K., Kate Willett, Lisa Best, Off Book: The Improvised Musical with Jessica McKenna and Zack Reino, Bri Pruett, Dear Owen Wilson with Blair Socci, Kortney Shane Williams, Gavin Matts, Bad Jokes with Wilfred Padua and Hansmjustin, Sophie Buddle, Arts Corps Presents: Youth Speak Seattle, Alyssa Yeoman, Seattle Battle of the Word, Sam I’Am – They/Them.

Visual Arts Lineup: Dylan Neuwirth (Courtesy of Season), Celeste Cooning, 1 Reel Film Fest, Pottery Northwest, Everyday Black, Laser Dome at Pacific Science Center, Rockart Poster Show, Subpop Pop Up, Ames Bros. Pop-Up, Amplifier, Let’s Get Visual Visual, Alchemy Arts Collective, Art/Not Terminal Gallery

Dance Lineup:
Yogashoot: Presented by Corepower & Yogahustle, Khambatta Dance Company, Massive Monkees, Seattle Kokon Taiko, Theatre Puget Sound

All performances areas and venues and designed for all-ages, however the material shared may not be appropriate for children. However, there is a special children’s programming area for kids age 12 and under. Some areas are marked as “Emerald” or “VIP” where alcohol is allowed but children are not. This year’s Bumpershoot will be held August 31 through September 2, 2018. For tickets and other info, check out the festival's website.

Friday, July 20, 2018

‘Sweet Land’ is a Satisfying Experience

Hugh Hastings, Michael Winters, Pam Nolte, Molli Corcoran, Tyler Todd Kimmel, 
Daniel Stoltenberg, April Poland and Chris Shea. (Photo by Erik Stuhaug)

THEATRE REVIEW

Seattle’s Taproot Theatre often takes chances presenting plays and musicals based on works that are not that well-known instead of tried-and-true favorites. It can be difficult to drum up interest in such productions. Even though the theatre’s current production of Sweet Land is based on the 2006 movie of the same name, it is an independent movie and not too many people are aware of it, but they should. Taproot has the distinction of being the west coast premiere location for the musical which just might be the start for this new show.

The story of Sweet Land is a simple one. In 1920, a young German woman named Inge (Molli Corcoran) agrees to cross the sea to marry Olaf (Tyler Todd Kimmel) a Norwegian man whom she has never met. She knows very little English and on her journey has worked hard with one phrase, “I could eat a horse” finding that it isn’t as useful as she might have thought. The plan was for Olaf to pick up Inge at the train station and head straight to the church to be married. But there is a hitch. Still bruised from World War I, many residents of Park Rapids, Minnesota as suspicious of Germans thinking that Inge could be a spy. This includes Pastor Sorenson (Hugh Hastings) who refuses to marry the couple unless they can come up with some sort of references for the girl, preferably from a clergy member from her hometown. The justice of peace in town also refuses. The couple can’t get married and they can’t live in the same house as it would appear to not only scandalous but also against Inge’s and Olaf’s own religious upbringing.

To make matters even more difficult, Olaf is extremely shy and actually avoids his bride who is having her own hard time fitting in. Alvin and “Brownie” Frandsen (Chris Shea and April Poland) take in the girl to live with their rather large family while things get sorted out. Brownie shows Inge how to read American recipes and despite his uncertain feelings for Inge, Pastor Sorenson agrees to teach Inge English using the Bible as his guide. Still, suspicion and prejudice abound.

Molli Corcoran, Tyler Todd Kimmel (Photo by Erik Stuhaug)
On top of everything else, Sweet Land has a rather “sweet” message about the value of sexual purity of all things. As the audience, we get to see how this innocent romance between two strangers bloom. Both Inge and Olaf avoid any act or behavior that could be considered improper. The romance grows naturally and the two long for the day when they can finally be wed to experience all the joys that marriage has to offer. The story is a refreshing one and speaks volumes to many people today who hardly scoff at a one-night-stand.

I haven’t seen the movie and suspect that it is considered more of a drama than anything else. But the stage play has plenty of laughs in this fish out of water comedy. Kimmel and Corcoran are especially good as the potential love birds. I don’t know if Corcoran spoke German before she was cast in the play, but you’d never know if she hadn’t. Both she and Kimmel are very animated and their facial expressions are tell us everything that they are thinking without saying a word. The story moves at a good pace and music is pleasant enough and doesn’t pull the audience away from the story. There is an auction scene that is tied to a musical number that is especially good at creating tension. The musicians include Michael Matlock (piano), Dexter Stevens (reeds), Emily Ravenscraft (violin) and Leah Pogwizd (bassist). The cast is rounded out with Jenny Cross, Michael Winters, Pam Nolte and Daniel Stoltenberg, all equally good.

The only negative I found with Sweet Land is the portrayal of Pastor Sorenson. While on one hand he is scene a pillar of the community and one that is fully involved in helping the various neighbors during their crop’s harvests. On the other hand, he is shown as a judgmental jerk who assumes the worst about Olaf and Inge’s relationship and even spreads rumors about the two. Haven’t we had enough stories about judgmental clergy members? Isn’t it time to have stories that represent pastor and priests with good hearts and good examples for a change? They do exist.

Tickets can be purchased online, by phone at 206-781-9707 or in person at the Box Office. Tickets range from $27-$50 depending on the performance. The theatre does offer some discounts, so be sure to visit their website to take advantage of them. Sweet Land is recommended for those age 12 and older. Taproot Theatre is located at 204 N 85th St. in Seattle.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Taproot Presents the West Coast Premiere of 'Sweet Land'

THEATRE

Taproot Theatre presents the West Coast premiere of Sweet Land which is based on the film of the same name (by Ali Selim) and the short story, "A Gravestone Made of Wheat" by Will Weaver. In this sweeping musical that soars like the Minnesota skies, a young German woman crosses the sea to marry a man she’s never met. What should be their happy ending is met with suspicion and prejudice as friends and neighbors abandon them. But when hardship befalls the community, Inge and Olaf sacrifice everything to save their friends.

Directed by Karen Lund, the Sweet Land musical was written by Perrin Post and Laurie Flanigan Hegge with music by Dina Maccabee and lyrics by Laurie Flanigan Hegge. Sweet Land will play from July 11 to August 18, 2018. Regular performances will be held Wednesdays and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday matinees will be performed at 2:00 p.m. Special performances include Post Play Discussions after every Wednesday performance, the "Pay What You Can Afford" performance will be presented on July 18 at 7:30 p.m. and the Senior Matinee (for those age 62 and older) will be presented on July 17.

Tickets can be purchased online, by phone at 206-781-9707 or in person at the Box Office. Tickets range from $27-$50 depending on the performance. The theatre does offer some discounts, so be sure to visit their website to take advantage of them. Sweet Land is recommended for those age 12 and older. Taproot Theatre is located at 204 N 85th St. in Seattle.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

What You'll Miss If You Skip Seafair 2018

(Photo: Sterling Yun)

SPECIAL EVENTS

The Seattle Seafair Weekend Festival has been in operation since 1950. This year, it promises to be just as much fun (if not more) than it was 69 years ago. Sure, some of the sights and sounds have changed, but the spirit of the festival continues to impress and entertain every year. This year’s festival will take place on August 3-5, 2018 at Genesee Park (4316 S Genesee St, Seattle, WA 98118) with festivities happening in the air as well as on the water each day from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Boeing Air Show Featuring the Blue Angels
The Boeing Seafair Air Show features those men in blue performing acrobatic stunts and demonstrations with twists, turns, flips (and hopefully not flops) by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, A10 Jet, A-10 Thunderbolt Warthog, P-51 Mustang Warbird, Mike Wiskus Aerobatic Stunt Plane, Brad Wuersten Aerobatic Stunt Plane, PBY Catalina also known as the American flying boat, the Port Angeles US Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and a bunch more.

Albert Lee Appliance Cup Featuring H1 Hydroplane Racing
The Albert Lee Appliance Cup is the third oldest unlimited race site. Hydroplanes sort of “fly” above the water by a principle of fluid dynamics known as “planing." Only a small part of these ship’s hull actually touches the water during the race! Definitely a must see event.

Other Events
Other events happening this year at the 2018 Seafair Weekend include the Graham Trucking Seafair Cup, the Hyperlite World Class Wakeboarding competition, Monster Energy's BMX Stunt Bikes, the Kids Zone with inflatables and game and more!

Dates, Times, Tickets and All That Jazz
This year’s festival happens August 3-5, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day. Single day admission ticket are $30 if purchased before August 2, 2018. Ticket prices increase to $40 at the gate. The 3-Day Festival Championship Admission is $75. Youth (ages 6-12) and Seniors (age 62 and up) are just $10 each.

Grandstand Seating on Friday is $30 and $60 on Saturday and Sunday (each day). Friday’s Captain’s Club Seating is $125 and the Captain’s Club Seating for Saturday and Sunday is $150 (each day). Pit Passes are $10.

Active duty, reserve, & retired military may enter Seafair Weekend Festival for free by presenting their Military ID badge at the special Boeing & Military entry gate at Genesee Park. Active duty, reserve, & retired military may also purchase additional reduced price general admission tickets at the gate for $20 per ticket, per day.

Log Boom Tickets
Arguably the best view of the hydroplanes races and the Blue Angels is from what is known as the Seafair Log Boom. Space is limited and tickets are pricey, but if you’re in the mood to splurge (and a lot of people do) here’s your chance.

The Best 4th of July Events in Seattle

Best 4th of July activities in Seattle
(Pixabay)
SPECIAL EVENTS

While more cities and towns are banning personal fireworks, their Independence Day events are getting bigger and better every year providing safe, fun and (often times) free family celebrations. Here is a list of where to check out this year. All are expected to have a large attendance, so the earlier you arrive the better. Also, don't plan to leave in a hurry either. Be sure to pack up your patience you when pack up your picnic supplies.

Bellevue
More than 60,000 people are expected to attend and roam around the 20-acre park for the 27th annual Bellevue Family 4th presented by The Bellevue Collection. The free festivities include live music, kid’s activities, family entertainment and a spectacular fireworks show set to a performance by the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra.The runs from 2:00-10:30 p.m. at Bellevue Downtown Park located at 10201 N.E. 4th St. Complimentary parking will be available at The Bellevue Collection beginning at 6:00 p.m. More info>>> 

Edmonds
For 111 years, the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce has sponsored this all-day party event which begins at 10:00 a.m. Festivities for the day include a 5K Beat Brackett Fun Run, two evening parades, food trucks, live music, dancing and of course fireworks beginning at 10:00 p.m. at Civic Field located at 6th Ave. N. More Info>>>

Everett
Begin the day off at the Colors of Freedom Parade beginning at 11:00 a.m. down Colby and Wetmore Avenue in downtown. Lots of marching bands, floats and more. Then, head to Legion Park for the Freedom Festival held from 1:00-11:00 p.m.Free kids’ activities, food fair, beer garden and live music. The Thunder on the Bay fireworks show begins at 10:20 p.m. More Info>>>

Federal Way
Federal Way's Red, White and Blues Festival will be held at Celebration Park located at 1095 S. 324th St. beginning at 3:00 p.m. Enjoy entertainment, games, arts and craft and more. Fireworks begin at 10:00 p.m. or so. More info>>>

Kent
The Fourth of July Splash will be held on the shores of Lake Meridian Park located at 14800 SE 272nd St., a full day of fun is planned beginning at 12:00 noon with bouncy houses, T-Bird Puck and Shoot, food booths, old-fashioned games, pie-eating contests and live entertainment all day long. Fireworks begin at 10:00 p.m. More Info>>>

Kirkland
Celebrating the 4th in Kirkland is an all-day affair. Beginning at 10:00 a.m., children will decorate and prepare for the Children’s parade which begins at 11:30 a.m. followed by the Old Fashioned Downtown parade at noon. Then, head on over to Marina Park at 1:00 p.m. to picnic or purchase food from local vendors. Live music begins at 5:00 p.m. and the day finishes up with fireworks at 10:15 p.m. More Info>>>

LakewoodLakewood’s Freedom Fest will be celebrated at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Cowan and Memorial Stadiums from 11:00 a.m.-10:30 p.m. with a carnival, car show, roving entertainers, live music, lots of food vendors and more. More Info >>>

Newcastle
Celebrate the 4th from 6:00-10:00 p.m. at Lake Boren Park with food, live music and fireworks starting at 10:00 p.m. More Info >>>

Renton
Renton’s Fabulous 4th of July kicks things off early at 7:00 a.m. Festivities will be held at the Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park located at 1201 Lake Washingon Blvd. N. The Sand Blast Volleyball Tournament will go on from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.n. at the YMCA, KidZone activities including inflatables and face-painting will be held at Walmart from Noon-8:00 p.m., live music will be presented from 12:30-9:30 p.m. and the fireworks show will begin at 10:00 p.m. More Info >>>

SeaTac
SeaTac’s Family Fourth of July will be held at Angle Lake Park located at 19408 International Blvd. featuring a spray park, bouncy houses, live music and more from 11:00 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Fireworks begin at 10:00 p.m. More Info >>>

Seattle
The mother of all Independence Day events, the Seafair Summer 4th will be celebrated at both Gas Works Park from Noon-11:00 p.m. and Lake Union Park from 4:00-11:00 p.m. Both events are free but if you’d like reserved seating for the spectacular fireworks show, that is available as well. Lots of food vendors and a beer garden and live music. The All-American Games in Gas Works Park will feature pie-eating contests, sack races and more. The legendary fireworks show begins at 10:20 p.m. featuring 8,500 pounds of fireworks, so leave your sparklers at home. More Info >>>

Tacoma
Tacoma celebrates its 40th year of the Freedom Fair, Car and Air Show held at the Tacoma Narrows Airport (located at 4109 E-7 Bridgeport Way, University Place, WA 98466) from 10:00 a.m.-10:30 p.m. The event features seven stages of live entertainment, an air show, multiple car shows, honoring of military heroes and international food marketplace. Fireworks to begin around 10:00 p.m. More Info >>>

Tukwila
Family 4th at the Fort will be held from 9:00 a.m.-10:30 p.m. at Fort Dent Park located at 6800 Fort Dent Way, Tukwila, 98188. Special event activities begin at 4:00 p.m. with inflatables, live music, food vendors, games and more. Fireworks begin at about 10:00 p.m. More Info >>>

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.”

<<<GROUPON DISCOUNT AVAILABLE!>>>

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.

<<<GROUPON DISCOUNT AVAILABLE HERE>>>

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.

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.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Seattle Bike Show and Outdoor & Adventure Expo

 SPECIAL EVENT 

Held at the CenturyLink Field Event Center, two shows come together for one exciting time. The Outdoor Gear & Adventure Expo combines some interactive fun with more than 100 exhibitors from the Pacific Northwest. Here you can try out a 250’ Zip Line, climbing wall, bike pump track, beer garden and take in a number of great speakers and presenters. Meanwhile, the Seattle Bike Show features the best of biking with over 75 different exhibitors promising to offer some of the lowest prices for various gear along with some well-known speakers and presenters. You’ll be able to test out new bikes in the test ride area (there’s one for kids too!), enjoy a performance by Ride & Glide Professional BMX Stunt Team and more. It’s all happening Saturday, March 3 (9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) and Sunday, March 4 (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) at the CenturyLink Field Event Center which is located at 800 Occidental Ave. S., 98134. Tickets are $12 and those age 17 and under get in free. Tickets are good for both shows.

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Emerald City Never Looked So Green

Seattle's St. Patrick's Day Parade

SPECIAL EVENTS

Seattle's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade will be marching along the newly green striped path on Saturday, March 17, 2018 beginning at 12:20 p.m. for the Irish Flag Raising at the King County Administration Building (located at 500 5th Avenue) where both Irish and the U.S. National Anthems will be played. Then the parade will proceed from Jefferson up 4th Avenue to Westlake Park. Then, the party continues all weekend long (March 17-18, 2018) at the Seattle Center Armory at 305 Harrison St. for the annual Irish Festival featuring  Irish music, singing, dancing, workshops, lectures, cultural displays, Irish art exhibits, children’s activities and traditional Irish food and beverages too. You could even win a free vacation to Ireland. The event runs from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. Both events will save you some green as admission is free!