A way to keep up with Seattle theaters, concert halls, galleries, museums and other fine-arts events.
December 5, 2013 at 4:23 PM
If you’re looking for something warmer to do, here are a few suggestions. Clue other readers into your favorite cozy spots in the comments thread.
FIREPLACE BARS: When nothing but live flame will do, head to a bar or restaurant with fireplaces, such as Bastille in Ballard or The Sorrento’s Fireside Room on First Hill. For a little extra fun, the Sorrento hosts a set of vintage and tropical jazz on Friday night, featuring Hawaiian jazz vocalist Nikki Dee.
STEAM ROOM: How about a trip to the South Lake Union spa Banya 5, where $40 buys you unlimited use of the Turkish steam room, tepid and hot pools, a tea lounge and more. Afterward, stop by Venik for a hot drink.
December 5, 2013 at 9:53 AM
Kirkland Arts Center Gallery is home right now to the exhibit “Gone to the Dogs.” Which is fine, if you like dogs and all. KAC has decided cat lovers need a few strokes, and is hosting three screenings of CatVidFest with guest Will Braden — he’s a Garfield grad, CatVidFest winner and creator of the squee-worthy “Henri, le Chat Noir.” Irresistible, no? The screenings, brought you by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, are Jan. 3 and 4, but limited to 125 people each….right now, tix aren’t available to the general public; visit here for updates. (Such a deal, too: the $25 ticket price includes light snack and beverages and a signed copy of the Henri, le Chat Noir calendar.)
December 4, 2013 at 7:43 PM
Do you deck your halls for the holidays? The Seattle Times invites you to share a photo of your home in its seasonal glory. Our editors will choose a favorite or two to publish in the paper, and our no. 1 pick will also receive a $100 Starbucks gift card.
Complete contest rules are here; please read them prior to submitting. Deadline: 5 p.m. Dec. 18.
December 3, 2013 at 4:03 PM
Mark Helprin has been publishing breathtaking books since his breakout novel, the fantasy “Winter’s Tale,” was published in 1983. “Winter’s Tale” is set in a magical New York where horses fly, burglars fall in love with wealthy young women and true love conquers some very serious obstacles. In his new book, “In Sunlight and Shadow,” he returns to that terrain. “Sunlight and Shadow” is a new story of two mismatched lovers, and it’s set in 1947, a glorious era of wealth, ambition and corruption, which Helprin brings to life through his lyrical prose.
Helprin discusses his book and the writing life tonight on “Well Read,” the books and authors program on state public affairs network TVW. It airs at 7 and 10 p.m. tonight (Comcast channel 23 in Seattle).
Or, you can watch it here.
For more information, here’s The Seattle Times review.
December 3, 2013 at 12:44 PM
Actor Christopher Evan Welch, a native Texan well-known to Seattle audiences from his school/work here, died Monday in Los Angeles. Seattle Times theater critic Misha Berson shares this:
There are some actors whose mere presence produces a jolt: when they step on stage, the electricity crackles and recharges the atmosphere. That was often my experience watching Christopher Evan Welch, a Dallas native who began his successful acting career in Seattle in the early 1990s and who died Monday, in Los Angeles. He was 48, and according to close friends, he had quietly battled cancer for several years. The disease had been in remission, but he suddenly fell ill.
I began hearing about Welch while he was still a graduate student in the Professional Actors Training Program at UW. “You have to see this guy,” was the word, and I soon got the opportunity when he made his professional debut in 1991, starring in Tony Kushner’s “The Illusion” at ACT Theatre. Playing a reckless young rake in 17th-century France, Welch was already a magnetic performer whose wit, charisma and physical command (he finessed some thrilling sword fights ) were unmistakable.
He went on to perform major roles at Shakespeare festivals, and artistic director Daniel Sullivan quickly recruited him for Seattle Repertory Theatre, where Welch honed his sly comedic gifts and superb character-actor chops. As a glum mischief-maker in “She Stoops to Conquer,” a sleazy lawyer (in “Buying Time”), an arrogant psychiatrist in “Harvey,” he was an ace Rep ensemble player who always blended in, and always stood out.
Recalled fellow actor and PATP grad Kevin Loomis, “Chris was a major talent, incredibly adept at comedy. When we did ’Harvey’ together, he had all of us in stitches.”
After excelling opposite Bill Irwin at the Rep, in a boisterous version of Moliere’s “Scapin,” Welch went with the show to New York, and got busy there, performing on Broadway (he was a despicable Puritan minister in “The Crucible” opposite Liam Neeson) and in many Off Broadway productions, including Shakespeare plays in Central Park. Most recently he co-starred with Edie Falco in the Liz Flahive play “The Madrid,” earlier this year.
He became more widely known for his work in dozens of films (“The Master,” “Lincoln,” the narrator in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”), and on TV series,
where he had a role in “Rubicon” and guest roles in popular series including the “Law and Order” franchise and “The Sopranos.” He was filming a new HBO series, “Silicon Valley,” just before his death.
Though he often played jerks and weasels, Welch himself was nothing like that offstage. He was friendly and funny, a family guy, a rocker who performed in Seattle with his band, The Ottoman Bigwigs, and favored a grunge-style shaggy look when not in costume.
I interviewed Chris in New York in 1997, as his career was taking off, and I was struck by his humility, openness and dedication to his craft. He had just turned down “about a million Gen-X sit-coms,” he told me, to accept a small role working in Al Pacino’s indie film “Chinese Coffee” — because, well, it was Pacino.
Welch returned to Seattle in 2000, to perform in the U.S. premiere of Martin McDonagh’s “A Skull in Connemara” at ACT. Now his many friends and colleagues here are mourning his loss.
Welch is survived by his wife, Emma, and their 3-year old daughter, June, as well as his parents and two siblings. Funeral services in Dallas are pending.
December 3, 2013 at 11:17 AM
From Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times arts writer and wide-ranging wanderer:
It’s not every art venue that includes instructions to “BYOSleepingBag” when announcing an upcoming event. The event in question: The unveiling of “Space Weather Listening Booth” in the basement of Belltown’s Interstitial Theatre.
“Booth” is the brainchild of Seattle composers Nat Evans and John Teske. Its purpose is to create “an immersive acoustic and electronic piece based on the aurora borealis.” Musicians Tom Baker (theremin and electronics), Naomi Siegel (trombone), Evan Smith (saxophone) and composer Evans himself (percussion) will serve up live accompaniment to a 50-minute cycle of electronic sounds. Musicians and electronics, alike, will surround the audience.
“Attendees are encouraged to bring pillows, sleeping bags, blankets, etc.,” Evans writes, “for maximum enjoyment of the immersive surround-sound experience.” 8 p.m. Dec. 6, Interstitial Theatre, 2231 First Ave., Seattle; $5 suggested donation.
December 2, 2013 at 10:26 AM
Let the holidays begin! Ring ‘em in with music of all kinds. Some suggestions:
November 29, 2013 at 11:46 AM
When it comes to movies and entertainment, this is one of the busiest weekends of the year. If you need a little guidance to plan your outings, we’ve got you covered.
Our list of 250-plus holiday festivals and arts events will give you the lay of the land.
Then we have an array of articles on holiday happenings taking place this week: offbeat plays and musicals; Seattle Symphony’s holiday pops programs; the Deck the Hall Ball and Seattle Men’s Chorus. And we’ve got the nuts-and-bolts details on downtown Seattle holiday attractions, Seattle Center Winterfest and Bellevue’s Magic Season.
Finally, you can find this week’s major movie reviews (“Philomena,” “Black Nativity,” “The Armstrong Lie,” “Frozen”) on our movies page. And don’t forget to pick up Sunday’s paper or check back on seattletimes.com on Sunday for a long list of hotly anticipated movie openings between now and Christmas (stay classy, Ron Burgundy!).
Want more? Click here to view a video weekend preview, highlighting “Nutcracker,” “A Christmas Carol” and more, taped this morning at KING 5 TV.
November 28, 2013 at 12:33 PM
Earlier this month, in honor of the 30th anniversary of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “Nutcracker,” we asked readers to share favorite memories (and photos!) of ballet — whether it be a holiday “Nutcracker,” a school recital, or just a bit of leaping around in the living room pretending to be a ballerina. More than 100 entries pirouetted into our offices, with tales of dancing snowflakes, tiny tutus, long-treasured visits to an annual “Nutcracker,” and worn-out ballet slippers never thrown away.
It was no easy task to pick a winner, but something about the three little girls in Tara Hook’s entry danced right into our hearts: a trio of deliriously happy five-year-olds, in party dresses and clutching ballerina cupcakes, attending their first “Nutcracker” and looking like some magical dream had just come true. Hook wins four tickets to PNB’s “Nutcracker” plus a $100 gift card to nearby Collections Cafe at Chihuly Garden & Glass; we hope she’ll find another night of magic.
Here’s how Hook described her photo: “To a five-year old, the theater is a magical place where stories come to life. My daughter Audrey and her two best friends all share birthdays in the same week at the beginning of December. For their fifth birthday, we treated them to a special evening — their first ‘Nutcracker’ performance together! The girls were so excited! I’d never witnessed such pure amazement and adoration on their faces as they watched the dance of the snowflake — at least until they each received their own ballerina cupcake!”
Our runners-up also had charm galore, like this vintage entry from Anne Griffin: “My favorite ballet memory is being fitted for my first ballet toe shoes — they used ‘bunnies’ (rabbit fur) to cushion my toes. I loved the lime green with emerald trim Chinese costume I wore for my performance. Although I haven’t danced in decades, in my mind I move gracefully with the dancers as I watch “The Nutcracker,” remembering all the ballet positions as they dance. The drama, the music and the dancing take me to that special day when I proudly stood on point wearing my toe shoes.”
November 26, 2013 at 3:33 PM
From Misha Berson, Seattle Times theater critic:
Four years after an arson blaze gutted much of the Eleanor Roosevelt Building, a block-long Greenwood building complex owned by Taproot Theatre, the Seattle stage company is opening new facilities erected from the ashes. On Friday night, just before the premiere of the holiday show “Le Club Noel,” donors and other Taproot insiders will toast the completed $5 million construction of the newly christened Kendall Center, which contains a 120-seat black-box theater, lobby, scene shop, dressing rooms, administrative offices and a new concessions area, The Stage Door Cafe. (Taproot’s main theater, directly next door, was repaired in 2010 and remains in operation.) The Miller Hull Partnership architectural firm designed the new space, which housed four small restaurants before the October 2009 fire. The addition doubles the size of Taproot’s theatrical facilities.
According to Taproot artistic director Scott Nolte, the public will be able to tour the expanded digs at an event planned for early next year, with the exact date to be announced. In the meantime, Taproot’s new black-box space will be used by Inverse Opera for Handel’s “Messiah,” Dec. 13 and 14, 20 and 21.
Below are some before and after images of the theater, and a shot of the sleek new lobby:
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