Let’s have some fun this weekend, shall we? Starting with this little quiz, and then moving on to some of the weekend’s most interesting events:
1. Why did President John F. Kennedy skip the closing ceremonies of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair? (Answer below.)
Want to know more about the World’s Fair and its bygone era? Go to closing day of The Next Fifty at Seattle Center on Sunday. It’s your last chance to see historical exhibitions about the fair, and you’ll also be treated to special, free performances — by Seattle Symphony, choreographer Pat Graney and local bands. Read Madeline McKenzie’s preview for details.
2. Pioneering 20th-century composer John Cage took a job at Seattle’s Cornish College as an accompanist in 1938. How much did he get paid per month?
Take a crash course in Cage at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Frye Art Museum. Pianist Jarrad Powell performs the composer’s notorious, silent composition (4’33”) and two films will screen, including a 1991 documentary about the lifelong collaboration between Cage and dancemaker (and Centralia native) Merce Cunningham. This, too, is free, and you can find out more about it on the Frye’s website.
3. In 1982, Seattle Times writer Melinda Bargreen named Seattle’s six major arts institutions. What were they?
Here’s a hint: One was ACT Theatre, and — after some ups and downs — it’s still a major force on the cultural scene. The evidence: A new adaptation of “The Ramayana,” which opened Thursday night. It condenses the seven books of the ancient Sanskrit epic into two-and-a-half hours of swordplay, romance, puppetry and stage illusion. Look for a review later today on our arts and entertainment page.
A video weekend preview, below, recorded live this morning at KING 5 TV, includes info about City Arts Fest. If you have more ideas of weekend events to share with other readers, chime in on the comments thread.
But first: The answers to today’s trivia contest (with thanks to historylink.org).
1. JFK missed the expo’s closing ceremonies because of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Although because the news of the crisis had not yet broken, his staff claimed he had a cold and needed bed rest.
2. Cage was paid $80 a month.
3. The big six, in 1982: ACT Theatre, Seattle Rep, Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Symphony and Seattle Art Museum. (The more things change, the more things stay the same.)
(Photos: Merce Cunningham, left, and John Cage by Jack Mitchell; “Ramayana” cast member Brandon O’Neill by LaRae Lobdell.)