A way to keep up with Seattle theaters, concert halls, galleries, museums and other fine-arts events.
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:
November 26, 2013 at 3:17 PM
Langdon Cook is a Washington state author known for his willingness to go anywhere, anytime in search for the ingredients for a great meal. In his new book “The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America,” he writes about the Northwest eccentrics and opportunists who scour the woods in search of rare mushrooms. It’s an underground economy where prize mushrooms can go for hundreds of dollars a pound.
Cook is the featured guest tonight on “Well Read,” the books and authors interview program on TVW, the Washington state public affairs network. You can catch him at 7 and 10 p.m. (channel 23 on Comcast). Or, you can watch him online – follow this link. He even brings along some mushrooms!
For more information, here’s The Seattle Times review.
November 25, 2013 at 2:08 PM
Are you Team Grinch or Team Scrooge?
The holiday TV season is upon us. Tell us what your favorite seasonal special is — or your favorite movie that’s always broadcast this time of year.
If you don’t see your pick on the list, add it to the comments thread.
November 25, 2013 at 6:30 AM
Here at ArtsPage HQ, we are thankful for you, our readers (of the blog, and The Seattle Times as a whole). We’re also thankful that we live in such an arts-rich city, one that rewards us many times over. This weekend kicks off the “official” holiday season, so here are some events to get you out and about.
November 22, 2013 at 11:51 AM
From Misha Berson, Seattle Times theater critic:
The musical comedy “First Date,” which premiered at Seattle’s ACT Theatre in spring of 2012, will end a six-month Broadway date at the Longacre Theatre on Jan. 5, 2014. The show will close its run after 34 previews and 174 regular performances.
Co-produced in Seattle by ACT and 5th Avenue theatres, and counting Seattle businessman Ken Alhadeff among its (clarification) New York producers, “First Date,” about a couple navigating their awkward first encounter, was a sold-out hit at ACT. But it drew mixed reviews, ranging from enthusiastic to damning, upon arrival on Broadway last summer in an expanded production starring new leads, TV stars Zachary Levi and Krysta Rodriguez. (Considering the subject matter and relatively small cast size, the show is a likely candidate for future regional theater and student productions.)
An original cast recording of the Alan Zachary-Michael Weiner score for “First Date” was released in October.
November 22, 2013 at 11:24 AM
Last chance to have fun before the friends and relatives descend on you next week — or before you have to pack up, brave the travel crowds and descend on someone else. So get out there and amuse yourself.
Our list of weekend entertainment suggestions, as always, just skims the top of what the Puget Sound area has to offer. Feel free to add your weekend suggestions for fellow readers in the comments thread.
November 20, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Tlingit carver Israel Shotridge, of Vashon, is one of 16 artists nationwide to be awarded a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Arts Fellowship, the NACF announced recently. The grants, ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 per artist, recognize “Native artists who have made a significant impact in the fields of dance, film, literature, music, traditional and visual arts,” according to fellowship administrators. “The fellowships support these artists as they delve deeper into their practices and cultivate their artistic voices to transport and inspire us. We celebrate their adventurous and creative spirits.”
Shotridge’s work includes significant works in Ketchikan, Alaska; the 12-foot “Hall of Nations” totem at U.S. Forest Service HQ in Washington, D.C., which honors the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps Totem Restoration Project (1939-1953); and the “Eagle/Bear House” screen at Puget Sound Blood Center in Seattle. To see more of Shotridge’s work, including his “Chief Johnson Pole” (a 55-foot pole carved from a single Western red cedar log) , click here.
November 19, 2013 at 4:25 PM
Smithsonian magazine honored 10 people with the 2013 American Ingenuity Awards today, including two with regional ties: Doug Aitken, the Southern California-based multimedia artist whose giant, reactive “Mirror” was installed on the side/front of the Seattle Art Museum last year; and Michael Skinner, of Washingon State University’s Center for Reproductive Biology.
Aitken creates “videopaloozas of murmuring sonics and drifting visuals — equal parts Antonioni, Eno and Disney. Since the 1990s, beating the calendar by a decade, he’s been laying 21st-century siege to 20th-century structures,” writes Steve Erickson on Smithsonian.com. Skinner was honored for leading the way in the field of transgenerational epigenetics, or the study of inherited changes that can’t be explained by traditional genetics, writes Jeneen Interlandi, in her piece on the natural sciences honoree. “Not only is your great-grandmother’s environment affecting your health, Skinner concluded, but the chemicals she was exposed to may have left a fingerprint that scientists can actually trace,” she notes. Skinner’s research was honored by
Discover Magazine as one of the top 100 discoveries of 2005.
November 19, 2013 at 4:21 PM
Longtime fans of Whidbey Island author Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley mystery series know the secret sauce to George’s best-selling books – the aristocratic Lynley’s foul mouthed, horribly dressed, and totally dedicated partner, Barbara Havers.
Havers gets top billing in George’s latest, “Just One Evil Act,” as she travels to Italy to investigate the kidnapping of a friend’s daughter. George discusses what makes these books tick tonight on “Well Read,” the books and authors interview program on state public affairs network TVW. It airs at 7 and 10 tonight (in Seattle, on Comcast cable station 23).
Or, you could watch it here.
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