Mark your calendar! And…let’s get going!

There are some real gems included here!

ACT FAST: Register for Bainbridge Island Museum of Art repeat performance by popular demand Chris Maynard speaks on his amazing art with bird feathers at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art BIMA). I attended the sold out show and loved it…you may get a tiny colorful bird feather to take home…he leaves them on some of the seats!

Feather Folio art by Chris Maynard now showing at BIMA through June 4th.

FOR A FEW DAYS AWAY: Top of my list for a few days away based on recent reading (all destinations are linked to great resources to plan your get-away) are: The Oregon Coast; Astoria, OR; Ashland, OR, Salt Spring Island, BC all recently covered in Sunset Magazine (this is a resource that will keep you busy and entertained with ideas and to do’s…type in your destination – get articles and trip planners! Plus lots more to explore…good for a short foray away without leaving home!). These are soon into high season; but, go now or plan for a fall trip!

Again, The Washington State Scenic Byways & Road Trips is a wonderful little resource. I recommend the “In the footsteps of Lewis and Clark” section…Walla Walla (wine country), Columbia River Gorge (historic and most beautiful) and the Vancouver to Long beach (beach and the excellent Lewis and Clark interpretive center). Lots more here.

Here is something special: The Garden Oregon in Silverton, Oregon – this diverse garden has a restored Frank Lloyd Wright house: The Gordon House next door to it. Only days before demolition, this house was saved and moved and restored. Take a tour of this house and learn about Wright and enjoy the many activities in the Garden including movie nights, sunset wine tastings, July 3rd fireworks and camping during the total solar eclipse in August (camping allowed!). Look into staying at the Oregon Garden Resort.

Until June 3rd The Seattle Symphony (enlarge the screen by clicking on the corners in the right hand corner and spend some time browsing their brochure) is offering 6 concerts for the price of 5! There is lots going on and worth seeing spend some time creating your own season! The Seattle POPs series is usually a lot of fun, the holiday offerings are excellent, the Masterworks intriguing…I have often written about concerts at Benaroya Hall…any seat in the house is a good one! Parking is easy!

MUST SEE SHORT FORAYS:

Join us for this free event! Our adult writing community inspires and will make you laugh and cry with stories silly and poignant!

MAX Adult Writing Community Event
Writer’s Reading…
Spring Session 2017!

“Why We Write and What We Write!”

YOU’RE INVITED!
June 9th
Friday
7 – 8:30pm
3555 W McGraw Street
Light Bites and Wine/Sparkling Cider

With Writers:
Katia Evans
Penny Pefley
Greg Shaw
Joy Shelby
Theresa Taylor
Monica Wooton

MarketFront – the 30,000 square foot expansion at The Pike Place Market was opened in April. Almost 50 new craftsman stalls, stunning views and artisan offerings – go now and still miss the crowds of summer or join in the grand opening June 29th.

And, Farmer’s Markets everywhere are getting up and going – you should too!

Ancient China’s The Terra Cotta Warriors and Other Marvels are standing and showing at the Pacific Science Center through September 4th. Sneak peek.

Other goings on:

The popular Northwest Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center May 26-29.

Bellevue Jazz & Blues Festival
Locations through Bellevue, May 31-June 4th. Tickets for some shows and schedule for the entire Festival. Over 40 performances by national artists, regional musicians and school jazz bands.

Greg Kucera Gallery has a number of outstanding artist showing there…time to do First Thursday art walk! Here are the art walks all around town.

Maximize your retirement resources seminars by AAA: (As you know – it is on my mind!)

Seattle, Saturday, June 3rd, Seattle Cruise and travel store, 1523 15th Ave W, 10:30-noon or Bellevue, AAA Bellevue Store. Saturday June 24th, 1:30-3pm, 14404 NE 20th ST Ste. 150

RSVP -855.581.4799, or email: lifeservices@aaawa.com

Festival of Colors, Ocean Shores, so many kites will fly, June 3-4.

Seattle Shakespeare Ends Season with Silliness and Style!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the classic Shakespearean comedy, is successfully put to music and song, done in the style of 1930’s tunes – with tap and tango and The Three Stooges. Having old film references throughout adds to the fun. This offering ends the excellent indoor season of the Seattle Shakespeare Company on a high note (pun intended!). Running May 3-21, you should get tickets. This offering is staged in The Cornish Playhouse. For added attractions with the play see the enrichment opportunities offered by the Company here, always a bonus!

This play has grand style and silliness galore with singin’ and dancin’ by a very competent cast under the inspired direction of the Company’s Artistic Director George Mount. Setting the traditional tradesmen in this work on the backstage of a musical theater with the characters all part of that scene (Bottom as a swashbuckling plumber with a plunger most notably), Mounts’ reassignment and update of the original Shakespeare work is wonderful! Mounts says this is a play he has wanted to revisit and expand on since he did it 20 years ago for Wooden O in the late 90’s. I am glad he did. You will be, too

The tradesman of the cast, center MJ Siebert as the plumber (Bottom). Photo Chris Bennion.

As always, the play’s mischievous magic in the midsummer night causes several star-crossed lover plots and dream sequences that produce angst on the stage and great deal of giggling in the audience. While the first act runs a little long, the second act sizzles – and, the play within the play in that act is hysterical! Miscues, funny props and great acting make it so.

Great bits, colloquial expressions added into the iambic pentameter (spoken in all ranges of New York accents) and tumbling stunts make it a night of good laughs. The finale with glow in the dark hula hoops, a grand staircase, and a chorus line sums up the evening. The live band on stage is an added bonus. The vaudevillian timing and touches work well and some great soft shoe (Donald O’Conner type dance sequences – the staircase one with Puck, in particular) punctuate the play. All together – it makes for a night of delightful and successfully revisioned Shakespeare.

Costumes by Doris Black are creative, wonderful and add to the laughs – a hoop skirt takes on a life of its own providing a sequence of funny scenes by actress Shanna Allman (Flute). Sweet angel wings are turned into striper fans for a dance number a cleaver part of the fun. Choreographer Crystal Dawn Munkers and assistant Tap Choreographer John David Scott have done a great job! The opening synchronized dance number is reminiscent of film shots of the era.

Mallory Cooney King as Hernia and Casey Raiha as Lysander. Photo by Chris Bennion.

The actors are all great! Special mention to MJ Sieber as Bottom – his range of voice and antics are incredible and incredibly humorous. John David Scott plays a very flexible and fluid Puck – his movement and dance greatly entertain and amaze. Keiko Green as Helena is perfectly overdramatic – her belabored exclamations and idiosyncratic movements are well done. Casey Raiha playing Lysander adds a great voice and style to his role. Starveling, Steven Davis, uses his measuring tape to great effect and milks a laugh using the word “moonlight” over and over! As Snug – Marco Voli roars us into laughter. Done in deadpan, the scene about a wall has some political overtones, and is just downright comical – acted by Bob Downing as Snout.

One must remember this is a play put to music and not really musical theater…so it lacks the true punch of a great score and some of the production values of a full-out Broadway type piece. I am hoping the enunciation improves with the run. And, some of the voices were a bit wobbly at times – this, too, I trust will improve.

Seattle Shakespeare Company moves it work to the outdoors for the summer with its Wooden O series July 6th to August 6th presenting Shakespeare in the Park. This year at a park near you: Pericles and Much Ado About Nothing will be presented…you are invited to bring a picnic, the kids and your dog on a lease and have some free Shakespearian summer fun!

This was a very good season for this theater and George Mount says of next year’s plays: “…I am more excited about the collection of works Seattle Shakespeare Company will be presenting in our 2017-2018 season…than any other I’ve had the fortune to program. I took inspiration from a Bob Dylan quote, “power and greed and corruptible seed'” as the jumping off point. Check it out and subscribe!