Local Art News
As you have no doubt heard by now, One Reel, the non-profit that produces Bumbershoot, is in some serious debt. Like, bye-bye Bumershoot kind of debt. Talks are in progress with the city council about what to do about the situation. What do you think? Should the city bail it out? Or could we get along fine without this beleaguered Labor Day celebration? Do all the years of rising prices and lowering expectations mean it deserves to go out of business? Or is Bumbershoot a precious cultural asset that should be preserved at any cost?
Let us know how you feel, by taking this very unscientific poll.
A timely reminder, as the holiday theater season begins: Beware of high-priced ticket brokers. It's perfectly legal in this state for a third-party ticket broker to buy blocks of tickets to, say, Pacific Northwest Ballet's "Nutcracker," or the 5th Avenue Theater's "A Christmas Story," or any of a number of other high-profile holiday shows, and re-sell them at a much higher price. Often, these brokers will pay for top placement in search engines, so they're easy to find. Try this experiment: Do a web search on, oh, "Seattle Nutcracker tickets." Click on the perfectly reasonable-sounding seattle-theatre.com (which is higher on the page than pnb.org), click on "Nutcracker," select a date -- and note that orchestra seats are $143 each, as opposed to $98 (same section, same performance) if bought directly from PNB. A random check of 5th Avenue's "Christmas Story" showed ticket prices as high as $327, while seats at the 5th Ave website topped out at $129.25. That's just from checking one of many broker sites.
The moral of this story: If you don't want to pay extra, buy your tickets directly through the local arts organization presenting the show. When buying online, check to be sure that the website you're using identifies itself as the "official site" of the arts organization (read the "about us" section carefully). Here are official websites for some of this area's most popular holiday shows:
The 5th Avenue Theatre: 5thavenue.org
A Christmas Story, The Musical, November 25-December 30, 2014
ACT – A Contemporary Theatre: acttheatre.org/
A Christmas Carol, November 28-December 28, 2014
Pacific Northwest Ballet: pnb.org
Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker, November 28-December 28, 2014
Seattle Men’s Choru: flyinghouse.org/
Our Gay Apparel, November 29-December 22, 2014
Seattle Repertory Theatre: www.seattlerep.org/
All the Way, November 14, 2014-January 4, 2015
Seattle Symphony: seattlesymphony.org/symphony/
Holiday Pops with Cirque Musica, December 5-7, 2014
Handel’s Messiah, December 19-21, 2014
Seattle Theater Group (STG Presents) ~The Paramount Theatre: stgpresents.org
How the Grinch Stole Christmas, December 2-7, 2014
Village Theatre: villagetheatre.org/
Disney & Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins, November 13, 2014-January 4, 2015 (Issaquah), January 9-February 8, 2015 (Everett)
This is not news to you: It's cold in the great Northwest! So our weekend entertainment suggestions are designed to warm you -- inside and out.
You're invited to add your own suggestions on the comments thread. Then go out and have a great weekend!
Seattle Times theater critic Misha Berson writes:
Manager leaves Seattle Children's Theatre
Seattle Childrens Theatre has announced that Mary Ann Ehlshlager is no longer with the company.
Ms. Ehlshlager, a former staffer at the Delaware Theatre Company, was managing director of SCT for the past two and a half years. No reason was given for her departure.
In a prepared statement on behalf of the theater, board president Bob Evans thanked Ehlshlager for her "strategic and fiscal leadership," and said senior administrators at SCT will run the theater "until an interim managing director is identified."
New Seattle play anthology
Rain City Projects has issued volume 4 of "Manifesto," a series of anthologies of new plays which were premiered in the Pacific Northwest.
The guest editor for this volume is playwright-director Chay Yew, artistic head of Chicago's Victory Gardens Theatre, and former artistic director of the former Northwest Asian American Theatre in Seattle.
The scripts included in this volume are: "The Whale" by Samuel D. Hunter; "Uncle Ho to Uncle Sam," by Trieu Tran with Robert Egan; "The Body of an American" by Dan O'Brien; "Undo" by Holly Arsenault and "Party People" by UNIVERSES. Details and orders: raincityprojects.org.
November is a big month in Seattle's history: The Denny Party landed at Alki on Nov. 13, 1851; Seattle Repertory Theatre welcomed patrons for the first time to "King Lear" on Nov. 13, 1963; and on two November days, in 1949 and 2010, the temperature was 74 degrees, the highest for a November day in the city's history.
And another date of note: On Nov. 14, 1914, pianist and teacher Nellie Centennial Cornish signed a lease for studio space on Capitol Hill. After several name changes and moves, that little studio grew into what is now Cornish College of the Arts in the Denny Triangle. Cornish attracted an impressive roster of faculty over the years. Martha Graham, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Mark Tobey and Morris Graves all taught there, and many of the city's fine actors/directors/musicians/dancers share their craft there today. Cornish isn't done growing, either. Last spring, the school broke ground on a 20-story residence hall/mixed-use building at 2025 Terry Avenue. The college presents many chances for the public to witness student, faculty and guest work, and has tweaked its curriculum and added programs and classes and awards. And, if we at ArtsPage HQ may say so, it has a fine cafeteria that most people don't know is open to the public. There, we spoiled it. Sorry, Cornish. Happy 100th.
Do you have memories of Cornish you'd like to share? Add them to this post's comments thread. We'd love to see them.
Pianist Julio Elizalde, co-artistic director of the Olympic Music Festival in Quilcene, has been named the festival's artistic director, the OMF announced. Former artistic director Alan Iglitzin, who founded the festival, will remain with OMF as executive director.
"It is a profound honor to continue the vision that Alan Iglitzin has pursued for over three
decades. I hope that my efforts will serve as a testament to Alan's inexhaustible energy and musical integrity," Elizalde said in a news release. Elizalde, 30, began performing at the OMF in 2008 and has gradually assumed more programming duties.