Local Art News

Balagan Theatre out of business

Seattle Times ArtsPage - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 8:34pm

 Seattle Times theater critic Misha Berson writes:

Balagan Theatre announced Friday that, due to financial concerns, it will shut down permanently.

"This is not a decision that the board took lightly,” said board president Jim Griffin, in a company press release. “When viewing the big picture of our overall financial health, this was a difficult conclusion, but ultimately a responsible fiscal action to take.”

The press statement offered no details about the extent of the eight-year-old, nonprofit Seattle theater troupe's fiscal difficulties, but did state that being unable to meet the projected costs of continuing to produce after losing its recent home, The Erickson Theatre, was a big factor, and that "the board is still working out how to address creditors."

The move was surprising to even those close to the company, including Balagan  founder and longtime producer Jake Groshong and previous artistic director Louis Hobson.  The two had left their administrative posts this summer to form a for-profit entity, Indie Theatricals, which was set to co-produce two world premiere musicals in Balagan's six-show, 2014-15 season:  "Make Me Bad" and "Citizen Ruth." Hobson says he was "blindsided" by the closure, but still hopes to mount the shows in Seattle.

Balagan started out presenting a mixed menu of modern and classical works in the basement of a Capitol Hill multi-use building on East Pike Street. In 2011, the group signed an agreement with Seattle Central Community College to manage and perform in the 133-seat Erickson Theatre on Harvard Avenue. Since then, Balagan has attracted fans, rave reviews and local awards for dynamic versions of such popular modern musicals as  "Spring Awakening," "Avenue Q" and "Les Miserables" at the Erickson. And it has branched out to present "Jerry Springer, the Musical" at the Moore Theatre and "Ernest Shackleton Loves Me" at Seattle Repertory Theatre.

Balagan moved out of the Erickson recently, after Seattle Central reclaimed the theater for its own programming.

However, the troupe announced it would continue with a six-show, 2014-15 season staged at various other venues.  The season opened in August with "Urinetown," co-produced with  Seattle Musical Theatre in Magnuson Park. 

There is no word yet on whether Balagan subscribers will be compensated for their unused tickets.  Attempts to contact the company had not yet been answered as of Sunday afternoon.


Categories: Local Art News

Repost – Interview with Erin Verginia of apertureSTOP! Mixed Media Presentation Art and Poetry – “Women Are From Venus!” September 21st at Twilight Gallery!

Seattle PI Arts Listings - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 12:09am
Originally posted on September 17, 2013 | By xavier_lopez_jr Its not very often that I move out of my comfort zone of interviewing Seattle’s Alternative Artists and its not everyone who can get me to branch out.  I’ve interviewed a handful of musicians and the like, but Erin Verginia’s program of taking the work of […]
Categories: Local Art News

Repost – Interview with Elisheba Johnson about the Ethnic Heritage Gallery’s Roster of Artists!

Seattle PI Arts Listings - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 10:41pm
Originally posted on May 13, 2014 | By xavier_lopez_jr -Call has past–please do not attempt to enter.   I recently had the pleasure of getting caught up with Elisheba Johnson in her new position with the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.     Xavier: Hi Elisheba, it’s been awhile since we have had a […]
Categories: Local Art News

Repost: Lisa Yuskavage – Upstaging Masculinity and Speaking With the Power of Pretty. Kristeva, Lacan and an Aside That Changes Everything.

Seattle PI Arts Listings - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 9:08pm
Originally posted on May 26, 2013 | By xavier_lopez_jr.  This article has been reposted and shared by the International Psychoanalysis Blog (Pretty nifty, eh!?!) Lisa Yuskavage is one of my all-time most favorite artists–alongside only a handful of others, I believe that her work attains an almost perfect level of beauty, horror and grotesquery.  Imagine […]
Categories: Local Art News

3 arty things to do this weekend: bikes, bar and baritones

Seattle Times ArtsPage - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 6:01am

Hey! You! Yeah, we're talking to you, the one sitting around wondering, "What is there to do this weekend?" Here, we offer three things to do that will get you off that couch/barstool/toadstool and have you enjoying the arts.

Categories: Local Art News

Take our poll: Which fall TV shows are you excited about?

Seattle Times ArtsPage - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 5:00am

From listings coordinator and TV Picks guy Doug Knoop:

You may not have been paying attention (perhaps you were binging on your favorite summer guilty pleasure), but the fall TV season is here. There are enough new sitcoms, superheroes and returning favorites to fill a fleet of DVRs. A few shows have already debuted, but just wait until next week when the broadcast networks open the floodgates with a week full of premieres.

We're wondering what new shows (and returning favorites) you're most looking forward to. Let us know by voting in the two polls below, and we'll publish the results later this fall.

Want to tell us why you're voting for a particular show? Email me at dknoop@seattletimes.com.

Take Our Poll

Take Our Poll

Categories: Local Art News

More 'Don Quixote' on Seattle stages

Seattle Times ArtsPage - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 12:49pm

Seattle Times theater critic Misha Berson writes:

Don Quixote is popping up all over Seattle these days.  In addition to current productions of "Man of La Mancha" at Seattle Musical Theatre, and "Don Quixote and Sancho Panza: Homeless in Seattle" at ACT Theatre (reviews to come this Friday),  soon we'll have a dinner-theater adaptation of the classic Cervantes novel about his travels.

That will be Café Nordo's "Don Nordo del Midwest,” the imaginative origin-story of Chef Nordo as inspired by Cervantes’ fable of a poor and whimsical wanderer who believes he is a gallant knight.  The show (which will likely include a creative spin on Spanish cuisine)  will inaugurate the company's much anticipated new venue, located in a portion of the Elliott Bay Book Company's former digs in Pioneer Square.  "Don Nordo" will open Nov. 13 (previews beginning Nov. 6). Tickets go on sale to the general public on Oct. 15.  More on Café Nordo:  www.cafenordo.com

Categories: Local Art News

PNB principal Carla Körbes announces retirement

Seattle Times ArtsPage - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:33am

A very sad surprise today for fans of Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Carla Körbes, who announced today that she is retiring at the end of the 2014-2015 season.  Körbes, who is in her early 30s, explained her decision in a statement to this morning:

"I have had unforgettable moments with Pacific Northwest Ballet,” said Ms. Körbes regarding her decision. “I am thankful and honored to have shared the stage with all the dancers at PNB and have had the opportunity to work with such a generous staff. At this moment I am ready to start a new phase in my life. My body is ready to move on, so I need to respect that. Ballet has been my life, so I hope to continue to explore the art form in new ways and try new artistic endeavors."

Körbes, a native of Brazil, joined PNB in 2005 after nine years in New York, as a student at the School of American Ballet and a New York City Ballet company member. A dancer of rare dramatic power and incandescent grace, she has lit up the stage in countless performances, both story ballets ("Swan Lake," "Romeo et Juliette," "Cinderella," "Sleeping Beauty") and abstract (just a few: "Kiss," "Concerto Barocco," "Concerto DSCH," and the "Diamonds" pas de deux in George Balanchine's "Jewels," which she'll perform next weekend). It's been a dazzling career, but one plagued by injuries -- most recently, last season she was unable to perform for several months. She's scheduled to dance through the rest of this season, and will be featured in a tribute performance June 7. Watch her while you still can; she's a joy.

Carla Körbes in rehearsal, photographed by Angela Sterling (courtesy of PNB).

Categories: Local Art News

The Weekend List: The arts and culture guide to Seattle's good life

Crosscut Arts - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 6:08am
Chorus Line at 5th Avenue Theater, Spectrum Dance does LOVE in the park, La Roux at Showbox Market, Meshell Ndegeocello at Triple Door and Hot-Pot Dinners marks one-year anniversary
Categories: Local Art News

Playwright Samuel D. Hunter named MacArthur fellow

Seattle Times ArtsPage - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 3:43pm

From Misha Berson, Seattle Times theater critic:

Playwright Samuel D. Hunter, who has close ties to several local theater organizations, has received a coveted MacArthur Foundation Award (often referred to as a "genius" grant).

Honored for  "refreshing traditional templates to create distinctive and innovative work in theater," the New York-based Hunter is an Idaho native whose recent play, "A Great Wilderness" was developed at Seattle Repertory Theatre, where it was given its world premiere in January 2014.

An earlier Hunter drama, "The Whale," was workshopped in 2011 by Icicle Creek Play Festival in Leavenworth, Wash., and had staged readings there and at ACT Theatre.

A recurring theme in Hunter's sensitive, searching and unsparingly candid plays: the plight of misfit residents of the American West whose desires for meaning and belonging have not been fulfilled, and how they compensate for their social isolation and rejection.

The MacArthur honor comes with a $625,000 grant, with no strings attached.

Categories: Local Art News

R.I.P. Carolyn Keim, ACT Theatre costume shop director

Seattle Times ArtsPage - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 3:21pm

From Misha Berson, Seattle Times theater critic:

For three decades, if you were a performer in an ACT Theatre show your probably entered the special realm of Carolyn Keim.

Ms. Keim, who died at age 62 in Seattle on Sept. 10 after a long illness, was the respected and beloved longtime director of ACT's busy costume shop.  And while she was the overseer of hundreds, probably thousands of outfits in ACT productions, she was also a gifted designer herself whose vivid costumes graced shows at various Puget Sound theaters.

Her clothing always suited the occasion and astutely served the production.  Some of her standout designs for me included her work in ACT's staging of  "Dirty Blonde," for which Keim conjured the elaborately sexy costumes sported by the character of Mae West , and her garb for some 50 characters over five generations in "Handing Down the Names."  For Alice B. Theatre, she provided fashionable safari togs in "Why We Have a Body."  And she handsomely clothed Sherlock Holmes and company in Village Theatre's "The Mask of Moriarity."

Born in Whittier, Calif., Ms. Keim acted as a youth but later switched to costume creation.  She met her life partner Connie Rinchiuso while toiling  in the University of Montana costume shop.  In 1980 they moved to Seattle, to work together at ACT, where Connie is still on staff.  The couple married last April.

After developing acute pulmonary disease eight years ago Ms. Keim received a life-extending double lung transplant at UW Medical Center. She encouraged friends to become organ donors, and remembrances can be made in her name to the University of Washington Lung Transplantation Program, as well as ACT Theatre.

Ms. Keim is survived by her wife Connie, as well as her two brothers and extended family.  A celebration will be held in her honor at a later date.

Categories: Local Art News

Eastside news: Stroum Center cultural arts lineup

Seattle Times ArtsPage - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 4:58pm

The Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island has announced its fall lineup of cultural arts events -- music, film and a night with both:

--Mezcla: Jazz All-Stars from Cuba: 5 p.m. Sept. 21: a night of culture and music from the Caribbean island.

--"The Zigzag Kid" and "B-boy": 3 p.m. Oct. 12: two films. "Zigzag" stars Isabella Rossellini; "B-boy" is a previous Seattle Jewish Film Festival Audience Choice Award winner.

--"The Jewish Cardinal": 7 p.m. Oct. 29: The true story of  French clergyman Jean-Marie Lustiger, who  maintained his Jewish identity even after converting to Catholicism as a teen.

--Nissim: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3: The Seattle performer/producer will be joined by Rabbi Simon Benzaquen, Rabbi Emeritus at Sephardic Bikur Holim in Seattle, in a unique team known as “the rabbi and the rapper.”

--Flory's Flame and Legacy: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6: Co-presented by the Sephardic Studies Program of the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Washington for International Ladino Day, Flory Jagorda's program includes a screening of a documentary about her life, and a concert weaving together Sephardic traditions.

Categories: Local Art News

Town Music season ready at Town Hall

Seattle Times ArtsPage - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 10:11am

It looks like cellist/curator Joshua Roman will be delivering some tasty new-music goods for the 2014-15 Town Music season. Roman himself performs Sept. 23 with two fellow string players and a pianist in an evening of piano quartets by Brahms, Sharlat and Andres.

NOW Ensemble, with its mix of electronica and classical influences and unusual instrumental line-up (flute, clarinet, electric guitar, double bass, piano), follows on Nov. 5.

Third Coast Percussion, based in Chicago, gets the New Year off with a bang on Jan. 12 with works by Cage and others.

On March 25, Deviant Septet will match Stravinsky’s “L’Histoire du Soldat” with conductor-composer Esa-Pekka Salonen’s response to it, “Catch and Release.” The season closes June 27 with John Adams’ magnificent “Shaker Loops” in its string-orchestra version.

Series tickets are $85 general audiences, $80 for Town Hall members. Single tickets run $10-$25, with some day-of-show $5 Teen Tix available. Go to www.townhallseattle.org for more information.

Categories: Local Art News

A Compelling Exploration of Captive and Captor

Seattle PI Arts Listings - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 6:03pm
The Invisible Hand ACT Theatre, through September 28 By Alice Kaderlan Ayad Akhtar has done something remarkable in his beautifully crafted thriller The Invisible Hand. He has seamlessly woven together a political and personal drama in which both elements share equal weight and equal power. The play is the story of an American (Nick) held […]
Categories: Local Art News

9/14/14 – New Comics from Kassandra Davis!!! Life on the Edge Continues!

Seattle PI Arts Listings - Sun, 09/14/2014 - 8:47pm
“Freaks” “The Difference” ____________________________________________________________________________ (More comics by Kassandra Davis) (Mockery and Vodka.com) ___________________________________________________________________
Categories: Local Art News

A “Godot” Worth Waiting For

Seattle PI Arts Listings - Sat, 09/13/2014 - 5:30pm
Waiting for Godot Seattle Shakespeare Company, through September 21, Falls Theatre at ACT By Alice Kaderlan “Waiting for Godot” is one of those plays whose premise you probably know even if you’ve never seen a production. The hobos Estragon (Gogo) and Vladimir (Didi) wait interminably in a desolate landscape for a man named Godot who […]
Categories: Local Art News

Join our chat: Where to find the best fall book

Seattle Times ArtsPage - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 5:41pm

At noon Tuesday, Sept. 16, Seattle Times books editor Mary Ann Gwinn and David Wright, reader services librarian for the Seattle Public Library, will chat live with readers. Mary Ann will answer questions about upcoming fall books (or any books, for that matter). Wright’s specialty:  if you tell him the last book you read and enjoyed, he can recommend the NEXT book you’re going to want to read.

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Categories: Local Art News

Cheap fare to the fair? Yes, please

Seattle Times ArtsPage - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 8:00am

Raise your hand if you WANT to sit in weekend traffic on I-5 and then wind over to the Washington State Fair That Used to Be Called the Puyallup and then pay to park and then walk and then collapse. Yeah, we didn't think so.

We at ArtsPage HQ (we a love a good fair) are excited to learn that the Sounder is offering a buy-in-advance-and-save plan for weekend fairgoers. You can purchase a ticket package that lets you catch the Sounder train, ride it to Puyallup, get on a free shuttle to the grounds and use discounted admission tickets at the gate to enjoy the fair.

The deal is only good on 2 Saturdays: Sept. 13 and 20. You must purchase the whole shebang ahead of time to get the discount. Go here for the details and prices.

Categories: Local Art News

Weekend preview: 5 festivals and a highbrow-arty thing

Seattle Times ArtsPage - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 7:05am

With weather like this, we're in no rush to go indoors. So ArtsPage HQ brings you a list of five festivals that start or continue this weekend.

Still, it is the official start of the fall arts season. Consider kicking it off Saturday night at Seattle Symphony's season-opening concert and party. Don't forget to dress up!

Categories: Local Art News

Homeless in Seattle ‎STREET HEART PROJECT Friday September 12th-Featuring Art by Ryan “Henry” Ward!

Seattle PI Arts Listings - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 12:05am
Homeless in Seattle‎STREET HEART PROJECT   Please JOIN US this Friday, I guarantee you will find a new friend! Maybe you’ll even find a new piece of beautiful original art for your home; one that will become a conversation piece, creating a comfortable place for friends and family to discuss the important human issue of […]
Categories: Local Art News