Review: “Shout Sister Shout!” is must-see theater that will leave you filled with joy and inspiration

Review by Tony Bohn

Seattle Rep’s new production titled Shout Sister Shout! is a stunning portrayal and portrait of the life of “Original Soul Sister” and “Godmother of Rock and Roll,” Sister Rosetta Tharpe.  A pioneer in the music industry, she is known as the first gospel recording star and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.  Her blending of gospel, jazz, blues, R&B, and soul combined with her masterful guitar skills helped her set the foundation for rock and roll, and countless future rock stars including Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis.

The show takes you through her life from her years as a teenager all the way to her final days.  It touches on her complex but loving relationship with her mother, her tumultuous relationships with her husbands, and her great love affair with fellow musician, Marie Knight.  You get to see her courageous rise to stardom as she navigates her way through the exploitative music industry while also battling the stigma and shunning she received from her church and her gospel roots which considered her new mainstream sound to be “the devil’s music.”  She performs at the legendary Cotton Club in NYC, and the production features guest appearances from other big names such as Little Richard, Mahalia Jackson, Cab Calloway, and Dizzy Gillespie.

The set, costuming, and lighting are all bright and colorful exuding the celebratory quality of the show.  Carrie Compere as Sister Rosetta Tharpe is just phenomenal, and the almost entirely African American cast shines with powerful pitch-perfect vocals, energetic dancing, and endearing performances.  Perhaps the best part is the music itself.  Getting a chance to discover Sister Tharpe’s fabulous catalog of work moved me spiritually and had me swaying and bopping in my seat.

The historical and cultural importance of Sister Rosetta Tharpe as the first black female queer gospel star and her impact on the music industry is not to be understated.  Shout Sister Shout! touches on all these themes of her life and the struggles she faced.  This powerful production lands in my top ten (maybe even top five) favorite local theater productions I’ve seen in Seattle.  You must go check this out!  Shout Sister Shout! runs at Seattle Rep now until December 22, 2019.  For more information and tickets, please check out their website here.

Screenshot 2019-11-17 at 6.14.22 PM.png

Photo by Bronwen Houck

2 Giveaways! Enter to win tickets to a movie AND live burlesque/drag show in Seattle!

File this under: I can’t enter to win but YOU can!

First:

Swink Style Bar is giving away movie passes to see the new “Charlie’s Angels” movie at Pacific Place in downtown Seattle. You can enter via their Instagram @swinkstylebar here and via their Facebook post here.

charlies.jpg

Second:

“Kitten N’ Lou Present CREAM! A Spanksgiving feast of decadently sickening burlesque, drag, and cabaret” at The Triple Door for two nights (four shows) in November. This show stars Love Connie of RuPaul’s Drag Race and The Atomic Bombshells. You can enter to win tickets on their Instagram post here and their Facebook post here.

Let me know in the comments which you entered: the movie, the show, or both!

 

Friends & strangers come together to get a woman and her son to safety

This is a thank you letter for all of you who gave to a stranger to help her and her son find safety this year.

A couple months ago, a Facebook friend of mine messaged me. It brought a smile to my face to see her name pop up in my messages box and we began catching up. She had reached out to me because she had a feeling I could help her with the terrible situation she found herself in. We came up with a plan to raise money so that she and her son could find a permanent, safe solution and used GoFundMe as a tool to raise these much-needed funds for her.

Here’s the original post that she and I crafted together:

Please join me in helping support a wonderful woman and her son move out of her abuser’s home. Her relationship with her now-ex (not the child’s father) became physically abusive recently, having escalated from verbal, emotional, and financial abuse that had built up slowly over time. When she discovered guns in the house that were not even locked up, she immediately got her son out of the house for both of their safety. She has done a remarkable job shielding her son from being aware of the abuse that has happened. This amazing woman, who works in the wellness industry and helps others, needs to stay anonymous to protect her grade-school aged child.

The dynamic between her and her now-ex changed when she moved in with him. He coerced her to quit her job (encouraging her to embrace stay-at-home mom responsibilities to then use that against her with verbal and emotional attacks and financial dependence). She has recently gone back to work and is taking additional steps to empower herself and keep herself and her son safe. She is inspiring and needs help now. She has been connecting with local DV services to explore additional ways of getting support but her options and local resources are limited and she has no extended family to turn to. Currently, she is staying at a friend’s house on a short term basis.

Because of the abuser’s insistence that she become financially dependent on him, she’s in need of some financial support right now. She is working again but needs to remove her child and herself from the home immediately. Let’s help her and her son get safe and secure.

Please join me in donating to her cause. The funds will be used for first-month rent, last-month rent, and a security deposit on a two-bedroom one-bath apartment in Seattle so her son can stay in his same school. The funds would also be used towards a moving service to help get her things out efficiently and safely.  If she raises more money than she needs for these specific costs, she will pay it forward and donate to another family with a similar need or a Local Domestic Violence Program.

Trust me in this, she is a kind, generous, and hard-working woman who gives back to her community and is taking all the steps she needs to empower herself and keep her and her son safe and protected. She is worthy of your love and support. If you can donate and share this with others, it would be so appreciated. We are so grateful for your support.

Today is a day we get to celebrate together! I received this update from her and shared it on the GoFundMe Page:

 “Thank you friends and strangers alike! By the generosity of all of you donors, as well as a multitude of private donations, I was able to successfully flee the situation. Between community resources and the kind words and donations, I nearly reached my goal and was able to get to a safe living arrangement for me and my son. I feel like the second I got the keys to my new place that my entire life changed. For the first time in a year, I felt hopeful and alive. Good fortune has come my way and I’m excited about this new chapter of my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping this to happen. I have already began donating time to a few of the organizations that were essential in helping me get back on my feet. I will never forget this experience and am overwhelmed at the kindness and generosity that still exists in this world. I will do my best daily to pay it forward in every way I am able. Thank you!!”

So thank you, friends, for all your generosity to help this wonderful woman and her son find a safe living arrangement. We are so grateful to all of you.

And to this woman, and all people out there reaching out for support to find safety for themselves and their children, I am so inspired by you. You are worthy of love and safety and support. Thank you, friend, for being brave enough to ask for support. We are so glad that you are now safe.

Screenshot 2019-11-02 at 7.18.35 PM

Giveaway: Live Stand-Up Comedy in Seattle this November

by Keridwyn Deller

Wow! This week I posted on my Facebook page asking what friends wanted to join me for live stand-up shows this fall and the response was astounding! So, let’s do a giveaway!

I love live comedy and have started making it a yearly tradition to add more live comedy into my social life as the days grow shorter and colder. (Even the Mayo Clinic agrees laughter is truly good for us – not only does it act as a quick mood lifter but it also can help us improve our immune system, relieve pain, and make it easier to cope with difficult situations, among other benefits.)

So let’s add a bit more self-care into our November!

My friends at Unexpected Productions have given me a pair of tickets to give away for one of their upcoming nights of stand-up comedy! The Seattle International Comedy Competition returns to Seattle this November and Unexpected Productions (the fab little Seattle theatre in Pike Place Market next to the gum wall) is hosting two nights of the competition on November 7 and 14. The winner of this giveaway gets their choice of what night they want to attend.

Each night at Unexpected Productions will feature different comedians, so if you attend both nights, you’ll see ALL the comedians competing in this year’s competition. If I could attend both nights, I would (the very funny Bo Johnson will be hosting the event on the 7th – he was a hit at a recent Don’t Tell Comedy event).  I’ll be attending with a friend on November 14, 2019. All are welcome!

SO, ready to enter to win 2 tickets to Seattle International Comedy Competition at Unexpected Productions in Seattle? Here’s how

1:  Sign up to receive SeattlePockets.com emails. See the “Sign Up for Blog Emails” box – on the right at seattlepockets.com on a computer or after scrolling down past this post on your mobile device. (If it says “Thanks for Following” you’ve already signed up to get emails. Just make sure the emails aren’t going to your spam folder.)

2Comment on my Facebook post here and tag a friend.

3:  RSVP interested or going on the Facebook event page.   That’s it!

Ready to get tickets now? Buy your tickets here.  

(you can gift your extra tickets if you win)

siccweek1siccweek2

More about Seattle International Comedy Competition in their own words:

“Laugh your night away at the real Last Comic Standing, the 40th Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition! UP Improv hosts America’s biggest touring comedy festival, the Seattle International Comedy Competition.

33 comedians from the U.S., Canada, UK, Europe, Australia, and Africa compete for top honors and a shot at over $15,000 in cash prizes.” 26 days with 22 Shows at 18 venues across Washington from Tacoma to Bellingham.

Learn more about Unexpected Productions here.

Giveaway ends 11/1/19 at 11:59pm Pacific Time. Winner will be messaged directly. All local, federal, and state rules apply.

Review: The world premiere of “The Great Moment” at Seattle Rep is touching, clever, relatable, and enchanting (now through Nov 17)

Review by Keridwyn Deller

Get yourself to the Seattle Rep again for the world premiere of the play “The Great Moment.” Successfully breaking the fourth wall with sincerity and clever writing, this was the kind of play that made me want to pick up the script to read through the passages again and let them sink in even more.

A reflection on family, love, life, expected loss, and the peculiarity of our relationship with time, “The Great Moment” blends moments of sweetness, sadness, nostalgia, delight, and humor to create a delightful evening of theatre. Just seeing actor Eugene Lee play a small child is worth the ticket price.

I love a play that is two hours or less and this play is perfectly timed at one hour and fifteen minutes with no intermission. You’ll leave feeling satisfied, awakened to the desire to enjoy the present moment with loved ones in the weeks to come – perfect as we head into the busy holiday season. Seattle Rep is kind enough to offer a variety of pay-what-you-will nights for those on a tight budget, making art more accessible to our community.

About the show in their own words: “As Sarah’s grandfather is nearing the end of his life, her precocious young son Evan is at the beginning of his. Written by Anna Ziegler (Photograph 51), this world premiere play is a funny and poetic meditation on beginnings and endings, birth and age, and the moments of transition that mark our passage from life to death.”

“The Great Moment” plays Seattle Rep at Seattle Center now through November 17, 2019 in the Leo K. Theatre. Tickets here.

great moment del

Photo via Seattle Rep’s Facebook page

Free: Self-Care Quickies Guide for busy days

By Keridwyn Deller

I often hear from friends and clients that it’s tricky to include self-care into their busy lives, so I was inspired to create this “7 Self-Care Quickies” guide as a free gift for everyone! This PDF guide shares 7 self-care “quickies” that can be done by even the busiest of people on the busiest of days.

The guide is short (just like you need it to be!) and many of the tips may surprise you! Discover how easily and naturally you can add some self-care into your busy day.

Get the free guide here.

Which tips are your favorites? What self-care quick tips do you have to add? Share in the comments on this post or in my Facebook group!

alisa-anton-u_z0X-yrJIE-unsplash.jpg

Giveaway: Tickets to Seattle Networking event in November

Toast of Seattle (my all-time favorite Seattle networking event) returns November 8 at Hilton Seattle on 6th Avenue in downtown Seattle. You’ll get breakfast and will get to experience their well designed networking structure so that you’ll leave having met at least 20 other people who attend.

Read on for your chance to get a free ticket for this wonderfully formatted networking morning event.

Why is Toast of Seattle so special? The format. You start by finding a table to sit at while you enjoy breakfast. Then, after some opening remarks, you will network in a sort-of “speed-dating” inspired way: each person has 2 minutes to talk about their business. At the end of the round, everyone changes tables (you open up an envelope that shows you what table to go to next, no decision making required) and starts again. They guarantee you meet over 20 people in 2 hours. The structure makes networking efficient, productive, fun, and easy. It’s introduced me to some great people and I have learned a lot about other wonderful organizations in this great city of ours.

Early-bird priced tickets are available now through October 31 here.

To enter to win a ticket to attend this great event follow these three steps

1:  Make sure you’re signed up to receive SeattlePockets.com emails. See the “Sign Up for Blog Emails” box  – on the right at seattlepockets.com on a computer or after scrolling down past this post on your mobile device. (If it says “Thanks for Following” you’ve already signed up to get emails. Just make sure they aren’t going to your spam folder.)

2Comment on this blog post and let me know the first and last name on Facebook OR comment on my Facebook post here.

3:  RSVP interested or going on the Facebook event page.   That’s it!

I look forward to seeing you there!

toast.jpg

Photo via Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce website.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm Pacific Time 10/25/19.