Review: Hairspray Hijinks at Village Theatre (Issaquah & Everett)

Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller

Hairspray is back!  If you’ve yet to experience this charismatic musical highlighting high school in the sixties, the time is right to head to Village Theatre in Issaquah! Or, if you just want to bask in the glow of the all-familiar musical score once again, here’s your chance.

Having seen this performance over Mother’s Day weekend, it was especially fitting to experience a cast of driven, dynamic moms, each determined to stand up to save the day in her own unique fashion. The mom who stole the show as Edna Turnblad (Tracy’s initially shy and intimidated mother) was performed to the hilt by the amazingly multi-talented Mr. Nick DeSantis.

Gather your teenage daughters and granddaughters, mothers and grandmothers to enjoy this rollicking, feel-good, happy-ending musical together. You’re very likely to find yourself wishing for more while humming and dancing your way out of the theatre.

Hairspray spreads good cheer now through July 1, 2018 at Village Theatre in Issaquah and from July 6-29, 2018 at Everett Performing Arts Center. Tickets here

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*****

About the show (in their own words): This all-new stage production will be bursting with Village Theatre’s unique flair, as Hairspray gives new meaning to BIG entertainment. Tracy Turnblad is a big girl with big hair and an even bigger dream: to dance her way onto national TV, dethrone the reigning teen queen, win the affections of the local heartthrob, and integrate a TV network… .all without denting her ‘do! The Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning Best Musical teaches us to look past skin color and size in the fight for equal rights.

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Wine, Theatre, Movies & Dance: 4 Seattle events this week you’ll want to check out

Here’s a list of a few special May events in Seattle-area that will pique your interest:

WINE & CIDERS & BEERS, OH MY!

On Thursday, May 17, Sip Northwest Magazine is hosting a fabulous libation event at a one-of-a-kind venue, The Seattle Sanctuary, a revitalized 100-year-old church in the heart of downtown Seattle. Sample from more than 40 drink producers and Seattle’s top restaurants serving delicious local cuisine as featured in the new spring issue. Brandon and I are making this a date night – I’m excited to discover some new favorite spirits, wines, and ciders at this event! Tickets are going fast.

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DOCUMENTARY

The Seattle screening of the documentary “Mary Janes: The Women of Weed” has a one-night-only screening in Seattle. Tickets are limited for this screening at Seattle Art Museum on Tuesday, May 15.  Synopsis: Women are changing the face of today’s fastest growing industry – cannabis. Join filmmaker Windy Borman as she explores the movement to end marijuana prohibition, her own relationship to the plant, and the stereotypes surrounding it. Through a series of empowering and educational interviews with a broad diversity of women leading the industry today (including Melissa Etheridge), Windy’s own assumptions are transformed as she discovers cannabis liberation intersects with the most urgent social justice issues of our time. She learns how this green revolution has big effects on environmental sustainability, ending the War on Drugs and the Prison-Industrial Complex, and the destructive domination of Big Pharma.

Watch the trailer:

MUSICAL

The beloved musical HAIRSPRAY plays Village Theatre in Issaquah now through July 1 (then travels to Everett July 6-29). Seattle Pockets’ review is coming soon, but don’t wait! Tickets are on sale now for one of the best musicals of all time and Village’s production is so good it has our reviewer wanting to go back for a second time!

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DANCE

Century Ballroom is hosting a special “Disco Prom” with Disco, Motown and Soul music! Come dressed in the “prom” theme (prom from ANY decade) and dance to music spun by DJ Dana Dub! There is a Hustle lesson before the dance.  Facebook event page here.

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Review: Dynamic & thought-provoking “Familiar” now through 5/27 at Seattle Rep

Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller:
Bursting with elevated energies and explosive family dynamics, Familiar is one of those theatrical experiences not likely to be soon forgotten. Familiar’s talented playwright Danai Gurira, takes the audience into the home of a Zimbabwean/Midwestern-American family gathering. 

The cast of eight actors is superb in their portrayal of diversity, intensity, and varying objectives within the seemingly settled household and extended family. As events surrounding the upcoming wedding of the oldest daughter become increasingly chaotic, the audience is in for some wild and crazy antics. (Not for young children, by the way!)

This theatrical glimpse into the lives of first-generation immigrants is exemplary in reaching out to audiences who have so much to gain through greater understanding of others’ history, culture, and perspective. Thanks to Seattle Rep for, once again, gifting Seattle with these kinds of rich experiences.
Familiar plays now through May 27th at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Tickets here.

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*****

Audiences may know playwright Danai Gurira as the writer of Tony-Award winning play Eclipse or may recognize her from her roles as Michonne in the television show The Walking Dead or her role as Okoye in the recent blockbuster hit Black Panther

Photo by Navid Baraty 

Giveaway: Burlesque Alice in Wonderland at The Triple Door

One of the most delightful burlesque productions, Through the Looking Glass: The Burlesque Alice in Wonderland returns to The Triple Door April 26 – May 6, 2018!

Want to enter to win 2 tickets to the 7:30pm show on April 26 (Opening Night)?

To enter:

  • RSVP “Interested” or “Going” on their Facebook Event Page
  • Comment on my Facebook post here and tag a friend!

Giveaway ends 4/21/18 at 11:59pm Pacific Time.

Purchase tickets here.

About the show:

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Through The Looking Glass: The Burlesque Alice in Wonderland
Lily Verlaine and Jasper McCann have both gone mad… mad as March Hares, that is! In their 10th annual re-imagination of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale of nonsense and fantasy, follow Alice as she discovers what wonders lie beyond the velvet rope at Wonderland’s most exclusive nightclub, The Looking Glass and attempts to best the evil Queen of Hearts to become the next ruler of Wonderland. New this year, Through The Looking Glass features the debut of Jasper McCann’s original musical score performed live by a jazz/rock ensemble. Inspired by hard-bop, psychedelia, go-go, and Indian Raga-pop recordings of the mid-60’s, McCann’s new arrangements set the mood for dance performances that combine classical ballet and jazz with bawdy burlesque beauty.

Donate Blood on May 1 at Century Ballroom!

Century Ballroom is organizing a blood drive with Bloodworks Northwest. Join us and support others in the community on May 1.

Schedule your appointment here:
https://schedule.bloodworksnw.org/DonorPortal/GroupLanding.aspx?s=468A

You can donate every 56 days. The donation part of your appointment only takes about 10-15 minutes. I donated in February and will donate at Century Ballroom again on May 1. I was surprised how easy it was to do and the impact is huge. 

Be sure to hydrate and eat food before you donate.
Please sign up to donate: here: https://schedule.bloodworksnw.org/DonorPortal/GroupLanding.aspx?s=468A.

After signing up, RSVP to the Facebook event page and invite friends to help spread the word! FB event page: http://bit.ly/cbbdmay.


Reasons to donate blood:

Each donation can save up to 3 lives.
You or someone you know will need blood. Pay it forward.
To give one pint of blood takes only 10 minutes (you’ll be scheduled for approximately one hour, to do the paperwork, etc.).
You’ll have your own reasons – mine was knowing I could be of use.

What to Expect:
Donating blood is safe and easy
Takes 45-60 minutes (ONLY 10-15 of that is giving a pint of blood)
Most healthy people can donate: https://www.bloodworksnw.org/donate/eligibility#conditions

How to prepare:
Eat a good meal
Drink plenty of fluids
Make sure you are feeling healthy
Bring photo ID

To make sure you can donate, visit:
https://www.bloodworksnw.org/donate/eligibility#conditions. 

Questions about eligibility? Contact the clinical specialists at Bloodworks Northwest: ClinicalP@BloodWorksNW.org or call (206) 292-2543.

More info on Century Ballroom’s website: http://www.centuryballroom.com/home/events/blood-drive

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Bloodworks Northwest is the chosen and sole provider of the blood used in 90+ local hospitals in the Pacific Northwest including the following Western Washington hospitals and clinics: UW Medical Centers, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Swedish Medical Centers, Kaiser Permanente, and more!

Don’t miss new musical “String” at Village Theatre

Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller

The new World Premier musical, String, strikes a light-hearted note when Zeus banishes three mythological sisters from Mt. Olympus to the modern world. The Fates, who preside over birth and life of humans, find their “work” in a metropolitan office skyscraper jeopardized when Atropos (played to the hilt by Jessica Skerritt) and Mickey’s (played with humility and sparkling humor by Eric Ankrim) star-studded paths cross.

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String’s entire cast is sensational in its comedic timing and fresh approach to demanding roles. Notably charming is Sara Porkalob (Clotho) who is clearly making a big splash on the Seattle theatre scene in many facets. The show tunes are fun, catchy, and tantalizing – very simply unique and engaging with electric violin, electric viola, and electric cello accompaniment.

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Director Brandon Ivie has presented Village Theatre and Everett Performing Arts a winner with this production (book by Sarah Hammond and music and lyrics by Adam Gwon). You’ll want to experience String for yourself.

Tickets available now for String at Village Theatre in Issaquah (now until April 22) and in Everett (April 27 – May 20). 

Photos by Mark Kitaoka

Video:

The free Crisis Text Line is partnering with Washington State!

As many of you know, I’m a volunteer Crisis Counselor with the Crisis Text Line, a free service where anyone can text in to get support when they are experiencing a crisis. I’m happy to share that Crisis Text Line is partnering with the Governor’s office and other Washington state organizations to help spread the word about this life-saving, free service.

Did you know: Washington State is above the national average suicide rate with one person dying by suicide every 8 hours in Washington State and suicide is the first leading cause of death for ages 10-14. (Source: AFSP) Crisis Text Line offer people the opportunity to text in for confidential, free support, 24 hours a day.  If you are in the state of Washington and are experiencing a crisis, you can text HEAL to 741741 to be connected to a trained Crisis Counselor.

“We are excited to work with the Governor’s office and organizations across the State of Washington to empower and support those in crisis and provide the comfort of knowing we are right in your back pocket,” said Nancy Lublin CEO and Founder of Crisis Text Line.

LAUNCH PARTNERS ● The City of Tacoma + Tacoma bridges  ● Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction ● Now Matters Now  ● Washington State Dept. of Health coming soon!

GET INVOLVED ● If you’re in crisis, text HEAL to 741741 for crisis support in WA State ● Become a volunteer Crisis Counselor at crisistextline.org/volunteer. ● Learn how your organization, company, or school can get involved, reach out to sarah@crisistextline.org.

When you are a volunteer Crisis Counselor, you get amazing free training, are supported by other crisis counselors and a shift supervisor when on your shift in the chat rooms, and communicate with texters via your computer (your thumbs won’t get so tired that way). If you are at all interested in this, feel free to message me directly (fb.com/keridwyn) if you have any questions that the website doesn’t answer. This service NEEDS more volunteer crisis counselors and it will likely be one of the most fulfilling things you do with your time. After all, studies show that a certain amount of volunteer time per week adds an incredible amount of satisfaction and contentment to your life!

WHAT WASHINGTON LEADERS ARE SAYING:

“Crisis Text Line is a critical support program that could save lives and will be a crucial lifeline to those who need help and support,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee said. “This innovative program, through free, 24/7 support, utilizes existing technology and resources efficiently. With Crisis Text Line, Washington state will have an additional tool to help those in crisis.”

“Crisis Text Line is a go-to resource I share in my work in construction safety. Crisis Text Line is an indispensable aid in helping people in times of crisis. We use Crisis Text Line at the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention. Thank you for your life-saving service,” said Cal Beyer, Director of Risk Management, Lakeside Industries (Issaquah, WA) – Executive Committee; National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

“NowMattersNow.org visitors have initiated conversation with Crisis Text Line over 10 thousand times. We feel confident that our users are getting support right away. We couldn’t do it without you Crisis Text Line,” said Ursula Whiteside, CEO of NowMattersNow.org.

ABOUT CRISIS TEXT LINE. Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7, confidential crisis support via text. Learn more at crisistextline.org.

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