Review: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s legendary and newly revised “Cats” thrills Paramount Theatre audiences now through March 31, 2019.

Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller

If you’ve yet to experience “Cats” for the first time or are desirous of catching the revival of this ambitious musical based on T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”, now is your chance. Slithering through a dark, crowded, and larger-than-life moonlit junkyard, dozens of dynamic felines come to life with awesome costuming, spectacular vocals, and brilliant lighting.

In composing “Cats”, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s lifelong love of cats clearly matched that of T.S. Eliot’s. In perfecting duplication of feline mannerisms and quirks, it’s safe to bet “Cats’” costume designers, hair and makeup artists, and choreographers, alike, are also enamored with cats. “Cats” delightfully slinky, mystical, and eye-catching mousers clearly equate to personification in reverse.

Accolades to all the “Cats” cast who brought this production to life and, especially, to Keri René Fuller (Grizabella) who brought chills to the bone and tears to the eye with her closing rendition of the mesmerizing song, Memory. That final vocal number, alone, was worth the price of admission.

You’ll want to act quickly to secure your tickets for this iconic Broadway “Cats” production. The Broadway touring performance of “Cats” plays now through March 31, 2019 at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre. Tickets here.

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Photos by Matthew Murphy

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GIVEAWAY: Chinook Book’s Heart of Seattle Awards Party brings food, wine, beer & cocktails on April 4.

Update: Winner has been contacted. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Chinook Book’s Heart of Seattle tasting event is April 4 at Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion.

“Featuring amazing chef creations and craft wine, beer and cocktails from local farm-to-table purveyors and the announcement of our 2019 Heart of Seattle Award Winners.”

Chinook Book exists in print and app form and offers a ton of great deals around Seattle. Their special “Heart of Seattle” Awards Party is April 4 (5:30pm VIPs, 6:30pm General Admission).

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Want a chance to win 2 GA tickets to attend this event? Good news: you can enter

Here on Facebook – simply follow Seattle Pockets on FB, like the giveaway post and tag a friend in the comments. You can tag up to 5 friends for up to 5 entries (one tag per comment).

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Here on Instagram – simply follow @Keridwyn on Instagram, like the giveaway post and tag a friend in the comments. You can tag up to 5 friends for up to 5 entries (one tag per comment).

I’m particularly excited to taste bites from Chaco Canyon Cafe, Tutta Bella, and Bluebird Ice Cream and sip drinks from Seattle Cider Co, Elliot Bay Brewing Company, and Finnriver Farm & Cidery.

“Delectable bites from Tilth Catering, Porkchop & Co, Chaco Canyon Cafe, Tutta Bella, Miri’s Catering, Manu’s Bodega, Sprigy, Hama Hama, Honest Biscuits, Pike Place Fish Market, Loki Fish Co., Firefly Kitchens, Bluebird Ice Cream, Indi Chocolate, and Bow Hill Blueberries Delicious beverages from eleven winery, Elliot Bay Brewing Company, Two Beers Brewing, Seattle Cider Co., Sound Craft Seltzer, Lantern Brewing, Bluewater Organic Distilling, Timber City Ginger Beer, Sky River Meadery, Finnriver Farm & Cidery, and The Works Seattle.”

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Giveaway ends 3/28/19 at 11:59pm Pacific Time.

Wine lovers: Taste Washington returns March 28 – 31, 2019!

Taste Washington – one of the largest wine events in our area – returns March 28th – March 31, 2019!

March 28 is the VIP Red & White party. “This intimate and exclusive experience takes you ‘into the cellars’ of Washington’s premier winemakers to taste the best of the best. This is the only event at Taste Washington where you will you find Washington winemakers’ most-coveted bottles, including wine club-only bottles and 90+ point pours. Held at the renowned AQUA by El Gaucho on Seattle’s waterfront, this elegant affair requires you to dress the part. So break out your red and white attire and come prepared for a fashionable evening of unmatched sophistication”

The New Vintage is Friday night.“More than a night out on the town, The New Vintage is an unforgettable experience that delivers stories in the form of food and wine. With unexpected moments at every turn, this event is your backstage pass to meet and mingle with the exciting chefs and inspiring winemakers who are putting Seattle and Washington State on the world’s food and wine heat map. [At] The Sanctuary, The New Vintage welcomes Seattle star chefs Edouardo Jordan (JuneBaby), Ethan Stowell (How to Cook a Wolf) and Rachel Yang (Joule), coupled with chef friends from around the country including Chris Cosentino (Cockscomb, San Francisco, CA), Vivian Howard (The Chef and the Farmer, Kinston, NC), and Gregory Gourdet (Departure, Portland, OR). Experience wine cocktails at the Halo Bar up above, plus exclusive bites in an intimate space down below. Take in the magic of Washington wines—those you know and love, and others you’re sure to fall in love with. Explore, indulge, imbibe, and you can confess your sins later.”

And, the big kahuna, The Grand Tasting, is Saturday and Sunday. “A truly ‘grand’ experience, this two-day event is overflowing with Washington’s culinary riches. With delicious samples from over 235 Washington wineries and bites from over 65 local restaurants, we simply don’t believe in having too much of a good thing. Watch today’s hottest chefs demonstrate their culinary skills on stage, get up-close and personal with hundreds of area winemakers, and indulge in Pacific Northwest-inspired food and wine. And while you’re at it, find new favorites to vote for in Taste Washington’s fourth annual Best Bite competition. Whether you’re a seasoned wine and food connoisseur or simply a fan of eating and drinking great things, there’s something to satisfy every taste bud at this event.  Thank goodness you’ll have two days to discover it all.”

 

Here are some of my tips for a successful wine and food event:

  • Get your tickets early  (Taste WA events tend to sell out).
  • Bring a friend! It’s more fun to taste with a buddy. Make this a birthday or thanks-for-being-awesome gift.
  • Check out the food and winery lists in advance and make a list of what booths you want to visit. I like to make a list of “favorites” (those I’ve tried before and LOVE) and “newbies”.
  • Always try wines/restaurants you haven’t tried before, that’s a big part of what makes this event fun!
  • Bring a bag or larger purse! Sometimes restaurants and wineries will hand out coupons/tasting passes etc – you’ll run out of pocket room fast!
  • Drink lots of water! Hydration is key. Bring a water bottle with you.
  • It’s ok to spit or dump! A lot of wineries will give you an ample pour – this is so you can see the color of the wine and smell it easier – it’s ok not to drink it all! Your senses will diminish as you get buzzed and a lot of the fun of this event is finding wines you’ll want to buy later.
  • Talk to the folks pouring wine, but feel free to step a bit to the side of the table while you engage in conversation with them so they can continue to pour for the people behind you. You can still chat them up while you let others listen in and sip for themselves.
  • Dress up a little but wear comfortable shoes. There’s a lot of space to cover!
  • Charge your phone before you go and bring a travel charger. I snap photos of the wines I like along the way so I can remember my favorites!
  • Share your photos and reviews on social media posts with hashtag #TasteWA.

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Pulitzer Prize-winner Annie Baker’s latest drama ‘John’ weaves life’s challenging realities with a heap of mysticism (at ArtsWest now through April 7)

Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller:

Early arrival at the ArtsWest theatre provides audiences an opportunity to reminisce in the museum-like staging, filled with an excess of “tchotchkes.” Eccentricity abounds throughout “John,” in tandem with the set which is overrun with dolls, stuffed animals, knick-knacks, and out of season Christmas decorations.

Welcome to the Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, a bed and breakfast where Paris and Eiffel Towers are prized table decor. When the young couple, Jenny Chung (Mi Kang) and Elias Schreiber-Hoffman (Sean Lally), enter into the picture as weekend guests, they experience their surroundings taking on a life of their own, sometimes bigger than the conflicted couple’s relationship.

In conjunction with Jenny and Elias’ obscure courtship, the bed and breakfast proprietor Mertis Katherine Graven (the gifted Marianne Owen) keeps her guests wondering about her lack of connection with reality. Mertis’ long-time friend Genevieve Marduk (Suzy Hunt, brilliant in her portrayal, as always) eventually arrives on the scene like a breath of fresh air in her surprisingly forthright manner and honesty. The blind Genevieve’s announcement that she “went crazy,” and that her husband John “took possession” of her soul is, at least, a desire to speak her truth in the midst of overwhelming deception and chaos.

You’ll want to catch “John” at ArtsWest to demystify the title, interesting in the fact that no one named John ever surfaces in this three-hour, two-intermission play. Now on stage, “John” plays now through April 7, 2019 at West Seattle’s delightfully intimate theatre. Tickets here.

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ArtsWest presents JOHN

Photo by John McLellan

Time Magazine – 10 Best Shows of 2015

Nominated for 6 Drama Desk Awards

Nominated for 5 Lucille Lortel Awards

“Annie Baker’s John is so good on so many levels that it casts a unique and brilliant light.” – The New Yorker

“Baker does not merely tell a scary story. She shows them, piling up like ghosts of amputated limbs from the war wounded, and makes them riveting, unpredictable, altogether human theater.” – Newsday

 

#SAMRemix returns to Seattle Art Museum March 29. There really is no party like an after-hours museum party!

Those of you who have been to a past #SAMRemix event probably already have your tickets for March 29th at Seattle Art Museum.

For those of you who haven’t been, here are a few reasons why to get your tickets now. There’s a reason this party always sells out. (Seriously, the event page will get flooded with “needing 2 tickets!” comments days before the event from people who waited too long.)

You can dance under the art. The gorgeous, massive, intricate art of “Middle Fork” by John Grade. That’s right – there’s a DJ’ed party under this beast.

#SAMRemix is a great opportunity to see the most current exhibitions at Seattle Art Museum. I’m particularly excited that the “Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer” exhibition is on now. It’s sexy and vibrant from what I can see from photos and I’m ready to get close to it. Video preview of “Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer“:

You can trust the #SAMRemix curators. The programming (live performances, art tours, craft projects, and more) are always fresh and fun, drawing from some of the best talent Seattle has to offer. Grab a cocktail from one of the bars, stroll through the galleries, and participate in a group art-making activity.

Brandon and I are going – see you there? (If you’re looking for me, I’ll be on the dance floor dancing to the tunes of DJ Riz, crafting, or soaking in one of my all-time favorite works of art: “Lessons from the Institute of Empathy.”

– Keridwyn

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In their own words:

“SAM Remix returns for creative late-night performances, art making, live music, and tours produced by the region’s best artists and creatives. Now celebrating more than 10 years and taking inspiration from the many exhibitions on view on at SAM, including Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer, this edition of Remix explores how we find commonality through our complex personal identities. Celebrate unifying gestures, symbols, and movements that cross genres, connect people, and strengthen our communities.”

Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/292060888132964/.

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Photos/Images via fb.com/seattleartmuseum

THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT
Dance to mixes by DJ Riz.
Make art with local artists Fox Spears and Philippe Hyojung Kim.
Watch dance performances in the galleries inspired by “Like A Hammer.”

TAKE MY FAVORITE THINGS TOURS WITH
Visual artist Anthony White.
Boxing instructor Oliver Silen.
Art and music critic Jasmyne Keimig.
Interdisciplinary arts professor Naomi Macalalad Bragin.

Review: A spine-tingling gothic ghost story, The Woman in Black runs now through March 24 at Seattle Repertory Theatre

Review by Tony Bohn:

A good old fashioned ghost story is what you are in for at Seattle Repertory Theatre’s current production of The Woman in Black. This is a stage adaption of Susan Hill’s original 1983 novel by the same name. The show is the second longest running play on London’s West End and the story has also been adapted to television, radio, and film.

Set in Britain sometime around the earlier part of the 1900s, the story takes the audience through the spooky events surrounding the death and funeral of Mrs. Alice Drablow. Arthur Kipps, a retired solicitor, is sent to the woman’s creepy old house on an island with a causeway (surrounded by marshes) that is covered by the ocean daily when the tide comes in. What happened to Arthur there impacted him so much that he writes a play to get his story out to the public and he hires an actor to help him develop his show and rehearse his play. Arthur and the hired actor play all the roles throughout the play and the ghost story is told as they rehash the events that occurred to Arthur.

The script, costuming and set do a fantastic job of evoking the time period and describing the scene and events that occurred. The house, the marshes, the island, the ocean, the graveyard, the theater, and even the weather all seem like characters in their own right. The acting is solid and the two actors do a brilliant job of playing all the roles in the show and help the audience to be pulled into the creepy and unsettling story as the play progresses. While I wouldn’t call the show full on horror (it’s still family-friendly and there are certainly a lot of comedic moments written into the script), there are plenty of cool visual and sound effects as well as quite a few jump-scares that will have you on the edge of your seat.

The Woman in Black runs now until March 24, 2019 at Seattle Repertory Theatre in Seattle Center. More information and tickets here.

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Photo by Roger Mastroianni

One of Seattle’s BEST food & drink events returns this weekend with FOUR special Seattle Wine & Food Experience opportunities

The Seattle Wine and Food Experience offers FOUR events this February (one of these experiences is already sold out). There’s something for just about everyone.

Events include:

THURSDAY FEB 21: Comfort at SODO Park

FRIDAY FEB 21: Pop! Bubbles & Seafood at The Sanctuary  (Sold out!)

SATURDAY FEB 22: The Grand Tasting at Bell Harbor (VIP tickets are sold out but General Admission are still available)

SUNDAY FEB 23: Sunday Supper at Block 41 (NEW this year!)

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Details:

COMFORT

I’ll be heading to Comfort on Thursday on a friend-date with my pal Paul Levy (yes, contrary to When Harry Met Sally beliefs, men and women CAN be friends).  I’ve been to the venue, SODO Park, for a wedding before and am exciting to see what they do with the gorgeous space for Comfort! From the menu online, the dishes I’m most excited to try are: Tulalip Casino’s Mom’s After School Grilled Cheese, Mountaineering Club’s cucumber dish, Catina Lena’s Beef Kimchi Quesadillas. and Smith Brother’s Milk and Cookie station (seriously how cute is this photo?!) For drinks, I’m excited to sip 2 Towns Ciderhouse Pineapple Cider and Made Marion Blackberry Hard Cider, Finn River’s Black Currant Cider, Perihelion Brewery’s Lost in Space Sour Cherry Ale, and Woodinville Whiskeys.

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POP! BUBBLES & SEAFOOD

This event was truly delightful last year and I’m excited to learn more about sparkling wine and champagne with my friend Joy. The venue is awesome – if you haven’t been to The Sanctuary in downtown Seattle yet and have tickets for this event (or can buy some off someone – this particular event is now sold out), you are in for a treat! I love seeing how creative restaurants get with seafood offerings. I’m most excited to try: Eat Good Group’s “Pine Cured Steelhead Crudo with Wild Mushroom, Tempura, Elderberries and Cocoa,” Ivar’s “Smoked Coho salmon, goat cheese mousse,
roasted Anjou pears, Belgium endive spear” and Salty’s “Beet Cured Ora King Salmon Crudo, Fried Caper Aioli, Fennel, Red Onion and Cucumber, Charred Lemon Vinaigrette, Warm Baguette.” I don’t have enough insight on bubbly wine to know which wineries I should be most excited for – feel free to let me know on my facebook post!

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THE GRAND TASTING

The Grand Tasting is a jaw-dropping good time. I’ll be working with some of my inspiring clients this Saturday, so won’t have a chance to make The Grand Tasting this year but YOU should go. It’s one of the most fun food & drink events that the city offers – there is a joy and laughter in the air throughout this event due to the creative displays and layout, an immense amount of food and drinks to experience, and the playful sense of exploration you get to enjoy as you delight your tastebuds. #SWFE Grand Tasting last year was one of the most memorable food/drink event I have ever experienced, and that’s saying a lot!

Check out Seattle Mag’s awesome guide with tips and tricks to make the most out of this event here. “More than 200 vendors will be clamoring to share their food and drink with you—your challenge will be making the most out of this festival of wine and local eats. Fear not: we wouldn’t leave you unprepared in the face of such a momentous occasion. Take a peek at our step-by-step game plan designed to help you maximize your experience. You may not have known it at the time but mapping out your trip to Disneyland was just training for Seattle Wine and Food Experience” – Seattle Mag

Check out photos from 2018’s Grand Tasting here.

SUNDAY SUPPER

This event is brand new to #SWFE this year! I’m so thrilled to be attending this event with my husband this coming Sunday. I haven’t been to Block 41 yet but will be sure to report back! I’ve had great food from Spinasse and Mamnoon in the past so am excited to see what they bring to the table along side chefs from General Harvest Restaurants, Sawyer, Ciudad, and Eden Hill.

Here’s the scoop:

“A curated list of Seattle’s best chefs will come together to create a once in a lifetime dinner experience, with each chef serving up an inspired course as part of an epic immersive meal.”

  • 5:00 pm: Doors open for cocktail hour – Enjoy cocktails, bubbly and appetizers as guests arrive
  • 5:45 pm: Dinner seating begins upstairs
  • 6:00 pm: Sunday Supper kicks off with a beautiful six-course meal and wine pairings
  • 8:00 pm: Chefs’ After Party! Join us downstairs after supper for an after-hours bash complete with late night snacks, entertainment and desserts by Tulalip Resort Casino’s Nikol Nakamura and Salt & Straw

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I’m hydrating NOW in preparation for this weekend of delicious fun! Thanks to #SWFE for hosting these events! I look forward to sharing photos and reviews of my favorite bites and sips during and after the fun.

What are YOU most excited for during the weekend of Seattle Wine & Food Experience? #SFWE

Tickets here.

RSVP and invite friends on the Facebook Event Pages.

Check out photos from last year’s events here.

Photos via Seattle Wine & Food Experience.

#SWFE