Jane Eyre comes to life in Book-it’s endearing production (now through October 14)

Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller:

The endearing Jane Eyre has once again come to life – now in top form for your enjoyment at Book-It Repertory Theatre’s intimate Center Theatre at the Armory in Seattle Center. 

Book-It’s  2018-2019 season has launched with Charlotte Bronte’s long-admired Jane Eyre, adapted and directed by Julie Beckman.  Book-It’s rendition of Jane, the beloved creature who refuses to abide by 19th Century’s expectations and limitations of the “weaker sex,” is a pure delight and oh, so cleverly produced.

Mi Kang, in her charming portrayal of the feisty Miss Eyre, is surrounded by a dynamic supporting cast who prove to be quick-change personalities/artists. Be sure to keep an eye out for Ayo Tushinde’s scintillating versatility in her numerous roles. Ross Destiche, as Mr. Rochester, skillfully conveys an anticipated aura of mystery throughout.

If you’ve yet to discover Book-It’s unique delivery and staging of the written word, you’ll definitely want to experience it for yourself.  Familiar with Book-It, or not, Jane Eyre enthusiastically awaits you. Tickets available now.

Jane Eyre plays now through October 14, 2018.

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Photos by Alabastro Photography

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Skylight at ACT is a contemporary gem

Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller:

Skylight is a contemporary gem, currently wowing audiences at ACT’s fetching theatre-in-the-round. Significant productions, such as ACT’s timely Skylight, explain how and why Seattle’s theatre scene has become one of the most celebrated in the nation.  Every detail in ACT’s Skylight is perfection from the moment Elinor Gunn enters the stage until the lights cease to illuminate.

Skylight’s playwright, Sir David Hare, is celebrated for his portrayal of chasms within political systems that contribute to society’s destructive inequality. In tandem with Sir David Hare’s writings, John Langs’ sensitive direction has achieved his goal of providing audiences “an opportunity to feel a sort of bittersweet reckoning with how ideologies can drive people together and push them apart.”

Elinor Gunn (as Kyra) exquisitely commands the stage in all of its modesty and ingenuity – welcome to the aroma of spaghetti bolognese cooking onstage! Equally commanding in their roles, Daniel Gerroll (as Tom Sergeant) and Michael Monicatti (as Edward Sergeant) share escalating tension and passionate perspective. John Langs’ teaming of Gunn, Gerroll, and Monicatti is impeccable. Skylight literally sizzles as these three delve into, and question, bygone ties that once bound them to each other.

 

Skylight is profoundly relevant to current issues and most worthy of serious discussion. Grab your friends, and your tickets, now for performances through September 30, 2018.

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Photos by Chris Bennion

Musical “Waitress” entertains with irresistible songs (Now through Sept 16)

Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller

Fresh off Broadway, the musical Waitress has come to Seattle’s Paramount Theatre for a few short days.  This pie shop tale encompasses characters embroiled in friendships, adversaries, loneliness, infidelity, and, as expected, a plethora of mouthwatering pies. (Mini-pies for your palate are sold in the lobby both during pre-show and intermission.)

Above all else, you will want to experience Jeremy Morse’s fun-loving and awesome acrobatic hijinks, as Ogie. Morse’s exuberant antics in the number “Never Ever Getting Rid of Me” were the absolute highlight of this production. Desi Oakley, as pie baker Jenna, emanates power and wows the audience with her rendition of “She Used to Be Mine” just in time to save the day. Accolades to all the dynamic backup musicians for their electrifying orchestration, contributing tremendously to the success of this performance.

While Waitress entertains the adult audience with its irresistible songs, dance routines, and racy scenes, I highly recommend you leave your children at home for this particular pie adventure.

As Waitress is in town for only a short run, now through September 16th, you’ll want to snag your tickets today.  

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Photos by Joan Marcus

More about the show (from Broadway at the Paramount’s website):

Brought to life by a groundbreaking all-female creative team, this irresistible new hit features original music and lyrics by 6-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles (“Brave,” “Love Song”), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam) and direction by Tony Award® winner Diane Paulus (Pippin, Finding Neverland). “It’s an empowering musical of the highest order!” raves the Chicago Tribune.

Inspired by Adrienne Shelly’s beloved film, Waitress tells the story of Jenna – a waitress and expert pie maker, Jenna dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. But Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life.

Waitress is a little slice of heaven!” says Entertainment Weekly and “a monumental contribution to Broadway!” according to Marie Claire. Don’t miss this uplifting musical celebrating friendship, motherhood, and the magic of a well-made pie. Waitress contains mature content.

Crowd-wowing performer Lady Rizo returns to Seattle for one night only! September 25 at The Triple Door

It’s no secret that Lady Rizo is one of my all-time favorite performers. Yup, I’ve gushed about her on this blog in the past in true fan-girl-fashion. Maybe you saw her at Teatro Zinzanni or at a previous show at The Triple Door. If you did, you are probably already clicking through to get those tickets now. Because she is ALWAYS worth pulling yourself out of your routine and into the audience to see what magic she’ll be bringing to the stage. Haven’t seen her live yet? Be sure to come back to this my blog to gush about how much you love her after you see this show!

Her new show “Lady, Lady, Lady” plays Seattle for only one night at The Triple Door on September 25, 2018. She’ll be “raising the feminine divine” with a “new raucous night of songs written by women. From Grace Slick to Sia, from Peggy Lee to Biork– in an industry dominated by men we celebrate the tunes penned by chicks.”

Tickets here. It’s worth it.

Already snagged your tickets? Invite your friends to the Facebook event page here.

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Love cider? The BIG Cider Summit Seattle features 150+ ciders – Sept 7 & 8.

Calling all fellow cider lovers! South Lake Union is the place to be this Friday & Saturday, September 7 & 8, 2018, for a special Cider Summit Seattle event.

This year, ticket buyers will have twice the amount of tasting tickets than they had last year, which gives you a chance to try even more delicious ciders (50+ producers will be pouring 150+ ciders, cider cocktails, and apple spirits). 75% of the producers are from the Northwest and the event will also feature some international ciders to sip. This is the event if you love cider – you’re sure to leave with some new favorites and knowledge about this wonderful drink.

You’ll also be able to enjoy bites from sponsor Capitol Cider (locally owned gluten-free restaurant on Capitol Hill).

This event is both Friday and Saturday and you can attend both days with one ticket! General admission tickets include 16 tasting tickets and VIP tickets include 24 tasting tickets. Additional tasting tickets are available for purchase. Details and tickets here.

Already going? RSVP on the Facebook event page here and invite friends!

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21+ Event Review: “Femme Fatale” at Can Can is a most memorable evening!

Review by Keridwyn Deller:
If you’re 21+ and like your performances that are more on the risque side, you won’t want to miss out on their current show “Femme Fatale.” Part live-music, part burlesque, part sensual dance, part feels-like-being-in-a-music-video experience, this production is truly delicious (also delicious? The crab cakes on their menu. Food and drink is served during this event).
Local singer “Prom Queen” joins Can Can cast members Jonny Boy, Shadou, JJ Jones, and Jordan for a memorable live performance in the heart of Pike Place Market.
I had the chance of asking cast members Jonny Boy and Shadou a few questions. Get your tickets now, then check out my interview with them:
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Q: The tone of your performances often shifts from funny, to sexy, to emotionally intense. Which kinds of scenes do you enjoy performing most? Why?
Jonny Boy: I love how we are able to switch moods so quickly during our shows. If I had to be just one thing I would get bored oh-so quickly. I love luring the audience into seeing me as just a clown, then spending three and a half minutes performing a seductive tango with Shadou. I love the balance. If our shows weren’t balanced with seduction, humor, and emotion, I don’t think they would be as honest — and if there is anything to crave from a performer, it’s honesty.
Shadou: The most enjoyable parts of each show shifts for me on a nightly basis. To be honest it depends on how I am feeling, what I have experienced that day, and what the audience is responding to. Sometimes they will LOVE the comedic elements of the show, and other times it’s the sensual duets that get them going. It’s all entertaining for me, and there isn’t a preference as to which side of it I’d prefer to do more or less of. The best part of Can Can as a performer, in my opinion, is that the shows are so expansive in virtue. We do our best to reach every aspect of vaudeville theatre to current trends in live performance, and every minute on stage is different from the last. My motto is “never try to recreate the same moment”.
Q: The can-can is a unique venue, what do you enjoy most about performing there?
Jonny Boy:  I love the intimacy of Can Can. The audience is so close that it doesn’t feel like the separation between patron and performer exists. More so it feels like we are all trying to make that particular night something special. The audience and I want the same thing and its relearning every night how we get there. The challenge and the joy that comes from its accomplishment are why I’m obsessed with performing at Can Can.
Shadou: The intimacy! There is a difference in dancing AT people and dancing FOR people. At Can Can, everyone and everything is so close. The audience, the other dancers, servers, food, drinks, chairs, ceiling . . . everything! It’s a playground for the performers and it makes everything so exciting.
Q: What sets Femme Fatale apart from other recent productions? What sort of mood does this show leave the audience with? 
Jonny Boy: Femme Fatale is amazing! Prom Queen is a force to be reckoned with and our dancers are incredible. We’re continuing to push how we use the space and developed all new apparatus for the dancers to show off their skills on. Simply put, it is a completely new experience for our audience!
Shadou: Femme Fatale is an entirely new process for Can Can. We have the moving parts of song and dance with the surprise elements we love to pack into every show (apparatus, lighting, projections etc). But there is something extremely alluring about the seductiveness of this particular production. The inspiration of Mata Hari (who was such a gorgeous performer, and the original Femme Fatale) has captivated me throughout this process. I love how relevant her story is to what our world is going through right now. As a female in this industry, and frankly on this planet, it is so amazing to be able to recreate our own version of that story and let it shift how we perform. The show isn’t necessarily message driven in that way, but I love the aspect of being inspired internally by who Mata Hari was as a human. The second part of this production is Prom Queen! She is representing our own Mata Hari, and has this amazing voice that just sits in your soul. The production team has catered the creation to fit her vibe. Musically, there are components that are very Prom Queen as well as keeping the electronic elements along with instrumentation unlike a lot of the music we have used before. Outside of the music/vocals, the choreography has been taken to a whole new level. Our space is so unique, as mentioned before, but the real journey with this show is watching how we transform it. So even if you’ve seen a show at Can Can, this is entirely different in how we utilize everything from the catwalk to the back walls. We do our best to pull out all of the stops with each new production, and in my opinion Femme Fatale is one of both physical grace and production dynamics unlike anything we have done on our stage! The creative team is brilliant and the collaborators both on and off stage have resumes anyone would be jealous of. Needless to say, I am beyond thrilled to be a part of the team!
Learn more about the show and get tickets here. Femme Fatale plays now through September 30.
See more photos on Can Can’s Instagram at instagram.com/cancanseattle.
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Support University District Food Bank by drinking wine and beer on July 27!

If you don’t regularly worry where your next meal is coming from, I encourage you to support a local food bank and help others in need. One great way to do this is through an upcoming experience, Seattle magazine’s tasting event Red, White & Brew” 2018 at Seattle Center on Friday, July 27! Proceeds of this event, produced in partnership with Washington State Wine,  will go to University District Food Bank.

I’ll be taking my mom to this delicious tasting event, where we will enjoy sips of wine and beer from over SIXTY award-winning wineries and breweries (scroll down for a list!) and bites from a variety of local restaurants.

Tickets here. 

Pro-tips for this event:

  • Eat a little something before. The bites are usually just that – you’ll want some food in your belly so you can enjoy the right amount of sips. I usually bring some nuts or a bar in case I need it (this is, after all, a drink event, not a food event).
  • Have your phone charged (hashtag #RWBSea). Snap photos of the wines and beers you love the most so you can find them later (not all events allow for sales onsite)
  • Bring a water bottle! Some of these events have great water sponsors, but when they don’t, you’ll be glad you have some with you.
  • Bring a bag or purse to keep flyers and any swag you might pick up
  • It’s ok to spit (or pour out). These events are about enjoying and discovering great wines and beer. You don’t have to drink the entirety of what’s in your glass. You’ll enjoy the experience more if you pace yourself and delight in the tasting experience
  • When talking with a pourer, you can position yourself a bit to the side to allow them to continue to pour to others while they talk with you. Be courteous to other attendees while you learn.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll likely be standing and walking a lot – seating is rare at these types of events
  • Treat a friend! Tasting is more fun with a pal. Since this is for a good cause, get a ticket for you and a friend as a way of saying thank you while giving back.

About the event (in their own words):

Join us at Seattle magazine’s tasting event of the summer: Red, White and Brew! Sample from local wineries, breweries and restaurants under the sun at Seattle Center.

Now in its seventh year, the event honors the winning wineries showcased in Seattle magazine’s Washington Wine Awards selected by a panel of the top local sommeliers and wine professionals. Red, White & Brew will also feature the winners from Seattle magazine’s second annual Beer Awards.

*PLUS! Proceeds from the event will go to University District Food Bank. Want even more ways to contribute? Bring a nonperishable food item or make a donation to enter to win the Red, White & Brew prize package with all proceeds going to University District Food Bank!

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PARTICIPATING WINERIES
Abeja
Ambassador Wines of Washington
Andrew Will Winery
Avennia
Betz Family Winery
Canvasback
DeLille Cellars
DenHoed Wine Estates 
Dusted Valley
EFESTE
Forgeron Cellars
Guardian Cellars
INTRINSIC
Kerloo Cellars
Kevin White Winery
Lauren Ashton Cellars
Long Shadows Vintners
Northstar
PepperBridge Winery & Amavi Cellars
Savage Grace Wines
Syncline Winery
Tenet Wines
The Walls
Tranche
Treveri Cellars
Two Vintners
Upchurch Vineyard
Woodward Canyon

PARTICIPATING BREWERIES
Chainline Brewing Company
Elliott Bay Brewing Co. 
Fremont Brewing
Icicle Brewing Company
Matchless Brewing
Pike Brewing Company
Redhook Brewery
Seapine Brewing Company
Silver City Brewery
Stoup Brewing
Sumerian Brewing Co.
Two Beers Brewing Co.
Urban Family Brewing
Wander Brewing