Review: Book-It’s Returning the Bones at Erickson Theatre on Capitol Hill is captivating audiences now through April 14 (and you should be one of those audience members)

Review by Keridwyn Deller:

Gin Hammond is one of the Pacific Northwest’s top vocal talents. One woman shows are hard to pull off but as soon as I saw Gin’s name attached to Book-it’s performance, I marked the date on my calendar – she is just that talented.  Gin soars as performer and author of Returning The Bones, Book-it’s current production at Erickson Theatre in Capitol Hill in Seattle, now through April 14. Get your tickets now to see this fierce, lovely, insightful, talented woman play 28 (TWENTY EIGHT!) characters in one night of theatre.

I want you to see this show. I truly enjoyed our night at the theatre and have thought of this production many times since seeing it. I loved Returning The Bones storyline, the writing, the moments of laughter, the history unveiled, the moments that help us remember how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go as a society. I’ve procrastinated writing this review because I want it to be well written, to be worth of the art that is on that stage. Gin Hammond’s “Returning the Bones” is a true gift to Seattle and I want you to see it.  If I could hit pause on my night and find the time to find more words to describe this show for you tonight, I would do it. But I can’t seem to find that pause button. And this show closes April 14 which means you only have a few shows left to see the show and this is a small theatre, friends. So I’m tossing this review up to get the word out. I recommend you get your tickets now.  (Read other reviews of the show on Book-it’s Facebook page.) Also, I want to mention this show is 90 minutes + an intermission – perfect for any night of the week. (I love shows that are under 2 hours – see earlier note about needing that pause button in life. This show is worth putting down your to-do list and taking a moment to hear Bebe’s story, eloquently told by the delightful Gin Hammond). Recommended for ages 11+.

In their own words:

“Book-It Repertory Theatre (Book-It) presents acclaimed Seattle actress Gin Hammond’s inspiring, 28-character solo play, Returning the Bones. Based on the life of Hammond’s aunt, Dr. Carolyn Beatrice Montier (aka “Bebe”), Returning the Bones brilliantly responds to one of life’s most challenging questions: How do you choose between your country, your people, and yourself? A surprisingly comical story, Returning the Bones brings us into intimate contact with the luminaries of the day including President Lyndon B. Johnson, Eleanor Roosevelt, James Baldwin, and Queen Elizabeth. Returning the Bones runs through April 14, 2019 at The Erickson Theatre on Capitol Hill.

On sharing her aunt’s remarkable life with the world, Hammond remarks, “Of all the feedback I’ve gotten for this show, my favorite is, ‘after seeing this show my husband decided he would keep fighting for something he was about to give up on.’ It’s a very different time from when I first started writing this show, but it feels more relevant than ever. I’m also excited to bring the audience on a journey to so many different countries, especially after living abroad for the past year. And, I have to confess that I’m simply looking forward to being able to spend time with the main character again; to feel her presence, her humor, her courage, and her profound ability to love.'”

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Photos by John Ulman

Giveaway: Enter to win tickets to “Through the Looking Glass: The Burlesque Alice in Wonderland” at The Triple Door in April!

Through the Looking Glass: The Burlesque Alice in Wonderland returns to The Triple Door in downtown Seattle April 3 – 7! Experience the magic of this story, come to life with talented dancers and burlesque performances with music from live jazz-rock band The Aces & 8s.
Enter to win two tickets to the show! You can enter
on Facebook by
1) Tagging a friend in the comments of the Seattle Pockets FB giveaway post (tag up to 5 friends – one per comment – for up to 5 entries)
then
2) RSVP interested or going to their Facebook Event Page.
About the show:
Lily Verlaine and Jasper McCann have both gone mad… mad as March Hares, that is! In their 11th 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. Through The Looking Glass features top-notch local dance talent, opulent costuming by Stephanie Seymour, original choreography from the classically-trained Lily Verlaine, and an original score by Jasper McCann, Kate Olson, and Michael Owcharuk inspired by hard-bop, psychedelia, and Indian Raga-pop recordings of the mid-60’s… played LIVE by our jazz-rock sextet, The Aces & 8’s. The superstars of Seattle’s Burlesque A-List take on the roles of Carroll’s famous characters and turn Wonderland’s topsy-turvy world into an ecdysiastic tour-de-force filled with glamour, comedy, dance, striptease, and song. Tickets here. 
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Photos by Angela Sterling
 
Giveaway ends 11:59pm Pacific Time 3/31/19. 

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

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).

and

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.