The weather outside is frightful, but there are plenty of delightful reasons to stay inside this winter with the plethora of performing arts events taking place locally. Here’s a rundown of upcoming shows.
The Driftwood Players continue to celebrate their 50th anniversary season this year with show times at 8 p.m., Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sunday at the Wade James Theatre, 950 Main Street, Edmonds. For tickets call 425-774-9600, or visit www.driftwoodplayers.com.
• Feb. 13-March 1, “Our Town.” Driftwood’s Mainstage presents Thornton Wilder’s dramatization of the cycle of life for the first time. The play begins with a folksy, storytelling stage manager, who guides the audience through the drama in a small town. Emily Webb, a hard-working serious student and George Gibbs, an up-and-coming baseball star grow up together, fall in love and marry, but shortly thereafter, they face tragedy, and Emily comes to realize how precious life is. “Way down deep, there is something that’s eternal about every human being,” the Stage Manager waxes about how ordinary life connects with eternity.
• Special presentations this winter also include the return of Eve Ensler’s award winning play, “The Vagina Monologues: V-Day Edition” Feb. 14, as the VaWa Sisterhood raises funds for the Intervention Center for Assault &Abuse. The Seattle Jazz Singers return for an annual “Jazz Valentine” Feb. 18. Saturday, Feb. 21, the School of Acrobatics &New Circus Arts brings its fearless kids to the stage to defy the challenge of gravity with feats that topple convention and stunts that exceed the boundaries of the possible.
Driftwood Players’ Alternative Stages
Show times are 7 p.m. Sundays, 8 p.m. Mondays at the Wade James Theatre, 950 Main Street, Edmonds. For tickets call 425-774-9600, or visit www.driftwoodplayers.com.
• Feb. 22-March 2, “Minnesota Moon.” John Olive reflects on two high school buddies, Alan and Larry, who sit in the moonlit yard of an abandoned farmhouse in southern Minnesota, drinking beer, laughing, sharing stories and saying good-bye: Alan leaves the next day for college. It’s 1968 and Vietnam looms in their futures.
The Phoenix Theatre
This new theatre launches their inaugural season this year, moving into the former Edge of the World Theatre space at Firdale Village, 9673 Firdale Ave., Edmonds. Tickets are available through brownpapertickets.com; more information available by calling 206-533-2000.
• Jan. 16- Feb. 1, “Madness and Mayhem at the Phoenix” is a trio of plays written by women: “From Paris to Main Street,” an unpublished play written in 1921, making its stage debut with The Phoenix; “Suppressed Desires,” a satire of trendy psychoanalysis and what happens when lay people try to practice it; and “Fourteen,” a farce depicting a socialite who invites too many guests to dinner.
Cascade Symphony Orchestra
Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Mondays, at the Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 4th Ave. N., Edmonds. Season tickets are available; call 425-776-4938.
• Jan. 12, “Mahler First.” The concert will feature Jordan Anderson on double bass, and a progrma that includes the Coriolan Overture by Beethoven and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, “The Titan.”
• Feb. 7, a special children’s concert of ‘Babar, the Elephant.”
• March 9, Verdi’s Requiem with the Choir of the Sound.
Shoreline-LFP Arts Council Arts in Culture Series
Show times are 7:30 p.m. Saturdays at the Shorecrest Performing Arts Center, 15343 25th Ave. NE, Shoreline. For tickets call 206-417-4645.
• Jan. 17, “Jazz It Up!” The annual Arts Scholarhsip Program fundraiser will feature trombonist Dennis Wilson, who began his professional career with Lionel Hampton as trombonist, arranger, and musical director. He received a Grammy Award nomination for arrangements created for Manhattan Transfer. He has performed on over six Grammy Winning Albums with the Count Basie Orchestra. His experience includes work with many jazz greats including Sarah Vaughn, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Clark Terry, and Joe Williams. Wilson is joined by special guest vocalist and Northwest jazz legend Greta Matassa.
• Feb. 7, Vagabond Opera. Hailing from Portland, Oregon Vagabond Opera is a six-piece ensemble that delivers an eclectic mix of original and traditional compositions, unified by an old-world mood. “Gut-bucket” swing, tangos, Paris hot jazz, Ukranian folk-punk ballads, Arabic belly dance, Klezmer, operatic arias and vigorous originals mingle with Absurdist, Bohemiancabaret style.
• March 7, BodyVox2. BodyVox has a reputation for choreography that is adventurous, innovative, challenging and engaging for committed dance fans, while also remaining accessible to new audiences. BodyVox2 will feature energized dance, unexpected storytelling, original cinema and human comedy.
Shoreline-LFP Arts Council Children’s Series 2009
Show times are 11 a.m. Saturdays at the Shoreline Community College Campus Theater, 16101 Greenwood Ave NE, Bldg 1600, Shoreline. For tickets call 206-417-4645.
• Jan. 24, School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts. One of two local shows this winter by the fearless acrobatic kids troupe, the “School” offers a performance to be enjoyed by young and old.
• Feb. 28, Book-It Theatre’s “Jungle Book.” Experience Book-It’s adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale, and see beloved characters such as the bumbling Baloo, stealthy Bagheera, and menacing Shere Khan brought to life through the original words of the author.
• March 21, Tears of Joy Theatre’s “The Shoemaker and his Elves.” Based on a folktale/fairytale recounted by the Grimm brothers, Tears of Joy Theatre’s adaptation of this classic story was originally produced by the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Ga. Two elves come to the rescue of shoemaker, Mel Footmeyer and his wife Tootsie, and each night the elves create more shoes and soon everyone wants a pair. The play is performed with rod puppets, hand-rod puppets and shadow puppets.
Shoreline-LFP Arts Council Readers’ Theater Series
Now in its third season, the Readers’ Theater series has served as a resource to bring together actors, readers and playwrights in an entertaining and educational environment. Performances are 7 p.m. Mondays in the Ballinger Room at the Shoreline Center, Aurora Room, 18560 1st Ave. NE, Shoreline. Admission is free and the playwright will be available for discussion following the reading.
• Jan. 26, “Tomatoes.” Diane Nichols’s script centers on a high school prank played in the life of one of the major characters and the yearning for a traditional family of another character. Nichols is a writer/freelance book editor who lives in Edmonds. She has written several one-act plays that were performed in Portland, but this is her first full length script.
• Feb. 23, “The Restive and Rebellious Horse.” Another script from popular local playwright George Savage Jr.
• March 30, “Saving Nature &Karmic Koffee” by Nicola Pearson.
Olympic Ballet Theatre
Unless otherwise noted, performances take place at the Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 4th Ave. N., Edmonds. For tickets call 425-774-7570 or visit www.olympicballet.com.
• Feb. 21, “Madeline and the Bad Hat at the Circus” &“A Collection of Clown Ballets.” OBT’s annual children’s production features the high-spirited ballet version of one of Faure’s Madeline stories. Miss Clavel’s 12 little girls assemble in two straight lines and then tease and test their new neighbor, a boy that Madeline has named “The Bad Hat.” Clown ballets “Pressure Cooker,” “Alchemist’s Dream,” and “Pulcinellas” invite children to frolic, conspire, and cavort with the ballet company as they explore the lighter side of dance.
Edmonds Center for the Arts
Performances take place at the Edmonds Center For The Arts, 410 4th Ave. North, Edmonds. Season, series and choice tickets are available by calling 425-275-9595.
• Jan. 16, Mary Youngblood/Eric Tingstad &Friends. This special performance will feature Grammy-award winning Native American flutist Mary Youngblood, along with local favorite and Grammy-winner Eric Tingstad performing selections from his “Southwest” album with a select group of musicians assembled for this project.
• Jan. 19, Gabriel Alegria Sextet. One of the most influential figures of the jazz music scene in Peru, Alegria has a uniquely Afro-Peruvian jazz sound, combining the common African roots found in American jazz music and Afro-Peruvian music from the coast of Peru.
• Jan. 24, Don McLean. Don McLean’s superstar status is always attributed to his iconic song, “American Pie”. But between the heady years of 1971 and 2000, McLean released over 20 albums and scored major chart successes. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004.
• Jan. 31, Allison Crowe. Influenced by such diverse artists as Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald, the Canadian singer carried this music into her school band and music theatre studies, In 2002, the same year she completed her first national concert tour, she was a featured guest artist on the website of multi-platinum recording artist Jewel. Following in the footsteps of dynamic female performers such as Ani DiFranco and Loreena McKennit, Allison created her own label, Rubenesque Records in 2003 and has released six albums since then.
• Feb. 5, John McEuen, Chris Hillman, and Herb Pedersen. Best known as a key member of the venerable folk-rock group Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, John “The String Wizard” McEuen is joined by former Byrds member guitarist Chris Hillman and singer/guitarist/banjo player Herb Pedersen to explore the back road of American Folk.
• Feb. 13, Karla Bonoff. One of the finest singer/songwriters of her generation, Bonoff has enjoyed critical acclaim, commercial success, enduring popularity and the unwavering respect of her peers in her nearly 40-year career. In addition to achieving chart success with her own recordings, Karla has seen her songs become hits for such artists as Bonnie Raitt, Wynonna Judd and Linda Ronstadt.
• Feb. 14, Second City. Back by popular demand, Second City performs their blend of cutting edge improvisation and satirical sketch comedy mined from current events for Valentine’s Day. The Second City is recognized as the premier training ground for the comedy world’s best and brightest, and their alumni list is a who’s who of American comedy, including such notables as Mike Myers, Tina Fey and Steve Carrell.
• March 6, Zing Go the Strings, featuring Crumac and The Tallboys. Crumac arose from the ashes of The Suffering Gaels, the premiere Irish band in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest for two decades. Crumac will open the evening performing on the ECA stage; after their set and a 20-minute intermission, the audience will be directed to the ECA gymnasium for the Tallboys performance which will be immediately followed by a square dance.
Sno-King Community Chorale
Performances take place at the Edmonds Center For The Arts, 410 4th Ave. North, Edmonds. For tickets visit www.sno-kingchorale.org.
• Feb. 7, Concert for Children of All Ages, featuring guest artist Dee Daniels.
Northshore Performing Arts Center
NPAC is located at 18125 92nd NE, Bothell. For tickets call 425-489-6018 or visit www.npacf.org.
• 7 p.m. Jan. 25, James Cotton. The musical pedigree of Grammy Award winner James “Superharp” Cotton consists of a veritable who’s who in the world of the Blues. Inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, the Smithsonian Institute, and winner of countless W.C. Handy Blues Awards, he has shared the stage with B.B. King, The Rolling Stones, Johnny Winter, the Allman Brothers, Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead among many others. Opening the show are The Shanks, a Northwest blues trio featuring sultry vocals backed by dynamic guitar and syncopation.
• Saturday, Jan. 31 &Sunday, Feb. 1, Chocolate Confessions. In this one-woman musical comedy, author and performer Joan Freed portrays over one dozen characters as they confide their stories of love, life, and chocolate. This mixed assortment of humorous customers drop by with songs to share and secrets to spill at the chocolate shop of owner Coco Bliss.
• Sunday, Feb. 8, Cirque Voila. Cirque Voila present an original new-circus production of acrobatics, juggling, physical comedy, clowning, aerial performances, audience participation, and captivating original music. Regional, national and international talent who have come from diverse tours and productions such as Cirque du Soleil and Cirque Ingenieux are brought together under the literal and figurative Cirque Viola tent.
• Saturday, Feb. 21, Julie Fowlis. The Scottish born singer and instrumentalist is the BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year 2008. Fowlis brings to life the ancient songs from the Hebridean Islands for new audiences, playing Highland bagpipes, smallpipes, whistles, oboe, cor anglais, and the one-row melodeon.
• Saturday, Feb. 28, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” This rollicking throwback to a nearly extinct theatrical genre, the musical comedy revue, features book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music by Jimmy Roberts, The revue promises a hilarious and tuneful joyride throughout the dizzying spectrum of the contemporary conundrum know as “the relationship.”
• Friday, March 6, Laurie Lewis. Fiddler, singer, and songwriter Laurie Lewis’s 30-year career includes a Grammy, and she has twice been named Female Vocalist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association. Spreading her talent over several genres – bluegrass, folk, country – her stage shows are renowned for their musical virtuosity and front-porch friendliness. Lewis appears with a trio of musicians, including mandolinist-singer Tom Rozum.