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Posts made in: 'Classical Music' (151) Currently Viewing: 61 - 70 of 151

January 22, 2013 at 4:32pm

Puyallup is where the harp is

ENCHANTED HARP: Have you walked harp row? Photo credit: Mckenna Snyder


On the corner of North Meridian Street and West Stewart Avenue sits the quaint Enchanted Harp. It is one of a few harp shops in the Northwest.

Right off the bat you will notice its eloquent atmosphere and, if you are lucky, one of the workers will be playing the harp.

The harp, as you know, is a multi-stringed instrument much like a piano, but is played perpendicular. It is a beautiful instrument most often found at classical or Celtic music concerts, but sounds cool in jazz and pop rock songs. In fact, I have seen an electric harp played in a heavy music performance.

The Enchanted Harp carries a variety of harps - pedal harps to electric harps and everything in between. They also have a wide selection of used harps that, from what I saw, are in fantastic shape.

Why do I care about harps?

True, I don't know how to play the harp. But, I'm thinking of taking lessons. To my delight, Enchanted Harp offers lessons. It is only $25 for a single, half-hour lesson. If you are interested in monthly lessons (four weeks a month) the prices ranges from $80-$160. I think those are reasonable prices to learn how to play such a unique instrument.

Colin Nelson, a friend who resides in Paris, told me all about her experience with the harp. "Harp is more easy than people think," she says. "Actually, it's like the piano - one string for one (do re mi ...). There is different type of color to recognize which one is which. The red string equals do and fa is blue, the rest are white. Playing the sharps is more difficult to do because you have to press something with the foot. Everybody can play it. I started at 6. I chose this instrument when I was 6 years old because I wanted to do like the princess."



Filed under: Classical music, Music, Puyallup,

November 30, 2012 at 7:57am

THE WEEKEND HUSTLE: Oly Toy Run, "Messiah Sing-Along," Banff Film Festival, Sounds of the Season and more ...

BANFF MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL: A must-see for mountain enthusiasts and those with a spirit of adventure.



Friday: Rain, hi 54, lo 47

Saturday: Rain, hi 50, lo 44

Sunday: Rain, hi 46, lo 43


Whether you plan to ride, a teddy bear and Lego set strapped to your bike, or you plan to watch, waving from the streets, the 35th annual Olympia Toy Run is always an anticipated event on the holiday calendar. Tens of thousands of spectators will line the streets from Lacey to Olympia as motorcycles swarm by, their engines rumbling in a mass chorus of goodwill, to drop off toys for tots through The Salvation Army's Toy 'n' Joy Shop program. "For this day, we are one sister/brotherhood of riders thinking of the smiles our toys will bring to kids' faces," reads the event page. Somehow, the juxtaposition of gnarly tattooed bikers wielding cuddly dolls and candy canes makes the world seem a better place. - Nikki McCoy

  • South Sound Center, Saturday, Dec 1, 10 a.m. gate opens; 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. performers; 1 p.m. ride leaves, new unwrapped toy or $10-$15, 711 Sleater-Kinney Road SE, Lacey. Ride arrives at Marathon Park, Deschutes Parkway, Olympia.


This Saturday and Sunday, Olympia Film Society's presents The Banff Film Festival, a festival of more than 30 films documenting the trials, tribulations and humor that transpire in the wilderness. The event is a benefit for the Olympia Mountaineers - a nonprofit organization founded in 1906 and dedicated to the responsible enjoyment of natural areas. The festival is on worldwide tour and is already sold out in Seattle.  While the Mountaineers cater to all skill levels, the movies highlight the extremes of outdoor adventures. From 90-second shorts to one-hour features, the films shown in Olympia are hand-selected by a group of Mountaineers. Each night plays six to eight films, with up to 16 different flicks over the two days. It is encouraged to buy tickets for both nights to see the most films. The event page boasts, "We try to showcase a variety of sports and interests that feature adventure, culture and adrenaline charged action." While only a few brave souls may willing to hurl themselves off cliffs, kayak down dangerous bodies of water or trek across arctic tundras, you can bet your best Nalgene bottle there are plenty of people who want to watch.  Note: The Banff Film Festival will also show Dec 3-4 at Tacoma's Rialto Theater. — NM

  • Capitol Theater, Dec 1, 7 p.m., $14 Dec 2, 6 p.m., $12, $23 for both nights, 206 Fifth Ave., Olympia, 360.754.6670


Fight as you may, it's officially "the season." Kids are already sitting on various Santa laps at malls across the country, and A Christmas Story is probably already re-running on TBS. The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra will spend Sunday at the Pantages Theater with the Tacoma Youth Chorus and jaw-dropping vocalist Maria Valenzuela doling out beloved seasonal music produced by TSO arranger Bo Ayars to create a unique, never-before-heard program. — Weekly Volcano

  • Pantages Theater, 2:30 p.m., $24-$77, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.591.5894


We all love to sing. Singing is fun; singing is cool. However, life is cruel, and as much as we all love to sing, well, we can't.  We suck. Or, to put this in a positive manner, there are those who can sing solo and there are those who should always, always, sing in groups. The larger the better. For those of you, who fall into the second category, head to Lakewood Sunday. The community and choir of Christ Lutheran Church present a "Messiah Sing-Along" so you can sing to your tone-deaf little heart's content. 

  • Christ Lutheran Church, 2 p.m., $10, 8211 112th St. S.W., Lakewood, 253.582.0331


They're still going strong, and still swarming The Swiss to do good, get loaded, raffle stuff off and enjoy the spirit of the season. The Friends of the Holidays benefit is Sunday at The Swiss, and the T-town institution shouldn't disappoint: Mark Riley Trio, Tahoma Souls Alive, Junkyard Jane, Gin Creek, T-Town Aces, Fingertips and Tumbling Dice will all be doing their part for underprivileged families this year. Look, these times are tough for everyone, but if you can have a fun night out while also making someone else's life a little better, We call that Yahtzee. — WV

  • The Swiss, 3-10:30 p.m., $10 donation, 1904 S. Jefferson Ave., Tacoma, 253.572.2821


I'm seeing The Wind in the Willows at Olympia Family Theater and Miracle on 34th Street at Tacoma Little Theatre. Ho, ho, ho!

Whatever I end up doing, whiskey will certainly play the biggest role in my weekend plans. I'll utilize Potter's bottom shelf in convalescing after a week of toiling at this regrettable temp job. Fun fact about me: I am literally a Reverend. Which means that I can marry you -- nay, I WILL marry you. Hire me for your wedding. If it's a same-sex marriage, that'd be ideal. Hit me up. Get me away from this temp job.

Friday night we're going to see Miracle on 34th Street at Tacoma Little Theatre. Saturday is the Stonewall Youth Center auction in Oly. Sunday up to Federal Way to see Cinderella at Centerstage. And believe me, it's not your grandma's Cinderella.

NIKKI MCCOY Feature Writer
Saturday we will be celebrating my oldest boy's 7th birthday at Bonjour Cupcakes! Later that night I will be missing the Argonaut, Mosquito Hawk, Lozen, etc. show at The New Frontier because the babysitter fell through. So instead, I will likely be watching Star Wars (again) and making fart jokes with my kids. Sunday is The Brotherhood Holiday party where we dine on authentic Italian food and drink vino at Trinacria, then stumble back next door to the Broho and drink more. Cause that's how us bartenders roll.

Work. Work. Aaaand maybe checking out the stache-capades going on at the Metronome Coffee tonight. There's sure to be some memorable whiskers to be seen. Those shenanigans may make me feel better about all of the gift fairs I'm sure to miss thanks to the masses' breakfast needs I must serve Saturday and Sunday. I'm also contemplating making some funky cocktail recipes come to life too. Tis the season for warmed drinks and pumpkin flavored everything, including cocktails.

JOANN VARNELL Theater Critic
Continuing with last week's Christmas theme, the husband, toddler and I will attend the Beautiful Angle Holiday Party tonight at Fulcrum Gallery. Saturday, I'll be heading to Tacoma Little Theatre to review Miracle on 34th St. while the 2 year old has quality time with Dad. After church Sunday, we will head to a friend's house for a gender reveal party for one of our favorite couple's incubating baby.

All ages shows were once a staple of Olympia's must do weekend; and for many it still is. This weekend at the Olympia All Ages Project's venue, Northern, The Babies, Sitka and some awesome local acts treat the town to all-ages action. I highly recommend supporting any all-ages show. But more importantly, you got to ask yourself, what do I got to do that is better than supporting local, all-ages music.

JOSH RIZEBERG Music Columnist
Tonight I'll start the weekend by going to the Colored Women's Club. From 6-9 p.m. is Antonio Edwards' farewell show. He's moving to California. Antonio was the 2007 Tacoma Poet Laureate. He is my favorite poet from Tacoma ever! I'll miss him. After that I'll probably drive up north to Seattle and hit the Zulu-Jam. They have one every month, but this one is huge. It's the History Edition, so they have a lot of old-school Seattle B-Boy/Girl crews having reunions. Saturday and Sunday I'll be helping my D.A.S.H. family with its production of Dream Girls. It's at Charles Wright; tickets are still available. I just get there and move heavy stuff and get bossed around.

I have one of those date type things with one of those female type people, so wish me luck. I'll also be hitting the Amocat Cafe's beer and music thing tonight and then Ukulele Fest at the Asian Pacific Cultural Center Sunday. Oh, and I have to fix my fence.

NIC LEONARD Music Writer
I will be heading down to Portland to spend time with my girlfriend for her birthday. Probably hitting up various bars and maybe a show or two.

ROCKFORD ROWLEY All-Ages Music Columnist
This weekend, I'm spending some time with a very amazing and beautiful girl who's name I will not disclose - you know who you are. Our time will likely be spent laughing, drinking hot chocolate and discussing the extent to which one should feel threatened if they cross paths with a hippopotamus.

KRISTIN KENDLE Arts and Features Writer
Shopping, cookies, more shopping, and then more cookies.

LINK: Even more local events that we recommend

LINK: Comprehensive South Sound Arts & Entertainment Calendar

November 8, 2012 at 3:51pm

WEEKEND HUSTLE: Video Games Live, Oly Film Fest, Cloud 9, Gem Faire and more ...

VIDEO GAMES LIVE: Video games have risen to cinematic heights. Courtesy photo



Friday: Chilly with sunny intervals, hi 46, lo 42

Saturday: Partly sunny and chilly, hi 42, lo 33

Sunday: Cloudy and chilly, hi 46, lo 40


Video Games Live is not just a concert. It's an experience. An experience to end all experiences for all nerdkind. An experience that will give every game geek in the land the chance to hear live video game music. An experience that will yank game fanatics from joysticks Friday night in Tacoma. The concert integrates local orchestras and choirs with its extensive mix of media and performance - video footage from the games, synchronized lighting and live performers from soloists to live action sequences.
 — Kristen Kendle

  • Pantages Theater, 7:309 p.m., $39-$94, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.591.5894


Olympia Film Society presents incredible lineup of screenings, events, guests and a kick-ass gala that is the 29th annual Olympia Film Festival. The Opening Night Gala Friday will match previous year's spectacles. The "Glam Gala" gets fabulous at 6 p.m. with glamorous costumes galore. The gala includes a screening of Velvet Goldmine that includes a VIP reception with director Todd Haynes. Other highlights of the event include annual favorite All Freakin Night featuring five freaky films to chill you, Locals Only filmmaker showcase, a kung-fu double feature with Crippled Avengers and Fist of White Lotus, House of Wax presented in 3D, special kids' films and the Best of the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. For a complete listing or for tickets visit www.olympiafilmsociety.org. — Nikki McCoy

  • Capitol Theater, $7-$10 single tickets, passes available, 206 E. Fifth Ave., Olympia, 360.754.6670


The theater musical Cloud 9 jumps from 1880, an era of bridled lust and rigid ideals of the Victorian empire into 1980 and an era of sexual exploration in London. The seven characters, including gender reversals and a ragdoll, inhabit the stage in a story of British-ruled Africa. When the natives prepare to overthrow the British, the whole company is engaged in a non-stop round robin of sexual liaisons. Fast forward to 1980 and for the remaining, surviving characters, it's only been 25 years.  Cloud 9 sounds totally weird and humorous and drenched with sex, history and politics, just how Olympia likes it. - NM

  • Midnight Sun Performance Space, through Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, $7-$12, 113 N. Columbia St., Olympia, 360.250.2721


There are tons of great things to do in Tacoma this weekend, but the Gem Faire at the Tacoma Dome is a rather intriguing event. Quality gems, beads, crystals, minerals, findings and earth treasures will be available at wholesale prices. Yes, you can grab holiday project supplies, get personal treasures or simply browse and look at all the shiny, pretty, sparkly stuff. For the jewelry maker, there will also be tools, packaging supplies and millions of beads. Be sure to enter for a chance to win cool prizes at the Gem Faire with drawings every hour. The last time I witnessed a gem show it was at some hippy rainbow gathering event, and while that was pretty cool, this one is sure to be grander, and much more organized. - NM

  • Tacoma Dome, noon to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, $7 weekend pass, 12 years and younger free, 2727 E. D St., Tacoma, 253.272.3663.


Saturday and Sunday, Patrons of South Sound Cultural Arts (POSSCA), together with Friends of the Olympia Library are once again hosting their juried arts show and sale.  Come meet local artists and see works in jewelry, photography, painting, glass, pottery and more - just in time for the holidays! Admission is only $1 and all proceeds go to funding the Olympia Library and POSSCA's arts awareness mission, including their annual scholarship program, enabling talented high school seniors to pursue higher education in arts, and CAPS program, which provides musical instruments to students who would otherwise be unable to participate in school programs. - NM

  • National Guard Armory, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, $1, 515 Eastside St., SE, Olympia, www.possca.org.


I'm seeing Cloud 9 at St. Martin's to review, plus Twelfth Night at Lakewood Playhouse for fun. My sister's launching her barbecue restaurant, Smoking Mo's 2.0 in Shelton - highly recommended! And I'll spend a few hours trying to decide who said the dumbest thing about the election - Chris Matthews or Bill O'Reilly. So far Billo's ahead.

Saturday, I've got an annual Big Lebowski party to attend. Like all the other years I've attended, this year I will firmly plant my feet in the ground and refuse to go in costume. Now, if this were a Fargo party, I'd be set. I'd be Peter Stormare - just wearing long johns and eating TV dinners.

Starting the Hustle again with one helluva weekend. Friday night I'm catching Leonard Cohen at KeyArena. Saturday, I will see Ordinary People at SPSCC. Sunday, I'm attending the PFLAG gathering in Olympia featuring a retired rear admiral from the U.S. Coast Guard and other guests discussing the end of "Don't Ask Don't Tell."

NIKKI MCCOY Feature Writer
This weekend I'm ready to post-election party. Friday night after slinging drinks, I'm going to let it out at the Olympia Ballroom for a night of Hillstomp and its swamp loving, bucket pounding ways. Saturday is a Thomas the Train toddler party, which shouldn't fair too bad, as long as I don't have too many greyhounds the night before. And Sunday is the usual chores, home-cooked dinner and America's Funniest Videos. By the way, I plan to catch my child(ren) someday giving their dad an unintentional groin punch, saying something ridiculously cute or air-guitaring their way to winning me $10,000, because there are child labor laws in this country and the way I see it, they already owe me at least double that for Star Wars toys and a pantry full of Annie's all natural mac 'n' cheese.

JOANN VARNELL Theater Critic
This weekend is chock full of theater! I will be reviewing Lakewood Playhouse's production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Sunday, I will be heading to Seattle for Wicked, which will make all of my friends happy since they will finally be allowed to talk about how great they thought it was when they saw it (weeks ago). I will be spending the rest of the time trying to get my adorable two year old to learn new party tricks in time for the upcoming holiday season.

While the Olympia Film Festival kicks off with a glam-rock bang Friday, I look forward to Saturday's run at the theater. Starting with Richard Elfman (Brother of composer Danny Elfman, and member of Oingo Boingo) brings his film Forbidden Zone to the theater. The film also features amazing performances from the '80s party band. Then, of course at the strike of midnight is the all out assault on horror nerd senses, ALL FREAKIN NIGHT! I am particularly stoked for Killer Driller.

JOSH RIZEBERG Music Columnist
Friday I'll be chilling with The Family, observing Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath. Saturday, I'll trek to Kent and drink at The Central Ave Pub. They have live hip-hop and stiff drinks. The bar is a good mix of locals and Tacoma residents checking the local music out. Sunday, I'm smashing to Oly to hit-up hip-hop at the South Pacific Restaurant. The show is booked by Remex. He's a good, young dude doing some quality booking in the Oly area. I'll be looking to catch Heretic The Heathen's and Cam the Viking's set. Heretic is a freestyle beast from Oly.

JENNI BORAN Features Writer
I plan on finding a corner at Anthem Coffee and catching up on my NaNoWriMo. ... I'm about 1,600 words behind. And once I catch up? THE SESSIONS opens at The Grand Friday. I'm so there.

LINK: Even more local events that we recommend

LINK: Comprehensive South Sound Arts & Entertainment Calendar

May 13, 2012 at 5:49am

Sunday in the Park with Tom

On the second Sunday of every month, year-round, The Seymour Conservatory in Tacoma's Wright Park presents music intended to enhance your experience of the Conservatory and of Wright Park. The performers reflect a wide spectrum of musical tastes and the music is intended to appeal to audiences of all ages and sensibilities.Today: The Tom Brooks Trio.

W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory
316 South G Street
Tacoma, WA 98405-4733
(253) 591-5330

Event Hours
1-2:30 pm
Event Price
Free, $5 suggested donation

Visit: www.Seymourconservatory.org for a list of performances.

Filed under: Classical music,

April 24, 2012 at 7:05am

5 Things To Do Today: Diversity Film Festival, Choir of the West, Autistic Youth, robotic doom metal ...

A scene from Yousry Nasrallah's Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story. Photo credit: ArtMattan Productions

TUESDAY, APRIL 24, 2012 >>>

1. The Diversity Film Festival continues at The Grand Cinema with each film a meditation on the theme of cultural diversity. The concept began a few miles (and years) away from The Grand, at Tacoma Community College. Dr. Scott Earle, a TCC English and Humanities instructor since 1999, along with fellow teachers and staff, has hosted on-campus film screenings of this sort for some time. A suggestion was made to Earle and his colleagues in late 2010 to graduate their young program - let it leave the classroom and test its wings in the community. Today at 2 and 6:30 p.m., the Grand will screen Scheherazade, Tell Me A Story, which playfully yet bitingly evokes the titular Arabian Nights fabulist in contemporary Egypt.

2. Tacoma Restaurant Week continues through Thursday offering diners a $25 three-course dinner menu and optional $15 three-course lunch at 25 participating area restaurants. For a list of participating restaurants, and their phone numbers for reservations, click here.

3. Taking cues from early hardcore, as well as perennial punk from the '80s, Portland's Autistic Youth make driving, anthemic stuff that'll clear up your sinuses. Songs rush by in delirious two-minute bursts of group cheering and insistent drumming. The band will be joined at 6 p.m. inside Tahoma Tea & Co. by a stupid good assembly of punk acts from all over: the frantic Youth Avoiders from France, Oakland's chunky and melodic Acid Fast, rising punk locals Snak Pak, and fellow Tacoman punks Criminal Code, who will be leaving on tour following the show. 

4. The Choir of the West returns from its tour to Oregon with 10 more ways to order coffee and a bunch of varied choral work, which it will present at 8 p.m. inside Lagerquist Concert Hall.

5. The guttural growl and the howling vox of Author & Punisher's post industrial robotic doom metal will fill The New Frontier Lounge at 9 p.m. Taurus and Helms alee will also join the fun.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs in the South Sound

LINK: South Sound happy hours

April 3, 2012 at 6:42am

5 Things To Do Today: Ung Youth Sinfoni, Maria Callas lecture, ‘Vegucated,' career fair and more ...


TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 2012 >>>

1. At noon inside the Lagerquist Concert Hall, the Ung Youth Sinfoni from Bergen, Norway returns to PLU to perform works from their tour repertoire, including the "100 Folk Tunes of Hardanger" by Geirr Tveitt, "Spring" by Edvard Grieg, and "Fanfare and Chorale" by Kjell Seim. The youth Symphony will be joined by violinist and Hardanger Fiddler, Eldbjorg Hemsing, regarded as one of Norway's most promising young artists. What you'll hear will be nothing short of beautiful. So much so, that you'll quickly forget about the diet of dried cod and salted reindeer testicles that the denizens of Norway are forced to subsist on. Plus, it's nice to see a Norwegian use a horn for something other than announcing a Viking raid.

2. Maria Callas was one of the 20th century's most legendary opera singers. Born to Greek parents in 1923 in New York City, Callas received operatic training in Athens before making her official debut at Italy's La Scala in 1951. Now, more than 33 years after her death, Callas remains one of opera's most popular recording artists. Norm Hollingshead, a Seattle Opera preview lecturer, will speak on Callas at 10:30 a.m. inside the Garfield Book Company.

3. Jobs are personal. If you don't have one, you're probably job-obsessed. If you don't like the one you have, then you are probably looking for a better one. Both scenarios will have an opportunity to connect with a wide range of employers from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Marcus Pavilion on the Saint Martin's University campus. The fair provides a valuable opportunity to gather information, polish your professional image, make connections for future employment, and learn to market yourself more effectively.

4. Vegucated is one of the newest documentaries on the block attempting to expose the realities of food systems and the threat to our health and the environment. The feature-length documentary follows three meat-and-cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. Vegucated plays at 2 and 6:45 p.m. at The Grand Cinema in Tacoma. We're eating a carrot as we write this.

5. Ricky J's Restaurant and Sports Lounge in Puyallup doesn't exactly sound like the name of a meat market haven. But in fact, Ricky J's has some of the most reasonably priced meat in town. Every Tuesday night Ricky J's offers a bar steak special for $4.95. That's a heaping pile of meat for under $5. Other specials include free pool and $1 off draft beer. But what's that you say? What about the chicks? Jeez, here we mention cheap meat and you're still concerned about chicks. ...

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs in the South Sound

LINK: South Sound happy hours

March 30, 2012 at 6:20am

5 Things To Do Today: Backyard homesteading, Schubertiade, 'Animal Farm,' Tacoma Noise Rodeo and more ...

FRANZ SCHUBERT: His friends called him Mushroom.

FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2012 >>>

1. Ludwig Van Beethoven was a badass. The German composer and pianist smashed the keys hard enough to break the strings. He used vulgar language. Franz Schubert, on the other hand, was the Tom Hanks of classical composers: a shy workaholic with an amazing body of work. Schubert, nicknamed "Mushroom" by his friends for his retiring personality, wrote almost 1,000 works of music before he died of typhoid fever at 31. These included more than 600 songs, nine symphonies, operas, liturgical music, and chamber and solo piano music. At 7:30 p.m., University of Puget Sound's School of Music will give its own bow to Mushroom with the Jacobsen Series concert Schubertiade, featuring a small sampling of the Austrian composer's immense portfolio of work.

2. Have you seen them? Homeowners are replacing sod with vegetable beds and building chicken coops by their garages. The Joneses are becoming the McDonalds, converting their prime North End Tacoma real estate into a miniature farm. South Sounders are fighting for their right to raise hens, ducks, goats and honey bees. Want in? Local author Dave Toht will pull his tractor up to Orca Books at 7 p.m. and tell all your wannabe Farmers in the Dell how to turn your yard into a productive and wholesome "homestead," rich in fruits and vegetables, and livestock, including chickens, ducks, and goats. Toht knows. He wrote the book, Backyard Homesteading, in which he covers the laws and regulations of raising livestock in populated areas and demonstrates to readers how to use and preserve the bounty they produce. He'll also tell you what to do about angry neighbors who are hating on your rooster. 

3. The animal workers of Manor Farm stage a glorious revolution and drive away Mr. Jones, their despised human ruler. They institute a new democratic regime, but it turns out, as the famous line goes, "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others." The pigs, you see, can read and write, and they use these abilities to dominate the other species and (pardon the expression) hog the fruits of their labor. Olympia Family Theater's Animal Farm tracks the rise to power of a ruthless porker named Napoleon, and if you know your 20th-century history, you'll have no trouble recognizing him as a stand-in for Stalin. See it go down beginning at 7 p.m.

4. The Liberty Theater in Puyallup hosts comedians Jubal Flagg, Susan Rice and Travis Simmons at 8 p.m.

5. At 8 p.m. Obscure Robot, Four Dimensional Nightmare and Bagger288 burst out of the gate at the Tacoma Noise Rodeo inside Metronome Coffee on Tacoma's Sixth Avenue.

PLUS: More awesome event suggestions in our Weekend Hustle

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs in the South Sound

LINK: South Sound happy hours

March 28, 2012 at 6:11am

5 Things To do Today: Staceyann Chin, Ran Dank, body painting, Red Room and more ...

STACYANN CHIN: The poet made her mark 10 years ago on the "Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam" shows.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 2012 >>>

1. Writing from a lesbian and/or feminist perspective is easier today than it was 30 years ago, thanks in large part to the sustained work of women activists and by growing mass acceptance of their arguments. The level of anger and revolt and solidarity is not the same today as it was in the '70s or '80s. Or is it? Internationally acclaimed slam poet, full-time writer, performing artist and activist, Tony-nominated Staceyann Chin probably can answer the question. The strong and versatile self-described out-poet with a Caribbean-accent and huge, parted Afro has seen and experienced the light and dark of life of plantation-era Jamaica, and carries a worldly perspective, identifying with Caribbean and Black, Asian and lesbian, women and New Yorkers. She speaks about her experiences of growing up in Jamaica and the consequences of her coming-out at 7 p.m. inside Schneebeck Concert Hall on the University of Puget Sound campus.

2. A Hope Not Forgotten, Darasuum, I/Delilah, Beneath All Kaos and Silent Planet rock the all-ages Red Room beginning at 7 p.m.

3. As far as virtuosic young piano prodigies go, Ran Dank is totally dank, yo. And by that we mean he's the bomb. Even better, he's performing at 7:30 p.m. inside the Washington Center.

4. Watch 10-20 comedians try out their new material during Tacoma Comedy Club's open mic beginning at 8 p.m. It don't cost nutin'.

5. Want to get into the habit of doodling dudes? Tonight at 8:30 p.m. The Mix hosts live body painting giving Tacoma's creative community an opportunity to socialize, sip and scribble. Most succinctly described as figure-drawing sessions with a gay twist, the sessions are open to the public, as long as you're of drinking age. Oh, there will be drinks.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs in the South Sound

LINK: South Sound happy hours

March 22, 2012 at 11:58am

VOLCANO ARTS: Jeff Freels, Lynn Di Nino's "The Survivors," "Hello, Dolly" at Capitol Playhouse, "The Color Purple" at Tacoma Musical Playhouse and more ...


At this point it goes without saying. If you're looking for coverage of local arts in Tacoma, Olympia, and all points in between, the Weekly Volcano is THE place to find it. Our goal is to consistently provide the best local arts coverage possible to our fantastic readers. We're always on the lookout for ways to shine a light on all the awesome creativity we see around us.

This week's Volcano arts section includes blind artist Jeff Freels, Lynn Di Nino's "The Survivors," "Hello, Dolly" at Capitol Playhouse, "The Color Purple" at Tacoma Musical Playhouse and more ...

Here's a look at the Volcano arts coverage waiting for you this week in print and online.


How many times have you read a story about someone who's had a singular passion for art for as long as he can remember?

The story of Olympia's Jeff Freels is yet another one of those - except Freels' passion had to carry him through more than some lean years and a discouraging teacher.

Freels is legally blind - but that hasn't stopped him from working as a cartoonist, illustrator and designer of role-playing games.

"I've been drawing since I could hold a pencil," says Freels, who drew the cover of the Volcano's Best of Olympia issue this year and was named Best Blind Artist. "That's how I process. That's what I do."

Twelve years ago, Freels lost most of his eyesight, a complication of the Type I diabetes he's had since age five.

Sitting across a table from me at Barnes & Noble this week, Freels could dimly make out the shape of my shoulders, but not my head, because my light skin and hair blended into the background behind me. He walks with a cane.

"If you wrapped your head in cheesecloth and then closed one eye, you might be able to see kind of what I see," he says.

So how can he create such intricately detailed illustrations?

"I had to start learning how to draw again," he says of losing much of his sight. And there was no question in his mind that he could and would. ... – Molly Gilmore


But Tacoma artist Lynn Di Nino and her team of stalwart archeologists have beat them to the punch. And what did they find buried under the ice in Antarctica? Hostess cupcakes. Tons and tons of cupcakes and other Hostess products, plus many other consumer products that have been popular throughout most of our lives. Those damn cupcakes last forever, and that's the point of this art-as-archeology exhibition.

You can count on Di Nino to be cleverly relevant, and this show - like most of what she does - addresses important contemporary issues with wry humor. In this instance the issues are consumerism and environmental waste.

Called The Survivors, Di Nino's exhibition at Flow Gallery consists of museum-like displays of Hostess products and similar packaged food stuffs displayed in oddly shaped box-like structures covered with protective "glass." The "glass" being plastic packaging of the type manufacturers love to put everything from toys to apples in, the kind that clog our landfills, lakes and rivers. Di Nino's assemblages are like Pop Art versions of Joseph Cornell boxes but without the compartments. ... -- Alec Clayton


I don't want to take anything away from the unassailable work of Hello, Dolly!'s cast and crew at Capital Playhouse. Almost to a person, they're knocking themselves dead out there. It's amazing, truly, what these performers can do. Gwen Haw inhabits the role of matchmaker Dolly Levi, so closely identified with Carol Channing, and makes it her own. She sings and dances beautifully, as does Bailey Boyd, who does some of her best-ever character work as nasal Minnie Fay. Sean Stinnet and Patrick Wigren bound amiably through two very busy acts, and Michael Self spins a variation on his excellent Scrooge as crabby Horace Vandergelder. The ensemble is first rate as it sails through insanely difficult choreography by Dolly's original director, Gower Champion. Bruce Haasl's set is a pink confection. The costumes (with the possible exception of one unmanageable hat) are fantastic. Director Kevin P. Hill worked wonders, and his stars have never looked better.

I hope you'll keep that in mind as I explain why I hated their show.

Somebody, somewhere is the absolute best living blacksmith. Someone is the world's greatest telegraph operator, and someone makes the finest grandfather clock. They all do amazing work ... that you don't need.

Every aspect of this play seems unearthed from Broadway's distant past. Performers are blocked to mug directly at the audience, and they struggle to wring comic value from setups that were paleolithic when Grandpa wore short pants. ... -- Christian Carvajal


It's been dumping rain on the South Sound, so you're probably desperate for a sunny vacanza in Lombardy. Enchanted April at Harlequin Productions is just the thing.

There's pretty much no way I can summarize Matthew Barber's charming idyll in a way that'll make it inviting to straight men, but here goes anyway. The year is 1922. English housewives Lotty Wilton (Helen Harvester) and Rose Arnott (Maggie Lofquist) answer a newspaper ad to secure one month's rental at a quiet Italian palazzo. Unable to meet the terms themselves, they recruit two housemates: notorious socialite Lady Caroline Bramble (Deya Ozburn) and haughty one-percenter Mrs. Graves (Walayn Sharples, an equally apt name for the character). Warmed by the climate and lifestyle of Mezzago, they gradually bond and reveal domestic secrets of long standing. Lotty and Rose's husbands rejoin them in the final scenes and are equally transformed.

Okay, so now that all the bros have fled the building, let's talk about why I, a proudly hetero husband who rolls his eyes at any reference to Eat, Pray, Love, enjoyed this diversion immensely.

For starters, it isn't trying to be anything other than adorable and amusing. Aside from one unnecessarily maudlin revelation in Act II, these characters are victims of their own foibles. ... – CC


The concept of The Color Purple as a stage musical seems to evoke the same reaction in virtually everyone - at least everyone I know.

And that reaction is, "Huh?"

Alice Walker's Pulitzer-winning novel follows Celie, a young black woman in 1930s Georgia, from a childhood of rape by her father, into forced loveless marriage, the loss of her sister and only true friend, abuse, sexual awakening, loss of faith and ultimate redemption.

Heady stuff. Which is not to say that musicals can't successfully take on serious material, but one still can't shake the feeling that something is a little off throughout the Tacoma Musical Playhouse production.

Despite that odd sensation, there is plenty to enjoy about The Color Purple. The cast of TMP's production provides several highlights. Stacie Calkins is a long-time mainstay of the Tacoma theater community, and has never failed to impress over the years. In the lead role of Celie, Calkins has ample opportunity to flex her acting chops and her powerful voice. ... – Joe Izenman


As far as virtuosic young piano prodigies go, Ran Dank is totally dank, yo. And by that we mean he's the bomb. Even better, he's coming to Olympia Wednesday as part of the 21st Century Masters Series. According to hype this is the Washington Center's 16th straight season partnering with Young Concert Artists, Inc to bring up-and-coming talent to Oly - a series designed to show off these young musicians' skills and also inspire the concert musicians of the next generation. Ran Dank should do just that. - Weekly Volcano

PLUS: Comprehensive Arts and Entertainment Calendar

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March 18, 2012 at 7:35am

5 Things To Do Today: Northwest Sinfonietta, Gallery Three, 'Tall Tales and Silly Songs,' Tito Puente Jr. and more ...

VIOLINIST MARIE ROSSANO: She's doing the Puyallup.

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012 >>>

1. The Northwest Sinfonietta bills itself as, "an orchestra to be reckoned with," not to mention an orchestra of, "passion, vision, thrill, and creation." Anyone who has seen it in action would have trouble arguing with these statements, as the musical body routinely wows audiences in Tacoma, Puyallup and Seattle. At 2 p.m. in the Pioneer Park Pavilion, the Northwest Sinfonietta will be joined by violinist Marié Rossano for Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, followed by Schubert's 4th Symphony, named "Tragic." Be ready for plenty of pathos.

2. Speaking of the Northwest Sinfonietta, after its 2 p.m. concert at the Pioneer Park Pavilion, the musicians will walk over to Gallery Three for a post-concert discussion from 4-6 p.m. After the discussion, Gallery Three will bust out the wine and chocolates. Oh, almost forgot, Gallery Three hosts three of its new artists - Joan Nicholson, pastels; Jerome Petteys, illustration; and Anette Lusher, acrylics - for a 2:30 p.m. reception.

3. Entertainer and storyteller extraordinaire Elizabeth Lord returns to the stage at 2 and 4 p.m. the next two Sundays in support of the venue she's been such a huge part of over the years - the Midnight Sun. Designed as an interactive variety show geared toward young audiences featuring the wit of Lord and the musical contributions of local favorites Scuff & Al, "Tall Tales and Silly Songs" is part of the "Save The Sun" benefit series, with proceeds going to Prodigal Sun Productions, the managing non-profit organization for The Midnight Sun Performance Space.

4. Puget Sound Music For Youth Association hosts a jam session featuring PSMFYA bands at 2 p.m. inside The Swiss. No, this will rock.

5. Mambo musician Tito Puente Jr., following in his father's footsteps and drawing from his musical catalogue, will hit Tacoma and the Rilato Theater at 3 p.m. According to hype, Puente, "brings the sounds of Latin jazz bursting with energetic rhythms and contagious melodies for a new generation." In addition to the music, Puente and KCTS 9 educator Antonio Gomez will take part in a pre-event lecture.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight in the region

LINK: South Sound happy hour food and drinks

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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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