Artscape

ARTSCAPE
5:09 pm
Sun February 20, 2011

"Next to Normal" tackles tough subject of mental health with lighthearted song and dance

Alice Ripley and Jeremy Kushnier in the national tour of "Next to Normal." The show is written by Brian Yorkey, who together with composer Tom Kitt pulled off a surprizing win last year of the Pulitzer Prize for drama.
Photo by Craig Schwartz. Courtesy 5th Avenue Theatre.

Bipolar disorder has been the inspiration for many artists and many works of art…from the movie A Beautiful Mind to Sylvia Plath's autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar

Now it's showing up in a musical, called "Next to Normal." 

Ten years ago, the production had its genesis at The Village Theater in Issaquah.  Now, after numerous revisions, it's back in the Seattle area at the 5th Avenue Theatre.  For the latest in our series ARTSCAPE, KPLU's Bellamy Pailthorp caught up with Bryan Yorkey, the writer of the show, who together with the composer, Tom Kitt, was the surprise winner of last year's Pulitzer Prize for drama.

Read more
Artscape
12:26 am
Mon February 14, 2011

Lakewood Playhouse is young actor's theatrical break

Actor Jeffrey Alan Smith is the lead in "My Name is Asher Lev" at the Lakewood Playhouse.
Courtesy of Jeffrey Alan Smith

Right from the beginning, the Lakewood Playhouse made an impression on Minnesota-transplant Jeffrey Alan Smith.

"When I auditioned for the show, I was kind of taken aback because I’d never seen a theater in a mall."

Yes, a mall, with an Old Navy and a Bed, Bath and Beyond.  But the Lakewood Towne Center also has a 160-seat theater called the Lakewood Playhouse.  And this is where 23-year-old Smith has gotten his theatrical break.

Read more
Artscape
6:55 am
Sun February 6, 2011

A snapshot of local history: the Seattle Camera Club

Sea of Clouds
Dr. Kyo Koike, c. 1922. Gelatin silver print. University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, UW29042z

They were a dedicated group of mostly Japanese photographers from the 1920s whose work at the time was known all over the world.

But until now, there hasn't been much attention here on the Seattle Camera Club and its style of photography that some academics have dismissed.

A new exhibit opening at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington --  “Shadows of a Fleeting World: Pictorial Photography and the Seattle Camera Club” -- showcases 200 black-and-white and sepia-toned images. Photos of awesome Mount Rainier and delicate ballerinas, such as Anna Pavlova who was visiting from Russia.

Read more
Artscape
7:28 am
Mon January 31, 2011

The Highland bagpipe: "voice" of the local Scottish community

Alexander Schiele leads the Northwest Junior Pipe Band at the Pacific NW Highland Games in 2009
Photo by Weatherly Schiele

Go ahead and joke about the bagpipe: It sounds like a dying cat!

Just don't joke in front of 15-year-old Alexander Schiele. The Snohomish resident plays in two Northwest Highland pipe bands and commutes twice a week to Vancouver, B.C. just to learn from some of the world's best.

Nothing compares to playing the pipes, he says, while rehearsing with the Northwest Junior White Spot United Pipe Band in Shoreline on a recent Sunday night.

Read more
Artscape
10:40 am
Mon January 17, 2011

At Seattle Rep: One chameleon actor, 17 roles

Renata Friedman plays 17 different characters in "The K of D, an urban legend," at Seattle Repertory Theatre
Photo by Chris Bennion

Actor Renata Friedman has a distinct look that sometimes cost her roles when she was in college.

"I wasn’t the traditional cute, beautiful blond girl who would be Juliet or Ophelia. I got cast as Hamlet. And did Richard II. I was always playing men. There were times that I resented that and would have loved to have played a little love story and have a stage kiss," she says.

Read more
Artscape
9:23 am
Sun January 9, 2011

Whim W'him means new, gritty dance

Whim W'him dancers Andrew Bartee and Lucien Postlewaite rehearsing "Monsters."
La Vie Photography

On this morning, Olivier Wevers is playing the role of costume manager, digging into a plastic bag and pulling out a pair of casual tank tops to give to his dancers.

Read more
Artscape
6:56 am
Mon January 3, 2011

Boogie Woogie with a heart

Eric “Two Scoops” Moore is a big, gregarious man who's released seven critically-acclaimed CDs. The Washington Blues Society has honored him with numerous awards. Perhaps more than those accomplishments, the blues musician is better known for his musical spontaneity and his big heart. 

Despite life's challenges and some true hardships, he retains a keen sense of optimism. Flesh eating disease? No problem. His wife Amy's multiple sclerosis?  That's easy. You find out why when you listen to his philosophy. The wild look in his kind eyes starts to tell the story. His uncanny connection with a piano punctuates it.

Read more
Artscape
11:07 am
Mon December 27, 2010

A new chapter in a new year

The late George Shangrow conducting Bach's "St. Matthew's Passion" on April 6, 2007.
Photo by John Cornicello

A Seattle musical institution and its volunteer performers find strength in the memory of the group's founder, a man whose creative energy remains an inspiration to move forward following his death earlier this year.

Read more
Artscape
7:19 am
Mon December 20, 2010

The holiday magic makers

Sean G. Griffin as Scrooge and Sarah Roberts as Tiny Tim in ACT's "A Christmas Carol."
Chris Bennion ACT

There's about 180 roles in Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker. There’s also some engaging props like a Christmas tree that grows right before your eyes, and one enormous rat with a twitching tale.

But the snow scene – the first time Clara dances with her Nutcracker-turned Prince is the sight to behold.

The couple dance in the moonlight, surrounded by ballerina snowflakes dressed in pale blue skirts. A dusting of snow falls throughout the scene.

Read more
Artscape
9:27 am
Mon December 13, 2010

At MOHAI, it's all about the purse

One of hundreds of purses on display at Seattle's Museum of History and Industry
Courtesy of MOHAI

I’m one of those people who carries a bulging, heavy handbag, crammed with so much stuff that I can’t always find my cellphone. But heavy or not, it’s my attempt at making a fashon statement. It’s the color of a tangerine.

Walk into the galleries at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI)and it’s impossible not to size up your purse.

Over here, from the '30s, a bag made out of Bakelite is the color of butterscotch. And from the 1990s, stylish Prada and Kate Spade bags.

There’s a century’s worth of purses, made out of sealskin, clam shells, cantaloupe seeds, even cigarette wrappers and aluminum can tabs. Purses meant to be worn under clothes or proudly shown off.

And purses from the turn of the century that weren’t even meant for one’s arm.

Read more
Artscape
7:40 am
Mon December 6, 2010

MTV shines a light on Seattle's music scene

Courtesy MTV
Courtesy MTV

If you ask anyone outside the Northwest what the region is known for, they will likely say coffee and grunge music. People here still love their lattes, but the new web-series from MTV and local filmmaker Lynn Shelton shows us how the music scene has grown far beyond the sounds of of Nirvana’s Teen Spirit.

Read more
Artscape
5:49 am
Mon November 22, 2010

Jazz program hopes to strike a chord with Seattle kids

Students in the Advanced Ensemble of Seattle Jazz Ed practice under the direction of Clarence Acox every Sunday
Charla Bear

Seattle public schools have some of the best jazz programs in the country.  Student ensembles dominate at national competitions and perform all over the world.  But many kids don’t get to participate because the bands only exist in a few schools.  Now a new program aims to give every middle and high school student in the area an opportunity to learn from renowned jazz teachers. 

Read more
Artscape
10:15 pm
Sun November 14, 2010

Following Aristotle: Ballard High's storytellers

Ballard High senior Blair Scott, one of the school's award-winning film and vdeo producers, in the video classroom.
Gary Davis/KPLU

In a time when films like Jackass 3-D and the Saw horror sequels are tops at the box office, some young Seattle filmmakers are winning awards for bucking popular trends.  A Ballard High School program is turning out talented film students whose work is inspired by an ancient model.  

Read more
Artscape
7:59 am
Mon October 25, 2010

Artscape: Implied Violence is Arresting Theater

The performance art that is Implied Violence, at Seattle's Frye Art Museum, also produces intriguing props, such as this wax chair pierced with arrows.
Steven Miller photograph

 A new exhibit at Seattle's Frye Art Museum is full of items rich in double meaning. Like a large wax chair full of hundreds of arrows. Or a jar full of medicinal leeches. 

And then there's a stunner of a dress that stops you as soon as you walk in through the door. "You'll see a really beautiful dress, with wide wide sides. And it looks very sheer. It's organza," says Frye deputy director Robin Held. 

"Now the surface of the dress looks like it's covered in bugs."

It's actually covered with more than 2,500 black bows. But it doesn't stop there.

Read more
Artscape
5:12 pm
Sun August 8, 2010

Artscape: A Barn, Some Donkeys and Chamber Music

In addition to chamber music, the Olympic Music Festival offers patrons a chance to meet -- and feed -- its donkeys.
Florangela Davila KPLU

It's 24 hours before performance time out here on the Olympic Peninusula, so while the grounds are getting soaked by sprinklers, I walk into a barn being bathed in Mozart.

A string quartet rehearses -- A pair of violinists, a cellist, a violist - all focused on perfecting music written for an intimate setting.

View the full story

Pages