GO Arts

Everything new on the walls, stage, screen and streets of Tacoma and South Puget Sound.

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Archives: May 2009


Critic’s Picks this week

‘Buddy Holly’ gets ready

to rock the Little Theatre

The rock legend returns. Tacoma Little Theatre does "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story" complete with songs, dances – the whole lot; 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, opens tonight through June 28; $22/$20/$18/pay-what-you-can June 4. 210 North I St., Tacoma; 253-272-2281, www.


Kaufman and Hart classic

at Lakewood Playhouse

"Once in a Lifetime" is a little-known Kaufman and Hart spoof of 1920s Hollywood, as three friends try and make it into the "talkies;" 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, opens tonight through June 21;

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New in town – Pecha Kucha

Heard of Pecha Kucha? It started in Japan, spread to 200 other cities, and has been in Seattle for a while – and next Wednesday it’s coming to Tacoma.

So what’s Pecha Kucha? Pronounced peh-cha ka-cha, it’s the Japanese word for chit-chat, or conversation. According to local organizer Marianne Wombacher at BCRA Design, it began in Japan in 2003 as a meeting-place for creative people to network and show work. Says Wombacher: “Each presenter is allowed 20 images, 20 seconds per image, giving 6 minutes and 40 second for each presentation with

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A new place for art – and tea – in University Place

The Green Spot, a tea house and art gallery, is having it’s grand opening Saturday in University Place.

Owner Alice Yeh established the business at 3318 Bridgeport Way W. as a place not only to enjoy tea but showcase local artists emphasizing the confluence of Eastern and Western cultures.

For Yeh, it’s a labor of love.

“This is my retirement hobby. It’s an expensive hobby,” Yeh told me Wednesday.

She currently offers half a dozen Chinese teas but she’ll expand those options soon. Sandwiches, salads, soups and sweets are also for sale.

The grand opening will feature the work of painter Liang Wei, at left, (image courtesy of Gunnar Nordstrom Contemporary Fine Art) who will give a talk at 2 p.m. on his emigration from Szechwan, China to Seattle.

Free samples of select teas will be available as well. The tea house will open just prior to 2 p.m. Saturday but it’s already up and running.

Contact info: 253-565-2832; www.greenspottea.com

Read Wei’s bio here:

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Tacoma musicians, dancers head to China

(FROM LEFT) Greg Bowers photographs Clement Reid in a historical part of Chengdu, China in March, 2007. Looking on is a local interpretor and Greg Youtz. The three PLU composers (along with David Robbins) were in China for an exchange concert. (PHOTO BY KAREN ROBBINS)

A group of local musicians, dancers, students and teachers are off to China for two weeks as part of an annual Pacific Lutheran University program. PLU has been sending students to Sichuan Conservatory in Chengu to study language and culture for 27 years now, and the program

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Tacoma makes the Top-25-Arts-Cities list (again!)

Tacoma’s newest public art, “Fluent Steps,” by Martin Blank at the Museum of Glass (Photo by Janet Jensen, The News Tribune)

Seems like just a few months ago we were reporting Tacoma’s inclusion in a national magazine for being a hip place to be. Now we’re back on the list — for the top 25 arts cities for American Style magazine.

The mag, which covers art, culture and travel from the collector’s point of view, lists its city picks annually in three divisions. In the mid-size-city division, Tacoma came in

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Critic’s Picks This Week

Actors in last year’s DoubleShot Overnight Play Festival. Photo courtesy Northwest Playwrights’ Alliance.

Double Shot Festival of Overnight Plays

It’s on again–the annual scramble for local playwrights to create a short play overnight and local directors and actors to get it ready in 12 hours. Each play gets two showings, then it all starts again for the next night. 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. tonight and tomorrow. $16/$8 students and seniors. Norton Clapp Theater, Jones Hall, University of Puget Sound, North 15th and Warner Streets, Tacoma. www.northwestplaywrights.org

Neddy Finalists at

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Theatre Northwest’s “Educating Rita” is lopsided but enjoyable.

Theatre Northwest, Tacoma’s newest professional company, is back at Theatre on the Square with “Educating Rita” this weekend and next. I saw last Friday’s opening, and here’s what I thought.

For a two-person play, the Theatre Northwest production of "Educating Rita" made a fine solo show. Despite excellent production values and mostly good direction, the acting was intensely lopsided, resulting in a play that was only half as enjoyable as it could have been.

This 1980 reversal of the Pygmalion myth is now standard repertoire, and deservedly—it’s a good story. Working-class but smart (and brutally honest) hairdresser Rita

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Ten Tiny Dances back in T-Town–Terrific!

Lauren Edson in last year’s Ten Tiny Dances. Photo: Chip van Gilder.

Sorry, couldn’t resist the Seussian alliteration there.

Here’s where I’ll be going Saturday night: Ten Tiny Dances, an evening of very cool contemporary dance and ballet all done on a stage no bigger than four by four feet.

So what’s the deal with Ten Tiny? It started in Portland years ago as a way of bringing dance to unusual venues, like nightclubs, where there wasn’t the usual stage space. Since then it has migrated to Seattle and Tacoma,

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