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Archives: Nov. 2009


James Garlick takes on the “Red Violin” at Tacoma Art Museum


Remember “The Red Violin?” That lusciously colored, lovingly-made instrument that (supposedly) wreaked death and evil in the lives of everyone who played it? Well, James Garlick doesn’t have one. Instead, the associate concertmaster of the Northwest Sinfonietta will play its music on his own violin at the Tacoma Art Museum this Saturday at 7:30 p.m., proving once and for all that you can play a terrific instrument and still be a nice person (and alive.)

For those who don’t remember the 1997 film, “The Red Violin” followed the course of an apparently magical instrument made in 1681, whose owners throughout the centuries (and continents) suffered tragedy upon tragedy. The score by Pulitzer-winning American  composer John Corigliano won an Oscar, and it’s highly popular.

So no wonder the Sinfonietta is marketing their first TAM concert around it. (Subsequent concerts in the series play on the theme: the Golden Trumpet, the Silver Flute.) The program includes Corigliano’s music, obviously, but also other solo works like Bach’s Partita no. 2 in d minor and Bartok’s Solo Sonata. Then there are two sonatas with piano by Debussy and Charles Ives. Read more »


Critic’s Picks: Lelavision at MoG, artists “On the Verge” at Iron, TLT’s “A Christmas Story” and TMP’s “Guys and Dolls”

Museum of Glass brings Lelavision’s visual music

If your kids (or you) haven’t seen Lelavision, you’re in for a treat: The wacky performance duo plays enormous homemade instruments big enough to dance on, like rotating cones and giant teeter-totters. 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Nov. 27. Admission $12/$10/$5 age 6-12/free for under-6. Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock St., Tacoma. 866-4-MUSEUM, www.museumofglass.org

Artists “On the Verge” at Iron Gallery

At UWT’s Iron Gallery, 14 local artists show as graduates of the Artist Trust EDGE granting program for upcoming work. Tacomans include photographers Victoria Bjorklund and Dayton K. Knipher. 10 a.m.-2

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Wishing you a happy “Tuna Christmas,” from Lakewood Playhouse and Tacoma Little Theatre

If you’re like me, you need something mid-December to take the sweet edge off all those “Nutcrackers”, “Christmas Carols” and figgy puddings. My solution? “A Tuna Christmas.” No, it’s not edible, or even fishy. It’s a two-man, 22-character comedy opening this weekend, it’s a collaboration between Lakewood Playhouse and Tacoma Little Theatre, and it’s incredibly funny.

“Tuna Christmas” is the second in a series of comedies from writers Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard, who also tour the country with it. Set in the parochial little town of Tuna, Texas (the third-smallest in the state, apparently) the

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Chholing Taha creates shawls and stories at History Museum this week

What to do the day after Thanksgiving? Well, okay, some of you will be working. Sorry about that. But for the rest of us, there are a few options that involve art rather than eating leftover pumpkin pie (although I’m sure you can do that too.)

One option is watching shawl-maker Chholing Taha do her stuff at the Washington State History Museum. The Tacoma artist makes fabric art using magic realism-type landscapes or Native American images like orcas, embroidering and sewing cut felt into collages. She’s demonstrating from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the museum store on Friday Nov.

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Critic’s Picks: “Water Music,” MOVE!, Tacoma Concert Band and Tacoma Symphony

New York Chamber Soloists play “Water Music”

Appropriately enough for a rainy November, the New York Chamber Soloists are in town courtesy of Tacoma Philharmonic to play Handel’s “Water Music,” plus three Mozart works. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20. $32.50-$62.50. Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma. 253-591-5894, www.tacomaphilharmonic.org, www.broadwaycenter.org

MLKBallet does another Move!

Move! #15 features a stellar line-up, including MLKBallet with Vicci Martinez, Spectrum Dance, Barefoot Collective, Tacoma Dance Collective and Coriolis. Proceeds go to this downtown tuition-free ballet school. 7 p.m. Nov. 20, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Nov. 21. $12 advance/$15 at door. SOTA Theater, 1118 Commerce St.,

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Puppets, carriages and costumes at the Stadium District’s annual Dickens Fest

When it’s dark, gloomy and rainy it’s always good to have something bright to look forward to. And this Saturday, that’s the Dickens Festival. Held every year in the Stadium District, this is a festival that links the shops and businesses from Rankos through to The Grand Cinema with entertainment worthy of Mr. Pickwick. From 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. there’s live music, a marionette show (though no Punch and Judy this year, alas), magicians, a fascinating-sounding walking ballgown by artist Lynn DiNino, carriage rides and a screening of “Oliver” at The Grand. And it’s all free, except for the Dickens

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Happy Birthday, Tacoma Art Place!

I can’t believe Tacoma Art Place has been around for two years now. The community art center just off MLK Jr. Way on the Hilltop is celebrating its second birthday this Saturday with an open house full of – what else? – free art classes. TAP was set up by local art co-operative diva Linda Danforth along the model of one she visited in Africa. The theory was that for a small, affordable membership fee, artists and community members could get access to loaned equipment, donated supplies and work space that would otherwise be too expensive. Here’s the story I did back then.

Since then, TAP has organized fashion show fundraisers, held gallery shows, offered all sorts of classes and generally brought the community together.

Here’s what’s on offer at the birthday party on Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.: Read more »


Woven vessels, cross-hatched people at Sandpiper

In the rush of traffic on North 30th Street the small Sandpiper Gallery tends to get swept by. And being in Old Town, it doesn’t have the same lure as all the downtown venues on ArtWalk night (this Thursday, BTW.) But when it’s not showing generic misty Puget Sound photographs or watercolors, Sandpiper has some good stuff. This month it’s “Vessels,” mother-daughter pair Jill Nordfors Clark and Erica Nordfors Applewhite combining the sculptural and the flat, the abstract and the figurative in a really pleasing way.

Clark is a weaver. Recently featured in a prestigious collection show at

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