We’re used to the Tacoma Film Festival featuring plenty of local content, but this week the 39thSeattle Independent Film Festival chips in, with “Geography Club,” a Gary Entin film adapted from the 2003 novel of former Tacoman Brent Hartinger, and “Her Aim is True,” a documentary by British filmmaker Karen Whitehead on photographer Jini Dellacio, who shot albums and concert images of Tacoma’s most famous garage rock bands The Sonics, The Wailers and Girl Trouble.
“Geography Club” won Brent Hartinger a handful of awards, got him on some Banned Books lists and secured his place as a writer of young adult fiction. Hartinger was living in Tacoma at the time, and based a lot of the scenarios of the gay teen coming-of-age story on T-town. Entin filmed the screen adaptation last summer in Los Angeles, starring Cameron Deane Stewart as the protagonist Russel Middlebrook, and Justin Deely (“90210”), Nikki Blonsky (“Hairspray”) and Ally Maki (“Ten Things I Hate About You”) alongside. When I blogged about the filming back in January Hartinger was murmuring about a Tacoma Film Festival premiere, but instead it’s screening at SIFF this week, with Entin (and presumably Hartinger) attending.
7 p.m. May 22. $12/$11. Egyptian Theater, 805 E. Pine St., Seattle.
Tacoma’s Youth Symphony Association – one of the country’s biggest – turns 50 this year. Celebrate with them at the final concerts this weekend. Fresh from a Boston tour, the Tacoma Young Artists Orchestra plays Mendelssohn, Delius and Beethoven’s 6th Symphony, while the Tacoma Youth Symphony will join with PLU’s Choral Union for Beethoven’s massive 9th Symphony. TYAO: 7 p.m. May 18. $16/$7. Rialto Theater, 310 S. 9th St., Tacoma. TYS: 3 p.m. May 19. $17/$7. Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma. 253-627-2792, tysamusic.org
“Love, Lust and Laughter” from Northwest Repertory Singers
For their season finale the Northwest Repertory Singers launch into songs of love (Brahms, Morten Lauridsen), lust (selections from “Carmina Burana” – the naughty ones) and laughter (P.D.Q. Bach) this Sunday. 3 p.m. May 19 (pre-concert talk 2 p.m.). $18 general/$15 students, seniors and military/free for under-17. Mason United Methodist Church, 2710 N. Madison St., Tacoma. 253-265-3042, nwrs.org, brownpapertickets.com
Wagner sing-along and “Ring” tickets at Seattle Opera Read more »
The semi-monthly Tripod slide-shows at Gallery Madera in downtown Tacoma always have an array of quirky, fascinating pics, but this Friday the extremes are wild – and locally connected. Mady Murrey will show slides of the new not-so-public art at the Mary Bridge hospital extensions, nationally syndicated cartoonist Chris Britt will show and tell the life of a political cartoonist, and Oregon’s ‘Barbie Lady’ LaVonne Sallee will expose the cutesy doll in daring and sometimes bizarre vignettes that’ll make you look at dolls in a totally different light.
Of all of these, the Mary Bridge shots are perhaps the most useful to Tacomans, who won’t actually ever see this art unless they or a young relative happen to be sick enough to be admitted to the hospital. I blogged earlier about this work, which is Northwest in theme and vaguely ocean-based, including mosaic murals by Jennevieve Schlemmer and Mauricio Robalino, glass by Diane Hansen and Native Northwest art by Shaun Peterson. The one work you can see without even going in is the skyway window full of blown glass bubbles by the Hilltop Artists (visible from the emergency drop-off if you walk underneath). Even so, it’s still worth seeing up close in a photo to spot the cute glass sea-creatures hidden in the floats like a “Where’s Waldo” picture.
Chris Britt is an editorial cartoonist for the Illinois Times of Springfield, Illinois, and has been syndicated since 1991. His award-winning work skewers politicians and public figures, pointing out the ironies of gay marriage, the gun debate, presidential illiteracy and more with goofy characters and detailed sketching. He’ll present “Slinging Ink: The Life of an Editorial Cartoonist.”
The third in the Tripod trio is LaVonne Sallee of Marquam, Oregon, otherwise known as the “Barbie Lady” for her extremely inventive art installations deconstructing the skinny, boringly-beautiful doll and reinventing her as a hairy tree-hugger, a topless Halloween angel, a bag lady, a circus clown, the White Witch, a prehistoric warrior, Lady Gaga and even Jesus.
She picks up material for her ‘altered Barbies’ from yard sales and thrift stores and lets her imagination go wild with clay, plaster, paint and more.
Even more cool is the fact that she’s the sister of Tacoma concrete-art diva Lynn Di Nino, co-organizer of the Tripod series and a quirky found-media artist in her own right.
If you love massed voices, you’ll want to go to “Bridges of Song,” a collaborative concert this Saturday with the Tacoma Symphony Chorus. Joining forces with the Tacoma Youth Chorus Chorale (hence the ‘bridges’ bit) the Chorus (directed by Geoffrey Boers) will sing an eclectic program that ranges from Schubert to Ives, with four-hand piano thrown in.
It’s a collaboration that makes sense: Younger choirs, like the 22-year-old Tacoma Youth Chorus, benefit enormously from hearing and singing with more experienced musicians, while older singers pick up on the enthusiasm and freshness of their younger peers.
The two groups will sing works both by themselves and together: The TYC’s offerings include the Gloria from Schubert’s Mass in F and Ola Gjeilo’s “Ubi Caritas”; the TSO Chorus will sing works including William Averitt’s “Dreamkeeper,” Charles Ives’ “Circus Band” and dance-based works by Brahms, Copland and Sullivan; and both choirs will join for three segments that include music by Vaughan Williams and Mack Willberg.
Those who came to last Saturday’s Northwest Sinfonietta concert at Tacoma’s Rialto Theater thinking they’d be hearing just another pleasant Bruch/Mendelssohn combination got a big surprise. Polite, petite Mayuko Kamio whipped out her 1727 Strad and played Bruch’s well-known first violin concerto with the volume of an orchestra section and the drama of an opera diva, before sitting demurely in the back of the first violins while Christophe Chagnard took the Sinfonietta through a reading of Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony no. 3 that was both passionate and light-hearted – a fitting end to the ensemble’s 2012/13 season.
Kamio’s a Tchaikovsky gold medalist, and while rock-star soloists don’t always pay their way this one pulled out all her competition stops for Tacoma. After the orchestra played Kodály’s “Dances of Galanta” with verve, airy pianissimos and big, rich fortes (and many messy spots) the young Japanese soloist entered the Rialto stage with the grace and sparkly dress of a princess – the proceeded to belt the heck out of Bruch. With so much sound that she might have been an entire section, Kamio brought out every inch of Bruch’s Romanticism with bow strokes that pushed her gutsy-yet-smooth tone right to the very edge of every note and every beat. Using a wide, fast vibrato she sang like an opera diva, pulling phrases (literally) up and across to the audience – unfortunately only half-full – with vocal legato rather than violinistic portamenti. The second movement had subtle nuances from raw to gentle, and the third theme had the attack and drama of a musical theater torch song. In the finale Kamio’s double, triple and quadruple stops were fierce and lyrical, her virtuoso runs intensely musical and soaring to a triumphant climax.
Behind her, Chagnard and the orchestra followed sensitively through the surges and falls, though with too many mistuned woodwind chords. Read more »
The Grand Cinema’s annual 72 Hour Film Competition is on again, with 30 teams running around Tacoma and frantically making a movie with last-minute criteria: this year the use of a superstition, a flashlight, a letter/message and the line “that wasn’t what I was expecting.” Tonight you can see the results at the viewing party at the Rialto, including food and drinks from Farelli’s, Katie Downs and Stella Artois. 7 p.m. May 10 (doors open 6 p.m.) Advance $13 non-members /$11 members/$15 at door. Rialto Theater, 310 S. 9th St., Tacoma. the grandcinema.com
Northwest Sinfonietta finish season with Bruch and Mendelssohn
It’s a highly romantic program for the Northwest Sinfonietta’s season finale. Tchaikovsky gold medalist Mayuko Kamio plays Bruch’s famous Violin Concerto no. 1; the program rounds out with Kodaly’s “Dances of Galanta” and Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony no. 3. 7:30 p.m. May 10 (Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle), 7:30 p.m. May 11 (Rialto Theater, 310 S. 9th St., Tacoma) and 2 p.m. March 12 (Pioneer Park Pavilion, 330 Meridian Ave. S, Puyallup). 888-356-6040, northwestsinfonietta.org
It’s an ironic place to display immaculately beautiful art about stunningly beautiful places – a low-slung, badly-lit hallway about five feet wide. But on the other hand, hanging Aki Sogabe’s blossom-filled papercuts at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center is definitely appropriate, because in her meticulous, gorgeous work Sogabe exemplifies the APCC spirit: Northwesterners with Asian heritage mixing their traditions with their locale.
Just up in the APCC gallery (read hallway) and showing through June, with an artist reception next Thursday, Sogabe’s show traverses 26 of her originals and reproduction papercuts, or kiri-e. Begun in China, this ancient art form first inspired Sogabe when she was in middle school, but she only got serious about it when she moved to Washington from Singapore in 1978. Cutting with an X-acto knife, the Bellevue-based Sogabe works with both black and white cuts, occasionally gluing onto colored paper for a watercolored-print effect.
Sogabe’s work inevitably invites comparison to the Northwest’s other beloved papercutter, Nikki McClure. But where McClure uses her faces and composition to tell a narrative of nostalgia, wry appreciation or just earthy living, Sogabe’s work stays in a purely aesthetical plane. With a very Japanese appreciation of simple beauty, she cuts rivers, mountains, flowers, birds and cats, making their visual appeal the hero of the story.
The best works at APCC are in a quietly minimalistic vein: “The River,” where flowing white paper curves over a background fading from teal to baby blue, with almost tangibly feathery, dangling maple leaves; or “Hummingbird,” framed in the center of the picture by delicate black leaves. Read more »
It’s one of Tacoma City Ballet’s most popular dance events: the “Storybook Ballet Theatre,” now in it’s second year. Company dancers entrance kids (and their grown-ups) with ballet renditions of fairy-tales, rhymes, limericks and other stories both this weekend and next. Guests are encouraged to come in their favorite storybook costume.
New this year is the Fairy Tale Tea Party, at 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. this Saturday May 11, featuring the performance viewed from the setting of a formal hosted English tea. Tickets are $10-$15, but are nearly sold out.
“Storybook Ballet Theatre” performances run 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. May 18; 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. May 19. Tickets $5. Merlino Building, 508 6th Ave., Tacoma. 253-272-4219, tacomacityballet.com Read more »