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Tag: Seattle


“Kings’ Wish” at Teatro Zinzanni gives the littlies a fun time at the circus – though with more singing than spectacle.

Chris Ballew (aka Caspar Babypants) plays for a kiddie crowd at Teatro Zinzanni. Photo courtesy Teatro Zinzanni.
Chris Ballew (aka Caspar Babypants) plays for a kiddie crowd at Teatro Zinzanni. Photo courtesy Teatro Zinzanni.

If you’ve ever taken a date to the chaotic circus cabaret Teatro Zinzanni in Seattle – or even if you haven’t – you’ll appreciate the fact that it’s rare to get a circus that’s just as much fun for really little kids. Or at the right time. Or the right length. Or for a ticket price that won’t make you cringe. Parents – Teatro Zinzanni presents “King’s Wish,” to solve all those problems and entertain your littlies with a show that’s a circus and a mosh-pit all in one. Even better, the kid-themed show, which just opened last weekend at Zinzanni’s indoor ‘tent’ near the Seattle Center, actually has kids performing in it, and they’re phenomenal.

The only downside – and it’s a biggie – is that anyone over the age of six will probably be bored half the time.

“King’s Wish” markets itself as an all-ages show, and if you glance over the star acts you’ll be tempted to bring older children. Among the stellar adult performers (acrobat-aerialist Terry Crane, former Pacific Northwest Ballet principal Ariana Lallone) and the musical headline act of Caspar Babypants (that’s Chris Ballew of The Presidents of the United States of America, for anyone not immersed in kindie rock) are two stunningly good child artists. One is tiny Saffi Watson, ten years old and already at professional standard at contortion, gymnastics and aerial arts. The other is Max Peterson, whom you might have seen busking at the Pike Place Markets – at eight years old he can already handle five balls and has invented nifty tricks of his own.

Trouble is, these four take up about a quarter of the hour-long morning performance. Read more »


South Kitsap High School music program wins $10,000 in Schools of the Rock Battle of the Bands

South Kitsap High School has won the fifth annual Schools of The Rock Battle of the Bands competition, sponsored by The Rock Wood Fired Pizza restaurant. The school’s music program won the $10,000 prize in the competition that pitted 28 high school marching bands from across Washington and the Portland, Ore. area against each other with online video recordings of rock hits.

The 10 schools with the most text votes were judged by a panel of celebrity judges, including Andy McKeag from The Presidents of the United States of America; Brad McDavid, band leader at the University of Washington;

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“Pictures at an Exhibition” and more from Northwest Sinfonietta at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, Tacoma’s Rialto Theater and Puyallup’s Pioneer Pavilion

If you know Mussorgsky, Debussy or Gershwin, you’d normally think of their music as piano pieces, or the big orchestral versions with clanging bells, blasting brass and more. But for its concerts this weekend in Seattle, Tacoma and Puyallup, the Northwest Sinfonietta will play chamber-orchestra arrangements of all three composers: 20th-century masterpieces with an unusual twist.

Arrangers don’t normally get star treatment – these hard-working folk who take someone else’s music and score it for a completely different set of instruments are billed underneath the composer, and often ignored. But each piece in the Sinfonietta’s upcoming concert relies on

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Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” casts a spell at Seattle’s McCaw Hall

Pacific Northwest Ballet corps de ballet dancer Kiyon Gaines as Bottom and principal dancer Carrie Imler as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, choreographed by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Angela Sterling.

Beneath a canopy of wild roses and columbine, the dancers of the Pacific Northwest Ballet wove an enchanting spell last weekend in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” A remount of the 1962 choreography by George Balanchine, staged for PNB 14 years ago by Francia Russell, this PNB favorite is still replete with charm, featuring a delightful children’s corps and some excellent dancing and acting from the principals to complement the fairy-tale sets and costume.

One of Balanchine’s most famous ballets, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is unusual for this Russian-born American choreographer, the lavish kind of story-ballet he mostly despised. But it’s also one of his best. The choreography combines nimble, creative vocabulary with Balanchine’s perfect eye for tableaux, which the PNB dancers executed in perfect alignment – Puck and the fairies in pyramid, Titania’s retinue laced like a cobweb across the stage, the butterflies collapsed in a heap.

Balanchine also tells this well-known Shakespeare story with clarity, and here the PNB soloists also shone. Read more »