Remembered Light, Sex Workers Art Show and more

Arts and cultural picks of the week

By Volcano Staff on January 17, 2008


“The Weir”

Some of the best plays in the South Sound might just be playing in the imaginations of the audiences who attend a special staged reading. Lakewood Playhouse presents a staged reading of “the Weir” by Conor McPherson for three days. The show is a simple work that lets audiences relax in an Irish pub to hear ghost stories around a fire. — Steve Dunkelberger

[Lakewood Playhouse, Friday, Jan. 18-Saturday, Jan. 19 8 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 20 2 p.m., $10 suggested donation, 5729 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd. S.W., Lakewood, 253.588.0042,]


Sex Workers Art Show

What’s your pleasure? The latest overwhelmingly successful Sex Workers’ Art Show tour is riding into Olympia Friday at the Washington Center. When this troop of trannies and trollops flounced into town last time, they packed the Capital Theater. This year, with any luck, the Washington Center’s massive space should hold all you dirty little boys and girls. Founder and director Annie Oakley is bringing another smorgasbord of multimedia art, sex, film, sex, performance, and, of course, sex. — Suzy Stump

[Washington Center, Friday, Jan. 18, 8 p.m., $12, 512 Washington St., Olympia, 360.753. 8586]


“Oz” dance

“Hark! We the people of the Metro Parks Tacoma do hereby generally proclaim, with all due solemnity and pseudo-legally binding authority, that [insert your name] shall, now and until such time as we appoint a successor, hold the distinguished and lauded rank of ‘Wizard of Oz’ audience and shall enjoy all the rank, privilege and powers warranted by said appointment.”

So you now have that going for you, which is nice.

As you probably didn’t guess, the “Wizard of Oz” is dancing our way. Metro Parks Tacoma presents a dance version of the classic with a contemporary twist. I’m talkin’ modern dance in Munchkinland folks!

I caught a preview at the latest MLKBallet event and it’s so, well, I — I think that it — it wasn’t enough to just want to see a preview — and it’s that — if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any farther than Metro Parks Tacoma. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with, right?

If I only had a brain. — SS

[Stadium High School Performing Arts Center, Saturday, Jan. 19 2 and 7 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 20 2 p.m., $10, 111 North E St., Tacoma, 253.305.1022]


A religious war experience

U.S. Army Chaplain Frederick Alexander McDonald may no longer be with us, but he lives on through his memories and shards of glass he collected during World War II. These stained glass pieces from sanctuaries damaged or destroyed when the war wreaked havoc on Europe, and McDonald’s personal recollections come together in a breathtaking exhibit on display at the Washington State History Museum.  

“Remembered Light: Glass Fragments from World War II, The McDonald Windows” features 25 windows in diverse media including ceramic, silk screen, vinyl and glass created by 13 international glass artists. These stunning works of art reflect the despair and the hope, the destruction and the renewal Seattle-born McDonald experienced as he traveled through Europe with General Omar Bradley’s 12th Army Group from 1944-45.

It wasn’t until 1999 that McDonald shared his collection of 300 stained-glass shards with friends — one of whom contacted nationally-renowned Reflection Studios.

It was stained-glass artist Armelle Le Roux who developed the concept of merging the shards with text recalling McDonald’s memories. His accompanying narrative is either painted or etched directly on the glass. 

The exhibit begins with an introductory video that features McDonald, who passed away in 2002, recalling the time he spent in WWII and what the shards he gathered while in Europe meant to him. “It’s a little thing that can bring back a flood of memories,” McDonald says toward the end of the video. (For You Tube junkies, the video can be found here:

The first piece in the exhibit is a 9x14-inch glass book by Le Roux, which features a burned shard of unknown origin with the image of a shadowy figure inside. Each piece on display using new and old glass tells a chapter of the story of WWII through McDonald’s eyes.

One of the most interesting works incorporates shards not from a sanctuary but rather Adolf Hilter’s house. “It was the most difficult piece to create,” Le Roux said. The idea for the artwork featuring pieces of glass falling from a broken window came from an old photograph of Hitler painting. It makes you wonder, Le Roux said, what would have happened if Hitler became a painter instead. 

Another must-see piece is a 41x30-inch crown of thorns created in antique glass by Narcissus Quagliata with shards from the Cathedral of St. Stephen in Metz, France.

The exhibit concludes with the end of the war. The last work of art has a place where visitors can write down the name of a loved one who died as a result of war. Le Roux’s vision is to use these names as part of a new piece when the exhibit is permanently installed at a chapel in San Francisco.

“Remembered Light” is on display at the WSHM through March 2. — Jamie Forsythe

[The Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 1.888.BE.THERE, www.Washington]