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So hot a summer

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So hot a summer

When we say "King John," what's the first thing that springs to mind? "I find it intriguing," Scott Douglas notes, "that Shakespeare left out any reference to either the Magna Carta or Robin Hood - the two things modern folk recognize about John." Douglas is a well-respected actor and member

An Afternoon With David Sedaris

Stage

An Afternoon With David Sedaris

Clearly, I should've read David Sedaris before 2000. That, however, is when friends nagged me into reading Me Talk Pretty One Day, Sedaris' collection of humorous essays about moving to Normandy, France. It won him the 2001 Thurber Prize for American Humor, and I can tell you I've never laughed

The bad and beautiful Sandra Bernhard

Stage

The bad and beautiful Sandra Bernhard

She's influenced a great many artists since her arrival in the late 1970s, but there can only be one Sandra Bernhard. She made her bones when few female comics were household names. She earned a Best Supporting Actress award from the National Society of Film Critics for her performance in

The Gritty City Sirens aren't in Kansas anymore

Arts

The Gritty City Sirens aren't in Kansas anymore

Sometimes, the process of writing pulls me down a deep rabbit hole. Such was the case with Gritty City Sirens and their upcoming pair of reprise performances of Adventures in OZ. I searched for the burlesque troupe on YouTube and found one of their self-promotional videos. The music for that

Thursday, April 23-Wednesday, April 29: Recital Week

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Thursday, April 23-Wednesday, April 29: Recital Week

Dude, somewhere - in the back of your closet, maybe - there's a necktie. You own one. Put it on. Or don't. Doesn't matter. Either way, it's time for you to get some culture. Luckily for you, this is recital week at Pacific Lutheran University, which serves as one-stop shopping

Luchadores assemble!

Arts

Luchadores assemble!

Very soon, a team of costumed heroes will reunite. The world at large may never know their true identities, but these supermen (and one superwoman) wage a never-ending battle against absolute villainy. Their muscles flexing proudly, brows furrowed 'neath colorful cowls, they stride forward, shoulder to shoulder, fists raised to

Saturday, April 18: Scott Pemberton

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Saturday, April 18: Scott Pemberton

Imagine the clouds parted, a mother ship from planet Funkatron descended, and an alien musician slithered out to encounter ... a Les Paul electric guitar. How would said E.T. approach that unfamiliar instrument? He or she might just lay the axe down on a rock and play it horizontally, like

Friday, April 10, Sunday, April 12: "Romeo et Juliette"

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Friday, April 10, Sunday, April 12: "Romeo et Juliette"

We could've easily featured Roméo et Juliette (it's OK, you can call it Romeo and Juliet, we won't tell) in our music section, because it goes without saying opera lands like a wet noodle in the absence of stirring music. If there's one thing Tacoma Opera boasts, it's capable singers.

Friday, April 10: Brian Lynch

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Friday, April 10: Brian Lynch

There are events we in the musical promotional game could never have expected to see. This is one of those events. An otherwise noteworthy jazz musician, Brian Lynch, has cemented our interest in an upcoming concert by adding ... a juggler. This juggler is Henrik Bothe. He's performed all over

Monday, April 13: Bobby Shew with Rich Wetzel's Groovin' Higher Orchestra

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Monday, April 13: Bobby Shew with Rich Wetzel's Groovin' Higher Orchestra

This isn't the first time I've received a press release that referred to an artist as "legendary." It's an adjective I've employed myself, to describe Smokey Robinson and other members of the pop music pantheon, but I can honestly say it's not a word I use lightly. A promoter who

A really big Shew at Tacoma Community College

Music

A really big Shew at Tacoma Community College

This isn't the first time I've received a press release that referred to an artist as "legendary." It's an adjective I've employed myself, to describe Smokey Robinson and other members of the pop music pantheon, but I can honestly say it's not a word I use lightly. A promoter who

Bibliotopia

Guides

Bibliotopia

By some standards, Seattle is the most literate city in the United States. Its ratio of college graduates approaches three out of five adults. Its libraries get used more frequently than most cities', and South Lake Union-based Amazon is the national bookstore of choice. Portland just missed the top 10

Saturday, April 4: Fruition

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Saturday, April 4: Fruition

Much of the enjoyment of writing about and publicizing music comes from pleasant surprises. I admit I skimmed over Fruition's concert announcement the first time I came across it. I rolled my eyes when this trio of Portlandians described itself as "three-part-harmony-infused, melody-rich rock, country, folk and soul." That's like

Saturday, April 11: Caspar Babypants

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Saturday, April 11: Caspar Babypants

Chris Ballew, lead singer for mid-'90s Seattle alt-rock outfit The Presidents of the United States of America, has a pair of Grammy nominations under his belt. His hit singles "Lump" and "Peaches" are fixtures on rock radio. So it's amusing that Ballew reentered the public consciousness,

Apple Tree puts on its Babypants

Music

Apple Tree puts on its Babypants

Chris Ballew, lead singer for mid-'90s Seattle alt-rock outfit The Presidents of the United States of America, has a pair of Grammy nominations under his belt. His hit singles "Lump" and "Peaches" are fixtures on rock radio. So it's amusing that Ballew reentered the public consciousness, not as a middle-aged

Saturday, March 28: Maroon 5

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Saturday, March 28: Maroon 5

It's been 11 years since Maroon 5 smashed into the public consciousness with "This Love" and "She Will Be Loved," though "Harder to Breathe," the first single from that same album, actually reached #18 two years earlier. (Overnight success is a funny thing.) Since then, Adam Levine's distinctively high-pitched tenor

Friday, March 20: Jonny Lang

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Friday, March 20: Jonny Lang

Fargo, North Dakota native Jonny Lang has had five albums in the Billboard top 50. He recorded his first blues guitar album, Smokin', at the tender age of 14. Two years later came Lie to Me, an album that went multi-platinum and earned raves from major critics. After a Grammy

Saturday, March 21: Amy Schumer

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Saturday, March 21: Amy Schumer

If I need to tell you who Amy Schumer is, you must not own a TV. Her Comedy Central series Inside Amy Schumer was nominated for an Emmy. Both Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone praised it as one of last year's best series, especially a firecracker of a sketch about

Sunday, March 22: Songs of the Emerald Isle

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Sunday, March 22: Songs of the Emerald Isle

You may not know it yet, but you are going to love Kaitlyn Lusk. She first sang with the Baltimore Symphony at age 14. A year later, she was chosen as featured vocal soloist for composer Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings Symphony suite. If you're a Tolkien geek, her

Sunday, March 22: Recycled Percussion

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Sunday, March 22: Recycled Percussion

For a hell of a lot less than the cost of a plane ticket to Las Vegas, you can see four guys who still have the same enthusiasm as, but decades more experience than, any game show wannabe. Throw in acrobatics and a fair amount of drumstick

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