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Dance, musicals and chat

Arts and cultural picks of the week

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Dance meets animation

Though Pixar is working to change things, animation in this country is still wildly undervalued. We watch our “Simpsons,” we go see “VeggieTales,” but we see animation as a source of idle entertainment rather than the vibrant art form it is. As a result, the medium remains underexposed. With the exception of a few breakout successes, animators’ labors often go unnoticed. Let’s be honest: When they announce the nominees for Best Animated Short at the Oscars, nobody has a freaking clue what’s going on. Enter “Mosca and the Meaning of Life,” a ground breaking multi-media work where an animated character is grabbed off the screen and integrated into performance art. 

Award-winning animator Christine Panushka and performance artist Beto Araiza hooked up in Pasadena to redefine their respective disciplines.

“In essence, are we all nothing more than common flies searching for that little piece of metaphorical feces on which to live out of our millisecond of existence in this life?” explains Araiza in a promotional release. “And like the common fly don’t we too devour and then regurgitate our belief systems over and over again desperately hoping to discover any small semblance of a greater truth? What is life? What is existence? What is truth?”

What the hell is she talking about? — Suzy Stump

[The Evergreen State College Experimental Theater, Thursday, Jan. 24, 7 p.m., $5-$10, 2700 Evergreen Parkway N.W., Olympia, 360.867.6833]


Village people

The past couple of years in Tacoma, city planners, neighborhood activists, and assorted bureaucrats have discussed density and streetscaping, development, play areas, retail, parks and parking. They talked about the new development’s sense of scale and character.

What about the property owners? How do these people shape the direction of our community?

Coffee and Rhetoric, Tacoma’s live talk show at Cutter Point Coffee in downtown Tacoma, will hold downtown Tacoma and Sixth Avenue property owners accountable for their actions tonight. Well, at least the show will give them a soap box.

As always, discussions are open ended and audience members are encouraged to participate in and direct the conversation. — Michael Swan

[Cutter Point Coffee, Thursday, Jan. 24, 7 p.m., no cover, 1936 Pacific Ave., Tacoma,]



“Urinetown” is a show that Tacoma Musical Playhouse’s main ticket buyers, I would think, might shy away from just because of the title. It is too bad, since the show is a fun work that isn’t as vulgar as the title suggests. It simply deals with a fictional city that has a drought so severe that all private toilets are outlawed and a private company holds the single contract on all the potties in the city. Prices go up and the people revolt against the monopoly on toilets. — Steve Dunkelberger

[Narrows Theater, through Feb. 3, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 2 and 8 p.m. Jan. 26 and Feb. 2, $16-$23, 7116 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.565 .6867,]


Spice up your life

Burger and a movie sounds like such a boring day. Tapas y platos principales and live flamenco, now that’s a day!

Saturday, Jan. 26, Olympia exposes the tastes and sounds of the world during its annual Ethnic Celebration at The Washington Center. Diverse music and dance will pack two stages. Discounts to downtown Olympia global cuisine will energize you. An international bazaar, cultural resource tables, community groups and plenty for the kids to do round out the day. — MS

[The Washington Center, Saturday, Jan. 26, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., free, 512 Washington St., Olympia, 360.709.2678]


Cobble Me This

Many years ago a flip little teenager told the Consumer that kids shouldn’t go around with “dusty kicks.” What this wise one meant by “dusty kicks” was dirty, shabby shoes. She was ahead of her years.

People tend to forget they can communicate without using words. The care you put into your shoes speaks volumes about yourself, and dirty, shabby shoes say you are a careless person.

In addition to communicating the inner workings of your immortal soul, artist Diane Kurzyna examines shoes’ place in history, culture and language in her installation “Remember/Do Not Forget” inside the Capitol Theater’s lobby gallery. Clean up those damn dusty kicks and chat shoes with her Saturday, Jan. 26 from 4-6 p.m. — SS

[Capitol Theater, through Feb. 2 206 Fifth Ave. S.E., Olympia, 360.754.5378]

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