Sunday, July 19, 2009

Taproot Theater Delivers Once Again

Once again, the Taproot Theater presents a performance filled with inspiration and hope to audiences in its comfy Greenwood venue. As with many of Taproot’s plays, the scenery is well crafted, but minimalist, relying on the strength of the performers to transport patrons to another place and time.
“Spoke on the Mountain Homecoming”, is set in the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in post World War II, North Carolina. Like an old heirloom quilt brought out of the chest for an airing, the Sanders family is back onstage for installment three of their saga. Since I had not seen either of the first installments, I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to pick up their story where it left off, however this performance, filled with down home warmth, certainly stands on its own.
As the play progresses, each character presents a monologue; an individual patch in the quilt, stitched together with bluegrass and gospel songs. It is truly impressive to watch the performers switch from guitar to mandolin, to ukulele, harmonica and accordion, all topped off with brilliant percussion delivered by the character June (Jenny Cross). Cross also artfully and gracefully signs the majority of the songs, however I wasn’t quite sure how ASL was meant to incorporate into the production. Near the end of the performance her character quips, “Maybe someone there will be able to understand my signing,” in reference to moving to a new congregation.
Each character is equally gifted with not only brilliant musical ability, but also strong dramatic aptitude. Body language such as eye rolling or smirking from Uncle Stanley (David Anthony Lewis, demure smiles from the pregnant June (Jenny Cross) or awkward enthusiasm from Reverend Oglethorp (Kevin Brady) convey talent beyond the delivery of the spoken word. Denise (Candace Vance) showcases her beautiful soprano voice with a solo, and backs up the other performers with piano and accordion., her twin brother Dennis (Brent Ashton) plays a mean bass. The Sanders family just couldn’t put on a show without the musical leadership of Burl, (Edd Key), and his sweetly self-righteous, scripture quoting wife Vera (Theresa Holmes).
Performances run through August 8. For tickets and more information visit their website

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summer Beer Taste

The PNA's annual Summer Beer Taste is this Saturday from 4 - 7 pm in the lower parking lot of the Phinney Neighborhood Center. Tickets are $25 or $30 (depending on whether or not you're a PNA member) and get you ten tastes from a choice of 39 different microbrews!

Sounds like a great way to spend a sunny summer afternoon in the neighborhood.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

PNA Gallery Show this Friday Evening

Artists Reception July 10 7:00-10:00 p.m. in the Blue Building Second Floor gallery, no charge.
When the summer heat eventually shines upon us, many yearn for an escape to the beach. There is something to be gained in the cooling, and soothing properties of the water and watching the waves endlessly break on the shore. July’s featured artists, Scott McDougall and Kathleen McHugh, have elaborated on the theme of water and taken it to two very different yet equally mesmerizing directions.
Scott, a self-taught artist, originally from California, has lived in the Seattle area for over 25 years. His poster art has been used to promote many local events, such as the Fremont Fair, and HempFest among others. Branching out from commercial art, Scott has created a series of stunning paintings called Wavescapes, that capture the split second moments of waves along the shore as the light comes through them and they glide back into the sea.
Paired with these wave images are captivating paintings from Kathleen McHugh’s mermaid series. Kathleen, a BFA graduate from Cornish Institite of the Arts, is featured in the book "Contemporary Artists of the World 2008-2009" which was presented at "Artexpo Las Vegas 2008". This show is comprised of oil paintings, acrylic paintings, pastel drawings and gouache/pastel drawings. The artist comments, “I tend to work thematically-something will grab my attention and I will keep ruminating about it
and working out where it leads me by creating art.”
Stop by the gallery after shopping at the farmer’s market and expose yourself to some of the amazing artists in the Puget Sound community.