February 5th brings the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet to the Pacific NW Ballet stage, choreographed by Jean-Christophe Maillot and accompanied by Prokofiev’s unforgettable score. PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal previews the spring season, which offers an eclectic mix of contemporary choreography, a historic reconstruction, two different sides of Balanchine, and encores of works by Jerome Robbins and Twyla Tharp. Have a listen!
How to Succeed...
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying was a self-help parody, published in 1952, satirizing life in corporate America. And it’s the book that falls into the hands of our hero - who actually follows its advice - in the 1961 musical of the same name, a hilarious work onstage at the 5th Avenue Theatre January 28th through February 21st. Learn more in Marta Zekan’s chat with the 5th’s David Armstrong and Albert Evans.
February with the UW World Series
Now 79, Washington native Trisha Brown’s world-wide influence on modern dance and site-specific choreography has been tremendous. The Trisha Brown Dance Company performs inside (and outside) Meany Hall in early February, with associated lectures, events, a gallery exhibition, films and more. Marta Zekan talks with UW World Series Artistic Director Michelle Witt about this retrospective celebration and other Series events in February.
January at Seattle Children's Theatre
Seattle Children’s Theatre brings Where the Wild Things Are and Hana’s Suitcase to their stages this month. Marta Zekan talks with Artistic Director Linda Hartzell about these two wonderful productions, both of which began in Canada.
January with the UW World Series
The UW World Series brings pianist Garrick Ohlsson, the Peking Acrobats, and So Percussion to Seattle this month. Marta Zekan talks with UW World Series Executive and Artistic Director Michelle Witt about each of these much-anticipated performances.
Skagit Opera presents a chamber version of Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte on January 17th, one performance only, at Lairmont Manor in Bellingham. The gorgeous 102-year old mansion is the perfect setting for the production, which also includes a champagne tea. Learn more in Marta’s conversation with the fascinating Dr. Mitchell Kahn, Skagit Opera General Director.
January and beyond at Seattle Rep
Seattle Repertory Theatre begins 2016 with Ayad Akhtar’s riveting Disgraced, winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, opening January 8th. Artistic Director Braden Abraham talks with Marta Zekan about this gripping play, and previews what’s in store at the Rep this Spring, including R. Hamilton Wright’s new piece, Sherlock Holmes and the American Problem, coming in April.
Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook
When you were having friends over to play music in the 18th century, you’d get out your collection of tunes and choose some for the evening. In the case of the Bach family, that collection is known as the Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook. It contains small keyboard pieces, chamber works, and plenty of music by other composers that was copied into the book by Bach or his wife. Byron Schenkman has chosen a variety of pieces from the notebook for the next Byron Schenkman and Friends chamber concert, on December 27th. Learn more in Marta’s conversation with Byron about the notebook and the show.
This Christmas, onstage at Taproot Theatre, takes a carefully planned Christmas Eve and turns it upside down. It’s funny and also touching, and it’s a world premiere for playwright – and former Seattleite – Anne Kennedy Brady. This actor/writer/playwright is now based in Chicago, but was in Seattle to see the show through its opening night. She talks with Marta Zekan about her writing career, her other projects and the inspirations for this play.
The Christmas Revels 2015
It’s joyful, it’s celebratory, it’s got singing, dancing, folk instruments, and theatre – it’s The Christmas Revels, produced by Puget Sound Revels, onstage at the Rialto Theatre in Tacoma December 19 – 23. Each year the Revels is set in a different time and place – this year it’s a Nordic celebration, complete with hardanger fiddle, nyckelharpa, trolls and gorgeous sets and costumes. Learn more, and hear some of the music, in Marta Zekan’s chat with Executive Director Mary Lynn and stage director B.J. Douglas about this year’s Revels.
Café Nordo is an intersection of the culinary and performing arts, blending theatre, music, food and craft cocktails into a performance like no other. Currently onstage at the Nordo Culinarium – Sauced, a noir-ish 1930’s thriller complete with evocative, jazz-inspired music and songs by Annastasia Workman, Café Nordo’s resident composer and music director. Hear her music and learn more about the show in this conversation.
The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music was a huge Broadway success long before we fell in love with it on the big screen. The 5th Avenue Theatre presents this classic American musical through January 3rd. With a stellar cast that includes some very talented children, the requisite big orchestra, and a story based on true events, it’s a perfect family show for the Christmas season. Learn more in Marta Zekan’s conversation with David Armstrong and Albert Evans, and get a sneak peek at what’s coming to the 5th AFTER the holidays, too.
BRASS: episode 10
It’s a cliff-hanger, Victorian-style, for the Season 1 finale of BRASS. In episode 10: Grave Matters, members of the Brass family face seemingly insurmountable challenges, including a run-away steam hearse, a mysterious theatre phantom, and a menacing mechanical bear. BRASS is created by Battleground Productions, a group of Seattle-based theatre artists. Enjoy all 10 episodes on the KING FM Arts Channel, and stay tuned for Season 2, coming soon!
Come from Away
Come From Away has just opened at Seattle Rep. In one word? Amazing. Marta Zekan talks with Irene Sankoff and David Hein who wrote book, music and lyrics for this extraordinary new musical. To do it, they collected hundreds of hours of interviews with the residents of Gander, Newfoundland and passengers on 38 planes that were diverted there on 9/11. Newfoundland-style music underscores this wonderful true story.
BRASS: episode 9
It’s the penultimate episode of the first season for BRASS: episode 9: Trapdoors and Back Doors, in which Cyril Brass makes an abrupt disappearance, while, across town, Lord and Lady Brass arrange an unusual loan from St. Bart’s Hospital. And where is Gwendolyn? BRASS is set in a re-imagined 1885 London, written and produced by Battleground Productions, a Seattle-based group of creative talents.
BRASS: episode 8
It’s 1885 in a London not quite like the one in your history books. Lord Brass and his brood aren’t exactly your nobility next door. The Victorian-era adventure continues this week in BRASS: episode 8: Untimely Discoveries. Precarious situations await the Brass siblings, Cyril and Gwendolyn, as their investigations into London’s dark underbelly take a rather unfortunate turn.
Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play
Listen in on our recent KING FM Behind the Scenes evening at ACT Theatre, as host Sean MacLean discusses Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, with the show’s director John Langs. John is also the new Artistic Director at ACT.
Emergence returns to PNB
Crystal Pite’s stunning Emergence is the centerpiece of an evening of contemporary ballet, including a world premiere and Jessica Lang’s The Calling. It’s all on stage at Pacific NW Ballet through November 15th. Get the story behind the dances in Marta Zekan’s chat with PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal.
BRASS: episode 7
It’s the next episode of Battleground Productions’ Victorian-era adventure serial, BRASS, in which we find the intrepid Brass children, Gwendolyn and Cyril, going undercover to infiltrate the pernicious crime wave washing over London.
Hansel & Gretel & more, with Skagit Opera
The tuneful music and familiar story make Humperdinck’s opera Hansel & Gretel particularly nice for folks new to opera and for kids. Take the short drive to Mount Vernon’s wonderfully intimate (and acoustically perfect) McIntyre Hall when Skagit Opera brings this beloved work to the stage November 6-15. Marta Zekan talks with Dr. Mitchell Kahn, Skagit Opera’s General Director, about the show and also about his rather fascinating life in music and medicine.
Seattle Repertory Theatre, Fall 2015
What do a working class home in 1950’s Brooklyn, a pretend shopping mall in a celebrity’s LA basement, Newfoundland on 9/11, and a Manhattan dinner party have in common? They are the diverse settings for the first four plays of Seattle Repertory Theatre’s new season, Braden Abraham’s first full one as the Rep’s new Artistic Director. He talks with Marta Zekan about planning the season and previews these first plays, one of which is a musical.
BRASS: episode 6
BRASS returns to the Arts Channel this week with episode 6: Behind the Curtain. In which Oscar Wilde makes an appearance, we meet the 1885 equivalent of a bionic man, and further layers of the plot to eliminate the Brass family are revealed. BRASS is an audio serial produced in Seattle by Battleground Productions, with new episodes appearing weekly on the KING FM Arts Channel.
Phantoms of the Orchestra
MIME ARTIST TALKS!! Magic Circle Mime Company co-founder, Douglas MacIntyre answers the question “Why Mime?” in this conversation with Marta Zekan about Phantoms of the Orchestra, MCM’s upcoming show with Seattle Symphony on October 31st. This wonderful show features your favorite symphony musicians looking distinctly, well … otherworldly. Magic Circle Mime Company started in Seattle in 1978. Now, they tour throughout the year, performing their unique shows with the world’s great orchestras. It’s fun to have them back! This is also the first of the KING FM/SSO Family Concerts this season.
BRASS: episode 5
Why are Lord Whitestone and Gwendolyn Brass leaping from branch to branch in the trees of Hyde Park? Find out in BRASS: episode 5: The Teachable Ape. We also pay a visit to the state-of-the-art laboratory of Gwendolyn’s father, Lord Brass, as he enlists the help of a colleague to bring a certain Croatian scientist to London
Choreographing The Pearl Fishers
Seattle Opera’s brings Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers to the stage in a version that might be a bit different than those you’ve seen before. That’s because movement and dance have been integrated throughout the opera. Marta Zekan talks here with choreographer John Malashock, whose creative collaboration with stage director Andrew Sinclair has given this 19th century classic a refreshingly dynamic and sensual edge.
It’s highly unlikely that you’ve ever seen Gabriel Faure’s opera Penelope. Which is precisely what attracted Dan Wallace Miller to produce it, with his Vespertine Opera Company. They specialize in rarely performed operas. This is the Odyssey from the viewpoint of Penelope, a wife left behind for 10 long years, fending off a barrage of suitors vying for her hand while keeping the long watch for husband Ulysseys’ return. Learn more in Marta Zekan’s chat with Dan. Performances are 10/22 – 25 at Meany Theatre, and are the centerpiece of UW’s Faure conference this week.
Waterfall, from an actor's perspective
An international collaboration has resulted in Waterfall, a new musical premiering at the 5th Avenue Theatre this month. Waterfallfeatures music and lyrics by the legendary duo of Richard Maltby and David Shire, but it actually began as a Thai musical! The story behind this gorgeous show and how it got to the 5th Avenue is fascinating. Hear all about it in Marta Zekan’s conversation with actor Thom Sesma, who has been with this version of the show through its entire development, creating the role of Chao Kuhn.
BRASS: episode 4
After receiving a request from Queen Victoria and her Prime Minister, the family Brass makes a visit to Scotland Yard to find out exactly what they’re up against. Although they’ve only just recovered from one adventure, they’re eager to take up this challenge to pursue the “Crime Minister”. It’s all in episode 4 of BRASS: Official – and Unofficial – Meetings. This adventure serial was created by a talented group of Northwest writers, actors, and voice talents, known as Battleground Productions. New episodes out weekly. Enjoy!
Book-It / What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
To open Book-It Repertory Theatre’s 26th season, founder Jane Jones has revisited 4 short stories by Raymond Carver, under the title What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. Carver’s concise and insightful portrayals of relationships come to vivid life on stage in these refreshed adaptations. Learn more about putting literature on stage, and also about Carver (who lived in Port Angeles in the last years of his life) and how connected these stories were to his own life, in Marta Zekan’s conversation with Jane, who also directed the production. (onstage through October 18th)
BRASS: episode 3
It’s 1885 and Queen Victoria’s beloved Prince Albert is still alive! This is the 1885 of BRASS, a new adventure serial created by a talented group of Northwest artists. In BRASS Episode 3:The Reception, Lord Brass and his brood meet the Queen (and her consort) and receive a commission to help fight a mysterious crime wave overtaking London. Check back weekly for new episodes of BRASS on the KING FM Arts Channel.
BRASS: episode 2
The adventures of Lord Brass and his brood, a family of scientifically-minded eccentrics, continue in BRASS episode 2: Unavoidable Delays. Theirs is not the London of 1885 you know from your history books. In this episode, the Brass family boards an airship only to find themselves in a bit of a sticky wicket.
Sandbox Radio in NightTown
Short radio plays, live music, guest artists, Seattle’s finest actors and voice talent, plus live sound effects – what’s not to love? They’re creating a podcast, but it’s done in front of a live audience, and it’s a wonderful evening at the theatre. It’s time for Sandbox Radio’s fall production – Sandbox Radio in NightTown, onstage for one night only at Town Hall Seattle on October 5. Co-producers Leslie Law and Richard Ziman talk with Marta about the concept, their new Town Hall Seattle home, and highlights of NightTown.
BRASS: episode 1
Battleground Productions is a busy group of NW writers, actors and producers. Their multiplatform project, BRASS, includes a stage play, Oh My Azaleas! (opening 9/25 at Theatre Schmeater), a film, Lair of the Red Widow (raising funds via Indiegogo currently), and – if that’s not enough – a serialized radio adventure about an eccentric family of Victorian-era scientists. Meet Lord Brass and his brood in BRASSepisode 1: Arrivals, and listen for future BRASS episodes on the KING FM Arts Channel!
Putting Dracula On Stage
Nathan Jeffrey’s new stage adaptation of Dracula moves away from the trend to romanticize the vampire, focusing our attention instead on the intrepid and courageous band of people who joined forces to defeat him. It’s onstage at Taproot Theatre 9/23 to 10/24. Find out what Nathan discovered when he went back and took a fresh look at Bram Stoker’s novel in this conversation with Marta Zekan.
"See the Music" at PNB this Fall
It’s modern ballet at its finest as Pacific NW Ballet opens its 43rd season on September 25th, with See the Music, featuring choreography by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Christopher Wheeldon to music by Prokofiev, Chopin, and Joby Talbot. One special note - the program includes Balanchine’s 1929 Prodigal Son; Jerome Robbins danced the title role in the 1950 NYC Ballet premiere. He then coached young dancer Peter Boal, who danced the role for 19 years. Peter, now PNB’s Artistic Director, is staging the work and passes on the legacy. He talks with Marta about all of that, and what else is in store this fall at PNB.
Byron Schenkman & Friends new season
Byron Schenkman’s two favorite composers happen to be Handel and Haydn. Which explains why you’ll find their harpsichord concertos on the opening concert of the Byron Schenkman & Friends chamber music series, September 27th. The season spans the 18th century, with concerts in November, December, March and May. Learn more about Byron’s programming inspirations, which musical friends are joining him for the series, and concert details in his conversation with Marta on the Arts Channel.
Bohemia at Café Nordo: An interview with co-creator Mark Siano
In the imagination, all things are possible, including Dvorak discovering Chopin at the bottom of an absinthe bottle. A trip to Prague inspired the musical cabaret, Bohemia, blending classical music with original song, performance, and food. Marta talks with Bohemia’s co-creator Mark Siano about the show, the menu, the artists, and his own classical music background. Bohemia is in the air, on the stage, and in the kitchen of the Nordo Culinarium in Pioneer Square 9/10 – 9/27.
Commissioning Terra Nostra
Many of our greatest works of art have come about through patronage. When the Lake Union Civic Orchestra (LUCO) premieres Christophe Chagnard’s new work Terra Nostra on June 20th, audiences will be experiencing the inspired generosity of Susan and Jeff Lubetkin, who asked Chagnard for a piece about climate change. Dr. Susan Lubetkin is a scientist who studies whales and their ecosystem, and also happens to be a cellist with LUCO. Her belief that art can convey a powerful message to those not reached by science’s charts and graphs was the impetus for the commission. Learn what else inspired her in this conversation with Marta Zekan.