When I hear live music, I am naturally drawn to it. Years ago I had just stepped outside after attending a harp concert in downtown Tacoma. I could hear a live gospel choir singing a few blocks away and I nearly dislocated my husband’s arm pulling him in the direction I could hear the singing coming from.
The campaign committee to re-elect Mayor John Wise has asked some fine bands to come and play for anyone who wishes to stay a spell, bring a picnic basket and listen at the Rotary Park on the corner of Griffin Avenue and Railroad Street. These informal gatherings have been dubbed Picnic Concerts at Rotary Park and will last from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.. If you’d like to bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the food bank it would be greatly appreciated. There will be a band performing on Aug. 12, still to be announced, while next in line to perform on Aug. 26 will be the jazz quintet, “By Committee.” Keep your ears open and your picnic baskets ready.
On June 19 I was an audience member watching with shear delight “Hansel and Gretel,” the story ballet based on the opera and presented by The Ballet Workshop, directed by Syble Bracken at the Enumclaw High School Auditorium. In three acts I watched with delight as the story unfolded in dance. I could feel hearts melting as Hansel, played by Laura Venemon and Gretel, played by Gretchen Waller, encountered guardian angels, dancing brooms, adorable breadcrumbs, wild flowers, creepy shadows of darkness, fairy dust and, of course, the witch! The costumes, choreography and scenery were simply wonderful. Every individual from the newest beginner to the seasoned dancer was obviously on that stage because they love to dance and present their art to us with passion, professionalism and especially…joy.
The beautiful Melissa Snoen played and danced the part of the quirky, twisted witch with the most incredible, fun and entertaining choreography I’ve ever had the pleasure to see. If Miss Snoen stood completely still, she could still perform with just the movement of her eyes. This young woman is what dance is all about. Melissa Snoen IS dance.
June 22 I had an absolute blast listening to the Gateway Community Band, directed by Jack Prindle, perform its 11th concert titled Name Those Tunes. Talk about a walk down memory lane! What’s scary is that I could name the real old tunes and even sing the lyrics!
The Gateway Community Band will be performing again at 7 p.m. Aug. 17 at Rotary Centennial Park. Bring your chairs and blankets and relax to some fine music performed by your very own community band. “Summer Smiles” will be the title of two concerts coming up. The second concert will begin at 7 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Christ the King Lutheran Church in Sumner. For information, call 360-825-5369 or visit www.gatewayconcertband.org.
I received a call from Frank Thompson a short time ago. I had e-mailed him and asked what he and the board of Stage Door Productions had been up to. SDP has an incredibly gifted and experienced board of directors. With Thompson at the helm as artistic director and president of the board, great performances are on the horizon and I can feel the excitement in the air. With Frank’s permission, I’m going to share with you what he sent to me. One cannot help but get caught up in Frank’s enthusiasm. I will freely admit I am hooked. Check out this lineup from Stage Door Productions.
Their schedule is very exciting and will be offering something for everyone. I’m very excited to share it with you.
• October 2009, “Noises Off” – Called the funniest farce ever written, “Noises Off” is a manic menagerie that sends reviewers searching for new accolades for hilarious as a cast of itinerant actors rehearsing a flop called “Nothing’s On.” When they finally get things right, everything goes wrong.
“The most dexterously realized comedy ever about putting on a comedy … A spectacularly funny … peerless backstage farce … [This} dizzy, well-known romp … [is a] festival of delirium.”—The New York Times
• Late November 2009- “Miracle on 34th St.” (Radio show)
Is there a Santa Claus or not? A little girl in New York City doesn’t believe, until she meets Kris Kringle. Based on the movie and performed as a Lux Radio Theatre Presentation.
• April 2010 – A mystery wrapped in an enigma. Due to licensing restrictions, this show has not been done in Washington state for more than five years. As of this writing, Stage Door Productions will be the first theater in the state to perform… a musical about a little orphan girl with curly red hair. She has a dog named Sandy and in the course of her adventures is taken in by a millionaire named Oliver Warbucks. Stage Door Productions is NOT allowed to tell us which show or utter the name of the little orphan girl with curly red hair until Feb. 15, 2010. That’s how restrictive the licensing is. Whew!
There’s much more for 2010 – more coming that can be highlighted here.
Stage Door Productions will also be announcing season ticket packages for the 2010 shows only at the amazing price of $65.
Call 360-825-2212 or log on to www.stagedoorprod.org for further information.
Our community has something fun, inspiring and right down sensational to see and be part of with the many concerts, ballet performances and plays that are lining up already into 2011. Get your calendars out and start marking dates. Be a part of the creativity and community. Art is all around us to motivate, inspire and enrich our lives. As long as I live where I do, I know I’ll continue to be entertained by Mother Nature and all of the arts organizations on the Plateau.