With the one-year anniversary of the Oct. 23 arson that scorched the Taproot Theatre Company and destroyed four other business approaching, Taproot's leadership, board and staff are renewing their commitment to Greenwood and commemorating those affected and devastated by the string of arsons in 2009.

“We planted our roots solidly in Greenwood when we bought the early-1900s theatre 22 years," Scott Nolte, Taproot artistic director, said in a Taproot press release. "We love the vibrancy and creativity that surround us everywhere. We want the neighborhood to know that we’re here to stay, that this is where we want to be.”

Production manager Mark Lund echoed Nolte’s sentiment.

“Taproot seems as much a part of Greenwood as Greenwood seems a part of Taproot,” he said in the press release. “I’ve spent the past 19 years of my career working at Taproot and can say with confidence that the positive changes I’ve witnessed here in Greenwood over the years are at least partly due to Taproot’s presence in the neighborhood.”

1 year after Greenwood arsons, Taproot Theatre looks back
Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

One year ago, a string of arsons in Greenwood damaged or destroyed more than a dozen homes and businesses, including four in the Eleanor Roosevelt Building (seen here), which houses Taproot Theatre. CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE PHOTOS.

Ghost Light Theatricals has chosen "Ch-Ch-Changes" as the theme for its 2010-2011 season, its eighth as a company but its first full season in The Ballard Underground at 2220 N.W. Market St.

While settling into their new home, adding a show to their season and shifting from nomads into Ballard's only theater company, the upcoming season represents a transformed Ghost Light still tackling the classics they love, according to a Ghost Light Theatricals press release.

The eighth season begins with William Shakespeare's classic tale of confusion, love, fantasy and transformation, "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Directed by R.A. Bergquist, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" runs from Nov. 5 through Nov. 21.

January starts with a bang as Wilder Nutting-Heath directs "Metamorphosis." A co-winner of 2010's "Battle of the Bards IV," this new adaptation of Franz Kafka's seminal work features humans and shadow puppets in a story about a man who turns into a bug and the changes that it brings with it. "Metamorphosis" runs Jan. 14 through Jan. 30.


The bumbershoots came out Sept. 6 as the rain set in for the final day of the 2010 Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival.

The wet weather couldn't dampen enthusiasm as festival-goers kept dry inside the Experience Music Project for local acts like BOAT and People Eating People or bounced up and down under a canopy of umbrellas for Bomba Estéreo.

This slideshow from day three of Bumbershoot 2010 features:

  • Japandroids
  • The Moondoggies
  • The Whigs
  • BOAT
  • JEFF The Brotherhood
  • Trampled By Turtles
  • People Eating People
  • Victor Shade

Click the image above to the view the slideshow.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Vancouver, B.C., duo Japandroids apologized for bringing the gloomy weather with them before proceeding to distract from the rain with their frenzied aural assault. CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE PHOTOS.

The 2010 Bumbershoot Arts and Music Festival rolled on Sept. 5 with a surprise appearance from the sun bringing out droves of festival-goers.

This slideshow from day two of Bumbershoot 2010 features:

  • The Physics
  • Dolorean
  • Fences
  • The Bouncing Souls
  • David Bazan
  • Georgia Anne Muldrow
  • The Crash Kings
  • The Lonely H
  • Fresh Espresso
  • Horse Feathers
  • Eldridge Gravy and The Court Supreme

Click the image above to view the slideshow.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

P Smoov of Seattle group Fresh Espresso gets up close and personal with his fans Sept. 5 during the second day of Bumbershoot 2010. CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE PHOTOS.

The 40th annual Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival got underway Sept. 4 with local talent like Great Waves and Visqueen, legends like Bob Dylan and Solomon Burke, and even a few Ballardites sprinkled in.

This slideshow from day one of Bumbershoot 2010 features:

  • Solomon Burke
  • The Cute Lepers
  • Balkan Beat Box
  • Jamie Lidell
  • Atlas Sound
  • Wheedle's Groove
  • Zo Muth & The Lost High Rollers
  • Star Anna & The Laughing Dogs
  • Idiot Pilot
  • Great Waves
  • Grynch
  • Becki Sue & Her Big Rockin' Daddies!

Click image above to view the slideshow.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

The "King of Ballard," rapper Grynch (2004 Ballard High School graduate John Overlie), kicks of Bumbershoot 2010 on the Fisher Green Stage Sept. 4. CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE PHOTOS.

When "American "Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert played Seattle in July, Ballard resident Mark Saltzman's friend was desperate to meet him, and Saltzman knew just how to do it. Make a puppet.

When Adam Lambert the singer took the stage, Adam Lambert the puppet, complete with top hat, makeup and rippling felt abs, was in the front row performing along.

Afterward, Puppet Adam Lambert made it back stage and was played with by Lambert's brother and signed by Lambert himself. Mission accomplished.

Saltzman is the founder of Kiwuppet Studios, currently being run out of his East Ballard garage. He has made more than 75 puppets and is working to expand and share his love of the art form with children and adults alike.

As an actor in the early 2000s, was a human actor alongside puppet costars in "Bear in the Big Blue House". Watching expert puppeteers every night rekindled a childhood love of puppets.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Ballard resident and puppeteer Mark Saltzman with some of his friends and coworkers at Kiwuppet Studios.

Partnership with FareStart

Twelfth Night Productions (TNP) is excited to celebrate our fifteenth year producing theater with How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. In addition to producing high quality, community theater and providing an artistic outlet for residents of the Puget Sound, each summer TNP has partnered with a local charitable non-profit organization. Donating a portion of the proceeds from each summer show, TNP has helped such organizations as the Delridge Neighborhood Development Association, the All City Band and the White Center Food Bank among others. This year we are proud to partner with FareStart, a culinary job training and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged individuals.

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Photo credit: 
Twelfth Night Productions

Residents of West Seattle's Admiral District (and the whole area) were treated to the first of many summer concerts at Hyawatha Park Thursday July 29.

The first band of the summer series was Seattle's "The Starlings". A fun mix of folk and country pop. The Starlings had the crowd of three to four hundred parents and children bopping and jumping to catchy upbeat melodies in the warm evening sun.

PCC provided tasty things to snack on from their mobile goody truck. For more on the summer series see our story with the complete schedule.

The Starlings are: Lead singer Joy Mills, Harmonica/guitarist Tom Parker, Drummer Aimee Zoe Tubbs, and Bassist Moe Provencher.

You can learn more about the band and hear their music at their site

See video
Photo credit: 
Greg McCorkle

The Starlings were the first band in the summer concert series at Hiawatha Playfield on Thursday, July 29. Joy Mills is the lead singer.

The Five Angels Benefit Concert, featuring performances by Ian McFeron, Kris Orlowski, Massy Ferguson and Big Sur, in support of the surviving victims of the fatal June 12 fire in Fremont will take place Aug. 10 at the Showbox SoDo.

The apartment fire, which was started by a foam mattress leaning against a light bulb, claimed five young lives. The victims of the fire were siblings Yaseen Shamam (5), Nisreen Shamam (6) and Joseph Gebregiorgis (13), as well as cousin Nyella Smith (7) and aunt Eyerusalem Gebregiorgis (22).

It was the most deadly fire in Seattle since 1971, according to a press release for the benefit concert.

The victims are remembered by family members who lost not only their loved ones, but also their home and most of their belongings, according to the press release.

To provide support to the family, a portion of the profits from the benefit concert will be provided to the surviving mothers to fund the family’s immediate needs with the remaining profits being placed in a college trust fund for the one surviving child of the family, Samarah Smith, according to the press release.

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Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Five Angels Benefit Concert

For Lori Ann Reinhall and Jim Nelson, Scandinavian culture is an integral part of who they are. Despite growing up thousands of miles away from each other, these grandchildren of Scandinavian immigrants share a love of that culture's music that reconnected them after a quarter of a century.

"It's sort of in our blood, so to speak," Reinhall said.

Growing up in Seattle, Reinhall heard Swedish spoken around the house and studied music, including the old Scandinavian-American cliche – the accordion.

Nelson grew up in Wisconsin. He learned to speak Norwegian at 6 and became a professional musician when he was 14.

When he was young, Nelson's father would take him to the river and teach him how to make willow flutes. He now plays more than a dozen folk instruments, and said it is in his nature to learn instruments and play music.

"The driving force for me has been the phrase, 'Know Thyself,'" Nelson said. "For me, it would be denying myself part of who I am [to not play music]."

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Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Lori Ann Reinhall and Jim Nelson, who perform Scandinavian folk and troubadour music as Duo Scandinavica, outside Scandinavian Specialties on 15th Avenue Northwest.

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