Ballard resident Michael Wallenfels was providing a soundtrack for passersby Feb. 20 at Ballard Commons Park during of a stretch of very un-February-like weather.
Wallenfels said he started street performing because he could use the money but also for the music.
"I love playing," he said. "I love singing. You play by yourself, and you wonder if it's any good."
Playing in public is fun and allows for audience feedback, he said.
Wallenfels said he originally picked out his spot on the southeast corner of the park because he was new to street performing and too nervous to set up closer to downtown Ballard.
He said the spot has foot traffic from the Ballard Library and the park, but there is enough space that people have the choice to walk by without engaging him.
He said he has tried performing on Market Street, but found traffic was too loud.
Wallenfels, who has been playing music for about six years, performs covers and originals on his acoustic guitar and harmonica.
John Prine, Bob Dylan and instrumental blues are usually crowd pleasers, he said. And, children really seem to like the harmonica, he said.
Workers are transforming the former Crown Hill School play courts at the Crown Hill Center into the new 5,000 square foot Gilbert & Sullivan Society set-building and dance/rehearsal space – a $250,000 project.
The Gilbert & Sullivan Society was founded in 1954 and is one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Seattle. It is relocating from 522 Dexter Ave. N. to the Crown Hill Center, located at 9250 14th Ave. N.W.
The society will next present "La Perichole" Feb. 19 through Feb. 21 at Town Hall.
Every Feb. 28, Finns and Fennophiles everywhere honor the Finnish national epic, "Kalevala (Land of the Heroes)," compiled by Elias Lönnrot and published more than a century and a half ago.
There is particular excitement surrounding this year’s local celebration, for it marks the second musical adaptation from that source by Seattle writer Nick DiMartino.
His popular "Sampo (The Magic Mill)" was the highlight of the national FinnFest held on the University of Washington Campus in 1999.
DiMartino’s new work, "Troublemaker’s Mother," is derived from the story of “wanton lover boy” Lemminkäinen and his adoring and long-suffering mother.
This adaptation retains the classic elements of tragedy – pride, passion, betrayal, violence and death – while mining the humor beneath the somber surface.
In bringing this work to the stage, DiMartino is joined by composer Kim Douglass, director Lori Larsen and a cast of talented performers, including some returning from the "Sampo" production.
Beane is an eccentric, isolated man whose world we learn—thanks to a nifty flourish by set designer Dan Schuy—is closing in on him. He response is pragmatic: he shrinks his life to fit his worldview. Beane tosses overboard anything that brings with it the entanglements of ambiguity and by the time ArtsWest’s production of “Love Song” opens on his Spartan little apartment we find that he has been remarkably thorough.
“I think objects are deceptive,” says Beane. “I don’t want to have a fork if it’s going to lie to me.”
Then Beane gets hit by something that is hard to throw aside: He falls in love. A pretty thief named Molly breaks into his apartment and is so offended by the slim pickings that she sticks around to have it out with him. By the time she walks out, she’s taken with her more than Beane’s three pair of tube socks.
With “Love Song” playwright John Kolvenbach explores the heart’s seismic effect on the tidy walls we build around our lives.
Ballard High School junior James Vitz-Wong and senior C.J. Eldred were accepted into the All-State orchestra and symphonic choir for a four-day music camp hosted by the Washington Music Educators Association.
The Washington Music Educators Association received more than 2,500 applications for this year's event, which runs from Feb. 12 to Feb. 15.
Vitz-Wong was accepted as a standing bass player, and Eldred was accepted as a vocalist.
Vitz-Wong said it was very exciting to get into All-State, especially because it took his first-ever recorded audition to do so.
He said he hopes to use the opportunity to meet new friends and spend time with a lot of talented student musicians.
During the All-State event in Yakima, students will rehearse and perform under world-renowned conductors.
According to the Washington Music Educators Association, many professional musicians, such as Kenny G, credit their experience at All-State with their decision to pursue a career in music.
Slightly more than three months ago, a fire started at the Green Bean Coffee House burned down the Eleanor Roosevelt Building and damaged the neighboring Taproot Theatre.
Audiences will be returning to the theater at 204 N. 85th St. for the first time since the arson that necessitated its gutting when Taproot previews C.S. Lewis' "The Great Divorce" Jan. 27.
"It's pretty darn extraordinary," said Scott Nolte, Taproot Theatre's producing artistic director. "We're going to do a show, and it's near miraculous."
Nolte said 99.9 percent of the public areas of Taproot are complete.
The box office and concessions areas were remodeled and rearranged. Workers were pulling plastic off the theater's seats and wiping them down hours before audiences would be arriving.
The first goal was to get the theater ready to go, Nolte said. Taproot's basement still needs a lot of work and remains unused except for the dressing rooms, he said.
During the three months the Taproot Theatre building was unusable, it put on a Christmas show at North Seattle Community College and its other operations, such as the touring Road Company, continued with little disruption seen by the public.