City Life

Sunday, December 04, 2016 This Week's Paper

American holiday classic lands ‘wonderfully’ from screen to stage

The usual trajectory of a work of fiction is that it enters the world as a book than then becomes a play, followed by a version taking to the silver screen.
Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” bucked that trend by jumping straight to movie theaters in 1946 from Philip Van Doren Stern’s short story “The Greatest Gift” and then to radio plays that were followed by stage versions. All versions retaining the signature characters of the iconic Bedford Falls centered on its family-run Bailey Brothers Savings and Loan as it fights off the takeover attempts by the town’s big wig, Mr. Potter.
Lakewood Playhouse's new screen-to-stage version, directed by Jen York, has all the must-watch charm of the movie version with a dash of extra holiday cheer that only live theater can bring to the dish. The staging, for example,… Read Full Story

“Miracle on 34th Street”

If you really believe, anything can happen! That's the motto of Tacoma Little Theater's production of “Miracle on 34th Street” directed by Maria Valenzuela and inspired by the 1947 movie.
Before the play begins, the cast is greets the audience with cheerful carols in the lobby as people gather to enjoy specialty drinks like “Santa's Milk” – just the right thing to get toasty with on a cold winter's evening.
The story is just in time for the holidays and brings the story of Kris Kringle, Macy's newest employee, filling in as Santa Claus after the first Santa is too drunk to perform at the annual Thanksgiving Day parade.
Kringle, who is convinced to be the real Santa and considered deluded, turns the New York… Read Full Story

TMP’s ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’ offers holiday spectacle

The Tacoma musical Playhouse's main stage holiday production, “Meet Me in St. Louis” is a charming choice, off the beaten path of the tried and true fare that generally appears in the local theaters at this time of year. Although not specifically a Christmas story, “Meet Me in St. Louis” does include a lengthy holiday segment and it is the source of the song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” which has been a standard ever since its debut in the 1944 movie.
The movie version of the musical, which starred Judy Garland as Esther Smith, was in turn based on a series of short stories by Sally Benson, who wrote about… Read Full Story

More News
Culture Corner, A Guide to Cultural Organizations
Published in the Tacoma Weekly

Events of the Week: A 19th Century Christmas 2016 Dec. 3, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fort Nisqually, 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma, WA 98407 Take a break from the bustle of the modern holiday and partake in the rich pleasures of an old-fashioned Christmas…

The Things We Like
Published in the Tacoma Weekly

IT'S ‘A MIRACLE’ Tacoma Little Theatre brings to life the classic story of “Miracle on 34th Street,” directed by Maria Valenzuela. It's the story of Kris Kringle, a retirement home resident who gets a job working as Santa for Macy's. He ends up in a court competency hearing, putting at stake…

“A Big Band Christmas” returns to TCC
By Ernest Jasmin

Rich Wetzel and his Groovin' Higher Orchestra have moved their Big Band Christmas show back to Tacoma Community College after last year's dinner show at the Temple Theatre. This year's event is slated for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at Tacoma Community College's Building 2 Auditorium. Over the last decade and…

Mark your calendars: Blake Shelton
Published in the Tacoma Weekly

Country superstar Blake Shelton will return to Tacoma in 2017. The singer – best known for NBC-TV's “The Voice” and hits that include “Hillybilly Bone,” “Boys Round Here” and “Ol Red” - will headline the Tacoma Dome, where he last performed in 2014, on Feb. 25. The show – billed…

Published in the Tacoma Weekly

Friday, Dec. 2 CULTURA: “Azul Fridays” with DJ Mauro (DJ) 10 p.m., $5-$10 G. DONNALSON'S: Little Bill Engelhart and Rod Cook (blues, jazz) 7:30 p.m., NC, AA JAZZBONES: Norm, Baba B. and Unified Culture (reggae) 7 p.m., $10-$15 KEYS ON MAIN: Dueling pianos, 9 p.m., NC LOUIE G'S: U253 (U2 tribute)…

Dance Theatre Northwest features artists in ‘Nutcracker’
Published in the Tacoma Weekly

Dance Theatre Northwest’s “The Nutcracker” was designed to offer a warm and inviting community feeling and generous holiday spirit. The company wanted it to be both an excellent first-time dance experience and also one that is different and fresh each year with lots of dynamic dance. The intention…

Culture Corner, A Guide to Cultural Organizations
Published in the Tacoma Weekly

Museum of the Week: Washington State History Museum 1911 Pacific Ave. Tacoma, WA 98402 Tue. through Sun. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This week at WSHM Nov. 29, noon Washington's Wolves Join Diane Gallegos and Linda Saunders of Wolf Haven International as they discuss the importance…

‘Singing Christmas Tree’ returns with seasonal extravaganza
By Carolin Jones

Tacoma Life Center's “Singing Christmas Tree” returns for the 54th time this year, with a new story called “The Christmas Key” to warm hearts and lift spirits. “It's a light-hearted and whimsical play,” says lead Pastor Dean Curry. In a “Singing Christmas Tree” production, church choirs…

Mark your calendars: Point-counterpoint tours?
Published in the Tacoma Weekly

Two shows heading to Tacoma early next year may unintentionally highlight this country's political divide: Left-leaning comedian Lewis Black will return to Broadway Center's Pantages Theatre on March 18, followed by Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly who will be at the Tacoma Dome with comedian Dennis…

Brilliant designs
By Dave R. Davison

One of the more challenging feats of painters, draftsmen and printmakers is the pictorial representation of textiles. Fabrics, covered with geometrical, floral or other complex patterns, present the artist with difficulty – especially when that busy pattern is further complicated by its being wrapped…