The Daily Mash-Up

Tuesday, September 01, 2015 This Week's Paper

LollaPLUza will return to Pacific Lutheran University this weekend. The free, all-ages local music showcase - which is put on by Associated Students of Pacific Lutheran University - will bring the Fame Riot, Dude York, Sol, J-Sherri, Lemolo, Homeless Man, Asia B. Wolfe and the Bad Gurls, PLUtonic and Ruthie Kovanen to the campus, which is located at 12180 Park Ave. S.

Music will run from 1:30 to 7 p.m., and a more detailed schedule is available on the event site here.

The trenches of World War I have long grown over with grass or been filled with earth carried in place by a century of erosion of their makeshift walls. But their legacy remains in the sparks of radical nationalism around Europe.

The horrific “war to end all wars” did not hold to its naive promise to make conflict obsolete. The millions of deaths were in vain. Soldiers knew that then, but they went “over the top” of the trenches to their certain death anyway. It was their duty, so they did it.

Centerstage is premiering “For All That” - written by Artistic Director Alan Bryce and directed by Eleanor Rhode – which tells their story with a hauntingly beautiful score and masterfully simple staging.

Every name on the playbill, from the actors to the starkly used light by designer (Christina Barrigan) to the stage designer (Craig Wollam) to the costumer (Janessa Styck) to the choreographer (Amy Johnson) gave their full measure to craft the original play.

The play follows the lives of a group of friends on Scotland’s Isle of Lewis just as war dawns to call the Seaforth Highlanders to the service of “king and country.”

One Highlander, Donald (played by Cooper Harris-Turner) even leaves as night falls on his wedding night to Mairi (Katherine Jett). Only his brother – Andrew, played by Joshua Williamson - remains behind as a conscientious objector, making him a social pariah in the farming village void of young men.

The duty-bound men are quickly trained about trench warfare, with focuses on hand-to-hand combat and how to twist a bayonet to free it from the chest of its victim. The drill sergeant breaks them down to then piece them back together to become efficiently patriotic death machines. The newly minted soldiers itch for a fight.

Then battle comes at the Somme, France in 1916. Soldiers are called to leap from their trenches only to fall before machine gun fire. England lost 60,000 soldiers in a single day. The battle lasted more than four months. More than a million lives were lost. Some 70,000 simply vanished from the Earth, nothing of their bodies remained during the weeks upon weeks of shelling.

If a soldier’s body remained intact, their minds did not, giving the world the term “shell shock.” Malcolm (Randall Scott Carpenter) is one Highlander so afflicted and pays for his “ailment” with his life at the trigger fingers of a firing squad after he refuses to go “over the top” one more time after having to kill a German soldier face to face during a trench fight.

The war ends and no man return, leaving their wives and family to rebuild their shattered lives and find meaning in the meaninglessness of battle. Each story, from blissfulness of farm life to the challenges of training to the fear caused by battle to the jubilation of marking survival with a visit to Paris to the sole death of a mortally wounded soldier to the personal pilgrimage a war widow in search of purpose she hopes to find at her husband’s unmarked grave hits its make courtesy of an amazing collection of period-inspired songs. The music (by John Forster and Joshua Zimmerman) covers the spectrum of emotions borne from war.

“For All That” is part musical love story, part war diary and part historical tome. It’s as if “All’s Quiet on the Western Front” and “Cabaret” had a gothic love child. It’s dark. It’s beautiful. It’s gut turning. It’s spellbinding. It’s simple. It’s ponderous. It’s complex. It raises unanswerable questions while brilliantly avoiding to provide conclusions. Audiences are simply churched through the emotional meat grinder and left to their own thoughts as the curtain falls.

This is a must-see show if such an absolute statement exists.

“For All That,” by Alan Bryce and John Forster, runs at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. on Sundays through May 24. Special Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. are set for May 16 and May 23 at Centerstage Theatre, at Dumas Bay Center, 3200 SW Dash Point Road in Federal Way. Each show has an author talk one hour before opening, which is well worth the early arrival. Tickets at $10 for children, $25 for military and students and $30 for general admission. Call (253) 661-1444 or visit centerstagetheatre.com for more information or for tickets.

City, Port release Annual Reports

The City of Tacoma and the Port of Tacoma have released their separate “Year In Review” Annual Reports.

The city's report highlights the major achievements of the year concerning budgets, public works, neighborhood improvements and business growth.

"We took steps to initiate a strategic vision that will serve as a roadmap for Tacoma’s growth over the next decade. Civic engagement played a pivotal role in this process and helped guide City Council and staff’s efforts in determining how we effectively and efficiently deliver services to our residents," City Manager TC Broadnax said in the report.

The report is posted at cityoftacoma.org/yearinreview.

The Port of Tacoma's report touches on the major developments of the year, including the port’s investments, new businesses and community service. The Port of Tacoma’s 2014 Annual Report is online.

Little Theatre, Playhouse temporarily swap directors

For the first time in both of their histories, the South Sound’s two oldest theatre companies are exchanging their managing artistic directors, for the closing shows of their respective Seasons.

Lakewood Playhouse’s Managing Artistic Director John Munn, will be directing Tacoma Little Theatre’s Musical "Cabaret," while Tacoma Little Theatre’s Managing Artistic Director Chris Serface will be directing Lakewood Playhouse’s Musical "Drood: the Mstery of Edwin Drood."

Both shows open this month.

“We want to show everyone that we are truly a ‘community of theatres’ in the South Sound,” Munn said, “Over the years, there has always been the perception that all of the local theatres are competing with one another and that simply is not the case. I grew up at Tacoma Little Theatre and discovered Lakewood Playhouse soon after. I have been proud to be a director at TLT for two decades and to have worked under the supervision of five managing artistic directors and I can honestly say that working with Chris as my “M.A.D.” on Cabaret, and feeling the wonderful positive energy that he and his staff have brought to the theatre, that Tacoma Little Theatre truly feels like home again.”

“Having John come to TLT has been a great experience,” Serface stated, “We both believe strongly that theatre begets theatre, and that by switching places, we are giving new cast, crew, and audience members to work and see different individuals.”

In addition to their own theatres, Munn and Serface have been teaming up quite a bit with Tacoma Musical Playhouse founder Douglas Rake over the last year. They, for example, resurrected Free Theatre Nights last October and were able to showcase each of their upcoming seasons. It was a huge hit and they hope to repeat it again this year. They also offered a Free Ticket to the Season Ticket Holders of each of the other theatres in the hopes that they would be able to experience the rich tapestry of shows being woven by the three theatres.

“We all have such a strong love of our community and a great respect for what each theatre create,” Serface said. “We feel honored to have the support of our community, and our peers. There’s a long history of theatre in Tacoma, and one that we should all be proud of.”

Walk Tacoma Waterfront Walk this Wednesday

Enjoy a free, guided walk along Tacoma’s Waterfront on Wednesday, May 6, from noon – 1 p.m.

The Walk Tacoma Waterfront Walk, sponsored by Commencement Bank, is a 1.7-mile lunchtime walk, led by Joseph Govednik, Curator of Collections with the Foss Waterway Seaport and Carola Filmer, Community Relations Manager with the Port of Tacoma.

The walk will highlight the history and current development of Tacoma’s waterfront and port, and starts at Fireman’s Park at South Ninth and A Street. Participants will experience great views from Fireman’s Park and the Murray Morgan Bridge, walk along the waterfront, and have a sneak peek of the Foss Waterway Seaport Museum before it opens on May 17. There is no need to pre-register for the event, simply join Downtown On the Go at the start.

Walk Tacoma 2015, sponsored by CHI Franciscan Health, is a nine event walking series held on first and third Wednesdays, from April through August. The fun, themed walks, now in their sixth year, encourage people to enjoy downtown on foot by introducing new walking routes, and sharing information about the community and its history through the guided tours. The walks are scheduled at the lunch hour and just after work to encourage downtown employees to walk during their workday, whether it is to and from work or at a lunch break.

University Dental Tacoma Arts Month
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