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Issaquah, Washington
May 6, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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May 6, 2009

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nllLImBNUl!3lllllJ _ _ ' ' IINmillUlXlIBiNNNBNll B4 EDNESDA MAY 6, 2009 THE ISSAQUAH PRESS TO SUBMrr AN ARTS CALENDAR rI1EM: Call 392-6434, ext. 237, or newsclerk@iss- press.com. Submit A&E story Ideas to isspress@isspress.com. 8 M AY Impressionist palmer Robert Blebert offers "Floral Essence Portraits" from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. May 8 and from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. May 9 at Revolution Gallery, 317 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Suite 26. For more information about BleherL, go to www.robertblehert.com and www.flowersofyou.com. To schedule an appointment, call 392-4982. Sldrl Zorn performs from 7-10 p.m. at Grimaldi's. Primo KIm performs from 7:45-10 p.m. at Bake's Place. Tickets are $59.50 for dinner and the show or $27 for the show only. NewAl Ramence performs from 8-11 p.m. at Vine Bella. Local band Reaching the Horizon performs from 7-10 p.m. at Gdmaldi's. Master Chores F.estslde pres- em Jesep. Haydn's mas- terful oratndo =11m CraM:Ion" at 7:30 p.m. at the Eastlake Performing Arts Center, Eastlake High School, 400 228th Ave. N.F_, Sammamish. Tickets are $9 - $18. Call 392-8446. Pearl DJange performs from 7:45-10 p.m. at Bake's Place. Tickets are $59.50 for dinner and the show or $27 for the show only. Darren Motemndy performs from 8-11 p.m. at Pogacha. Chris Stevens and the Surf Monkeys per- form from 7:30-11:30 p.m. at Vino Bella. Arts Club presents "Jesus ' Chdst Superstar" at 7:30 p.m. from May 12-16 and 2 p.m. May 16.Tickets are $8 for stu- dents and senior citizens, and $10 for general admission. Call 837-7907. BY" DAVID HAYES Madelyn Lamen (top) reads her review of 'Schultz and Peanuts: A Biography' as another Belle Arts Book Club member looks at the final 'Peanuts' strip that ran in The Seattle Times. Book ,;lub enjoying good reads since '63 BY DAVID HAYES n 1963, some members from the Church Women's Organization were looking to form a club to get better acquainted. Discarded were dinner clubs and bowling teams. They instead went with Mary Wells' idea of a book club. Thus, the Belle Arts Book Club was born. "It never crossed my mind that it could survive this long," said Wells, 85, a resident of Bellevue since 1962. "I think it's the fact that we all enjoy good literature and most of us belong to the same church." The group has kept its membership at a constant 24, as most homes can't ac- commodate larger numbers, she said. About one-third of the membership, open to Eastside residents, hail from Issaquah. At 49, Connie Stromberg is one of the oungest members. She said what's kept er in the club after 10 years are lively discussions about a variety of topics. "At one point, we had a discussion on capital punishment," recalled Stromberg, a past president. "We had a member whose brother was a governor of a state. Her conversations with him with his years of experience dealing with death penalty cases added so much to our discussion that it enriched the whole evening." The group's president meets once a year with the program chairman and secretary and they set a theme. Stromberg said themes have included the abstract, such as "My favorite..." or "the lake, and have touched most genres from biographies to fiction. Members take turns reading a book, and then writ- ing or sharing a review for the full group. "What I enjoy is there is never any pressure to read the book being re- viewed, except once a year when we have an all-read," Stromberg said. She boasts that the group has been ahead of the curve when it came to rec- ommended reading. Wells once re- viewed a Readers Digest condensed book, long before it was published or made into a groundbreaking miniseries -- Alex Haiey's "Roots." New members are usually recruited into the club via personal invitation. Stromberg was invited to join by her close friend, Madelyn Larsen. At 77, Larsen's been a member of the club the third longest. At the club's most recent meeting, Larsen reviewed "Schultz and Peanuts: A Biography" about the renowned creator of the long-running comic strip. She'd been ready to review it since October, but had to wait after her turn was de- layed by the winter storms until spring. "Everybody seemed to love the presen- tation, said Larsen, a resident of Sam- mamish since 1967. "They were sharing and talking about how similar his expe- riences were to their own growing up." Larsen made the proceedings more challenging by awarding prizes for an- swering trivia questions. Stromberg said the extras that the club does go a long way to keeping members interested in remaining. "We always have a big culturalevent each year, whether it's going to the 5th Avenue Theatre, the opera or for a ride on the dinner train," she said. "This year, we're going as a group to Village Theatre s 'Show Boat.'" Many of the members boast of owning an impressive collection of books. Wells said because she reads all the time, she usually has one in her bedroom, bath- room, den and kitchen. "In the past years, since I'm 85 now, I've told my kids that as far as gifts are concerned, ff I can't wear it, eat it or read it, I don't need it. So, I get lots of books as gifts," she said. And a book is the gift that keeps on giving with the members of her club. Reach Reporter David Hayes at 392-6434, ext. 237, or dhayes@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com. L,3cally owned TOr 39 years! - Factory Trained - Certified Master Elite - Giving you the best warranties in the business! (425) 888-2343 www.centuryroofing.biz 1-800-943-8730 I I I 'Show Boat' director makes main stage debut BY DAVID HAYES irst thing's first -- Jerry Dixon, di- rector ofWfilage Theatre's "Show Boat," is not currently, nor has ever been, the bass guitarist for 1990s hair metal band Warrant. Dixon said the two have been mis- taken enough times in correspondence that he had to put a disclaimer at the top of his Web page. , We get each other s e-mail all the time. I've even had to return some very large royalty checks to him," Dixon said. He said it's funny until he has to clear up the mistaken identities with the Inter- nal Revenue Service. Besides appearances, the other obvi- ous difference between the two is heavy metal Dixon has p}obably never been to Issaquah, while theater Dixon has. He directed a Village Theatre original production of "Barnstormer." And he had such a fabulous time working on a play at its inception stage that he jumped at the chance to travel across country from New York City to work here again on "Show Boat." Youget what a great facility this is in layers, Dixon said. "First, it's 'What's a theater doing in a little town like this?' Then, ,you go inside and say, 'Wow, nice lobby. And when you finally open the doors to the theater, it s so impressive you're speechless." A former fuUtime theater actor, Dixon slowly transitioned to directing 10 years ago to where he directs 80 percent of his time and acts 20 percent of it. His cred- its include "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Tick, tick... Boom!" and most recently "Next to Normal." It was after this production that Dixon was recruited by Wfilage The- atre alum Brian Yorkey. Next thing he knew, executive producer Robb Hunt hired him. "This will be the biggest show I've ever directed," Dixon said of "Show- boat's" 28-member cast. "A fellow direc- tor asked why I'd ever want to direct such an over-the-top production. "While it is big in scope, you don't get that in but a few scenes. Mostly, it's full of small, intimate scenes." Dixon admitted he had a tough time in IFYOU GO 'Show Boat' May 13 - July 3 Francis J. Gaudette Theatre 303 Front St. N. Tickets are $22-$58. 392-2202 or www.vi//agetheatre.org the casting process, saying with a pro- duction that had been on Broadway and the silver screen, there are many precon- ceived notions for each character. In the end, he brought in Village Theatre alums Megan Chenovick ("Bye, Bye Birdie" and Oklahoma! ) as Magnolia Hawks and Greg McCormick Allen ("Beauty and the Beast") as Frank Schultz. Dixon, however, turned to his old friend Richard Todd Adams, from New York, who had experience portraying Gaylord Ravenal. "It's exciting for the audience to see their favorites, people they know mixed with new faces," Dixon said. Audiences should also be excited by the set pieces, which includes a section of a full-sized, 6,000-pound riverboat. "This requires actors to adhere to an old school style of acting," he said. "With something that size on stage, it's easy to get lost. It requires acting that bursts out of the set." Dixon adds that while the story is set in the 1800s, its message is timeless -- Magnolia, who believes in love at first sight, learns the harsh reality of life too late as her man has left her a single mom. "Sound familiar?" Dixon asked. Audiences should recognize some old favorites from the production, including the classics "Ol' Man River," "Bill" and "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man." Just don't expect Dixon to break out any classics from Warrant. Dixon will leave those to the one with the long hair. "Reach Reporter DavidHayes at 392-6434, ext. 237, or dhayes@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress, com. BY DAVID HAYES 'Show Boat' Director Jerry Dixon is all smiles in from the balcony of Village Theatre, as the river boat set is constructed on the main stage last week. \\; CENTURY ROOFING FINANCE PROGRAM