Monthly Archives: June 2010

Superlatives not enough for Cirque du Soleil’s KOOZA!

This morning I am still in awe of the incredible show we saw last night in the big tent (called the Grand Chapiteau) at Marymoor Park featuring Cirque du Soleil’s KOOZA!  The entire production was fun and riveting and just a little scary.
To share just a bit, we saw clowns who were actually very funny, tightrope walkers who brought a pit in the stomach to watch, a beautiful, 17 year old trapeze artist, unbelievable contortionists (how did they put their bodies into those shapes!?), amazing acrobats being flung into the air by a giant Teeterboard with double and single metal stilts strapped to their legs and two thrilling “devils” who did a death-defying act in the “Wheel of Death”, which has never before been presented by Cirque du Soleil under the big top.  The Wheel of Death act was my personal favorite!
The 175 costumes and 160 hats were another feast for the eyes attraction.  In the literature, it boasts that “each coat takes 60 hours to make and each hat involves 30 hours of painstaking work.”  One of the most realistic was a coat of 150 fake fur rats with crystal eyes that caught the light.   The rats were fitted with little wheels that made them seem even more alive when they disassembled themselves from the coat and ran across the stage towards the audience.  Eek!
Our family group included Michael & Alicia Hatch and their 3-year-old son JacksonJustin & Amy Badger and their 7 and 8-year-old daughter and son, Catarina and Stephen, and Katie & Kevin Laramore.  We were all in agreement that it was a spectacular and memorable experience.  See photo above of part of our happy group on the way into the performance.
If you are interested in attending (which I think you should be!), ZINO Society has a 15% discount available for members and friends if you will click on the following link:
Please let me know if you enjoy it as much as we did!
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Stewart Kershaw and PNB – The End of an Era

Last weekend I attended the final PNB performance of the season featuring Stewart Kershaw conducting the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra for the last time.  Stewart was the visionary that 25 years ago built the PNB Orchestra, that has recently been referred to in the New York Times as “possibly the best ballet orchestra in the country”.  He has conducted The Nutcracker so many times that he has totally memorized the entire musical score.  Though gone from PNB, he will still have a chance to interact with the musicians, because he will continue to serve as the Music Director for the Auburn Symphony, and most of those musicians are also members of the PNB Orchestra.  See photos of Stewart and Peter Boal, PNB Artistic Director, above at the post performance reception.

In addition to saying farewell to Stewart, we also said goodbye to ballet dancers, Jordan Pacitti and Mara VinsonJordan is retiring to pursue his fragrance business, but I know I will certainly miss seeing him onstage.  He danced beautifully last week in his final performance of Red Angels and in a fun encore romp featuring a rug!?  He received a standing ovation.  Mara was also exquisite dancing the role of Swanhilda in the final act of Coppelia and she will be missed too!

What a Night!

What an incredible party last night at the 30th Anniversary Fifth Avenue Theatre Gala! Even my husband, Ken the curmudgeon, unexpectedly enjoyed the festivities. Fifth Avenue Theatre board member and event chair, Bonnie Towne, was thrilled with the outcome of over $400,000 raised last night, $148,000 from the “raise the paddle” portion alone. See photos of Bonnie above being celebrated by the audience and onstage with recently retired Managing Director, Marilynn Sheldon and David Armstrong, Executive Producer.
The evening was organized into three Acts. The First Act included a cocktail reception and silent auctions in the lobby and onstage. Following a light buffet dinner, the Second Act was a fifteen item live auction that was the most enjoyable auction Ken and I can recall attending ever. Every other item or so included a musical production and the auction portion was ably handled by celebrity reader, Sharon Friel, and auctioneer, Brad Goode. The big bidders of the evening were Jim Towne, who kept the bidding lively and Cathy Boshaw and Rick & Kandi Holley. The Third Act following the auction included champagne and dessert onstage to celebrate the successful conclusion of the fundraising.
Kenny & Marleen Alhadeff, were thrilled to share the Tony award they recently received for their support in producing the musical hit, Memphis, with the enthusiastic audience. See third photo above. And a fitting finale to the program was the surprise singing performance of their hugely talented daughter, Andrea Alhadeff.

Happy 50th Birthday Harbor Club!

Last night Ken and I attended the Golden Jubilee for the Harbor Club.  From the renovated bowsprit maiden in the entry, to the vast impressive seafood hors d’oeuvres bar, to the Parade of Past Presidents, it was an evening to remember!  Our table was hosted by ZINO Society and the Payne Group and in addition to Patti Payne, Ken and me, included friends, Patty & Jimmy Barrier, Susan & Gary Neumann, Bob Cremin and Angie & Phil Lepley.  See photos above of each.
Harbor Club CEO, Tom Goodenow, in greeting a sell-out crowd, thanked his dedicated staff members and shared memories of the past along with Lang Simons, one of the original founding members, while Patti Payne emceed the entire evening and kept the schedule running smoothly.  A highlight was the 50th Anniversary video produced by RJ McHatton which included historical footage as well as interviews with current members and staff.
Following a theme dinner with delicious menu items (maybe the aspic was an exception) recreated from the 60’s, our parting gifts included a private label Harbor Club bottle of wine and a sparkling crystal paperweight recognizing the Golden Jubilee.  Happy Birthday, Harbor Club!  Happy 50th!      

Wine, wine everywhere!

I was so impressed with the Seattle Wine Awards which occurred last Sunday at the Rainier ClubRainier Club Director of Wine and Spirits and Executive Director of the Seattle Wine Awards, Christopher Chan, organized another amazing wine event featuring 100 wineries with numerous awards presented.  See photos of Christopher above and a few of the people enjoying the event.  I saw several ZINO Society members there as well enjoying the afternoon of rubbing shoulders with the winemakers and vintners while sipping excellent Washington wines. 
I personally visited around 50 of the winery tables and though I limited myself to one sip at each table, it still became a blur by the time I had to leave in order to attend the Encore performance of Pacific Northwest Ballet
Congratulations to all the wineries who received awards!

Banshee Bungee stretched our minds!

One of the entrepreneurs who presented at the ZINO Society Roundtable Investment meeting this week was Kevin Veon, CEO of Banshee Bungee.  Banshee Bungee has developed a braided bungee that is used for horizontal sports to launch skateboarders, snowboarders and surfers at a 30 mile per hour speed.  See photo of Kevin and me above… Continue Reading

Stop! In the name of love . . .

Yesterday, I was invited to a small private luncheon in the Blue Lounge at the Experience Music Project to meet Mary Wilson of The Supremes. I ran into friend and ZINO Society member, John Otter, in the parking lot on the way into EMP and we made our way to the elevator leading to the… Continue Reading

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A Rover’s Wine Taste-Off – France vs. Italy

On Tuesday night Rover’s hosted a ZINO Society Master of Wine Tuesday featuring a wine taste-off “France vs. Italy”.  Sixteen ZINO Society members and guests were treated to an exquisite tasting menu inspired by the up and coming World Soccer Championship.  Scot, the restaurant manager and in-house wine expert, told us he was pitting two… Continue Reading