Friday, June 25, 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!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

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.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

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!      

Thursday, June 17, 2010

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 BungeeBanshee 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 holding the Banshee Bungee.  The Roundtable members and guests were fascinated with his presentation and enthralled with the video he shared which you can see on their website.  Would you try this? 

Ladies on the Links to Benefit The First Tee

Earlier this week, I played in The First Tee Ladies on the Links golf tournament fundraiser at Broadmoor. What a great cause that gives kids that might not otherwise have the opportunity, a chance to learn to play the game of golf! The mission is “To impact the lives of young people in the greater Seattle area by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.”
Deborah Juarez once again chaired the event for the 8th year in a row and it was a fun tournament with prizes and gifts on every hole including fragrant fresh gardenias courtesy of Martha Harris, who also played in the tournament, followed by lunch and a silent and live auction.
My foursome included Dana Reid, Kim Cleworth, and our First Tee player, Kelsey, who graduates from Rainier High School this week and has a golf scholarship to Spokane Community College in the fall. See photo above of our foursome. Though the rules required that we count two drives for each of the players, I was lucky that Dana, Kim and Kelsey were all superior golfers with very long drives and we finished the nine hole scramble one under par. Though my putting has been abysmal so far this season, I did have the opportunity to sink a couple of medium long putts. Hooray!
Other friends I saw who were also participating in the tournament were Kay Baxter, Annette Parks, and Mari Schrempf.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

ZINO Green Fund Winner - Virticus!

Last night at the ZINO Society Roundtable meeting, Joe Herbst of Virticus, was on hand to accept a giant check as the $50,000 fund winner for ZINO Green 2010!  Congratulations, Joe!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

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 Blue Lounge. As we stepped off the elevator, we were greeted by Tina Orr-Cahall, CEO of EMP, Jasen Emmons , EMP Curator, Patty Isaacson Sabee, EMP Deputy Director and the lady of the hour herself, Mary Wilson. Other guests who joined us and also attended the small luncheon were Ann & Rick Yoder, owners of the fantastic Wild Ginger, Lorna Kneeland, Executive Director of PONCHO and Tom Rasmussen of the Seattle City Council. See photos above of John, Lorna, Tom and me each pictured with Mary Wilson. Also pictured in the bottom photo are John, Lorna, Ann & Rick with Mary as she shows us the exhibit.
Mary was a delight to be with; so warm and friendly and interested in other’s stories as well as sharing her own. She is in town for the installation of her exhibition Reflections: The Mary Wilson Supreme Legacy Collection featuring many of the distinctive gowns originally worn by The Supremes. The vestiges of their allure are evidenced here in Mary Wilson's stunning collection of gowns. Reflections: The Mary Wilson Supreme Legacy Collection features more than 50 Supremes costumes and rare memorabilia. The collection includes the first gowns purchased by Mary, Diana Ross and Florence Ballard when they were still known as the Primettes; a set of black velvet Bob Mackie gowns worn on the GIT on Broadway television special in 1969; outfits worn on the Supremes' television specials and featured on album covers; and those from their 1977 Farewell Performance.

After an excellent buffet lunch paired with a local rose wine and advise and consultation from the women on where Mary should shop in the next couple of days while in Seattle, Mary took us on a tour of her stunning gown collection. Mary is so animated and friendly, that in no time, we were being followed by dozens of fans, all of whom were clamoring for photos with Mary which she graciously agreed to pose for with each. Mary showed us that several of the gowns weighed more than 35 pounds

because they were so embellished with bugle beads and there was even a maternity gown that she had worn when she was pregnant and performing.
Following the tour, John and I stopped in the EMP gift shop and I purchased Mary’s book entitled “Dreamgirl & Supreme Faith: My Life As a Supreme” which I look forward to reading! It was a very special day with a generous and very special lady that I am so glad that I had the opportunity to meet!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

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 ChampionshipScot, the restaurant manager and in-house wine expert, told us he was pitting two great countries of exquisite wines to compare and contrast.  A-sort-of-parallel, of who will take world wine domination. Both countries pride themselves on the essentials of life, food, shelter, drink and of course Football!  Only one could reign supreme…Would it be France or Italy?
See photos of members and guests above.
Top photo:  Dan Rosen, Jacqueline Witter, Bob Toomey
2nd photo:  Ellen Bierman, Mary Holmes, Donna Dornes, Lauren Bennett
3rd photo:  Cathi Hatch with Chef de Cuisine, Adam Hoffman, Dave Schulz
4th photo:  Phil Mann, Ellen Bierman, Gary Myles (fuzzy photo but amazing that all three are patent attorneys and none knew the others would be at the tasting!)
Not everyone agreed on which was the best wine of each course so I will just share my picks.  See the menu below including my favorite wine of each course in green.  So, according to my palate, France won by only one point!

Cremant de Bourgogne, Louis Bouillot, Brute Rose, NV Burgundy FR vs.
Banfi, Rosa Regale, 2009, Piemonte IT
Amuse Bouche

Le G de Chateau Guiraud, 2008, Bordeaux FR vs.
Pinot Grigio, Muri-Gries, 2008, Alto Adige, IT
Chilled Washington Asparagus Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese Caillé
Alaskan Spot Prawn with Arugula Pesto, Almond and Smoked Orange Foam 

Gevrey-Chambertin, Lucie et Auguste Lingnier, Les Seunrees, 1er Cru, 2004, Burgundy FR vs.
Barbaresco, La Ca Nova, Bric Mention, 2004, Piemonte IT
Oregon Quail with Black Pepper Onion Puree, Flageolet Bean and Poultry Jus

Moulis, Chateau Branas, Grand Poujeaux, 2005, Bordeaux FR vs.
Tenuta di Arceno, Arcanum3, 2003, Toscana IT
Wagyu Beef Tri-Tip with Pommes Lyonnaise, Caramelized Onion and Peppercorn Demi

Muscat-de-Beaumes-Venise, Domaine Bernardins, 2007, Rhone Valley FR vs.
Moscato d’Asti, La Spinetta, Biancospino, 2009, Piemonte IT
Symphony of Desserts
Thierry Rautureau, Chef in the Hat, and ZINO Society sponsor joined us at the end of the evening and talked about his new restaurant, LUC, which opened recently just at the corner of the block where Rover’s is located.  All in all, it was a spectacular evening of great food, wine and conversation!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Play Me a Tune, Mr. Piano Man

On Sunday, Ken and I were treated to a small afternoon Seattle Symphony Orchestra “Conversation, Cocktails and Repartee” reception at Barney Ebsworth’s beautiful home on Hunt’s Point to meet composer, Marvin HamlischSSO Board Chairman, Leslie Chihuly greeted us and we were so pleased to see our old friends, SSO Maestro Jerry Schwarz and his wife, Jody.  Also attending were friends, Jane and Dave Davis, Janet Ketcham and our soon-to-be neighbors, David Hovind and Shelley Kuni.
After spending a little time talking with many of the guests and co-hostess, Judith Fong, and viewing Barney’s incredible art collection, we were invited to join Marvin around the grand piano.  He told some funny stories including one about trying to see if he could get teenagers interested in listening to his pops style music.  He spoke to them in his dressing room prior to a concert and told them that they were welcome to join him backstage after the concert if they liked it.  He assumed that there might be no takers, but was pleasantly surprised when all 40 teenagers were there to see him after the concert.  He was thrilled that the difference between the responses he received from his regular concert-goers who would say “God bless you!”  and the teens who told him his concert was “Awesome!!”
He then played several of his well-known compositions on the piano including a medley from “A Chorus Line” and not surprisingly, the music was upbeat and toe-tapping and it was fantastic to watch his fingers fly across the keyboard.  What an amazing talent he is!  Jerry later told me that he has earned more honors and awards than any other composer in history with the possible exception of Leonard Bernstein.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Three Under Par!

Yesterday, Patty & Jimmy Barrier and Ken and I traveled to Suncadia for the Tangerine Travel Annual Golf Tournament.  It was a spectacular, sunny day with blue sky (for a change!) and we had the opportunity to play the beautiful Tumble Creek course.  Angie Lepley, owner of Tangerine Travel and title sponsor of the event was there along with her team all arrayed in bright orange-tangerine shirts to welcome all the golfers as we arrived and give us an overview of what to expect.
The tournament format was a scramble so we were able to play best ball on each stroke.  Ken didn’t actually play but helped us keep score for the first nine holes.  The fourth golfer in our group was Ed Clark, who turned out to be the entire reason why our team was able to turn in a score of three under par.  See second photo above of Ed, Jimmy and Ken.  Though Patty and I each sank a couple of long putts, it was a stretch that we had to count two of each of our drives, but Ed was able to overcome that handicap as well!
The big sponsor of the event was Kevin Swett of KSC Freight Inc..  See top photo of Ken, Kevin and Mike Kunath above.  Kevin and his wife, Cindy, also raise beautiful dogs as companion animals and the proceeds of the golf tournament and dinner auction were split between Seattle Children’s Hospital and Canine Companions for IndependenceKevin, whose avocation is photography, included photos of gorgeous companion dogs at each sponsored hole on the golf course.
We saw other friends who were also involved in the tournament including Frank Dennis and Connie Blumenthal pictured with Ken and me in the third photo above, Moe & Suzy Krabbe and Erik Moris.  
We ended the day tired but very pleased that we had participated in such a fun event to raise money for children’s health and companion animals.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Dance Tribute to Brady Richardson

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a fascinating studio rehearsal for Pacific Northwest Ballet’s new production of Coppelia in honor of past PNB board member, Microsoftee, and friend, Brady Richardson who passed away a year ago from cancer.  We all still miss Brady!  His wife, Sharon, in the purple dress in photos above hosted the studio rehearsal in his honor and invited those of us that had donated to PNB in Brady’s name to join her.

A studio rehearsal is always the most interesting opportunity to see dancers at work, because you can really see how hard they are working.  They are close enough that you hear their loud breathing from the exhausting, athletic moves that they are making.  Plus, you can see how hard their muscles are working as the men lift the women, etc. while making it all look effortless and graceful.  Brady and Sharon have both been very active supporters of PNB and many of the dancers have been invited to their home on a regular basis.

Sharon continues to actively support PNB and has been an active and involved member of PNB STARS, the womens’ auxillary group that raises money for PNB as well as provides educational opportunities.  The top photo is of several of the STARS members who attended the rehearsal including Susie Ostrander, Carrie Lee, Amy Andersen, Lisa Hanna, Sharon Richardson and Cindy Lee.

Jordan Pacitti, in the 2nd and 3rd photos above, a PNB Corps de Ballet dancer and audience favorite, who is retiring at the end of this season, is dancing the role of Dr. Coppelius, in several of the upcoming ballet performances this week and next.