Category Archives: arts

A New Music Maestro

Over the weekend, Ken and I were pleased to meet the new Music Maestro for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra who will take on the leadership of SSO, when our dear friend, Jerry Schwarz, retires at the end of next season.  SSO Chairman of the Board, Leslie Chihuly, hosted a reception at the Chihuly Boathouse for Seattle Symphony board members to meet new SSO Music Maestro, Ludovic Morlot.  As a SSO Lifetime Trustee, I am thrilled to see what the next chapter will bring.
We arrived at the Boathouse right behind a car with a family with two young girls  who were welcomed by the valet right in front of Ken and me.  Ken said “”Who would be bringing children to meet the new Symphony Director?” and his question was answered in moments when we entered the Boathouse and met the Morlot family.  It turned out that the family who had arrived right before us was Ludovic Morlot, a charming man who arrived with his beautiful wife, Ghizlane and two young daughters Nora and Iman.
Of course, the SSO family was warm in their reception to him and enjoyed the time to get to know him one on one.  Once Leslie asked him to speak and he shared his vision of what he hoped to bring to the Seattle Symphony, his daughters decided to sit down on either side of KenLudovic told us that he has a special affinity for French music but said that he plans to present all kinds of beautiful and romantic music.  We also heard from Ludovic that Nora plays the violin and that Iman plays the cello.  Iman, his youngest daughter, showed her potential dance abilities as she continued to do turn after turn using Dale’s 88 foot downed Douglas Fir log table as a ballet barre during her father’s remarks.

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.

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!

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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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 Hamlisch.  SSO Board Chairman, Leslie Chihuly greeted us and we were so pleased to see our old friends, SSO Maestro Jerry Schwarz and his… Continue Reading