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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Cringey: Late Night Talk Shows Return And It’s Painful To Watch

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It's jarring to see these late night hosts, stripped of their tech armor and studio wizardry trying to tell jokes for a camera in their living rooms, basements and closets.

Put your TrumpBux to work

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Just between us: do you really need your $1,200 share of the federal largess?

The New Normal (And Its Play List)

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Like most of us, I have been working remotely for the past few weeks, but since I earn my living as a writer, I work remotely anyway. However, under quarantine, it feels different. Like, more remote. Like house arrest.

Panhandling Dialed Up To 10: It Can’t Fix The Arts Crisis

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"The arts” must cease lobbying just for themselves but for their just share of support alongside other “non-profit” instruments of a just society; essentials like universal public heath, public education, basic income.

Calling All Billionaires: Time to Step Up!

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Seattle has a knack for growing families of enormous wealth. Now's a good time to get some of these internationally-focused foundations a bit more intentional about the locals.

The End of Movie Theatres?

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It's not too much of a stretch to think that the movie theatre business - when it returns - will be considerably scaled down and that distribution will have been rethought.

A Building That Is What It Does: UW’s New Life Sciences Center

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Is it good architecture? Yes, very. The UW is joining the larger corporate and scientific world, and the Life Sciences Building is what it does. It makes knowledge workers happy and productive.

Bumbershoot Update: One Seattle Icon Reclaims Another

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It's hard to get more local than One Reel, its artistic and creative pedigree is unsurpassed here, and even the company slogan "Our stage is Seattle" is encouraging.

Seattle’s Asian Art Museum Discreetly Upsizes: Not Just A Connoisseur’s Jewel Box

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What's new is the way the museum now opens up to views of the park. The addition stands behind and to one side, taking advantage of a dip in the ground level on the east side.

How A Tex-afied Retelling Of Wagner’s “Ring” Became An American Theatre Staple

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The original, gen-yew-ine original was not at all operatic: that was part of its charm. And it probably couldn't have come into being in any other American city of the time. Informal smash-and-grab performances were a distinctive aspect of the Seattle theater scene from the 1970s onward, starting with the Empty Space theater's summer shows in Volunteer Park and Norman Langill's flatbed truck borne One Reel Vaudeville Show.

King County, E-book-Lending Capital Of The World

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King County Library System is the third-busiest e-book lender in the country (after the Los Angeles Public Library and the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium) and fourth-largest in the world (Toronto is No.1 with more than 6 million checkouts). But the Seattle region tops all libraries in digital checkouts when you add in Seattle Public Libraries, which posted more than 3 million digital checkouts in 2019.

Review: “Evgenyi Onegin” – Pain! Passion! Poetry! (hold the irony . . .)

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I suddenly realized how lucky we are to have it at all. If the poet who created the story and the composer who set it to music 40 years later had ever actually met, they would probably have disliked each other enough to make collaboration impossible.

Two Jeers for ‘The Two Popes’

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As history, the Netflix film 'The Two Popes' is baloney on steroids. It’s also brilliantly acted, sometimes amusing, and occasionally moving.

What Seattle Is Losing: A Culture of Risk?

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Many of Seattle's arts institutions are so focused on the essentials of survival it’s increasingly difficult to experiment or play. When margins are so close, a failed project is less tolerable.

Model Of Reinvention: Seattle Symphony At A Crossroads

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A decade ago the orchestra was badly broken. After ten years of huge progress the SSO is playing better than it ever has and is a model of reinvention. And now another crossroads.

Is Seattle Courting Over-Tourism?

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When cities invest in the visitor market (hotels, convention centers, festivals) they are ordinarily playing a final, desperate card in economic development.

Bumber-Gone? How An Iconic Seattle Festival Lost Its Way And How It Might Be...

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What explains the flagging fortunes of Bumbershoot, which has over the past 20 years become less and less distinctive, spectacularly more expensive to attend, and suffered diminished attendance and an increasingly unsustainable business model?

Intiman: Theatre Of The Future? (an update on the “theatre that wouldn’t die”)

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The existential question is what exactly Intiman is at this point. The speed at which money has been raised so far suggests there's still a constituency willing to find out, but the Big What is still an open question.

The Kennedy Center’s New Campus And Its Seattle Connections

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One wonders, as former Seattle Symphony exec Deborah Rutter reinvents the cultural center to reach wider audiences with striking architecture, whether that might have happened (or still could happen) at Seattle Center.

Review: Seattle Opera’s Cinderella – Dickens Meets Rossini Meets Tim Burton

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Seattle Opera’s current staging of Cenerentola is mostly fun to watch. It is also a great example of how much work having fun can be, on both sides of the imaginary footlights.

The New Burke: Modernism With A Capital “M”

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Going to the new Burke is like sneaking into the back of a factory in full swing—except this one has glass walls, lots of animal bones and fur and color.

Intiman: The Theatre That Wouldn’t Die

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One of Seattle's primary theatres dodges a bullet and soldiers on. The question is should it?

Old Bones And Natural Wonders: Inside The New Burke Museum

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The new Burke Museum opens up virtually all its work spaces to public view. A curator says that at first, some staff members were skeptical, but by now, everyone seems all in.

Thoughts from the Peanut Gallery After a Night at the Seattle Symphony

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The suggestion from Pittsburgh is not to keep trying to sell season tickets and individual tickets at the usual high prices ($50-$120), but instead to adopt the museum model.

Town Hall Seattle Reopens After a Grand Renovation

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Town Hall evolved organically from its early days, when maps didn't exist, to the beloved and grand institution of today. Who would've thunk it? Certainly not me!

Should arts groups and nonprofits set the pace for equity?

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This new report from Boston studies how nonprofits can become "anchor institutions," pacesetters for community goals. The idea is borrowed from eds and meds,...

Overtime pay for arts workers: the debate continues

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"I believe that if right now there is a huge increase in salaries forced by the government, the organization I know best will have to do the very thing that will kill it: cut its quality."

Two Writers: One Bernadette

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If ever a film was sure to raise cries of “It’s not like the book,” Where’d You Go, Bernadette? is that film.

Overtime Pay: Seattle Arts Groups On The Defensive

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The arts groups are badly on the defensive. They are caught by their own shifts to social justice causes, particularly in the age of Trump.

Letter: KEXP Dissents From Arts Organizations’ Opposition To New Overtime Rules

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Fundamentally, we believe that every person who works for KEXP brings tremendous value in advancing our mission, and deserves to be compensated fairly.