Archive for February, 2011

Fashion with Chris

February 28, 2011

After a lot of work, here they are: my final words on the Elvis Invitational.


Elvis Invitational Wrap-Up


” A bold addition to the classic splashy white jumpsuit is multiple old glory scarves (hey, where’s the blue?) & … a moustache?! Elvis as gigolo!!! The movie he forgot to make!”

"Back view of Robert (no bad sides on this guy!)"

“Torso of ultra (23 years) pro Robert Washington. THIS is how ya do it!”



"Mike D. fronts the Graceland Five. Enough said."


"Fringe & a determined sneer are de rigeur!"


"Jim Dever shows off the Stay Puft Marshmelvis look!!!"



"Add B-Side Elvis & you got a black- clad stingin' good time!!"


" If the only costume ya gots is a t-shirt, make sure to have a phalanx of dancin' cuties!"


"The ultimate accoutrement! Peter "The Colonel" Verbrugge holds up the champ's belt. Ronnie Porter wears it this year."


Thank y’all very much…

Photos by Carl Nelson

"Emily Cappel as Money Honey, a show unto herself"

Seattle Celebrity News!

February 23, 2011

Rik Deskin 

Artistic Director of the Eclectic Theater / Manager of the Odd Duck

It’s the small, inexpensive rental venues around town which are the cracks from which much of the newly created local theater sprouts.  The Odd Duck, on Capital Hill, has a long history of being such a place.  It’s a cheap enough spot where you can afford to try virtually anything.  Currently, Rik Deskin, manages the Odd Duck… besides Acting, Directing and Being a Family Man.  This keeps him very busy and at the intersection of much of what is currently happening on the Seattle Fringe Theater scene.  So, he’s an interesting interview.  In this first section we talked a little bit about his comedy roots, and current theatrical aspirations.

What’s a sketch?  (one minute) 

“Sketch comedy is probably the weakest thing on the Seattle Theater scene,” Rik says.  “Ideally, what I would like to see…” (one minute)   

“The Comedy Workshop is where my roots are.”  (2 min. 30 sec) 

Photo by Carl Nelson

Fashion with Chris

February 23, 2011

Editor’s Note:  A lot of you have been getting upset about our lapsed coverage of the Elvis Invitationals.  Sorry!  We had to interrupt our coverage for breaking news.  But here is the denouement you’ve all been waiting for…  Except that first we want to post a bit of the dress standard for the event.  Start planning! those of you who are planning to attend next year’s event.

Elvis Invitational Audience Dress Standards

A Bit of Haute Coutre Showed Up

Formal Attire

Eclectic Goth Rockabilly

The Well-Heeled Were There

Everyone Wanted to Touch These to See If The Little Black Things Were Bumpy


Court Jester to The King

And finally: Let's Give It Up for the Lone Star State!

Photos by Carl Nelson

Work, work, work… with Rita Andreeva

February 19, 2011

Editor’s Note:  For those of you who haven’t been following Rita’s posts religiously – a Near-Room is a word for a sublet Rita has created by curtaining off a portion of her modest apartment’s living area.

The Near-Room / $300 a month

Continuous adventures with the nearroom…

“The latest tenant was a boy called Adam. He came to see the place with his father and they acted very respectable. According to them, Adam was 18 and needed a room to go to Seattle Central and look for a job, and his dad was on his way to North Carolina, leaving right away. His dad gave me $300, saying he’d mail the rent for the next month. He also said he gave Adam money for food and left, leaving Adam here with his backpack.
Adam didn’t seem too interested in school or looking for work. He spent whatever money his father gave him on going out and partying. In a few days all that money was gone. Then Adam started eating my food rather casually. I told him, “You can’t eat my food.” He said, “I have no more money and my dad won’t give me any.” I said, “Go to a food-bank then,” and gave him a list with days and addresses of all the nearby food-banks.  But his highness didn’t feel like going to a food-bank, he continued laying around sleeping or playing video games all day, whenever he wasn’t hanging out with his friends. And he continued eating my food. I told him again, “You can NOT eat my food. Not a crumb, not a drop! Go to a food bank.”
One evening as I was working on my computer, drinking tea and eating cookies, he approached me, “Can I have a cookie?” he asked. I replied, “Absolutely not.” It did ruin my fun, however, and I became very annoyed. He wouldn’t give up, “Why not?”
“Because I told you a thousand times to go to food-bank and you never did. You have to make at least some effort, you can’t expect things just given to you!”
He made sorrowful puppy-eyed face and sat on the couch and commenced staring at me. I finally blew up:
“What are you doing? I’m not giving you any cookies! It’s almost midnight! Leave me alone and go to sleep.”
“I can’s sleep; I slept all day.”
“Not my problem.”
“Why do you hate me?”
“It’s midnight; I’m tired, I’m busy! Get out of my face, leave me alone!”
He went to his nearroom and I turned off the computer, grabbed a book and went to bed – he totally ruined my enjoyment of tea, cookies and HTML.
A couple of days later he disappeared. I was very happy about that. But then my daughter Eva came over and asked, “Where is your roommate?”
“I don’t know.”
We went into the nearroom and exclaimed, “His cell phone is here and his wallet too!”
She picked up his wallet and pulled out his ID, “He’s not 18. He’s going to be in March…”
“Crap! Those assholes lied to me!” I exclaimed.
“How long was he gone?”
“Four days, I guess.”
I realized I was supposed to act responsible, so I called Adam’s dad. I told him Adam was missing, and his wallet and phone were here. His dad said, “I’m sure he’ll be fine, don’t worry about him.” That was that.
Adam did show up in a couple of days, looking dazed. He said he’d been at a rave, and that’s why he left his wallet and cell-phone at home, so they don’t get stolen.
He was clearly hungry and high and had a very bad cough. I let him eat some spaghetti with me since I didn’t want him to drop dead, but told him to get his shit together, stop partying, start going to classes and to food banks. He said okay.
Next morning when I got up and went to the bathroom it stunk of weed.
I stormed into the nearroom. It was time for him to get up and go to school anyway. I yelled, “Adam, get up!” and louder, “Get up!” and yet louder, “Get the fuck up!” He didn’t stir. I had to leave to go to an appointment.
He did wake up in the afternoon. I immediately started yelling at him:
“You can’t smoke pot around here! You’re not even 18! You’re illegal! And you must get up to go to school! This is an ultimatum!”
He said, “Okay.”
Needless to say, this situation continued until his rent was up, which was yesterday. He was hanging out with his friends, stoned as usual, and wouldn’t respond to my calls and texts demanding that he gives the keys back. So I went on Facebook and sent emails to all his father’s contacts with same last name asking for help. Luckily Eva and her friend stopped by, so Eva’s friend called Adam from his cell phone and caught him by surprise and asked him where he was, he said at McDonalds at Westlake. So we drove there and got the keys from him.”  – Rita

Photo by Rita Andreeva

Plays and Such with Jorj Savage

February 19, 2011
Editor’s Note:  I can’t help saying that I think The Three Penny Opera is just a lovley name for a piece of theater.


The Three Penny Opera

Jorj Preparing to Attend the Theater

The Seattle Shakespeare Company is staging the Brecht/Weill “Three Penny Opera” using the Intiman Theater.  I saw this musicial off-Broaday in the early 1960’s with Lotte Lenya as Pirate Jenny.  It was dark and haunting and created a Germanic mood and Mac the Knife was as bad dude.  When he appeared and they said bodies found cement graves you believed it.  New York City and its teeming streets added to the ambience.

The Three Penny Opera” is allegedly about beggars and thieves and I don’t think the show takes their world seriously.  It’s like “Lets enjoy the music and let the women rip.” The male roles are played by lovable guys.  Russell Hodgkinson is an amazing performer, a clown of the highest order, but hardly the man to play the leader of the thieves.  And John Bogar has a pleasant middle class nice guy manner that is anything but a dangerous chick magnet and killer.  Both actors play the lines and give incredible performances but where is the dark side?

On the women’s side Jerek Hoffer and Julie Briskman and Jayne Muirhead especially are tough chicks who rage against Macheath with such power that you think you’re back in “Macbeth.”  I loved it.  All the women were strong! strong! strong! which made the male leads look all the weaker.

So that’s the show.  It’s well done and fun and a modern interpertation.  Women directed BABS AND THE DODO, THE BROTHERS SIZE and THE MISANTHROPE and in two of those shows the women were strong. There are no women in BROTHER’S SIZE but a female director brought two guys out of prison to life.

The Three Penny Opera runs three full hours and has two intermissions and Brecht’s messages like “First feed and face and then teach right and wrong!” get in your face with full force.


Photo by Carl Nelson

Fashion with Chris

February 18, 2011
Chris Has Agreed to Offer His Fashion Services

Time Limited Offer:

Editor’s Note:  Chris is a bit tired from the Holidays and has decided to forgo the New York to Paris to Milan fashion tour this year.  Instead, he thinks what is really needed is to focus more, and to buy more local home-grown fashion.  And to kick the thing off, he is offering his services – in this time-limited offer – to the first ten people who come forward to have their ‘looks’ adjusted, perhaps brought a little more up to date or maybe add some edge.  Or, maybe you are one of those people who wants to toss it all up! and get something a little more out of the box.  Chris can help you there too.

We discussed the price:

Carl Nelson What I WILL do… I was going to offer your ‘fashion services’ @ $29.99/hour plus travel costs on by blog. What do you think? (more – or less?)
21 hours ago ·
  • Chris Mathews Sounds reasonable.Make it 30 dollars.
    20 hours ago ·
  • Carl Nelson Really? We’re asking for travel costs already.
    20 hours ago ·
  • Chris Mathews The penny off thing is a scam.
    19 hours ago ·
  • Carl Nelson Sounds as though you think it would be a ‘shady business practice’ to charge one cent less? Sounds… counter-intuitive! But, I can go with it. 
  • Editor (me again – this blog tech thing sometimes overwhelms me):  Anyway, there it is!  First in line of course will have more luck dictating the times of their appointments.
  • Photo by Carl Nelson
  • VenetianBlond

    February 17, 2011

    Editor’s Note:  We’ve asked Machelle Allman – well received actress about town – to report from the local actress beat.  We start wtih her first job: 

    Stubborn Actress (age 5) Clashes with Director

    The Perp

    “I got cast in my first lead role at the age of 5.  I was to play the girl who could spin straw into gold.  I was very excited about this, and I took it very seriously.  It seemed so real, somehow.  The smallest boy in town, who jumped around a lot like a little leprechaun in training, was cast as Rumplestiltskin.  A tall, dark-haired boy played the messenger who discovers Rumplestiltskin’s name, and he looked just like someone who could save the day.  If you’re 5, that is.
    The reason I remember this so vividly is because there was a controversy–an argument over the creative direction of the show between me and my director.   Once I became Queen, and Rumplestiltskin returned to take my first born child (in exchange for the ability to spin straw into gold) I was supposed to cry.  And I would not cry.  I told the director I would not cry.
    What I remember so clearly now, and what I could not articulate then, was that I was used to being told I was a big girl, and I was NOT supposed to cry.  If the director told me to cry, then I was to really do it, but I was in school now—I was too big to cry.  I also remember that on Halloween I was dressed as a witch and I would not run out into the rain in order to catch my bus, because I would melt.  This was just after the huge argument with my mom over the fact that I was not going to take the bus, I was going to ride my broom. Talk about betwixt and between—I was 50% growing up and 50% pure imagination.
    So the director was just boggled at my recalcitrance, and I could not explain that I was not a baby any more, and would not cry like one.  My director never had a chance to explain about using imagination and creating feelings for the audience.  We came up with a compromise, in which I slapped my hands over my face and then leaned over in my chair and put my face on my lap.  That was my crying.  I hope the audience got the point.
    There are two things I think about now as an actor in relation to that experience.  The first is, you have to be able to talk to your director.  This is not to say that you can direct yourself, but if you’ve got something that’s holding you back you’ve got to be able to articulate that to the director.  Or at least the stage manager who can push it up the line.  The second thing is, I admire that little kid I used to be, who was so willing to suspend disbelief, who thought it was all so terribly important, who really thought that play was supposed to be as really real as it could be.  That’s theater magic right there.  Like spinning straw into gold, or riding your broom to school.”  – Machelle

    Photo Courtesy of the Machelle Allman Archives

    From the Editor’s Perch

    February 16, 2011
    Patrick Pelham is Travelling the World Filming Arists

    Filmmaker Encounter

    While my wife and I and friends were on Orcas Island for the Kindlings Muse Winterfest, we met Patrick Pelham/Filmaker.  After receiving his advanced degree in filming he has been travelling across the globe, on the cheap, creating short documentaries of artists he has decided to investigate.  He has a very nice website at:  Visit with a screenwriter who lives in the last castle on the northernmost tip of Scotland.  Or, for a sunnier look, visit a cellist in Barcelona, or many other interesting folks.  The world is a click away.

    Photo by Carl Nelson

    A Poet’s Lives with Lyn Coffin

    February 15, 2011

    Editor’s Note:  You must realize that Poets are like the Biblical Prophets of Old who – after living for months in the desert on a ‘totally organic, free-range-grown’ diet of honey and grasshoppers – trundle into town to deliver God’s Word to the King and other inhabitants.   I tell them: “No Politics!”  But they must weigh on the one hand what their Editor says against what God says.  “Think of your EDITOR, as God,” I say.  But here you have it:

    "I spent almost two hours yesterday at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma...!!"

    “I spent almost two hours yesterday at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. This is a windowless barbed wire prison run by GEO, the same people who run Guantanamo. This is one of the biggest privately-held prison companies in the world, and they get $122 a day from the federal government (tax dollars) to house people who are picked up, as three weeks ago in Ellensburg, in the dead of night by men with guns drawn (heck, maybe some women, too)- and literally dragged from their homes and stuck in this prison with no rights. Families wait in the cold to be let in for visits in scenes reminscent of Stalinist Russia. Visitors are not allowed to take in pencils or paper because they might be able to write down information. Their families don’t know where they are- 15 of the 30 people captured in Ellensburg were sent to Spokane and 15 to Tacoma. A man died in this prison recently. He was from Cambodia and since there is no legal right to a translator, nobody understood anything other than he was complaining of a stomach ache. He died, perhaps from appendicitis. And if you’re thinking “wetbacks,” people coming in over the border from Mexico in the last few years, and hiding out in basements and so on, forget it. Most of the people I talked to came to the U.S. as small children. Their parents, because of the cost, because of the hassle, because in those days we weren’t a proto-fascist state (and for my money, you can drop the proto)- the kids never officially became citizens. So there’s this girl who came to the US when she was six (from Cambodia) and in high school she meets this great guy who came to this country when he was seven. And it’s a high school romance. And they grow up and have kids and jobs and social security and pay taxes and work and contribute and don’t do anything wrong and then one night– He’s picked up, and stuck in a nightmare, and it takes a long while before she even finds out, more or less by rumor, where he is. And so now she drives to see him from a town two and a half hours away, and he’s been in there five months, and it could be years, though recently she was told to bring a suitcase, which generally means deportation will come soon, and he’ll be “returned” to a country where he doesn’t speak the language, torn away from his wife and kids. But it’ll probably be better foe him than in the US where people’s human rights have been rolled over by the tank of corporate greed.
    And that’s what this poet has to say.”  – Lyn

    Photo taken – completely out of context (again!) – by Carl Nelson

    Scot Bastian, Roving Pundit

    February 15, 2011

    This Critic, For the Next Couple of Months, Does not Want to see any Plays with Women Speaking About Their Vaginas

    The Saint Valentine’s Day Push-Back

    Editor:  After all this lovey-dovey it’s only natural that the System must re-boot; re-callibrate; and realize where it lives.  Here’s the first in a flurry of broadsides this awakening World has sent us:


    How I Learned to Rant


    reviewed by Scot Bastian

    “Let me state at the outset that I’m in a particularly curmudgeonly mood today. It must be hard for a professional critic (which I definitely and emphatically am not) to objectively separate out the value of a work of art from their mindset when they experience it. Anyhow, with that caveat, here goes. Last night I saw the play “How I Learned to Drive” by Paula Vogel, which was capably staged by the folks at Stone Soup Theatre. They did a fine job. Good acting, staging, directing and, based on the short talk-back after the the play (which I did not participate in) a real audience-pleaser. I hated it. The play is about Uncle Peck who, over the course of his relationship with his niece, “Li’l Bit,” tries to seduce her, beginning at the age of 11 right on through to the age of 18. The uncle provides emotional support and a “haven” for Li’l Bit from her weird highly-sexualized family. Uncle Peck never changes. He’s a manipulative scumbag in the beginning, going through various deviant behaviors throughout, and he ends as a scumbag. The tone of Uncle Peck’s character is sympathetic, but he seems closer to pathetic to me, and Li’l Bit does change—but she seems more like a survivor than a hero. Perhaps many in the audience thought this play “insightful,” but I found it as inspiring as “The Jerry Springer Show.” I’m just a little sick of seeing theater that, in an attempt to be “edgy” or clever and sophisticated, ends up as pseudo-intellectual clap-trap. (See note above about bad mood.) For the record, for at least the next couple of months I don’t want to see any plays about: 1) Women talking about their vaginas, 2) People screwing goats, or, 3) Priest pedophiles. Maybe I’ll go and see “The Misanthrope” at the Odd Duck Theater again—if it’s still playing—I can relate to the main character.
    Rant mode off.
    I feel better now.”

    – Scot 

    Photo by Carl Nelson

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