Monday, June 21, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Great things in Seattle

So, I'm bad at blogging regularly. I'm going to just take a moment and mention a few things that are awesome in Seattle that I've experienced in the last month or so.

Solo Performance Festival - going on at Theatre Off Jackson until April 4. The weekend of March 25 looks like some fantastic shows and I'm also looking forward to the monologue SLAM that night.

Barrio - we tried the fried hominy for the first time - wow! It's got a kick to it, thanks to some slices of jalapeno and the sweet and salty combo of the hominy really is a delight! A new favorite menu item.

Obasan - great new sushi place on lower queen anne - gorgeous nigiri cuts, yummy rolls and a great happy hour from 4-6 monday through friday.

The current show at Teatro Zinzanni - License to Kiss. I hear this is really truly a fabulous show. Can't wait to see it this weekend. Plays through April 25. Stars the amazing talented and funny, Kevin Kent.

Contour on the north side of Pioneer Square just started an 80s dance night on wednesdays - gonna check that out soon!

Great thai place in columbia city - The Spice Room. This place is all style, from the layout and design to the presentation. Delicious food, too!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Win a Walk-On Role in The Soft Rock Kid!

Win a WALK ON ROLE in The Soft Rock Kid at ACT Theatre!

Everyone who buys tickets for The Soft Rock Kid (any night) by tomorrow (Wed 2/17) by 8pm will be entered to win a walk on role on the closing performance! You can use this prize yourself or pass it on as a gift!
For more info and to purchase tickets, click here:

You can purchase tickets for ANY night to be eligible to win this priceless prize!  If you've already bought your tickets, you're already entered. They've got an article hitting The Seattle Times and Seattle Weekly tomorrow, so buy your tickets before they're GONE!  One entry per order. Spread the word!

Facebook event page:

The Soft Rock Kid is the last production of The Soft Rock Freedom Dancers - one of Seattle's most popular variety shows - a music and dance extravaganza of 80s soft rock. A hilarious night, not to be missed!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Carol Brunettes

Banding together with eight other friends, we formed The Carol Brunettes (reincarnated from our 2005 caroling group) to fundraise for the Pike Market Senior Center &  Downtown Food Bank - together, with your help, we raised nearly $1500!

We are still taking donations - won't you make a $10 donation to help us raise our total goal of $2000? We've had friends, colleagues and even people on twitter we haven't even met help raise money with us. Why not a blog reader?! Click here to donate!

It was a great experience and tons of fun - we even rewrote some familiar rock songs to be Christmas Carols - Santaria became Scroogeria (a very sublime version of The Christmas Carol), Bohemian Rhapsody became Reindeer Rhapsody ("he's just a poor deer with strange anatomy") and no re-write medley would be complete without a little Journey Don't Stop Believin' (complete with a Seattle Boy's xmas wish list). We did get some video, so will post youtube links soon.

Thanks to all who came out to support, whether attending the event itself, through donations, snuggie loans, etc.  An extra special thank you to all my gals, Somer, Elizabeth, Lisa, Leah, Carolyn, Lauren, Jen and Harmony who spent so much time and creativity to put this together!

It was a great experience but I decided that this year I've been so project heavy that it's now time for a  short break.

Though I had thought about putting together a variety show for February, I think I'm going to take the next few months and have my only projects really be through work and my side gig as Marketing & PR Director for Solo Performance Festival at Theatre off Jackson.  We're looking for a few interns for the marketing efforts, so if you know anyone interested, please let us know!

I plan on taking more time to enjoy my apartment and friends, get into meditation and other healthier ways of living in general.

That said, tune into the next entry for some fun upcoming events in town :) "Slowing down" in my world still involves a LOT of fun!


Barrio, sister restaurant to Purple Cafe & Wine Bar, is one of my favorite places on the hill.

Their happy hour just got better:
3pm - 6pm daily
LATE NITE: Sun - Thurs 10pm - midnight; Fri & Sat 11pm - 1am

$5 margaritas, white/red/rose wine/ $3 mexican beers, $3 delicious tacos

Saturday, October 17, 2009

nyc arrival

Fingers are a little frozen but I don't really care as my excitement to see some amazing people and go to some great events here in NYC takes over.

The towncar I'm riding in (black leather seats, bumpin to B.I.G) is taking me to Molly S and Ryan's. Lookin to see what station's playing when Black Eyed Peas' boom boom pow comes on, the driver apologizes for the traffic (since its his fault?) Thinking that's what I'm looking at. Nope, just seeing its 103.5. "For once," I tell him "I'm in no rush." Ahh, relaxing NYC, right?

Tonight holds fun promises of dancing, karoake or both. I'm spoiled as I just got to stay w M&R in august for Molly's 30th bday. Can't wait to see her again!

Tomorrow, brunch plans with college friends Brett and Angela then M & I are off to see Sheila perform in 1010 theatre in manhattan's production of Arms & The Man. Can't wait to see my lovely charismatic friend on stage again. She's been acting in NY since 2002 and this is the first time my visit is at a time she's performing!

Monday is the busiest day, when I head to NAMT's new work festival with colleagues and donors. We watch readings of new potential b'way and off b'way shows all day until 530 then head to opening of Memphis at The Shubert Theatre. I've had the pleasure of seeing the show in La Jolla and Seattle and can't wait to see it take its new form with a slightly new ensemble in a broadway house. Being part of a Broadway opening is really something else. The Wedding Singer's opening a few years back was awesome, from seeing the polished product after seeing the pre-Broadway tryout, to spotting cast members from The Sopranos and more at the cast party.

Tuesday is another day of new works and then its back to Williamsburg to meet up with Michelle who's in town from Seattle to see her man's band, The Black Whales, on their NY leg of their national tour.

It's been 2 years since I've travelled on my own. I miss B's company and our humor to pass the time and enjoy things together. No one was there to laugh and joke with me when I spilled my diet Dr pepper all over my coat, sweater and lap or come up with brainstorm ideas of what the strangely enthusiastic flight attendant was saying to his coworker down the aisle in my view.

Traveling alone has its highlights though. It's empowering to be fully responsible for yourself in a different city. I'm also looking forward to some much needed girl time w my girls.

Hoping to see more friends, including B's uncle John (happy b'day!) and fiance Roberta who is quite the firecracker. This is going to be a busy wonderful few days!

Now that's a city skyline! Hello New York, you're a hellava town!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Birthday surprise variety show and benefit!

B was going to turn 32 in mid-September. He generally throws himself big birthday bashes - the man rented a full house for his 30th and had people from all over his life come into town for the bash. It was a month before we kissed, so I missed out on that party, but I knew he liked a fun celebration. And dancing, always dancing! :)

We had trips to New York/New Jersey and Burning Man during the last month and a half. That and work was keeping B and me very busy. We started talking about his birthday in late July (I love birthdays and Halloween, I get excited early) and he mentioned not having enough time to put something together. I mentioned the idea of putting on a variety show and party (I have one planned for February, but thought his birthday was a reason ripe for such an event). He said there was no way I would be able to put that together with the short amount of time and all the trips we had planned.

"No way" might have felt like a dare, who knows. But the idea planted itself inside my brain and grew. I decided to tell him I would take over the plans for his birthday and throw him a surprise. The day I received confirmation from Open Circle Theatre, I fibbed through my teeth that "the original surprise plan fell through and to not get his hopes high." I continued the "surprise is no big deal" scheme to the very end.

Then I shot out an email to friends of mine who are performers to see who was available to bring their talents for my show. I decided to make it a fundraiser, too, for Alzheimer's Research. While I was surprised not to hear back from a few friends, the amount of talent who said yes and got on board was amazing. A few lunches, facebook message exchanges, emails and phone calls later, the show started shaping up.

One of the beauties of producing a variety show is that you're not a director in any way. With a few general guidelines set up (basic lighting/sound, minimal set/props, time limits), I left it to the acts themselves to create what they wanted to provide for the show. And what a show it was!

Since the night wouldn't really begin until after 10pm, I didn't want Brandon spending ALL his b'day gearing up expecting something big. So I helped arrange a surprise at dinner that B thought was the full and actual surprise. Our table was well positioned around a corner too, so people as they arrived continued to surprise B by being there. He leaned in to me at one point and said "I feel like it's a slot machine and every time I come up a winner" in reference to the faces that came around the corner through the night.

((On a side note, one of the performers from the show, who had driven up from portland for the event with her boyfriend, walked by Mama's when we were waiting for our table. B saw them and said "That was Ashia who just walked by!" I ran after them and made exclamations of "what are you doing in town" (while whispering "B saw you, play along") - they ended up joining us for dinner. I continued to keep our show secret by leaning in to B at one point and saying "It's a surprise birthday for us both, how great is it they are here?!"

A group of 16 of us met at Mama's Mexican Kitchen for dinner. The staff was great and super receptive when I slipped to the front to let them know a singing telegram would be coming at some point in the evening. They happily agreed to cut the music in the place for the time she was there, too! What luck!

The talented and oh-so-creative Billie Wildrick (5th Avenue Theatre/ACT star and since-college friend/summer roommate) was so generous to provide her skills to give Brandon a special singing telegram! She even brought a friend to play live guitar instead of having piped music. The real deal. With a little guidance from me (and song request), Billie appeared in a lovely trench coat, tiara with her gorgeous blonde hair done up around it. She said "I hear there's a birthday boy here ...who happens to be a fan of Aladdin?"

She did a fabulous bit introducing herself as "Jasmine's aryan cousin, Sandalwood" and proceeded to sing an amazing rendition of (slightly rewritten lyrics) A Whole New World as she took off the trench coat to show off her "Sandalwood" -inspired outfit. She even brought a cupcake, put the candle in and lit it during her number. Brandon was beaming and laughing and the whole table (well area of the restaurant really) was so delighted!! It was a blast! After she and her guitarist left, the table was buzzing about her - many of our friends had seen her perform on stage before and were huge fans, but regardless, everyone was impressed by the ease and fabulousness of her execution. The b'day boy was thoroughly impressed with the surprise of the evening and gave me many big thank yous and kisses.

A few margaritas and pacificos later, we walked to Rendezvous for a few more rounds of drinks. I "got a call" at 9:25, "telling me that the present we were expecting to be delivered got held up and I had to go get it." I took off with Erin and Angel (but not before Brandon, suspicious, asked Mark what he thought was going on. Mark said he thought it was about the cake and Brandon bet him a dollar it wasn't. Mark had to take a fake bet and was immediately out a dollar. :)

We ran to the Open Circle Theatre (running only because of the short lived downpour of rain) and welcomed the performers as they arrived. Ron and Aaron were amazing, helping us do set up and sound check with the band, taking all the lights and sound queues and more. Angel was my liaison between tech and me and Erin helped me keep my cool and connect with the performers as she got into costume. Jill and Tom stepped in to run the box office and Open Circle Theatre provided the bar staff to really make it a party.

Though we were oversold, the house had a full but not too full turnout (near 70 people) with last minute no-shows. The actors were ready, the tech folks were ready. DJ Socross had been playing great pre-show music. We were ready to begin.

I was decked out in a red and black burlesque-y-circus-y-master-of-ceremonies-y number, complete with a mini sparkly red top hat. With all the preparation needed, I wisely had decided not to do an act myself but instead presented the introductions the acts created for me and flew by the seat of my pants for the rest of the in-between-acts-bits. The audience was alive and excited and B was just starting to come out of his shock-coma that had lasted at least 15 full minutes when he arrived and sat in his seat. I asked him early on what he thought and, shell-shocked, he replied quietly "I'm not really sure what's going on."

Scarlet Room opened the show. Since the space was so intimate, the regular 4 person band was stripped to just the two gals, Eloise on drums and Aleksandra on keys and vocals. Visit their website to get a taste of their music. Their 3-4 song set was amazing, sexy and electrifying. I feel so lucky to have Aleksandra as a coworker and to have been introduced to her music through myspace, a random encounter at a speak easy last winter and then later at The Triple Door. They are a local act and are not to be missed!

After their set, a brief intermission was needed to break down the band and set up for the first of the variety acts. When I announced it would be a brief intermission and left the stage, I noticed that no one was moving, so popped back on stage to say "That means you have to get out of your seats and mingle, people! You're only allowed to stay seated if you're injured or pregnant." It got people laughing and moving. The cheeky, bossy MC character seemed to take form. We'll see if she pops up again in future shows when 80% of the house is no longer friends of mine!

Next up was the cast of LEASE: The Seattle Rock Opera with their opening number and multipled improvised scenes and songs!! It's amazing to see a group of people improvise music together. This group is so talented, a lot of the audience didn't pick up on my introduction that ALL the songs beyond the opening number were fully improvised and created on the spot. If you didn't see them at HUT, definitely stay tuned to find out when they book their next show and space. I'll be sure to post info here.

I'd seen them perform the full two act version of the show twice before, and they continue to get better and better. It was a great set and people were laughing out loud throughout the piece.

Next up was the beautiful and whimsical, Ashia Grzesik. Ashia played cello, guitar and sang for years in Cirque du Soleil's O, and now is a part of Portland's rousing and amusingly creative gypsy-esque band, Vagabond Opera. Her haunting cello music and beautiful operatic voice called out to the audience from the dark. This was the darker set that would later be juxtaposed at the end of the evening.

Then it was a quick switch to Jen Seaman, local comedian and host of The Big Bully Show (Fremont, Sundays, 6pm, free). Her definitely-not-PG humor had the house laughing again.

Down The Rabbit Hole took the stage before intermission. Tinka Jonakova and Beth Hersh had previously created and performed a delightful burlesque duo act and remounted it for this production. What happens when Dorothy of OZ meets Alice of Wonderland? Lots of TROUBLE!! This extended burlesque number, to the music of White Rabbit and Aerosmith, was a true crowd pleaser!

Intermission - many hit the bar for refreshments and then it was back to the show!

Anvil Esquire (a rapper, but not a MC, as he was introduced) made his debut with genius lyrics for a piece written for this production on getting older. He followed that by one of my favorite rhymes, written for her girl, Tinka, our saucy performer from the previous act. He had the house wrapped around his rhymes with his laid back delivery and clever words.

Back to burlesque, with the return of Betty Nebraska, a sleuth who gets up to trouble and is on the hunt for a run away mouse. A close friend to B, Betty was a crowd favorite when her name was announced and delivered a solid, charming performance!

The show closed with a beautifully crafted three song set. The first song (I have to find the title...clever love song with lyrics like "you be the tailpipe, I'll be the exhaust") was darling, lovely and charming. All the work that had gone into the evening was worth it in a single moment during this song, when I looked across the house and caught eyes with B and saw them full of love for me. I sent a hand heart to him from across the way. I will edit this when I find out the title to that song.
She then followed that number with the title song off her CD, Pay To Be Loved. Haunting, beautiful, with an upbeat pickup that is not expected but perfectly placed, this song really shows off her vocal and instrumental talents. Lastly, she introduced the last song as a lullaby for all of those in love and dedicated it to Brandon and me. We were laughing and delighted to hear her play the song that was the first we ever heard. Ashia was part of The Moisture Festival this last year in Seattle - we fell in love with her over the comedic talent of this song and I got her contact info
from a mutual acquaintance before our trip to Portland to find out if she had any gigs while we were there. She didn't, but offered to show us around her town. It was a true delight to start to get to know this wonderful spirit and we were thrilled to see her again when she came back to town to play with Vagabond Opera at The Triple Door (a show Scarlet Room opened for). I can't describe my happiness to have her in my production.

What a night! We raised money for a great cause, had a beautiful showcase of talent, introduced artists to new audiences and followed all that up with a fabulous dance party on the theatre floor to the mixings of DJ Socross.

Thanks to all my amazing performers and backstage talent who made last night's surprise birthday and benefit variety show so incredible! Also, thank you to all of B's friends who came out to support and join us!

But most of all, thanks to B for being the inspiration behind it all.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

What a day

My mom's birthday was today and my teenage nephews from Switzerland were in town.

We picked Agua Verde upon recommendation from friends and good location and prices. There was a bit of a line to wait in when we arrived but it was worth it. The nephews split up and rode with me and my mom while my bro paddled a double with my 6 year old niece in the front. It was awesome going around portage bay in lake union all the way up to Gas Works and back in under an hour. Quite the workout too!

I really suggest this place and hope to go back multiple times this summer and next.

Then it was on to Zoo Tunes for the Indigo Girls with me, my mom and my sister in law. We lucked out with VIP tickets that had awesome box lunches from metropolitan market (amazing caprese sandwiches and the fruit was a fresh plum -yum), great lounge seats and close to the stage. A great set by the gals. Brandi Carlile suprised the audience by joining the Indigo girls for quite a few songs. It was a great show and a great venue.

I love Seattle.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

of note

Peaches concert and metric concert (both @ showbox). hotel max stay. Zillah wine country weekend. Tillicum cafe in Belltown. Awesome friends/boyfriend..

Thursday, May 14, 2009

belltown on a wednesday

Georgia and were overdue for some catching up and I was craving sushi, so we decided to meet at Umi in belltown. Forgetting how packed their Happy Hour bar is in the 6pm hour, we debated staying and waiting for 20+ min or finding another place (I love umi but their regular menu was a little pricier than we were wanting to pay).

A quick call to B and it was boyfriend and to the rescue. Ohana just a block away had hh until 7 and plenty of free tables in a fun tiki setting. Their food menu was $3 and they had a small $3 drink menu (we had full sail and sake). Their beer prices are real reasonable on.their regular menu too! Hadn't had hand rolls before but really enjoyed the belltown one (mmm avacado and salmon) especially. I will definitely go back there!

I was craving the atmosphere and white cheddar popcorn of The Big Picture (downstairs below el gaucho). The movie they were showing was a Russell Crowe flick and I tend not to see his stuff unless it's absolutely a great movie. We decided to grab a few beers and popcorn and find a cosy couch in their beautiful venue. I love that place.

Out the door on a rainy night with Georgia's car 10 blocks away we tried hailing a cab. One of the sweet door guys to El Gaucho's ran down the entire block to flag one down for us. Such service for two girls who just had a drink and some popcorn.

Ohana on Urbanspoon
Umi Sake House on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 27, 2009

Quinn's, Boom & Smorg

I'd been craving the fish & chips at Quinn's so I convinced B and friends to make our way to the restaurant near Neumo's on Capitol Hill that is famous for its long wait (they don't take reservations) but also famous for their sloppy joes. I've never been a fan of this dish, but those I've dined with have loved them. It's not a cheap (fish & chips $14) but if you're looking for some great food and atmosphere, it's worth the price and wait from time to time.

Our post dinner plans involved a late night show of "Smorgesbord" at Balagan Theatre. I haven't been able to find a site or fan page dedicated to this night, but I'll be sure to post when the May event is. This free late night cabaret is filled with a variety of talent acts. This weekend's performance highlights include a fabulous junkyard band, a duo comprised of a guitarist and flautist/singer and a sketch comedy act heavy on hand to hand stage combat.

Between dinner and the show, we had some time to kill, so used B's iphone GOTIME Happy Hour application to find happy hour in the area. It gave us a perfect location, Boom Noodle, with discounts on beer, sake and well drinks (their 2x a day happy hour also includes food, but we were stuffed).

The space is very clean and open. We had the strangest staff experience, though - it felt a little bit like we were stuck in the middle of the twilight zone.
When the server was right next to me, passing out napkins and chopsticks, I asked him "Did you use to have a ping-pong table here?" His face was directly next to mine as he leaned into the table, so I waited for a response, any response, as I stared at his face just inches away. No response. When he left the table, we all looked in wonder at each other? "Did I ask that quietly?" I laughed (I rarely am quiet). We were all a little bit perplexed that the server was completely unaware.

Our "real" waiter then arrived, we chat (he answers my question about the ping pong table - it is no more) then asks if we know what we want to order. Strongfellow says "It looks like we're going to get some well drinks." To THAT, our waiter says, "Ok, I'll come back then." And heads back to the bar to stand there and wait. We basically said "We're ready to order" and he leaves.

By that time we were all in stitches. It was quite strange!

I have to say, I'm a big fan of the Gotime app and

It's pretty much the happy hour search engine that Seattle's been needing for a long time.

Boom Noodle on Urbanspoon
Quinn's on Urbanspoon