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Wednesday, December 10, 2014


We all have our own beloved traditions during the Christmas season, and one of mine is seeing the dancers from Dance Theatre Northwest bring Peter Tchaikovsky's beautiful ballet "The Nutcracker" to life on the stage, once again. This year's performances take place on Saturday, Dec. 13, at  2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., as well as on Sunday, Dec. 14, at 4 p.m. in the Mount Tahoma High School Auditorium, 4634 South 74th Street, Tacoma, WA 98409. 

Unlike some other Puget Sound area productions of "The Nutcracker," Dance Theatre Northwest's is quickly and easily reached from Interstate 5, has plenty of FREE on-site parking, and easy wheelchair accessibility. Those might be good reasons to choose it, but the main reason is the quality of the dancing, not to mention the gorgeous costumes and scenery. It will put you in a festive mood, for sure.

"I am very excited about the weekend," Kirk-Stauffer said in an email. "The dancers are so well-prepared. The show has a few surprises, some new things, and a lot of beautiful scenes with classical ballet. We are fortunate enough to be able to rotate the cast so that each performance will be a little different."  

They might each be a little different, but I promise you that they will be equally impressive and memorable. Like family heirloom ornaments, or photos from Christmases past, these performances feel more precious to me every year. That is because I have watched so many young dancers grow and mature under the guidance of Artist Director Melanie Kirk-Stauffer and her Associate Artistic Director and DTN company member, Vadne Domeika. You can read about both of these amazing women and other members of the company here.  

"It feels great to be able to give so many opportunities to so many talented, hard-working young performers," Kirk-Stauffer said. 

Wouldn't it feel great to you to be part of this audience? You can be sure of reserving a seat if you buy tickets in advance through this online box office. Ticket prices for seniors, students, and children are $11-$13, and adult tickets $22-$26. DTNW offers discounts for groups and members of the military. At any price, you will find it worth every cent and then some. Don't miss it!

Questions? Just call Dance Theatre Northwest at (253) 778-6534 or check their website: 

Photos by Max Zakarhov

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Last-Minute Plans Are Often the Best—"AN EVENING OF SONGS IN OLD TOWN" Benefits "CLASSICAL TUESDAYS" Free Concert Series

Note: It has been an exceptionally busy week behind the scenes at Good Life Northwest, so I apologize for not posting this sooner, especially when I received word of it in plenty of time. Here is a wonderful way to spend your Tuesday evening, December 9th. 

If you've ever driven through North Tacoma's Old Town neighborhood, you've probably admired the elegantly restored building on the water side, housing the John Connelly Law Offices, I remember when it was an Italian restaurant with an amazing view, but I have not been inside since the restaurant closed. Some of that Italian ambience will return on Tuesday night, at 7 p.m., when the gracious law office will both sponsor and host the annual Wine & Song Benefit for Classical Tuesdays in Old TownALL proceeds will go toward sustaining this wonderful series of free concerts*. When you read on, you will see that the ticket price of $25.00 per person is a bargain.

 Gino Lucchetti, tenor—photo provided by Classical Tuesdays
The evening's entertainment will feature three great talents: tenor Gino Lucchetti, baritone Charles Robert Stephens, and the pianist and composer  Jeffrey Moidel, who also wrote some of the songs, based on the poetry of Pablo Neruda. Guests will enjoy hits from Italian opera, Neapolitan songs, and romantic numbers made popular in the 1940s and '50s. The program will end with the two singers delighting everyone with their duets. 

Charles Robert Stephens, baritone — photo provided by Classical Tuesdays
Then, when the singing ends, the party begins. 

After enjoying the music, guests will mingle for conversation over a glass of wine poured by Gingko Forest Winery Tasting Room and served with delicious finger foods, all included in the price. How could there be a more delightful way to spend an evening?

When & where:
Tuesday, December 9th, 2014, at 7 pm.
John Connelly Law Offices, 2301 N. 30th St., Old Town Tacoma

$25 tickets available at Bayview Optical, 2217 North 30th Street #106
No credit cards. Cash or check only.

*Free monthly concerts in North Tacoma. October through February, 2nd Tuesdays. Presented by Old Town Business & Professionals Association.