Seattle Rep’s NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN: Beyond the Theatre

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN by Christina Ham from April 26 to June 2, 2019. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books, music and films to enhance your experience of the show.

Nina Simone’s “Four Women” is a haunting, critical exploration of racial stereotypes and the legacy of slavery through the lives of four black women: Aunt Sarah, Saffronia, Sweet Thing and Peaches. In NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN, playwright Christina Ham brings these characters and Simone herself to life as they gather in the ruins of the 16th Street Baptist Church the day after 4 young black girls died in a terrorist bombing. This tragedy profoundly impacted Simone, prompting her evolution from artist to artist-activist and inspiring her to write and perform powerful songs such as “Mississippi Goddamn,” “Young, Gifted and Black” and of course, “Four Women.” Continue reading “Seattle Rep’s NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN: Beyond the Theatre”

And the Winner Is… Books to Movies, 2019

Yep: that’s Cate Blanchett, right here in our library!

If Beale Street Could Talk, First Man, BlacKkKlansman, The Wife, Can You Ever Forgive Me? – many films nominated for Oscars this year – and every year – started off as books. 2019 will be a great year for bookish Seattleites, with film adaptations of both Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain and Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go Bernadette, the latter featuring scenes filmed in our own Central library!(Digression: Seattle film buffs have to check out these amazing Then and Now videos featuring side by side reshoots of such classic Seattle set films as Cinderella Liberty and Harry and the Hendersons.)

Here are just a some of the other books coming soon to a theater near you:

Continue reading “And the Winner Is… Books to Movies, 2019”

Down with the Sickness

I just got hit by a winter cold and it hit me hard…usually I only need a day to recover, but not this time. Went back to work on day three and was miserable. Took another day off hoping to get through it – I spent most of my time away moving from the bed to the couch then back to bed again. I couldn’t even read because I couldn’t concentrate, but I did get a lot of time with the television screen.

Pulled out an old favorite of mine, Across the Universe, starring Jim Sturgess and Evan Rachel Wood. Not only does it have one of the best soundtracks, but just the visual effects and story are so beautifully done. It does a remarkable job of bringing The Beatles lyrics to life and creating a story of its time. Continue reading “Down with the Sickness”

Party Like It’s 1918!

I’ve never been one to enjoy the large crowds underneath the Space Needle on New Year’s Eve night; rather, I like to ring in the New Year with friends at smaller events in the city. One year was spent wandering around Tacoma during First Night and when I lived in West Seattle I would ring in the New Year at a local masquerade. This year, though, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do.

That got me thinking … how did Seattleites spend past New Years? What events were taking place a hundred years ago in 1918? So I looked through the Seattle Times archives and discovered, not much has changed in the way we celebrate the coming of the New Year!

In 1918 you could enjoy a home cooked New Year’s Dinner at the Woman’s Exchange and in 2018 you can enjoy dinner and music at many venues throughout Seattle! Continue reading “Party Like It’s 1918!”

Reports on the Death of the Romantic Comedy are Greatly Exaggerated

For years, romantic comedies (rom coms) have been few and far between, and those that were released were often small budget indie films that were a hit with critics but did little at the box office. Then a little movie called Crazy Rich Asians came along…is it the beginning of a rom com renaissance?

While they weren’t blockbusters, there have been several rom coms over the past few years that have pleased both audiences and critics. While you wait for Crazy Rich Asians to come out on DVD,check out these three rom coms with diverse casts and storylines.

The Big Sick
Pakistani stand-up comic Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Zoe Kazan fall in love, but their relationship is complicated by Kumail’s Muslim parents and Zoe’s sudden illness. More romantic than funny, the film earned accolades for its realism and warmth, and the cross-cultural themes that added new dimensions to the rom com formula.

Continue reading “Reports on the Death of the Romantic Comedy are Greatly Exaggerated”