Le Guin, Allende, Bradbury & More, This Spring at Thrilling Tales!

This Spring Thrilling Tales, the library’s popular story time for grown ups, is branching out with new monthly evening events in addition to our regular lunch hour gatherings. Now in its 15th year, the program celebrates the joy of story with live readings of compelling, intriguing, wondrous and suspenseful stories. Here’s what’s coming up in the months ahead.

Continue reading “Le Guin, Allende, Bradbury & More, This Spring at Thrilling Tales!”

Seattle Rep’s THE GREAT LEAP: Beyond the Theater

Diplomatic tensions between American and China, played out in the sports arena. How the passions and actions of one person can make a difference in the world. The themes of Lauren Yee’s play The Great Leap – which opens its month-long run at The Seattle Repertory theatre on March 23 – could not be more timely.

Yee’s play was inspired by stories of her father’s days on the basketball courts of San Francisco’s Chinatown, where he played center and was known as “Spider.” Chinatown had a robust history of basketball dating back to the 1930’s and 1940’s, when male and female athletes cultivated a new high-speed style of fast-break basketball that was decades ahead of its time, smashing stereotypes and defeating rivals. Kathleen Yep’s fascinating Outside the Paint: When Basketball Ruled at the Chinese Playground reveals this history, while Dean Wong’s Seeing the Light: Four Decades in Chinatown provides a vivid immersion in the life, spirit and struggles of four Chinatowns depicted in powerful, revelatory photographs. Continue reading “Seattle Rep’s THE GREAT LEAP: Beyond the Theater”

Seattle Rep’s HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN: Beyond the Theatre

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN from February 23 to March 18, 2018. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this resource list of books, CDs, DVDs and musical scores to enhance your experience of the show.

“Alexander’s Ragtime Band” “Blue Skies” “Always” “Cheek to Cheek” “Puttin’ on the Ritz” “Easter Parade” “What’ll I Do” “How Deep Is the Ocean” “The Song Is Ended” “God Bless America” “White Christmas”…the list goes on and on…and on!  Irving Berlin was a tireless worker who wrote over 1500 songs – a staggering amount – and what’s even more remarkable than the sheer number of songs is the high quality of so much of his work.  Regardless of whether he was writing for the stage, for film, or stand-alone popular songs, he was a master songwriter (without ever having learned to read music).  From his birth in Russia in 1888 to his death at age 101, The Seattle Rep’s “Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin” explores the man behind all of this extraordinary music.

From the Rep’s synopsis:

From Imperial Russia to the streets of the Lower East Side, ACTOR AND PIANIST Hershey Felder takes us on a journey through “AMERICA’S COMPOSER” Irving Berlin’s incredible and fascinating life. Featuring Berlin’s most enduring tunes including “God Bless America” and “White Christmas,” this musical portrait is an uplifting IMMIGRANT TALE that breathes new life into THE AMERICAN DREAM.

Seattle Rep’s TWO TRAINS RUNNING: Beyond the Theatre

August Wilson Way, a pedestrian walkway at Seattle Center. (Photo by Curtis Cronn, flickr)

Here in Seattle we claim playwright August Wilson as one of our own, even though he was born in Pittsburgh and spent only 15 years (from 1990 until his death in 2005) here. But it was here, in the basement of his Capitol Hill house, where he completed his magnificent Pittsburgh Cycle (sometimes also called the Twentieth Century Pittsburgh Cycle). It was here where he worked with Seattle Repertory Theatre to produce all ten plays in the cycle. It is here, in Seattle, where a lovely walkway, just south of the Seattle Rep (along the vacated Republican Street between Warren Ave N. and 2nd Ave. North) is known as August Wilson Way.

Two Trains Running, which opens next Friday at the Seattle Rep, premiered at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 1990 and then went on to the Huntington Theatre in Boston and, in 1991, at the Seattle Rep with Laurence Fishburne. We’re excited to welcome this production back to Seattle. Continue reading “Seattle Rep’s TWO TRAINS RUNNING: Beyond the Theatre”

Never mind Hallowe’en: Christmas is the Original Haunted Holiday.

It’s that time of year again – a time of ghosts and goblins, of sudden chills and flickering candle flames at the stroke of midnight, of frights and haunts and things that go bump in the night. No, this isn’t a leftover post from Hallowe’en. For the Victorians, the spookiest holiday of the year was Christmas. Here’s British writer Jerome K. Jerome in 1891:

“There must be something ghostly in the air of Christmas — something about the close, muggy atmosphere that draws up the ghosts, like the dampness of the summer rains brings out the frogs and snails… Nothing satisfies us on Christmas Eve but to hear each other tell authentic anecdotes about specters. For ghost stories to be told on any other evening than the evening of the twenty-fourth of December would be impossible in English society as at present regulated.”

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Continue reading “Never mind Hallowe’en: Christmas is the Original Haunted Holiday.”