Tap Dancers! Tennessee Williams! A Downtown Market Walk! And a Nelson Mandela Tribute!

Western Washington University’s Theatre and Dance Department presents a line-up this summer, beginning with “Commedia,” at 7 p.m. July 19 and at 5 and 7 p.m. July 20 at Maritime Heritage Park, 500 W. Holly St. Rich Brown directs the masked comic performance, appropriate for all ages, that originates from the Italian Renaissance and features well-known stock characters such as tricky servants, young lovers, and foolish old men.
For tickets to the following shows, call 360-650-6146 or go to tickets.wwu.edu.
Graffiti Dance Theatre, under the direction of Nolan Dennett, is a contemporary company in residence at WWU, comprised of 10 to 12 students who are currently dance majors or graduates in the community. Guest choreographers are Brandin Steffensen and Leslie Kraus. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. July 27-29 at the Firehouse Arts and Events Center, 1314 Harris Ave.
Deb Currier directs Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” Aug. 22-26 at WWU’s Performing Arts Center Mainstage Theatre. The hilarious sendup of classic Broadway musicals is based on the 1974 cult classic film, and updated from the 2007 stage production.
Lamby Hedge, associate professor of theater at Stephens College in Missouri, is thrilled to direct Tennessee Williams’ touching drama, “The “Glass Menagerie” Aug. 29-Sept. 2 at WWU’s DUG Theatre (room 199).
“I Began Anyway”  will be an original, improvised devised production by Rich Brown and New York City’s Blessed Unrest. Brown completed a sabbatical stint with them in New York this winter and artistic director Jessica Burr and managing director Matt Opatrny will come to Bellingham with the Western Summer Theatre 2018 company. 
They will base parts of the devised piece on the poetry of Bellingham’s Elaina EllisPerformances run Sept. 5-9.
Want to get involved? Become a part of the community volunteer group Friends of Western Summer Theatre to support the company.

Solo piano artist Joey Curtin joins fellow pianist Jon Mutchler (the mayor of Ferndale) in an intimate outdoor concert (inside if it rains) at 7 p.m. Friday, July 20, at a home concert. Light refreshments will be served. Curtin is a new resident of Bellingham. Her music is a fusion of jazz, classical and Americana influences. Joey’s music is heard on National Public Radio, national and state park visitor centers, and was part of a documentary that aired on PBS; and the mayor is a well-known classical, jazz, new age, and pop pianist who studied with WWU professor emeritus Ford Hill. Visit JonMutchler.com and JoeyCurtin.com for more info. Suggested donation is $20 adults, $10 students.  Email JonMutchler@gmail.com or call 360-927-1881 for directions.

Sustainable Connections hosts a Downtown Market Walk from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 21. Stops include the Community Food Co-op, Bellingham Farmers Market, Terra Organic, The Bagelry, Seifert & Jones Wine Merchants, Pure Bliss Desserts, Old World Deli, Culture Cafe at Kombucha Town, and 11th Hour Tea and Coffee. Details: 360-647-7093, https://sustainableconnections.org.

At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 21, the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, 1207 Ellsworth St., will present a concert as a tribute to Nelson Mandela on the 100th anniversary of his birth. The community celebration features members of the Bellingham Chamber Chorale and the Bellingham Unitarian Choir together with guest artists Cricket and Snail (Jim and Lucie Carlson) from Prague, Czech Republic, who perform originals and folk arrangements for violin and accordion in an Eastern European style.
The concert includes soloists Wendy Bloom, Genevieve Baglio, and Allen-Schmid, accompanied by local pianist Emily Gantt; and sing-alongs with African-American spirituals and South African freedom songs. Admission is by freewill offering, to benefit he Zinzin Roma Children’s Choir of Romania, with whom the Unitarian Choir has a partnership. To honor Mandela’s legacy, the choir is supporting the Zinzin choral outreach and life-skills program, which bridges cultural divides in Romania and resists oppression and inequality. More info: Mandela Concert.

Here’s what’s up for this summer with the Bellingham Youth Jazz Band, a 29-piece band composed of 5-12 graders from 16 area schools that plays big band and combo jazz pieces by Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Woody Herman and others, under the direction of Mark Kelly.
There’s a benefit all-ages swing dance from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 21, at the Bellingham Senior Activities Center, 315 Halleck St., with donations supporting the BYJB and Whatcom County Parks, which provides rehearsal space for this group. Doors open at 6:45, dance instruction by Michael Spinale begins at 7, and the band takes the stage at 7:40. Complimentary food and drink will be provided by BYJB parents.
A free “Bon Voyage” concert is from 5 to 6 p.m. Friday, July 27,  at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave., both on the dock and on the departing ferry Columbia.
A free concert is from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, July 28, at the Barkley Village Gazebo next to Haggens. Bring a lawn chair or blanket!
The band performs from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1, at Lovitt Restaurant, 1114 Harris Ave. Reservations are recommended; call 360-671-7143.
The band plays from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, at the Bellingham Farmers Market on Railroad Avenue at Maple Street.
Tips for the band are encouraged! Details? Call 360-676-5750.

 

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