A Young Adult Novel, iDiOM Theater’s Ambitious Show, Day of the Dead Events, and How You Can Support Live Music in Ferndale!

An Evening with Alan Gratz is presented by Congregation Beth Israel and Village Books at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, at Congregation Beth Israel, 751 San Juan Boulevard. The award-winning author talks about his new novel, “Allies,” set in German-occupied France on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Gratz’ novel “Refugee” is a Sasquatch Award nominee and is currently widely read in the Whatcom County schools. Gratz is the New York Times bestselling author of several books for young readers; he lives in North Carolina with his wife and daughter. The event is free.

The biggest show of Bellingham’s fall theater season is coming up, opening  Friday, Nov. 1, at Sylvia Center for the Arts, 207 Prospect St.
All three plays of “The Norman Conquests,” Alan Ayckbourn’s “cryingly funny” trilogy of 1970s English farces, will be performed in rep in Sylvia Center’s Lucas Hicks Theater for five weekends, Nov.1–30 by iDiOM THEATER.
“The Norman Conquests” is made up of three interlocking full-length plays — “Table Manners,” “Living Together,” and “Round and Round the Garden” — that are ingeniously written to be enjoyed individually or as a trilogy, and can be seen in any order. The plays will be performed on a rotating schedule for four weeks, and can also be seen all together on two marathon performance days on Saturday, Nov. 23, and Saturday, Nov. 30.
Set in the dining room (“Table Manners”), living room (“Living Together”), and garden (“Round and Round the Garden”) of an English country house, The Norman Conquests follows six characters — assistant librarian Norman, his wife, his in-laws and the local veterinarian — from Saturday night through Monday morning. We watch as desperate lothario Norman attempts to seduce his sister-in-law Annie, charm his brother-in-law’s wife Sarah and woo his estranged wife Ruth, during a disastrously hilarious weekend of eating, drinking and miscommunication.
With his characteristic compassionate humor, Ayckbourn explores the disappointments bubbling beneath the surface as his characters’ dreams of love and fulfillment go awry.
The plays are directed by Evan Mueller, associate professor of voice and acting at the department of theatre and dance of Western Washington University’s College of Fine and Performing Arts.
Individual tickets range from $10 to $25;  three-show “Trilogy Packages” range from $24 to $60. Details at SylviaCenterfortheArts.org/events.

Will Davis, owner of The Lucky Monkey, 312 W. Champion Stt., says he’s doing some Day of Dead stuff for Art Walk night, Friday Nov. 1, featuring some new local and Mexican art and jewelry, as well as a variety of exotic skull masks! Day of the Dead is a traditional Mexican holiday that honors deceased ancestors while celebrating their lives.He’s also going to do a bit of a joint show with Vince Lalonde ‘s new gallery right next door, Galleria Bham Bham. Should be fun! And next month the shop will be doing the sixth annual “The Wreath as an Art Form” show with a new name, “Wreather Madness!” It’s open to all local artists. Contact Will at the Lucky Monkey, 360-223-2743 or email luckymonkeygifts@gmail.com for details.

Whatcom Museum hosts a Family Activity Day: Día de Los Muertos Celebration, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Lightcatcher, 250 Flora St. Festivities will include paper marigolds, face painting, rock skull decorating, a community offering table, Juanita’s Mexican food, and dance performances by Rumba Northwest. $3 general admission, members get in for free.

Vancouver, BC’s The Reid Jamieson Band performs at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, at the Firehouse Arts and Events Center, 1314 Harris Ave.  A classic introvert/extrovert combo, Reid performs with his saucy wife and long-time song-writing partner Carolyn Victoria Mill. Together they have won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and wrote their way into the Vancouver Folk Festival by winning their Pickin’ a Folk Star Contest.  Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 online and at the door. More on them at https;//www.reidjamieson.com

Blaine Harbor Music Festival and Camp present the EastWest Winds Quintet, with faculty members Nick Biello on saxophone, Charlie Porter on trumpet, Julian MacDonough on drums, Tony Foster on piano, and John Lee on bass, combining their East/West style of jazz  at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, at the Blaine Performing Arts Center, 975 H St. Tickets are $20, available at Blaine Visitor Center, online at www.BlaineHarborMusicFestival.org, and at the door. Kids younger than 12 can come for free! Porter and Biello will also perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the Sylvia Center for the Arts, 207 Prospect St., with Jon Lakey on bass, Alan Jones  on drums, and John Hansen on piano. Tickets are $15 general, $5 students, free for members of Whatcom Jazz Music Arts Center.

As reported in My Ferndale News:
“A public hearing at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, in Ferndale’s City Hall Annex Building, 5694 Second Ave., with the Ferndale Hearing Examiner will be the first opportunity The Main Street Bar & Grill, 2005 Main St., has had to appeal a notice of violation issued by the City. The notice states the business is a ‘nightclub’ as defined by RCW 19.27.510 and unable to hold live music events without an adequate approved fire suppression system. In October 2018, former business owner John Wirts learned the business was going to be categorized by the City as a nightclub. That meant he was required to either install a fire suppression sprinkler system or stop the music. Not having the estimated $80,000 to $100,000 needed to install a sprinkler system, he said he had no choice but to stop having bands perform every weekend as had been the case since Wirts bought the business in 2014 and for years prior to that.
Wirts sold the business to Michael Crow earlier this year. At the time, Wirts had an appeal scheduled with the Ferndale Hearing Examiner but that was canceled after he sold the business.
Crow said he resubmitted a business license application earlier this year that said limited live music would be performed and that was met with the same fate. Crow is now appealing the City’s decision to reject that application.
According to the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) section 19.27.510, “nightclub” is a term used by the 2006 International Building Code and is applied when the total area of ‘concentrated use of unfixed chairs and standing space that is specifically designated and primarily used for dancing or viewing performers exceeds 350 square feet, excluding adjacent lobby areas. This does not include theaters, banquet halls or lodge halls.’”