“Fun Home” at WWU, Holmes Shea Band releases new CD, Downtown Wine Walk, and FACES Northwest Hosts a Benefit

Western Washington University’s Jim Lortz directs the multi-awarding winning “Fun Home” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 1-4, at WWU’s Performing Arts Center Mainstage Theatre.
Cartoonist and author Alison Bechdel’s book “Fun Home,” a memoir in comics format, was published in 2006 and widely praised as the first musical to have a lesbian protagonist. Her book was adapted into a musical with book and lyrics by Lisa Kron and music by Jeanine Tesori in 2009. Alison’s character is portrayed by three actors. 43-year-old “Alison” is the play’s narrator who reviews her family and early life, 19-year-old “Medium Alison” who is an Oberlin student discovering her sexuality, and 10-year-old “Small Alison” who is a child struggling against her father’s expectations.
Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family’s Bechdel Funeral Home (the “Fun” Home), her growing understanding of her own sexuality, and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s desires that he refuses to admit. WWU’s production is accompanied by a live septet (offstage), conducted by Ashley VanCurler Without revealing spoilers, there are several lines that point the way to the show’s premise: “I don’t trust memory,” says the adult Alison, as she embarks on portraying her family’s life as a graphic novelist. She needs “real things to draw from,” and she “wants to know what is true.” “Chaos never happens if it’s never seen,” she says, sarcastically.In the program notes, stage manager Katie Vosburg says that Alison’s life left her with three messages: “grief affects all, love is complicated, and laughter can be found everywhere.”And Lortz adds that “seeing it once may not be enough.” Tickets range from $12 to $16 at 360-650-6146, tickets.wwu.edu.

WWU’s Global Spice series presents a free concert with Porltand, Oregon’s Seffarine, an ensemble that features Moroccan singer Lamiae Naki and flamenco guitarist Nat Hulskamp, at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, in WWU’s Performing Arts Center Concert Hall. Their music spans from Moorish Spain to the Sahara, by mixing Arabic Andalusi music with Manuel Gutierrez’s flamenco footwork, the grooves of acclaimed bassist Damian Erskine and the exotic instrumentation of Persian master multi-instrumentalist Bobak Salehi. For more on their music, visit http://www.seffarine.com/.

FACES Northwest hosts its seventh annual Autism Awareness Music Benefit from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, in Boundary Bay Brewery’s Mountain Room, 1107 Railroad Ave., with music by The Fabulously Rich and Special Delivery. FACES Northwest is a non-profit organization dedicated to working in partnership with families helping children, adolescents as well as those transitioning into adulthood with autism, maximize their strengths with the support and tools they need in order to grow socially, academically, and to be active participants in their community. The organization works in partnership with school districts to offer an Extended School Year (ESY) program as the program targets the specific academic and social needs that children with autism have to both maintain and make gains in their Individual Education Plans (IEP). By serving their IEP in the summer months the organization is able to prevent regression academically and behaviorally.$5 suggested donation at the door; kids get in free. More on the organization at http://facesnorthwest.com/wp.

The Holmes Shea Band celebrates the release of their new CD “Soul Biscuits” on Saturday, Nov. 3. at Lovitt Restaurant, 1114 Harris Ave. The show starts at 8 p.m, but guests may want to come early for dinner. John Holmes, Jamie Shea, Mark Kelly, Michael O’Neal and Dave Lyon will play original tunes  along with covers. Dancing is encouraged!. Cover is $5 or buy a CD for $10 and get in free. Call 360-671-7143 for reservations.

The Downtown Bellingham Partnership presents the return of the Holiday Wine Walk after a successful inaugural year in 2017. This year’s event, taking place from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, will guide attendees on a tasting tour throughout 21 downtown venues.

Tickets are $30 for general and $45 for VIP, and include 12 tasting tickets, a commemorative tasting cup, an event guide, and a tote bag containing special offerings. The VIP ticket option includes everything the general ticket provides, plus three extra tasting tickets, fast-track line access for quick ticket pick-up and a selection of snacks to enjoy at the event. For more information, visit the Downtown Bellingham Partnership’s Facebook page or go to DowntownBellinghamPartnership/events.