A Certain Movie Star, Tom Cruise, the N-Word, and Disappearing Directors
• Another week, another white person trying and failing to make comedy out of the N-word. The latest offender/lesson-learner: Sharon Needles, winner of this year's RuPaul's Drag Race and Pride weekend headliner at Neumos's "Hey Tranny It's Tranny" show. While defending the comedic use of the semicontroversial "tranny," Needles pointed to many other much more offensive words, dropping some N-bombs that stunk up the joint like a nuclear-grade broccoli fart. Needles reportedly apologized.
• At the June 21 performance of The Damnation of Faust, an electronic beeping sound from the balcony went on so long that conductor Ludovic Morlot had to halt the show. While the Seattle Symphony, Symphony Chorale, and vocal soloists sat onstage waiting, ushers ran around frantically looking for the source. The culprit? An elderly woman's locator beacon, nestled in her purse. Are Seattle audiences too passive even to call out a beeper in the next seat over?
• According to the Ballard News-Tribune, the Amber Den is temporarily closed, set to reopen next month with a full bar, a new menu, and an "overhauled neighborhood attitude." The Amber Den is one of approximately 197 new bars in Ballard, making the neighborhood definitely feel overhauled, but can they all survive?
• Ill Cosby, a key figure in Seattle's vital electronic-music scene, is moving to Washington, DC, in July. Cosby made his mark as boss of the excellent future-bass label Car Crash Set, as well as in trailblazing work as a producer, DJ, and host of an internet radio show on sub.fm. He will be missed.
• Anthony Bourdain wore a T-shirt printed with local artist Laura Castellanos's grim-faced character "Bummerbunny" on his traveling food show No Reservations.
• Travel writer and PBS celebrity Rick Steves recently spent an evening at the immersive dinner theater Cafe Nordo. Afterward, a member of the cast/waitstaff Facebooked, "Chef Nordo pleases Rick Steves. Rick Steves, however, is a shitty tipper."
• Central Cinema's recent run of Top Gun surprised waitstaff as the insistent on-screen tongue wrassling of Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis inspired rampant making-out among audiences packed with twentysomethings.
• Vincent Kitch, the head of the city's Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs hired by Mayor McGinn last February, continues to be almost startlingly absent from events or public dialogue about culture in Seattle. Aside from SIFF's opening night, the city's arts community has not seen or heard from him in months.
This article has been updated since its original publication.