Theaters That Move and Artists on Fire
• The young, scrappy theater company called boom! (small caps and exclamation point preferred), which has devoted itself to world premieres and inventive staging (one of its shows had to be watched through cracks in a makeshift wall), is getting booted out of its home. Again. In 2011 it was evicted, along with many other artists, from the famed 619 building in Pioneer Square to make way for underground tunnel construction. Then boom! moved to a warehouse in South Lake Union. But the landlord has now decided to rent the space to somebody else. Company member Steven Ackley guesses the space will go to Tesla, a nearby sports-car business.
"This was kind of a blessing in disguise," Ackley wrote in an e-mail. "We had to create a lot of theater just to be able to pay rent... once we moved in, we created 15 new works in the space [many of them shorts for a festival in February] and performed four different shows in four different states this past summer, so we were kinda running low." The upshot is that boom! has decided to move to New York. Why? "We want to bleed," Ackley wrote. "We want to be tested like nothing before." Good luck, guys. Let us know how that bloodletting works out.
• Queen Anne Book Company is set to open March 1. The new store, which will open in the same location as the dearly departed Queen Anne Books, is under new management and will employ some of the former QAB booksellers.
• Balagan Theater's recent hit production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Moore contained a number of curious directorial choices, starting with the wall-sized projections of press quotes hailing the show's star, Jerick Hoffer, that dominated the stage during pre-show. No one's doubting the veracity of the quotes (the hypiest one came from The Stranger, FYI), but the in-your-face star-hype only added to the show's "Jerick Hoffer sings the songs of Hedwig!" vibe.
• The second annual Onn/Of light/art festival last weekend was once again a life-sustaining event in the middle of winter's dark, featuring an array of the city's best artists. It was even better than last year's, and the crowds flowed steadily into the warehouse that used to be a BMW dealership on Pine Street. The art was fantastically varied in tone and style: Tivon Rice's brainy, elegant, high-tech rainstorm installation. Britta Johnson's tiny animated movie of a staple gun spreading loving patterns across a telephone pole. Izzie Klingels's exquisite glow-in-the-dark fingernail designs. Graham Downing's super-deep wishing well that you could stand at the bottom of to look up at the stars. Free stick-and-poke tattoos of flash by various local artists. There were also performances by performance-art types, a Genius Award–winning cellist paired with a Persian-influenced vocalist, and trance-inducingly good bands. The composers Nat Evans and John Teske presented the Space Weather Listening Booth, where a flutist stopped time and performed the Aurora Borealis for a completely marvelous one-minute performance. It was like an art fair should be—you know, about art.