• It was revealed this week that André Cassagnes, inventor of the Etch A Sketch, which first hit the market in 1960, has died at age 86. Artists, warm up your dial fingers and let's see some tributes.
• In Testament—which ran last weekend at On the Boards—German theater troupe She She Pop deconstructed King Lear with the help of their septuagenarian fathers, three of whom sing, dance, give speeches, and remain onstage for the duration of the show. The combination of multimedia Shakespeare riffing and actual elderly bodies doing evocative things was a knockout, with the opening-night audience calling the cast back for two standing-O curtain calls. "The house lights came up, people started putting on their coats and shuffling to the aisles, and then, after about 20 seconds, the crowd spontaneously and unanimously decided they weren't done clapping and called the company back out again for one more ovation," reported one attendee. "It was nuts, and beautiful, and I'd never seen it before."
• Speaking of that rarest of Seattle experiences—the genuine, rather than dutiful, standing ovation—there was another one this week. It happened at the Seattle Symphony's historic first-ever performance of Olivier Messiaen's inordinately exuberant, sobbing, cosmic, tangled 1949 symphony Turangalila. This was the kind of standing ovation where everybody's standing before they've even had a chance to notice they've done it, when the whole theater jumps up as if animated by a magical force, and then everyone refuses to stop clapping even though our hands hurt and it's the third curtain call already. It was good. And weird.
• Roméo et Juliette at Pacific Northwest Ballet was less planet-stopping at its opening last Friday, but Romeo James Moore was stellar. And the performance ended with an announcement about Moore from artistic director Peter Boal: He's been promoted to principal dancer. He's been a member of the company since 2004.
• Last Tuesday, Hugo House executive director Tree Swenson held a meeting with volunteers from the Zine Archive and Publishing Project (ZAPP) to discuss the possibility of moving ZAPP out from under the House's umbrella. No deadline for the shift was given, and there are plans to have a public hearing to discuss possibilities for the library's future. Any arts organizations interested in partnering with ZAPP should contact Hugo House.
• The winter Movable Type Mixer at Vermillion, held last Thursday, was a great success. The simple Movable Type formula—bring the book you're reading, talk about your book with total strangers over drinks—appeals to newcomers who complain about "the Seattle freeze" and to book-minded people stuck in semiliterate office jobs. Books spotted include: Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Noam Chomsky's Occupy, and Kristin Kimball's The Dirty Life. The next Movable Type will be in April; keep an eye on The Stranger's readings calendar for details.