• Question: On the Sunday afternoon of a decisive football game to decide whether the Seahawks will play in the Super Bowl, how many people will show up to an autobiographical solo show in which a Latino man ruminates on his absent father?
Answer: Four of the performer's friends (sitting in the front row) and one critic (sitting in the third row—see review).
Follow-up question: Will the conspicuous sparseness of the audience detract from the pleasure of watching the performance?
Answer: Not at all.
• Later that evening, Gender Tender performed their latest dance piece, Sync or Swim, at Calamus Auditorium at Gay City, a show that involved performers across the gender spectrum rolling around with flesh-colored latex casts of high heels. Gender Tender is an ongoing project about "the day to day challenges of navigating hetero-normative culture as queer wizards," and this show consisted of send-ups of gendered family archetypes on TV. One of Gender Tender's cofounders, Will Courtney, can do more with his eyes than some people can do with their whole bodies. "I'm Uncle Simon and I hate football," he ad-libbed at one point, which was funny because outside the building people were hollering and honking horns, and just a few minutes earlier, in the Kaladi Brothers coffee shop that shares space with Gay City, someone in a Seahawks jersey and cap had just been holding forth about football, community, and the meaning of life or something.
• Bob Nelson, the former Almost Live! cast member, has been nominated for an Academy Award for best original screenplay for Nebraska, Alexander Payne's classic-in-the-making. The movie features Bruce Dern doing a very convincing job of being senile and an excellent ending. The 86th Academy Awards are on March 2.
• Meanwhile in Utah, Seattle work is lighting up the Sundance Film Festival, including director Lynn Shelton's new film Laggies, which received a high-profile premiere and landed a domestic distributor, and actor Paul Eenhoorn's lead performance in the dramedy Land Ho!
• Less than two years ago, Robin Held and Betsey Brock moved from their posts at cutting-edge local art museums (the Frye and the Henry, respectively) to work at Reel Grrls, a nonprofit that teaches media arts production to girls and young women. But now, both are leaving Reel Grrls without other work lined up. (Held was executive director, Brock director of external affairs.) Rumor has it that Reel Grrls is in money trouble, at least short-term. Brock, who is still at Reel Grrls but departing soon, e-mailed: "A select number of Reel Grrls major funders have turned to new priorities (in school programs and STEM only) and a number of previously awarded grants have changed regional restrictions (California only) and are no longer available to Reel Grrls. The organization is in the process of identifying replacements for them, and has more prospects and asks than ever before." Reel Grrls interim executive director Ilona Rossman Ho didn't respond to a request for comment by press time.