Seattle and Tony: Robert Schenkkan, who has a home in Seattle and a Pulitzer Prize, won this year's Tony Award for best play with All The Way, his study of LBJ's maneuvering to get the Civil Rights Act passed in 1964. (Bryan Cranston won a Tony last night for his portrayal of the old Texan, who not only beat Barry Goldwater like a bad dog—what would America be like if that hadn't happened?—but is one of only four people in history to have the political equivalent of an EGOT: He served as a US representative, senator, vice president, and president.) This town hasn't seen All the Way—it premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival—but the Seattle Rep has commissioned a sequel titled The Great Society. And Aladdin, which had a pre-Broadway tryout at the 5th Ave, was nominated for five awards and won one (James Monroe Iglehart, for best actor in a musical). Congrats to all.
Prole Drift Drifting Away: Dirk Park’s gallery Prole Drift opened in June 2011 with a group show of terrific artists and has continued its streak of awesome right up to today, with a painting/knitting/performance show by Seattle artist Paul Komada. There have been heavenly deconstructed linens by Brad Winchester, equally unearthly nudes by Glenn Rudolph, and later this summer will come a single 13-foot oil painting of a prison by Seattle artist Buddy Bunting, whose portraits of prisons are incredible. But after Bunting’s show, Prole Drift comes to an end. Park says he will renew his lease, but turn the International District storefront into his own studio that, most likely, hosts one-night or one-weekend shows rather than monthlong exhibitions. “To have a static program just isn’t a workable thing,” Park said. “There was a great crowd last night,” he said of last week’s First Thursday art walk, “but I can sit here a whole Friday and Saturday and nobody comes.” Like Vignettes and Sharon Arnold’s LxWxH, Park is looking for new ways to share space and show art. While he’s not sure of the format yet, “I’ll be in this game for the rest of my life. I’ll still be calling you up and telling you to come look at genius shit.” Phew, and shame on everybody who never set foot in that great gallery on a lonely Friday or Saturday.
Land Art: There’s a new permanent public sculpture on the Burke-Gilman Trail. It’s called Reclamation, and it features two bronze copies of a nearby tree stump. The stump juts up and curves, and the two copies curve toward each other from across the path to create an imaginary arc. The real tree is a half mile east. Anna MacDonald is the artist, and there’s a welcome ceremony Saturday June 14 from 3 to 4 pm. The sculpture’s on the trail near the corner of NE 52nd Pl and 40th Ave NE, next to the Metropolitan Market, and the ceremony is at the Burke-Gilman Playground Park. Here's what it looks like:
Paul Constant Takes One Final SIFF Binge:
I squeezed in a couple of movies at the Seattle International Film Festival over the weekend. They Came Together was a very funny Airplane!-style spoof of romantic comedies starring Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd. The movie was directed by David Wain of Wet Hot American Summer fame. Though not as funny as American Summer, Together still deserves to be seen in a theater full of people, because comedies like this are always funnier when viewed in groups. Wain said there are no plans to screen Together in Seattle as a traditional theatrical release; if you're so inclined, you could buy tickets on film-crowdsourcing site Tugg to attend an upcoming screening of They Came Together at the Oak Tree 6 on Aurora.
I also watched Creep, a found-footage horror-comedy starring Mark Duplass. At the beginning of the movie, Duplass is a cheery, up-with-people fitness freak with a relentlessly positive attitude. That's not the way the character ends the film. It's a funny, occasionally frightening lo-fi trip of a genre film. Creep is reportedly going to be released next winter.
For me, it was a wildly successful SIFF: I saw three of my favorite movies of the year so far at SIFF (Boyhood, We Are the Best! and Mary Is Happy Mary Is Happy) and we got the Egyptian Theatre back, too. Could there be a more Hollywood ending for this year's festival? I don't think so.