Artfully Edmonds: November introduces the holiday season with a cornucopia of performances and artsy events

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    MOMIX combines athletic dance, riveting music, outrageous costumes, inventive props and pure talent to create an entertaining multimedia experience.

    By Ellen Chappelle

    November is a tricky month. Beyond fall, but not quite winter, it’s probably best known as the time when the holidays suddenly arrive. Days can be crisp as a fresh fall apple, progress from morning fog to afternoon sun, or feel downright dreary as midwinter.

    During this month, that same rich variety is available to us in the Edmonds arts scene. Despite the busyness of these days as they fly by, don’t miss the chance to reach deep into the cornucopia and choose your favorite artistic fruit!

    Performances of every hue
    Edmonds Center for the Arts kicks off its list of November events by presenting Botanica, by the innovative dancer-illusionists of MOMIX.
    With an eclectic score ranging from Birdsong to Vivaldi, MOMIX’s Botanica reveals nature’s changing imagery through dance. Botanica showcases the endlessly renewable energy of the MOMIX performers, with costumes, projections, props and puppetry adding an extra dose of fantasy to the performance. This is dance at its most organic and inventive. The way you think about the seasons may never be the same!

    MOMIX Artistic Director Moses Pendleton has been one of America’s most innovative and widely performed choreographers and directors for over 40 years. A founding member of the ground-breaking Pilobolus Dance Theater in 1971, he formed MOMIX in 1980. Pendleton has also worked extensively in film, TV and opera, as well as choreographing for ballet companies and special events. Born and raised on a dairy farm in northern Vermont, his earliest experiences as a showman came from exhibiting his family’s dairy cows at the Caledonian County Fair. (See kids, you never know what may come of that time spent in 4-H!)
    Botanica blooms on Friday, November 4 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available through ECA’s website.

    Also coming up at ECA:
    The World Famous Popovich Comedy Pet Theater takes the stage for two shows on Saturday, Nov. 5. This family-oriented act features the unique comedy and juggling skills of Gregory Popovich and the extraordinary talents of his performing pets. Each of the show’s cats and dogs were rescued from animal shelters. Now they love to show off onstage, performing a variety of stunts and skits. European-style clowns, amazing juggling and balancing acts, and of course, very talented performing pets combine to create a show sure to be a hit with all ages.

    On Thursday, Nov. 10, the 115-voice Sno-King Chorale presents Salute to America, conducted by Frank DeMiero. This patriotic tribute features the kind of music that makes you proud to be an American! The Shoreline Concert Band, under the direction of Ken Noreen, will provide the rousing underscore. The colors will be presented and all five branches of the armed forces will be represented, both onstage and in the audience.

    Next up, the Morning Star Korean Cultural Center presents Narae, featuring the best of Korean cultural dance and music in the Pacific Northwest on Nov. 12 and 13. Dynamic performances are accompanied by a variety of drums, gongs and zithers, along with a colorful array of costumes and original choreography.

    Tickets are available at the Morning Star Korean Cultural Center at 206-251-5659, via e-mail at chehsinae@gmail.com or through Morning Star’s website. Tickets will also be sold at Ranch Market on Highway 99 and at the Morning Star Korean Cultural Center in Lynnwood.

    For those who like to participate in the performance, join in with the crowd at the Sing-a-long Sound of Music on Saturday, Nov. 26. Sing with the character you’ve always wanted to play as you watch the original 1965 version of the film in glorious Technicolor! All song lyrics will be displayed on the screen for effortless participation. Costumes are encouraged and prizes will be awarded, too. When the movie is over, head out the door of ECA into downtown Edmonds just in time for the holiday tree-lighting ceremony at Edmonds’ Centennial Plaza.

    The Driftwood Players will present a staged-reading performance of Larry Kramer’s Tony award-winning play “The Normal Heart” in a limited, two-day engagement on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 12 and 13. Kramer’s chronicle of the beginning of AIDS crisis in 1984 New York is alternately angry and tender, as the protagonist takes on the government, the medical establishment, the media and even his own gay community to help those he loves. Performances will be held at Driftwood’s Wade James Theater. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Seattle Lifelong AIDS Alliance.

    Driftwood also offers the well-loved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical classic “The King & I,” opening Nov. 25 and running through Dec. 18. It’s East versus West in this dramatic, richly textured and ultimately uplifting love story. Summoned to Bangkok’s Royal Palace in 1862 to tutor the many children and wives of the King of Siam, English widow Anna Leonowens struggles with the King’s barbaric behavior. Over time, however, the two come to understand, respect and even embrace one another’s traditions and values. The show’s lavish score features showstoppers including “Getting to Know You,” “Hello, Young Lovers” and “Shall We Dance?”

    Phoenix Theatre continues its run of “The Haunted Through Lounge and Recessed Dining Nook at Farndale Castle
” through Nov. 13. In this hilarious play, the ladies of the Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society make yet another spectacle of themselves. Complete with a harassed producer and some extremely vigorous sound effects, this sinister, spine-chilling mystery of murder and mayhem is guaranteed to bring the house down, or at least a substantial part of the set.

    Art of all flavors

    Cole Gallery promises to be a hot spot during the Third Thursday Art Walk on Nov. 17, between featured artist Dianna Shyne and their participation in First Dibs, the holiday open house sponsored by the Downtown Edmonds Merchants Association.

    Shyne has spent the past 25 years painting in acrylic, oil and watercolor, studying extensively with many renowned teachers. She merges her 15 years of study in the disciplined art of Russian Impressionism with her own life experiences to create lively and contemporary imagery. Inspiration for her paintings comes from childhood memories, friendships, travels, fascinations, and dreams. A popular workshop leader and show juror, Shyne has had over 15 solo exhibitions in less than five years, more than a dozen top national awards, and many articles in local and national publications.

    First Dibs, which takes place during the Art Walk, is, well, just that. It’s your opportunity to get first dibs on the best Edmonds has to offer in holiday gift shopping. With 34 stores participating, it’s the perfect time to find the best gifts before they’re gone! Many shops plan to offer treats and special offers, too. Word on the street says our friends at Cole Gallery are planning to offer cranberry mimosas to shoppers, as well as showcasing some of their artists in demos.

    Gallery North welcomes November by welcoming back versatile artist Sam Taylor. His exhibition, “Above Us Only Sky,” will feature his new works and runs throughout the month of November.

    Taylor explores unique avenues of expression with materials not typically found at an art supply store. Highly textural, his works have a strong Eastern influence. Taylor’s love of texture is rivaled only by his passion for color. His large-scale pieces stir the imagination and connect the observer to a remarkable view of the world around us.

    The public is invited to the artist’s reception on Sunday, Nov. 6 from 1-4 p.m. You can also meet the artist during the Edmonds Third Thursday Art Walk on Nov. 17 from 5-8 p.m.

    ArtWorks, Edmonds’ gathering place for artists, jumps into November with a calendar full of events offering a little something for everyone, whether you prefer to buy art or make it yourself.

    The Northwest Polymer Clay Guild presents a Transfers and Polymer Clay workshop on Sunday, Nov. 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nan Robkin, known as the Transfer Queen, will be happy to share everything she knows about the process. Bring lots of conditioned clay in light colors, any glossy magazine images or laser printed images you wish to transfer. You’ll learn water transfers, baked-on transfers, transfers with TLS, and even packing tape transfers. A supply list will be given to those who sign up, which can be done online.

    The Northwest Polymer Clay Guild will also hold their second annual Northwest Artisan Gift Show on Saturday, Nov. 12 and Sunday, Nov. 13 at ArtWorks. Enjoy free coffee and treats while browsing several Northwest artisans’ wares; they will be displaying their unique, hand-crafted gift items for sale. Proceeds from this event benefits the NWPCG’s scholarship fund. Visit their website for more details.

    Also at ArtWorks, the Puget Sound Artists’ Gift Show will be held on Saturday, November 19 from 10 am to 6 pm. This annual show has become a local favorite, offering high quality, one-of-a-kind gifts made by professional artists from the Puget Sound area. You’ll find pottery, fiber arts, woodturning, jewelry, paintings, photography, glass and more. It’s only one day, so don’t miss it!

    The Sculptor’s Workshop of Edmonds will hold its annual holiday sale Nov. 17-19 at the Francis Anderson Center in room 210. Sale hours are 6-8 p.m. Thursday, 2-8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Call 425-774-8282 for more information.

    Just a taste of what happens in any given month on Edmonds’ art scene, this list should offer something for everyone. And just like any bursting cornucopia, Edmonds is primed and ready to enter the holiday season. Now all we need is you. Be sure you take part in the fun!

    With a background in theatre and journalism, Ellen Chappelle is perfectly poised to covers the local arts scene for My Edmonds News. She also keeps busy writing and editing for artists and small businesses, publishing an informational site for dog owners and creating handcrafted jewelry. Please keep her posted about all things artistic in Edmonds by emailing her at arts@myedmondsnews.com.

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