Artfully Edmonds: Comedy and guitar pyrotechnics come to town, plus more

Clockwise from top left: Celso Machado, Brian Gore, Solorazaf and Martin Taylor play ECA on Wednesday.
Clockwise from top left: Celso Machado, Brian Gore, Solorazaf and Martin Taylor play ECA on Wednesday.

By Janette Turner

Guitar virtuosos will be at Edmonds Center for the Arts on Wednesday as part of International Guitar Night, but that’s just one event in town. If you’re looking for a week’s worth of comedy, children’s entertainment, literary activities, and the biggest Super Bowl bash around, you’ve come to the right place.

Friday and Saturday: ECA hosts PTA comedy event

ECA comedyGet ready for two nights of laughs as Terrace Park Elementary PTA presents nationally-touring comedians Kermet Apio, Gabriel Rutledge, Rodney Sherwood, and Jen Seaman at Edmonds Center for the Arts. Proceeds from the Friday and Saturday comedy fest benefit local PTAs, and show times can be found on the ECA website.

Friday and Saturday: Edmonds Heights K-12 presents “Anne of Green Gables: A New Musical”

Anne of Green GablesEdmonds Heights K-12 presents, “Anne of Green Gables: A New Musical,” on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. More information on the adventures of fiery, red-haired orphan Anne, who is mistakenly sent to live with a farmer and his spinster sister, can be found on the school website.

Saturday: EdCC Black Box offers “High Speed Improv”

EdCC UnexepctedProfessional improv comedy by Unexpected Productions hits the Edmonds Community College Black Box Theatre on Saturdays, Feb. 2, 9, and 23, at 8:05 p.m. Expect a different show with different games and actors each week in this “High Speed Improv” series. Tickets are $10 and can be found here or at the door.

Sunday: EdCC Black Box hosts Super Bowl party

Super BowlYou know you go to an awesome school when it hosts the biggest Super Bowl bash in town, but even if you don’t attend Edmonds Community College, you can play student and hang out in the Black Box Theatre on Sunday for a 20-foot screening of the Super Bowl from 3-8 p.m. Free, sponsored by Sound Church and open to the public. More details here.

Monday: Author Ingrid Ricks speaks on “Navigating the New Publishing World”

Author Ingrid Ricks speaks at the library on Monday.
Author Ingrid Ricks speaks at the library on Monday.

Publishing and marketing strategist Ingrid Ricks visits the Edmonds Library on Monday, Feb. 4, as part of EPIC writing group, which meets at 10 a.m. Ricks will speak at 11 a.m. on navigating the new publishing world. Ricks is a Seattle-based journalist, author, marketing consultant and teen mentor, whose award-winning debut memoir, “Hippie Boy: A Girl’s Story,” was a teaching guide for Scriber Lake teen writers of “We Are Absolutely Not Okay.” Her latest book,” Focus,” is a memoir about her journey with the blinding eye disease Retinitis Pigmentosa. For more information on this free event, visit the EPIC Group Writers website.

Wednesday: EdCC hosts Gerald Hankerson for Black History Month

On Wed., Gerald Hankerson will speak at EdCC.
On Wed., Gerald Hankerson will speak at EdCC.

The public is invited to hear Gerald Hankerson on Wed., 12:30 p.m., at the EdCC Black Box Theatre. At age 18, Hankerson was falsely implicated as a murder accomplice and given a life sentence without parole. After 23 years in prison, a grass-roots organization helped free him in 2009, and he now serves as VP of the NAACP in Seattle/King County, as well as on the Executive Board Member of the Defender’s Association. Hankerson will speak about the criminal justice system and mentoring at-risk youth. To learn more about his astonishing story, and this event in honor of Black History Month, visit the EdCC website. Free.

Wednesday: Otherworlds’ crafting night

Otherworlds busts open the idea of crafting.
Otherworlds busts open the concept of crafting.

While most crafting nights in Edmonds consist of knitting and purling, Otherworlds takes on taxidermy eyeballs. If you’re intrigued, head to the store on Wednesday nights from 6-8 p.m., but first check the website for factoids.

Wednesday: ECA hosts International Guitar Night

Guitar 2“We’ve had a lot of sell-out shows on this tour,” said International Guitar Night (IGN) leader Brian Gore, when asked about the lineup coming to Edmonds Center for the Arts on Wed., at 7:30 p.m. And based on Gore’s response, if you haven’t already bought tickets, you may be out of luck getting a seat. We checked in with the guitar leader to find out more about the group that’s packing the houses.

My Edmonds News: How did you select this year’s lineup of guitarists?

B.G.: They’re all really memorable, super musical and pretty astounding impressive guitar playing. We’ve got somebody from Africa, Europe, Brazil – you can’t get a wider range of players than that. Martin Taylor is fantastic on every single possible level and great to be around. A world-class talent and this is his third time on the tour and he’s a real show stopper.

Regarding Solorazaf, I didn’t know anything about him, but I’d seen video for 30 seconds and said we had to have this guy in the show. He is super well-rounded.

Celso Machado, well, when we played once or twice in Vancouver, he would show up. I didn’t know who he was, but he’d show up with his guitar and ask to sit in. He’s unbelievably talented and I’ve been trying to get him in the show for years.

My Edmonds News: Could you please tell us about a memorable moment from one of your recent concerts?

B.G.: There is one really memorable moment in the show, but I can’t reveal it. I’ll say that we’ve got a show mascot that shows up at the end of the second set. You gotta come to the show to see it. And personally, I’m going to be meeting my half-brother for the first time in Michigan. I met my half-sisters a couple years ago, so that will be a memorable part of the tour for me.

My Edmonds News: How did you found IGN?

B.G.: I started working in local venues and over the years saw this was a good way to get people out to guitar shows. Over the years, it evolved into what it is today. You get to see really fantastic players also working with each other doing original material. It changes every year. The combination is always unique – different cultures and styles. It’s a super special thing for everybody and we get invited back every year. It’s always well-received and has a cult following.

My Edmonds News:  What will folks experience at the ECA concert?

B.G.: They’re going to be hearing really great music. Anybody who is interested in music will love this, seeing astounding guitar pyrotechnics that are dazzling and touch the heart as well musically.

My Edmonds News: What else would you like folks to know?

B.G.: I just released my first solo album in many years, full of images and songs inspired by Santa Cruz. It’s from a year of afternoons with Tristan, my six-year-old son, going on seven. It’s about showing him redwoods, lakes, rivers and ocean around Santa Cruz, and my friend Bill Russell did illustrations.

More information on IGN and the performers, can be found here, and ticket information is on the ECA website.

Advance notice: Phoenix Theatre’s ‘Wild Dust’ starts Feb. 8

Wild DustIn a small western town in 1880, all the woman are holed up in the local brothel during a dust storm, in Phoenix Theatre’s production of “Wild Dust,” by Flip Koebler, starting Feb. 8. We’ll tell you more about this comic misadventure next week, or you can check out the website here.

Advance notice: Driftwood’s “The Long Christmas Dinner” at Wade James Theatre and Bremerton Festival

Driftwood Players' cast for "The Long Christmas Dinner." Photo by Bob Sears.
Driftwood cast for “The Long Christmas Dinner.” Photo by Bob Sears.

Many small town theater troupes, such as the Driftwood Players, have oodles of talent, but rarely get the credit they deserve. That’s why there is the Washington State Theatre Festival, aka Kaleidoscope, which hosts a competition every two years to help small troupes get big exposure. Driftwood’s entry this year is a production of Thornton Wilder’s “The Long Christmas Dinner,” which presents 90 years of action, all during Christmas dinners. If you want to see versatility, come to the show, which will play at Wade James Theatre on Feb. 24 and 25 at 7:30 p.m., before moving to the festival in Bremerton. To stay informed, see Driftwood’s Facebook page.

Arts reporter Janette Turner.
Arts reporter Janette Turner.

Arts reporter Janette Turner is your guide to local culture. In addition to covering visual, performing and literary events for My Edmonds News, Janette is President of EPIC Writers Group, a writing teacher, and a member of the Swedish Hospital Art Committee. (Photo by Jennifer McKinney).

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