Artfully Edmonds: Celebrating a ‘CAFE!’ way of life

On Saturday, the second annual Creative Age Festival of Edmonds will take place at Edmonds Senior Center on the waterfront. “Live the CAFE lifestyle!” is the enthusiastic cheer of the visionary founders of this new undertaking that encourages a creative, active, fulfilled and engaged rest-of-your-life.  

Thousands of Edmonds residents already celebrate their post-career years in a CAFE manner; some by taking a pilgrimage to The Camino, as my long time travel companion is setting out to do in May; or by becoming an “aging enthusiast” as my friend and Lynnwood resident Cynthia Andrews has done. We volunteer, run arts festivals, paint, act, write, publish – advocate for the economically disadvantaged – and so much more.

But equally important – Edmonds residents seem genuinely pleased to encourage and celebrate each other’s daring to try something new. We give as an example the enthusiastic foot-stomping support given to six dazzling Edmonds-area dancers who – this past Saturday night – accepted the challenge to become the inaugural slate of “local celebrity dancers” in the ECA’s Dancing With Our Stars.

My Edmonds News videographer/photographer Larry Vogel caught the full Dancing With Our Stars program on tape where it is now available on the YouTube channel.

The local celebrity dancers who paired up with Dancing With Our Stars dance partners included: Edmonds Arts Commissioner Julie Long; Artista Wine Cellars co-founder David Arista, ECA Board President Susan Dunn, Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson, ECA Executive Director Joe McIalwain, and Snohomish County’s economic and cultural development director, Wendy Becker Poischbeg.

After viewing the program tape, we thought it would be fun to bring you the highlight comments of the local celebrity judges regarding the creative, active, fulfilled and engaged efforts of these new dance celebrities who are leading by example:

The panel of judges for this hilarious “let’s try something new!” event included Leanne Shelton of the Barclay-Shelton dance studio, ECA marketing director Tina Baumgartner, and Mayor Dave Earling. Here’s what they had to say about each celebrity’s DWOS dance performance:

Julie Long, a vision of classic elegance was paired with professional dancer, Alex and earned the following praise for her Foxtrot performance: “Smooth as butter,” “Seductive moves,” “Fun and flirty.”

David Arista and DWOS dancer Grace earned whistles and cat calls for their rendition of The Swing and gained this praise from the judges: “Impressive! Really fun!” “Amazing Enthusiasm” and “Lightning fun!”

Jennifer Gregerson, led by dancer Anthony in a Cinderella waltz, heard “You were wonderful!” “That smile!” “Dreamy!” (Jennifer promised to wear her Cinderella tiara to the next Mukilteo City Council meeting.)

Joe McIalwain and dancer Alyssa burst into an energetic disco and the crowd roared their approval at the end as McIalwain was awarded the first “9” of the evening. Commented Judge LeAnne, “Nice job channeling your inner John Travolta.” Mayor Earling recounted that it was he who hired McIalwain for the ECA job 11 years ago. “Judge Tina” wasn’t shy in bragging to the crowd that “Disco Joe” is her ECA boss, before awarding him a “9”.

Susan Dunn, wearing a tight red shimmy dress, circled DWOS dancer David and shook her hips in hot salsa moves, earning the post-performance quip, “Susan Dunn is the real reason for global warming!” [Score: 10] “Nice hips – enough said!” observed the Mayor; and “I knew you would give it your all,” confirmed Judge LeAnne.

The crowd went crazy over the country 2-step performed by Wendy Poischbeg and dancer Gary, as the judges wisecracked comments such as, “I think it’s fairly safe to say that this isn’t your first rodeo!” “Straight out of Nashville,” “A weapon of mass seduction!” “Sassy!” Wendy and Gary earned the evening’s full set of “10s” from the celebrity judges).

“Disco Joe” McIalwain, wearing his coveted iridescent blue shirt is congratulated by Mark Lowes for his dance performance in Edmonds’ first “Dancing With Our Stars” event as his partner Alyssa looks on.

However, it was “Disco Joe” McIalwain (wearing an iridescent blue shirt and looking amazingly like Saturday Night Fever’s John Travolta) who danced into the audiences’ heart as The People’s Choice, thus earning him The Mirror Ball Trophy.

Six local celebrity dancers who are creative, active, fulfilled and engaged – and leading by example.

Artfully Edmonds thoroughly enjoyed the lead up to Dancing With Our Stars and hopes the ECA brings the event back next year. Congratulations, local celebrity dancers!

~ ~ ~ ~

Thursday, April 27
5:30 p.m.

Opening Night

MAMBO ~ Dinner & A Show!

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Meadowdale High School
6002 168th St. S.W.

It’s a bit ironic that this week’s events line-up leads with the story of The Moderns performed by young adults whose great grandparents would have been a part of that magical flight from the Victorian era.

Thoroughly Modern Millie will play through the weekend, but Opening Night offers the special feature of a MAMBO ~ Dinner & A Show.

It’s the end of another school year and these are the days when memories are made – be there for this special production as today’s youth pay tribute to yesterday’s social trailblazers!

Tickets at the door!

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Thursday, April 27
7:30 p.m.

A Masterworks Concert

Edmonds-Woodway High School

Performing at Shorewood High School
17300 Fremont Ave. N., Shoreline

Edmonds-Woodway High School musicians, performing at the performance hall on the Shorewood High School campus.

This special evening will showcase the talents of fine young musicians, performing pieces by classic composers:

Juliana Bushnell: Korngold, Violin Concerto
Henry Zing: Mendelssohn, Violin Concerto
Dana Wenzel: Tchaikovsky, Entr’acte from Sleeping Beauty,
Angela Yang: Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue,

For the second half of the evening, the Edmonds Community College Symphonic Choir will join the Bel Canto Choir and Philharmonic Orchestra for Schubert, Mass No. 2 in G Major.
Admission by donation. Please consider a minimum donation of $5 per person to show generosity to our Edmonds area young people.

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One of the most exciting performance experiences is opening night at a large cast Driftwood Players musical. Don’t miss the excitement of “The Drowsy Chaperone” — a perfect date night treat whether you’re a teen — or not!

Friday, April 28
8 p.m.

Opening Night Sell-Out Alert!

The Drowsy Chaperone

Driftwood Players Main Stage production

– – –

Cue two lovers on the eve of their wedding, a bumbling best man, a desperate theatre producer, a not-so-bright hostess, two gangsters posing as pastry chefs, a misguided Don Juan and an intoxicated chaperone, and you have the ingredients for an evening of madcap delight and the classic mix of ingredients for another Driftwood Players smash hit!

Opening night is nearly a sell out; grab your set of tickets now at this link.

– – –

59th Season!

The Driftwood Players has announced its 59th Season, with ticket packages going on sale to the general public on June 1. (Current season ticket holders may select their ticket packages beginning May 15.)

The main stage season line up will include:

  • Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery by Ludwig (opens September 8);
  • Disney’s Beauty & The Beast by Andrew Coopman which opens November 25;
  • To Kill A Mockingbird opens February 9, 2018 in its original acting version;
  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: The Musical will open April 20; and the season concludes with
  • Sabrina Fair, directed by Rick Wright, with an opening night slated for June 8.

For additional ticket information, contact the box office at 425-774-9600.

~ ~ ~ ~

Gloria Burgess has accepted an invitation to address the 2017 CAFE festival to be held on Saturday, April 29 in Edmonds.

Saturday, April 29
8 a.m.

Creative Age Festival of Edmonds (CAFE)

Edmonds Senior Center
220 Railroad Ave.

How the Creative Age Festival of Edmonds came to be.

Have you looked at the amazing line up of presenters for this year’s Creative Age Festival of Edmonds? Local superstars whose accomplishments you have read about in My Edmonds News all year: Dr. Gloria Burgess, Janette Turner, Debra Gettleman, Monda Van Hollebeke, Melanie Calderwood, Diana Scheel – and many regional celebrities.

The full roster of speakers is listed here:

There will be experts touting the joys of gardening, photography, travel, dance, art, music and community engagement; nutritionists and so much more with ideas and inspirations on how to brighten the prospects for an engaged and exciting “rest of your life”!

Tickets are on sale for a full day of fun on the Edmonds waterfront. Click! Click! to the CAFE lifestyle!

~ ~ ~ ~

Phoenix Theatre, located in Firdale Village concludes its spring production, “The Female of the Species” this weekend.

Friday/ Saturday at 8 p.m.
Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.
April 28, 29, 30

Female of the Species

The Phoenix Theatre

Firdale Shopping Plaza
9673 Firdale Ave.

The Phoenix Theatre’s “Female of the Species” was reviewed by My Edmonds News on April 15.

It just doesn’t get funnier than this!


~ ~ ~ ~

Saturday, April 29
7 p.m.

Giselle ~ Olympic Ballet Theatre (OBT)

At Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave. N.

A dance of unrequited love, betrayal, and redemption, set to the hauntingly beautiful score by Adolphe Adam is the perfect way to introduce ingénues to the romance of ballet.

Giselle is a classic Romantic era story of the meeting of a stunning peasant girl who has a passion for dance, and the mysterious man who falls in love with her.

Tickets for Giselle are available at the OBT website.

~ ~ ~ ~

Artistry by Edmonds talent Bill Grader who will be exhibiting at the Lynn Hanson Gallery in Seattle’s Pioneer Square along with his wife, Sharon Grader during the month of May.

Edmonds husband-and-wife artists Bill Grader and Sharon Grader will be featured at a joint gallery exhibition at the Lynn Hanson Gallery (121 Prefontaine Pl. S.) in Seattle’s Pioneer Square next month.

The exhibition opens for the Seattle First Thursday Art Walk on May 4 from 5-8 p.m. and runs through May.

Sharon is an abstract encaustic (hot beeswax) painter who explores and experiments with techniques and unexpected materials. Bill handcrafts wooden tables made of driftwood, reclaimed metal parts, and beach stones. Using natural materials, their work shares a common aesthetic.

The public is invited to the Seattle artist’s reception Saturday, May 20 from 4-6 p.m.

~ ~ ~ ~

Cutting edge theatre for creative young adults; that’s Ballyhoo Theatre.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday
May 4, 5 and 6 ~ 7 p.m.

Sunday, May 8
2 p.m.

Ballyhoo Theatre presents “The Spitfire Grill”

At The Phoenix Theatre
9673 Firdale Ave. in the Firdale Shopping Plaza

By James Valcq and Fred Alley

Directed by Shileah Corey with Michael Corey conducting

Playbill: Percy Talbot has just been released from prison and is seeking a fresh start. Tearing a page from an old travel book, she makes her way to the small town of Gilead, Wisconsin.

The local sheriff, Joe Sutter, finds her a job at the Spitfire Grill, and through her own emotional healing, Percy in turns helps transform the town from one of despair to one of hope and new beginnings.

The score is based on the rural folk music of the Great Lakes and Southern Appalachia: imparting a haunting simplicity evocative of a time that has long since passed from the American scene.

Tickets are $7 at the door.

~ ~ ~ ~

Mike O’Day is shown here in his studio readying for the upcoming Sculptor’s Workshop Spring Pottery Sale.

Friday, May 5
1 p.m.

Sculptor’s Workshop 2017 Spring Pottery Sale

121 5th Ave. S.

~ ~ ~ ~

Monday, May 8
7:30 p.m.

Pictures at an Exhibition

Cascade Symphony Orchestra

Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave. N.

Cascade Symphony Orchestra concludes its impressive 55th season with Pictures at an Exhibition, Mussorgky (arr. Ravel).

Music director Michael Miropolsky has included on the evening’s program Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave, op. 31 and Haydn’s Concerto for Cello in C Major which features cellist Meeka Quan DiLorenzo.

A member of Seattle Symphony Orchestra since 2009, Ms. DiLorenzo began her music studies at the age of six, ultimately graduating from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She held the title of Associate Principal Cello in the Utah Symphony before arriving Seattle and has performed with members of the Julliard and Cleveland quartets, as well as receiving invitations to an impressive number of prestigious music festivals.

~ ~ ~ ~

Wednesday, May 10

Theatre Schmeater

2125 3rd Ave. ~ Seattle

After our two local theatre troupes close their current running productions, you may still have a Jones for more theatre thrills.

May we suggest Theatre Schmeater, a 50-seat intimate playhouse in downtown Seattle. With its many ties to the local theatre scene including Kathleen and Roger Huston, Carissa M. Smit, Woody Lotts, you’re bound to feel right at home as you settle in to watch Edmonds’ thespians hitting the Theatre Schmeater boards.

Money & Run by Wayne Rawley

To celebrate their 25th anniversary season, Theater Schmeater is presenting Money & Run in these episodes:

Episode 1: “Money, Take Run”
Episode 2: “Of Nuns and Ninjas”
Episode 3: “Save the Last Dance For Run”

The Theatre Schmeater troupe suggests that we think of this production as an anniversary party!

To throw a really good party you need a bunch of really cool people to attend. Theatre Schmeater has assembled three separate casts, one unique cast for each episode, to creating one huge (30+) ensemble of local actors, plus technicians, designers and choreographers.

This is a really big show, with three big acts and 30 awesome roles, lined up with a committed ensemble who really know how to get down with their bad selves.

Money & Run is an episodic comedy action adventure series that follows the titular pair of hard-lovin’ anti-heroes as they race across Cudrup Country righting wrongs, helping the helpless and kissing each other- all the while keeping one step ahead of the vengeful bounty hunter who wants them caged; and the greedy liquor store tycoon who wants them dead – Eek!

Experience Theatre Schmeater and see why all the fuss!

For additional information, you are invited to contact Kathleen Huston at

~ ~ ~ ~

If they’ve booked The Phoenix, it’s guaranteed to be funny!

Saturday, May 20
7:30 p.m.

Then it’s Comedy Night Improv!

The Comedy Court Improv group is famous for its super speed short-form improv show.

Using a courtroom theme, the judge will pit the plaintiffs and defendants against each other in a hilarious series of improv games. Everything that happens at The Phoenix is funny!

The ticket page for Comedy Night Improv performed in Firdale at The Phoenix is at this link.

— By Emily Hill


Emily Hill is the author of two novels and a short story collection. Emily is retired from a career in public information and news media relations. If you would like your event listed, or featured, in Artfully Edmonds, Emily invites you to contact her at



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