Artfully Edmonds: Dancing, divas and dinner theatre make for an exciting week

Phoenix Theatre, located in Firdale Village at 9673 Firdale Ave. opens its spring production, “Female of the Species” this weekend.

The Phoenix Rises on Female of the Species

Opening Night!

Friday, April 14
8 p.m.

The Phoenix Theater Opens
“Female Of the Species”

by Joanna Murray-Smith
Director: Eric Lewis

Dress Rehearsal

Thursday, April 13

What to expect when the lights dim:

Thirty years previous, author Margot Mason (played by comedienne Melanie Calderwood) wrote her groundbreaking work. Numerous best sellers and much acclaim followed Mason, a pioneer in the 1970s women’s liberation movement.

Now, however, she suffers from writer’s block.

Molly, who has built her life based on the ideals perpetrated by the author, gains entry to Mason’s home and calmly informs the author that she intends to kill her. You see, Molly’s life has not turned out as she planned and Molly blames the author for ruining it.

Somehow the Phoenix troupe is going to turn this material into a dark, hilarious satire!

Says their promo poster, “Joanna Murray-Smith’s play makes the case that the female of the species is not only deadlier, but funnier than the male.”

The full cast of characters include:

Margot Mason: Melanie Calderwood

Molly Rivers: Tracy Cahill

Tess Thornton: Debra Gettleman

Bryan Thornton: David Bailey

Theo Reynolds: Dennis Moore

Frank: Nick Horiatis

“Tess” played by Debra Gettleman does a little gun play as “Molly” (Tracy Cahill) contemplates the dark humor of the situation in “The Female of the Species” playing at The Phoenix Theatre through April 30.

Artfully Edmonds was able to catch up with a rather busy managing director, Debra Gettleman, to get a few insights into the character she plays in this Phoenix production:

“I play the role of Tess, an exhausted, harried, unfulfilled stay-at-home mother (hmmm … that’s not quite a stretch from my personal life). Not that I’m not madly in love with my real-life boys. But I tried the full time, stay-at-home role and it didn’t exactly suit me. I quickly learned that I am a maternal sprinter, not a marathon mom.

“Tess is stuck in a loveless marriage that has major financial perks. She soon realizes it’s not enough to be financially secure if starved for affection.

Her mother, Margot Mason, a superstar feminist author, is horrified by her daughter’s domesticity and finds Tess’ choices beyond disgraceful. (“Nice husband. Lovely kids. Comfortable house. What sort of life is that?” Margot asks rhetorically.)

Gettleman admits, “Playing the role of an angst-ridden mother who finds Cheerios and sippy cups lacking in fascination has not been too challenging for this mama. In fact, at one point, my character finds herself overwhelmed with exhaustion and – falling to the ground in toddler, tantrum-esque fashion – sobs the lines, “I’m human too. I have needs. Nobody cares about me!”

“My son was watching the rehearsal and asked me why people were laughing when I was just acting like I normally do at home 🙂

“This production has had its crazy moments. The cast really likes each other and we all love our director, Eric Lewis. Eric had to leave town for a week right before “tech” and our good friend, Keith Dahlgren (managing director of Jet City Improv), stepped in to cover for Eric. It was great to get assistance from such an awesome comedy pro. Eric is a comic genius, as is Keith. So we really benefited from the dual perspective!”

Asked what her favorite lines will be to deliver as she personifies “Tess,” Debra replied that her fave line from the playwright’s pen is delivered to Margot, who refuses to reveal to daughter Tess any facts about the identity of Tess’ father’s: “Well, maybe if I had had a strong, stable man in my life, I wouldn’t have wanted to marry one!”

Sell Out Alert!

Since coming off the Seattle Fringe Festival success, sales have been very brisk for this rising theatre troupe. We hear that opening weekend is almost sold out!

Get your tickets soon via this link.

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Siavash Ghomayshi performs to a sell-out crowd late Saturday, April 14.

Saturday, April 15
9 p.m.

Siavash Ghomayshi

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

Sell Out Alert!

Iranian musician, singer and songwriter Siavash Ghomayshi who began his composing career at the age of 12, is appearing this Saturday to an overflow ECA late-night crowd.

Ghomayshi began studying music in London, where he received his master’s degree from the Royal Society of Arts. He left Iran after 1978 and now lives in Los Angeles.

In recent years, Ghomayshi has explored electronic music and is known for introducing new elements into it, thus changing the landscape of Iranian pop music. In his native country he is known as the father of trance music.

The last of the ECA tickets to see Ghormayshi perform are available by calling 425-275-9595 or via this ticket link.

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Dancing With Our Stars, and the prize is a disco ball trophy!

Saturday, April 22
7:30 pm

Dancing with Our Stars!
An Edmonds-Kind-Of Dance Competition

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

Similar to the popular TV show, Dancing With Our Stars partners up local “stars” with Utah Ballroom Dance Company dancers to learn ballroom dance routines.

The prestigious dance company will costume our Edmonds stars, add in some video highlights, pamper our local judging panel, and then put on an Edmonds-Kind-Of show.

The ECA audience will get a say on who wins the coveted mirror ball trophy!

Who will you be voting for? Local dance competitors include 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.

Our dancers will be judged by local celebrity judges Leanne Shelton of the Barclay-Shelton dance studio and Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling.

Click here to purchase tickets or call the ECA Box Office at 425-275-9595.

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The strong pull of Louis Armstrong is beckoning jazz enthusiasts to the ECA.

Monday, April 24
7:30 p.m.

Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra

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

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News from Meadowdale High School



April 27-29
7 p.m.

Dinner and a Musical

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Directed by Katie Powell
Music direction by Jeff Horenstein
Choreography by Tim Hickey

Meadowdale Arts & Music Booster Organization

Meadowdale High School
6002 168th SW

It’s not your great-grandma’s 1920s! Unless she was “thoroughly modern”!

The Meadowdale Players present the musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie. The action takes you back to the height of the Jazz Age in New York City, when “moderns,” including a flapper named Millie Dillmount, were bobbing their hair, raising their hemlines, entering the workforce and rewriting the rules of love.

This high-spirited musical romp is a delightful valentine to the long-standing spirit of New York City and the people who seek to discover themselves there.

The community is invited to enjoy an Olive Garden Pasta Bar catered dinner with all the trimmings, followed by Meadowdale High School’s biggest musical production of the year, Thoroughly Modern Millie.

At-the-door Dinner + Musical tickets are $15; dinner only is $10.  But really, don’t you want to stay for the show?

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News from Mountlake Terrace High School

Two Edmonds-area high school jazz ensembles are heading to the prestigious “Essentially Ellington Festival” for which concerted fund raising efforts are underway.

Essentially Ellington

Jazz + Ellington + May in New York

Parent and event promoter Marilyn Walker reminds us that the Mountlake High School jazz ensembles that are participating in Essentially Ellington – a nationwide competition that wields prestige and begins careers – is still in a fund raising drive to get our local stars to New York.

Contributions are being accepted – Can you throw a few bucks into the tip jar at

Additional information about the trip, the competition, and the musicians are available by contacting

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Authors and Poets Podium

Saturday, April 15

Jeffrey Warren

Edmonds Bookshop
111 Fifth Ave. S.

Jeffrey Warren is slated to be downtown Edmonds for a reading from his latest novel, Justifiable Homicide as announced in last week’s edition of Artfully Edmonds.

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Thursday, April 20
5-8 p.m.

Local Poets

Edmonds Bookshop
111 Fifth Ave. S.

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Edmonds Bookshop is celebrating with its annual, and joyously anticipated, Local Poets Poetry Reading.

Book store owner Mary Kay Sneeringer and crew have lined up a slate of local poets, whose readings will be hosted by David Horowitz, founder of Rose Alley Press.

– – – –

Author Judith Works

Sunday, April 30
2 p.m.

Judith Works

Everett Public Library
2702 Hoyt Ave.

Local author, and active bibliophile, Judith Works will make an appearance at Everett Public Library to read from her Italy-focused memoir Coins In the Fountain.

Judith holds a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School, Portland. She is active in a number of Edmonds organizations including Write on the Sound, EPIC Group Writers and the Edmonds Center for the Arts.

She is currently working on a new novel, but still finds time to write short fiction; a number of which have been published in literary magazines.

Judith tells us that whenever she visits Rome, she always tosses a coin in the Trevi Fountain to ensure a return trip.

Her website is, and her travel blog is found at

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A Time Out for Edmonds Tunes!

Word comes from Edmonds Tunes organizer Bob Zborowski that the local variety show is seeking a new venue after a decision was made to no longer hold the event at Cafe Louvre.

According to Café Louvre owner Haifa Alhussieni, “Cafe’ Louvre was home to Edmond Tunes for four years; we wish Bob the best of luck.”

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2017 Beat Brackett 5K

Registration Now Open

Tuesday, July 4

Did you know registration fees from the 2017 Beat Brackett 5K is one of the many ways we fund Edmonds’ 4th of July fireworks?

This Edmonds-Kind-Of Fourth 5K event has become the kickoff for a day of neighborly fun, laughter, festivities and crazy costumes!

Runners who register for the Beat Brackett 5K will receive a performance (tech) running shirt to wear during the race. Plus, history has proved that nothing compliments a running shirt like a fake beard; so George Brackett inspired fake beards will be available for runners to don during the race.

In addition to trying to win your age and gender bracket, runners should set their sights on an attempt to “Beat Brackett.”

Yes, one special participant in the 5K is designated each year to personify Edmonds historical dignitary George Brackett. The goal of the runners is to beat Brackett to the finish line, thus the name of the race: the Beat Brackett 5K!

Those runners who beat this year’s Brackett will be vying for a chance to actually be Brackett in next year’s race.  Last year only 48 runners were able to “Beat Brackett,” out of the 600 participants.

Need more incentive? A ceremony will be held immediately following the race to award medals to the winners in each category.

My Edmonds News will post updates as summer – and the 4th of July – approaches.

Registration information is linked to this webpage. Click! Click!!

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Friday/ Saturday
May 5 /6

“Black and White”

The Sculptors Workshop

Frances Anderson Center

50th Anniversary Sale!

Mark your calendars for the workshop’s spring studio sale. Decorative and functional pottery, handcrafted by Sculptors’ Workshop members include garden art, vases, platters, mugs, plates and bowls.

During the sale and throughout the month of May, you will see numerous interpretations from Sculptors Workshop as the simple yet complex subject of “Black & White” is explored in Workshop’s exhibition to be held at the Frances Anderson Center gallery (700 Dayton).

The Sculptors Workshop will provide updates and liner notes for its anniversary show at its Facebook event page. For more information about the sale and show, visit the Sculptors Workshop’s Facebook page.

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Edmonds Center for the Arts sends out a “Thanks!”

April is Volunteer Appreciation Month according to ECA director of Patron Services Jim Kristian, who tells the community, “It is with sincere thanks that we honor our volunteers. We appreciate them all year long. Without them, we could not be presenting our full season of ECA Presented EventsFilm Cabaret SeriesSaturday Matinees and annual Kidstock! arts celebration. Communities we serve would not have had access to these cultural, educational and entertaining events without the dedicated generosity of our volunteers.”
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Marc Cohn. Courtesy IJG (Getty) images.

Friday, May 5
7:30 p.m.

Marc Cohn

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

Sell Out Alert!

Do not wait to get your tickets to see Walking to Memphis famed singer/songwriter Marc Cohn.

Celebrating his 25th Anniversary Tour with a walk to Edmonds (well, maybe not literally a walk – watch for the arrival of tour buses on May 5) Cohn grabbed a Grammy for his hit True Companion after enjoying a nomination for Walking to Memphis in 1992.

Tickets to see Marc Cohn in concert are available through the ECA online ticket 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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