Artfully Edmonds: Jeopardy champ, best-selling author takes Phoenix stage in new comedy

Boyd Morrison, left, and Michael McFadden star in Phoenix’s production of The Foreigner, opening Friday night.

About 17 years ago, Boyd Morrison was looking for something to do in the evenings. His wife, who, as he puts it “has been responsible for most of the good things that have happened in my life,” suggested that since he loved acting, he should get connected with the theater community.

After taking an extension course to brush up on his high school drama skills, he played a role in The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 at a Redmond playhouse. He’s been active in community theater ever since, having performed in a dozen plus plays at Driftwood and The Phoenix alone.

It’s unclear what pathogen is responsible for the “acting bug“ but it seems to strike at random. All sorts of remarkable people catch it.

In Morrison‘s case, remarkable might be an understatement.

A best-selling author in his own right, Morrison is now collaborating with Clive Cussler.

Astonishing might be more appropriate. A Seattle resident, he holds patents on user interfaces you’ve probably used on a daily basis, helped developed Xbox games for Microsoft, achieved a PhD in industrial engineering at Virginia Tech, worked for the Johnson Space Center/NASA with Lockheed, and become a New York Times number-one best-selling author of adventure novels. A successful novelist in his own right, with four Tyler Locke thrillers under his belt, most recently he’s been collaborating with Clive Cussler, one of the best known popular novelists in America. Oh! Let’s not forget — he won at Jeopardy!, baby! (A little homage to Weird Al Yankovic there.) No. Seriously. He’s a Jeopardy! champion to boot.

When he’s not plugging away on the next Oregon Files novel, you might find him running lines at the Phoenix Theatre in preparation for their upcoming production opening Friday, The Foreigner – a heartwarming and apparently hilarious comedy, in which he plays the title role.

Directed by the ubiquitous Eric Lewis, The Foreigner has won two Obies (off Broadway awards) and 2 Outer Critics Circle awards.

Morrison is looking forward to it. “This should be a really funny show. As I read through it, I found myself laughing out loud. There are very few scripts where that has happened for me.”

“I’ve worked with Eric (Lewis) four times now, he’s great. One of the things I like about The Phoenix is that with our cast, all the drama is on the stage where it belongs. Everyone is very professional. I’ve worked with some of them before. In fact, Melanie Calderwood and I acted together something like 16 years ago.”

Without providing spoilers, it sounds like this one will require some physical comedy, at least for Morrison’s character.

Expect to see a few other familiar faces, including Michael McFadden, Deborah Rich Gettleman and Phillip Keiman.

The cast is so strong and the roles so well drawn, that Morrison predicts that any one of the cast could end up stealing the show. It will be interesting to see how the crowd responds. Phoenix’s productions have been red hot lately; look for this one to be no exception. Get your tickets here!

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Thursday, May 24
5 – 8 p.m.

Meadowdale High School Art Walk

(Senior Café and Black Box)
6002 168th St. S.W.
Lynnwood

The public is invited to kick off Meadowdale’s Art Week by attending their Art Walk.

Included will be professional artist demonstrations, silk printing, student performances, displays of student artwork and photography, award-winning films, and a literary magazine release party.

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Friday, May 25
5:30 p.m

SIFF Opening Night Benefit Party

Shoreline Community College Theater
16101 Greenwood Ave. N.
Building #1600

Click for map link.

Join the folks with the northern most Seattle International Film Festival’s venue for an evening of wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres, a meet and greet, and the screening of this year’s opening night film.

Proceeds benefit the Performing Arts and Digital Filmmaking Scholarship awarded to students each year by the Shoreline Community College Foundation.

Tickets: www.shoreline.edu/foundation/siff-opening-night.asp

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Friday, May 25 through Sunday, June 17
8 p.m.
Matinees Sunday at 2 p.m.

Phoenix Theatre
9673 Firdale Ave.
(Firdale Village)

The Phoenix Theatre Presents:

The Foreigner by Larry Shue

Directed by Eric Lewis

(Some spoilers here)

The setting is a fishing lodge in rural Georgia often visited by “Froggy” LeSeuer, a British demolition expert. His friend, a pathologically shy young man named Charlie, is overcome with fear at the thought of making conversation with strangers. “Froggy,” before departing, tells all assembled that Charlie is from an exotic foreign country and speaks no English. Once alone, the fun really begins, as Charlie overhears more than he should.

Tickets at www.tptedmonds.org.

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Friday, June 1,     3-10 p.m.
Saturday, June 2, 11 a.m.- 10 p.m.
Sunday, June 3,   11 a.m. -7 p.m.

Edmonds Rotary and Daybreakers Rotary Clubs Present:

The Edmonds Waterfront Festival – 2018

The countdown is on! Edmonds’ annual three-day festival of food, performance, vendors, entertainment and great fun is just around the corner. Be sure to mark your calendar.

Learn more at www.edmondswaterfrontfestival.org

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Wednesday, May 30
7 p.m.

ECA Presents:
2018/19 Season Preview

Edmonds Center For The Arts
410 4th Ave. N.
Edmonds

Join the folks at the ECA for their annual preview of summer engagements, ECA presented events, cabaret film series, Saturday matinees, and their new Sunday film series.

RSVP here to be entered to win two free tickets to a summer engagement. Doors open at 6:30.

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Thursday, June 7 – Sunday, June 10 at 7 p.m.
Sunday at 3 p.m.

Edmonds-Woodway High School Players Present:

Inherit The Wind

7600 212th St. S.W.
Edmonds

This classic drama, based on the Scope’s “monkey“ trial of 1925, pits creationist against evolutionist in a riveting courtroom drama.

More information here.

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Sérgio Mendes

Monday, June 11
7:30 p.m.

ECA Special Engagement:

Sérgio Mendes

Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave N.

Producer, composer, keyboardist and vocalist, Sérgio Mendes is one of the most internationally successful Brazilian artists of all time. His hit single, “Mas Que Nada,” is the first Portuguese language song to ever hit Billboard’s U.S. Pop chart and Mendes’ signature mix of bossa nova and samba and distinctive pop instrumentation have ultimately come to define Brazilian music.

Tickets here.

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Artist Danny Pierce – Tom Codding – 1963

Now through – Sunday, July 1

Modern Alaska: Art of the Midnight Sun, 1930–1970

Cascadia Art Museum
190 Sunset Ave. #E
Edmonds

Cascadia Art Museum will present works of art created by mid-century Northwest artists related to their travels to Alaska. Photographer Verna Haffer, painter and printmaker Danny Pierce, Stephen Fuller, and native Alaskan artists Bernard Katexac and Joseph Senungetuk are featured. More at www.cascadiaartmuseum.org.

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By James Spangler

When not actively scheming about ways to promote the arts in Edmonds, James Spangler can be found (highly caffeinated) behind the counter of his bookstore on 4th Avenue.

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