Artfully Edmonds: Village Theatre’s ‘Matilda’ works some magic in Edmonds, plus concerts galore this week

Artistic Director Jerry Dixon and photographer Mark Kitaoka confer as Matildas Nava Ruthfield and Holly Riechert ham it up.

It all started as a simple email: Would you be willing to let us use your bookstore for a photo shoot? Turns out, the Village Theatre (which I absolutely love and which I’ve reviewed many times), was preparing for their upcoming musical production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda.

If you know the story of Matilda, you know she was an unrepentant bibliophile. What better place to do a photo shoot for Matilda than a bookstore? Naturally I agreed. So yesterday a crew of about 20 actors, photographers, tech and publicity people descended upon my little bookshop.

They rolled in carts with costumes, make up and camera equipment, and set about their work.

Apparently, my store was chosen because it was crammed full of books — unique books that gave the place the character they were looking for. Well OK, I’m good with that.

Photographers Mark Kitaoka and Tracy Martin flew up from San Francisco to do the shoot. They also work with the Fifth Avenue Theatre and several theatre companies in the Bay Area and throughout the country. Watching Kitaoka set up his shots was like watching an elite athletic performance. No wasted motion, patience (when patience was called for) and a remarkable skill at coaxing from the actors the precise emotion or gesture he needed for his shot. Oh, he also had one of the most infectious laughs I’ve ever heard.

After 12 years at Village Theatre, Jerry Dixon took the role of artistic director this June. He could be found conferring with production and marketing folks and setting out his vision for the next shot to the photographers.

Village Theatre marketing associate Noel Pederson provides the magic as Matilda (Holly Reichert) summons a book. (Photo James Spangler)

At one point, someone said,“We need to make some magic.” Shortly thereafter, a floating book was devised using wire and a boom. Matilda magically pulled a book from the shelf as photographers Kitaoka and Martin fired away, hooting and laughing. It was the most fun I’ve had at work in quite a while.

Matilda won’t reach Everett until January, but the young actors are already rehearsing their parts. Village Theatre has cleverly blended a summer youth workshop with rehearsals for the actors and ensemble.

It’s quite an accomplishment for a young actress to be cast as Matilda and, as Village has done in the past, the title role is shared by two girls who will alternate performances. Holly Reichert, who flew up from Las Vegas twice for the audition and call back, and Nava Ruthfield were selected for the role.

Ruthfield should be familiar to anyone lucky enough to catch the Driftwood Players’ production of To Kill A Mockingbird. Ruthfield put in an outstanding performance back in February as young Scout. I was happy (but not surprised) to see her show up at the photo shoot with another leading role.

If Matilda approaches the quality of performances for which Village Theatre has come to be known, it’ll be well worth the trip!

Their current production of Hairspray will close Sunday if you’re looking for some great musical theatre this weekend.

For more information on The Village Theatre, visit

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Now through July 29
Friday and Saturday – 7:30 p.m.
Sunday – 2 p.m.

The Phoenix Theater Presents:
Summer Shorts

9673 Firdale Avenue
(In Firdale Village)

It’s getting hot outside, but the Phoenix Theatre is cool and filled with laughter this summer. “Summer Shorts” features a collection of 10-minute comedic plays by local playwrights. All in air-conditioned comfort. Produced in collaboration with The Tim Noah Thumbnail Theatre of Snohomish, each play features many of Phoenix’s favorite actors, as well as some well-known local directors. Stories range from sea monsters to child birth and will keep the audience laughing with each performance.

Tickets:, by phone at 206-533-2000 and at the door.

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Friday – Sunday, July 27 – 29

Mountlake Terrace

Tour de Terrace

Pancakes, a parade, a 5-K run, live music, classic cars, food and artists booths, a carnival and fireworks. There’s something for everyone this weekend in Mountlake Terrace. Learn more at

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Friday, July 27
9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Engels Pub Presents:

Moon Daddy

113 5th Ave S.

Live music is best! You might be surprised by some of the bands that play Engels on a regular basis. This week, rock out to this high energy Santana tribute, rock and blues band. Check the Engels Facebook page for upcoming events:

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Friday – Sunday July 27–29

Friday and Saturday – 7:00 p.m.
Sunday matinee – 3:00 p.m.

Ballyhoo Theatre Presents:


Edmonds Community College
Black Box Theatre
20310 68th Ave. W.

The story of a group of young Americans searching for love and peace during the Vietnam era. Hair is at once a joyous celebration of youth and a poignant journey through a very tumultuous time. Exploring ideas of identity, community, global responsibility and peace, the themes and struggles in Hair remain vital and relevant today. Hair features an eclectic score filled with classics, including “Aquarius,” “Let the Sun Shine In,” “Good Morning, and Starshine”

Parental guidance suggested. (Adult themes, language)


For tickets:

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Sunday, July 29

11 a.m.

Afrolatino Festival 2018

19200 56th Ave. W.
(baseball field west of Cedar Valley Community School)

A free, family-fun festival focused on Afro-Latino culture, featuring Salsa Merengue and Reggae music and Afro Latino influence Jazz and Fusion styles, and more.

Featured music includes Edmonds Community College Salsa Band, Marimba Flor de Maria, and LatinoTwist. Come out and dance!

Learn more at

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Blanche Morgan Losey: Tired Harlequin, 1945, tempura on illustration board (private collection)

July 12 – Sept. 30
Wednesday – Sunday: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Art Walk Edmonds: Third Thursdays, 5-8 p.m. – FREE

Drama & Design: Yvonne Twining Humber & Blanche Morgan Losey

Cascadia Art Museum
190 Sunset

In keeping with their commitment to revive the reputations of our region’s women artists, Cascadia Art Museum presents this important exhibition that brings together the work of two prominent regional artists active in Seattle during the period 1930-1950.

Yvonne Twining Humber (1907-2004), Demolition, about 1948. Oil on board, Collection of Sharon Archer

Yvonne Twining Humber (1907-2004), Demolition, about 1948. Oil on board, Collection of Sharon Archer

Yvonne Twining Humber (1907-2004) was a Northwest transplant, arriving in Seattle in 1943 after her marriage to local businessman Irving Humber. Originally from New York and Boston, Humber had developed an impressive national reputation for her unique paintings created for the WPA Federal Art Projects during the Depression. Her hard-edged Precisionist style was highly unusual in the Northwest, gaining her additional local and national attention including a solo exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum in 1946.

Blanche Morgan Losey 1912–1981 was born in Los Angeles, California but raised in Olympia and Tacoma. She moved to Seattle in 1937. She studied at the University of Washington where she received a BFA in architecture and interior design.

“Of special interest will be a selection of her original watercolor designs for the stage sets and costumes created for Seattle’s Federal Theater Project as well as the Negro Repertory Company during the Depression”, said museum curator David Martin. “We are very excited that these works will be shown publicly for the first time at Cascadia Art Museum”.

Losey held the position of senior interior designer at Seattle’s Frederick & Nelson department store from 1939 to 1977. Her noted design projects included the Seattle Opera House and the “Higashi Nishi” (East-West) Japanese Garden and Room for the Uniroyal display at Century 21 Exposition, Seattle World’s Fair in 1962.

More information at

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Saturday, July 28
9 p.m.

ECA Presents: Sattar

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

Sattar is an Iranian Pop-Tenor and oratorio singer who specializes in both Persion pop and classical music. Sattar’s fame began at the age of 22 with the release of the theme song “Khaneh Bedosh” for the popular Persian television show “Morad Barghi”, the show made him an instant star. Sattar has recorded over 350 songs, has released more than 30 albums and performed in 23 countries.


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City Concert Series

The Edmonds Art Commission  – Summer Concert Series

Sunday, July 29
3 p.m.

Bayo Envie

Bayou Envie

City Park – upper level
3rd Avenue South and Pine Street

Raised on Vashon Island by a musical family with deep southern roots, Danny and David Salonen carry on their grandfather’s legacy by bringing Louisiana and zydeco music to a new generation of listeners through their band, Bayou Envie. The brothers team up with Pacific Northwest zydeco veteran Kevin Kilmartin, New Orleans jazz drummer Tai Taitano and Mark Myking on accordion to form a group that lives with one foot in the music tradition’s rich history and the other in its evolving present.

Tuesday, July 31
Noon – 1 p.m.

Choro Loco


Hazel Miller Plaza
5th Avenue South and Maple Street

Choroloco is an acoustic trio specializing in “choro,” a melodic and rhythmic instrumental form of Brazilian popular music. The group performs classics of the choro repertoire as well as modern and original compositions on traditional Brazilian instruments: seven-string guitar, bandolim, cavaquinho, pandeiro, and the vibraphone.

Learn more at

Thursday, Aug. 2
5 – 6:30 p.m.



Hazel Miller Plaza
5th Avenue South and Maple Street

IvyLane is the musical duo of Ivan Lee and Elaine Skeffington. Vocals and guitar deliver expected harmonies and repertoire, but the duo also has a distinctive knack for re-arranging familiar tunes with a blend likened to Lady Antebellum and Pink Martini.

More at

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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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