This week, I took my oldest son — now a teenager — to a show on Capitol Hill. He and his jazz band friends wanted to see Lucky Chops and their “high-energy brassy funk” so he got tickets for Christmas. The songs are mainly instrumental, except for some audience participation ‘la las.’ The band members all play instruments — a mix of the first-year band options like trumpet, trombone and clarinet — with the other instruments you’ve seen that can be described as “twisty saxophone,” or one of the saxophones with a word in front of it.
It was really an incredible show and a good speed for his first experience with general admission. As the parent who was also his driver/chaperone/ticket holder, it was a different experience than the full diaper bag days or bringing a sippy cup and “back up pants” — though I think that having an extra pair of pants, at least in the car, is always a good idea. While I did end up holding a jacket that wasn’t mine, which I ended up wearing afterward because it was cold, I looked over to see him eating something he’d stashed in his pocket from home, a parental victory if there ever was one.
In the “we don’t call them playdates anymore” era of parenting a tween and teen, I’m learning that the current go-to for getting together with friends — the mall — is convenient, but spendy, and the bar for what’s considering interesting entertainment has moved. When a colleague emailed me recently to ask if I had any recommendations she could share with friends entertaining a teen, I initially suggested the Landmark’s Crest Cinema Center for a $4 movie before remembering a friend told me about TeenTix.org.
According to TeenTix.org, any teenager (13 to 19) can get a TeenTix pass, which entitles teens to purchase $5 day-of-show tickets at any of the 75 partner organizations in Seattle (69) and Tacoma (6). The organization, started in 2004, “Exists to break down the barriers that prevent teens from accessing art in our community, such as ticket or admission cost, not knowing where to look for events, navigating transportation around the city, and feeling insecure around arts-going if there’s no one in their lives already championing the arts.”
Signing up was easy and a keychain card, like the grocery store rewards options, comes in the mail pretty quickly. The TeenTix calendar shows all the events available on specific days. I took a quick look and saw that options, which are good for one $5 pass for the teen signed up and one additional $5 pass, include an upcoming day at MoPop, a show at the 5th Avenue Theater, and a local event, ECA Presents Hiplet Ballerinas at the Edmonds Center for the Arts Thursday, Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m. According to the ECA, “Hiplet fuses classical pointe technique with African, Latin, hip-hop and urban dance styles that are rooted in communities of color.” You may have seen Hiplet, which was designed to make ballet accessible to all by mixing it with current popular songs, when a video of one of their classes went viral.
The Hiplet Ballerina performance will be preceded by two related events. On Sunday, Feb. 16, from 4 to 6 p.m., ECA — in partnership with TeenTix — is offering a Dance Journalism Intensive: “Teens are invited to watch, respond and write about ECA Presents: Hiplet Ballerinas, in workshop sessions led by professional dance journalist Imana Gunawan.” Admission to this event is free and includes a complimentary ticket to the show on the 20th. You can RSVP for the workshop HERE and get more information on TeenTix.org or at ECA4Arts.org.
As I was wrapping up, I went back the TeenTix calendar to see what other events at the Edmonds Center for the Arts were accessible via TeenTix and found concerts with Lorrie Morgan, Masters of Hawaiin Music with George Kahumoku Jr, Nathan Aweau & Jeff Peterson, Joan Osborn & The Weepies, and stand-up comedy shows including Tom Papa and Paula Poundstone.
Since we’re talking about the Edmonds Center for the Arts — even though this has nothing to do with teenagers — the 13th Annual Edmonds Comedy Night will be Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21 and 22. I’ve been to Edmonds Comedy Night a handful of times and it has always been a good time. Comedian/emcee/co-founder/Edmonds School District parent Kermet Apio is funny and his comedy each year makes you laugh while feeling better about being a parent — especially if you have teenagers. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. both nights, with a VIP reception on Saturday the 22nd starting at 6 p.m. The VIP reception is an hour to enjoy appetizers, two drinks from the bar (ECA is known for the generous pour) and time with the comedians. Proceeds from the event go to local schools and organizations. For more information and tickets, you can visit EdmondsComedyNight.com
— By Jennifer Marx
Jen Marx, an Edmonds mom of two boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time.