Bits & Bytes
PNB opens Director's Choice rep bill, Bebe Neuwirth in Seattle for May 7 show, For a Look or a Touch honors Holocaust Gays
by Milton W. Hamlin - SGN A&E Writer

By overwhelming popular demand, Bits&Bytes offers another K.I.S.S. column this week - a short, snappy overview of what's hot and what's not. (K.I.S.S., of course, is a now-archaic journalistic term for "Keep It Simple, Stupid." Somehow, this scribe hears it a lot.&) Read on:

BROADWAY'S BEBE NEUWIRTH PLANS MAY 7 SEATTLE SHOW FOR SEATTLE'S ISRAEL@60
Biggest News of the Week for Emerald City stage fans is the just announced visit from Broadway's Bebe Neuwirth, Tony Award-winning actress (and reluctant TV star). The rare West Coast visit is part of a special program, Seattle's Israel@60, a celebration sponsored and hosted by the Jewish Foundation Of Greater Seattle. Neuwirth headlines a show at Benaroya Hall on May 7 at 7:30 p.m. that will also feature the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Gerard Schwarz, in a performance of Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Paul Schoenfield's Café Music, violin solos from Miriam Fried, "and much more."

Ticket details and complete information is available at JewishInSeattle.org. Tickets start at just $20. Patron and partnership packages are available. Champagne and dessert follow the show - check it out.

DIRECTOR'S CHOICE OPENS, RUNS THROUGH MARCH 22, HERD EXITS FOR AMSTERDAM
Pacific Northwest Ballet opened it four-part Director's Choice mixed repertory bill last night. It continues with evening and weekend matinee performances through March 22. The program features three PNB premieres and the returning Sense of Doubt with choreography by Paul Gibson danced to music by Philip Glass. Review and full details in a future Bits&Bytes.

PNB's ad department nailed the program with its tantalizing preview: "It promises PNB's signature energy and versatility inspired by a quartet of the artistic director's favorite innovative dance makers." That sez it all.

Peter Boal, PNB's exciting new artistic director, sent out a terrific e-mail with good news/bad news beautifully co-mixed. Casey Herd, a major PNB soloist, has just accepted a career move to the National Ballet of Amsterdam. Boal encouraged journalists and PNB fans to "watch for Casey Herd in the upcoming months and (particularly) in this rep & I'm very sorry to see Casey leave, but I fully support his decision and wish him continued success in this exciting new chapter of his career." A class act, in every department.

Tickets for PNB's four-work mixed repertory program start at just $20 - thazz just five bucks a ballet! Well worth a look.

MUSIC OF REMEMBRANCE OFFERS FREE PERFORMANCE OF GAY-THEMED MUSIC WORK, FOR A LOOK OR A TOUCH
Music Of Remembrance, the Seattle musical group that honors all victims of the Holocaust, including the often-overlooked GLBT community, offers a special free performance tomorrow, Saturday, March 15, of last year's sensational For a Look or a Touch, the semi-operatic tale of two male lovers in Nazi Germany. Jake Heggie, the openly Gay composer of two major operas, received a MOR commission for this touching, often-profound work. Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in music last year, For a Look returns to Seattle for its second production.

The "memory" work features just one singing voice, the young lover who perished in the Holocaust, and spoken dialogue for the now-older partner who survived. It's the "must see" event of the weekend for GLBT audiences. And it is free, as in free.

Saturday, Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park, 2:30 p.m. Did I mention it was free?

SEATTLE PHILHARMONIC SUNDAY CONCERT SPOTLIGHTS VIVALDI, TCHAIKOVSKY
The Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra's Sunday concert at Meany Hall features works by Vivaldi, Schumann and Tchaikovsky. The popular Sunday 3 p.m. matinee is wonderfully appealing - popular works by popular composers, a midday start and daylight finish, free parking in the Meany Theatre garage (only on Sunday, alas). Such a deal.&

Tickets and full information at 528-6878.

UKULELE STAR MISS ROSE AND HER RHYTHM PERCOLATORS OFFERS MARCH 20 SHOW
One of Seattle's brightest and upcoming stars is headline into the recording studio for her first CD. Just back from "a great trip to Korea," Miss Rose And Her Rhythm Percolators - fronted by Miss Rose and her incredible ukulele skills - offer two March shows on the "coffee/cafe circuit." One was last night at Pies & Pints in the Roosevelt area (read all about in a future K.I.S.S. column), but the second one is next Thursday, March 20, at Egan's Ballard Jam House. The 9-11 p.m. show at Egan's has a $7 cover, but many/most of Miss Rose's wonderfully entertaining events are free.

Details, a free sampling of new recordings, performance schedule "and much more" are available at missroserhythm.com. Check it out. Bits&Bytes is a new, appreciative fan and has enjoyed his three or four evenings on the coffee house/cafe circuit with Miss Rose. And it is true, "they don't write music like that anymore." If novelty hits of the 1920s and '30s are your thing, check out Miss Rose.

REEFER MADNESS CONTINUES THROUGH MARCH 22 AT LIVE GIRLS! IN BALLARD
The off-Broadway mini-musical that pokes fun at the authentic 1930s anti-drug film, Reefer Madness, continues to pack 'em in at the tiny, 55-seat Live Girls! Theatre in Ballard. The huge cast - 20, as I counted 'em - was delightful.

Billed, correctly, as "The High-Larious Hit Musical," Reefer is always charming, often witty, always silly fun. Stopped by to sample the show and had a good time. Mr. Guest had a better time. Check out the full, detailed review in last week's SGN for complete details.

The fun show continues through March 22.

MRS. PETTIGREW A DELIGHT IN ART DECO FANTASY OUTING, CINDERELLA FOR MIDDLE-AGED
Bits&Bytes often goes to the movies - and often writes about it. Spent a charming Monday afternoon at the early showing of Mrs. Pettigrew Lives for a Day at the Seven Gables Theatre in the University district. The predictable "bargain matinee" crowd of budget-minded, enthusiastic film fans and seniors (who often want to get home in the last rays of daylight) filed in expecting a delightful two hours at the movies. They were not disappointed.

Mrs. Pettigrew is, as expected, a Cinderella story for the middle-aged. Not just middle-aged women - the mini-message makes it clear that men and women have a chance for love late in life.

Enchanted's Amy Adams is, well, enchanting as Delysia Lafosse, an aspiring actress of questionable moral character. Delysia is, well, delicious, and Adams in delightful as the delicious, dizzy, ditzy, delightful Delysia. (Well, you get the idea.&)

Lee Pace, her co-star from Enchanted, plays Prince Charming once again, with charming results. The real, reel center of the film, of course, is Francis McDormand, the Oscar-winning star of Fargo, in a Cinderella tale that is pure enchantment for most. As "the governess of last resort," McDormand has a field day - but properly underplays the broad aspects of the klutz who couldn't.

Read the full, rave review in last week's SGN for full details. The film is playing all over town but the Seven Gables just seemed "the right place" to see it. It was.