Will Lippman, Bruce Haasl, Christie Oldright and Carolyn Willems Van Dijk in First Date. Photo courtesy Harlequin Productions

REVIEW: First Date at Harlequin Productions

THEATER REVIEW by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS Harlequin Productions’ First Date is a romantic comedy in the tradition of Hepburn and Tracy, Doris Day and Rock Hudson, Woody Allen and Diane Keaton, updated for the digital age. Updated how? For starters, the search engine Google appears in the guise of a woman, and there’s …

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REVIEW: Harlequin’s Present Laughter

THEATER REVIEW by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS Nöel Coward’s 1940s-period romance Present Laughter is as funny today as it was when Coward himself played the lead character, a character he admitted was a spoof on himself. It’s now playing at Harlequin Productions in Olympia, with Aaron Lamb in the role Coward originated, directed by …

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"Phoebe 1," oil on wood panel by Peter Scherrer

REVIEW: Jean Nagai and Peter Scherrer

VISUAL ARTS REVIEW by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS Salon Refu ends its brief but amazing history as the only gallery in South Puget Sound to rival major galleries in major cities by offering a two-person show of works by Jean Nagai and Peter Scherrer. The gallery closes its doors at the end of this …

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Charging, archival digital print by Joe Hedges

REVIEW: Joe Hedges at SPSCC

VISUAL ARTS REVIEW by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS If Joe Hedges is trying to convey a message, I don’t get it. But as purely aesthetic objects and images, they’re fascinating; and perhaps that’s the point, that they make the viewer wonder what’s going on, what kind of future world we’ve entered. The largest and …

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“Facing North,” sculpture with moss and other natural materials by Lucy Gentry Meltzer, overhead natural wood frame by John Corzine, photo by Scot Whitney

REVIEW: Lucy Gentry Meltzer at Salon Refu

VISUAL ARTS REVIEW by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS Lucy Gentry Meltzer’s Biophilia Collection at Salon Refu is a selection of small voodoo dolls and sculptural figures on dress mannequins, standing on the floor and floating from a natural wood frame just below the gallery ceiling. Figuratively, they’re wood sprites, fairies, medieval warriors and goddesses, …

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"Once I Was a Baby Blue Convertible," linoleum block print by Mimi Williams

REVIEW: Papercuts, Pastels and Prints at Childhood’s End

VISUAL ARTS REVIEW by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS I have been following Sherry Buckner’s art, mostly in shows at Childhood’s End Gallery, for well over 20 years. Her latest serigraphs and pastels might be her best yet. There are two groups of these works in the current show. On the first group of panels …

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REVIEW: 1984 at TAO

THEATER REVIEW by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS The setting is bleak, harsh, cold. Everything is gray. When the lights come up we see a figure in a fetal position on a square riser. Four men and one woman come in, all wearing black suits and white shirts, with a skirt on the woman, the …

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Susan Christian

REVIEW: Susan Christian

VISUAL ARTS REVIEW by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS Once again Susan Christian is showing her painted stick constructions at her own gallery, Salon Refu. The paintings are assemblages of various kinds of sticks, mostly lathe, which she puts together in rectangular shapes and paints as if they were stretched canvases. The last time I …

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Becky Knold

REVIEW: The Ways We See

VISUAL ARTS REVIEW by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS Now showing in The Washington Center for the Performing Arts are paintings by Lois Beck, Becky Knold and Mia Schulte, three women whose paintings have a lot in common—so much so, in fact, that unless you’ve studied their paintings in detail over time you’d be hard …

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“Simple Machine,” sculpture by Alair Wells, photo by Gabi Clayton

REVIEW: Faculty Art Show at The Evergreen State College

VISUAL ARTS REVIEW by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS Based on previous experience, I expected anything but traditional at in an exhibition of work by faculty and staff at The Evergreen State College. I expected political art and identity art and conceptual art, and I was surprised at how much traditional art there was—not that …

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