Are We Scared?
Bumbershoot's been a family-oriented event since its early-'70s inception. Even so, this year's music lineup—despite Devo and later, after that band dropped out, Iggy and the Stooges—seemed even safer than usual. So we decided to search out the festival's odder corners. We don't claim to present them all in this package, but we do claim that the four events we're highlighting—the "In Resonance" sound-art exhibit; the ballet-meets-hair-metal of Buttrock Suites; stand-up comic Todd Barry; and Wreckage, the one-woman show by Lauren Weedman—will give you something you weren't expecting. Which is, of course, the entire point of an event like Bumbershoot.
Bumbershoot Music Picks — Our guide to the festival's highlights.
The ABCs of Bumberfood — Rich Amador of Sugee's Giant Strawberry Shortcake explains it all for you.
Short Film, Long Gestation — It took 10 years to harvest Fruits—one of many titles to be shown at 1 Reel festival.
Her Brand of Humor — Local lit mag brings funny women to Bumbershoot stage. No, really.
Performance Picks — Are We Scared? and STREB.
Visual Arts Pick
Bumbershoot music schedule grid (pdf).
A remount from 2004, this show is the end result of a school-year-long collaboration between the talented troupe at Open Circle Theater and a group of young (ages 2 to 5) students at Sweet Pea Preschool of the Performing Arts. The material, conceived and written entirely by the aspiring tykes, is geared toward adult audiences, with the actors playing a big role in adapting the work. The stories themselves reveal all the obsessions of childhood, with dinosaurs, dragons, superpowers and chocolate providing a thematic pathway through the various episodes. Things unspool this way and that, allowing the stories to exist on their own terms—the action is neither too constrained nor too chaotic. Rather, it blossoms according to its own interests and whims, yet always with a feeling for performance. One of the true joys of this production is having one's eyes re-opened to the sense of wonder and playfulness that suffuses simply everything in a child's life. The experiment could have gone all kinds of wrong—too goofy, too twee, too precious. Forget it: It's an unqualified delight. Like childhood itself, it abounds with mystery and sweet absurdity, a giddy inquisitiveness, hilarity, and wandering phantasmagoria. In a word, magic. Theatre Puget Sound Stage, Seattle Center House, 206-628-0888 or www.bumbershoot.com for full schedule and ticket info. $5-$18 day pass; $30 two-day pass; $55 four-day pass; $160-$260 VIP Access. 5 p.m. Sun. Sept. 4. RICHARD MORIN
Elizabeth Streb has spent most of her career stripping away conventional ideas of grace and beauty to reveal the elegance and violence of pure mechanics. Whether strapped into Rube Goldberg-esque machinery or moving on their own, her performers enact the laws of physics writ large. Slamming into walls, crashing onto the floor, knocking each other over like dominoes, they are humans impersonating superheroes, without the relief of CGI effects. Bagley Wright Theatre, Seattle Center, 206-628-0888 or www.bumbershoot.org for full schedule and ticket info. $5-$18 day pass; $30 two-day pass; $55 four-day pass; $160-$260 VIP Access. 8 p.m. Sat. Sept 3; 1:30 p.m. Sun. Sept. 4; 5:45 p.m. Mon. Sept. 5. SANDRA KURTZ