Lit City

Central Connecticut State University released its study "America's Most Literate Cities" last week: Of 69 cities population 250,000 and above, Seattle was declared Most Literate City, moving up from second place to oust Minneapolis, which had held the title in 2003 and 2004. Statistics on Internet usage as a measure of journo- and bibliophilia (wireless access points per capita, online book orders, etc.) were added to the calculation this year, boosting Seattle, whose residents hate to be too far from their PCs, into the lead. Minneapolis Public Library officials could not be reached for comment on their city's drop in rank—likely busy with the move from their interim Central Library facility, which closed Dec. 3, to their new Cesar Pelli–designed building, scheduled to open next May. (Ranked last, in case you were wondering: Stockton, Calif.) GAVIN BORCHERT

STAGE NEWS

After a decade of building Velocity Dance Center into the foundation of Seattle's indie dance scene, KT Niehoff and Michele Miller are moving on, leaving the board of directors to fill their empty dance shoes. . . . Meanwhile, the itinerant Annex Theatre will settle down at the 40-seat Gail Stellner Studio at Capitol Hill Arts Center. In a prepared statement, Annex Artistic Director Gillian Jorgensen said, "CHAC is a lively hub for artists and arts organizations—and there's a bar there!" . . . Seattle Rep has announced a change to its 2005–06 schedule. Instead of the planned world premiere of a musical based on the life of Temple Grandin—an autistic woman who revolutionized the design of livestock handling facilities—the Rep will present Noel Coward's chamber comedy Private Lives. This is sort of the artistic equivalent of moving your money from roulette to savings bonds. But the theater vows the wheel will spin in 2006–07, when Temple will finally debut. . . . National reviews for last week's Broadway opening of the musical The Color Purple—which was choreographed by Seattle's Donald Byrd—were generally much more positive than the notices for the show's 2004 Atlanta tryout. Still, a number of critics faulted the show's breakneck pace and its pop score (written by Broadway novices). Byrd's dances were roundly praised as "energetic," though several reviewers lamented their brevity: The New York Times' Ben Brantley, for instance, called them "sprightly fits of choreography." LYNN JACOBSON

INSTANT CHOIR

If you pick up this Weekly on Wednesday morning, you may still be able to head to the lobby of City Hall and catch the first (annual, perhaps) All City Sing. About three dozen people, mostly city employees, gathered in a City Hall meeting room for Monday's lunch-hour rehearsal, led by the energetic and personable Antwoine Parmer, who taught the group "Winter Wonderland" and "Seasons of Love," with complicated harmonies and counterpoints, all by ear, sans piano. This ad hoc group will be joined by the Seattle Center Employees Choir and by Parmer's other ensemble, the SHADES All City Youth Choir, for Wednesday's noon performance. GAVIN BORCHERT

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