Opera Fixes Monorail

What's next, the viaduct? Plus: Lawrimore's project unveiled.

Opera Fixes Monorail

We can all thank Seattle Opera for repairing the monorail, which the city promises to have running in time for Bumbershoot. The opera's scene shop fabricated the train's new doors because other suppliers couldn't manage the tight time frame. In a way, it's not surprising: Who's better equipped than artists to make something out of nothing? Seems to me it would make sense to put the scene shop to work on the viaduct, not to mention all those potholes that are messing up my morning bike commute. After that, they can move on to fixing whatever else is broken: Seattle Center, the Seattle School District . . . hell, why not the state tax system? The whole goddamn IRS? Honestly: Compared to producing Wagner's Ring every four years, these should be a cinch. LYNN JACOBSON

Inside the Box

At Saturday night's unveiling at the Lawrimore Project, John Sutton, Ben Beres, and Zac Culler peeled back the walls of the mysterious 36-foot-by-15-foot wooden crate they've been working inside for the past three weeks. Inside is a Chinese restaurant with scabby walls and a row of roasted ducks in the window, hung by their curled necks. SuttonBeresCuller have created 3 Dragon Restaurant, a little hole-in-the-wall that you'd find on any corner of the International District, complete with a greasy fan vent, weeds growing from the roof, and stubbed-out cigarette butts by the Dumpster out back. 3 Dragon Restaurant has a menu in English and Chinese. Saturday night, a couple having dinner sat at one of the small tables. Scott Lawrimore told me they were on a blind date. She: Amy Trefsger (aka the artist Flatchestedmama). He: Damion, an actor from L.A. who grew up with Culler in Pittsburgh, Pa. Despite the fact that the couple was on camera and being peeked at by a crowd of onlookers outside the windows, Lawrimore reported, "Their conversation was 90 percent honest. Pretty amazing under the circumstances." For more info: www.lawrimoreproject.com. ADRIANA GRANT

More Opera News

Ask anyone about the top opera companies in the U.S., and—a no-brainer—the Met in New York City comes first, usually followed by the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the San Francisco Opera. After that, phrases like "plus a host of fine regional companies" tend to crop up in the discussion. But now, perhaps it's time to start talking about the Big Eight (like the Big Five orchestras): Opera News, in its August issue, anoints Seattle Opera's Speight Jenkins as one of "The 25 Most Powerful Names in U.S. Opera" along with the heads of the three previously mentioned companies and those at the helm in Houston, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, and Washington, D.C.—implying A-list status for these organizations. (Toss New York City Opera in there, too, if you like, and make it nine.) Could this recognition indicate that the opera world is slowly becoming more of a nationwide network of excellence and less a refulgent planet circled by moons? If so, so much the better for fans and for the future of the art form. GAVIN BORCHERT

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