It's not just music at Bumbershoot, or so the festival keeps trying to convince us. Each year a mixed-bag of authors and panels is tossed into the mix, and this year's Words & Ideas Stage (at the Rep) is no different. Again there are slam poets and spoken-word artists who will perform for other slam poets and spoken-word artists. Again there are self-congratulatory panels from The Stranger. Riding the Twilight vampire craze, which really ought to be past its peak, is Christopher Rice (son of Anne, also past hers) with some sort of blood-sucking Gothic saga--likely bound for a cable-TV adaptation on a channel you've never heard of. Even further past her sell-by date is sad old groupie Pamela Des Barres, telling her tired backstage tales for the thousandth time. (How was Rod Stewart in bed? No, really, tell us again.) Then, as a favor to the ongoing Battlestar Galactica exhibit at EMP/SFM, there's a panel with one of the show's creators, Ronald Moore. And yet a few events sound promising . . .
Kristin Hersh of the old college-rock band Throwing Muses will discuss her recent memoir Rat Girl and (separately) conduct a multimedia performance called Paradoxical Undressing, about "mental illness, creativity, teenage pregnancy, and the pressures of sudden fame." Also transitioning from music to literature is Colin Meloy of the Decemberists who, with his illustrator wife, Carson Ellis, is launching a children's-literature series called Wildwood.
Lending an international flavor will be a trio of young Irish novelists: Chris Binchy, Kevin Holohan, and Claire Kilroy. Thankfully, none them write about vampires or space aliens.
At the Rep's larger Bagley Wright Theatre, Bumbershoot's Performing Arts/Dance lineup is mostly local and familiar: Spectrum Dance Theater, Olivier Wevers and his Whim W'Him company, plus Trey McIntyre from far-away Idaho. Also represented are Theatre Puget Sound, Book-It Rep, and Wing-It Productions. Plus puppets, because you knew there would be puppets.
And the good news? Bumbershoot's comedy roster, expected in the next month, will likely be as strong as in past years. So we can look forward to plenty of jokes about the Battlestar Galactica fans who come dressed in costume.