The Methow is hard act to follow when it comes to the arts. Performing arts especially were in full tilt last weekend as local actors, musicians and acrobats took to multiple stages across the valley. I couldn’t attend all the stage acts, but here are some briefings garnered from friends and family who did, and this is just in Twisp. Up in Winthrop, aliens, astronauts and bluegrass were rumored to be out, but I’ll let someone else cover that.
It is amazing how many opportunities and performance this place offers. While none of these events were officially hosted by Methow Arts, it’s no coincidence that art truly does grow here thanks to their continued advocacy and support of the arts culture.
Beginning with two performances at the Wellspring Studio in the Community Center, local women participated in a play written and directed by Cindy Williams Gutiérrez. The performance explored the global oppression and fortitude of women. Part dance, poetry and music, the piece felt very poignant to participants and audience who have felt the impact of local and global women’s activism and rights which have taken center stage in the media with the advent of the “Me Too” movement and other women’s issues.
Wellspring Studio is place of connection conceived and operated by Tracy Brocade Sprauer and Dea Luvon, both of whom, among many other endeavors, are familiar faces on the West African dance scene that periodically takes stage in the valley. Wellspring is located in the Community Center and offers on-going classes and workshops and is available for private gatherings.
Next up on stage at the Community Center was Friday evening’s Twisp’s own Aerie Circus Studio performance comprised of the growing body of young bodies who are becoming seasoned aerial acrobats. Put to a Greek mythological theme, in the words of my 10-year-old, “It was totally awesome, Mom, I think I want to do it. It looks super fun.” Since I was home attending to a different child with the stomach flu (once again), I dropped him off at to the Community Center knowing there would be someone in the audience to take him in. Thank you, Twisp friends, for shepherding him for the evening while I sanitized doorknobs.
The final stage performance at the Community Center this weekend ended with the Pipestone Orchestra’s spring recital. This event showcases the hard work and serious dedication that young musicians in the valley put forth under the patient and dedicated instruction of Pam and Terry Hunt. Again, two more pillars of our community who make this place special!
Last, but not least, was the absolutely jaw-dropping, class act rendition of the Broadway musical “Chicago” by the Liberty Bell Drama class at The Merc. Madeline Bosco knocked the socks off the crowd with her voice, poise and sultry antics as Roxy. Lilly Cooley mastered her role as Velma, delivering an exceptional display of comedy, dance and song. Magnolia Brown’s booming voice and swagger as Mama brought the stage to another level in a performance that felt well beyond high school drama class. Cymone Van Marter, as the emcee, showed us a glimmer of her dark and devious side, but still a darling in every way. Kieren Quigley in “Mr. Cellophane” was certainly not invisible, while Zane Grubb’s act as the sleazy defense attorney felt like a young Joe Pesci emerging on stage.
Each performer stole their own unique piece of the show — even for those who weren’t on center stage. The timing, costumes, set, lighting, music, directing and choreography were fabulous. What’s even more important to note, is that this is a school class. That each young actor and stagehand visibly had fun, learned the art and technical aspects of the stage, and mastered it all — for school, that’s a hard act to follow.