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Bits & Bytes
Arnaldo at Crepe de Paris, Silent Movie Monday features Charlie Chaplin series,...
Arnaldo at Crepe de Paris, Silent Movie Monday features Charlie Chaplin series, Opera sells single tickets, Facere hosts Pins For Men, Legrand delights at Jazz Alley, Karrin Allyson next

by Milton W. Hamlin - SGN A&E Writer

Most public schools are now in session, colleges and universities start soon. Autumn is officially right around the corner, and Seattle's diverse art scene is filled-sometimes to overflowing--with exciting new events. It's a great time for Bits&Bytes and other Emerald City entertainment fans. Read on:

The biggest news on the GLBT arts calendar is cabaret appearances tonight and tomorrow night of Arnaldo! as he readies his upcoming New York cabaret. Arnaldo!-"Seattle's favorite drag chanteuse"-is heading back to the Duplex Cabaret in New York later this month for his second year of cabaret shows. The talented singer offers "an all new show of old favorites," Just An Old Fashioned Girl, for just two performances this weekend on the cabaret stage at Crepe de Paris in downtown Seattle. He plays tonight and tomorrow, September 7 and 8, at 8:30 p.m.

The popular French restaurant offers a three course dinner/theater package for $50 or "show only" admission at $20 with an ala carte menu available.

Arnaldo is a member of the Seattle Men's Chorus and has a loyal following.. Many of his fans will be at the Crepe-his first appearance in the Cabaret At The Crepe series. Frankly, the Crepe and Arnaldo are both worried about how the "gender illusionist" will be received by a mixed audience of Crepe/Cabaret regulars and Arnaldo's often fanatic family and friends. Bits&Bytes predicts a total success. Reservations at 623-4111.

Arnaldo's cabaret outing makes it five shows from Seattle that are headed to The Big Apple. Watch SGN and this space for details.

Silent Movie Mondays returns to the Paramount Theatre for a four-week series of rare Charlie Chaplin shorts, Charlie Chaplin Triple Play. Most of the 20-minute short films are from 1916-17, just before The Little Tramp became an international superstar, one of the first in film history. The four-week series opens Monday at 7 p.m. and continues with three films each Monday through Oct. 1.

Like many Emerald City film buffs, Bits&Bytes wouldn't miss the silent series that bring the beautifully restored Paramount-and its grand Mighty Wurlitzer Organ-back to its original glory. Organist Dennis James-one of the most highly acclaimed theater organists in the world-accompanies each film and often introduces each title in the pre-show lecture/discussion.

Monday night features Chaplin in two roles in The Floorwalker from 1916. Chaplin plays the title role and the thieving store inspector-with hilarious results.

In The Fireman, Chaplin finds True Love and a burning house. In The Vagabond, Chaplin plays an impoverished violinist (is there any other kind?) who falls in love with a beautiful gypsy girl (is there any other kind?) who is really the long missing daughter of a wealthy socialite (is there any other kind?). All three should be great fun.

Single tickets for the remaining four productions from Seattle Opera go on sale on Monday-a big event for single ticket buyers or season subscribers who want additional tickets for family or friends.

Tickets for the October run of Iphigenia In Tauris, Gluck's rarely revived retelling of the Greek myth, are already on sale. The first Seattle Opera co-production with New York's Metropolitan Opera, Iphigenia opens Oct. 13 at McCaw Hall and travels to New York immediately following its Seattle Opera run. To quote many, "it is a very big deal."

Single tickets go on sale for the remaining Seattle Opera productions-the beloved one-act Pagliacci in January, Puccini's immortal Tosca in late February/early March, and Bellini's powerful I Puritani, in a new production, in May.

Details-and tickets-at 389-7676 or toll free for out-of-area opera fans, (800)426-1619.

Certainly the first art show in Seattle to feature contemporary jewelry made expressly for men-and maybe the first in the nation-Pins For Men opens Sept. 19 and continues through Oct. 3. Facere Jewelry Art Gallery, a delightful pavilion on the first floor of the City Centre building in downtown Seattle, is hosting the show.

"Many of our male customers have asked repeatedly for jewelry designed specifically for men," Facere's owner told Bits&Bytes, "but we've never mounted a show with men as the specific target." Regular male patrons-and Bits&Bytes is one of them-check out the vintage jewelry cases (usually a small selection of signet rings, other rings, cuff links or tie bars) or the contemporary works with unisex appeal. Pins For Men should be a milestone for Facere and for Seattle men looking for something unique to wear. More than 30 contemporary jewelry artists are featured in the show.

As is traditional for new shows at Facere, an afternoon lecture precedes the opening artists' reception. Reservations for the 4 p.m. lecture should be made at 624-6768-seating is limited and reservations are a "must." The opening reception, from 5-7 p.m. is by invitation, but invitations are readily available at the same number. See ya there.

The term "Living Legend" is one of the most overused in show biz, but every now and then it is the only phrase that accurately describes a performer (or politician or sports star or&). Michel Legrand, world famous French composer, arranger and jazz pianist, made his Seattle debut Tuesday night and conquered Emerald City film, music and jazz fans.

Few fans of the legendary film composer knew of his amazing piano artistry, but near capacity crowds for the limited, two-night stay made it clear that Legrand would be welcome to return for a full week visit.

He opened the show, part of a limited West Coast tour, with a fun, upbeat number. After introducing his bass and percussion players, he explained-in a winning French accent-that the evening would feature only his own music. Well, that was a winning comment for the ready-for-anything crowd.

"Once Upon A Summer," "the first song I ever wrote," started the trip down Memory Lane with a lot of excursions into hardcore jazz. "You Must Believe In Spring," the best known theme from The Young Girls Of Rochefort, followed.

"What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?" found Legrand singing in a growling, squeaking, squawking style that was utterly charming from the legendary composer. He sang off and on throughout the evening-in French and in English. His famous co-writers-Alan and Marilyn Bergman-contributed most of the lyrics to his haunting melodies.

His narration added immensely to the evening. "What Are You Doing&" is one of his favorite songs, but it was "from a film no one saw&.well, maybe 20 patrons world wide," he laughed. Turns out it's the theme song from The Happy Ending from director Richard Brooks, indeed a major film from a major director that bombed big at the box office.

Hit after hit followed-with some serious excursions into serious jazz. He ended the show with a winning "Windmills Of Your Mind" and then topped that with a stunning "If It Takes Forever (I Will Wait For You)" from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

"We know you love it and you want to hear it," he teased the cheering audience. "But, frankly, we're tired of playing it. So&." And with that, the trio launched into the haunting theme as done by every jazz great that ever lived-including "Fats" Domino. The extended encore truly stopped the show.

As usual, Jazz Alley, Seattle's premiere jazz club, hosts live jazz at least six nights a week. The Dave Peck Trio checks in next week for a Sept. 11-12 stay to record the trio's third "Live At Jazz Alley" release. Michel Camilo-three time Grammy-winning Latin pianist-visits Sept. 13-16. Karrin Allyson, a terrific vocalist (and one of Bits&Bytes' favorites in contemporary jazz) makes her annual appearance Sept. 18-22. The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra plays two shows on Sept. 23. What a line up.

Reservations and details at 441-9729. See ya there.

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