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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 14, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 33
MUSICAL TIDBITS
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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MUSICAL TIDBITS

by Paul Torres - SGN A&E Writer

ARTSWEST 'AFTER HOURS' - LAST CALL
ArtsWest Theatre found an innovative way to fill seats during the summer's off-season. With their cabaret-style one-woman shows called 'After Hours with Mathew Wright' during July and August, it's been a sure-fire way to please its audience eager for a taste of theatre.

On Monday, August 10, Artistic Director and pianist Mathew Wright accompanied Laura Griffith.

Laura Griffith recently appeared in The 5th Avenue Theatre's production of Carousel and ACT Theatre's production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Griffith chatted with Wright about her Broadway (or BROAD-way, as they humorously referred to it) experiences in musicals such as Sweet Smell of Success, South Pacific, and Oklahoma! She sang songs from those shows and delighted the audience with tales and trials of her artistic journey. Griffith also sang from Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George, which wildly roused the patrons. It was a pleasant and intimate evening with Griffith and Wright.

Previous shows featured Sarah Rose Davis (Grease), Jessica Skerritt (tick, tick...BOOM!), and Cayman Ilika (Mary Poppins). Monday, August 17, is the final evening of 'After Hours' and it features Katherine Strohmaier from 5th Avenue's Guys and Dolls. The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. General admission is $25; a reserved table to two is $75. ArtsWest is located at 4711 California Ave. SW; www.artswest.org; 206-938-0339.

ArtsWest is gearing up for its 2015-2016 season. It opens with the Green Day musical American Idiot and ends with one of my favorites Death of a Salesman. The upcoming season is about a 'group of individuals engaged in the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness in the country they've been told make all things possible - the American Dream.' It is definitely going to be an interesting season for ArtsWest.

GEORGE EZRA
Singer George Ezra made his first Seattle appearance at the Paramount Theatre on Tuesday, August 11. After cancelling back in April due to illness, he was charmingly apologetic and in high spirits.

The yelps of young women filled the theater, but his solid bluesy voice lifted to the Paramount's Beaux Arts style ceiling. Ezra opened with the bouncy come-on tune of 'Cassie 'O' and proceeded with the set list of hits from his impressive debut album Wanted on Voyage.

Ezra is already a popular artist in his native England. Hailing from upscale Hertford, he dropped out of school to pursue a life as a blues and rock singer songwriter. He found his inspiration from Bob Dylan and Lead Belly, among others. He is well on his way to success with this group of well-crafted tunes and an old-soul voice.

Other songs in his set included the lovelorn lament 'Barcelona,' the hit 'Listen to the Man' (check out the hilarious video co-starring Ian McKellen), and a jaunty cover of Macy Gray's 'I Try.' The audience was excited while singing along with the chorus of 'Blame it On Me.' Ezra ended the main set with the international smash 'Budapest,' again with the audience singing along 'but for you, you/but for you, you...' which gave him a sweet and endearing smile. The encore included another European city titled song, 'Amsterdam.'

Ezra knows how to entertain an audience. He has a promising future. He is a shoo-in for several Grammy nominations this year. His youthful energy, natural talent, and catchy songs were perfect for a mid-summer evening in Seattle.

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