The Family Barber (of Seville)

John Moore and Kevin Glavin in Barber of Seville Photo by Jacob Lucas c/o Seattle Opera

When I saw The Barber of Seville at Seattle Opera in October, I declared it my new favorite opera and left McCaw Hall determined to come back with my whole family. That proved easier said than done, but I did it. Here’s how. Continue reading


An Arts Snob Attends Disney On Ice

When a middle-aged white man complained on Twitter with a picture of one of my favorite graphic novels captioned “Can you believe they expect us to buy this stuff?” a woman replied, “It’s not for you.” So before I review the Disney on Ice “Follow Your Heart” show I need to disclose that Disney-themed ice shows are not for me.

I am an admitted urban snob who has worked tirelessly to protect my daughters from the Disney princess cult and made a niche writing about sharing the art I like with my kids rather than spoon-feeding them the idiotic drivel our culture tells us is the only stuff safe for their consumption. My taste is high-low eclectic, running from ballet and opera to heavy metal festivals and comic books, but if there is one unifying thread, it is almost always noncommercial.

I associated figure skating with hired thugs and baseball bats until my daughter discovered Yuri!!! On Ice and I found myself driving to Shoreline twice a week for skate lessons and studying the merits of heat-molded boots. When I got an offer for press tickets for the whole family to attend an ice show, I overcame my knee-jerk response of “I’d rather have my eyes picked out by crows,” and accepted the tickets because I knew my daughter would want to see professional figure skaters live.

What happened next will astound you (sorry, couldn’t resist.) Continue reading

A PSA About Protection

All of these pictures are here to remind you how important it is to always wear protection.

By all means, have kids if you want them (I love mine) and whatever you do, keep enjoying live music and share that love with your kids. But noise causes hearing loss. It is inevitable and irreversible. But it can be slowed by minimizing exposure to extremely loud noise, like heavy machinery and amplified music – any amplified music, even if the sound is “mellow”.

For years I thought I was too cool for earplugs, and went to scores of concerts without them. Now my hearing loss is typical of a person a decade older than me. When your kids go off to college they might be stupid like me, but until then it’s up to you to protect their ears.

Helmets when they ride bikes or motorcycles. Protective ear muffs when they are little, ear plugs when they are big enough. They are not expensive, but not wearing them is.


Crocodile Kids

My husband was in a band all through college. Seattle had just hit peak grunge, and competition for gigs was fierce. He played around town in lots of the smaller clubs, most of which no longer exist. The Crocodile was one of the important venues back then, as it is now, and they never got to play there.

But my daughter did Rain City Rock Camp for two summers. So she’s played the Crocodile twice.

My Favorite Opera: The Barber of Seville at Seattle Opera

Daniel Sumegi (Basilio)/Kevin Glavin (Bartolo)/Marc Kenison (Ambrogio)/Margaret Gawrysiak (Berta)/Will Liverman (Figaro)/Andrew Owens (Almaviva)/Sofia Fomina (Rosina). Jacob Lucas photo c/o Seattle Opera

I think The Barber of Seville might be my favorite opera. The only thing that detracted from my enjoyment when I watched it last weekend was that every scene made me think, “I wish I’d brought my kids.” Because every single scene is so delightful, so funny, so beautiful, I hated for them to miss it. Even though my kids have already been to the opera before, I left determined to come back with them before the production finishes. Continue reading

Laser Iceland

The first laser show I ever attended was in a symphony hall in 1991 or 1992. Accompanied by a classic rock soundtrack, green lines flashed around the room, sometimes joined by a smoke machine. I wasn’t particularly impressed.

The next laser show I attended was Northern Lights, part of the annual Taste of Iceland Festival. Hosted in the Pacific Science Center Laser Dome, the free show was set to an hour of Icelandic indie music curated by KEXP DJ Kevin Cole. It was a little different from what I remembered. Continue reading

Doe Babies Forever

October is a favorite month, filled with birthdays, anniversaries, and that bestest of holidays, Halloween. But in a few more weeks, the winter gloom will start to sink in, the holidays will start to feel like pressure, and I’ll start thinking about early bird tickets to summer festivals. I’ve taken my kids to lots of them, but nothing compares to Doe Bay Fest, where grown ups are almost as welcome as the kids.