The Quality of Mercy is not Strained

Longtime Seattle actors Amy Thone and Hans Altwies have said their daughter Stella, 13, is dealing with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare, soft-tissue cancer. A year’s worth of intensive treatment is indicated, chem, radiation and possibly surgery.  A week from a normal healthy kid to this.

Thone and Altwies have graced almost every major stage in Seattle, some of them multiple times, with performances ranging from merely superb to electrifying. The outpouring from the theatre community has been a great support and comfort to them. The couple count themselves fortunate that Thone teaches classes at The University of Washington–and thus has health care through the U. But make no mistake, this is going to be brutally hard on people who have always been open-handedly generous. There’s a donation site for Stella.
….. Stella for Star at
“It blesses him that gives,
and him that take.”

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Words From A Bear

SIFF is showing this thoughtful documentary about the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, poet and artist, focused on how his Kiowa roots inform his work. An oral storyteller who has successfully brought his heritage into the print and art mediums, as well as a very warm, very human person, Momaday is what every grandfather would love to be to his descendants.

N. Scott Momaday: Words From A Bear will be shown on PBS in November

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THE APOLLO is a Feast

Oscar winning director Roger Ross Williams (2010 doc short Music by Prudence) must have broken his heart making The Apollo. Because there’s so much you can’t include. Opened in 1934 decades it was the pinhole through which African American art and dance and music were projected into prominence. The Apollo Theater not only presented them in front of an elegant audience, but through the long running Wednesday Amateur Nights the theater launched legendary careers. Like the girl who forgot the words to her song and had to improvise—Ella Fitzgerald. Great vintage photos and footage make it a visual feast. Backstage, back of the house, including the preparation given about booing to Amateur Night participants, there’s  a lot of vital history is preserved here in a lively entertaining fashion. #theapollo

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SIFF’s Secret Festival Sunday Mornings

The Secret Festival began yesterday. All pass holders are sworn to secrecy about the films shown, and they buy a pass with no idea in the world of what will be shown every Sunday morning for four weeks. Possibilities include films with copyright issues, or Premiere Promises elsewhere, classics that call for a big screen and an engaged audience, or films for the hell of it.

It is also fair to say that each year, one of the four loses a certain audience share who end up at the eatery across the street in search of an early lunch, and hissing questions at other pass wearers nearby.

The thing is, people start lining up more than an hour before the theater opens, the line goes round the corner and all the way down the block. As you walk up you see the same faces four times, You sit near the same people, begin to talk with strangers. But if you’re really good standing in line. the cookie man may come. And then you know the Secret Festival is back.

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Where Will Your Bookstore Buy Books?

That has suddenly become the question of the hour for independent bookstores with the announcement May 1 that Baker and Taylor will cease bookstore sales to concentrate on their school and library business. Many bookstores, especially in the West, have depended on B&T for rapid replenishment of stock, a key piece of bookstore strategy.
The change is expected to be rapid, with many parts of the operation ceasing as of June 1.Baker and Taylor is one of two national wholesale distributors supplying the independents .

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