Category Archives: Movies

‘Hairspray Live’ could be a breakout role for Dove Cameron

On’s “Hairspray Live” page, Dove Cameron gets first billing.

OK, the list is alphabetical. But still …

The Bainbridge Island-raised Cameron is part of the all-star cast of NBC’s latest foray into live-theater telecasts. which airs at 8 p.m. Dec. 7. In the adaptation of John Waters‘ cult movie hit, she plays Amber Von Tussle, the lead dancer on the Corny Collins TV show who feels her top-of-the-heap status challenged by “pleasingly plump” newcomer Tracy Turnblad.

Cameron, a veteran of Disney Channel series “Liv and Maddie” — in which she plays both title roles as identical-twin sisters — and movies like “Descendants

HAIRSPRAY LIVE! -- Season: 2016 -- Pictured: Dove Cameron as Amber Von Tussle -- (Photo by: Brian Bowen Smith/NBC)
HAIRSPRAY LIVE! — Season: 2016 — Pictured: Dove Cameron as Amber Von Tussle — (Photo by: Brian Bowen Smith/NBC)

and “Cloud Nine,” again will be teamed with Kristin Chenoweth, a veteran Broadway and movie star and Dove Cameron supporter who played Cameron’s mother in “Descendants.” She’s cast as Velma Von Tussle, Amber’s bigoted mother.

The cast also features Harvey Fierstein, Ariana Grande, Martin Short, Jennifer Hudson and Andrea Martin. Tracy will be played by newcomer Maddie Baillio.

“Hairspray Live” will attempt to break a string of less-than-enthusiastic reactions to NBC’s earlier live-theater telecasts, which began with 2014’s “Peter Pan” and have also included “The Sound of Music” and “The Wiz.”

As part of the promotional blitz for “Hairspray Live,” the cast was featured in a remote performance during NBC’s coverage of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which you can watch here:

Prior to relocating to Hollywood to pursue her acting and singing careers, Cameron performed in several productions at Bainbridge Performing Arts.

— MM

Bumbershoot 2016, Day One: It’s all beer, all the time

It was, I suppose, inevitable: The entire Bumbershoot festival is now one big beer garden.

The fences are down and the beer-swilling hordes now mingle with us tee-totaling bumpkins. This year, once you’ve had your ID checked and are issued an wristband, you can sidle right up to one of the beer and wine dispensaries that are as plentiful on the Seattle Center grounds as Starbucks on the downtown streets.

The good news there is that there’s a lot more shoulder room for non-drinkers, who were left with increasingly less space at the venues in recent years as the beer gardens and sponsored “VIP” enclaves multiplied like fruit flies.

The bad news is that the brewski is now omnipresent. It’s ubiquitous. It’s everywhere. And its consumers reel among us, all tipsy and oblivious to things like kids and decency and everybody else’s personal space. In other words, this Bumbershoot is a little bit more like a fraternity party than any previous edition.

Probably because of the rain — and perhaps in part because much of the teenaged attendance block seemed to cloister themselves in Key Arena all day to take in whatever super-amplified swill was being force-fed them — Day One didn’t seem all that crowded. Memorial Stadium was less than half full for Father John Misty, although things picked up quite a bit in anticipation of the evening’s 1-2 punch of Halsey and Kygo. And the once prestigious Mural Amphitheatre — oops, fervent apologies, the “Starbucks Stage” — didn’t draw flies until the evening set by Zella Day, ostensibly a set-up job for closers the Blind Boys of Alabama which turned out to be a star turn for the 20-year-old singer-songwriter from Pinetop, Arizona.

Some impressions from Day One:

  • If you want to see Lemolo (5:30 today, KEXP stage), get there early. The venue is tiny, in the rooms west of the Northwest Court (north of KeyArena) where the art exhibitions held court for the festival’s first 44 years or so. There’s a coffee joint and a vinyl record shop built right into the space, which is probably pretty nice the other 362 days of the year, but simply take up space that could’ve been spectators for Lemolo, Thunderpussy (4:10 Monday) and all the other acts booked in by KEXP.
  • Friday, anyway, the KEXP Stage seemed haunted by weak bands with weak gear; the Starbucks Stage, at least early in the day, was weak bands with better gear; and the Fisher Green stage was weak bands with really good gear, perhaps a single streaming on one of the services and maybe a song “featured” on the CW network. St. Lucia seemed like something right out of the Nineties, and Atlas Genius and Bob Moses never really popped.
  • The Starbucks Stage didn’t fare much better until the set by the aforementioned Zella Day (pictured), who delivered a short (scheduled that way), intense set of dramatic originals, sung and occasionally shrieked by Day, who had a nice — but entirely too loud — bmaxresdefaultand behind her. She was the first artist I saw all day who seemed like she was really trying to make an impression. She did.
  • One of the reasons I liked Day so much was that I had just come from an embarrassing set at Fisher Green by Chevy Metal, a side project of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. I thought covers (the Van Halenized version of the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me,” for instance) were verboten at Bumbershoot, but I wouldn’t have minded if they’d been better covers.
  • Joshua Tillman, Father John Misty’s frontman, called their main stage show “the last show of the current album cycle.” He said the massive tour numbered 240 shows. And, frankly, the band seemed utterly without pep. Still sounded pretty good, though.

Saturday, it might come down to a coin flip between Lemolo and Reggie Watts, both of whom play at 5:30 p.m. (Watts will be doing his beat-boxing, improv-ing thing at the Fisher Green Stage.) I could try to go half-and-half, but if I invest the time to get to the KEXP shoebox early enough to get so see Lemolo for my first time in a couple of years, I ain’t leaving. If it goes down that way, Reggie will understand.

It’ll be back to the stadium to see Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (8:50 p.m.), who I didn’t get to see when the “Camping Trip” tour stopped at the Admiral last Wednesday — although, judging by the Thursday water-cooler conversations in the Sungeon, just about every other Sun employee did.

If you go, it’s liable to be warmer and drier than it was Friday. Use sunscreen, and drink mucho liquid. God knows that’ll be a pretty simple proposition, given that you can’t throw a rock at Seattle Center this weekend and not hit a beer stand. There are a few water stations, too, so re-fill early and often. Have fun, and say hi …

— MM

Patrick Haggerty documentary a SXSW winner

These C*cksucking Tears,” director Dan Tabersky‘s film about Bremerton’s Patrick Haggerty, won Best Documentary Short honors at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, Texas.

The 15-minute film is about the life of Haggerty, who chronicled the struggles of gay men with the songs he wrote for the breakthrough 1973 country album “Lavender Country” (and performed with the band of the same name). A 2014 re-issue of the album brought Haggerty — now 71, performing with a new incarnation of Lavender Country as well as providing entertainment at area retirement homes — significant media attention, and led to both “TheHaggerty C*cksucking  Tears” and an animated documentary short by StoryCorps entitled “The Saint of Dry Creek,” with narration by Haggerty that told about the support and resolve to “not hide” he received from his father.

SXSW finished off a busy week of film festival screenings for “These C*cksucking Tears,” which was also screened at the True/False Festival in Columbia, Mo., and Cinequest in San Jose, Calif. Haggerty and the current Lavender Country lineup also played live at both True/False and SXSW, which wrapped up on March 15. Tabersky reportedly has submitted the film to a number of other festivals around the country.

“These C*cksucking Tears” was recognized at SXSW’s closing-night awards ceremony in Austin’s Paramount Theatre, hosted by fan favorite and “Don’t Think Twice” director Mike Birbiglia.

— MM

Lavender Country will be all over SXSW festivals

Lavender Country, the band formed, re-formed and fronted by Bremerton’s Patrick Haggerty, will play a 40-minute set at the fabled South by Southwest music festival.

Additionally, a 15-minute documentary film about Haggerty and the band, “These C*cksucking Tears,” will be screened on three occasions during SXSW’s film festival. (The photo of Haggerty below is a still from the film.)

Haggerty, now 72, wrote the songs for Lavender Country’s eponymous album, which was released in 1973. Touted as the first openly gay country music, it received limited exposure at the time and fell into obscuHaggertyrity until it was re-issued in 2014 by an archival label and garnered both critical acclaim and considerable media attention.

SXSW’s Web site describes the album “Lavender Country” as “nothing less than an artifact of courage, a sonic political protest document of enormous power, clarity and grace.”

Haggerty, in a May 2014 Kitsap Sun story, said he considered the album, at the time it was first released, to be “a bootleg, basically. It was a lyrical description of the problems gay men were facing at the time.

“And now, here’s this younger generation of aficionados who are behind this revival. They want to hear what it says. That represents a huge cultural shift.”

The film, directed by Dan Taberski, gets its title from one of “Lavender Country’s” songs, “Cryin’ These C*cksuckin’ Tears.” The 15-minute documentary covers Haggerty’s upbringing in rural northern Washington, the making of the album and its discovery 40 years later by the North Carolina record label Paradise of Bachelors.

Lavender Country perform a SXSW showcase set at noon March 19 at the Hideout Theatre.


— MM

Rodeo Drive-In to open March 4

The Rodeo Drive-In will open for the 2016 season March 4, with all three screens in action on a Friday-Saturday-Sunday basis.

The opening-weekend schedule, as supplied by the Rodeo, is: Screen 1 — “Zootopia” (PG), followed by “The Finest Hours” (PG-13); Screen 2 — “Kung Fu Panda 3” (PG), followed by “Daddy’s Home” (PG-13); and Screen 3 — “Deadpool,” followed by “The Revenent” (both  R).

The theater issued a caution about the Ryan Reynolds superhero movie “Deadpool,” calling both it and the Leonardo DiCaprio film “The Revenant” “hard R.” “Parents and guardians bringing customers under the age of 17 into this double feature should come prepared to show valid ID,” the theater said in a statement on their Facebook page.

Information on showtimes and box office opening times will be available at 360-698-6030 and

— MM

Rodeo Drive-In adds a weekend of ‘Hunger Games’

A note from the folks at the Rodeo Drive-In, taken from their Facebook page:

“Starting Christmas Day we’re changing things up a bit. First of all, we are bringing in another double feature. Starting Christmas Day: on Screen 2 we will be running “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay” Parts 1 & 2.

“We are also changing up our opening and start times to make it easier for everyone to enjoy the shows. Beginning Christmas Day, the box office will open at 4 p.m. The first movies will start at 5:15 p.m. On Screen 1, the FIRST movie will be “The Good Dinosaur,” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will play second, starting at 7 p.m. That screen will be out by about 9:30 p.m. On Screen 2, “Mockingjay” Part 1 will play first, at 5:15 p.m., and Part 2 will start at approximately 7:30 p.m. This double feature will end at about 10 p.m.

“Dec. 23 we are running “Star Wars” and “The Good Dinosaur” on Screen 1 and reversing the order (“Good Dinosaur” first) on Screen 2. Box office is opening at 5:30 p.m. and the movies are starting at 7 p.m. Prices are $9 for ages 13 and older, $6 for ages 5-12 and Seniors 55 and older; ages 4 and younger are free.”

The Rodeo Drive-In will be closed on Christmas Eve.

Information: 360-698-6030,

— MM

A Zombie musical, just in time for Halloween

A few months ago, Kitsap Opera presented “Carmen,” one of the greatest and sturdiest representatives of the genre, revered by opera buffs around the world.

This will be different.

The founders of Kitsap Fringe OperaKelli McAuley and Heather Freese (front middle and left in the photo, with Brian Minnick and a zombie attack force) love them some opera, make no mistake. But they’re looking for a different and definitely a younger audience than “Carmen” drew.

Hence “Maelstrom, a Zombie Opera,” a multimedia presentation that began life as a  project by two members of a Portland State University student opera group, which Kitsap Fringe Opera will perform in three different Kitsap venues in the coming days.

“We wanted to change the perspective too many people have about opera,” said McAuley, who has appeared onstage in a number of local theater productions — most recently the Gilbert & Sullivan comic operetta “H.M.S. Pinafore” at Ovation! Musical Theatre Bai1023_KSFE_Zombienbridge last summer, and also plays French horn for the Bremerton Symphony Orchestra. “We want to show people it can be funny and edgy, and it doesn’t have to be this 200-year-old thing.”

The opera, written by Ben Larson (book, lyrics and some music) and Reed Reimer (music), centers around Anna (played by McAuley), who is being treated for a fatal disease by a team of doctors and researchers in a hospital, when an alternate strain of her virus being developed by researchers turns out to be more than deadly. Anna and her husband, Jeremy (McAuley’s real-life husband, Terry), along with their doctor friends Claire (Freese) and Bryan (Minnick, a tenor from Tacoma Opera), must examine their friendships and relationships to each other as they are faced with their world crumbling around them. Who is worth saving? And who will be standing at the end?

The show, directed by Scott Breitbarth (who also produced the film portions) also features a chorus of “zombies” portrayed by local actors, and a ballet choreorgraphed to the opera’s overture by Lynn Galletta and performed by students from her North Kitsap dance school. Music will be performed live by pianist Gwen Adams (artistic director at Poulsbo’s Jewel Box Theatre) and a quartet of string players from the Bremerton Symphony Orchestra.

Performances are Oct. 21 at the Dragonfly Cinema (822 Bay St. in Port Orchard), Oct. 22 at Spacecraft at Rolling Bay Hall (10598 Valley Road on Bainbridge Island) and Oct. 31 at the See-Film Bremerton Cinemas, 655 Fourth St. in Bremerton, all starting at 7 p.m.. Tickets for all three performances are $15-$10 and are available through Brown Paper Tickets, 800-838-3006,


— MM

Hannah Spool on the big screen in Portland Film Fest

Hannah Spool used to live in Port Orchard before moving to Portland via Los Angeles. During her time in L.A., she was in a movie called “Sea Horse,” which will screen several times during the upcoming Portland Film Festival.

The film, a survival tale directed  by Kamell Allaway, actually was shot in Spool’s native Alaska. It’Hannahs been making the rounds of film festivals, and garnering positive reviews, like the one from Cinequest’s Vivien Yuen: “Stunningly shot against an otherworldly Alaskan backdrop … a surreal journey through a strangely beautiful reality.”

Spool broke into the movie biz working as Kristen Stewart’s stand-in during filming of the first “Twilight” movie on the Olympic Peninsula. She also did some local community theater, including the 2009 musical “Company” at Western Washington Center for the Arts. She’s been based in the Portland area since going to work as a flight attendant for Skywest Airlines.

“Sea Horse” screens at 1:45 p.m. on Sept. 2 at the festival, which runs Sept. 1-7. Unfortunately, it’s not on the roster of films at the upcoming Port Townsend Film Festival Sept. 25-27.SeaHorse

Here’s where to learn more about “Sea Horse:”

— MM

PTFF has not one, but two special guests for 2015

Like it’s not enough to have Beau Bridges come to your film festival …

The Port Townsend Film Festival announced last week that veteran actor Chris Cooper also will be a special guest of this year’s celluloid celebration, which takes over downtown Port Townsend on Sept. 25-27.

According to a release from festival director Janette Force, is the first time PTFF, now in its 16th year, has had two star headliners for their three-day event. More than 80 films will be screened at a half-dozen venues sprinkled around Port Townsend’s walkable National Historic District.

Bridges will host a Sept. 25 screening of “The Fabulous Baker Boys” at the Uptown Theatre. Shot in Seattle, Bridges co-starred in the film with his brother Jeff Bridges and Michelle Pfeiffer. A Q&A with Bridges follows the film.

Cooper will be on hand Sept. 26 for a screening of his film “Adaptation.” Based on Susan Orleans “The Orchid Thief,” the film stars Meryl Streep and Nicholas Cage. A Q&A with Cooper follows the screening.

Bridges is one of the most versatile character actors in television and film, often playing radically different characters back to back. He currently is in his third season with Showtime’s “Masters of Sex,” a fictional account of sex therapists, Masters & Johnson.

CooperCooper (pictured at left) won both an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Adaptation.” He also starred in John Sayle’s film, “Lone Star,” and was a supporting actor in “American Beauty,” “October Sky,” “The Bourne Identity” and “Sea Biscuit.” Oh, and did we mention that he was July Johnson in “Lonesome Dove?”

Bridges and Cooper will discuss their long acting careers in “The Conversation,” an hour-long afternoon event on Sept. 26 in the 250-seat American Legion Theatre. With a grant from First Federal and Centrum, the Festival purchased soundproofing last year and a gigantic screen to convert the Legion’s auditorium into a theatre, transforming it into the Festival’s largest theatre.

Cooper’s wife, Marianne Leone Cooper, an author and actress will also appearnSept. 27 as the Festival’s “Formative Film” guest author.

An actress in HBO’s series “The Sopranos,” Marianne most recently finished a David O. Russell film with Robert DeNiro and Jennifer Lawrence. Marianne has chosen to screen “My Left Foot,” about a brilliant man (starring Academy Award winner  Daniel Day Lewis) who is challenged by cerebral palsy. (Marianne and Chris are the parents of Jesse Cooper, a bright young poet who was also severely affected by cerebral palsy. Marianne’s acclaimed, transformative memoir, “Jesse: A Mother’s Story” speaks to all parents who try to do the best for their children. Following the film is a book signing, hosted by The Writers’ Workshoppe.)

To purchase passes online,  call PTFF at 360-379-1333 with your credit card number (all cards accepted) The festival accepts checks delivered in person or by mail to their office at 211 Taylor Street, Ste. 401-A, Port Townsend, WA 98368.

The Festival’s program of curated, independent, narrative and documentary films will posted on PTTFF’s website in early August.

Information: 360-379-1333,


When you’re ready … and they’re not

Sometimes, you just have to wing it …

That’s the position all of us here at Kitsap A&E found ourselves in earlier this week when we scheduled cover art for the release of the summer blockbuster movie “Jurassic World,” that would feed readers in to either a review or feature — or both — inside.

We knew it would be tight. The first press run for A&E is Tuesday, and our sources for the materials we needed were vague on whether we’d get anything in time.

We didn’t.

An hour before our off-the-floor deadline, we had no review. No preview. No puff piece, no making-of sidebar, or Chris Pratt feature, or Bryce Dallas Howard retrospective. No Interview with the Dinosaur.

We had a quick staff meeting, and the assignment finally fell to me: Phony something up.

I was, after all, the logical person for the job, for three reasons: 1. I have decades of experience knowing very little about subjects that I go ahead and write about anyway; 2. Having been a sportswriter in a past life, the instruction “20 inches in 20 minutes” leaves me completely nonplussed; and 3. … who am I kiddin’? I’m the only one here.

This link:

will take you to what resulted, and what readers who get that first press run of A&E got this week. I offer it here as a curiosity, as an example of what we in the “go-with-what-you’ve got” line of work do on those occasions when we’ve got nuthin’.

In retrospect, maybe “Interview with the Dinosaur” might not have been such a bad idea …

— MM