Monthly Archives: October 2008

Bowling on TV Takes on New Meaning

A note from our friend Dr. Irene Bowling :

October 28, 2008

Dear Family, Friends, and Students,
There will be a segment on Seattle’s King 5 T.V. news airing at 7 p.m. this Wednesday night, Oct. 29 at 7:00 p.m., on our new music education company: SeattleSoundFX.

It is three minutes in length. Out-of-staters can click on to the day after (Thursday a.m.). Click on to Evening Magazine. It will also be aired on Northwest Cable News in Oregon, Idaho, parts of California, and even Alaska at 10 p.m. the same night (Wednesday night).

Bill and I have been working on this project, with the help of many wonderful people, for the last 2.5 years. King 5 news got wind of it and decided to include it in their evening news program! It was taped on June 10. I hope you can all tune in to the show. Please let us know what you think!

Thank you for your interest and care!
Irene Bowling and Bill Pontius (and Kids!)

Dr. Irene Bowling
Bowling Music Studios <>
SeattleSoundFX <>
(360) 692-7419

More later … — MM

Higgins Will Cart Six BCCMA Awards to B-Town

For anyone sitting on the fence about ponying up for ducats to see The Higgins , the dynamic young British Columbia family band who’ll play Nov. 7 at the Admiral Theatre , the group offered up a compelling nudge Sunday night.

That is, if you put any credence in the British Columbia Country Music Association’s annual doling-out of awards. The Higgins — 26-year-old John , 22-year-old Eileen and 20-year-old Kathleen — carted off six awards, including Album of the Year for their summer release, "Real Thing."

The group also won Best Group-Duo honors in the ceremony at the Red Robinson Theatre in Coquitlam (and if there was ever a phrase that summarized country music in B.C., it’s "the Red Robinson Theatre in Coquitlam"). Their song "Flower Child," co-written with manager and co-producer David Wills , won Best Single, Best Songwriter and Best Video (directed by Stephano Barberis). They also won BCCMA’s "roots/Canadiana" award, presumably for being , well, rootsy and Canadian.

Bass player Dennis Marcenko, who played on "Real Thing," was voted onto the all-star band, but nominees John (guitar) and Eileen ("special instrument") both missed out. Eileen, who won the BCCMA honor last year for her mandolin-pickin’ proficiency, can’t feel too bad, though — earlier this fall she won the same category at the Canadian Country Music Awards … which, if you’re keeping score, is the whole flamin’ country, not just one province.

Having heard a good chunk of "Real Thing," I can attest to its appeal, not only to BCCMA voters but to the country music community in general. It’s a seamless amalgam of traditional Country and Western sounds, highlighting fresh three-part harmonies and Kathleen’s Shania Twain-esque lead vocals, a splash of young-country hubris, a tasty rock ‘n’ roll sensibility … and an overflow of energy. The songs literally jump out at you, and make you wonder just what seeing the trio (and three backing musicians) live would be like.

Pretty good, I bet.

So, if you were leaning, take it from me and the BCCMAs. Like the title of their record, The Higgins are the "Real Thing." The show’s at 8 p.m. Nov. 7 (dinner, for those with foresight and hunger, is available with reservation beginning at 6:30 p.m.).

Information: (360) 373-6743, ; and to hear several of the more poppin’ songs off "Real Thing," you can fire up the music player at .

More later … — MM

Higgins Band Will Be Rested, Ready … and Probably Decorated

The Higgins Keep track of Sunday’s British Columbia Country Music Association awards, which will be doled out Oct. 26 in Coquitlam, B.C., and you’ll know just how many of the awards The Higgins will be toting into Bremertron for their Nov. 7 at the Admiral Theatre.

The photogenic young family band from Delta, B.C. — John Higgins , 26, and his sisters Eileen , 22, and Kathleen , 20 — will perform at the BCCMA show, where they’re also nominated for 13 various awards, ranging from B.C. Entertainers of the Year to honors for their producer, videos and Web site.

Then they won’t play again until they hit the stage at the Admiral. Dinner, for those of you with the wherewithal to make reservations, is served beginning at 6:30 p.m., and The Higgins will bring all that pent-up energy from a week’s vacation onto the stage at 8 p.m.

"It’ll be a kickoff night for us," Eileen said The Higgins during a phone interview Oct. 23. "It’s the start of quite a few dates for us (the group will tour well into December), so we’re really looking forward to it."

Both John (guitar) and Eileen (mandolin) are nominated for individual musicianship awards. Eileen won the "special instrument" category in 2007 for her playing. The group is also up for songwriting honors, based on the material on their June release, "Real Thing" — a CD, ironically, that takes its name from one of the few songs some combination of the siblings didn’t write.

Eileen said the Admiral show will include both electric and acoustic components — the threesome (Kathleen also plays guitar) will be backed by another guitarist, bassist and drummer.

In the four or five years since they were singing a cappella, mostly-for-fun gigs, Eileen said she thinks The Higgins have become a polished and crowd-pleasing unit.

"We think we put on a good show," she said. "We just want to be real with the audience and have a lot of energy in our shows."

After a week off, they ought to be rarin’ to go.

Information: (360) 373-6743,,

More later … — MM

Art-for-Peace Fundraising Party

Money raised will celebrate and support
Brian Berman’s exhibition at the Louvre

Pacific Northwest artist and peace activist Brian Berman has announced a celebration and art auction to help fund his up and coming exhibition in Paris, France. Berman has been selected to be one of 12 artists representing the U.S. by the Societe Nationale Des Beaux-Arts (SNBA). The SNBA has chosen Berman’s glass sculpture, “Genesis,” to be displayed in their contemporary art exhibition at the Louvre in December.

The event will take place Oct. 25 at the Bainbridge Island Commons Waterfront Park, 370 Brien Drive SE, from 7 to 10:30 p.m.

“It is as much about celebrating the honor of this invitation with friends, art supporters, and patrons, as it is about raising funds for the exhibition,” Berman said of the event.

Celebration attendees will be entertained by the rhythmic jazz music from local band Mazama, French cuisine prepared by local catering company, Culinary Escapes, and a media presentation of Berman’s Art-for-Peace work.

Highlighting the evening, Berman will be auctioning off the “Genesis” sculpture chosen for the Louvre exhibition as well as several of his stone, bronze, and glass sculptures.

Berman will donate a percentage of the evening’s proceeds to The Compassionate Listening Project ( in hopes to not only cover costs for the Louvre exhibition, but also to support an organization that shares his vision of peace and dedication to the work of reconciliation.

“I want people to connect with their ability to work towards positive solutions for a peaceful future,” Berman said. “This event will be an opportunity for me to thank everyone for contributing to this great honor of going to the Louvre.”

Tickets are $75 and include live music, French foods, the silent auction of Berman sculptures in stone, bronze and glass, and the live auction of the Louvre “Genesis.”

Information: (360) 697-2288,,,

“ZMD” Will Make Festival Rounds

"Zombies of Mass Destruction ," the film shot last autumn in and around Port Gamble, is nearly finished, according to its producer, John Sinno of Seattle’s Typecast Films.

But there are no plans to screen the film, directed and co-written by Kevin Hamedani , around Kitsap in the near future.

"We’ve submitted the film to Sundance and Slamdance and a bunch of other (genre) festivals," Sinno said during a phone conversation Oct. 21. "We have to wait and see what happens with them, and we don’t want to screw up our chances by screening it somewhere before they have a chance at it."

Sinno said he and Hamedani screened the film for cast and crew members two weeks ago. Suquamish’s Linda Jensen , who has a lead role in the film and helped with local casting, and her husband, John Jensen , who helped with set and prop construction, were unable to attend.

"It looks really good," Sinno said of the film, which he described as being "95 percent done. We’ve got a few minor tweaks we still have to do.

Hamedani also said the film was nearly completed from a technical standpoint. In an e-mail Oct. 20, he said he had only some work left on the sound track — along with the tweaks mentioned by Sinno.

Sinno said there still are hopes that "ZMD" will be screened for Kitsap audiences at some point, but that the high-profile festival rounds have to take top priority.

"We’re still looking at avenues to get it out," he said. "I really think it’s a very decent film. The political message of it is right there, and it’s really funny."

"The people at the screening really enjoyed it," he said. "The production values are very good, considering the budget we made it with."

There had been hopes that "ZMD" would be screen locally upon its completion, both as a thank-you to Port Gamble and environs and as a salute to Harry Helm , a Port Orchard actor who played a key role in the film but took ill and died shortly thereafter. It was the final film for the veteran of nearly a half century of stage and screen acting.


They’ll Terpsichore Around the Admiral Floor

For those of you who never miss an episode of "Dancing With the Stars:"

Five elite dance teams performing as “Champions of the Dance” stop in for an 8 p.m. show (dinner with reservation is served beginning at 6:30) Oct. 25 at the Admiral Theatre, 515 Pacific Ave. in Bremerton.
The five teams of dancers have appeared on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” the BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing,” the syndicated series “The American Ballroom Challenge” and in top competitions around the world.
Dancers appearing in the Admiral Theatre show include:
* Evgeny Dyanchenko and Inna Ivanenko, who were featured in the “Dancing With the Stars” tour and are the reigning world and U.S. professional American Rhythm champions.
* Tony Scheppler and Erin Bomboy, current North American Smooth champions, who’ve been featured in the movies “Enchanted” and “Mona Lisa Smile.”
* Lyubomire Asenov and Loreta Kritschukaityte, Lithuanian and Bulgarian national Youth Latin champions and U.S. national “Rising Star” finalists.
* The teenaged duo of Oskar Wojciecheowski and Caroline Holody, three-time U.S. Youth Dancesport champions.
* Fabian Sanchez, who partnered with actress Marlee Matlin in the most recent “Dancing With the Stars” competition and a former Fred Astairs national champion, with perform with Kritschukaityte.
Narration will be provided by Jonathan Wilkins, a former national and world champion who has offered his insights on “Dancing With the Stars,” “Strictly Come Dancing” and “American Ballroom Challenge.”
Tickets range from $76 for a main-floor seat with dinner to $25 in the balcony, and all seats are reserved. Information: (360) 373-6743,

More later … — MM

“History of America” Opening Delayed

Changing Scene Theatre Northwest has delayed the opening of the comedy "A Complete History of America (Abridged) " for a week — in part so that it wouldn’t overlap with another similar production in Kitsap County.

Western Washington Center for the Arts ‘ successful (and extremely funny) re-revival of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) " doesn’t wrap up until Oct. 26. Changing Scene’s production, a meal-and-a-show deal at the Panda Inn on Kitsap Way in Bremerton, was to have opened Oct. 24.

Instead, CSTN will open "America (Abridged)" Oct. 30 and extend the run one weekend, to Nov. 15. They’ll feature dinner shows on Friday and Saturday nights and lunch shows on Saturday afternoons — patrons get a Chinese combination dinner and the show for $25.

Information on both shows: Changing Scene Theatre Northwest, (360) 792-8601,; Western Washington Center for the Arts, (360) 769-7469,

More later … — MM

Zombie Flick Comes “Home” for Screenings

The Orchard Theatre in Port Orchard won’t just be the site of a screening of the locally produced zombie flick "Carnival of the Damned ." It plays a part.

The film, written and directed by Chris Thompson under the umbrella of his Port Orchard-based production company In The Can Pictures , will screen at 9:15 p.m. Oct. 18 and again at 10 p.m. Oct. 31 — Halloween Night. How cool is that.

According to Stan Wankowski , one of the film’s producers, and star Raphael Giovanni Carlo , the Oct. 31 screening will feature a Zombie Costume Contest, and producers will be looking for extras to play zombies in a planned sequel.

The Orchard — formerly the Plaza Twin on Bay Street — was a location for several of the film’s scenes, according to Wankowski. It was acquired and renovated by the folks who run the Bainbridge Cinemas and Lynwood Theatre on Bainbridge Island and the Olympic Cinemas in East Bremerton, and re-opened for bidness last fall.

"The opening scene was shot there, and another scene was shot upstairs," Wankowski said.

The film is described as an homage to 1970s grindhouse B Movies — the kind that also inspired filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. And Bremerton’s own Adrienne Baltz , who appeared in stage productions around Kitsap and earned a featured role in the Village Theatre’s "The Music Man," is the female lead — playing a plucky waitress who helps Carlo’s police detective dude save the world from The Zombie Menace.

Watch this CyberSpace — and the pages of Kitsap A&E and — for more about "Carnival of the Damned," which was released on Sept. 2.

It sounds like a Grade-A B-Movie popcorn-cruncher to me.

More later … — MM

Where Are All of Washington’s Funny People ???

The schedule and entrants for this year’s Seattle International Stand-Up Comedy Competition has been announced, and Bremertron’s Admiral Theatre will host the fourth of five Championship Finals events on Nov. 29.

That we already knew. What we didn’t know was who would by vying for sports in those finals.

Now that we do know, I have to ask: "What the … ?" Out of 32 comics who’ll go into the preliminaries, which start Nov. 5, only eight hail from the state of Washington. That’s 25 percent. Entrants are coming from as far away as Boston, Tampa and Washington D.C.

So, where are all of Washington’s funny people? Why doesn’t Seattle’s own stand-up competition have more representation from Seattle?

I know there are funny people in Seattle, and in Washington. I see you every time I go out in public. Granted, a lot of what you’re doing that falls into the category of "funny" is purely inintentional, but still …

Anyway, the field is full of really funny people, folks you might’ve seen on TV already. So you’re going to laugh.

There just won’t be as much local humor as you might expect.

More later … — MM

Mattea’s Music Will Get to You

If you’re on the fence about whether to go see Kathy Mattea when she plays at the Admiral Theatre on Oct. 24, I’m telling you — GO.

Up until about a week ago, I knew as much about Mattea and I knew about quantum physics (come to think of it, I might know more about quantum physics). But a phone interview with the veteran country-folk-roots singer last week (the results of which you can read at and in the Oct. 17 print edition of Kitsap A&E ), and a listen to some of her music, has made me a convert.

Hopefully, she’ll play most — if not all — of her newest CD, "Coal ," which is a collection of songs about coal mining and coal miners. To say that her interpretations of the songs she chose for the record are effective would be a gross understatement — I think I cried five times (and I’m not a person normally given to the water works), and the closing, a cappella reading of "Black Lung" had me blubbering like a kid throughout.

I can hardly wait to hear her perform live.

More later … — MM