Monthly Archives: May 2009

Attention, Bainbridge: No One Took Anyone’s Thumb

I didn’t really think about it until later, but I hope director Garrett Bennett and I didn’t frighten anyone the morning of May 29 out in front of the Blackbird Bakery on Winslow Way in downtown Bainbridge Island.

We were talking about Bennett’s film “The Spy and the Sparrow ,” which screens June 10 and 13 as part of the Seattle International Film Festival , and how the distinguished actor Eric Roberts ended up in the cast.

Roberts actually acted in Bennett’s thesis film at the American Film Institute, “End of the Icon,” and has been a friend of the director since.

“I’d always loved him as an actor, even before I met him,” Bennett said of the Academy Award-nominated actor, seen most recently in the latest “Batman” installment.

Bennett told me a story about when he’d returned to the Seattle area and was running the Annex Theatre.

“There was this Italian restaurant there that we used to hang around at, and the Italian guys all did these impersonations of (Roberts) in this movie called ‘The Pope of Greenwich Village .”

I started to laugh, because I knew exactly where Bennett was going. There’s a scene in “The Pope of Greenwich Village” where Roberts’ character has tried to pull some sort of fast one on The Mob (not “a mob,” but “The Mob”), and as punishment they chop off one of his opposable digits. He reels around for what seems like the next half hour, in agony, hand wrapped in a blood-soaked bandage, screaming at Mickey Rourke ‘s character: “Pauly! They took my thumb!”

Soon, both Bennett and I were laughing and doing our own Eric Roberts impersonations: “Pauly! They … tookmyTHUMB !”

I wish I would’ve thought to notice the looks on some of the people’s faces who were coming out of the jam-packed Blackbird Bakery, but I was too busy laughing.

So, if we scared anybody, we’re very sorry. And we both still have all our thumbs, thank you.

“The Spy and the Sparrow,” which sounds gangbusters, by the way, screens at 9 p.m. June 10 at SIFF Cinema in McCaw Hall, and 11 a.m. June 13 at the Egyptian Theatre. Information: (206) 324-9996,

And our story on Bennett and the film is posted at

More later … — MM

Fun Movies You Don’t Have to Be Ashamed to See

Look out below, movie-goers. Weekend movie openings this week include not one, but two movies that not only will be box-office powers, but are meeting with some critical acclaim.

The Flamethrower’s main reviewer, Christie Lemire of The Associated Press , saw screenings of the Disney-Pixar animated flick “Up ” and Sam Raimi’s return to horror, “Drag Me to Hell .” I was curious how she’d review them, since she normally is pretty hard-edged when it comes to both cartoons and horror.

Well, wonder of wonders, she doled out three-and-a-half stars each, out of a possible four.

Just our luck, huh? Two movies you know you’ll like, that you don’t have to wear a disguise to so see, and it’s going to be a beautiful, sunny weekend.

Ah, well … no one can stand that much sun, anyway.

Bye the way, you can read Lemire’s reviews, as always, at

More later … — MM

BIHS Students Put on Benefit Show

This from our pals at Ovation! Musical Theatre Bainbridge , who we thank for letting us know about this (since nobody else did):

May 29 and 30 several area high school students are putting on their own show to benefit education in the arts for Ugandan children.
The show, titled “Left of Center ,” will be at 7:30 p.m. both nights at the Bainbridge High School theater, 9330 High School Road. It will include dance numbers from Jeffery Shirbroun and Kasey Harrison , a vocal performance by Greer Gibbens and a musical one-act play written and performed by Tavis Hamilton and Simon Paterson .

The two shows will be pay what you can and proceeds will be donated to The Patongo Fund , a group dedicated towards providing an education in the arts for Ugandan children.

Information: (206) 842-2634.

More later … — MM

‘Summerplay’ Series II’ Changes Dates

The seven performances of “Summerplay 2009: A Festival of New Works, Series II” will take place over two weeks beginning June 4, according to a dispatch from the Nice Folks at Bremerton’s Changing Scene Theatre Northwest .

Shows will be at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through June 13, with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. June 7.

Plays in this series include “Father and the Cell Phone,” by Port Townsend’s Flip Wingrove ; “That’s What I Love About Art,” by San Diego (not North Carolina, apparently) playwright Craig Abernethy ; “Who’s Afraid of George and Alice,” by Port Townsend’s James C. Daly ; and “Kitchen Sink Drama,” by Seattleite John C. Davenport .

Tickets are $10. The Changing Scene is at 5889 Highway 303 in East Bremerton, just behind the Orowheat Bakery outlet.

Information: (360) 792-8601,

More later … — MM

Local Preps Earn 5th Avenue Theater Accolades

Theater programs at Bainbridge, Bremerton and Klahowya were among schools west of Puget Sound to earn nominations in the 5th Avenue Theatre’s High School Musical Theatre Awards.

Here’s the rundown on local nominees; items followed by an (H) are honorable mention

Bainbridge (“Kiss Me Kate”) — Simon Patterson , lead actor; Momoko Sugai , supporting actress (H)

Bremerton (“Beauty and the Beast”) — Ruth Ann Saunders , featured ensemble actress (H); Tim Sargent , student achievement

Gig Harbor (“Guys and Dolls”) — Michelle DeShon , lead actress; Travis Olson , lead actor; Ryan Toney , featured ensemble actor

Klahowya (“My Fair Lady”) — choreography, scenic design (H), Cherisse Martinelli , lead actress (H)

Olympic (“Godspell”) — ensemble cast

Peninsula (“Wonderful Town”) — Garrett Young , supporting actor

Sequim (“Beauty and the Beast”) — Andrew King , lead actor

Congrats to all!

More later … — MM

50s-Style Diner Rises at Fifth and Park

For 75 years, it was the site of the Park Avenue Diner .

And now, enlarged and remodeled, the restaurant at 417 Park Ave. in Bremerton is back. The Coffee Club Diner opened for breakfast May 18, and will offer breakfast (also espresso and coffee) and lunch daily.

The new place is completely re-done with a retro Fifties theme. The old Park Avenue’s counter is augmented by a new dining area — a wall has been knocked down to the adjoining room.

The menu is ambitious, starting with a number of breakfast platters, baked goods, burgers and sandwiches — pretty much your classic diner fare.

Looks promising … especially if you’re as close as we are here at The Sungeon. With its Fifties theme, though, this place could become a favorite of the fast-growing Retro crowd in Kitsap.

Open hours, as listed on their Web site, are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Phone: (360) 627-8147 Fax: (360) 895-4825

If you try it, slip me a note at or add a comment to this post to let me know what you think .

More later … — MM

WWCA’s Excellent ‘Fiddler’ Adds Two More Shows

I could have — and should have — predicted that Western Washington Center for the Arts would be obliged to extend their run of the current excellent production of “Fiddler on the Roof .”

The show, which was to have closed May 24, will add performances May 29 at 7:30 p.m. and May 30 at 5 p.m.

Reservations will be required to secure seating, as houses have been filling throughout the run. To make sure you’ve got a place to park your heinie and enjoy this show, call (360) 769-7469 or go online at

More later … — MM

Orchard Has Retro Films at a Retro Price

This from our friends at the Historic Orchard Theatre in downtown Port Orchard:

“The Orchard is bringing back classics at a discounted price on weekends from May 15 through Aug. 23. The two-screen theater located at 822 Bay St., is adding a twist to its typical lineup of art, independent and foreign film. On weekends throughout the summer they’re hosting “Retro Summer ”— bringing back big hits ranging from “Aliens” to “Dirty Dancing” for locals to experience on the big screen at matinee prices.

“‘This is a fun way to appeal to and entertain a wide audience this summer,’ said Kahlen Burgwin, theater manager. ‘If you prefer indie films, documentaries or independent fare, we have something for everyone.’

“This might be the first or 100th time people will catch these classic flicks. It will be a complete experience with big crowds, buttered popcorn and Patrick Swayze larger than life.

“‘We chose movies that we really enjoy and would give anything to see on the big screen again,’ said Mike Pitts, co-owner. ‘The Orchard is an awesome theater and it’s going to be a great arrangement.’”

The lineup includes:

May 15 to 17 — “Dazed and Confused” (1993); Director Richard Linklater’s follow-up to “Slacker” takes an autobiographical look at some Texas teens on their last day of school in 1976. Despite the school’s stratified culture, Randall Floyd (Jason London) moves easily among stoners, jocks and geeks. A star athlete, Floyd wrestles with signing a “no drugs” pledge demanded by the football coach. Like “American Graffiti,” “Dazed and Confused” is rich in period detail.

May 29 to 31 — “Pink Floyd’s The Wall” (1982); Director Alan Parker’s revolutionary rock opera traces the troubled past of Pink (Bob Geldof), a depressed rock star at the end of his rope. With the wall as a metaphor for self-inflicted isolation, Pink is lost in despair, feeling trapped and desperately searching for a way out. “The Wall’s” stylized blend of drama, music and Gerald Scarfe’s brilliant animation earned the film instant cult status.

June 5 to 7 — “Aliens” (1986); After colonist Ellen Ripley survived her disastrous ordeal, nobody believed her story about the “Aliens” being on the planet LV-426. However, approximately 50 years later, the colony on LV-426 was completely destroyed. The government has decided to send Ripley out of cryostasis and to aid a team of tough, rugged space marines into the desolate planet to find out if there are aliens, or survivors. But, what Ripley will begin to realize that her worst nightmare is about to come true.

June 19 to 21 — “Labyrinth” (1986); Teenage Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) embarks on a life-altering quest when she attempts to rescue her little brother, Toby (Toby Froud), from the clutches of treacherous Jareth the Goblin King (David Bowie), who lives in a castle surrounded by a giant labyrinth. With just 13 hours to plot a course through the dangerous maze, Sarah must grow up fast, learn her responsibilities and muster supreme courage.

July 10 to 12 — “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981); Get ready to globe-trot with one of the big screen’s greatest adventurers. When Dr. Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) — the tweed-suited professor who just happens to be a celebrated archaeologist — is hired by the government to locate the legendary Ark of the Covenant (resting place of the original Ten Commandments), he finds himself up against the entire Nazi regime. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas teamed up to create this all-time favorite.

July 24 to 26 — “Fight Club” (1999); When corporate drone Edward Norton can’t sleep, his insomnia leads him to take desperate measures and introduces him to roguish rebel Brad Pitt. Together they stage impromptu (and brutal) parking lot boxing matches. But when other men join in the “fun,” Pitt transforms the club from a group of men rebelling against conformity into a nihilistic cult of pranksters with greater malice in store.

August 7 to 9 — “Back to the Future” (1985); In this long-time favorite, eccentric inventor Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) turns a DeLorean into a time machine that inadvertently sends his young friend Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) back to 1955. Not only is Marty stuck in the past, but he also risks throwing the time-space continuum for a real loop when he disrupts his parents’ destiny. It’s a race against time (literally!) to get them to pucker up — and to get him back to 1985!

August 14 to 16 — “Road House” (1989); Never underestimate Dalton (Patrick Swayze), a brawny bouncer and expert martial artist who also happens to hold an NYU degree in philosophy. When he’s hired to police a rowdy bar in the Midwest and falls in love with Doc (Kelly Lynch), he angers her mean ex-boyfriend Wesley (Ben Gazzara), who vows to win her back.

August 21 to 23 — “Dirty Dancing” (1987); Expecting the usual ennui that accompanies a summer in the Catskills with her family, 17-year-old Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey) instead finds herself in love. The object of her affection: the resort’s free-spirited dance instructor, Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze). But Baby’s disapproving dad soon steps in to keep Johnny from putting the moves on his artless daughter. The film earned Oscar honors for Best Song (“I’ve Had the Time of My Life”).

All shows are $7, or $5.75 with a Kitsap Card. For show times and current schedules check <> (click on the Historic Orchard Theatre) or contact us to sign up to receive a weekly e-mail (

More later … — MM

Broadway, B-Town Stars Sing at Admiral

A quintet of Broadway veterans backed by a four-piece band headed by musical director Neil Berg — and joined by a pair of local contest winners — perform “100 Years of Broadway ” at 3 p.m. May 17 at the Admiral Theatre , 515 Pacific Ave. in Bremerton.
The show, which recreates some of the biggest musical moments from Broadway’s last century, closes the Admiral’s 2008-09 subscription concert series. It features Steve Blanchard (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Camelot,” “The Three Musketeers”), Carter Calvert (“It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues”), Rita Harvey (“Fiddler on the Roof,” “The Phantom of the Opera”), Brad Little (“The Phantom of the Opera,” “Cyrano, the Musical,” “Anything Goes”) and John Jeffrey Martin (“Disney’s High School Musical” tour, “Hairspray”).
Contest winners, who’ll join the stars onstage for a number or two, are winner Cherisse Martinelli , Bremerton, and runners-up Colton Myers , Bremerton, and Taylor Murphy , Silverdale.
Berg, who’ll play keyboards and lead the four-piece backing band, is the composer-lyricist of the long-running Off-Broadway musical “The Prince and the Pauper,” and currently is composer for the new Broadway musical “Grumpy Old Men.”
Tickets are $32 for main floor, $26 for the loges and $16 in the balcony, all reserved. Information: (360) 373-6743,
More later … — MM

Meet the ‘New World’ … BSO Brings Back Dvorak’s Ninth

Five years and 22 days since they last played it, the Bremerton Symphony Orchestra will open their 2009-10 season with Antonin Dvorak ‘s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World.”

The announcement came during the May 9 finale to the Symphony’s tumultuous 2008-09 season, where brochures cataloging next season’s programs were available. The season also was discussed briefly by Alan Futterman , who has officially introduced as BSO’s music director for 2009-10. Futterman was on the podium for three concerts during the just-completed season, replacing Elizabeth Stoyanovich , who was dismissed after five and a half extremely successful seasons.

(Futterman actually had the night off from baton-wielding duties for the May 9 concert, as they were shared by assistant conductor Gary Dahl and guest conductor Hilary Davan Wetton .)

Dvorak’s beloved “New World Symphony ” also kicked off the Symphony’s 2004-05 season. Futterman said the orchestra’s musicians voted it into this year’s program.

The 2009-10 season:

Oct. 24: “Oktoberfest: The Glories of Middle Europe” — Mozart: Overture, “The Magic Flute;” Schuman: Piano Concerto (guest soloist Irene Bowling); Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”)

Nov. 21: “A Night at the Opera” — excerpts from operatic works by Wagner, Verdi, Mascagni, Borodin and Mussorgsky

Dec. 12: “Holiday Traditions from the U.K.” — Handel: Chorus selection from “Messiah;” Holst: “Christmas Day;” Finnegan: “Christmas Sing-along”

March 20: Fiesta Latina” — Albeniz: “Asturias;” Lalo: “Sinfonie espagnole” (guest soloist Claire Sledd, violin); De Falla: “El Amor Brujo (Ritual Fire Dance);” Futterman: “Inca Funeral Music;” “Fiesta Mexicana;” Lecuona: “La Comparsa,” “Danza Lucumi;” Villoldo: “Tango El Choclo”

April 17 (Chorale): “American Melodies” — At Sylvan Way Baptist Church, the Bremerton Symphony Concert Chorale, LeeAnne Campos, director, perform music by Copland, Berlin and Gershwin (Melissa Paulson, piano)

May 8: “The Final Flare of European Romanticism” — Mahler: Symphony No. 6

The Symphony’s annual “Vienna Night” fundraiser will be February 27 at the Kitsap Golf and Country Club.

Information: (360) 373-1722,

More later … — MM