Why You Should Go to Seattle Symphony’s Three-Week Jean Sibelius Festival              Photo by Brandon Patoc Photography By Reuven Pinnata| Arts Editor Originally published in the March 2015 issue. What does the music of Finland’s greatest composer have to do with us who live in the Pacific Northwest? More than perhaps one would initially have guessed. Seattle’s music scene is home for legendary musicians such as Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix; its alternative, countercultural style is already well-known. But many great aspects of this city have gone unsung, in my opinion. When I think of Seattle, … Continue reading SOUNDTRACK TO YOUR PACIFIC NORTHWEST

Snob Reads A Very Long Book, Brags

A Review of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

By Reuven Pinnata

Originally published in the November 2014 issue.

Reuven_War&Peace_“Why would you want to read something that long?” That wasn’t a question some half-impressed, half-suspicious acquaintance asked me; it was a question I asked myself after spending $20 on a sweet-smelling, brand-new copy of Tolstoy’s beastly beauty. I am the kind of person who cannot give up on a book without feeling both guilty and insulted so at that time I knew that—like it or not—I was going to force myself to stick with War and Peace at least for a good portion of my summer. Either the ghost of some canonical writer convinced me to read it or I simply like big books and I cannot lie—I couldn’t remember why I decided to pick up this book in the first place. What I can remember is I am glad I did.

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Exhibition Proves People Still Care About Art

By Marissa Yamasaki

Originally published in the November 2014 issue. 

Is art still relevant in the Internet Age?  It is indeed, at least judging by the enthusiastic online response that fueled the Frye Art Museum’s new #SocialMedium exhibit.  The exhibit uses social media to reignite passion for art, resulting in a delightful juxtaposition of the classic and the modern.

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Despising Seattle

Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette Has a Passive-Aggressive Relationship with This City, Just Like You

By Marisa Yamasaki

Originally published in the December 2014 issue.

When Maria Semple’s novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette was published in 2012, I didn’t bother to read it.  What value could I find in a book famous only for complaining about Seattle?  Yet in a recent Seattle Times article, book editor Mary Ann Gwinn mentioned the novel as a possible entry in a Washington State literary time capsule.  I thought, “If Semple’s novel is a candidate to be preserved for future generations, perhaps it is worth reading.”  So I gave Bernadette a try, and found that it is far from a classic, but its wittiness and wild rants offer a unique look at Seattle.

Bernadette Fox, a brilliant Californian architect, moves to Seattle after her masterpiece project is destroyed.  But she is miserable in her new city, living amongst people who don’t understand her and whom she never tries to understand.  After years of channeling her pent-up energy into criticizing Seattleites, she vanishes, leaving her teenage daughter, Bee, to discover where she went.

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A Christmas Story Hits Home

The 5th Avenue Theatre’s latest Christmas production is chock-full of humor and heart

By Reuven Pinnata

Originally published in the December 2014 issue. 

There are musicals which overwhelm us with the scope of their epic vision, and there are musicals which speak to us as the consummate voice of an era—this musical just happens to be neither. A Christmas Story at first seems unassuming in its ambition; it reads like a Norman Rockwell painting—almost too simplistic albeit warm and unabashedly cheery. There is almost nothing special about its story; it is just a slice of cake from the American suburbs in the 50’s. Yet there is something irresistibly charming and nostalgic about it, as if it were a past all of us could have shared, and this is why it’s almost impossible not to love this musical. Beneath the mundane and the specific, A Christmas Story manages to locate the exact heartstring which resonates in all of us.

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By The Book

Romance and Hilarity Abound in Book-It’s Pride and Prejudice

By Marisa Yamasaki

Originally published in the December 2014 issue. 

Book-it Repertory Theatre is a book lover’s dream: literary works are turned into plays that remain entirely faithful to the source material.  Book-it’s current production, Pride and Prejudice, is no exception.  With a stellar cast and witty adaptation, it Pride and Prejudice is sure to charm viewers whether they have read the novel a dozen times or are yet to be acquainted with this classic of Regency England.

Pride and Prejudice is part of Book-It’s Silver Jubilee Season, which celebrates the company’s 25th anniversary.  The show, which was also produced by Book-It in 2000 and 2004, is adapted and directed by Marcus Goodwin.

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My Immortal lives forever, unfortunately

By Amber Lyons | Art & Photo Editor

Fan fictions, or fanfics, are stories created by fans of a fictitious universe who use its characters and settings to create their own plots and storylines. Some of these stories are great: the characters maintain their personalities, the plots are feasible within the context of the original universe, and the story is entertaining. Then there are the others: the awful fan fictions. The original characters’ personalities are completely skewed and the writing is poisonous to the eyes. Like a bad horror movie, these monstrosities can be far more entertaining than the original material they imitate. And the worst of the worst? My Immortal. Continue reading “My Immortal lives forever, unfortunately”

The Consul: Kafkaesque or Orwellian?

By Reuven Pinnata | Staff Writer

I have to confess that I was a bit let down when I first knew what the Seattle Opera was doing after their glorious production of Rigoletto. The Consul—I was quite sure I’d never heard of it before. I was eager to immerse myself in my second operatic experience, and the operas I had in mind were mainly the standard repertoire—Norma, La Traviata, Lucia di Lammermoor, or Carmen. However, I soon learned what an interesting opera The Consul is. It is a political thriller, telling the story of a woman named Magda Sorel who is desperately trying to leave a nameless totalitarian state, along with her mother and infant son, to join her freedom-fighter husband John Sorel. (Then I was pretty sure I’d read a similar Kafka story.) The composer is Gian Carlo Menotti, and it was first performed in 1950, the same year it won the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Continue reading “The Consul: Kafkaesque or Orwellian?”

The picture worth $10,000

By Katherine Morgan | Staff Writer

A photograph supposedly speaks a thousand words. However, after the recent controversy surrounding a $10,000 offer by Jezebel to Vogue for their untouched photos of Lena Dunham, creator and star of the HBO show Girls, the popular women’s blog will have to offer up a little more than a just a roll of film and a gung-ho apology on their website. Continue reading “The picture worth $10,000”

The Machine to Be Another

by Holden Kosàly-Meyer | Student Contributor

Have you ever wanted to switch bodies with someone? To experience the world as someone other than yourself? Though usually the subject of comedies (Freaky Friday), television sci-fi (Star Trek; The X-Files) and Saturday-morning cartoons (pretty much all of them), the concept of swapping bodies or consciousnesses carries with it some interesting ideas about empathy and  the philosophy of personal identity. In the pop culture context, such stories usually involve an argument or difference of opinion or perspective being resolved, or at least better understood, by both parties through a shared experience in each other’s bodies. In the philosophical context, things get a lot more complicated, delving into the questions about what the consciousness even is and whether it’s possible to even theoretically separate it from the body, let alone send it to another. Continue reading “The Machine to Be Another”